Plans for a huge expansion of the world’s largest wind farm, the London Array in the Thames Estuary in the UK, have been scrapped. The consortium running the project blame the abandonment of an additional 65 giant turbines on the requirement for a 3-year study on the potential impact on birds. The Thames estuary site is a designated environmental Special Protection Area. The decision represents a major blow to the coalition government’s renewable energy goals. Not least as it is the fifth major UK wind farm project to be scrapped or scaled back in just three months.

The US government is giving $6.5 billion in loan guarantees for two new nuclear reactors at the Alvin W. Vogtle Electric Generating Plant in the state of Georgia. The reactors will be the first new nuclear facilities constructed in the US in three decades.

An agreement between the world’s largest natural gas exporter (Russia) and one of the world’s fastest-growing gas markets (China) seems within reach.  Russia says the two sides have agreed on a price formula, but not an actual price. Russia’s Gazprom charges European customers $11 per million BTU, which has dropped as it gives discounts to ward off competition from countries such as Norway. Meantime, China pays roughly $10 per million BTUs for pipeline gas from Turkmenistan and Myanmar.  Within three years, downward pressure on international prices is expected from some LNG exports from the US. plus a surge of seven Bcf a day of LNG from Australia during 2017.

North America will become the world’s cheapest source of energy if Canada, Mexico and the US pool their resources to reduce costs and generate industrial growth across the continent, the chief executive of Mexico’s state-owned oil producer said in an interview last week.

Israels recently discovered offshore natural gas is generating momentum for politically important supply deals that could alleviate energy shortages in Jordan and Egypt. The drilling consortium said Wednesday it signed a deal to supply gas to chemical companies in Jordan, marking Israel’s first energy export deal and bolstering ties between the neighboring countries.

There was much discussion last week about how the major international oil companies are making cuts in their spending for exploration due to increasing costs and the inability to find enough new crude oil. Most of the cutbacks are being directed towards arctic and very deepwater exploration where the costs are very high. With many believing that oil prices will soon be falling, lower prices would bring additional pressures on oil companies to cut back on new exploration and drilling projects.

Combined output of crude and other liquids by the seven largest western major oil companies — ExxonMobil, Shell, BP, Chevron, Total, ConocoPhillips and Eni — amounted to 9.517 million b/d last year, down 2.2% from 2012 and marking the fourth consecutive year of decline. Liquids’ output from the same group has been falling every year of late, having been as high as 10.865 million b/d in 2009 and having dropped 12.4% since 2009.

Japan became the main importer of LNG in the world as it currently imports 4.193 trillion per annum.

The country known as the Land of the Rising Sun started importing LNG to cater to its energy needs after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in March 2001.

– See more at: http://www.energytribune.com/80352/japan-to-quit-energy-reliance-on-qatari-lng#sthash.uU5UVdY3.dpuf

The leader of Nigeria’s Islamic uprising is threatening to attack oil interests more than a thousand miles from the northeastern base where his fighters are accused of killing more than 250 civilians this month. Abubakar Shekau also warns leading Nigerian Muslim politicians and religious and traditional leaders that his fighters will target them for pursuing democracy and Western-style education. He says his struggle to transform Africa’s biggest oil producer into an Islamic state is only just beginning. He plans to destroy oil refineries “in coming days.”

The American Petroleum Institute said US crude oil imports of 7.5 million b/d marks a 5.2% decline year-on-year and the lowest import level in 17 years.

Japan is the leading importer of liquified natural gas (LNG) in the world as it currently imports 4.2 trillion cubic feet per year. The country started importing LNG to cater to its energy needs after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in March 2011 when Japan shutdown all of its nuclear reactors.

Canada’s National Energy Board has approved a 25-year license to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) through the United States to Asian markets. The Jordan Cove project will enable Veresen Inc. to export a maximum 1.56 billion cubic feet per day.

The electricity price index soared to a new high in January 2014 with the largest month-to-month increase in almost four years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. – See more at: http://cnsnews.com/news/article/terence-p-jeffrey/electricity-price-index-soars-new-record-start-2014-us-electricity#sthash.vtMdafc8.dpuf
The electricity price index soared to a new high in January 2014 with the largest month-to-month increase in almost four years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. – See more at: http://cnsnews.com/news/article/terence-p-jeffrey/electricity-price-index-soars-new-record-start-2014-us-electricity#sthash.vtMdafc8.dpuf

The US electricity price index soared to a new high in January with the largest month-to-month increase in almost four years, according to that country’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. The electricity index rose 1.8%, its largest increase since March 2010. Last month, the average price for a kilowatthour (KWH) of electricity in a U.S. city also hit an all-time January high of 13.4 cents. The increase in the price of a KWH from January 2013 to January 2014 was about 3.9%.

For the first time since 1991, the US is meeting 85% of its own energy needs as a result of increases in domestic crude oil and natural gas production.

4 million households across the UK may be overpaying their electricity bill by hundreds of pounds due to defective clocks on their time-of-use electricity “smart” meters, according to consumer organisation Which? The pre-programmed meters are intended to enable uses to take advantage of times during the day when electricity rates at their lowest so that they can minimize the cost of their electricity bill.  However, a multitude of residential users have complained to the consumer organizations, electric utilities and the government that their clocks are defective and they are being substantially over-charged for their electricity usage.

Saudi Arabia will spend $173 billion on energy projects between now and 2018, marking the highest amount of investment in the Arab world. The country is investing heavily in renewable energy in a bid to slow  domestic consumption of fossil fuels, which eats into oil export revenues. The world’s top oil exporter plans to install 23.9 GW of renewable power capacity by 2020 and 54.1 GW by 2032. If these targets are fulfilled, they would make Saudi Arabia one of the world’s leading generators of renewable electricity.

Millions of families across the UK may be overpaying their energy bill by hundreds of pounds due to defective clocks on their electricity meters, according to – See more at: http://www.moneyexpert.com/news/energy-consumers-overpaying-hundreds-pounds-due-faulty-meter-clocks/800582649#sthash.jVUHHB6q.dpuf

with h/t Tom Whipple

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