The US alleges Russian President Vladimir Putin personally profits from the world’s No. 4 crude oil trading company, Gunvor.

This year the US is on course to enjoy its third straight year of record coal exports. Europe is the biggest target market, where demand is strong and, as a result of Russia’s annexation of Crimea, likely to grow further.

Japan is on a path to increase its carbon-dioxide emissions because, with its nuclear power plants still shut down, it is shifting to coal imports from more expensive liquefied natural gas to produce electricity.

Nigerian oil officials said unchecked theft from pipelines may inhibit the West African nation’s ability to meet its target of adding 30% to crude oil output by the end of the decade. Stealing and sabotage of export pipelines cost the country 300,000 barrels of oil a day last year.  The Nigerian Navy says it destroyed 260 illegal oil refineries and burned 100,000 tons of contraband fuel in an effort to stop oil thefts.

China’s Sinopec is in talks with Malaysia’s Petroleum National Bhd. to buy up to 15% of a liquefied-natural-gas (LNG) project on Canada’s western coast.

The UK is pushing the European Union to adopt a new energy security plan to wean Europe off Russian natural gas over the next 25 years by increasing imports from new sources, including shale gas from the US and natural gas from Iraq.

The American Petroleum Institute celebrated 65 years of hydraulic fracking. The first use of hydraulic fracking took place on March 17, 1949, on a well in Duncan, Oklahoma.

In China, a joint venture of China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) and other domestic companies has started drilling its first shale gas well in the southwest Sichuan province.The group plans to drill some 50 shale gas wells in Changning block this year.

In an attempt to curb energy consumption, China will raise natural gas prices by the end of 2015 for the 20% of residential consumers who consume the most energy. The heaviest consumers will pay around 1.5 times a base rate for household use gas while a second tier will pay 1.2 times the base rate.

BYD’s second-generation Dual-Mode, plug-in hybrid electric sedan is now China’s best-selling electric vehicle according to China’s National Passenger Car Association. In the first weeks of 2014, more than 6,000 Qin vehicles were sold, accounting for more than half of the Chinese new-energy vehicle market.

The French city of Paris is taking drastic measures to combat its worst air pollution in years, banning around half of the city’s cars and trucks from its streets in an attempt to reduce the smog that’s shrouded the City for more than a week. Cars with even-numbered license plates were prohibited from driving in Paris and its suburbs last week.


with h/t Tom Whipple


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