The US Energy Information Administration reported most of the growth in petroleum and other liquid fuel supplies comes from countries outside of OPEC, and particularly North America. The EIA said it projects petroleum and other liquids supply to increase by 1.4 million barrels per day in 2014 and 1.3 million bpd in 2015, with most of the growth coming from North America.

Nigeria is a victim of shale oil exploration in the US as the African country’s crude oil exports to North America have dropped by 91% in one year. Prior to the decline, the US was the largest buyer of Nigeria’s crude oil.

US  proved crude oil reserves increased for the fourth consecutive year in 2012, increasing by 15% to 33 billion barrels, according to the Energy Information Administration. Crude oil and lease condensate proved reserves were the highest since 1976, and the 2012 increase of 4.5 billion barrels was the largest annual increase since 1970.

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate reported at least 37 million barrels of crude oil and 2 million square feet of natural gas may be in the offshore Njord field. These results from the Njord field well are greater than expected.

Combined global production of ethanol and biodiesel fell in 2012 for the first time since 2000, down 0.4% from 2011.

In France, a new contract to buy natural gas from Azerbaijan shows the decades-old structure of Europe’s energy market — where natural gas prices were tied to crude oil prices —  is starting to crumble. For the first time, GDF Suez signed a 25-year contract to buy gas from the former Soviet republic at prices tied to those in Western Europe’s domestic natural gas markets. Europe’s natural gas contracts have been tied to international crude oil prices since the 1960s as a way of providing certainty to suppliers who would then invest billions to build fields and pipelines.

Nigerians are increasingly focused on finding affordable fuel for their vehicles and to run their power generators, without which they are guaranteed darkness. Many parts of the African country are going for weeks without electricity.

China’s nuclear power plants will have a total installed electrical generating capacity of 40 gigawatts by 2015. The Asian country currently has 17 nuclear power units running with a total installed capacity of 14 GW.

In the US, natural gas-fired power plants accounted for just over 50% of new utility-scale electricity generating capacity added in 2013. Solar jumped to 22% from less than 6% in 2012. Coal provided 11% and wind nearly 8%. Almost half of all capacity added in 2013, and 60% of natural gas capacity, was located in California.

Germany has reformed its renewable-energy laws meant to help make the country nuclear-free but that have sent electricity prices soaring and hurting consumers and negatively impacting the country’s exports. The German government approved amendments that it said would constrain rising electricity costs while seeking to protect German jobs in the industrial sector. The changes include lower targets for wind power and a cut in subsidies for certain forms of renewable energy. Renewable power already accounts for 25% of Germany’s electricity and the German government has set targets to increase this share to 40-45% by 2025.

Funding renewable energy will become harder under European Uni0n rules published last week designed to replace subsidies to producers with market-based schemes. The rules take effect from July 1 this year and from 2017 all member states will have to hold a bidding process to support new green power facilities following a pilot phase from 2015-16. The idea is to replace feed-in tariffs, which have little or no relation to market reality but have spurred renewable development, with auctions or bidding processes open to all green energy generators competing equally for government funds.

According to Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2014, renewable energy (excluding large hydro) accounted for 43.6% of newly installed generating capacity in the world in 2013. For the first time, China invested more in renewable energy projects last year than Europe. Renewables’ share of total world electricity generation rose to 8.5%, up from 7.8% in 2012.

Bloomberg New Energy Finance says renewable energy installations around the world will rise 37% in the next two years, driven by a drop in the cost of wind and solar power. The research group estimates installations may rise to 112.4 gigawatts in 2015 from about 82 gigawatts in 2013. (1 gigawatt is the size of a typical nuclear power plant.)

BlackLight Power announced that it achieved sustained electricity production from a primary new energy source by using photovoltaic technology to transform a brilliant plasma, with power comprising millions of watts of light, directly into electricity.


with h/t Tom Whipple


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