North Sea natural gas production slumped by 25 percent in the second quarter of 2011, an alarming increase in the rate of decline that will cut tax revenues and could put more pressure on European governments to agree to shale gas developments.

Natural gas from Russia could start flowing to Germany through the Nord Stream pipeline via the Baltic Sea as early as this month

Iran’s crude production fell in August for a second consecutive month, indicating its mature fields may be steadily declining. This also gave added urgency to Tehran’s scramble to secure foreign investment to upgrade the fields and replenish shrinking reserves, an increasingly futile effort as UN sanctions, beefed up by U.S. and European measures, scare off international companies.

Russia, currently vying for the title of world’s top oil producer with Saudi Arabia, claims that new oil and natural gas findings in its offshore Arctic territories have effectively doubled the nation’s energy reserves.

Ukraine’s state-run energy firm Naftogaz and Exxon have signed a preliminary agreement on exploring and developing shale gas deposits in the Ukraine. According to the US Energy Information Administration, the Ukraine has Europe’s fourth-largest shale gas reserves at 42 trillion cubic feet (1.2 trillion cubic meters), trailing Poland, France and Norway.

Poland will veto any attempt by the European Commission to institute EU-wide rules regulating shale gas production, a government adviser said this week.

A massive power blackout paralyzed crucial copper mines in Chile and the capital Santiago before energy was largely restored. The outage exposed the fragility of the energy grid in the world’s largest copper producer.

Ecuador is on track to launch the largest smart grid project in Latin America in a multimillion-dollar collaboration with GE Energy that sets a benchmark for electricity management in the region.

Chevron says it will go ahead with a $29 billion liquefied natural gas project in Western Australia.

Solar-panel company stocks have plunged to multiyear lows as slowing demand and a glut of panels from Asia have squeezed margins, creating a cloud that could hang over the industry for some time.

Sovereign wealth funds from the Middle East and other oil-rich areas are lining up to invest in UK nuclear power plants. Experts have been worried that the UK will find it difficult to attract enough companies willing to fund an estimated £40 billion for new nuclear plants.


with h/t Tom Whipple




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