Slovakia-based Aeromobil said its flying roadster, a 2-seater sports car, can transform into a light sports aircraft and should be available for sale by 2017. The limited edition vehicle is targeted at “wealthy supercar buyers and flight enthusiasts” and will have a flying range of almost 700 kilometres on regular gasoline. It is equipped with partial autopilot and a parachute that will automatically deploy if the pilot falls ill.

Japan has restarted its first nuclear reactor since the Fukushima Daiichi meltdown in March 2011. Japan decommissioned 50 reactors after the 2011 meltdown, forcing it to re-examine its energy mix. Prior to the Fukushima disaster, nuclear had provided about 30% of Japan’s electricity. The country has relied heavily on imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) since the disaster.

Japan said it wants to become a carbon-neutral, hydrogen-fuelled society by 2040.

Norway’s state owned Statoil announced the construction of the 300-mile-long Polarled gas pipeline crossing the Arctic Circle—the first pipeline to do so. The pipeline’s onshore processing terminal will be ready to receive natural gas by 2017.

Last week Statoil was given permission to develop the mammoth Johan Sverdrup oil field in the North Sea. Johan Sverdrup is expected to begin production at the end of 2019 with production reaching 550,000 to 650,000 barrels a day of crude oil once the field is completely developed.

The costs of OPEC’s plan to protect its members’ share of the world crude oil market by out-producing rivals are mounting. As oil prices slump to six-year lows (down below $40 a barrel yesterday) the risks of worsening political turmoil are rising in the organization’s most vulnerable nations. This includes Algeria, Iraq, Libya, Nigeria and Venezuela,

Despite the massive finds two years ago, no development work has started so far on the Leviathan field on the coast of Israel, the largest natural gas find in the Mediterranean and estimated to hold 22 trillion cubic feet of gas—enough to supply a country like Turkey for more than a decade.

Canada’s high-cost oil-sands producers are struggling as world crude oil prices sink to fresh six-year lows, and even the most efficient drillers are losing money on every barrel they produce at current prices, according to a report published last week. Canadian oil-sands production has grown 30% in the past five years but the recent oil price drop has hit producers’ bottom lines and forced them to suspend development of new projects.

With oil prices collapsing and energy companies in retrenchment, a US lease auction in the Gulf of Mexico  last week attracted the lowest interest from oil producers since 1986. It was the clearest sign yet that the fortunes of oil companies are falling so fast that they now need to cut back on plans for production well into the future.

Many crude oil producing countries are cutting back production due to the dramatic slowdown in China’s economic growth that is reducing global demand for this commodity and collapsing crude oil prices. This includes the South American country of Columbia and the West African country of Nigeria.

The US Energy Department has authorised a firm in the state of Florida, American LNG Marketing LLC,  to export domestically produced liquefied natural gas (LNG). The company will be allowed to export up to the equivalent of 0.008 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) for a period of 20 years.

Currently, there are about 1,000 electric cars on the road in Australia, or 0.01% of the vehicle market.

The Croatian Association for Energetics reported the Mediterranean country has 1,207 power stations running on renewable energy with a total electrical generation capacity of 431 megawatts (MW). Most of the electric power from these stations  is generated by 16 wind power operations which together produce 339 MW, followed by 1,115 solar power stations with a capacity of 40 MW.

Installed wind power capacity in the US is nearing 66 gigawatts (GW) and supplies nearly 5% of that country’s electricity needs.


with h/t Tom Whipple

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