The price of crude oil sank below $30 this week as oil traders fear a tidal wave of Iranian oil is about to hit the world market with the removal of the West-imposed sanctions. “Implementation Day,” the day that Iran fulfills all necessary requirements stemming from the historic nuclear agreement reach last year, is expected imminently. Iran has said it can ramp up crude oil exports by 500,000 barrels per day almost immediately and it could bring back 1 million barrels per day within a year. It is estimate there is already a 2 million barrel per day surplus of oil for the world’s needs and the Iranian oil will only add to this surplus, pushing world prices down even further.

Oil Price reports oil from Canada’s Alberta oil sands is now selling for about $8 per barrel, well below the $30 average price for WTI and Brent oil these days. Many oil companies in that province have either shut down or are going out of business.

Wood Mackenzie estimates in the past year 27 billion barrels of oil and natural gas projects have been cancelled worldwide due to the collapsing price of crude oil. 68 major projects were scrapped in 2015. These cuts will translate into at least 2.9 million barrels of crude oil production per day that will not come online until at least sometime next decade. More cuts are expected this year. The average breakeven costs for all the projects that Wood Mackenzie surveyed was around $60 per barrel. Most of the projects that suffered cuts were in deepwater or tar sands, which have much higher development costs.

The next OPEC meeting is planned for June, but the organization’s president Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu is expecting an “extraordinary meeting” of the oil cartel in March to address the negative impact nosediving world crude prices on many of its members. Prices have hit levels that necessitate a meeting, he told an energy forum in Abu Dhabi, but added that he not yet confirmed with fellow OPEC ministers if they would be willing to attend. Saudi Arabia is keen on keeping prices low to drive out US shale producers while another member, Iran, is looking to offload millions of barrels of oil as soon as the nuclear sanctions are removed this month. Other members, however, are suffering badly as the oil revenues they need to prop up their economies are evaporating with each new decrease in the price of crude. These countries want the organization to agree to raise prices to a more profitable level. OPEC supplies about 35% of the world’s oil.

As a result of the shale gas revolution, The Financial Times estimates that by the end of this decade the US is likely to be the world’s third largest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG), after Qatar and Australia.

Bloomberg New Energy Finance reported $329 billion was invested in green energy globally in 2015. 64 gigawatts of wind capacity and 57 gigawatts of solar power capacity were commissioned. (1 gigawatt is the size of a typical nuclear power reactor.)

The International Energy Agency says hydropower contributes up to 16% of electricity generation worldwide and about 85% of the world’s total renewable electricity.

The Canadian Wind Energy Association revealed wind supplied approximately 5% of Canada’s electricity demand in 2015, enough to power over three million homes. Canada is  seventh in the world for total installed wind energy capacity with 11.2 gigawatts (GW). The provinces of Ontario and Quebec have the most wind capacity, 4.3 GW and 3.2 GW respectively.

Automaker Toyota announced it is powering an auto manufacturing plant in the US state of Kentucky with landfill gas. The facility in Georgetown, Kentucky is generating electricity from methane from the nearby Central Kentucky Landfill. The power is created at the landfill site and an underground electric transmission line runs from there over 6 miles to deliver the electricity to the plant.

According to a new report from market research firm Navigant Research, light duty electric vehicle sales are expected to grow from 2.6 million in 2015 to over 6.0 million in 2024. Luxury EVs today make up about 23% of the electric vehicle market. This is expected to increase to about 50% by the early 2020s.

 

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