Major seaports around the world continue to struggle with a global crude oil glut. Huge queues of supertankers have formed in some of the world’s busiest sea lanes, where some 200 million barrels of crude lies waiting to be loaded or delivered. The vessels, filled with oil worth around $7.5 billion at current market prices, would stretch for almost 40 km (25 miles) if formed up in one straight line. Oil tankers have been noted accumulating in the Middle East, China, Rotterdam, Houston, and Venezuela.

Last year Canada accounted for 43% of all US crude oil imports according to the Energy Information Agency. Canada exported 3.2 million barrels of crude per day, a 10% annual increase and an all-time record high.

Monthly US natural gas production reached a record high level of 79 billion cubic feet per day in 2015, an increase of 5% from the previous year, even as natural gas prices remained relatively low. Production from five states—Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Oklahoma, and North Dakota—was responsible for most of this growth.

The US has laid off 118,000 oil workers since the beginning of 2015, a decrease of 20% from when crude oil prices began to tumble in late 2014.

Drought in Zambia (dependent on the Kariba Dam for its electricity supply) is causing widespread blackouts and crippling businesses in the African nation.

Demand for lithium is expected to continue on its upward trajectory, becoming the world’s new gasoline and earning the moniker of ‘’White Petroleum’’. Driven by the rise of battery giga-factories for electric vehicles and energy storage businesses, the world now finds itself at the beginning of a lithium super cycle that is all about securing new supply, much of which will come from South American countries Argentina and Bolivia.

The global lithium-ion battery market is expected to generate revenue of $46 billion by 2022 according to a report by Allied Market Research. The automotive sector is expected to see the highest growth owing to the rising demand for electric/hybrid vehicles.

On April 14th, the transport ministers of all 28 European Union member states signed the Amsterdam Declaration, setting out agreements on the steps necessary for the development of connected, autonomous driving technology in the EU. The member countries have agreed to create rules and regulations that will allow autonomous vehicles to be used on EU roads.

Renewable energy sources provided over 22% of the UK’s electricity during the first quarter of the year, surpassing coal power output. During this period, natural gas provided 35.4% of the country’s electricity followed by renewables at 22.4%, nuclear at 19% and coal at 16.2%.

A biogas plant in England is going to turn cheese into electricity. The Lake District Biogas plant will feed bio-methane into the country’s natural gas grid, processed from creamery residues from First Milk’s creamery site in Aspatria. About 40% of the gas will heat local homes and businesses, with the rest powering the creamery. The amount of biogas fed into the grid each year will be equivalent to the annual gas needs of 4,000 homes.

 

with h/t Tom Whipple

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