The International Energy Agency finds the Middle East is once again the world’s dominant oil-producing region. Middle Eastern oil production rose to a record-high of 31.5 million barrels a day in June amid near-record supplies from Saudi Arabia.

Wood Mackenzie reported that 70% of future crude oil developments are commercially viable with world crude oil prices at $60 per barrel. (Prices are currently around $45 a barrel.) The energy consulting firm said atotal of 13 million barrels per day of new crude oil supply could be developed by 2025, of which nine million barrels would be commercially viable with the world price at $60. Most of the nine million barrels per day is US shale oil.

Chinese refiners are flooding world markets with oil products including diesel and gasoline, in the latest example of how surging Chinese exports are shaking the commodities industry. China’s total exports of refined fuels jumped 38% in June to 4.2 million tons, or roughly 1.02 million barrels a day, from a year earlier, according to the latest data released Wednesday by the customs administration. Its refined fuel exports are up 45% for the first six months of this year.

The International Energy Agency said that crude oil production in Venezuela fell to a 13-year low in June – down to 2.18 million barrels per day, some 240,000 b/d lower than last June. Further production declines are expected as the economy and society continue to collapse. This week the government turned all food distribution over to the Army.

Argentine President Mauricio Macri has urged his citizens to use less electricity and natural gas amid protests over steep increases in utility rates. He publicly announced: “We do not have enough energy, we can’t import more and we are consuming much more energy per person than most countries in the world.”  As as result price increases for gas and electricity have been capped and anyone who has already paid above the cap will receive a rebate. In January, his government announced it was reducing energy subsidies, which cost the country about $10 billion in 2015. The reduction of subsidies led to a dramatic rise in utility rates. The country faces an energy shortage and over the past decade has gone from exporting natural gas to importing it. Mr. Macri said: “We need to moderate our consumption and produce again to restore the energy equilibrium.”

China’s energy consumption is expected to peak at 3.75 billion tons of oil equivalent by around 2035, according to the report by China National Petroleum Corp. Economics & Technology Research Institute. Non-fossil fuels are projected to accunt for more than 30% of the Asian country’s energy mix by 2050, up from the current 12%. Although coal will remain the dominant energy source by 2050, its proportion in China’s primary energy mix may fall from its current 64% to 37% as the country uses more natural gas and non-fossil fuels.

The US Energy Information Administration reported natural gas-fired plants will provide 34% of that country’s electricity this year. Coal-fired plants, nuclear and renewables follow with 30%, 19% and 15%, respectively. The cost of natural gas has dropped dramatically in recent years as a result of new technologies that have opened up vast new areas in the United States to drilling, vastly increasing production. In 2010 natural gas generated only 25% of US electricity.

The Canadian province of Ontario announced it will be building an electric car charging network. Some 500 charging stations will be installed at stores, fast-food restaurants, and downtown office towers across the province. More than 300 of the charging stations will be in and around the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. 84 will be high-speed 480-volt direct current fast chargers that can charge an EV to 80 per cent full power in 30 minutes. The majority will use a 240-volt system that can fully charge a car in four to six hours.

Wind energy supplied 83% of South Australia’s electricity last week. The Australian state has 683 wind turbines.

The battery makes up a third of the price of an electric vehicle. Bloomberg New Energy Finance said the cost of lithium-ion batteries for electric cars fell to just $350 per kilowatt hour (kWh) in 2015, far below the global average of $1,000 per kWh in 2010. Should these prices continue on this downward trend, Bloomberg believes EVs will become as affordable as their gasoline counterparts by 2022. Bloomberg also projects that sales of EVs will hit 41 million by 2040, representing 35% of new light duty vehicle sales worldwide.

InvestorIntel looks at the cost of energy storage. The article focuses on a recent cost analysis for lithium-ion batteries, which many view as the presumptive winner of the energy storage sweepstakes.


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,