Concerns are rising that the predictions of crude oil markets coming back into balance later this year are wrong and that lower oil prices are ahead. Oil production is not falling as fast as predicted. Many analysts now are talking about prices falling below $40 a barrel in the next few months and a few are even talking about a return to the $30 level. The International Energy Agency says the crude and petroleum product inventories which have built up over the last two years will keep a lid on petroleum prices going into 2017.

According to energy analyst Wood Mackenzie, the global gasoline glut has multiple causes, including lower-than-expected US demand and a flood of exports from China. However, the biggest cause appears to be that refineries went flat-out to make gasoline earlier this year when profits from making diesel fell sharply.

The US Energy Information Administration has projected the US will become a net exporter of natural gas in the second half of 2017.

The Norwegian government confirmed an oil and gas discovery was made in a North Sea area not previously known to contain hydrocarbons. The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate said the discovery was made about eight miles south of the Brage field in the North Sea. The area may hold between 42 million and 80 million barrels of oil equivalent.

Royal Dutch Shell and its partners delayed for the second time this year a final investment decision on a terminal to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Canada’s Pacific Coast to Asian markets. A glut of LNG is emerging globally as ventures start up in Australia and the US and analysts have cast doubt on Canada’s ability to deliver LNG exports this decade.

Natural gas-fired electricity generation in the US is expected to reach a record level this year, providing 34% of that country’s total electricity generated this year. Coal’s share of the is expected to be 30%, nuclear, 19%, and renewables, 15%.

Plans to convert significant parts of the UK natural gas grid to 100% hydrogen have been outlined in the H21 Leeds City Gate report, which calls for the gas grid to be converted to hydrogen. The report says that a hydrogen gas grid could use the existing underground gas pipes already installed in the UK, and that household appliances can be converted to run on hydrogen with far less disruption and expense than converting to alternative energy sources.

FirstElement Fuel, Inc., recently opened 13 hydrogen fueling stations across the US state of California. The company will be constructing a total of 19 hydrogen fueling stations to support transportation vehicles powered by fuel cells. The initiative is funded through grants from the California Energy Commission and loans from automakers Honda and Toyota.




with h/t Tom Whipple




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