Argentina’s recoverable shale oil reserves are estimated at 27 billion barrels and hold the third largest shale gas and fourth largest shale oil reserves in the world. The Vaca Muerta Shale spans across four provinces and is almost double the size of the Eagle Ford shale area in the US state of Texas. Current production from the Vaca Muerta formation is about 50,000 barrels per day, an amount that is expected to double by 2018. IHS Energy research indicates that the Vaca Muerta is characterized by favorable traits such as thick, high-quality, organic-rich shale.

With the large global oversupply of crude oil and petroleum products, there is general agreement among industry analysts that crude oil prices will continue to stay low and that the long-awaited “balancing” of the oil markets will not come until sometime in 2017 at the earliest.

Taking advantage of continuing low world crude oil prices, China continues to fill its strategic oil reserve. Meanwhile, Chinese refinery production rose to a record high of 11 million b/d in June, up 3.2% from June 2015. This has resulted in a large increase in China’s oil product exports which were 38% higher in June than a year earlier. This, in turn, has flooded the world oil product markets and contributed to falling prices for these products.

Russia has increased its Arctic oil production in recent years, shipping an average of 230,000 barrels per day from the Arctic coast in the 2nd quarter of this year. The region is a top priority for future increases in Russian oil production and the country has introduced tax relief for companies drilling in the Arctic as a way of stimulating production.

After a flood of US exports into the region, the Asian market is awash with (liquefied natural gas) LNG and supplies are being stored in ships anchored off Singapore. Middle East supply is also high.

The US state of New York is mandating that 50% of its electricity must come from renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar, by 2030. In its initial phase, electric utilities and other energy suppliers will be required to procure and phase in new renewable power resources starting with 26% of the state’s total electricity load in 2017, and grow to 31% in 2021.  The utilities and other energy suppliers must obtain a targeted number of Renewable Energy Credits each year. These credits will be paid to renewable energy developers to help finance new renewable energy sources that will be added to the electric grid.

A new report by the US Energy Information Administration projects renewable energy will provide 29% of North America’s electric power by 2025 and nuclear power will supply 16%. The United States, Canada and Mexico recently agreed to try to have half of their electricity generated by clean energy sources by 2025.

Mercedes-Benz said it plans to start selling an electric heavy-duty truck in five years. The ‘Urban eTruck’ will have a range of about 200 kilometres (120 miles) per battery charge and capacity for loads of as much as 26 tonnes.

In Africa, there was a setback for the $12 billion Inga 3 hydroelectric project in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The World Bank suspended funding due to the government taking “the project in a different strategic direction to that agreed” with World Bank in 2014.” Some 6% of the $73 million granted by the World Bank in March 2014 has been disbursed so far.

Korean automaker, Kia, said it is focusing on developing hydrogen cars rather than electric vehicles at the current time. Last week its sister company, Hyundai, announced that in 2018 it will release an all-new hydrogen model offering an increase in range and power over the existing ix35 fuel cell variant. Consequently, many believe Kia is helping to develop this improved fuel cell powertrain and will use it on a future model of its own.

Japanese automaker, Nissan, predicts there will be more public locations to charge electric vehicles (EVs) in the UK by 2020 than there are petrol fuel stations. At the end of 2015, there were just 8,472 fuel stations in the country. – down from 37,539 in 1970. Assuming a steady rate of decline, Nissan predicts that by August 2020, this will fall to under 7,870. In contrast, the number of public EV charging locations is expected to reach 7,900 by that same point in time.

netinform keeps us up to date on the location of hydrogen fuel cell refueling stations world wide.

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