According to Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., global energy demand will peak in the 2050s and then begin to weaken as energy consumption per unit of gross domestic product declines. Demand growth is already decreasing as a result of slower population growth and sluggish economic expansion, as well as a shift from industrial-led growth to services-led growth.  There will be no place for high cost, high carbon energy producers in the world to come, the analysts said. Coal consumption is likely to peak around 2020, with oil following suit in the 2030s. The shift toward natural gas and renewable energies will continue, though the transition to solar and wind will take decades.

Energy companies BP, Shell, Exxon and Chevron are saddled with their highest debt levels ever as they struggle with low crude prices, raising worries about their ability to pay dividends to their shareholders and finding new barrels of crude. Just a decade ago, these four companies were hauled before the US Congress to explain “windfall profits” but now can’t cover their expenses with normal cash flow.

In western Europe’s biggest oil and gas producer, Norway, oil companies are cutting their investment forecasts for this year and next as they continue to weather a two-year long collapse in crude oil prices.

Chinese oil refiners continue to dump about 370,000 barrels per day of excess diesel fuel on the Asian markets — some 182% higher than exports at this time last year.

China’s domestic crude oil production peaked last year at around 4.3 million barrels per day (b/d). This year the low cost of importing foreign crude oil as compared to maintaining its higher cost domestic production led the county to cut back production. In July, China’s domestic oil production was down to 3.95 million b/d, the lowest in five years. This development will likely have an impact on the global oil market in the long run. If this trend continues, China will likely be importing increasing amounts of oil even with markedly reduced economic growth rates. The largest oil exporters to China are Saudi Arabia and Russia.

The African nation of Kenya’s recoverable crude oil resources are estimated at 750 million barrels.

Canada may ask oil companies to contribute to the hundreds of millions of dollars or more the country has to pay to an international body if they drill far offshore, according to an internal government memo. If that happens, it could make the operations more expensive and strain talks that companies will have with provincial governments, which already require them to pay royalties. A United Nations convention, which Canada ratified in 2003, says signatories need to pay the International Seabed Authority if companies drill on the “extended continental shelf,” the seabed part of a country’s landmass, but more than 200 nautical miles offshore.

US gasoline consumption is forecast to increase to 9.29 million barrels per day in 2016 due to low gasoline prices in that country. This would make it the highest annual average gasoline consumption in the US on record, beating the previous record set in 2007.

The Bureau of Economic Geology at the University of Texas in the US has estimated that Eagle Ford’s shale oil reserves in the state of Texas could be 6.5 billion barrels with crude at $40  per barrel, 8.2 billion barrels with crude at $50 per barrel, and 11.3 billion barrels at $100 per barrel.

The US Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration are proposing equipping heavy-duty vehicles with devices that limit their speeds on US roadways. By requiring those devices be set to a maximum speed, this could save more than $1 billion in transportation fuel costs each year.

Electric car maker Tesla Motors announced it will launch a 100 kilowatt hour battery for its Model S and Model X cars. The new battery adds acceleration capacity and also extends the driving range of the vehicles, taking the performance version of the new Model S beyond 300 miles (482.8 km) on a single charge.

Renewable energy accounted for nearly one-quarter of China’s electric power generation last year, the National Energy Administration said. Hydropower was the biggest contributor, accounting for about 20% of China’s renewable electricity in 2015. Another 3.3% came from wind farms and 0.7% from solar farms. Wind turbines that can produce 33.9 billion kilowatt-hours of power sat idle last year, with almost 40% of those in the northwestern Gansu province, 32% in Xinjiang and Jilin, and 21% in Heilongjiang


with h/t Tom Whipple

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