The UN is concerned that intensive use of land for biofuel could negatively impact the food security of people in Indonesia and the Philippines.

60% of the Namibian population still does not have access to electricity and is heavily dependent on biomass fuel for cooking and heating, says the Mines and Energy Minister.

Spanish oil company Repsol says an offshore block near Brazil’s coast contains at least 1.2 billion barrels of crude oil equivalent, one of the largest finds this year.

Eni has made a big crude oil discovery in the Western Desert of Egypt. The discovery, 290 kilometers south west of Alexandria, is estimated at 150-250 million barrels of oil in place and will require further appraisal drilling.

A further 1 million b/d of European refining capacity needs to shut down to trim the region’s growing surplus capacity and return refinery run rates to historical averages of around 85%. The European refining sector has already seen a combined 1 million b/d of plant closures since 2009, as chronic overcapacity has forced many smaller, less profitable refineries to shut.

Natural gas from British shale deposits is likely not the game-changer once expected for the country’s energy sector.

Japanese companies are buying natural gas assets and fields around the world, as the country bets its future on gas rather than crude oil or coal.

In order for Canadian energy firms to be profitable, the head of Canadian Natural Resources says the oil sands need a world crude oil price of $85 per barrel and shale gas needs a world oil price of $73 per barrel.

Turkey says waters off the coast of war-divided Cyprus where Greek Cypriots plan to explore for natural gas lie within its continental shelf, sharpening multi-sided disputes over major gas fields under the eastern Mediterranean.

The degree to which countries can help support their renewable energy sectors was again the subject of debate at the World Trade Organization this week, with Canada defending itself against Japan and the EU who have brought two separate cases over local content requirements in the province of Ontario’s feed-in tariff scheme for wind and solar projects. The Ontario scheme gives preference to manufactured parts in the province. The opposing sides are debating whether the feed-in tariff scheme should be considered legitimate government procurement or an illegal subsidy.

On July 1at Japan is implementing a new feed-in tariff scheme to support renewable energy investments in light of its decision to close its nuclear reactors. Japanese electric utilities will be required to enter contracts with providers of five renewable types of energy: solar, wind, geothermal, mini-hydro and biomass.

Malta generates just over 1% of its energy from renewable sources. Solar contributes 0.73%; biomass 0.232% and biodiesel 0.161%. Wind energy was negligible. By 2020 Malta is obliged to achieve 10% share of the energy consumed from renewable sources of energy.

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