China’s Commerce Minister Chen Deming said that China is expected to become the world’s largest market for consumer goods in 2015. The volume of consumer retail sales will surpass 5 trillion U.S. dollars in 2015 amid an accelerated urbanization rate and the rise of people’s incomes.

Oil output by OPEC rose in May to the highest level since 2008 as Saudi Arabia pumped crude at the fastest pace in at least 23 years.

The United States, Nigeria’s biggest oil customer, has dramatically decreased its imports from that country, prompting Nigeria’s oil marketers to find alternative markets in Asia.

Royal Dutch Shell PLC will expand its Athabasca oil-sands project by a third by the end of the decade and Canada will make up a larger share of Shell’s energy production over that period.

With North American natural gas prices remaining low for the foreseeable future and companies not having fully utilized gas-fired generation capacity, coal-to-natural gas substitution should continue to accelerate through 2013,

Australia’s Minister for Resources and Energy said that his country has enough identified natural gas resources, excluding shale gas, to maintain current production rates for 184 years. Australia has reserves of around 390 Tcf, with natural gas ranked third behind coal and uranium as the nation’s largest energy resource.

U.S. electric power plants increased natural gas use by 40% in March from a year earlier as low prices prompted a switch from coal.

PetroChina may take five years to unlock the world’s largest shale natural-gas reserves, meaning China must keep buying overseas energy assets to fuel the second-biggest economy.

Coal accounted for 46% of Britain’s electric power production in the first quarter of this year, a six-year high share, the UK energy ministry announced, as cheap coal prices encouraged electric utilities to switch from burning natural gas.

The UK government said it signed a deal aimed at getting electricity supplied through geothermal energy derived from Icelandic volcanoes.

Spanish renewable-energy companies that once got Europe’s biggest subsidies are deserting the nation after the government ended the subsidies for solar and wind, pushing project developers and equipment-makers to work abroad or perish. The EU has criticized Spain for turning back to coal and nuclear to ensure a constant electric power supply.

The majority of Australians oppose government plans to price carbon, new polling reveals. 63% say they’re against the introduction of a fixed price on carbon, leading to an emissions trading scheme. 57% say they’re in favour of coalition plans to scrap carbon pricing.

Jordan has raised the price of gasoline and electricity for major mining firms, hotels and banks, to ease its worsening budget deficit that could reach $4 billion this year.


with h/t Tom Whipple

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