World crude oil consumption could peak as early as the end of the next decade as electric vehicles become more popular, according to Royal Dutch Shell’s CEO.  Yet crude oil will still be needed for decades to come as it is likely to remain the main transportation fuel for planes, ships and heavy trucks.

US crude oil production will reach an average of 9.9 million barrels a day in 2018, the Energy Information Administration projects in its latest Short-Term Energy Outlook report. This would surpass the previous record of 9.6 million barrels per day, set in 1970.

US oil refineries are producing more fuel than ever as they seek to meet rising demand from overseas markets. Last year the US became the world’s largest net exporter of fuel, an outgrowth of booming domestic production since the shale oil revolution started in 2010.

The Louisiana Offshore Oil Port in the southern US plans to start exporting crude oil early next year as the port attempts to benefit from the country’s growing shale oil production. It is the only port on the Gulf Coast capable of handling Very Large Crude Carriers, or VLCCs, which have a capacity of up to 2 million barrels of crude oil.

In the Eastern Mediterranean, commercial natural gas prospects are starting to look positive for all parties, yet a real military conflict is also brewing and may come to a head if Cyprus, Greece and Turkey are not able to find a solution soon.

McKinsey Energy Insights has released its latest Global Gas Market Outlook, in which it predicts that natural gas will represent 23% of the global energy mix by 2030. This is 1% higher than last year. Combined, the US, the Middle East and China will account for 70% of the additional global supply. Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is expected to play a major role in the 2020s as it attempts to compete against Russian gas exports to Europe and traditional oil-linked supplies in Asia.

Australia exported a record volume of 51.4 million tons of liquefied natural gas (LNG) during the 2016-17 financial year. This is a 37% increase over 2015-16 LNG export volume of 37.5 million tons. EnergyQuest forecasts even higher exports in the next financial year, 2017-18, suggesting that the volume could reach 63 million tons by mid 2018.

The Wind Catcher wind farm in the US state of Oklahoma, once operational, will be the second largest wind farm in the world, the companies involved said. Construction is under way in the Oklahoma panhandle. At its peak, the facility will generate about 2 gigawatts of electricity from 800 wind turbines.

Energy analyst Wood Mackenzie projects wind and solar could combine for about a quarter of Chinese installed electricity generating capacity by 2020. When counting all planned and announced projects, solar power capacity will more than double by 2020. China’s wind capacity will increase 40% by 2020. However, the rapid growth will come at a very high financial price. The rate of growth of renewable energy is putting a strain on the government’s deficit as it relates to subsidies for renewable energy development. The subsidy deficit was already at $9 billion by the end of 2016 and could grow to over $26 billion by 2020.

India wants to triple its renewable electric power capacity by 2022 to 175 gigawatts by drawing on new solar and wind energy sources. The country is currently No. 4 in the world in terms of new solar power and No. 4 in the world based on cumulative wind power capacity.  However, India’s dreams could be dashed.  Credit ratings agency Moody’s said its sees challenges for Indian renewable energy projects brought about by weak credit quality, an evolving regulatory framework, as well as financing and execution risks, and aggressive bidding for contracts. At the same time, the International Monetary Fund said India may have issues with attracting capital because of the amount of bad loans on its books and the general health of the nation’s banking system. Nearly half of India’s total energy comes from crude oil and natural gas while coal still dominates the electric power sector.

Once more the Australian state of South Australia has changed its energy policy. Riddled with major blackouts across the state over the past year due to its heavy reliance on wind energy, the government initially said to ensure back-up power, it would build a new natural gas-fired electric power station and put temporary diesel generators in key locations across the state. The government now says it has decided to purchase nine new natural gas generators to overcome any shortfalls in electricity during the summer and cut the risk of blackouts. These will have the capacity to provide up to 276 megawatts of power to the state electricity grid in the event of a blackout. The state government said if the turbines had been available last summer they would have been needed on three occasions. The nine aero-derivative turbines, which work like jet engines to produce electricity, will be initially fueled by diesel before being connected to a natural gas supply.

Germany currently has a total of 32 hydrogen automobile refueling stations in operation.  By next year, the plan is to have 100 hydrogen filling stations and as many as 400 by 2023.

 

with h/t Tom Whipple

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