France’s largest bank, BNP Paribas, announced it would no longer finance companies whose main business is the exploration, production, trading, or marketing of crude oil and natural gas from shale or tar sands projects.  The bank will also no longer finance liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals that predominantly liquefy and export gas from shale projects, and will end funding for pipelines that carry oil and gas from shale or tar sands. The new policy is part of the Bank’s efforts to support energy transition. It remains to be seen if other banks and financial institutions will follow the lead of the French bank.

Russian oil company Rosneft is buying a 30% stake in the offshore waters near Egypt where the giant Zohr natural gas field is located.  Zohr has a total of 850 billion cubic meters of natural gas in place and is the largest natural gas field ever discovered in the Mediterranean. This purchase will give Rosneft a foothold in one of the world’s most important emerging natural gas areas: the eastern Mediterranean.

A liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal is under construction in the North African country of Morocco and last week Morocco and Russia discussed the possibility of gas deliveries by the Russian groups Gazprom and Novatek.

Chris Watling, CEO & chief market strategist at Longview Economics, said the adoption of electric vehicles will lead to global peak oil demand as soon as in 2023-2025, which will result in crude oil prices crashing to $10 a barrel. He added: “What happens with electric vehicles is really, really important given that around 70 percent of oil is used for transportation.” Currently the world price of crude is around $57 for Brent and $51 for West Texas.

Nearly half of India’s energy comes from crude oil and natural gas. Recently the Reserve Bank of India predicted the country’s economic growth should increase from 6.7% through 2018 to 7.4% in 2019. This growth would translate into an even stronger demand for energy.

Major oil companies Chevron and BP announced they have abandoned plans to explore the deep waters off the south coast off Australia, long seen as a promising prospect, because of weak world crude oil prices.

Last week the US reported a record 2 million barrels per day in crude oil exports.

Hydro-Quebec is building a series of dams on the Romaine River in the Canadian province that will generate enough electricity for more than one million homes. The project hopes to sell electricity to northern US states where nuclear reactors are closing.

China is hoping to solve by 2020 its problem of renewable energy going to waste, an official at the National Energy Administration said this week. Liang Zhipeng, deputy director of the NEA’s new energy and renewable energy department, also said hia agency expects the wind sector to wean itself off government subsidies by 2022. Getting power in the west of the Asian country to urban users has been a major headache for the government. Much of the energy generated is being wasted because of the lack of transmission and storage facilities. Last week, state planner the National Development and Reform Commission said it would issue subsidies to energy storage companies to spur the construction of storage facilities that would preserve this renewable power.

Navigant Research reports the installed capacity of energy storage for microgrids is expected to increase dramatically over the next decade, with nearly 15 gigawatts of new cumulative capacity and revenue worth $22.3 billion. Interest in energy storage technology is increasing with the growth of solar PV and wind installations. Navigant notes that energy storage microgrids are viewed as a valuable component to distributed energy networks because of their ability to effectively integrate renewable generation. Total annual capacity additions will increase from 238 MW in 2017 to 3.3 GW in 2026, led by the Asia-Pacific and North America regions. The remote microgrid segment will see the largest growth — remote systems being installed for village electrification, commodity extraction operations, and strengthening grid reliance on islands.

Major petroleum company Royal Dutch Shell announced it is acquiring one of Europe’s largest electrical vehicle charging networks, Netherlands-based NewMotion. NewMotion has more than 30,000 private charge points across the Netherlands, Germany, France, and the UK.  Last week, Mark Gainsborough, Shell’s Executive Vice President of New Energies, commented on Shell’s entry into the EV refueling market:

“We’re starting to provide electric-vehicle fast-charging on Shell retail sites and working on smart charging to help the electricity grid cope with the demands of battery electric vehicles.”


with h/t Tom Whipple





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