The International Energy Agency predicts the US will cover 80% of the world’s increased demand for crude oil over the next three years.  Canada, Brazil, and Norway will cover the remainder, leaving no room for more OPEC supply, without dramatically decreasing world oil prices, something OPEC has worked hard to prevent for the past two years with its supply cuts. The Agency added that China will continue to be a main driving force for the growth of global crude oil demand.

Saudi Aramco Chief Executive Officer Amin Nasser said the global crude oil and natural gas industry needs to invest more than $20 trillion over the next 25 years to meet expected growth in demand and compensate for the natural decline in existing developed fields.

Saudi Arabia plans to use all surplus crude oil revenues to bolster the sovereign wealth fund being used for economic modernization efforts. Should oil prices exceed the level required to balance the annual Saudi budget, any extra revenues would be funneled into the fund.

China plans to create an energy ministry to oversee the country’s crude oil, natural gas, coal and electric power sectors as part of a shake-up aimed at making policymaking more efficient. The move comes in the wake of the debacle earlier this winter when many buildings in northern China were converted from coal to natural gas without sufficient natural gas supplies available to heat them.

Dominion Energy became the second US exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG) produced from shale gas when a tanker departed its Cove Point terminal in the state of Maryland. Dominion joins Cheniere Energy in the state of Louisiana as a LNG exporter. A handful of other US export terminals are under construction and more than a dozen are being proposed, putting the country on the verge of becoming a much bigger player in the supply of LNG globally.

The accelerating demise of diesel fuel, long used by automakers to increase fuel-efficiency, is undermining their plans to meet looming European Union CO2 goals and avoid large annual fines. Car manufacturers are grappling with a Hobson’s Choice: re-engineer existing vehicles at huge expense, restrict sales of their most profitable models; or risk hundreds of millions of euros in penalties.

Toyota says it will phase out diesel engines from all its passenger cars by the end of this year.  However, it will continue to offer diesel engines in commercial vehicles to meet customer needs.

The Swedish Gas Association announced that as of December 2017, there were 55,117 natural gas vehicles (NGV) registered in that country. Of these there were 2,533 buses, 854 heavy vehicles, and the remainder passenger cars and vans. A new incentive system introduced at the end of last year provides SEK 10,000 (US$1,210) to a purchaser of a NGV vehicle.  There are currently more than 170 natural gas refueling stations in the country.

Romania has approved the construction of 9 compressed natural gas (CNG) refueling stations for public use. The stations are to be built in Arad, Timisoara, Deva, Pitesti, Constanta, Craiova, Drobeta Turnu Severin and Sibiu, and it its hoped they all will be fully operational by the end of 2019. The stations will form part of the European Union’s pan-European transportation corridors being built for alternative fuel vehicles.

In the US city of Miami, Domino’s pizza is testing a self-driving car to deliver its product to its customers. Customers can track their order via GPS and receive text messages as the vehicle approaches. This includes a four-digit code needed to unlock the heat-wave compartment in which their pizzas await.

The International Maritime Organization has announced that beginning in 2020, shipping vessels will not be allowed to burn fuel with a sulfur content higher than 0.5%, down from 3.5% currently.

As more people around the world move to cities and incomes rise in tropical regions, researchers estimate the amount of electricity needed to meet a rising demand for cooling could be ten times higher by 2050 than it is today.


with h/t Tom Whipple






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