The International Energy Agency (IEA) says the US may be energy independent by 2035. By 2020, the US is expected to be a net exporter of natural gas and the North American region should follow suit in terms of crude oil by 2035. The IEA further predicts that fossil fuels will remain the dominant form of energy in part because of government subsidies in North America, North Africa and the Middle East.

The IEA also says the US will be the world’s largest oil producer by the end of this decade.due to the shale oil boom in the country’s midwest. Rising oil output in the US is “nothing short of spectacular” and will exceed that of Saudi Arabia or Russia by 2020. The IEA forecasts the US will be producing 11.1 million barrels per day by 2020, up from 8.1 million last year. These rosy forecasts explain why Canada is pushing hard for pipelines to serve Asian markets rather than ship crude oil south of the border as it has traditionally done.

China’s natural gas output is rapidly increasing, driven by growing demand and as the country attempts to reduce its carbon emissions and raise the clean energy portion in the energy consumption mix. Estimates suggest the country’s natural gas output will reach 200 billion cubic meters before 2020. This is up from 23 billion cubic meters in 2002. The government’s latest policy on natural gas ― which will become effective on Dec 1 ― will encourage more natural gas usage in transportation, in addition to household use.

Ukraine’s state-owned natural gas company is planning to cut the amount of natural gas it buys from Russian suppliers next year. European leaders want to break Russia’s grip on the regional energy sector by securing natural gas from Caspian Sea suppliers like Azerbaijan.

Turkmenistan plans to begin production at the world’s second-largest natural gas field next year, opening up new EU- and US-backed supply routes to Europe and Asia at the risk of Russian opposition. The Central Asian nation plans to build two pipelines to carry natural gas from the Galkynysh field. One would run to Pakistan and India and the other would cross the Caspian Sea en route to the European Union, easing Europe’s dependence on Russian gas. Turkmenistan’s natural gas reserves rank fourth in the world behind those of Russia, Iran and Qatar.

Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Europe’s largest oil company, will spend more than US$20-billion on natural-gas projects through 2015 as profit from extracting, processing and selling this fuel soars.

China consumed 399.8 billion kWh of electricity in October, up 6.1% year on year, according to figures released by the National Energy Administration.

Iceland has signed on with the World Bank to play a major role in a developing a large geothermal energy project in East Africa. The project will cover the 3,700-mile Great Rift Valley and include 13 energy-poor nations –  Djibouti, Ethiopia, Uganda, Eritrea, Kenya, South Sudan, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Burundi, Rwanda, Zambia and Somalia. The World Bank estimates 14 GW of geothermal potential exist along the valley, enough to deliver electricity to 150 million people.

The European Union has postponed a planned extension of rules that require foreign airlines to pay for their carbon emissions to include flights to and from non-EU destinations. The rules have been vigorously opposed by several countries including China, India, Russia, the US and Canada. The EU rules currently only apply to internal flights, that begin and end within the 27-country EU bloc.



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