Nepal Electricity Authority has decided to increase the load-shedding hours for the second time in the past 10 days which means that consumers will now have to face 10 hours of daily power outages.

Canada has approved a $15.1 billion bid by China’s National Oil Company for Nexen, but said it would block virtually all new attempts by foreign state-owned enterprises to buy assets in the Canadian oil sands. The federal Industry Ministry weighed the bid to see if it amounted to a net benefit to Canada.

The International Energy Agency said global demand for crude oil is growing so strongly that the world needs “every single drop of Canadian oil”, including that from the controversial oil sands.

Britain’s North Sea crude oil output, long in decline, is likely to increase in the next few years, according to new research. Oil output could reach 1.4 million b/d in 2017.

A consortium of international and Canadian oil companies may seek to drill into the Canadian Arctic by the middle of next year. A partnership between Canada’s Imperial Oil, BP and Exxon Mobil could seek approval from the government to start work in the Beaufort Sea by mid-2013.

China told Vietnam to stop unilateral crude oil exploration in disputed areas of the South China Sea and not harass Chinese fishing boats, again raising tensions in a protracted maritime territorial dispute with its neighbor.

Investments in the Eagle Ford shale deposits in the US state of Texas are expected to exceed the amount projected for the giant Kashagan natural gas field in Kazakhstan.

The Bakken shale in the US state of North Dakota may hold twice as much crude oil as previously estimated. Continental Resources Inc.says the Bakken shale might hold 903 billion barrels of oil against 2010 estimates of 577 billion.

The huge Blackpool shale deposits in the UK may be twice as large as previously thought. The British Geological Survey is set to report that the Bowland Basin to the east of Blackpool contains 300 trillion cubic feet of gas. This is roughly 17 times more than the known reserves in the North Sea.

ENI said it has discovered new natural gas resources amounting to 6 trillion cubic feet of gas in the East African country of Mozambique.

The low price of carbon credits in Europe is attracting Australian companies faced with a new carbon tax in their home country. More than 120 Australian companies have applied for licenses to trade imported allowances from Europe. The companies can purchase European Union permits for about $7.50 (Australian) versus a $24 price back home. The carbon price in Europe is market driven and is now at an all time low.

Rising electricity prices are the biggest concern for Australian consumers heading into 2013 according to a recent survey.  22% of respondents put rising utility prices as their greatest concern, ahead of concerns about job security, the state of the global economy, and economic management by government.

The Internationalist reports that in the winter of 2011 over 7,000 people in England and Wales died because they could not afford to heat their homes.

Britain may need up to 26 GW of new natural gas power plants by 2030 to help keep the lights on and to do so would require an increase in electricity bills by £14 a year. The government said the increase would be “effectively an insurance premium against the risk of blackouts”.

Ireland needs to invest €22.8 billion between now and 2020 if it is to fulfill its legal obligations under EU directives on the environment and energy efficiency targets.

Chevrolet Volt owners collectively have driven more than 100 million all-electric miles since the electric vehicle went on sale two years ago, General Motors announced.

European Commissioner for Energy, Günther H. Oettinger, reiterated that there will not be any new taxes imposed on renewable sources of energy and told Greece that it would not be allowed to impose such a tax as the country had planned.


with h/t Tom Whipple


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