Brazil’s crude oil production is falling. Imports of gasoline are rising rapidly. Even the nation’s ethanol industry has had to import ethanol from the United States. Half a decade has passed since Brazilians celebrated the discovery of huge amounts of oil in deep-sea fields by the national oil company, Petrobras which is losing the race to keep up with the nation’s growing energy demands.

Crude oil demand is about to lessen, a prominent oil analyst says in a new report. The amount of oil consumed globally could top out by the end of the decade, as more fuel-efficient vehicles hit the roads and cheap natural gas edges out crude in some markets, according to Citigroup’s commodities team. That shift should keep oil prices between $80 and $90 a barrel for the long-term, a roughly 20% drop from the cost of crude today.

Royal Dutch Shell said it has received approval from the Chinese government for the company’s first shale-gas production-sharing contract in China. This is a significant milestone as the country looks to tap potentially massive unconventional gas reserves and achieve ambitious shale-gas production targets.

Centrica, one of the U.K.’s main energy providers, has signed a deal to buy billions of cubic meters of liquefied natural gas  (LNG) from the US, in the first deal clearly intended to bring natural gas from North America to the U.K.  Centrica will import 1.75 million metric tons of gas annually for 20 years with an expected start date in 2018. That would be enough to power around 1.8 million U.K. homes, according to a statement by the firm.

Israel moved a step closer to energy independence when natural gas from a recently discovered offshore field began flowing for the first time. The Tamar field, located 90 kilometers off Israel’s Mediterranean coast, was discovered in 2009 and holds an estimated 284 billion cubic meters of gas. A larger gas field, named Leviathan, is expected to go online in 2016.

The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, the Association of Global Automakers, the Outdoor Equipment Institute, and the National Marine Manufacturers Association have jointly filed a petition asking the US Supreme Court to overturn the decision by the Environmental Protection Agency to increase the amount of ethanol in gasoline from 10% to 15%. The petitioners allege “equipment or performance problems are occurring because a new fuel was rushed into the national marketplace.”

The US Environmental Protection Agency has proposed new standards aimed at cutting the amount of sulfur in gasoline by two-thirds before 2018, a move oil industry groups said may increase the price of gasoline at the pump.

UK. renewable electric power generation jumped 20% last year, boosted by new offshore wind farms, the Department of Energy and Climate Change said. Offshore wind power rose to 7.5 terawatt-hours from 5.1 terawatt hours. The proportion of total UK electricity from renewables rose to 11.3$ from 9.4%. The UK wants to get 30% of its electricity from clean sources by 2020 as part of efforts to meet a European Union target of deriving 15% of all energy, including for heat and transportation, from renewables.

BP has put its US wind farm operation, one of the largest in the country, up for sale, marking the continued retreat of big oil companies from renewable energy investments while oil and gas projects offer them better returns. Over a decade ago, big oil companies including BP and Shell began to ramp up investment in renewable energy. But the uncertain outlook for government subsidies and prices in solar, wind and other clean energy areas, along with the re-emergence of strong prices for oil and opportunities to develop large gas fields, have since distracted their attention.



with h/t Tom Whipple

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