The International Energy Agency is forecasting the use of natural gas as a motor fuel will increase from the current 1.4% share of the market for transportation fuel in 2010 to 2.5% in 2018.

High taxes have made petrol prices in the Netherlands the highest in Europe. The average price of petrol in the Netherlands is €1.78 compared with €1.64 in Belgium and €1.55 in Germany. Italy is the closet to the Netherlands at €1.73.

a litre of petrol costs an average €1.78 in the Netherlands, compared with €1.64 in Belgium and €1.55 in Germany. Italy is closest to the Netherlands, with a litre of Euro95 costing €1.73. – See more at: http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2013/05/high_taxes_make_dutch_petrol_m.php#sthash.S08MVL0k.dpuf
a litre of petrol costs an average €1.78 in the Netherlands, compared with €1.64 in Belgium and €1.55 in Germany. Italy is closest to the Netherlands, with a litre of Euro95 costing €1.73. – See more at: http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2013/05/high_taxes_make_dutch_petrol_m.php#sthash.S08MVL0k.dpuf
a litre of petrol costs an average €1.78 in the Netherlands, compared with €1.64 in Belgium and €1.55 in Germany. Italy is closest to the Netherlands, with a litre of Euro95 costing €1.73. – See more at: http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2013/05/high_taxes_make_dutch_petrol_m.php#sthash.S08MVL0k.dpuf
a litre of petrol costs an average €1.78 in the Netherlands, compared with €1.64 in Belgium and €1.55 in Germany. Italy is closest to the Netherlands, with a litre of Euro95 costing €1.73. – See more at: http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2013/05/high_taxes_make_dutch_petrol_m.php#sthash.S08MVL0k.dpuf

The International Energy Agency is forecasting that the demand for crude oil from Africa will increase quickly during the next five years due to rapidly rising transportation and electric power generation needs.

The African country of Angola is becoming increasingly dependent on China as a market for its crude oil as US demand for imported light, sweet crude is replaced by shale oil from North Dakota and Texas. Increases in drilling efficiency have lowered the cost of extracting shale oil from North Dakota to $35-60 per barrel.

Mongolia announced it has reached an agreement with PetroChina – a subsidiary of China National Offshore Oil Corporation – to exchange crude oil drilled in Mongolia for petroleum products from China. Mongolia is attempting to reduce its dependence on Russia for petroleum products.

The US state of North Dakota reports that shale oil production hit an all-time high of 782,000 barrels of oil per day during March for 8,634 producing wells. The state says there still is adequate rail capacity to move the oil to Gulf Coast refineries.

Brazil’s state-controlled Petrobras sold $11 billion worth of bonds at auction last week as part of the $237 billion it expects to spend in the next four years to exploit deep water crude oil fields off its Atlantic coast. Petrobras hopes to double its production from the current 2.2 million b/d to 5.7 million by the end of the decade.

Venezuela is completing an agreement to borrow $4 billion from China to finance an increase of Orinoco heavy crude oil production from the current 140,000 b/d to 330,000 b/d. China is already importing 626,000 b/d from Venezuela to pay off $30 billion worth of loans currently outstanding.

The share of US natural gas production coming from the Gulf of Mexico has declined from 24% to 6% in the last decade.

The operators of Israel’s two offshore natural gas fields say that a third field is showing promise and could contain 2 trillion cubic feet of gas. These discoveries increase the possibility that Israel will be energy independent in the near future.

The UK has issued more than 330 licenses for shale oil and shale gas exploration since the ban on hydraulic fracking was lifted in December 2012.

Last week the US approved a new $10 billion liquified natural gas  (LNG) facility in Texas that could begin exporting LNG by 2015.  The 5.2 billion expansion of the Panama Canal will allow the economical transport of LNG from the US to Asia. There is still concern that large LNG exports will drive up natural gas prices in the US hurting thereby the economy.

Japan’s 10 major electricity utilities lost a combined $15 billion last year, the same amount as the year before. Tepco reported a $10 billion loss—nearly all as a direct result of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident.  All but one of the country’s nuclear operators were affected by the shutdown of Japan’s reactors and the urgent need to replace nuclear electricity with electricity generated from more expensive imported natural gas.

China’s environment ministry has given the go-ahead for the construction of what will become the country’s tallest hydroelectric dam. To be built over 10 years and with a height of 314 metres, the dam will serve the hydropower project on the Dadu River in southwestern Sichuan province. China aims to raise the share of non-fossil fuels in its energy mix to 15% by 2020, up from 9.4% in 2011. Hydropower is expected to make the biggest contribution.

Turkey’s largest wind power plant has broken ground and is expected to generate enough electrify to power 170,000 homes. The 143 MW wind farm is located in Balıkesir. It is the country’s intention to generate a total of 20,000 MW of wind energy by 2023.

The World Wind Energy Association reports 100 countries are using electricity generated by wind turbines, with Iceland recently becoming the 100th nation to do so.

There are now 100,000 plug-in electric vehicles in the US.  This figure includes both pure electric that are powered solely by a battery as well as hybrid vehicles that combine electricity with gasoline or diesel, such as the Chevrolet Volt.

Solar panels were cheaper than wind turbines for the first time last year in certain markets, per unit of capacity, and are rapidly closing a remaining gap in the full cost of power generation. As early as this year, solar could for the first time surpass wind in annual global installed capacity, given an expected contraction in the wind market. The full costs of wind power generation remain less than solar because of higher productivity and lower installation costs, but those advantages are eroding rapidly given current trends in equipment prices, with a glut of Chinese-made solar panels sending prices tumbling.

 

with h/t Tom Whipple

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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