Iranian-backed hackers have escalated a campaign of cyber assaults against US corporations by launching infiltration and surveillance missions against computer networks running energy companies, according to current and former US officials.
Norway’s Statoil and ExxonMobil have agreed to spend $4 billion to develop a six billion barrel crude oil field they jointly own in the Gulf of Mexico. The Julia oil field, about 200 miles (320 kilometers) offshore south of New Orleans, Louisiana, will take about three years to bring into production.
Brazil plans to auction off its largest-ever offshore oil discovery in October, selling exploration and production rights for a single site that is estimated to hold between eight billion and 12 billion barrels of recoverable crude oil The area lies in deep Atlantic Ocean waters off Brazil’s southeast coast, with large deposits of oil trapped beneath a salt layer several miles below the surface.
Nigerian crude oil exports are set to remain well below last year’s average in July as thefts and sabotage have continued to harm the country’s oil infrastructure. Nigeria plans to export 1.92 million barrels per day (b/d) in July, well below the country’s average export volume of 2.24 million b/day last year.
The UK came within six hours of running out of natural gas in March, according to a senior energy official, highlighting the risk of supply shortages amid declining domestic production and a growing reliance on imports.
As the US continues to debate exporting plentiful natural gas from its East coast and Gulf coast, natural gas exports to Mexico in the past 3 years have doubled. Over the same period, natural gas production in Mexico has declined 11%.
US coal production totaled 368.5 million short tons through Saturday, 6.1% lower than coal output in the comparable period in 2012.
China’s growing fleet of SUVs will offset gains in fuel efficiency and continue to drive oil-demand growth, according to Bernstein Research. Chinese oil consumption will increase at an average annual pace of 5% to reach 12.9 million barrels per day (b/d) in 2018, from 9.6 million b/d in 2012.
China’s environmental ministry has approved the construction of a new hydroelectric dam in Sichuan province which will be the country’s largest hydro project.
In India, a blistering heat wave has swept across most northern and western parts of the country, causing massive electricity cuts and leading angry residents to protest and even attack power company officials and property.
Beirut – Lebanon’s cultural, financial and political hub – is suffering electric power shortages up to 9 hours a day. A combination of a hit wave and contaminated fuel has forced the country to cripple the supply of electricity to rural areas and hit the capital with lengthy power outages. Turkey is sending more fuel by sea barge in June, which should ease rationing in Beirut by at least three hours per day, according to the Daily Star.
Only about 14% of Tanzania’s population, estimated at 43 million, have access to electricity and this figure drops to below 2% for rural areas. Over 40 million people rely on biomass for cooking, while almost two million use a combination of liquefied petroleum gas and kerosene for this purpose. Only about 700,000 people in Tanzania use electricity for cooking. It is estimated that as much as 60 GW of electric generating capacity would be required for the country to replace biomass as an energy source.
Soaring German electricity costs in the wake of the country’s sudden transition to renewable energy since the Fukushima nuclear accident have seen more and more firms thinking abut relocating their operations with the US looking like the prime destination. With its low natural gas prices, the US has a decided cost advantage over Germany in the production of electricity. “The US has become much more attractive to companies than Europe,” DIHK chief Martin Wansleben told the “Handelsblatt”. “Germany is in the process of getting sandwiched between eastern Europe with its low labor costs and the US with low energy costs,” Wansleben claimed.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) said this week that Germany must shield its consumers from paying too much of the cost of its ambitious switch from nuclear power and fossil fuels toward renewable energy to generate electricity. To attempt to remain competitive internationally, Germany has subsidized its industries forcing consumers to pay high electricity prices. The IEA also said Europe’s biggest economy should make greater use of natural gas to smoothe the transition and reduce the use of coal to meet its carbon reduction targets to combat climate change. A drop in the price of coal, along with the rise of cheap renewables, has seen coal make a comeback at the expense of cleaner-burning natural gas.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel reaffirmed her target to bring one million electric cars on to German roads by the end of this decade, despite evidence of dwindling consumer interest. Fewer than 3,000 electric cars were sold in Germany last year out of a total market that exceeded 3 million.
Greece has announced a 45% cut in its Solar Feed-in Tariff. The new tariff takes effect June 1st. The Ministry of Environment said while the current cuts are drastic, they will only continue to decrease as time goes on.
The UK is the leading nation in the world to use the tax system as a tool to encourage the production of green energy and thereby combat carbon emissions, according to a new report by KPMG International.
Australians are split on the value of a carbon tax. A new national survey found 39% of respondents felt carbon pricing should be given a chance to work, 42% wanted it repealed and 19% were unsure.
Almost a third of electricity generated from renewable sources in the UK is wasted, according to two power technology providers. IQE and XP Power claim 7,600 GWh of electricity is lost every year during the process of converting power from the electric grid to electronic devices. The UK produced 26,000 GWh of renewable energy last year and has a target of generating 15% of its energy from renewables by 2020.
with h/t Tom Whipple
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