A new survey shows that Turkey now has the highest gasoline prices in the world at $9.98 a gallon followed by Norway at $9.97. Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Egypt are at the bottom of the list with prices ranging from 10 cents in Venezuela to $1 in Egypt.

In a International Energy Agency report, natural gas use in road transport accounted for 1.4% of global natural gas demand in 2012. This is projected to rise to 2.5% by 2018, accounting for nearly 10% of total natural gas demand growth.

As the shale oil boom in the US matures, drillers are seeking new ways of extracting more oil and profits through technological innovations rather than increased drilling. Drillers report major advances in reducing time and costs in opening fracked wells.

Rail delivery of crude oil and products in the US was up 48% year over year to 356,000 carloads in the first half of 2013. This works out to 1.37 million b/d being loaded on rail cars.

Mexico is very close to opening its oil industry to outside investment that has been banned by its constitution since 1938. The change in sentiment was sparked by eight years of declining oil production with only the state-owned PEMEX allowed to explore for new oil fields

Transocean set a new world record when it started drilling an oil well in 10,400 feet of water off India.

OPEC is forecasting that the demand for its crude will slip by 300,000 b/d in 2014 due to slowing economies and increased output from non-OPEC countries

Stanford University researchers say that peak oil is unlikely in the near future. Fears of depleting the Earth’s supply of oil are unwarranted. Rather the demand for oil – as opposed to the supply – will reach its own peak and then decline. The study concludes that limits to consumption by the wealthy, better fuel efficiency, and lower priced alternative fuels should begin driving down demand for crude oil around 2035. See Environmental Science and Technology, Peak Oil Demand: The Role of Fuel Efficiency and Alternative Fuels in a Global Oil Production Decline.

Consumers in Jordan are faced with electricity price hikes now that the pipeline that brings in natural gas from Egypt has been blow up for the umpteenth time. Faced with the possibility of antigovernment riots stemming from the price hikes, the government is even considering making a deal for natural gas with Israel.

European Union lawmakers have voted in committee to limiting biofuel in the continent’s transportation sector to 5.5% by 2020.

Australia has announced it will remove its controversial carbon tax in favour of an emissions trading scheme that puts a limit on pollution from 2014, a year earlier than planned. The fixed Aus$24.15 (US$21.90) per tonne carbon tax would be replaced by a floating price of between Aus$6 and Aus$10 per tonne from July 1, 2014. The Government wants to ease the cost of living pressures for families and help support the non-mining sectors of the economy.

The US has become only the fourth nation to pass the 10 GW milestone of installed solar PV capacity. Only Germany, Italy, and China have more installed solar PV capacity than the US.

Spain joins German, Italy and the UK. in reducing subsidies for renewable energy because the cost of incentives is driving up electric power bills for consumers. In Spain, subsidies accounted for almost half of its 20 billion-euro regulated power system, a level the government deems unsustainable. Profit for renewable power producers such as wind and solar farms will be capped at about 7.5%, Soria said. Technologies such as photovoltaics that require the most subsidy will be hit hardest.

Germany could face a probe by the European Competition Commission into whether it has breached EU competition rules by letting consumers partly pay the cost through a tax surcharge as it switches to renewable energy. Brussels may also insist that energy firms pay back millions of euros in aid received from the German government as these subsidies were not made available to foreign competitors.

Peru has initiated a new program that will provide electricity to more than two million of its poorest residents using solar panels.  Called “The National Photovoltaic Household Electrification Program”,  it will allow 95% of Peru to have access to electricity by the end of 2016. Currently, approximately 66% of the population has access to electricity. The program plans to install about 12,500 solar PV systems to provide for approximately 500,000 households at an overall cost of about $200 million.

China expects to expand its solar energy capacity to 35 GW by 2015 in an effort to give a boost to domestic solar manufacturers amid a drop in global demand and ongoing international trade disputes involving solar panels. The Asian country plans to add 10 GW annually of solar generating capacity between now and 2015 to achieve its goal of 35 GW in capacity. Its previous solar generating capacity goal was 21 GW.


with h/t Tom Whipple



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