In Sudan, deadly protests rocked several cities last week, when the government lifted subsidies on gasoline, nearly doubling the price in an increase that is bound to create a domino effect on other goods.

Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish region is moving ever closer to declaring independence, thanks largely to its oil reserves of 45 billion barrels and increasingly close energy links with neighboring Turkey. The Kurdish enclave already operates like a de facto state with its own legislative, executive and judicial branches, its own army, and firm economic foundations finaced by its large reserves of crude oil and natural gas.

Uganda has awarded a production license for the Kingfisher Oil Field in Lake Albert to China’s National Offshore Oil Corporation. The development of the field will cost over $2 billion and will produce between 30,000 and 40,000 barrels of crude oil per day.

Nigeria’s planned production for 2013 was 2.45 million b/d or crude oil but year-to-date July 2013 production has averaged 2.19 million b/d. Output and revenue could have been higher if not for large-scale oil theft, pipeline vandalism and illegal bunkering in the Niger Delta region, which severely disrupted production and exports.

Norwegian state-owned oil company Statoil said it had discovered between 300 and 600 million barrels of recoverable crude oil off Canada’s Newfoundland coast. It is the third discovery in a potential new core production area where production might start as soon as 2020.

Oil tanker shipping rates spiked before the financial crisis, which led to a slew of new ship orders. Those ships are just now being delivered, resulting in overcapacity. Meanwhile, economic recovery in the developed world isn’t happening as expected, clouding the demand forecast.

In Canada, delivering crude oil by rail to export terminals along the western Canadian coast is just as safe as pipelines, according to the Canadian National Railway. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said the economy needs to diversify beyond its U.S. base by courting energy-hungry Asian economies.

Crude oil production from the Bakken Shale in the US state of North Dakota grew by 7% over the first six months of 2013. This compares with production from the Eagle Ford shale formation in the state of Texas which has grown at 36% over the same period of time.

California’s Monterey shale formation holds an estimated 15.4 billion barrels of recoverable shale oil, or as much as five times the amount in North Dakota’s Bakken field, according to estimates by the US Energy Department.

Royal Dutch Shell has selected a site in the US state of Louisiana for a multi-billion-dollar project to convert natural gas into liquid fuels such as diesel and gasoline. The gas-to-liquids project, in the very earliest planning stages, is predicated on plentiful supplies of natural gas and would be similar to the company’s Pearl project in Qatar.

In the Netherlands, the government has decided to delay a decision on allowing shale gas drilling in that northern European country.

India has moved closer to allowing shale-gas exploration and the country’s first-ever auction of coal-mining licenses, two long-awaited reforms aimed at boosting investment in the energy sector.

Coming US regulations on engine exhaust and cheap natural gas are encouraging some commercial marine operators to power their vessels with liquefied natural gas (LNG) instead of diesel.

Currently about 112,000 vehicles in the US are powered by natural gas. The general public has access to 605 compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling stations as well as 35 liquid natural gas (LNG) fueling stations which are concentrated in the western part of the country.

Economic growth in China is slowing, and rising public anger over air pollution is increasing pressure on electric utilities running the country’s coal-burning power plants to shift to nuclear power and natural gas.

India says it is planning the world’s largest solar power plant in the northwestern state of Rajasthan. The project will have a total electric power generation capacity of 4,000 megawatts, which is more than double the present total solar power generation capacity in the country.

New Zealand is getting 80% of its electricity from renewable energy and could reach 100% in the next two decades.. The country receives about 70-75% of electricity from hydro and geothermal and another 5% from wind and biomass.

Just five years after China’s high-speed rail system opened, it is carrying nearly twice as many passengers each month as the country’s domestic airline industry. With traffic growing 28 percent a year for the last several years, China’s high-speed rail network will handle more passengers by early next year than the 54 million people a month who board domestic flights in the United States.

The United States is committing more than $7 billion in financial support over the next five years to African countries to directly address constraints in electric power generation and help pave the way for energy sector reforms. The “Power Africa” initiative wants to double access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa including the countries of Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, and Tanzania.

 

 

with h/t Tom Whipple

 

 

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