India has connected a much-delayed nuclear reactor to the power grid in the south of the country and expects it to be supplying electricity to millions of industrial and household consumers with it by year-end. The commissioning of the reactor will ease India’s electric power shortages and help bridge a power-supply gap estimated at up to 9% of total demand.

Russia’s State Nuclear Energy Corporation Rosatom has won a contract to build and operate Jordan’s first nuclear power plant. The $10 billion contract is one of the world’s first reactor projects since the disastrous Fukushima leak in Japan in March 2011. The 2 gigawatts of power will supply about 12% of Jordan’s electricity requirements. The reactor is expected to be operational by 2020. Currently the Middle East country spends $5 billion a year (15% of its GDP) to import diesel and other fuels to generate electricity.

The Irish government said it’s committed to meeting 40% of electricity demand with renewable resources like wind and solar power by 2020. Currently, renewable energy provides about 20% of the electricity for the country.

Scotland’s government said 52 of the 56 applications under consideration for new energy projects are for onshore wind developments. Scotland has an ambitious goal of generating all of its electricity from renewable resources by 2020.

Chinese oil companies have been on a global shopping spree — especially in the rejuvenated North American oil industry. Since 2008, the Chinese have spent $44.2 billion to acquire US and Canadian energy firms as well as crude oil and gas fields. That is more than these large, state-owned Chinese companies spent in Africa, Latin America, Europe or any other part of the world.

Russia and China’s largest energy companies announced a “breakthrough” deal paving the way for joint development of massive energy reserves in eastern Siberia. This appears to be a sign that Moscow is going to allow Chinese encroachment on Russia’s Far East.

Marshall Adkins of Raymond James & Associates forecasts crude oil will fall to $70 a barrel next year, a price that would slow drilling in some US shale formations where varied geology makes it more costly to explore and develop.

To date, 60,000 unconventional oil and gas wells have been drilled in the US, but 500,000 drilling locations remain, meaning the industry has drilled a little more than 20% of possible sites, given current spacing and conditions. Estimates of the amount of capital needed to drill and develop the remainder range from $2 trillion to $5 trillion.

The US Energy Information Association said in a recent report US crude oil production should increase from the expected 2013 average of 7.5 million barrels per day to 8.5 million bpd in 2014.

The US and Canada are the only countries producing commercial quantities of shale gas. Nearly all of the US production comes from five areas in the central United States and approximately 15% of Canada’s production came from northern British Columbia and Alberta

If the Marcellus Shale in the northeast US was a country it would be the eighth largest fossil fuel producer in the world.  This shows no sign of stopping. Wells are getting bigger, better and faster and billions of dollars of investments are being planned.

In the US shale oil race, the Eagle Ford formation in Texas has beaten North Dakota’s Bakken to the 1 million b/d milestone. Total production from Eagle Ford hit 1 million b/d in August. The Bakken is expected to produce 960,000 bpd in November. Eagle Ford, which initially was considered a shale gas reserve, did not have notable shale oil drilling until 2009.

Claims are circulating that the Spraberry Wolfcamp crude oilfield in West Texas holds 50 billion barrels of oil in place, making it the world’s second-largest oil field after Saudi Arabia’s Ghawar, and dwarfing South Texas’s Eagle Ford (27 billion original oil in place) and North Dakota’s Bakken (13 billion). A key difference: Sprayberry Wolfcamp’s shale is 3,500-4,000 feet deep while the Eagle Ford formation is just 300 ft deep.

US exports of natural gas liquids, already at a record amid increasing output from shale gas deposits, are forecast to quadruple by 2020 as the expansion of the Panama Canal cuts shipping costs to Asia. Deliveries of the fuels to foreign buyers averaged 555,000 barrels a day in July.

The governors of 8 US states – California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont – have signed a memorandum of understanding to take specific actions to put 3.3 million zero emission motor vehicles on the roads in their states by 2025.


with h/t Tom Whipple










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