Japan has reduced its target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 from 25% to 3.8%. The change was driven by the virtual shutdown of all of the country’s nuclear power plants following the Fukushima incident in March 2011. The country is now dependent on fossil fuel imports to keep up its electricity production.

The Tennessee Valley Authority will close eight coal-burning electric power plants in the US states of Alabama and Kentucky. Forty years ago the TVA got 80% of its electricity from coal. This is now down to 38%.

Ethiopia signed a $4 billion deal with American-Icelandic company Reykjavik Geothermal to develop a 1 gigawatt geothermal farm. When completed, the project will provide electricity for both local consumption and export to adjacent African countries. The project is the first geothermal farm in the Ethiopia, which has a total potential of 3 gigawatts of geothermal energy, making it one of the largest geothermal sites in the world. The first phase of the project will be completed by 2018 with the second phase expected to be ready by 2021. (1 gigawatt is the size of a typical nuclear power plant.)

The International Energy Administration said last week that the US will surpass Russia and Saudi Arabia to be the world’s top crude oil producer by 2015 and will be close to energy self-sufficiency in the next two decades.

In its World Outlook Report for 2013 the International Energy Agency said OPEC’s influence on the international crude oil market should decline in the short term because of rising oil production from North America and Brazil. However, OPEC will likely resume its position as a world leader for crude oil by the mid-2020s.

Algeria announced that it has discovered the largest new oil field in the country in more than 20 years. The field, located in north central Algeria, is believed to contain about 1.3 billion barrels of oil.

Abu Dhabi expects to increase its oil production to 3.5 million barrels per day by 2017.

PetroChina is acquiring the Peruvian crude oil assets of Brazil’s Petrobras for $2.5 billion. These assets produce about 800,000 tons of crude oil per year.

The US Energy Information Administration reported that crude oil imports into the US are at their lowest level since February 1991. The Agency expects US oil production, which averaged 7.7 million barrels per day last month, to increase by another 1.1 million barrels per day next year.

The Canadian subsidiary of Chinese oil company CNOOC has been allowed to proceed with a proposed terminal to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Canada’s Pacific coast.

The International Energy Agency says that it expects Brazil to triple its oil production to 6 million barrels per day by 2035.

The US Department of Energy has authorized the export of an additional 400 million cubic feet per day from the Freeport liquid natural gas terminal on Quintana Island in Texas. This authorization will allow the terminal to export 1.8 billion cubic feet per day of LNG for the next 20 years.

The Bakken shale formation in the US state of North Dakota now accounts for 10% of US crude oil production.

Russia’s Gazprom says its natural gas exports to Europe will hit a five year high in 2013. Sales to Europe are up by 15.6% this year due to lower LNG imports by European countries.

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing a reduction of the amount of ethanol to be blended with gasoline next year. The EPA wants 15.21 billion gallons of renewable fuels blended into gasoline and diesel next year, down from 16.55 billion gallons this year. The reduction follows concerns from oil companies and some automobile makers that more than 10% ethanol in motor fuel could cause damage to engines. Nearly all gasoline sold in the United States now has up to 10% ethanol. This is the first time the EPA has proposed a reduction in the amount of biofuel to be blended with gasoline or diesel.






with h/t Tom Whipple

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