In the past month the big oil companies, BP, Shell and Exxon/Mobil came out with their annual peeks into our global energy future The Oil Drum has summarized them for us. Exxon/Mobil looks out to 2040; Shell looks to 2050 and beyond; while BP focuses on the relatively short term to 2030.

The BP View of the Future

Shell Looks to the Future

The ExxonMobil Future: A Review

Israel’s Rise to Energy Superpower Under Way
Israel’s Rise to Energy Superpower Under Way

 

ENERGY TRIBUNE saw the end of OPEC’s market power. There was a time when the world waited with bated breath for the outcome of the latest OPEC meeting to see what was going to happen to the price of crude oil.  Not any more. With so many changes taking place in the world energy scene over the past decade including the rise of shale gas and oil in various countries around the world (eg. US, China, India), the massive finds of natural gas in Israeli waters, the steady growth of wind and solar, coupled with more efficient automobile technologies, OPEC is not mentioned anymore. The post focuses on the myriad of social and economic problems facing Saudi Arabia and notes that within 20 years it may be a net importer of oil as it attempts to meet the rising energy demands of its rapidly expanding population. The engine that drove OPEC’s rise to power is no longer there.

Next Big Future noted that China wants natural gas to supply 8% of its energy needs by 2015.  That is double from today and would put gas third behind coal and oil as its primary energy source. China’s future may well rest with its enormous shale gas reserves:

The impact of a shale-gas boom in China will be enormous, with the potential benefits and likely environmental costs perhaps even greater than in the U.S…China has 1,275 trillion cubic feet of shale-gas reserves, compared with 637 trillion cubic feet for the U.S.

Europe is struggling in the shale gas race according to The New York Times. Europe holds 10% of the world’s shale gas reserves. Unlike the US where shale gas fever is slashing costs for electric utilities, manufacturers and chemical producers, shale gas in Europe is on hold.  A number of obstacles are preventing shale gas production in this part of the world.  Coal is cheaper for producing electricity, most politicians and the majority of the public oppose hydraulic fracking because of its potential environmental damage, there is a shortage of drilling rigs and technical expertise coupled with disappointing early efforts to extract the gas, and so much of the gas is located near urban areas. In addition, many countries have already committed themselves to a wind and solar future. France banned hydraulic fracking in 2011, and Bulgaria and the Netherlands have followed suit with similar measures. “The primary obstacle to shale gas in Europe is politics,” said Kash. Burchett an energy analyst at consulting firm IHS. “If you don’t have permission to drill, you can’t move forward.”

What If We Never Run Out of Oil? asked The Atlantic. “New technology and a little-known energy source suggest that fossil fuels may not be finite. This would be a miracle—and a nightmare.” The little known energy source is methyl hydrate, buried beneath the ocean floors, and the nightmare?: it could undermine the economic rationale for investing in renewable, carbon-free energy around the world.

fuel fix presented a gloomy outlook for Venezuela’s oil industry.

UPI Energy Resources told us the US will be supplying liquified natural gas (LNG) to India. India’s largest natural gas importer has signed a supply agreement to receive liquefied natural gas from the United States. United LNG will supply a minimum of 4 million tons of LNG a year to India’s Petronet for 20 years under the arrangement.  The US government must approve the deal and it is expected supply will start in 2018.  India is the world’s sixth largest liquefied natural gas importer. Currently India gets its imports of LNG from Qatar.

From the Wall Street Journal we learned Russia and China have entered an energy deal. China will become Russia’s largest natural gas customer, receiving about twice as much gas as Russia now supplies to Germany. The Financial Post adds that Russia will also increase crude oil shipments to China as well as allow China to explore for petroleum in Russia’s Arctic.

“China is emerging as the most important buyer of Russian oil and gas, helping Russian companies diverge from European exports,” said Tony Regan, an energy consultant with Tri-Zen International Inc. in Singapore. “It’s also a huge catalyst for Russian companies to develop their oil and gas fields.”

See also Seeking Alpha, Russia Could Become The Backbone Of China’s Energy Supplies and CaixinHow China and Russia Came Together on Natural Gas Deal

UK economist Nicholas Stern is warning of another global financial collapse caused by vastly overvalued fossil fuel companies reported UPI Energy Resources. Stern, who teaches at the London School of Economics, also sits in the UK House of Lords as Baron Stern of Brentford.  A recent report released  by Stern and the think tank Carbon Tracker said about two-thirds of the world’s known reserves of fossil fuels will not be used if greenhouse gas emissions targets are met. These targets were negotiated to try to overcome global warming caused by the release of CO2 into the atmosphere.

Stern said the 200 biggest energy companies spent a collective $674 billion in 2012 searching for new reserves that could remain underground.

He described the risk that overvalued stocks in markets around the world will collapse as “very big indeed” and said regulators are doing little to prevent a burst carbon bubble. “The financial crisis has shown what happens when risks accumulate unnoticed,” Stern said.

Stern and James Leaton of Carbon Tracker said the Chinese government has said its coal use will peak in the next five years, suggesting Australia and the United States are overly optimistic about long-term sales of coal to China. “I don’t know why the market does not believe China,” Leaton said. “When it says it is going to do something, it usually does.”

Bloomberg informed us that several states in the US are turning away from renewable energy as the price of natural gas continues to decline. The impact could have serious negative consequences for investments in wind and solar energy companies.

Sixteen of the 29 states with renewable portfolio standards are considering legislation that would reduce the need for wind and solar power, according to researchers backed by the U.S. Energy Department. North Carolina lawmakers may be among the first to move, followed by Colorado and Connecticut. 

Hydraulic-fracturing technology opened aging reservoirs for natural gas drilling, driving prices down about 72 percent from their record 2005 high. That’s making more expensive wind and solar power projects harder for utility regulators to justify.

Climate Spectator discussed the implications for Australia if the European Union fails to rescue its faltering carbon market scheme. Currently Australia has a fixed carbon tax of $24 Aus. However, in 2015 it will integrate with the EU carbon market where the price of carbon has plummeted to around 3 euros ($3.90 Aus). See also RTCC, EU carbon price crisis spreads to Australia and The Financial Post, Carbon Pricing Doesn’t Work.

the energy collective said the global offshore wind investments will reach €130 billion by 2020. A new report from industry consultants Roland Berger, Offshore Wind Toward 2020,” concludes a combination of industry trends will soon make offshore wind cost competitive with other generation sources in many markets. Europe will continue to dominate the global offshore wind industry, but the Asia Pacific and North American regions will start to catch up. The European Union has set 2020 targets of 35% electricity from renewables, with a 12% from wind and 40 GW from installed offshore capacity. Asia’s growth is expected to come from Japan, China, South Korea and Taiwan.

 

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Plainly, the days when OPEC could hold the West to political ransom – as it did when it ordered an oil embargo after the US supplied Israel with arms during the 1973 Arab-Israeli War – are over. The tables have indeed been turned on the Saudis and on OPEC due in no small part to the development of the fracking (hydraulic fracturing) technique – See more at: http://www.energytribune.com/76198/the-collapse-of-opec-power#sthash.aMVs2Ina.dpuf
When the country’s offshore Tamar field finally started pumping domestic natural gas to Ashdod on the last day of March 2013, it meant that Israel was no longer in the thrall of its Arab neighbors for gas imports. And it also signaled the beginning of what could be an Israeli energy superpower status. – See more at: http://www.energytribune.com/75537/israels-rise-to-energy-superpower-under-way#sthash.eYtQGJDx.dpuf
Israel’s transformation from a land of milk and honey into a land awash with oil and gas money is under way. – See more at: http://www.energytribune.com/75537/israels-rise-to-energy-superpower-under-way#sthash.eYtQGJDx.dpuf
Israel’s transformation from a land of milk and honey into a land awash with oil and gas money is under way. – See more at: http://www.energytribune.com/75537/israels-rise-to-energy-superpower-under-way#sthash.eYtQGJDx.dpuf
Israel’s Rise to Energy Superpower Under Way

 

Plainly, the days when OPEC could hold the West to political ransom – as it did when it ordered an oil embargo after the US supplied Israel with arms during the 1973 Arab-Israeli War – are over. The tables have indeed been turned on the Saudis and on OPEC due in no small part to the development of the fracking (hydraulic fracturing) technique – See more at: http://www.energytribune.com/76198/the-collapse-of-opec-power#sthash.aMVs2Ina.dpuf

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