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[er(a)mbiente.net] ... oil and gas & low carbon 2014 :\tag> job vacancies|world-science.net| [mobile] [ita] :\Chalmers climate calculator> emission and temperature scenarios :\atmospheric CO2 (Dec 2014)> 398.78 ppm (396.81 Dec 2013) :\GDR climate equity reference calculator> global effort sharing » Oil Price, US ($/barrel) WTI Crude Oil

56.60

» Oil Price, EU-World ($/barrel) -0.95%

Brent Crude Oil

62.44

-1.44%

» Gas Price, US ($/MMBtu) Natural Gas

2.71

+1.36%

» December 31 2014 - Oil Price, Oil Shortage, Geopolitics. Low oil prices today may be setting the world up for an oil shortage as early as 2016. Today we have just 2% more crude oil supply than demand and the price of gasoline is under $2.00/gallon in Texas. If oil supply falls too far, we could see gasoline prices doubling within 18 months. For a commodity as critical to our standard of living as oil is, it only takes a small shortage to drive up the price. On Thanksgiving Day, 2014 Saudi Arabia decided to maintain their crude oil output of approximately 9.5 million barrels per day. They've taken this action despite the fact that they know the world's oil markets are currently over-supplied by an estimated 1.5 million barrels per day and the severe financial pain it is causing many of the other OPEC nations. By now you are all aware this has caused a sharp drop in global crude oil prices and has a dark cloud hanging over the energy sector. [...] this will be a short-lived dip in the long history of crude oil price cycles. Oil prices have always bounced back and this is not going to be an exception. To put this in prospective, the world currently consumes about 93.5 million barrels per day of liquid fuels, not all of which are made from crude oil. About 17% of the world's total fuel supply comes from natural gas liquids ("NGLs") and biofuels. One thing that drives the Bears opinion that oil prices will go lower during the first half of 2015 is that demand does decline during the first half of each year. Since most humans live in the northern hemisphere, weather does have an impact on demand [oilprice.com] » December 31 2014 - Gas, US, Israel. The United States has expressed it support for Noble Energy and the development of natural gas resources in the Eastern Mediterranean. Israel's Antitrust Authority recently reversed its position on an agreement that would allow Noble Energy and Delek Group to maintain their interests in offshore Leviathan and Tamar gas fields. The development could potentially have significant consequences on the development of regional offshore resources as well as announced deals for gas supply with Israel's neighbouring states [naturalgaseurope.com] » December 31 2014 - Oil Price, Oil Market, Saudi Arabia, Opec. Why the oil price is falling. The oil price has fallen [...] This comes after nearly five years of stability. At a meeting in Vienna on November 27th the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, which controls nearly 40% of the world market, failed to reach agreement on production curbs, sending the price tumbling. Also hard hit are oil-exporting countries such as Russia (where the rouble has hit record lows), Nigeria, Iran and Venezuela. Why is the price of oil falling? The oil price is partly determined by actual supply and demand, and partly by expectation. Demand for energy is closely related to economic activity. It also spikes in the winter in the northern hemisphere, and during summers in countries which use air conditioning. Supply can be affected by weather (which prevents tankers loading) and by geopolitical upsets. If producers think the price is staying high, they invest, which after a lag boosts supply. Similarly, low prices lead to an investment drought. OPEC's decisions shape expectations: if it curbs supply sharply, it can send prices spiking. Saudi Arabia produces nearly 10m barrels a day-a third of the OPEC total. Four things are now affecting the picture. Demand is low because of weak economic activity, increased efficiency, and a growing switch away from oil to other fuels. Second, turmoil in Iraq and Libya-two big oil producers with nearly 4m barrels a day combined-has not affected their output. The market is more sanguine about geopolitical risk. Thirdly, America has become the world's largest oil producer. Though it does not export crude oil, it now imports much less, creating a lot of spare supply. Finally, the Saudis and their Gulf allies have decided not to sacrifice their own market share to restore the price. They could curb production sharply, but the main benefits would go to countries they detest such as Iran and Russia. Saudi Arabia can tolerate lower oil prices quite easily. It has $900 billion in reserves. Its own oil costs very little (around $5-6 per barrel) to get out of the ground [economist.com] » December 30 2014 - Gas, South Stream, Eni, Gazprom. Eni entered into an agreement for the sale of its 20% stake in South Stream Transport B.V. to Gazprom. Following the transaction, Eni will recover the capital invested to date in the project, calculated coherently with existing agreements. Before the agreement, South Stream Transport was owned by Gazprom with a share of 50%, by Eni with a share of 20%, and Wintershall and EDF with a share of 15% each. The company was established to build the offshore section of the South Stream gas pipeline [eni.com] » December 30 2014 - Climate Change, Climate Policy, 2015 Paris Meetings, Vatican. At the end of 2015, the nations of the world will meet in Paris and attempt to hammer out a global deal to cut greenhouse gas emissions. And Pope Francis hopes that the world's Catholics, as well as other major religions, will be a big part of serious climate action. This includes a series of steps next year. Francis is expected to tell the planet's 1.2 billion Catholics why acting on climate change is essential to the faith using an influential church document called an encyclical. This has been long-rumored, but will reportedly be released to the world's 5,000 bishops and 400,000 priests following a papal visit to the hurricanedamaged city of Tacloban in the Philippines. In September, the Pope will take his message to the U.N. General Assembly in a New York address next year, according to John Vidal of the Guardian, who cited Vatican insiders. He will reportedly personally lobby political and faith leaders there, with the goal of pushing them to commit to real action ahead of the Paris meetings in December of next year [thinkprogress.org] » December 29 2014 - Energy, Climate Change, Clean Technologies, High-Energy Innovation Report. In the coming decades, most of the innovation in clean energy technologies needed to combat climate change will likely occur in rapidly industrializing rather than developed nations. This report identifies and maps promising international efforts by private firms and governments in China, India, the United States, Europe, Latin America, and Africa to advance four low-carbon technologies -- shale gas, nuclear, carbon capture and storage (CCS), and solar PV -- and makes the case for more collaborations between nations [thebreakthrough.org] » December 29 2014 - Renewable Energy, The Coming Era, Geopolitics. The coming era of unlimited - and free - clean energy. In the 1980s, leading consultants were skeptical about cellular phones. McKinsey & Company noted that the handsets were heavy, batteries didn’t last long, coverage was patchy, and the cost per minute was exorbitant. It predicted that in 20 years the total market size would be about 900,000 units, and advised AT&T to pull out. McKinsey was wrong, of course. There were more than 100 million cellular phones in use in 2000; there are billions now. Costs have fallen so far that even the poor — all over world — can afford a cellular phone. The experts are saying the same about solar energy now. [...] They too are wrong. Solar will be as ubiquitous as cellular phones are [...] solar power has been doubling every two years for the past 30 years — as costs have been dropping. [...] solar energy is only six doublings - or less than 14 years - away from meeting 100 percent of today's energy needs [...] In places such as Germany, Spain, Portugal, Australia, and the Southwest United States, residential-scale solar production has already reached "grid parity" [washingtonpost.com] » December 29 2014 - Oil Price, Economic warfare, US, Saudi Arabia, Geopolitics. In the 2007-2008 financial and economic crisis, one of the things that's been pointed out is that international capital, as such, actually collaborated on a solution. The Fed, American Fed, gave money even to European banks and others. And instead of retreating into trade wars that often lead to real wars, there was a systemic collaboration trying to deal with problem. So was that the end of this kind of economic warfare? Well, maybe not. We're seeing economic warfare now. Saudi Arabians have moved the price of oil down into the 40s. There's a backup into the 60s. There's a question of might it even go down into the high 30s. It's undermining, even destroying some major economies in the world--the Russians, the Iranians, the Venezuelans. Maybe it's even going to harm/hurt the Canadians. But what's driving all this? And are we seeing a market mechanism, or are we seeing economic warfare? [...] to talk about all of this is Larry Wilkerson, retired United States Army soldier and former chief of staff to United States Secretary of State Colin Powell, adjunct professor at the College of William & Mary where he teaches courses on US national security. senior seminar instructor in the Honors Department at the George Washington University entitled "National Security Decision Making." [therealnews.com] » December 28 2014 - Oil Price, Supply Glut, Geopolitics. Supply Correction Will Support Oil Price in 2015. As the year draws to a close, if you chose an assessment point for the Brent front month futures contract price in June and squared it against the current price in December, chances are you'll record an oil price decline of around a whopping 46% over the period. [...] the drop should be described as a 'supply driven correction' not a 'slump' or a 'crash' as some love to call it. [...] the current fall is not similar to 2008-09. That was caused by a global crisis of confidence coupled with a massive drop in economic activity triggered by a once in a generation financial tsunami. The present price decline can be explained away by two short words - supply glut. Furthermore, accompanying the glut is an uncertain level of economic activity in various countries, especially non-OECD nations considered huge importers of oil. With oil producers in overdrive, I see no conspiracies here either. In a competitive buyers' market with China calling the shots (but not buying as much), the US importing less (and producing a lot more) and OPEC wanting to keep hold of its 30% global market share (yet scared of losing it) - a decline was all but inevitable [forbes.com] » December 28 2014 - Renewable Energy, Oil Prices, Energy Markets. Will solar, wind and biomass buckle under the pressure of this lowpriced petroleum glut? Historically, lower fossil fuel prices have impacted renewable energy resources like kryptonite - for example in the 1980s and 1990s, when nascent solar, wind and geothermal markets in California keeled over as North America suddenly became awash in cheap oil and natural gas. But energy markets dynamics have changed in the 21st century. In fact, when it comes to electricity, oil and renewables hardly mix at all anymore. That's because diesel and other petroleum-based fuels account for only 5% of global power generation today, according to the International Energy Agency, compared to a full quarter piece of the pie in 1973. Diesel is even less relevant in US power markets, where it makes up only 1% of generation [pvbuzz.com] » December 27 2014 - Oil Prices, US, Russia, Iran, Venezuela, China, Economics, Geopolitics. A plunge in oil prices has sent tremors through the global political and economic order, setting off an abrupt shift in fortunes that has bolstered the interests of the United States and pushed several big oil-exporting nations — particularly those hostile to the West, like Russia, Iran and Venezuela — to the brink of financial crisis. The nearly 50 percent decline in oil prices since June has had the most conspicuous impact on the Russian economy and President Vladimir V. Putin. The former finance minister Aleksei L. Kudrin, a longtime friend of Mr. Putin's, warned this week of a "full-blown economic crisis" and called for better relations with Europe and the United States. But the ripple effects are spreading much more broadly than that. The price plunge may also influence Iran’s deliberations over whether to agree to a deal on its nuclear program with the West; force the oil-rich nations of the Middle East to reassess their role in managing global supply; and give a boost to the economies of the biggest oil-consuming nations, notably the United States and China [...] The price drop, said Edward N. Luttwak, a longtime Pentagon adviser and author of several books on geopolitical and economic strategy, "is knocking down America's principal opponents without us even trying." [nytimes.com] » December 27 2014 - Renewable Energy, Energy Storage, Grid Connected Battery Bank, California. California's goal is to produce at least 33% of its electricity from renewable sources, and while there's plenty of sunshine and wind, their production fluctuates throughout the day, sometimes producing more than needed and other times falling short. Regardless of what's creating the baseload electricity, peaker plants are needed to provide quick demand response. When Southern California Edison (SCE) sent out a request for bids on a 100 megawatt peaker plant, they received over 1800 responses. The winner turned out to be AES, an energy company that builds power plants of nearly every flavor: coal, diesel, gas, oil, wind, etc. What might be surprising is that the chosen technology isn't any of those - it's the world's largest battery. Most peakers burn natural gas to fire turbine generators. But gas-fired plants have disadvantages: they're expensive to build, they depend on a fossil fuel whose price is in constant flux, and they take several minutes to come online. After weighing the costs and benefits, SCE decided that battery storage is the most reliable and cost-effective solution, so they awarded AES Energy Storage a 20 year contract to install and operate grid-connected 100 MW "peaker plant" battery bank. Neither AES nor SCE will release the financial terms of the contract [engineering.com] » December 26 2014 - Oil and Gas, Energy Security, EU, Russia, Iran, Iraq, Azerbaijan, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Geopoltics. Europe is looking at countries within the so-called oil and gas rich 'strategic energy ellipse' to replace its dependence on Russian energy [...] The area within the ellipse - which stretches from western Siberia to the Arabian Peninsula - holds some 70 per cent of the world's proved oil and natural gas reserves. Russia has been the main supplier of oil and natural gas to Europe for more than 40 years. But its involvement in Crimea and over Ukraine has put it in a position where it is now no longer considered by Brussels as the preferred energy provider. Europe's hunt for a key supplier is moving elsewhere [worldreview.info] » December 26 2014 - Energy, Biomass, Japan. JFE Engineering Corp. and partners won an order to build a biomass plant for the city of Toyohashi in Aichi prefecture, central Japan. The 14.8 billion yen ($123 million) plant will use sewage and food waste to generate power, JFE Engineering said in a statement today. JFE has a 60 percent stake in a company that will build and operate the plant. Kajima Corp. is among three other companies taking part [bnef.com] » December 25 2014 - Oil Prices, Opec Production, Saudi Arabia. Saudis dig in to protect Opec's market share [...] In a series of interviews with specialist energy publications and other reporters on the sidelines of an Arab energy conference, he [Ali Al-Naimi] spelt out why Opec may no longer be the mechanism to balance an oversupplied market. He spoke of his role in persuading the 12 member cartel of the reasons to keep production at current levels. "As a policy for Opec - and I convinced Opec of this - even Mr al Badri [Opec secretary-general] is now convinced, it is not in the interest of Opec producers to cut their production," Mr Naimi told the Middle East Economic Survey. "Whether it [the price] goes down to $20 a barrel, $40 a barrel, $50 a barrel, $60 a barrel, it is irrelevant," he said. This was a strategy not just in response to the current oil price rout, but also for the future [ft.com] » December 24 2014 - Climate Change, EU, Emissions Trading Scheme, Sandbag's Report. EU policymakers are now discussing fundamental reform of the Emissions Trading Scheme, both in ambition and design. The 2030 Climate & Energy package will change the trajectory of the cap and the way allowances within the cap are distributed, whilst the Market Stability Reserve attempts to tackle the vast surplus of emission rights that currently undermine the functioning of the scheme. This year also offers the first chance to take stock of the Phase 3 reforms that entered into force in 2013. While there have been significant improvements, these have not been enough to tackle the scheme's main problems. Moreover, 2014 is the first year of the 'backloading' decision and it is already clear that it will fail to protect the scheme from the effects of a structural oversupply. Across Europe, emissions in the traded sector continued to fall last year (by ~3-4%) even as GDP crept back up (by 0.1%), but the low carbon price of just €4.56 on average is unlikely to be the cause. With the continued build-up of surplus allowances, reaching 2.1 billion at end of 2013, the price is expected to remain low. Despite it being the first year of a new phase, more spare allowances were released to the market in 2013 than the average oversupply in Phase 2. We believe official projections significantly underestimate the scale of the future surplus, which we estimate may reach as high as 4.5 billion by 2020 [sandbag.org.uk] » December 24 2014 - Climate Change, Ocean Acidification, Article. Ocean acidification alters the material properties of Mytilus edulis shells. Ocean acidification (OA) and the resultant changing carbonate saturation states is threatening the formation of calcium carbonate shells and exoskeletons of marine organisms. The production of biominerals in such organisms relies on the availability of carbonate and the ability of the organism to biomineralize in changing environments. To understand how biomineralizers will respond to OA the common blue mussel, Mytilus edulis, was cultured at projected levels of pCO2 (380, 550, 750, 1000 µatm) and increased temperatures (ambient, ambient plus 2°C). Nanoindentation (a single mussel shell) and microhardness testing were used to assess the material properties of the shells. Young's modulus (E), hardness (H) and toughness (KIC) were measured in mussel shells grown in multiple stressor conditions. OA caused mussels to produce shell calcite that is stiffer (higher modulus of elasticity) and harder than shells grown in control conditions. The outer shell (calcite) is more brittle in OA conditions while the inner shell (aragonite) is softer and less stiff in shells grown under OA conditions. Combining increasing ocean pCO2 and temperatures as projected for future global ocean appears to reduce the impact of increasing pCO2 on the material properties of the mussel shell. OA may cause changes in shell material properties that could prove problematic under predation scenarios for the mussels; however, this may be partially mitigated by increasing temperature [rsif.royalsocietypublishing.org] » December 23 2014 - Global Energy, Oil Prices, Oil Production, Energy Security, Saudi Arabia, Warfare, ISIS, Geopolitics, Energy Intelligence Report. The modern era is replete with new forms of warfare that have recently started to emerge in a far more ostentatious manner than ever before. Amid multiple conspiracy theories regarding Saudi Arabia's plans to end the U.S. shale boom through an oil price war, or Russia putting the squeeze on European energy security in response to sanctions which have crippled its own energy sector, one thing is for sure: energy is being increasingly weaponized on a global scale. The recent fall in oil prices (WTI closed at $55.26, Brent at $60.13 on December 22), with a resultant knock-on effect on commodity prices in general, has shot energy security to the top of the international agenda. This has led to multiple deals on an unprecedented scale and the early signs of a shift in global energy and political dynamics. While not wishing to fan the flames of sensationalized conspiracy theory that are already flooding the media, it is more important now than ever before to examine the shifting geopolitical landscape and the potential consequences for the energy sector as a whole. Firstly, we have OPEC ministers on the PR campaign trail reiterating as often as possible that there is no price war with the United States (nor with Russia or Iran for that matter) and that the cartel should not be blamed for wanting to maintain their market share while adhering to the most basics tenets of capitalism [oilprice.com] » December 23 2014 - Oil Prices, Oil Production, OPEC. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates on Sunday blamed the oil price rout on producers outside Opec and reaffirmed their stance to keep output at current levels. Ali al-Naimi, Saudi Arabia's oil minister, said he was "100 per cent not pleased" with the near 50 per cent slide in crude oil prices since the middle of June, but said it was a lack of non-Opec co-operation that was a key contributor to the sharp decline [...] Mr Naimi said the kingdom would not cut production to prop up the market, even if non-Opec nations lowered output. "If they want to cut production they are welcome, we are not going to cut, certainly Saudi Arabia is not going to cut," he said. Global energy forecasters are expecting less demand for Opec oil in 2015 amid a rise in US shale production and a slowdown in demand in Europe and Asia. As such, many expect a significant surplus in the first half of next year [ft.com] » December 23 2014 - Natural Gas, EU, Russia, South Stream, Geopolitics. East of Europe: The End of South Stream and the New Uneasy Strategic Triangle. The end of the South Stream project has been seen as a substantial shift in European energy governance. Its strategic implications, however, go way beyond energy. It signals zerbaijan. Most likely, this strategic triangle will be a very uneasy one. For Turkey, it will present new strategic challenges in terms of balancing its partnerships with Russia and Azerbaijan. What is more, the envisaged RussianTurkish pipeline might further complicate Turkey's already strained relationship with Europe while making it increasingly dependent on European legislation [naturalgaseurope.com] » December 23 2014 - Climate Change, Climate Science, Uncertainty, Nature Climate Change Article. Messaging climate change uncertainty. Climate change is full of uncertainty and the messengers of climate science are not getting the uncertainty narrative right. To communicate uncertainty one must first understand it, and then avoid repeating the mistakes of the past [nature.com] » December 23 2014 - Climate Finance, Adaptation Fund, CDKN. The Adaptation Fund and CDKN, strategic partnership and creation of "Climate Finance Ready," a new website that will provide an online platform for climate finance readiness. The site will provide practitioners and others with best practices, news articles, links to resources, opportunities for sharing experiences, and more. With the Climate Finance Ready website, the Fund and CDKN aim foster ongoing dialogue and collaboration in climate finance readiness [climatefinanceready.org] » December 22 2014 - Oil Industry, Oil Prices, UK. The United Kingdom's oil industry is taking a beating from low oil prices, so much so that it is "close to collapse." That comes from the head of the Association of UK Independent Oil and Gas Exploration Companies, otherwise known as Brindex. Robin Allan, the chairman of Brindex, says that the number of new oil projects that are profitable at $60 per barrel is close to zero [oilprice.com] » December 22 2014 - Biofuels, Germany, Legislation. New German legislation, which will become effective in 2015, has resulted in a drastic improvement of the climate performance of biodiesel produced in Germany. But the effects the new rules will have on the German and wider EU biofuels market are still highly uncertain, says Elmar Baumann, Managing Director of the VDB, the Association of the German Biofuel Industry, in an interview with Energy Post. "All we know is that they will be profound." Starting from the 1st of January, the rules in the German biofuels market will change radically. Until now, the oil industry has been required to put a minimum percentage of biofuels on the market (6.25% energy content of their transport fuel sales). From 2015 onwards, this requirement does not hold any longer in Germany. Instead, the mineral oil sellers must now reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of their products by 3.5% (4% in 2017 and 6% in 2020). (For now, they can only use alternative fuels to do this, later they can also reduce upstream emissions, e.g. caused by methane leakage.) [energypost.eu] » December 22 2014 - Climate Finance, Nordic Climate Facility, Tecnologies' Transfer, Call for Proposals. The Nordic Climate Facility (NCF) promotes the transfer of technology, know-how and innovative ideas between the Nordic countries and developing countries facing climate change. The aim is to increase these countries' abilities to mitigate and adapt to climate change, contribute to sustainable development and alleviate poverty. NCF financing can be granted to partnerships between relevant Nordic institutions, organisations, companies or authorities, and qualified local partners located in eligible NDF partner countries. Inclusion of other partners from third countries is allowed. NCF is financed by the Nordic Development Fund (NDF) and administered by the Nordic Environment Finance Corporation (NEFCO). The Call for Pre-qualification Proposals will be open until 30 January 2015 on this on-line application platform. The actual on-line application form will be made available later during December 2014 [ncfapplication.org] » December 22 2014 - Natural Gas, LNG, Belfer Center, Discussion Paper. "Falling Short: A Reality Check for Global LNG Exports". In 2012, when many energy experts argued that oil production had peaked, Leonardo Maugeri published "Oil: The Next Revolution," which forecast a glut of oil and collapsing prices in the next several years. His prediction proved prescient. Now, as analysts look past today's oil-market drama to a near future of robust liquefied natural gas exports, Maugeri is again challenging conventional wisdom. The long-hoped-for and hyped-up gas market, he concludes, will disappoint. "Falling Short: A Reality Check for Global LNG Exports" details the new findings by Maugeri, a former oil industry executive who is now an associate with the Geopolitics of Energy project at Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. Key Findings: Global gas market growth will fall short of expectations in this decade; Cheap shale gas makes U.S. export projects cost competitive, but few will survive; Skyrocketing costs of Australian LNG are bad for investors, good for Asian buyers; Low oil prices will keep Canada out of the LNG export market for now; New global gas resources will not join the LNG export market before 2020 [belfercenter.ksg.harvard.ed] » December 21 2014 - PV, Grid Parity, US. PV, Grid parity analysis and tipping point. [...] Kann notes that traditional grid parity analyses ignore utility rate structures. He cites Connecticut as an example of why that matters. By raising its solar fixed charge, Connecticut will impede the competitiveness of solar for the next few years. GTM Research has undertaken a sophisticated analysis to determine the grid-competitiveness of solar. That data set and calculations were circulated to all the attendees at this year's U.S. Solar Market Insight conference in San Diego. Kann suggests that the tipping point for solar is not some mushy concept of "grid parity," but rather whether solar can offer a customer 10 percent net savings in year one. He suggests that grid parity is "not that exciting -- we have to entice the customer with the savings of solar." GTM Research has picked the 10 percent year-one savings as its tipping-point metric. Kann points us to where the U.S. stands today. In 2014, we have three states that have exceeded the tipping point, and four more at grid parity but not yet at the tipping point. He notes that in California, the vast majority of residential solar takes place outside of state incentive programs, and the same trend holds true in Arizona [greentechmedia.com] » December 19 2014 - Nuclear Power, Fast Reactors, China. China's first sodium-cooled fast neutron reactor hit a milestone after operating at full capacity for 72 hours as of Thursday afternoon, a sign that China has fully mastered core technologies in fast reactor design. Fast neutron reactors, also called fast reactors, use a closed nuclear fuel cycle to optimize uranium use and reduce waste [...] The development of fast reactors is the second of China's three-step nuclear energy program, with the aim of cutting China's reliance on fossil fuel burning. China also intends to make fast reactors one of the priorities in its nuclear energy development program. The 65-megawatt experimental fast reactor is one of few fast reactors that has been grid connected. It can achieve 20 megawatt of capacity in electricity generation [news.xinhuanet.com] » December 19 2014 - Environmental Governance, World Politics, Antropocene. New Book, Earth System Governance. World Politics in the Anthropocene. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Humans are no longer spectators who need to adapt to their natural environment. Our impact on the earth has caused changes that are outside the range of natural variability and are equivalent to such major geological disruptions as ice ages. Some scientists argue that we have entered a new epoch in planetary history: the Anthropocene. In such an era of planet-wide transformation, we need a new model for planet-wide environmental politics. In this book, Frank Biermann proposes “earth system” governance as just such a new paradigm. Biermann offers both analytical and normative perspectives. He provides detailed analysis of global environmental politics in terms of five dimensions of effective governance: agency, particularly agency beyond that of state actors; architecture of governance, from local to global levels; accountability and legitimacy; equitable allocation of resources; and adaptiveness of governance systems. Biermann goes on to offer a wide range of policy proposals for future environmental governance and a revitalized United Nations, including the establishment of a World Environment Organization and a UN Sustainable Development Council, new mechanisms for strengthened representation of civil society and scientists in global decision making, innovative systems of qualified majority voting in multilateral negotiations, and novel institutions to protect those impacted by global change. Drawing on ten years of research, Biermann formulates earth system governance as an empirical reality and a political necessity [earthsystemgovernance.org] » December 19 2014 - Coal, CCS, UK. The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) is seeking partners to deliver a project to identify the next phase of sites deep under the seabed in the North Sea and other UK waters to store the CO2 emissions from coal and gas power stations and heavy industry plants. The news comes the day after UK Prime Minister David Cameron rejected calls for a decarbonisation target for the power sector for 2030, arguing the government first needed to see whether carbon capture and storage (CCS) can prove effective. Speaking to MPs in the House of Commons Liaison Committee, he argued that plans to developing fracking projects and maximise oil and gas output from the North Sea was justified on the grounds that CCS could enable the UK to exploit fossil fuels and cut emissions. The ETI project is funded by DECC as the government looks to make the most of the North Sea and development of CCS as a key part of ensuring that the UK can transition to a low carbon energy system in the most secure and cost-effective way. The next step is expected to build on the work of the ETI's UK Storage Appraisal Project, which has created CO2Stored – the UK’s CO2 storage atlas, available through The Crown Estate and the British Geological Survey [powerengineeringint.com] » December 19 2014 - Renewable Energy, Mining Industry, Chile, China, Australia. the Chilean mining industry is increasingly run on renewable energy, which will soon be bigger than conventional power sector in Chile, and cost-competitive. The Chileans ought to thank the Chinese for this, writes Australian professor John Mathews, whose new book, The Greening of Capitalism, has just been published by Stanford University Press. Mathews adds that Australian miners should take a cue from their Chilean colleagues [energypost.eu] » December 19 2014 - Energy Storage, New Batteries, Smart Grid, Innovation Model, US. The stated goal of the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR), one of the U.S. Department of Energy's Innovation Hubs, comprising 14 partner institutions led by Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), is to develop the battery of the future. Like Daniel Burnham, they are making no little plans. The need for better batteries is obvious: To modernize the electrical grid so that more renewable energy can be sourced and delivered, thereby reducing our dependency on fossil fuels; and to accelerate the electrification of vehicles, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions as well as the consumption of fossil fuels. And if a significant fraction of vehicles were electrified, the grid would need to be upgraded anyway just to handle the load. The need for better batteries is not just about technical superiority, however. It's also about economic security. In November 2012 Argonne won a $120 million, five-year grant from the Department of Energy to launch JCESR and to take up a "grand challenge" in energy storage. JCESR’s goal is to make batteries that store five times the energy at one-fifth of the cost within five years [...] The leaders of JCESR shrewdly recognized that to harness the contributions of such a large and diverse group, they would need to invent an entirely new model for the interactions among the participants. In designing their organization they had a particular emphasis on ensuring that traditional impediments to commercialization were removed [...] The venture capital model of funding innovation has long recognized that to achieve outsize gains and create breakthroughs or "disruptive innovations", you have to take a lot of risk and expect some failure as a cost of doing business. Despite the failures, on average, this model has been astonishingly successful in creating transformative innovations and companies like Intel, Apple, Google, Amazon.com and Genentech [forbes.com] » December 19 2014 - Oil Prices, Renewable Energy, Carbon Tax, Climate Change, Decarbonization, Geopolitics. Saudi Arabia is encouraging the dramatic collapse of oil prices in order to damage the surging global clean energy industry, British entrepreneur Richard Branson has claimed. "They have done it before and it hurt. They don't just want to damage the US fracking industry, but also the clean energy business. The collapse of oil prices is going to make it much more difficult for clean energy," [...] But the British entrepreneur said that now was the time for governments wanting to reduce their carbon emissions to introduce a carbon tax on fossil fuel users because the tax would be cushioned by the fall in prices. "If governments want a carbon tax [at the climate summit ] in Paris next year, then it would be the best time. What the clean energy business needs is a gap between it and coal and oil." According to Branson, who part-owns Virgin airlines and has invested an estimated £300m in a succession of green fuel, solar and other clean-tech energy developments, the dramatic rise of renewables over the last few years has hurt oil producing countries as much as fracking. “Before the oil price collapsed, solar was actually cheaper [than oil]. If oil goes down to $30-$40 a barrel, then it will make it much harder for clean energy. Governments are going to have to think hard how to adapt to low oil prices," [theguardian.com] » December 18 2014 - Climate Change, Decarbonization, US, DDPP's Report. At the conclusion of the recent COP20 in Lima, Peru, all countries agreed to make cuts to their fossil fuel emissions and submit their "Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs)" to UN in the spring of 2015. Additionally, the Lima deal will also compare emission reductions among countries and see how the collective contributions stack up against the global commitment to limit global warming to less than 2°C. A recent report issued by the Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project (DDPP), Pathways to Deep Decarbonization in the United States, shows how the US can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050, using existing or near-commercial technologies, in line with the 2°C limit on warming [unsdsn.org] » December 18 2014 - Oil, Geopolitcs, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Iran, US. Saudi Arabia is once again using its "oil weapon," but instead of driving up prices and cutting supply, it's doing the reverse. In the face of a global slide in oil prices since June, the kingdom has refused to cut its production, which would help to drive prices back up. Instead, the Saudis led the charge to prevent OPEC from cutting production at the cartel's last meeting on Nov 27 [...] The kingdom has two targets in its latest oil war: it is trying to squeeze U.S. shale oil—which requires higher prices to remain competitive with conventional production—out of the market. More broadly, the Saudis are also punishing two rivals, Russia and Iran [blogs.reuters.com] » December 18 2014 - Gas, Pipeline, South Africa. $US6 billion gas pipeline proposed for South Africa and Mozambique. South African oil and gas company SacOil, South Africa's Public Investment Corporation SOC Ltd, and the Government of Mozambique's Instituto de Gestao das Participacoes do Estado have signed an agreement to evaluate the feasibility of a $US6 billion 2,600 km gas pipeline and distribution facility to carry natural gas from Mozambique's Rovuma fields into South Africa [pipelinesinternational.com] » December 17 2014 - Coal, Climate Change, Clean Technology, CSIS Conference. 1:00 pm - 5:30 pm. Revisiting the Role of Coal: Competitiveness, Climate and Security [csis.org] » December 17 2014 - Coal, Climate Change, Global Warming Talks. The Real Outcome of Global Warming Talks in Lima: A Future for Coal. [...] For the first time, all nations agreed that all nations must have a plan to curb greenhouse gases. That includes not just reducing pollution ("mitigation" in the jargon), but also "adaptation" (preparing for the climate changes already in the works), "finance" (money for the poor), "technology development" (better ways to get energy or reduce pollution), "capacity building" (helping poor countries develop) and "transparency" (ensuring nobody cheats). At the same time, global greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, with 2013 marking another record year for pollution, as evidenced by the constant hum of diesel generators in Lima that helped keep the heated negotiations cooler, among other energy needs. The single largest source of climate changing pollution continues to be burning coal, whether in wealthy nations like the U.S. or developing economies like China. The shift of a single word—from a "shall" to a "may"-means the world will very likely continue to burn lots of coal. Instead of being required to provide "quantifiable information" about their greenhouse-gas emissions, countries may choose whether or not to include those statistics in their pledges instead, known in the jargon as "intended nationally determined contribution" [...] Coal remains the fastest growing energy source in the world, according to the International Energy Agency, though the rate of that growth has begun to slow. China alone burned nearly 200 million metric tons more of the dirty black rock in 2013 than in 2012- more growth than the rest of the world combined—and China now burns more than half of all the coal that gets burned around the world [scientificamerican.com] » December 17 2014 - Energy Challenge, Water Risks, SBC FactBook. Introduction to the Water and Energy Challenge. The local Water-Energy equation. Energy & water are highly interconnected locally & globally. A new SBC Energy Institute FactBook "Introduction to the Water and Energy Challenge", finds that: Freshwater supply will not meet forecast demand, requiring compromises; Water shortages are already affecting energy supply; Location-specific solutions will be required. The FactBook provides: A global picture of the main water resources; An overview of the current and forecast mismatch between supply and demand, and its likely consequences if left unaddressed; A summary of water risks and their multi-dimensional nature [sbc.slb.com] » December 17 2014 - Oil Prices, Iran, Petrodollars, Annual Budget. Iran's annual budget for next fiscal year is dependent on petrodollars for 30%, an unprecedented figure in the past century, a vice-president said. [...] the government has drafted the budget based on $72 oil for next fiscal year which starts in March 2015 [shana.ir] » December 17 2014 - Oil Prices, Russia, Iran. The countries that these days have been exerting efforts to push down the price of oil expose themselves to major risks, Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollohian told a news conference at TASS on Wednesday [itartass.com] » December 17 2014 - Climate Change, The Lima Accord, 350.org's View. The Lima Accord: A Great Success or Dooming Planet to Climate Catastrophe?. 350.org's Co-founder Jamie Henn says nations are not yet committing enough money to thwart climate change and explains why next year's Paris conference a referendum on the planet's future [therealnews.com] » December 17 2014 - Energy Transition, Germany, US, C2ES-Ecofys Report. US-German Clean Energy Leadership Series (Volume II). The transition from a fossil-based to a renewables-based electricity system relies on active engagement with the public. As renewable energy continues to expand and the public becomes more aware of the downsides of fossil-based electricity, engagement on these issues is expanding. This volume of the US-German Clean Energy Leadership Series discusses the popular view of clean energy in these two countries and then explores approaches to how this opinion is being expressed through political and financial means. The US-German Clean Energy Leadership Series features best practices in renewable energy policy in Germany and the United States. It is compiled by the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) and Ecofys [ecofys.com] » December 16 2014 - Climate Investment, Country-by-Coutry BNEF Report. CSIS Energy and National Security Program, presentation of the recently released Climatescope 2014. The Climatescope is a unique country-by-country assessment, interactive report and index that evaluates the investment climate for climate-related investment worldwide. It profiles 55 countries and evaluates their ability to attract capital for lowcarbon energy sources while building a greener economy. The Climatescope is a snapshot of where clean energy policy and finance stand today and a guide to where clean energy can go. 9:30 am - 11:00 am [csis.org, watch live] » December 16 2014 - Oil, Prices. Brent futures slumped as much 3.3 percent to its lowest since May 2009 in London. West Texas Intermediate, the New York- traded grade, dropped below $55 for the first time in five years. U.S. drillers are benefiting as costs fall almost as quickly as prices, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. OPEC shouldn't be expected to cut output while other producers continue to expand, the United Arab Emirates energy minister said. Crude oil slumped about 45 percent this year as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries sought to defend market share amid a U.S. shale boom that's exacerbating a global glut. The group, responsible for 40 percent of the world's supply, will refrain from curbing output, U.A.E. Energy Minister Suhail al-Mazrouei said on Dec. 14. [...] Brent for January settlement, which expires today, dropped as much as $2.04, to $59.02 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. It traded at a premium of $4.96 to WTI, compared with $5.15 yesterday. The more-active February contract was down $1.82 at $59.39. ICE's Brent futures contract is based on the underlying physical price of four North Sea oil grades. Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Kuwait are among nations to sell some of their crude at premiums or discounts to Brent. West Texas Intermediate for January delivery fell as much as $1.81 to $54.10 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It decreased $1.90 to $55.91 yesterday. The volume of all futures traded was about 79 percent above the 100-day average. Prices are set for the biggest annual loss since 2008. [bloomberg.finanza.repubblica.it] » December 16 2014 - Climate Change, Lima Call to Acion, National Mitigation Pledges, Geopolitics, IIEA's analysis. The key to interpreting the Lima Call to Action is understanding national mitigation pledges (called INDCs), and their central role in ongoing negotiations. The Lima outcome brought quite a bit of clarity to these pledges, but also highlighted key differences between major countries and challenges to be overcome. Further to the Lima outcome, national pledges are: 1. Required of all parties, though they must reflect national circumstances, and are unlikely to be legally binding; 2. Must be transparent and comparable, and guidelines were set out to this end; 3. Not required to include adaptation or climate finance; and 4. Not subject to UN or peer review before the conference in Paris in December 2015, although the UN will make a report on the aggregate impact of pledges in November 2015. Pledges now on the table are not sufficient to keep global warming to within 2 degrees, and on the basis of what was agreed it is difficult to see how the ambition gap will be closed by the end of 2015. Nor is it clear how the progress on implementing pledges will be monitored post-2020. These are key issues to be grappled with in coming months. Overall, much work remains to be done before Paris, as evidenced by a 37-page negotiating text. But at least there is a text. That said, the positions of the four big blocs have remained almost unchanged: 1. The EU still wants a robust legally binding agreement; 2. The US still wants a hybrid agreement that does not take the form of a Treaty; 3.China and India are still opposed to an external monitoring, review and verification processes; 4. The Less Developed Countries still want greater commitments to financial assistance from the developed countries [iiea.com] » December 15 2014 - Coal, Global Demand, IEA Report. Global coal demand to reach 9 billion tonnes per year by 2019. Despite decarbonisation push, China will not see 'peak coal' during outlook period. Global demand for coal over the next five years will continue marching higher, breaking the 9-billion-tonne level by 2019, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said in its annual Medium-Term Coal Market Report released today. The report notes that despite China's efforts to moderate its coal consumption, it will still account for three-fifths of demand growth during the outlook period. Moreover, China will be joined by India, ASEAN countries and other countries in Asia as the main engines of growth in coal consumption, offsetting declines in Europe and the United States [iea.org] » December 15 2014 - Oil Prices, Iran, Saudi Arabia, US, Geopolitics. To many observers, OPEC's refusal to cut production and thus shore up oil prices was the beginning of a price war with the United States so that Saudi Arabia, the cartel's most influential member, could regain the market share it had been losing during the recent American oil boom. Now Iran's president, Hassan Rouhani, is saying that Riyadh, through OPEC, is also using "treachery" to harm the economies of fellow oil-producing Muslim states in the Middle East. "The fall of the oil prices is not just something ordinary and economical. This is not due to only global recession," Rouhani told his cabinet on Wednesday. "The main reason for it is [a] political conspiracy by certain countries against the interest of the region and the Islamic world and it is only in the interest of some other countries." Rouhani added, "Iran and people of the region will not forget such conspiracies, or in other words, treachery against the interests of the Muslim world." Saudi Arabia wasn't mentioned by name, but most observers say Riyadh was the focus of Rouhani's criticism [oilprice.com] » December 15 2014 - Oil Market, Oil Stocks, London Stock Exchange. Oil stocks lead FTSE 100 recovery. A better session for energy stocks today helped the FTSE 100 Index steady after its worst week of trading since August 2011. Investors found some value in a number of heavyweight oil companies as the price of Brent crude stabilised at around $63 a barrel. Despite more big losses for Asian markets overnight, the FTSE 100 Index was 30.5 points higher at 6331.1, with Royal Dutch Shell up 46p at 2077.5p, Tullow Oil up 5% or 19.3p to 386.6p and BG Group 26.6p higher at 845.6p. The mood was in sharp contrast to the slump of 2.5% seen on Friday as more than £112 billion was wiped from the value of blue-chip shares. It completed the worst week in more than three years, with shares down by 6.6% due to the tumbling price of oil and jitters over the global economy [energyvoice.com] » December 15 2014 - Climate Change, The Lima Call for Climate Action, Nicolas Stern. [...] The five pages of text, dubbed the Lima Call for Climate Action, outline a way forward on hotly contested issues, including the process for countries to set out their pledges to cut annual emissions of greenhouse gases after 2020. The overall aim remains the creation of an international agreement on climate change which is due to be settled at the next UN summit, COP21, to be held in Paris in December 2015. Without a successful outcome in Paris it is unlikely the world can avoid a rise in global average surface temperature of more than two degrees celsius, which is recognised as a threshold beyond which the risks of climate change are likely to become unacceptably large. [...] While the creation of the Green Climate Fund to administer parts of the funding has important symbolic value, it is in danger of distracting from the most important issue. Over the next 15 years as much as $4tn a year will be invested in the emerging and developing countries for infrastructure, such as roads and buildings. It is this investment that must be transformed. If it is, economic growth can be strong, cleaner, less congested, more efficient, more biodiverse - sustainable and much more attractive. If these investments lock countries into high-carbon economies with dirty growth, powered by fossil fuels, the world will not be able to reach its climate target of avoiding warming of more than two degrees. And the developing countries will also experience greater air pollution, which already takes millions of lives each year and damages the economies of many countries, including China and Germany [theguardian.com] » December 14 2014 - Climate Change, Lima Deal. UN climate change talks have been saved from the brink of collapse by a "weak" agreement that could let countries dodge setting clear targets to cut their emissions. Negotiations in the Peruvian capital Lima dragged on to the early hours of Sunday morning - a day and a half after their scheduled close - amid deep disagreements between rich and poor nations over the steps they should take to tackle global warming. The divisions had threatened to derail the talks altogether but eventually resulted in a "bare minimum" deal, thrashed out by delegates who had barely slept in three days, that left many key disputes unresolved [telegraph.co.uk] » December 14 2014 - Oil Prices, OPEC. OPEC will stand by its decision not to cut crude output even if oil prices fall as low as $40 a barrel and will wait at least three months before considering an emergency meeting, the United Arab Emirates' energy minister said [bloomberg.com] » December 14 2014 - Oil Prices Drop, Risks, Mexico, USA. U.S. policymakers who worry about the impact of energy developments on geopolitics typically think of high oil prices as bad news and low prices as an unalloyed good. But a sustained drop in oil prices can be dangerous as well. This paper investigates Mexican vulnerability to falling oil prices—and spillovers to the United States-to show how troublesome such a development might be [cfr.org] » December 12 2014 - Coal, Clean Coal Technologies (CCTs), Coal's Environmental Performance, Australia, China, EU, India, Japan, Republic of Korea, South Africa, USA, IEA Report. Coal is an important energy source for the power industry due to its low cost and wide distribution. Improving coal's environmental performance is key to its future role in the energy mix, especially as emissions regulations are becoming stricter and standards are now being introduced for previously unregulated pollutants, crucially for CO2. This report examines the policies that drive research, development and demonstration (RD&D) of clean coal technologies (CCTs) and CO2 capture in the power generating industry for Australia, China, the European Union, India, Japan, Republic of Korea, South Africa and the USA. Domestic energy resources, political environments, market policies and mechanisms, and the level of collaboration amongst national entities can all shape the approaches that a country takes to developing CCTs. Each country chapter begins with a discussion of their energy, coal and climate policies as these can have a major influence on their coal RD&D programmes. It then moves on to describe RD&D policy and any specific CCT and CCS initiatives and programmes. Roadmaps for the development of CCT and CCS are included, where available. The amount the national government spends on RD&D and, where possible, on CCT and CCS is addressed. International collaboration on RD&D is outlined, followed by a brief description of the major national government-funded demonstration and development CCT projects. Finally, the national research organisations carrying out CCT and CCS research are briefly described [iea-coal.org.uk] » December 12 2014 - Vattenfall's Strategy, Decreasing CO2 Exposure, Selling Lignite Business, Sweden, Germany. [...] We've started the process of selling the lignite business in Germany. It's a considerable business: 60 TWh, 8,000 people and about 10% of German energy supply. It's about one-third of all our electricity production [...] We want to decrease our exposure to CO2. If you look at our charter, we have a very tough sustainability view from our owner [the Swedish State] on how the company should go forward. It is very clearly said that exposure to CO2 has to go down. This move will cut our CO2 emissions from 80 to 15-20 million tonnes. So that's a 75% emissions cut for taking away 30% of electricity production. We also think that Vattenfall is not in itself a very good owner of these assets. We're a state-owned company and I think there could be other owners that are better [...] Lignite is going to be important for Germany's energy supply for quite some time to come. Even though you're building more renewables they will just replace the nuclear which you have to close down. And then you come to next phase: how much renewables can you have and still have a non-black out situation? Perhaps we need storage. If you have energy storage technologies on a big scale, of course you can run huge wind farms, store part of what they produce and then send it back to the grid when the wind dies down. Like that you can have a stable system. But until that's scaled up and running what do we have? We can run gas, maybe, but it might come from countries we don't want to be dependent on [energypost.eu] » December 12 2014 - Climate Change, Emissions, Agriculture, Forestry, Land Use (AFOLU), FAOSTAT. The FAOSTAT Emissions database for Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU) has been updated. [...] The database was updated with new estimates for Agriculture and Other Land Use for the year 2012. These are now available in FAOSTAT, for the first time ever in the world. The FAOSTAT emissions estimates come with metadata information in English, Spanish and French, detailing the estimation procedures with reference to the 2006 IPCC Guidelines. The metadata, accessible online under both the browse and download sections of FAOSTAT, can assist statistical offices involved in the collection and validation of agricultural/forestry statistics to identify the appropriate variables needed for GHG estimates. Metadata are also useful for environmental agencies that compile and report GHG emissions for the AFOLU sector [faostat3.fao.org] » December 11 2014 - Coal, Climate Change, Clean Technology, CSIS Conference. Wednesday, Dec 17, 2014 | 1:00 pm - 5:30 pm. While the robust development of shale gas and the proposed regulation on greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants challenge the viability coal in the United States, the forecast for coal demand remains strong for developing parts of the world for decades to come as economic development continues to drive their energy and electricity demand. Simultaneously, the worldwide momentum to address climate change and the continued growth in coal consumption-primarily outside the United States-make the development and deployment of clean technology pressing. In this context, the CSIS Energy and National Security Program is pleased to host an event examining the key factors that affect coal usage in major economies as well as the current state of clean coal technology deployment. Over the course of the conference, speakers will examine coal from economic competitiveness, development, energy security and climate perspectives, thus providing insights into the future role of coal [csis.org] » December 11 2014 - U.S., China, International Relations, Geopolitics, Book Chapter. Steven E. Miller's introduction to The Next Great War? The Roots of World War I and the Risk of U.S.-China Conflict appears below in an excerpted version. The drama of 1914 draws our gaze backward, but an equally haunting question arises if we look ahead: Could 1914 happen again? Could the forces and factors that put the great powers on what turned out to be an unstoppable path to war operate in our own time? If there is to be a great power conflict in the era ahead, it seems most likely that this will involve a rising China challenging a predominant America. Could there be a 1914 redux between these two powerful states? The analyses that follow highlight or reveal at least as many differences as similarities; 2014 does not wholly resemble 1914. Many of the factors that are thought to have contributed to the outbreak of war in 1914 do not exist today. In particular, many of the intellectual and internal pathologies that made war more likely and made the crisis difficult to resolve peacefully are absent from the current environment. Put simply, many of those making fateful choices in 1914 (as well as the elites around them and the publics they governed) were influenced by a toxic stew of pernicious beliefs. Bad ideas fed bad decisions, which led to war in 1914. The bad ideas flourished in various domestic settings and were incorporated into the worldview of dominant domestic coalitions in several key countries. The 1914 analogy is clearly an imperfect framework for assessing U.S.-China relations, but nevertheless war between Washington and Beijing remains possible. Full recreation of the environment of 1914 is not a prerequisite for war. Further, some lessons from the outbreak of World War I do seem at least potentially relevant today and identify sources of worry and grounds for vigilance. On the international level, the stage is clearly set for rivalry. If U.S.-China relations turn significantly more hostile and competitive, there is a clear potential for arms racing, for destructive diplomatic maneuvering, for Cold War, and for conflict. In a more toxic environment, one of Asia's many potential flash points could ignite a war; the United States' alliances make it likely that Washington will be involved [belfercenter.ksg.harvard.edu] » December 11 2014 - Oil Prices, Oil Production, Opec. The price of oil took another dive Wednesday to new five-year lows after OPEC projected the world will need less of its oil next year. A U.S. government report showing an increase in oil supplies also pressured prices. Benchmark U.S. crude was down $3.01, or 5 percent, in midday trading to $60.81 a barrel. That's its lowest level since July of 2009 and 43 percent below its high for this year. Brent crude, an international benchmark used to price oil sold to many U.S. refineries, was down $3.04 to $63.80. OPEC said it expects demand for its crude to fall next year because of lower global demand and higher production from non-OPEC countries. Also, the Energy Department said U.S. supplies of oil rose last week. Analysts were expecting a decline [pennenergy.com] » December 10 2014 - Natural Gas, South Stream, Russia, Italy, Eni, Geopolitics. The "Putinian Pax Energetica"-Russia's strategic use of energy exports and pipeline politics to influence countries in its neighborhood-is faltering, and Italy now appears to be taking countermeasures to deal with it [...] The South Stream gas project was estimated most recently at about $50 billion and was to connect Russia with Bulgaria by circumventing Ukraine along a route on the Black Sea floor, and then proceeding further westward on European territory. Italy's stateowned energy producer ENI had a 20-percent share in the venture, which was spearheaded by the Russian state-run natural gas monopoly Gazprom-the remaining 30-percent stake was equally divided between France's EDF and Germany's BASF-Wintershall. With the pipelines cancellation, ENI can rely on a pair of safeguard clauses that allow it to sell its stakes to Gazprom and drop out of the project undamaged. ENI also has its own 43-percent controlling stake in the Italian oil and gas service company Saipem, which, in March 2014, secured a $3 billion contract to build an undersea section of South Stream. Now, to save its investment, it might invoke international trade law protection, unless part of the work it already carried out is used to construct a distinct gas pipeline to Turkey [...] In its bid to diversify oil and gas sources, so as to ease its dependence on Russia's energy exports, Italy is increasingly looking to the development of the Southern Gas Corridor (SGC), which will link gas fields in Azerbaijan to the Italian/Adriatic region via Georgia, Turkey, Greece and Albania. The SGC is expected to connect three separate conduits: the existing South Caucasus Pipeline (SCP) and the planned Trans-Anatolia Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) and Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP). The consortium of nations involved in the SGC project is also keen to extend the energy corridor eastward to natural gas producer Turkmenistan through a proposed Trans-Caspian gas pipeline. Recent agreements that ENI signed with the Turkmen State Agency for the Management and Use of Hydrocarbon Resources and state-controlled energy company Turkmenneft should be seen in this perspective. ENI has obtained an extension to 2032 of the Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) governing upstream activities in the onshore Nebit Dag block, in western Turkmenistan. More importantly, the Italian energy company has gained the possibility to expand its operations to Turkmenistan's offshore blocks in the Caspian Sea. South Stream's demise, along with ENI's increased focus on Africa, not least on countries like Mozambique, will prompt a change in energy relations between Rome and Moscow. These new dynamics notwithstanding, it seems that Italy has not entirely scrapped its rather fanciful ambition of bridging the geopolitical gap between the Kremlin and EU. It is worth remembering that Russia is still the largest supplier of oil and gas to Italy, as it accounts approximately for 30 percent and 15 percent of Rome's gas and oil imports, respectively [jamestown.org, E. Scimia] » December 10 2014 - Natural Gas, Methane Emissions, Measurements, U.S., PNAS Article. Measurements of methane emissions at natural gas production sites in the United States. Engineering estimates of methane emissions from natural gas production have led to varied projections of national emissions. This work reports direct measurements of methane emissions at 190 onshore natural gas sites in the United States (150 production sites, 27 well completion flowbacks, 9 well unloadings, and 4 workovers). For well completion flowbacks, which clear fractured wells of liquid to allow gas production, methane emissions ranged from 0.01 Mg to 17 Mg (mean = 1.7 Mg; 95% confidence bounds of 0.67–3.3 Mg), compared with an average of 81 Mg per event in the 2011 EPA national emission inventory from April 2013. Emission factors for pneumatic pumps and controllers as well as equipment leaks were both comparable to and higher than estimates in the national inventory. Overall, if emission factors from this work for completion flowbacks, equipment leaks, and pneumatic pumps and controllers are assumed to be representative of national populations and are used to estimate national emissions, total annual emissions from these source categories are calculated to be 957 Gg of methane (with sampling and measurement uncertainties estimated at ±200 Gg). The estimate for comparable source categories in the EPA national inventory is ~1,200 Gg. Additional measurements of unloadings and workovers are needed to produce national emission estimates for these source categories. The 957 Gg in emissions for completion flowbacks, pneumatics, and equipment leaks, coupled with EPA national inventory estimates for other categories, leads to an estimated 2,300 Gg of methane emissions from natural gas production (0.42% of gross gas production) [pnas.org] » December 09 2014 - Natural Gas, Shale, Fracking,U.S., Nature Article. Natural gas: The fracking fallacy. When US President Barack Obama talks about the future, he foresees a thriving US economy fuelled to a large degree by vast amounts of natural gas pouring from domestic wells. [...] Obama's statement reflects an optimism that has permeated the United States. It is all thanks to fracking - or hydraulic fracturing - which has made it possible to coax natural gas at a relatively low price out of the fine-grained rock known as shale. Around the country, terms such as 'shale revolution' and 'energy abundance' echo through corporate boardrooms. Companies are betting big on forecasts of cheap, plentiful natural gas. Over the next 20 years, US industry and electricity producers are expected to invest hundreds of billions of dollars in new plants that rely on natural gas. And billions more dollars are pouring into the construction of export facilities that will enable the United States to ship liquefied natural gas to Europe, Asia and South America. All of those investments are based on the expectation that US gas production will climb for decades, in line with the official forecasts by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). As agency director Adam Sieminski put it last year: "For natural gas, the EIA has no doubt at all that production can continue to grow all the way out to 2040." But a careful examination of the assumptions behind such bullish forecasts suggests that they may be overly optimistic, in part because the government's predictions rely on coarsegrained studies of major shale formations, or plays. Now, researchers are analysing those formations in much greater detail and are issuing more-conservative forecasts. They calculate that such formations have relatively small 'sweet spots' where it will be profitable to extract gas [nature.com] » December 09 2014 - Climate Change, Politics and Economics, Germanwatch Climate Change Performance Index. The Climate Change Performance Index is an instrument supposed to enhance transparency in international climate politics. Its aim is to encourage political and social pressure on those countries which have, up to now, failed to take ambitious actions on climate protection as well as to highlight countries with best-practice climate policies. On the basis of standardised criteria, the index evaluates and compares the climate protection performance of 58 countries that are, together, responsible for more than 90 percent of global energy-related CO2 emissions. 80 percent of the evaluation is based on objective indicators of emissions trend and emissions level. 20 percent of the index results are built upon national and international climate policy assessments by more than 200 experts from the respective countries [germanwatch.org] » December 09 2014 - Climate Change, COP 20, Lima Negotiations. After a week of preliminaries, climate change negotiations at COP 20 in Lima, Peru, have reached their mid-point and are moving into high gear. This week will be crucial as talks continue on a draft international climate agreement due to be concluded in Paris at the end of 2015. Here are three issues to watch as the climate meeting heads toward the finish line: To Assess or Not to Assess? [...] $100 billion in Dedicated Climate Finance by 2020? [...] What About Adaptation? [wri.org] » December 09 2014 - Oil, Opec, Producers Fiscal Break-Even. One of the key drivers of the oil markets is the price at which principal OPEC producers balance their government accounts – better known as fiscal break-even oil prices. By monitoring the fluctuations of these breakeven prices in major oil-producing countries such as Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait and the UAE, we can assess potential changes in OPEC's desired level of global oil prices [ogfj.com] » December 08 2014 - Energy Markets, Global Directional Drilling, Economics, MarketsAndMarkets Outlook. The global directional drilling market size is estimated to reach $29.11 billion by 2019. North America and Asia-pacific are the two major markets, contributing to more than 50% of the global market size. Major factors responsible for the growth of the directional drilling market include technological advancements, increasing energy demand, rising offshore drilling activities, and the upcoming shale gas revolution. The key concerns in the industry pertain to the fluctuating oil and gas price, decline in natural gas price in North America, and political as well as economic uncertainty in regions like Europe and Africa [marketsandmarkets.com] » December 08 2014 - Energy Security, EU, Energy Markets, Geopolitics, Paper. Energy security remains a vital issue for the European Union (EU), even more so in the wake of the events that unfolded in early 2014 in Ukraine. The EU's already fragile position in the international energy arena in terms of supply security appears to be more uncertain than ever after umpteenth fall out with its historic energy supplier, Russia. This situation is untenable and calls for swift and decisive action to adequately tackle the issue once and for all. The chapter looks at the creation of a single EU energy market through integration of energy networks in the EU. The chapter then examines various ways to diversify its energy supply, whether through increasing the import of liquefied natural gas or through its relations with the Eurasian Union. The chapter concludes that from energy transit, to technology transfer, to investment protection, energy and trade present interplays across various fields. Improvements can be made to the EU trading system to ensure greater energy security and more efficient energy markets [Queen Mary School of Law Legal Studies Research] » December 07 2014 - Oil and Gas, Oil Prices, Saudi Arabia, Geopolitics. Saudis Won't Relent in Oil Market Tussle. If anyone needed further convincing that Saudi Arabia means business in tumultuous oil markets, national oil company Saudi Aramco's latest move should bury doubts once and for all. Making a trading call this week, Aramco cut the January official selling price (OSP) of its Arab Light Crude grade for Asian importers by $1.90 per barrel from December. The new price level is at a whopping $2 per barrel discount to the regional Dubai Oman Crude's trading price average. The January OSP for exports to the US, while not officially set at a discount, it is still $0.70 per barrel below the current price [forbes.com] » December 07 2014 - Oil and Gas, Russia, India, Geopolitics. India and Russia are set to bring out a blueprint for energy cooperation in the form of a vision document during President Vladimir Putin's December visit as Moscow looks to expand its ties beyond west as well as China. [...] Two pacts which enable the state-run ONGC Videsh Limited to get stakes in Vankor and Yurubcheno-Tokhomskoye oil fields in Siberia are likely to be signed [...] Getting a stake in the Vankor field is strategically significantly as it is aimed at feeding greater Chinese energy demands [...] Russian oil firm Gazprom is negotiating for as much as 30 billion cubic meters of gas annually from West Siberia to China for a period of 30 years. China and Russia had also inked a $400 billion energy deal in May. ONGC-Videsh Limited has substantial investment totalling over $5 billion in two major oil and gas projects - Sakhlin-1 and Imperial Energy Limited (Tomsk). Sources said the blue print includes India and Russia firming up their cooperation in the Arctic offshore. In the face of sanctions from the European Union, Russia is stepping up its energy ties with China [hindustantimes.com] » December 07 2014 - Oil Production, Peak Oil, U.S., OPEC, non-OPEC. Did Peak Oil Arrive in 2014? (by Ron Patterson). The recent price crash in crude oil, if it lasts for any length of time, will certainly affect oil production. The question is, just how great an effect will it have an how soon? But in this post I want to concentrate on what is, or was, happening to world oil production even before the price crash. Russia, the largest producer of crude oil in the world, will peak in 2014. There are various estimates of how fast their production will decline but best case, for Russia, puts their decline at about 2% per year. They say they are depending on the Bazhenov Shale and Arctic offshore just to keep production flat in 2015. Well that is not going to happen, not in the next few years anyway. And if prices stay in the current range it is unlikely to ever happen. OPEC is a wild card but there is little doubt that they are producing flat out right now. Only Iran has any real any real chance of increasing production very much and that only if sanctions are lifted. Libya has already increased production significantly and could increase more but very little. With the violence still going on in Libya, there is a greater chance that their production will decline. But before we go any further let's look at what the EIA is predicting for 2015 for both the USA and the rest of non-OPEC? [peakoilbarrel.com] » December 05 2014 - Oil Prices, Financial Stability. Could falling oil prices spark a financial crisis? To what extent are financial investors exposed to the oil sector? And what will happen on the financial markets if oil stocks and oil companies go under on a large scale? We are far from a crisis yet, [but] falling oil prices are not just a problem for oil companies. The oil and gas boom in the United States was made possible by the extensive credit afforded to drillers. Not only has financing come from company shareholders and traditional banks, but hundreds of billions of dollars have also come from junk-bond investors looking for high returns. Junk-bond debt in energy has reached $210 billion, which is about 16 percent of the $1.3 trillion junk-bond market. That is a dramatic rise from just 4 percent that energy debt represented 10 years ago. As is the nature of the junk-bond market, lots of money flowed to companies with much riskier drilling prospects than, say, the oil majors. Maybe drillers were venturing into an uncertain shale play; maybe they didn't have a lot of cash on hand or were a small startup. Whatever the case may be, there is a reason that they couldn't offer "investment grade" bonds. In order to tap the bond market, these companies had to pay a hefty interest rate [energypost.eu] » December 05 2014 - Proved Oil and Gas Reserves, U.S. US proved reserves of oil and natural gas have increased by 9% and 10%, respectively, according a recent report from the US Energy Information Administration. The 3.1-billion bbl increase in proved oil reserves in 2013 marks the fifth consecutive jump, EIA said. Proved oil reserves reached 36.5 billion bbl in 2013, up from 33.4 billion bbl in EIA's report in 2012. North Dakota added almost 2 billion bbl of oil in 2013, a 51% increase from 2012. Owing to further development of the Bakken and Three Forks formations in the Williston basin, North Dakota's reserves surpassed those of the federal offshore Gulf of Mexico for the first time in 2013. Texas maintains its position of having the largest oil reserves, yet the state added 903 million bbl of proved oil reserves in the same period [ogj.com] » December 05 2014 - Climate Change, Global Warming, WMO data. The year 2014 is on track to be one of the hottest, if not the hottest, on record, according to preliminary estimates by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). This is largely due to record high global sea surface temperatures, which will very likely remain above normal until the end of the year. High sea temperatures, together with other factors, contributed to exceptionally heavy rainfall and floods in many countries and extreme drought in others. WMO's provisional statement on the Status of the Global Climate in 2014 indicated that the global average air temperature over land and sea surface for January to October was about 0.57° Centigrade (1.03 Fahrenheit) above the average of 14.00°C (57.2 °F) for the 1961-1990 reference period, and 0.09°C (0.16 °F) above the average for the past ten years (2004-2013). If November and December maintain the same tendency, then 2014 will likely be the hottest on record, ahead of 2010, 2005 and 1998. This confirms the underlying long-term warming trend. It is important to note that differences in the rankings of the warmest years are a matter of only a few hundredths of a degree, and that different data sets show slightly different rankings. The high January to October temperatures occurred in the absence of a full El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO). ENSO occurs when warmer than average sea-surface temperatures in the eastern tropical Pacific combine, in a self-reinforcing loop, with atmospheric pressure systems, thus affecting weather patterns globally. During the year, sea surface temperatures increased nearly to El Nino thresholds but this was not coupled with an atmospheric response. However, many weather and climate patterns normally associated with El Nino/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) were observed in many parts of the world. "The provisional information for 2014 means that fourteen of the fifteen warmest years on record have all occurred in the 21st century," said WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud. "There is no standstill in global warming," he said. "What we saw in 2014 is consistent with what we expect from a changing climate. Record-breaking heat combined with torrential rainfall and floods destroyed livelihoods and ruined lives. What is particularly unusual and alarming this year are the high temperatures of vast areas of the ocean surface, including in the northern hemisphere," [wmo.int] » December 05 2014 - Coal and Petroleum Companies, Investments, Climate change, Norway, Government Pension Fund. Report from the expert group on investments in coal and petroleum companies. An expert group appointed by the Ministry of Finance presents its report on the Government Pension Fund Global. The expert group has evaluated whether the exclusion of coal and petroleum companies is a more effective strategy for addressing climate issues than the exercise of ownership and exertion of influence [regjeringen.no] » December 05 2014 - Oil, Stranded Assets, Unburnable Carbon, Bank of England. The Bank of England has set a new standard for all central banks and financial regulators on climate risks by agreeing to examine, for the first time, the vulnerability that fossil fuel assets could pose to the stability of the financial system in a carbon constrained world [...] With a letter dated 30th October 2014, the Governor has formally informed the Environmental Audit Committee of the UK Parliament of the Bank's decision to widen and deepen the enquiry into "unburnable carbon" those fossil fuel assets that will need to remain unexploited if climate change is to be kept to the internationally agreed 2 C level of warming. As part of the enquiry, the Financial Policy Committee will investigate the potential risks fossil fuel assets pose to financial stability. This is the first major acknowledgement from a financial regulator that most of the world's listed coal, oil and gas reserves could become "stranded assets" and have significant financial consequences [carbontracker.org] » December 04 2014 - Gas, Unconventional Gas, Geopolitics, Belfer Center Reports. The plunging price of fossil fuels this fall is a fresh reminder of the iron law of supply and demand. But what's driving the glut? And what does this year's epic, $400-billion deal between Russia and China tells us about long-term demand for gas? Two new Belfer Center reports examine these questions: "Unconventional Gas: Lessons Learned from Around the World", "The Sino-Russian Gas Partnership: Explaining the 2014 Breakthrough" [belfercenter.ksg.harvard.edu] » December 04 2014 - Energy Policies, EU, IEA Report. The European Union has made progress in liberalising energy markets, and its global leadership on climate change is to be commended, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said today as it released its review of EU energy policies. However, the new IEA report said there remains much room for improvement. It noted that much of the integration of Europe's energy market has been confined to northern and western parts of Europe, and that until important interconnections are built across the entire bloc, the EU will not have a truly integrated, single energy network - the basis for an "Energy Union". Moreover, despite reforms at the wholesale level, markets are increasingly distorted by the persistence of regulated prices and rising green surcharges and levies. In the report, Energy Policies of IEA Countries: European Union - 2014, the IEA praised the EU for reducing its carbon intensity and taking the lead in vehicle fuel economy standards. Thanks to the implementation of 20-20-20 targets, lower energy intensity and an unprecedented boom in renewable energies can be witnessed. EU leaders agreed in October 2014 to ambitious climate and energy targets for 2030. Now, the legal framework must be put in place, with market rules for a low-carbon system. The transition to such a low-carbon system remains challenging, as electricity and transport sectors rely heavily on fossil fuels. This requires the swift reform of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) and support to investment in low-carbon technologies [...] EU electricity systems and markets need to accommodate growing shares of variable renewable energy. At the same time, the EU faces the retirement of half its nuclear generating capacity in the next ten years. Decisions need to be made about uprates, upgrades and lifetime extensions. Energy security must be placed at the centre of the Energy Union. In order to reduce dependency on one single supplier, the EU must further diversify gas and oil supplies, and cannot afford to reduce its energy options: nuclear, coal and unconventional gas and oil will need to be part of the mix [iea.org] » December 04 2014 - Climate Change, Environmental Stress, Oceanic Conditions, Nature Climate Change Article. Climate change is altering oceanic conditions in a complex manner, and the concurrent amendment of multiple properties will modify environmental stress for primary producers. So far, global modelling studies have focused largely on how alteration of individual properties will affect marine life. Here, we use global modelling simulations in conjunction with rotated factor analysis to express model projections in terms of regional trends in concomitant changes to biologically influential multi-stressors. Factor analysis demonstrates that regionally distinct patterns of complex oceanic change are evident globally. Preliminary regional assessments using published evidence of phytoplankton responses to complex change reveal a wide range of future responses to interactive multi-stressors with 20–300% shifts in phytoplankton physiological rates, and many unexplored potential interactions. In a future ocean, provinces will encounter different permutations of change that will probably alter the dominance of key phytoplankton groups and modify regional productivity, ecosystem structure and biogeochemistry. Consideration of regionally distinct multi-stressor patterns can help guide laboratory and field studies as well as the interpretation of interactive multi-stressors in global models [nature.com] » December 03 2014 - Onshore Wind, Trasportation, Report. A taxing proposition: onshore wind to be 6 times cheaper than oil for transportation by 2035. A study by investment bank Kepler Chevreux calculates that $100bn invested in onshore wind to power electric vehicles, would actually produce more energy per dollar invested than $100bn invested in oil to power gasoline vehicles [windenergyupdate.com] » December 03 2014 - Climate Investment, Country-by-Coutry BNEF Report. The CSIS Energy and National Security Program, presentation of the recently released Climatescope 2014. The Climatescope is a unique country-by-country assessment, interactive report and index that evaluates the investment climate for climate-related investment worldwide. It profiles 55 countries and evaluates their ability to attract capital for low-carbon energy sources while building a greener economy. The Climatescope is a snapshot of where clean energy policy and finance stand today and a guide to where clean energy can go [csis.org] » December 03 2014 - Gas, South Stream, Russia, Turkey, Geopolitics. Russia has decided against the construction of the 930-km South Stream natural gas pipeline across the Black Sea from Russia to Bulgaria, citing delays on the part of the European Union in taking the steps necessary to move forward. Press reports have OAO Gazprom Chief Executive Alexei Miller as confirming the decision originally announced by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Miller and Mehmet Konuk, chairman of Botas Petroleum Pipeline Corp., signed a memorandum of understanding Dec. 1 on instead building an offshore gas pipeline from the Russkaya compressor station (also South Stream's starting point) under construction in the Krasnodar Territory across the Black Sea to Turkey. Putin and Turkish President Recep Erdogan witnessed the signing. Turkey in July had approved South Stream's environmental impact assessment, including pipelay for the 63-billion cu m (bcm)/year project's four parallel strings in its exclusive economic zone starting first-quarter 2015 [...] The new pipeline would have the same 63 bcm/year overall capacity, with 14 bcm/year to be used in Turkey and the balance shipped to a border crossing with Greece, the location of which has yet to be decided. The 448-Mw Russkaya station will provide as much as 28.45 MPa of pressure, enough to have shipped gas on South Stream to Bulgaria without intermediate compression [ogj.com] » December 02 2014 - Energy Policy, Renewable Energy, China, Irena Report. China's energy policy matters globally. The country is the world's largest energy user, accounting for one fifth of all global energy consumption. By 2030, China's energy consumption is expected to increase by 60%. China's energy choices will be a major influence on the world's ability to curb climate change. There are rising concerns over energy security. As of 2014, about 30% of China's natural gas supply is imported, but this could increase substantially. China imports more than half of its crude oil supply, and this will also increase. Shale gas was considered as an alternative, but local exploration proved challenging. Until recently, China has been meeting most of its energy demand with coal. However, growing concerns over the environmental impacts of coal (severe air pollution that caused 1.2 million premature deaths in 2010, high water consumption compounding water scarcity) have prompted a shift in policy. As a result, China is turning to renewable energy. It already has the world's largest installed capacity of wind and hydroelectric power, as well as the vast majority of solar heating and biogas installations. In 2013 China installed more solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity than the whole of Europe. This strategy is bringing substantial economic returns. China has become a major exporter of renewable energy technology, accounting for two-thirds of global solar PV module production. Its renewable energy sector employed 2.6 million people in 2013. And it has the financial ability to invest further [irena.org] » December 02 2014 - Gas, South Stream, Russia, EU. In the current conditions, Russia cannot begin the implementation of the South Stream project, Russian President Vladimir Putin said [...] Russia-EU dispute over Third Energy Package. In the autumn of 2013, the European Commission launched an anti-monopoly investigation into the South Stream project on suspicion that it disagrees with the rules of the EU's Third Energy Package under which companies are supposed to separate generation and sales operations from transmission networks. Last year, the European Commission urged to review bilateral intergovernmental agreements between Russia and EU countries to ensure that they comply with the Third Energy Package, which requires the separation of gas production, transportation and sale to prevent gas suppliers from dominating the infrastructure [en.itar-tass.com] » December 02 2014 - Oil and Gas, Shale, Fracking, U.S.. Hillary Clinton has offered mild criticism of the fracking boom that has spread across the US under Barack Obama's presidency, drawing another small distinction with his administration. Clinton, who has yet to declare she is seeking the presidency, kept the bulk of her speech to a League of Conservation Voters dinner in New York resolutely vanilla. But she did express concerns about the environmental costs associated with natural gas and went so far as to suggest there may be places where it was too dangerous to drill at all. "I know many of us have serious concerns with the risks associated with the rapidly expanding production of natural gas," Clinton told the crowd on Monday night. "Methane leaks in the production and transportation of natural gas pose a particularly troubling threat so it is crucial we put in place smart regulations and enforce them – including deciding not to drill when the risks to local communities, landscapes and ecosystems are just too high." [theguardian.com] » December 02 2014 - Hydro Power, China, India. China has announced that it has completed a major hydropower dam on the Brahmaputra, called Yarlung Zangbo, in Tibet. The dam is bound to enhance fears in India and Bangladesh about flash floods and related risks like landslides involving lives of millions of people downstream [...] Announcing that Tibet's largest hydropower station had become partly operational on Sunday, Beijing said it would be useful in "harnessing the rich water resources of the Yarlung Zangbo river to empower the development of the electricitystrapped region". The first section of the $1.5 billion Zangmu Hydropower Station, which is over 3,300m above sea level on the "roof of the world", went into operation Sunday afternoon. Five other sections are due for completion no later than next year, it said [...] Zangmu is one of the five projects planned on the Brahmaputra to generate a total of 2,000MW of hydro power. Environmentalists opposed to the project have asked why China wants to unsettle fragile ecology in the Tibetan region which is little need for additional electricity because of low industrialization [timesofindia.indiatimes.com] » December 01 2014 - Oil and Gas, Offshore, Cyprus. Delek Drilling says a review has raised estimated natural gas and condensate resources in the deepwater Aphrodite reservoir offshore Cyprus. The best estimate has risen by 12% from 4.05 tcf (110 bcm) and 8.1 MMbbl of condensate previously to 4.54 tcf (130 bcm) and 9 MMbbl of condensate. The main factors were an increase in the estimate of the reservoir’s Gross Rock Volume and of gas saturation values, based on an updated analysis of a seismic survey and logs from three wells in the reservoir [offshore-mag.com] » December 01 2014 - Climate Policy, European Parliament, COP-20, OKO-Institute Report. As a preparation for the upcoming COP in Lima, Oko-Institute has prepared a study for the European Parliament on the developments in the climate negotiations over the last year. It summarises the key achievements as well as points of conflict in the ADP negotiations towards a new agreement and on other important topics in the negotiations. The study also includes an overview of the positions of main Parties, negotiating groups and other stakeholders. This report provides an overview of the development of the negotiations within the UNFCCC since COP 19 in Warsaw. It summarises the key developments in 2014 and provides short overviews for all negotiation areas. The overview also includes a state of play of the Doha Climate Gateway and explains the position of the main Parties and negotiation groups. It is supplemented by short overviews for individual countries and stakeholder groups [europarl.europa.eu] » December 01 2014 - Oil Prices, OPEC strategy, Iran, Geopolitics. The "shock therapy" of a steep drop in crude prices, which have fallen to a five-year low, is no solution for OPEC's loss of market share to U.S. shale producers, Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said. U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude declined 10 percent after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries decided on Nov. 27 to keep its production target unchanged at 30 million barrels a day. Prices at this lower level are no guarantee of a significant reduction in U.S. shale output [...] "High prices are a disadvantage to OPEC's market share," he said. "If you want to increase your share, you have to reduce prices, but you can’t do it through 'shock therapy' over the course of three months if you want to change everything." OPEC, which supplies about 40 percent of the world's oil, resisted calls from members including Venezuela, Iran and Iraq to reduce its collective output to stem falling prices. U.S. production, driven by a boom in fracking for shale oil, has risen to the highest level in three decades, adding to a global surplus that Venezuela estimated last week at 2 million barrels a day. Demand for OPEC's crude will shrink as U.S. supply expands, eroding the group's share of the global market to the smallest in more than 25 years, its own forecasts showed [bloomberg.com] » December 01 2014 - Climate Change, Global Warming, Australia. Australia had hottest spring and second hottest November on record. Bureau of Meteorology says spring 2014's average temperature of 24C exceeded the mean by 1.5C, 'the largest seasonal departure we've ever had' [theguardian.com] » December 01 2014 - Climate Finance, Green Climate Fund. How the Green Climate Fund is being capitalized. Governments have pledged up to $9.3 billion to combatting climate change in developing countries. The pledges were made at a conference organized by the Green Climate Fund (GCF) in Berlin [...], following pledges by Japan and the United States at the G20 summit. The US is set to become the largest contributor with a commitment of $3 billion to capitalize the GCF on the condition that its contribution does not exceed 30% of total pledges. Japan has pledged $1.5 billion, exceeding earlier pledges by the United Kingdom, France and Germany of about $1 billion each. 21 countries have currently pledged funding, including four countries classified as developing nations by the United Nations. The four developing countries are Panama ($1 million), Poland (unspecified), Mongolia ($312,000) and South Korea ($100 million) [...] Yet the GCF has not been operational before earlier this year. Until 2012, "fast-start finance" was been administered by approx. 40 different funds set up by donor governments, making it difficult for many developing countries to access funds due to a lack of resources to apply. In an assessment of "fast-start finance," Oxfam noted that only 43% has been given as grants with the rest being provided as loans. Oxfam also estimated that merely 33% of funds were new money, while the majority were reallocations of money from existing aid budgets. "Fast-start finance" expired at the end of 2012, resulting in a rapid drying up of funds. In one example, World Bank funding for climate projects declined from approx. $5 billion in 2012 to approx. $1.6 billion in 2013 [climatedev.com] » November 29 2014 - Oil Prices, Opec Production Level, UK Economy, Geopolitics. Crude facts: why the plunging price of oil is not all good news. The price of oil fell for the second day in a row on Friday, wiping billions off the values of oil companies and putting huge investments at risk after Thursday's decision by Opec to maintain the cartel's existing production levels. The cost of the benchmark Brent blend slumped below $72 a barrel before rallying slightly but some industry experts – including the chief executive of Rosneft, Russia's largest oil producer – have predicted that crude values will keep on going down, possibly as low as $60. If this were to happen it would mean that the price of oil had dived by nearly 50% in less than six months. If the price stayed at that level for any amount of time it would radically change the landscape for producers and consumers alike in the UKb. Here are five potential consequences. [...] Petrol and diesel prices Scotland's [...] Oil economy and Treasury tax receipts [...] Inflation [...] Alternative energy [...] Fracking [theguardian.com] » November 29 2014 - Climate Policy, UN Climate Change Conference - COP 20 in Lima, EU. Text adopted by the European Parliament, resolution of 26 November 2014 on the 2014 UN Climate Change Conference – COP 20 in Lima, Peru (1-12 December 2014) [...] 1. Recognises the extraordinary scale and seriousness of the threats induced by climate change and expresses profound concern about the continued weakness of the international response to the challenge it poses; is extremely concerned that the world is severely off track with regard to limiting global warming to an increase of below 2°C and calls on governments to take, without delay, concrete measures against climate change and towards a global agreement in Paris 2015 to deliver this target; 2. Notes that, in line with the IPCC AR5 findings, the global carbon budget available after 2011, if there is to be a likely chance of keeping the rise in global average temperature below 2°C, is 1010 Gton of CO2; emphasises that all countries need to contribute and that delaying action will increase costs and reduce options; 3. Notes with concern the latest scientific findings of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, which show that CO2 emissions are set to reach a new 40 billion tonne (per year) record high in 2014 and that total future CO2 emissions cannot exceed 1200 billion tonnes if there is to be a likely 66% chance of keeping average global warming under 2°C; 4. Stresses that the 2015 agreement needs to meet the goal of reducing global emissions to a level compatible with the 2°C carbon budget, and should aim at phasing out global carbon emissions by 2050; 5. Recalls that the UNFCCC process will consider strengthening the long-term goal in relation to temperature rises to 1,5 °C; 6. Underlines the findings of the New Climate Economy report 'Better Growth, Better Climate' that countries of all income levels have the opportunity to build lasting economic growth at the same time as reducing the immense risks of climate change; 7. Expects the new Commission to assume a proactive role in addressing the global climate crisis, including in terms of additional climate financing; calls on the Commission to make it clear that the climate challenge is one of its top strategic priorities and to organise itself in a way which reflects this, at all levels and across all sectors in domestic and external policies and actions, inter alia by investing in sustainable agriculture, in line with the recommendations of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, and in sustainable transport; 8. Emphasises that global climate change policies are based on the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) and that they are an integral part of the global efforts to promote sustainable development all over the world; stresses that the climate change policies must be seen in this wider context and linked with the follow-up on the Rio Conference, the Millennium Development Goals and the post-2015 agenda [europarl.europa.eu] » November 29 2014 - Oil, Opec, Saudi Arabia, U.S., Western Powers, Russia. Saudi Arabia did it. After stonewalling for weeks, all attention is on the House of Saud and its refusal to let OPEC cut production, even by a modest 2 million barrels a day. The immediate impact of this decision was felt with WTI falling to $65.99, its lowest point in over four years, while Brent settled at $70.07 after a near $7.67 drop. That Saudi Arabia thought this to be "a great decision" shows the defiance of the former top global oil producer when confronted with a new energy world order. The news also handed out a battering to oil stocks, with Premier Oil falling by 7%, with Statoil, Total and Shell all down around 4%. Despite this immediate impact, Western powers quickly moved to dispel concern about the impact of this decision on their economies. [...] Much has also been made of the fact that low oil prices will also help the gas-guzzling U.S. economy at the pump, while also trickling down to help consumers in Europe and Asia. MarketWatch is clearly loving this situation, crowing that those who will suffer are hardly U.S. allies. It estimates that with production ever fluctuating, Libya needs prices at $185 a barrel to balance its budget, while Iran needs $133, and Russia needs $100. "The rogue states' cash flow can't handle it. OPEC's low-cost producers are Western-friendly powers like Kuwait." Its economic analysis continues with the fact that U.S. shale-oil production is expanding by the capacity of Libya every year, and that American production would still be boosted at $60 a barrel, albeit in a limited fashion [oilprice.com] » November 28 2014 - Nuclear Power, Nonproliferation, Japan, Csis-Hitotsubashi University Report. Japan's Nuclear Fuel Cycle Futures, Evaluating the Nonproliferation Impact of Japan's Nuclear Fuel Cycle Decisions, published by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and Hitotsubashi University [...] Six American and six Japanese experts reviewed the status of Japan's nuclear program, challenges and opportunities regarding its spent fuel management, perceptions of Japan's nonproliferation credibility, and options for moving forward. A few salient themes emerged: 1.Japan's fuel cycle plans for decades assumed nuclear energy would continue to flourish in Japan. Today, Japan needs to explore tools and measures to consume current excess plutonium and decide on the future of recycling of plutonium. 2.The need for flexibility in planning Japan's nuclear energy future is both pragmatic and understandable but emphasizing flexibility could be interpreted as unwillingness to deviate from established pathways despite drastically changed circumstances [csis.org] » November 28 2014 - Gas, Russia, China, Western Route Pipeline Corridor, Geopolitics. A Nov. 9 framework agreement for another large gassupply deal between OAO Gazprom and China National Petroleum Corp. remains far from concluded but "reinforces the notion of a growing relationship between energy-hungry China and energy-export-dependent Russia," according to analysts at the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS), Washington, DC. Unlike the Gazprom-CNPC agreement signed in May, the new memorandum of understanding is based on the long-planned and geopolitically significant "western route," [...] Signing of the MOU followed a meeting between Presidents Vladimir Putin of Russia and Xi Jinping of China during a summit of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation leaders in Beijing. The western route is based on a 2,600-km pipeline that would carry gas from a compressor station south of Novy Urengoi in the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Okrug along an existing pipeline corridor and across Russia's Republic of Altai to the Chinese border. Under the new MOU, Gazprom would supply 30 billion cu m/year of West Siberian gas to northwest China for 30 years, starting in 2019. The earlier agreement, still under negotiation, is for 38 billion cu m/year of East Siberian gas for 30 years starting after 2018 [ogj.com] » November 28 2014 - Renewable energy, PV, China. A 20MW rooftop solar project has been completed at Asia Pulp & Paper Group's (APP) Gold HongYe Mill in Suzou, China, creating one of the world's largest rooftop solar installations. The panels cover approximately 300,000 square meters – the equivalent of 42 football pitches. The installation consists of ten thousand panels installed across the 12 production buildings, warehouses and administrative buildings of the mill. It is anticipated that the solar project will produce approximately 20 million KWh – enough to power 6,000 homes in the local area [asiapulppaper.com] » November 28 2014 - Energy Security, EU, Russia, U.S. LNG Exports, Gas Southern Corridor, South Stream. In the new energy security war, Europe has the upper hand over Russia, say top US officials. Concerns about energy security have shot to the top of the political agenda in Europe. But the US has no intention of letting the EU down. "The United States will be working with the EU to develop a plan for the mid- to longterm evolution of a more energy-secure future", said US Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz at a conference of the Atlantic Council in Istanbul. At this summit, top US officials and energy experts showed themselves surprisingly positive about the progress the EU has made reducing its dependence on Russia. "A few years ago, we couldn't have solved the Ukrainian problem. Now we can." With US LNG exports under way, the "monumental" Southern Corridor under construction, and Gazprom's South Stream project increasingly under pressure, Europe's position will only get stronger [energypost.eu] » November 28 2014 - Renewable and Distributed Energy Resources, Smart Grid, Smart Cities, Japan. Japan, the 6th International Conference on the Integration of Renewable and Distributed Energy Resources. [...] Industry, government and academia created the conference to develop and deploy technologies for grid connection of renewable energy and distributed energy sources, smart communities and smart grids. Discussions covered standards, modeling and simulation, end-user energy management systems and lessons learned from large project demonstrations [...] the Sharp Sakai factory, the largest solar photovoltaic manufacturing facility in Japan. The automation and product innovation at the facility were impressive [...] Sumitomo Electric's redox flow battery system, micro smart-grid demonstration system and concentrator photovoltaic technology. Sumitomo is a manufacturer of products used for power transmission, distribution and storage. [...] Hitachi and a site visit to Kashiwa-No-Ha Smart City, A New Vision for the Cities of Tomorrow. The city is a public-private-academic partnership to create support for new industries as well as the health and longevity of its citizens. They have focused on a system that uses photovoltaics, storage battery facilities, wind power generation and a gas-powered generator (for emergency use) to optimize energy use while reducing environmental impact. The city also provides business and continuity plans for emergency support in the event of a power outage [breakingenergy.com] » November 28 2014 - Fossil Fuel, Energy Policy, U.S.. Fossil-fueled Republicanism: what to expect from the new US Congress. While more and more people around the world are coming to recognize the need for restraints on fossil fuel consumption, the new Republican-dominated Congress will lead the United States in the opposite direction, writes Michael Klare, author of many books and articles on energy policy. Klare outlines the energy policies the Republicans in Congress are likely to pursue and explains what is behind their fervent commitment to oil and gas. In an introduction to Klare’s essay, author and editor Tom Engelhardt notes a silver lining to the climate cloud: he believes the 2016 presidential elections may usher in a “tectonic transformation” in US energy policy [energypost.eu] » November 28 2014 - Low carbon technologies, GHG emission reductions, Joint Crediting Mechanism (JCM), Japan, Viet Nam. Call for public inputs on a JCM proposed methodology (Viet Nam) "Waste heat recovery for electricity generation": The proposed methodology was submitted to the secretariat of the the Joint Committee for the JCM between Viet Nam and Japan on 18 November 2014. The secretariat conducted the completeness check on the submission and the submission was deemed complete. The secretariat makes the proposed methodology publicly available for public inputs in line with subsection 1.4.3. of the Joint Crediting Mechanism Project Cycle Procedure [jcm.go.jp] » November 28 2014 - Oil Prices, Opec, Shale Industry, U.S. OPEC policy on crude production will ensure a crash in the U.S. shale industry, a Russian oil tycoon said. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries kept output targets unchanged at a meeting in Vienna [...] even after this year's slump in the oil price caused by surging supply from U.S shale fields. American producers risk becoming victims of their own success. At today's prices of just over $70 a barrel, drilling is close to becoming unprofitable for some explorers, Leonid Fedun, vice president and board member at OAO Lukoil (LKOD), said in an interview in London [bloomberg.com] » November 27 2014 - Renewable Energy, Energy Market, Latin America, IDB Working Paper. Study on the Development of the Renewable Energy Market in Latin America and the Caribbean. The region of Latin America and the Caribbean is already a global low-carbon leader in terms of power generation from hydrological and biomass resources, and it recently has made great strides in developing its other renewable energy sources. Declining costs, maturing technologies, and vast untapped potentials for renewables offer an unprecedented opportunity for further development of the renewable energy market in the region. Continuing to invest in renewables will provide Latin America and the Caribbean with the opportunity to address key economic, social, and environmental challenges in the energy sector. Renewables are increasingly the most economic option for new generation capacity, especially for countries that depend on fuel oil for power generation, such as many in Central America and the Caribbean. Resource advantages give the region the potential to match or even undercut the lowest costs achieved in other parts of the world. Low-cost financing and the scaling up of local industries are important keys to realizing that potential [worldwatch.org] » November 27 2014 - Energy Policy, Climate Change, Unburnable Carbon, Stranded Assets, Carbon Bubble, COP-20 Side-Event. Unburnable carbon in the context of the future energy system. The concepts of 'unburnable carbon', 'stranded assets' and a 'carbon bubble' have been promoted by a number of groups, gaining the attention of investors, academics and the media. This session on unburnable carbon will explore some of the arguments and assumptions involved in these concepts and put them into a wider perspective of the future energy system, and the role of mitigation technologies such as CCS, recognizing the importance that oil and gas bring to modern living standards and economic growth. Saturday, December 6, 2014 - 11:45 - 13:30, IETA Pavilion, Lima, Peru [ipieca.org] » November 26 2014 - Gas, Trans Adriatic Pipeline AG (TAP), EU, Greece, Albania. Trans Adriatic Pipeline AG (TAP) has issued its next Invitations to Tender (ITT) for compressor stations in Greece and Albania. TAP is issuing two separate ITTs - one for Greece and one for Albania. In Greece, the ITT will cover the provision of engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning of one compressor station at Kipoi. In Albania, the ITT is for the provision of engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning of one compressor station at Fier, and one metering station at Billisht. The metering station is designed to measure natural gas coming from the Greek section of TAP. Design and specification for the compressor stations is in line with TAP's initial capacity of 10bcm per annum - gas transported from Shah Deniz II to Europe - with a possibility to expand that capacity up to 20bcm per annum [tap-ag.com] » November 26 2014 - Oil and Gas, Shale, Financial Returns, Oil Prices, U.S.. Conventional oil and gas projects have traditionally followed a pattern of exploration, large up-front capital investment, and staged asset development in pursuit of long-term financial returns. It has historically been less expensive to drill in new production than to increase the efficiency of underperforming assets. The world, however, has changed. The number and size of new discoveries worldwide has been declining steadily since the 1960s. Combined with a growing focus on short-term profitability, investors are forcing the upstream industry to demonstrate increasingly rapid production, with immediate positive cash flow, from more expensive and technically challenging resource plays. This article considers the ramifications of that investment climate on the US unconventional oil and gas market. Independent US producers will spend $1.50 for every dollar earned from shale operations in 2014. Forbes notes that many shale plays are "balanced on the knife-edge of profitability," and extremely sensitive to downward trends in oil prices. In addition, the US Bureau of Economic Geology cautions that many shale investments are being buoyed by liquid-rich production that is effectively (and unsustainably) subsidizing shale gas. Although some recent evidence points to an increasing profitability trend, it relies on increasing economies of scale (volumes), which in turn demands increasing capital investment. Operational efficiency is offered as a solution to this problem. [ogfj.com] » November 26 2014 - Coal, Climate Change, China. [...] China's recent decree that the country will never consume more than 4.2 billion metric tons of coal per year, the action following a historic agreement with the U.S. to begin to combat climate change. Already, caps on the amount of coal a given locality can burn seem to have dropped coal's share of total energy in China for the first time in the 21st century, though overall it has tripled since 2000. "The vast majority of China's CO2 emissions are a result of coal combustion," said Jake Schmidt, director of the Natural Resources Defense Council's international program at the CEF event. If the central government's cap is achieved, then China's carbon dioxide emissions would never top 12 billion metric tons per year or so-up from roughly 10 billion metric tons per year as of now. Already, China's coal burning alone accounts for 20 percent of the entire world's CO2 pollution [...] To achieve such a halt in coal consumption, China will have to build as much wind, solar, nuclear and hydropower in the next 10 years as it has built coal-fired power plants in the last 10 years-as much as 1000 gigawatts worth of alternatives to coal, also including natural gas, whether pipelined from Russia or fracked out of the country's own shale deposits. And even if that dream is realized, an International Energy Agency analysis suggests such a build out, though possible, is not sufficient to slow rising coal consumption unless China's economic or electricity use growth also slow significantly. To truly get China's CO2 pollution problem under control will require yet more technology, such as CO2 capture and storage, to clean up the emissions from existing coal-fired power plants. [blogs.scientificamerican.com] » November 26 2014 - Coal, Oil and Gas, Stop Investing, Sovereign Wealth Fund, Investments. Norway's largest pension fund has vowed to drop its holdings in coal miners, intensifying pressure on the coal industry from global investors. The NKr470bn ($70bn) KLP pension scheme, which manages the retirement assets of Norway's public sector workers, will blacklist companies that derive more than 50 per cent of their revenues from coal-based activities. The pension fund expects the withdrawal to lead to the sale of shares and bonds worth approximately NKr500m. It will publish a list of the companies affected on December 1. KLP's decision to drop coal companies follows similar moves in the past two months by Australia's biggest public sector pension scheme, Local Government Super, the second Swedish national pension fund, AP2, and the Rockefeller Foundation. These investors join a list of more than 800 institutions that have committed to reducing their exposure to coal and other fossil fuel-driven companies over concerns that governmental action to combat climate change has made these investments more risky [FinancialTimes.com] » November 26 2014 - China-US Climate Deal, Big Fossil Fuel Loss Revenue, Citigroup Report. Citigroup says the impact of the China-US climate deal signed earlier this month could total $US3.9 trillion ($A4.5 trillion) - that's the loss in revenue for Big Oil and Big Coal over the next 15 years from the joint undertaking on greenhouse gas emissions by the world's two biggest economies. And in a stinging rebuke to the fossil fuel lobby, the Abbott government and conservative commentators, Citigroup analysts say that a carbon price in Australia is inevitable, suggests thermal coal is on a permanent decline, and that investments in infrastructure surrounding the Galilee basin contain significant risk. It questions the viability of many oil projects, expresses doubt about carbon capture and storage, and punctures the big marketing ploy of Big Coal happily echoed by the Abbott government - that coal is the answer to energy poverty, by saying that it will a strategy of "anything but coal" [reneweconomy.com.au] » November 26 2014 - Climate Policy, North-South Divide, UNFCCC, Geopolitics, CP Article. Since 2009, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) regime has seen the emergence of several new political groups. This article analyses how the new political groups are positioning themselves in relation to the key UNFCCC principles (the North–South divide and 'common but differentiated responsibility and respective capabilities', CBDR/RC). Drawing on original data, including official statements and submissions, observations at COP 17, COP 18, COP 19, and interviews with delegates, the article analyses the BASIC group (Brazil, South Africa, India and China), the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF), the Cartagena Dialogue for Progressive Action (CD), the Durban Alliance (DA), the Like-Minded Developing Countries (LMDC), and the Association of Independent Latin American and Caribbean States (AILAC). Modelled after Hendrik Wagenaar's approach to narrative policy analysis, the article draws a map of narrative positions based on the North–South and new CBDR/RC divisions. This framework reveals the embeddedness of narratives in practice as they unfold in the formation of new political groups. CVF, CD, DA and AILAC align on a narrative of 'shared responsibility across the North–South divide'. This meta-narrative challenges the hitherto dominant notion of CBDR/RC, which BASIC and LMDC defend through a meta-narrative of 'differentiated responsibility upholding the North–South divide' [tandfonline.com] » November 25 2014 - Renewable Energy, PV, Oil Corporations, Japan. JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corp., a Japanese refiner, plans to build four solar power stations in the country. The company will build a 2.5-megawatt station in Akita, a 2-megawatt plant in Ibaraki, a 1.1-megawatt plant in Saitama and a 1.3-megawatt plant in Hiroshima, according to a statement today. No financial terms were disclosed. The company already has 10 solar stations either in operation or under construction with a combined capacity of 28 megawatts in Japan, according to the statement [bnef.com] » November 25 2014 - Gas, South Stream, Russia, EU. The construction work on the South Stream gas pipeline is continuing as planned, Head of the Russian Energy Ministry's oil and gas production and transportation department Alexander Gladkov stated Monday. "The work continues as planned, the prospects for the pipeline are not bad, we have agreements with the Serbs, and several other countries," Gladkov said at a press conference at Rossiya Segodnya International Information Agency. Gazprom's Head of relations with Russian authorities Vladimir Markov confirmed that the South Stream construction is being carried out with minimal delays. He noted that Bulgaria remains the only country that has decided to suspend its participation in the project. Moscow hopes that work on the South Stream gas pipeline will continue after elections are over in Bulgaria and the European Union renews the European Commission. Moscow Hopes Bulgaria to Continue South Stream Project After Polls [...] Russian energy giant Gazprom started building the South Stream gas pipeline across the Black Sea in 2012 in order to reduce the unreliable passage of Russian natural gas to central and southern Europe through Ukraine. The pipeline is expected to be fully operational by 2018 [sputniknews.com] » November 25 2014 - Climate Change, Impacts, world Bank Report. Some future impacts of climate change, such as more extremes of heat and sea level rise, are unavoidable even if governments act fast to cut greenhouse gas emissions, the World Bank said on Sunday. Past and predicted emissions from power plants, factories and cars have locked the globe on a path towards an average temperature rise of almost 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial times by 2050, it said. "This means that climate change impacts such as extreme heat events may now be simply unavoidable," World Bank President Jim Yong Kim told a telephone news conference on the report, titled "Turn down the Heat, Confronting the New Climate Normal." "The findings are alarming," he said. Sea levels would keep rising for centuries because vast ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica thaw only slowly. If temperatures stayed at current levels, seas would rise 2.3 metres (7 ft 6 in) in the next 2,000 years, the report said. Average temperatures have already risen by about 0.8 degree(1.4F) since the Industrial Revolution, it said [reuters.com] » November 24 2014 - Climate Change, Climate Finance, Low-Carbon Development, Climatepolicyinitiative Report. In December 2015, countries will gather in Paris to finalize a new global agreement to tackle climate change. Decisions about how to unlock finance in support of developing countries' low-carbon and climate-resilient development will be a central part of the talks. But key questions about how to finance the larger, global transition, will remain largely unresolved. These include, how much climate finance is needed around the world to deliver low-carbon energy systems and climate-resilience? How much investment is already flowing? Who are the key actors? And what is the optimal balance between public and private resources? The Global Landscape of Climate Finance 2014 supports serious debate on these key questions by drawing together climate finance data from numerous sources to present policy makers with the most comprehensive information available about the scale, key actors, instruments, recipients, and uses of finance supporting climate change mitigation and adaptation outcomes. In 2013, annual global climate finance flows totaled approximately USD 331 billion, falling USD 28 billion below 2012 levels [climatepolicyinitiative.org] » November 24 2014 - Oil and Gas, Eastern Mediterranean, Turkey, Greece, Geopolitics. Greece, Turkey at odds over fuel reserves in Mediterranean [...] Concern is growing in the United States and Europe that the energy-rich eastern Mediterranean will become a new hot spot near an already-volatile region: the Middle East. Tension first flared last month when Turkey, at political odds with most of its regional neighbors, including Israel, Cyprus and Egypt, sent a research vessel and two frigates into disputed waters south of war-divided Cyprus to chart natural gas deposits as part of a naval exercise in the eastern Mediterranean. The Greek Cypriot government, which Ankara, the Turkish capital, refuses to recognize after seizing the island's northern Turkish enclave in a 1974 invasion, suspended United Nations-sponsored reunification talks in retaliation [...] "The region is a gold mine, an El Dorado of oil and gas. The greater area has a capacity of about 500 trillion cubic feet, when Canada, the U.S. and Mexico together have 350 tcf" [latimes.com] » November 24 2014 - Climate Change, Emissions Tranding System, Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan ETS Database, new data concern the second phase (2014-15) of the Kazakh cap-and-trade programme, with information on new installations as well as carbon allowance allocations for the years 2014 and 2015. 166 companies, emitting a total of around 150 MtCO2. Kazakhstan is the first country in Asia to have implemented an economy-wide emissions trading scheme. The Kazakhstan's emissions trading scheme started on 1 January 2013 and covers 55% of the country's total greenhouse gas emissions. It currently includes 166 companies from the following sectors: power and heat production, coal mining, oil and gas extraction, chemical industry, metallurgy, cement industry and other process industries. The 178 companies participating to the first phase of the scheme emitted in 2010 a total of 147 million tCO2. The overall objective is a 15% emissions reduction below 1992 levels by 2020 [carbonmarketdata.com] » November 24 2014 - World Energy Outlook, Birol (IEA) presentation, Live Now at CSIS. The CSIS Energy and National Security Program is pleased to welcome Fatih Birol, Chief Economist at the International Energy Agency (IEA), to present the IEA's 2014 World Energy Outlook. The global energy landscape is evolving at a rapid pace, reshaping long-held expectations for our energy future. Dr. Birol will help shed light on the rapidly evolving global energy landscape, presenting the WEO's comprehensive analysis of medium- and longer- term energy trends. This year’s edition of the WEO also has a special focus on the outlook for nuclear power and its implications, and an in-depth study of sub-Saharan Africa, highlighting the prospects for improving access to modern energy services and for developing the region's huge resource potential in a way that contributes not only to regional and global energy balances, but also to local and social well-being [csis.org] » November 24 2014 - Energy Security, World Countries Ranking, UK, WEC Report. Experts have put the UK on a watch list over concerns about the security and cost of its energy supplies, despite scoring highly in global rankings. The UK is only one of three countries to achieve an AAA rating in a report on 129 countries from the World Energy Council and management consultants Oliver Wyman for security, affordability and sustainability of energy supplies. But it is sliding in two out of the three areas the World Energy Council assesses in its latest World Energy Trilemma report, which looks at how countries balance having secure, equitable and clean energy resources. The report finds that energy systems are under increasing strain and governments are limiting their spending, putting in jeopardy the £30tn the World Energy Council said the energy sector needs over the next 20 years [theguardian.com] » November 23 2014 - Oil and Gas, Iran. Iran Oil Ministry has given priority to commissioning of all phases of South Pars field which is shared by Qatar [...] by the end of the 5th Five-Year Development in 2018, national oil production capacity should reach 5.2 million barrels per day from present 4.2 million bpd [irna.ir] » November 23 2014 - Oil and Gas, China, Geopolitics. CNPC (China's largest oil and gas producer)-Myanmar Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). According to the MOU, CNPC and Myanmar Ministry of Energy will strengthen communication in energy policies, technology, oil and gas projects and trade, in order to seek for more cooperation opportunities to promote the development of Myanmar's oil and gas industry. The two sides will deepen cooperation in oil and gas exploration and development, refining, and chemicals, and carry out preliminary studies on natural gas utilization and refinery construction projects. Meanwhile, CNPC will provide more skill training for Myanmar employees, and gradually raise the localization rate to create more jobs for the local communities [cnpc.com.cn] » November 21 2014 - Oil Prices, Global Economy, Geopolitics. Falling oil prices from a peak of more than US$125 per barrel in early 2012 to US$80 in October 2014 appear to reflect a weakening global economy in Europe, the US and China. Coal and gas prices have dropped significantly too, while spot LNG prices on the Asia-Pacific market have halved since February 2014 from US$20 million British thermal units (mBtu) to US$10 by summer [...] The 30 per cent drop in oil prices between June and October 2014 appears temporary and confirmation of previous assumptions of more volatile global oil and gas markets, dependent on a return to a growing world economy. But this overlooks other fundamental factors and new strategic developments determining the world's oil and gas markets which could be more important and may have a longer-lasting impact. They highlight the shifting geopolitics caused by technological innovation linked with horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing known as 'fracking', and seismic surveying technology leading to America's shale oil and gas revolution [worldreview.info] » November 21 2014 - Energy Policy, Eu, Energy Transition. The Five Energy Labours of Juncker. The new team heading the European Commission in Brussels is lucky. Its predecessors closed two sensitive deals before the reshuffle: a European energy and climate strategy for 2030 and a gas winter package between Ukraine and Russia. On top of that, outgoing Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger finished off a thick report on the way forward for a European energy market. The new Commission will follow up on these three dossiers, plus two more dreamt up by its new chief Jean-Claude Juncker: the so-called Energy Union and a €300 billion investment package [iea.org] » November 21 2014 - Climate Change, Low-Carbon Energy, IEA Document. The International Energy Agency (IEA) laid out five actions needed over the short- and long-term to achieve a low-carbon energy sector, and proposed concrete options for their implementation in the international climate negotiations to be held next month in Lima, Peru. A list of these options is included in the IEA document The Way Forward: Five Key Actions to Achieve a Low-Carbon Energy Sector [iea.org] » November 21 2014 - Climate Change, Emissions, UNEP Report. 2014 Emissions gap report. This fifth Emissions Gap report has a different focus from previous years. While it updates the 2020 emissions gap analysis, it gives particular attention to the implications of the global carbon dioxide emissions budget for staying within the 2 °C limit beyond 2020. It does so because countries are giving increasing attention to where they need to be in 2025, 2030 and beyond. Furthermore, this year's update of the report benefits from the findings on the emissions budget from the latest series of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports [unep.org] » November 21 2014 - Climate Change, Green Climate Fund. The Green Climate Fund is designed to help poor nations adapt to climate extremes like droughts and floods and to buy low-carbon energy sources. Rich nations previously vowed that by 2020, developing countries would get $100bn (£64bn) a year from such a fund. The Berlin conference aims to create a focus that will embarrass governments to come forward with contributions. The Green Climate Fund (GCF) is supposed to hold at least $10bn by the end of 2014. The US has pledged $3bn, Japan has offered $1.5bn, and France and Germany have also offered significant sums. It is thought that the UK will pledge around $1bn from existing aid budgets [bbc.com] » November 21 2014 - Tight-Oil, U.S., Oil Prices, IHS Report. The vast majority of potential US tight-oil production growth remains economical in the current crude oil price environment, according to a recent report by IHS. About 80% of potential gross US tight-oil capacity additions in 2015 would remain resilient at West Texas Intermediate prices dropped to $70/bbl, the report said. IHS examined the outlook for US tight-oil growth in light of the recent drop in oil prices, which have fallen by nearly a third since summer. IHS estimates 2015 US tight-oil production growth at about 700,000 b/d at an average 2015 price of $77/bbl. Though this would represent a slowdown from 2014 tight oil-growth of more than 1 million b/d, the amount of growth remains significant, the report said. "Since 2008 the cumulative growth in US tight-oil production has been 3.5 million b/dfar exceeding supply gains from the rest of the world combined-making tight oil the key driver of global supply growth," said Jim Burkhard, vicepresident, IHS Energy. The report notes that existing tight-oil production is unaffected by the recent drop in oil prices. "Since the highest level of production costs occurs during the initial development phase of a well, existing wells can remain economical at crude oil prices far below the breakeven price for new production," IHS noted. "Lower crude oil prices have a greater potential to affect supply growth because new wells require significant investment before production begins. In the initial months of production, the oil price is critical to determining the profitability of a new tight oil well," [ogj.com] » November 20 2014 - Climate Change, Adaptation, UNFCCC Report. UNFCCC Adaptation Committee publishes 2014 Thematic Report: Institutional arrangements for national adaptation planning and implementation. The Adaptation Committee report, 2014, aims to raise awareness of the importance of institutional arrangements for adaptation. It highlights current arrangements and explores options to strengthen arrangements for the future. This report is second in a series of annual thematic reports prepared under the work plan of the Adaptation Committee to provide information on adaptation to Parties and the broader international adaptation community. [...] The 2014 report specifies a number of measures for institutions to enhance adaptation action through the concept of the four "I"s to adapt: integration, involvement, information, and investment. Recommendations to improve institutional arrangements are provided by the Adaptation Committee based on this concept [unfccc.int] » November 20 2014 - Oil, U.S., Canada, Keyston XL Pipeline. US Senate votes no to Keystone XL construction. A bill to approve TransCanada's Keystone XL Pipeline, which would transport crude oil from Canada to the USA, has been rejected in the United States Senate. The Senate website states the legislation failed to pass the Senate by a 59 to 41 vote, with 60 votes needed for passage. Last week, the House of Representatives approved an identical bill authorising construction of the pipeline in a 252-161 vote [pipelinesinternational.com] » November 20 2014 - Coal, Renewable Energy, Gas, Turkey, Economic Growth, BNEF-ECF-WWFT Report. The government of Turkey could achieve its aims of expanding electricity supply to meet the needs of a growing economy, and reducing dependence on imported natural gas, without adopting the coal-led strategy laid out in its official plans. Analysis from research company Bloomberg New Energy Finance, funded by the European Climate Foundation and commissioned by WWF-Turkey [...], shows that an alternative approach – based on building up generation capacity in renewables such as wind, solar and hydro-electric - could be achieved at comparable costs while also benefiting Turkey's environment and reducing its dependence on fossil fuel imports. The study found that it would cost almost the same (around $400bn) to build up and run Turkey's electricity generation to meet the growth in power demand between now and 2030, whether the capacity gap is closed with a mix of domestic lignite resources and hard coal or with investment in a mix of clean energy technologies. The latter approach would take advantage of expected significant reductions in the levelised cost of electricity per MWh for both solar photovoltaics and wind over the next decade and a half [Bloomberg New Energy Finance.com] » November 20 2014 - Shale, U.S.. Oil Prices. With crude at $75 a barrel, the price Goldman Sachs Group Inc. says will be the average in the first three months of next year, 19 U.S. shale regions are no longer profitable, according to data compiled by Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Those areas, which include parts of the Eaglebine and Eagle Ford in East and South Texas, pumped about 413,000 barrels a day, according to the latest data available from Drillinginfo Inc. and company presentations. That compares with the 1.03 million-barrel gain in daily national output over the past year, government figures show. The expansion of U.S. oil supply to more than 9 million barrels a day is contributing to a global glut, driving down prices by as much as 32 percent since June. The data compiled by BNEF, which take into account the costs of drilling, royalties and transportation, show that certain shale patches fail to make money at the current price. Companies such as SandRidge Energy Inc. and Goodrich Petroleum Corp. said they expect to pump more oil for less money so they can withstand the rout [energyvoice.com] » November 19 2014 - Energy Security, Global Energy Economy, Global Energy Governance, Geopolitics, Paper. Certain Normative Aspects of the Institutional Architecture of Global Energy Governance. The objective of this chapter is to promote global energy security by evaluating the existing patchwork of institutions and processes linked to the governance of the global energy economy. What we mean by global energy security is the satisfaction of humankind’s energy needs to maintain lifestyle levels in the developed world and to promote development and improve the quality of life across the world, including least-developed and developing countries. The chapter focuses on the global energy economy, its fragmented governance and its implications for global energy security. Inter-State governance over the global energy economy is neither global nor cohesive. Rather, the various aspects pertinent to it – amongst others, economic development, climate change, trade, investment protection, finance and human security – are managed in a disparate and disjointed manner. What is more, the absence of a global energy security regime to address global – i.e., humankind’s collective – energy needs justifies the need to investigate the implications of the current state of play for global energy security. To do so, we will examine all relevant institutions and processes linked to the global energy economy in order to assess their individual and combined implications for global energy security. This chapter therefore aims to promote an understanding of, and an attitude towards, the global energy economy that acknowledges that it is a composite affair with a high degree of interplay between its constituent parts, and that there are systemic reasons why the current state of play fails to address global energy security needs [R. Leal-Arcas, Queen Mary University of London - School of Law, A. Filis Queen Mary, University of London] » November 19 2014 - G20, Brisbane, Energy. Brisbane G20, Strengthening Energy Markets. Well-functioning energy markets and reliable supply are vital to keeping down the cost of living for households and the cost of doing business. The global energy landscape has changed dramatically in recent decades. According to the International Energy Agency, global energy demand is expected to increase by over one-third by 2035 and the patterns of supply and demand are changing. Emerging economies have become major players and the balance of energy trade has shifted towards the Asia/Pacific region. Emerging economies are expected to account for more than 90 per cent of growth in energy demand to 2035. In 2014, the G20 is talking about what it can do to improve the operation of global energy markets (including gas markets), and to deepen collaboration between developed and emerging economies (including by improving international energy institutions). G20 members are also exploring how they can work together to acheive better outcomes on energy efficiency. The G20 continues its work to enhance the transparency of energy markets and to phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption [g20.org] » November 19 2014 - Energy, Low Carbon Technologies, IEA Insigths Paper. Mapping Multilateral Collaboration on Low-Carbon Energy Technologies. IEA analyses have consistently highlighted that low-carbon energy technologies have a crucial role to play in addressing current global challenges on energy security, sustainability and access. Recent years have seen a considerable increase in the number and range of multilateral initiatives seeking to foster the deployment of low-carbon energy technologies, yet the respective mandates, areas of activity and interactions of these initiatives are not always clear. This Insights Paper seeks to respond to that information gap. The paper summarises existing efforts to map multilateral collaboration on low-carbon energy technologies and sets out a basic analytical framework for characterising the mandate and institutional features, membership, technological scope, activities of and interactions among such initiatives. It then applies this common framework to a mapping of all relevant initiatives and concludes by exploring opportunities for research in this field [iea.org] » November 19 2014 - Climate Change, Gas, Coal, Emissions, U.S. Clean Power Plan, CSIS Report. Remaking American Power. Remaking American Power seeks to help inform federal and state policymakers, energy producers, investors, and consumers about the potential energy market impacts of state and federal policy decisions associated with the Clean Power Plan as proposed. The report outlines the potential electric power sector and broader energy market impacts of policy design options and implementation choices by modeling the Clean Power Plan. In addition to mapping out the impacts on the electric power sector and consumers, the report also assesses the impact of the Clean Power Plan on potential changes in natural gas and coal production at the national and regional level [csis.org] » November 19 2014 - Gas, South Stream, EU, Russia, Geopolitics, Gazprom, Eni, Wintershall, EDF All preparations have been completed for the construction of the first two strings of the South Stream gas pipeline in the Black Sea, according to Gazprom. South Stream Transport has concluded front-end engineering and design activities for the offshore program, while Saipem is still working on detailed engineering of the trunkline system. Almost 300,000 tons of pipes have been produced for the first offshore string. Pipeline sections for the deepwater part are being welded in the port of Burgas, Bulgaria. The completed pipeline system is expected to reach its full capacity of 63 bcm/yr (2.2 tcf/yr) in 2018. South Stream Transport is a joint project company involving Gazprom (50%), Eni (20%), and Wintershall and EDF (15% each) [offshore-mag.com] » November 18 2014 - Climate Change, Green Climate Fund, U.S. The $3 billion U.S. Pledge for the Green Climate Fund: Is it a lot? The U.S. announcement of a pledge to the multilateral Green Climate Fund (GCF) was a carefully timed and important announcement about a change in the U.S. approach to acknowledging its responsibility for having contributed to this grave risk to the world’s poorest nations. But not in the way you might think. Suzanne Goldenberg first reported in the Guardian last Friday that the pledge would be $2.5 billion; Lisa Friedman then reported on ClimateWire that it would be $3 billion over 4 years. These sound like significant increases in U.S. climate finance. A fact sheet on the Whitehouse web page confirms the pledge and its conditions. But not so quick: the U.S. reported that it gave $7.5 billion in "Fast Start Finance" over the three years from 2010 to 2012. Yet when I joined my colleagues David Ciplet and Saleemul Huq in breaking down that number, we found that it was only about $5.1 billion in grants; the rest were loans that would need to be repaid, with interest, or "export credits," to American firms doing business in developing countries. And based on the U.S. having significantly contributed to global climate change and its unique monetary capability for solving it, the U.S.'s "fair share" was closer to $12 billion of the $30 billion the wealthy countries pledged back in Copenhagen in late 2009 [brookings.edu] » November 18 2014 - US LTO (light tight oil), Crude Export Ban. "As development and growth of US LTO (light tight oil) continues to impress the industry, there is concern over the ability of the US refining system to absorb this production," says Harold York, principal analyst, Americas Downstream, Midstream & Chemicals for Wood Mackenzie. York adds that policy makers need to catch-up with the development of US crude oil production for the nation to fully capture the benefits and potential, as easing crude oil export restrictions will have implications beyond the US oil industry. The US crude export ban is highly politically sensitive with limited overt calls from either Republicans or Democrats for its rescission. However, Wood Mackenzie emphasizes that three converging elements may move the political process to action: 1.Economic stimulus. Tight oil will account for over US$70 billion of investment spending in 2014, which is about 60% of total US upstream investment. [...] 2. Sanctioned 'leakage' already occurring. The Commerce Department's approval to allow exports of minimally processed crude/condensate is a sanctioning of exports [...] 3. Changed political landscape leading to compromise. The recent mid-term election results have left President Obama facing an opposition led, Republican congress for his remaining two years in office. Like predecessors in similar situations, most recently ex-President Clinton, President Obama may use this issue to work with Republicans to keep his legislative influence viable in the last two years of his term [ogfj.com] » November 18 2014 - Nuclear Power, Fuel Costs. This is the total annual cost associated with the "burnup" of nuclear fuel resulting from the operation of the unit. This cost is based upon the amortized costs associated with the purchasing of uranium, conversion, enrichment, and fabrication services along with storage and shipment costs, and inventory (including interest) charges less any expected salvage value. For a typical 1,000 MWe BWR or PWR, the approximate cost of fuel for one reload (replacing one third of the core) is about $40 million, based on an 18-month refueling cycle. The average fuel cost at a nuclear power plant in 2013 was 0.79 cents/kWh [nei.org] » November 18 2014 - Disaster Resilience, Recostruction Projects, Germany. Ten years ago, a powerful seaquake in the Indian Ocean triggered a series of devastating tsunamis that wreaked unprecedented damage along the region's coasts, killing over 230,000 people. In Indonesia alone, the death toll reached 165,000. German tourists were also among those killed. The disaster sparked an equally unprecedented global relief effort to provide aid for the survivors. Donations from Tagesspiegel readers alone came to EUR 565,000. The money was given to a Welthungerhilfe project in Sri Lanka. So, what has come of the reconstruction projects started back then, or of private initiatives or the long-term development cooperation programmes? Are the people living in the region better equipped to deal with future disasters? How useful are the new early warning systems? [giz.de] » November 18 2014 - Shale Oil, Oil Prices, U.S., Saudi Arabia, Geopolitics. The shale oil boom which returns 25 percent of the New Mexico State revenue is under "bust" threat from Saudi Arabia. The current price decline in both midland Texas light sweet crude and brent (world price) will begin to defer future projects if prices fall to $72 a barrel and below. An estimated 80 percent of production and projected production in the next five years requires price stability higher than $ 75 per barrel. Saudi Arabia is combining market share strategy with a world oversupply of crude oil. Oil producers in New Mexico are partially protected through cash flow hedges, which are crude barrels sold forward with prices established in futures (must be higher than present prices). However, no more than 50 percent of production is estimated to be hedged or protected in 2015. The other half must be sold at whatever the market (West Texas crude) price will be. An oil company can hedge 2016 production at $79.00 per barrel compared to the current hedge protection of $95. Decline ratios (rate of recovery after initial production) are high. Massive drilling of new wells for replacement is the economic challenge. At least half of the new shale or light sweet crude oil production from the Southwest to North Dakota through the Rocky Mountain energy corridor is at risk [daily-times.com] » November 18 2014 - Climate Change, Disaster Resilience, U.S., CSIS Report. Achieving Disaster Resilience in U.S. Communities. This report examines the disaster resilience efforts of the executive and legislative branches of government and public-private partnerships. Its recommendations are the product of a series of dialogues hosted by the CSIS Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Program and the Irene W. and C.B. Pennington Foundation. Reflecting thoughts, findings, and viewpoints gleaned from the series, the authors provide guidance for officials who want to make progress in bolstering planning, partnerships, and capabilities to address the real, localized, and oftentimes devastating effects of natural disasters [csis.org] » November 17 2014 - Oil, U.S. production. Crude oil and lease condensate production in the United States exceeded 8.6 million barrels per day (bbl/d) in August, a production volume not observed since July 1986, according to EIA's latest Petroleum Supply Monthly. More than half of total U.S. production was accounted for by record production from three basins in three states. Production from the Permian Basin in Texas and New Mexico accounted for 1.66 million bbl/d, while the Eagle Ford Shale in the Western Gulf Basin, also located in Texas, produced 1.57 million bbl/d. The Bakken Shale in North Dakota's Williston Basin accounted for 1.13 million bbl/d. Domestic production has increased dramatically over the past four years, increasing from 5.4 million bbl/d in January 2010 to its current level, driven by increasing production from shale and other tight formations. During 2014 alone, 10 states (the three states previously mentioned in addition to Oklahoma, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania) have set monthly production records since 1995, and accounted for more than 64% of total U.S. production during August [eia.gov] » November 17 2014 - Climate change, Brisbane G20. "Brisbane G20 may well become known as the 'defacto' climate change summit. "By calling for action powerful leaders - including President Obama and Prime Minister Cameron - put the issue front and centre of world attention. "The Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu pledged to make climate change a top priority for next year's G20. "Like inequality, gender equity and youth unemployment, climate change is one of the key economic issues of our time. [...] The official G20 Communique encourages these 20 economies – which are responsible for 80% of global greenhouse emissions – to reveal their post-2020 emission targets in the first half of 2015. "By tabling their proposed post-2020 carbon pollution targets in the first half of next year, and hopefully sooner, G20 nations will help to build trust and political momentum within the UN climate talks." "It’s clear the world is moving on climate change and we risk being left behind [...] WWF welcomed the announcements during the Summit of US$4.5 billion in funding for the Green Climate Fund by the United States of America and Japan. Missed opportunities. "The G20's so called action plan on energy efficiency is a big disappointment, representing little more than a commitment to keep on talking." Despite having a long-standing commitment to phase-out fossil fuel subsidies, the G20 failed to progress this issue in Brisbane in any meaningful way » November 17 2014 - Renewable Energy, Waters, Utilities, UE, Canada. RETScreen was recently integrated into the Water Assets Renewable Energy Solutions (WARES) project, an initiative under the auspices of the Northern Periphery Program of the European Union's European Regional Development Fund. The jus--completed WARES project focused on exploring and exploiting the hidden potential of water utilities to generate renewable energy. Project partners and sites were based in Finland, Ireland, Norway, and the United Kingdom [retscreen.net] » November 17 2014 - Energy, Ukraine, Geopolitcs. Now that Ukraine and Russia have agreed to natural gas supplies for this winter, what about Ukraine's energy supplies for the coming decades? Russia's annexation of Crimea and the intensifying conflict with Russian-backed separatists in Ukraine's eastern Donbass region are not only attacks on the country's territorial integrity - they put Ukraine's energy future in peril as well. Its offshore oil and gas resources are mostly near the Crimean peninsula, and much of its onshore resources are in the Donbass. Important energy investment projects are now on hold. Royal Dutch Shell and ExxonMobil have tabled negotiations on a $10 billion investment to develop the Skifska offshore gas field near Crimea. Shell has also put on hold its exploration activities in the Yuzivska shale gas field, which lies directly in the conflict area outside Donetsk [naturalgaseurope.com] » November 17 2014 - Oil, Kurdistan, Iraq. Kurdistan and the Iraqi central government have reached an important agreement over oil. Although the deal is only an interim agreement, leaving larger issues unresolved, the two sides forged a short-term compromise. The accord calls for the payment of $500 million from Baghdad to the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG). In return, the Kurds will turnover around half of their daily oil production - 150,000 barrels of oil per day. The two sides have been at an impasse since the beginning of the year. The KRG began exporting oil through Turkey without the approval from the central government in Baghdad. Under Iraqi law, oil must be exported under the auspices of a state-owned company. In retaliation for trying to sell oil on its own, Baghdad cut off the periodic revenue sharing payments to the KRG, which under Iraq's constitution, amounts to 17% of the national budget [oilprice.com] » November 17 2014 - Japan Strategic Energy Plan, Hydrogen Society. With the horrors of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident still vivid in people's minds, the contours of Japan's new energy strategy are becoming clearer. And the establishment of a 'hydrogen' society is likely to become a key pillar of Japan's energy future, writes Professor Dr Stefan Lippert. Since the disaster in March 2011, triggered after a tsunami in the east of the country, there remains scepticism about nuclear power among many in Japan. The country is still nuclear-free despite the efforts of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's administration and the 'nuclear village' - a group of pro-nuclear scientists, business executives, government bureaucrats and journalists - to shift the debate towards the economic necessity of restarting at least some of the nation's 48 remaining reactors. It is this public scepticism which is the key constraint because the ruling Liberal Democratic party does not want to lose votes in the 2016 general election due to unpopular measures. In April 2014, Japan produced its fourth Strategic Energy Plan, which put nuclear power back on the agenda, albeit at a reduced level. Nuclear is expected to become a baseload energy source - that which operates continuously - although Japan's record in renewables means that impressive results will continue. In the global solar race, only China moves faster than Japan. The development of wind energy has been much slower, but government and industry have high expectations for floating offshore wind platforms in deep water [worldreview.info] » November 15 2014 - Gas, Russia-China Deal, Geopolitics. The latest China-Russia gas deal, declared on the arrival of Russian President Vladimir Putin in Beijing this week, got far more attention than it deserved. Eager to add fuel to the narrative of an emerging strategic relationship between Beijing and Moscow, commentators pronounced the deal as a game-changer, a symbol of a new partnership between long-estranged countries. Yet, a look beyond the words of Russian gas executives (always a good idea) suggests that there is much more hype than substance here. The deal seems to be little more than an effort to ensure that Putin did not leave China empty-handed, particularly in the wake of a big U.S.-China declaration on climate. What, in fact, did Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping agree to? The memorandum of understanding they signed differs in some significant ways from the previous, major gas deal inked in May. In that deal, Moscow and Beijing agreed on the terms to deliver 38 billion cubic meters of natural gas a year from Russia's as-yet-undeveloped gas fields in eastern Siberia to the heavily populated eastern corridor of China. The new deal, in contrast, is not binding and lacks agreement on key elements, most notably price. The decade-long negotiations that preceded the May deal produced a handful of similar memorandums over the years, which became somewhat routine and merely suggestive of a continued intent to pursue the contours of a deal. It was not until Gazprom and the Chinese National Petroleum Corporation successfully tackled the issue of price that the May deal, worth $400 billion at the time, was finalized. With the issue of price outstanding, this week's agreement seems more like a political statement [belfercenter.ksg.harvard.edu] » November 15 2014 - Oil Markets, Oil Prices, IRAN. The Iranian regime is facing a deepening financial crisis as the price of crude oil plunges on international markets. The regime's budget deficit was reported by the state-run Ebtekar daily newspaper on November 8 issue as totalling 1.5 billion dollars. But economists believe the true figure is much higher. Hassan Rouhani, the president of the clerical regime, recently admitted that oil revenues had fallen by 30 per cent as the price of oil from $110 to $80 in October. Rouhani's vice-president Eshagh Jahangiri said: "Some countries have increased their oil exports for political reasons, and these countries will face the reaction of the Muslim people." The Iranian regime had calculated its budget for 2014 based on oil priced at $100 per barrel and oil exports of around 300,000 barrels per day. OPEC statistics to October show the average price of Iranian oil on the international market was $103 per barrel, but the price is now below $80 a barrel, and not expected to increase, dramatically worsening the regime's budget deficit [ncr-iran.org] » November 14 2014 - Oil Markets, Oil Prices, OPEC. Brent crude rose for the first time in a week amid speculation that the drop in prices below $80 a barrel increases the likelihood that OPEC will cut production. West Texas Intermediate was little changed in New York. Futures gained as much as 1.4 percent in London. OPEC producers have stepped up their diplomatic visits before the group's meeting in two weeks, potentially seeking a consensus on how to react to oil prices that have plunged to a four-year low. Prices could slide further in the coming months as the market enters a period of weaker demand, the IEA said today. Oil has collapsed into a bear market as leading members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries resisted calls to cut production and U.S. shale boom lifted output to the highest level in three decades. Brent is heading for its eighth weekly decline, the longest retreat since the contract began trading in 1988 [fuelfix.com] » November 14 2014 - Oil and Gas, OPEC, Sustainable Energy Solution, Secretary General contributes to G20 Summit. With the world's population expected to reach more than 8.6 billion by 2035 - an increase of around 1.4 billion from today's level – and energy demand anticipated to expand by more than 50 per cent over the same period, the need to find sustainable energy solutions is profound. And in the search for solutions, it is important to appreciate what 'sustainable energy' means to people across the world. It is clear it means different things to different people [...] From the perspective of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), its members continue to invest in order to maintain existing capacity and add new oil production. OPEC's projections see oil demand rising by around 20 million barrels per day during the period from now to 2035, with OPEC expected to supply slightly more than 50 per cent of this increase. It is committed to making sure there is a balanced market between supply and demand. However, like any investment, supply and demand will be influenced by various factors - such as policies, oil prices and overall economic conditions. This leads to the second challenge concerning the importance of a sustainable and efficient energy future that takes into account the needs of all. Climate change, the need to protect the environment and the more efficient use of energy are obviously serious issues. This is something OPEC fully recognises. OPEC members have positively and constructively engaged in the United Nations' climate change negotiations and are committed to achieving an effective and comprehensive outcome based on full consensus – one that fully complies with the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change [g20.newsdeskmedia.com] » November 14 2014 - Natural Gas, U.S., Export Restictions. As America's oil and natural gas production continues to grow, more consumers, groups and lawmakers are calling for the repeal of the nearly 40-year old ban on exporting U.S. oil and gas overseas. Some supporters of the repeal have come together to form the group Producers for American Crude Oil Exports (PACE), and according to PACE Executive Director George Baker, the purpose of the venture is to boost public awareness regarding the need to better align Washington, D.C.'s policies with America's current position, reported FuelFix.com. The group has registered as a lobbying effort, as is required by law, and its paperwork shows it is financially backed by 14 independent oil companies, including ConocoPhillips, Marathon Oil, Noble Energy, Anadarko Petroleum, Chesapeake Energy, Concho Resources, EOG Resources, Hess, Laredo Petroleum, Continental Resources, Devon Energy, Pioneer Natural Resources, Ecana Oil and Gas and Occidental Petroleum. These companies have a combined market capitalization of $441 billion, according to FuelFix. Not the first lobbying group on the issue. The creation of PACE follows the formation of Consumers and Refiners United for Domestic Energy (CRUDE), which filed as a lobbying group earlier in the year. CRUDE advocates keeping American oil in the U.S. and directly counters the efforts of PACE. CRUDE, which was founded by Philadelphia Energy Services, Monro Energy, PBF Energy and Alon USA Energy Inc., believes exporting oil overseas will hurt the U.S.'s ability become energy independent, according to FuelFix [pennenergy.com] » November 14 2014 - World Energy System, Events Risk and Stress, Geopolitics, IEA's WEO 2014. Five take-home messages from the IEA's World Energy Outlook 2014. Current events risk distracting governments "from recognising and tackling the longer-term signs of stress that are emerging in the energy system" says the International Energy Agency (IEA) in its latest World Energy Outlook (WEO) 2014 unveiled on 12 November in London. Just like a year ago, it warns that long-term oil supplies are far from secure, with the Middle East re-establishing itself as the main supplier in the long-term. Moreover, while low-carbon sources (renewables and nuclear) may provide a quarter of global energy supplies by 2040, the world is still set for a 3.6 degree temperature rise. Energy Post sets out five take-home messages, including from special sections on nuclear power and sub-Saharan Africa: 1) Long-term oil supplies are not secure; 2) The world is still on track to 3.6 degrees warming; 3) Emerging economies are in the driving seat; 4) Nuclear power faces an uncertain future; 5) Fossil fuel consumption subsidies do not help the poor [energypost.eu] » November 14 2014 - Renewable Energy, PV, South Africa. With seven of the world's fastest growing economies located in Africa, it should not be a surprise that the continent's energy demands will only surge in the coming decade. Hence plenty of opportunities exist for clean energy companies as investors worldwide realize Africa, with all of its risks, is a booming market. To that end, California-based Solar Reserve, together with numerous partners, has completed and launched the Jasper PV Project in South Africa. Built in South Africa's Northern Cape Province, the Jasper solar power plant is now the largest of its kind on the African continent. The consortium that led the development of the Jasper facility included the Kensani Group, Intikon Energy, Rand Merchant Bank and Google. Incidentally, the Jasper plant is Google's first clean energy investment within Africa. Located near the diamond mining center of Kimberley, the 96 megawatt plant and its 325,000 photovoltaic modules will provide enough energy for approximately 80,000 homes. The Jasper plant is also important as a step toward South Africa's renewable energy goals. The country of 53 million basks under bountiful sun and withstands plenty of wind, but renewables still have not come close to being fully exploited. South Africans also endure blackouts on a regular basis, and energy shortages have long been the bane of conducting business in Africa's second largest economy [triplepundit.com] » November 14 2014 - Nuclear Power, Iran, Russia, Group5+1. Iran, Russia to have long-term cooperation on nuclear power plants. Sanaei Iran's Ambassador to Russia - wrote in his weblog in Russian social network 'Life Journal' on Thursday that Iran and Russia signed three cooperation documents on November 11, 2014 upon which Russia will construct two atomic power plants in Iran. He pointed out that signed cooperation agreements indicated the two countries have no doubt on their decision for long-term cooperation. Signed documents also show decrease of third countries influence on bilateral relations, Sanaei said, adding that the two countries take decisions in the framework of their own national interests without considering pressures from third countries. In spite of criticism from a number of Iranian elites and politicians concerning delays in commissioning Bushehr atomic power plant by Russia, Iran considers commissioning of the power plant as an important achievement, the ambassador stressed. [...] Sanaei wrote that signed MoU on feasibility study on joint production of nuclear fuel, three days ago, indicated that the Russian side wishes to maintain its constructive role in Iran's nuclear dossier and make progress in cooperation with Iran, so to be able to help and support negotiation process between Iran and Group 5+1. Three cooperation documents were signed on Tuesday in Moscow during visit of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization Ali Akbar Salehi and Russian state company of Rusatom [irna.ir] » November 13 2014 - Climate Risk, Country Adaptation Index. the Notre Dame Global Adaptation Index released its 2014 Country Index showing which countries are best prepared to deal with overcrowding natural resource constraints and climate disruption. Using 18 years of data, the free and open source index ranks 177 countries against 45 indicators, including not only vulnerabilities but also the readiness to accept adaptation investment [gain.org] » November 13 2014 - Energy, Water, Food, ECN Report. Energy, water and food resource systems are fundamentally interrelated. We need energy to produce food and to treat and move water; we need water to cultivate food crops and to generate essentially any form of energy; and we need food to support the world's growing population that both generates and relies on energy and water services. Land availability also constitutes an important element in each of these three resources, for example for crop production for either food or energy purposes. This mutual relationship is defined as the "Energy-Water-Food Nexus". To date, the three individual resource systems of energy, water, and food have mostly been organised and studied independently. In a rapidly developing world with ever more pressing environmental challenges, however, choices and actions in each of these three domains can significantly affect the others, positively or negatively. Therefore it is important to take a "nexus approach" to analysing these three resource systems. Conventional policy- and decision-making with regards to each of these domains in isolation is not necessarily anymore the most effective or optimal course of planning or action. A "nexus approach", which in our context refers to a multidisciplinary type of analysis of the relationship between energy, water and food, can help to reduce trade-offs and to build synergies across these different sectors. In an increasingly complex and interrelated world this approach can lead to better and more efficient resource use as well as cross-sectoral policy coherence [ecn.nl] » November 13 2014 - Oil Markets, Oil Prices, OPEC Production. Brent crude oil prices fell to $84/bbl at the end of October from $95/bbl at the beginning of the month. A handful of core drivers for this tumble include weakening outlooks for global economic and oil demand growth, the return to the market of previously disrupted Libyan crude oil production, and continued growth in US tight-oil production. In the most recently released Short-Term Energy Outlook, the US Energy Information Administration projects that Brent crude oil prices will average $83/bbl in 2015, $18/bbl lower than forecast in last month's STEO. "There is significant uncertainty over the crude oil price forecast because of the range of potential supply responses from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, particularly Saudi Arabia, and US tight-oil producers to the new lower oil price environment, EIA said. As noted by the outlook, Saudi Arabia's role in the oil market going forward is highly uncertain. Unlike in the past acting as the swing producer, the kingdom has stated that it would rather maintain its export market share than cut production to bolster oil prices [ogj.com] » November 13 2014 - Climate Change, U.S.-China Agreement, ScientificAmerican Article. Everything You Need to Know about the U.S.-China Climate Change Agreement. The U.S. will double the speed of its current pollution reduction trajectory, which has seen carbon dioxide emissions fall roughly 10 percent below 2005 levels to date. The country will now aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025. That's in addition to the 17 percent reduction below 2005 levels due by 2020 and shows the kind of five-year planning the U.S. would like to see adopted in international plans to combat climate change. In other words, ever-increasing ambition in reduction targets delivered every five years. "This is an ambitious goal, but it is an achievable goal," Obama said. "It puts us on a path to achieving the deep emissions reductions by advanced economies that the scientific community says is necessary to prevent the most catastrophic effects of climate change." Although Chinese leaders are quite fond of five-year plans, their new climate version would not begin until "around 2030," under the terms of the new agreement. That is when the country's CO2 pollution will peak, advancing the Chinese war on pollution onto the invisible front. The nation will also "strive" to reach that peak even sooner. Just as Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli pledged at the United Nations in September "to peak total CO2 pollution as soon as possible," now Xi has followed through in November with the first agreed-on date to cap its global warming pollution by 2030. The problem is coal, which currently provides more than 70 percent of the energy the fast-developing nation uses. Hundreds of new coal-burning power plants account for how China surpassed the U.S. in the past decade as the world's largest emitter of greenhouse gases. But already several Chinese cities and provinces are experimenting with the kind of capitalist solutions favored by U.S. free marketeers-cap-and-trade programs that in some cases even extend to cover public transportation and buildings themselves. These programs are pilots and may be scaled up for a national program expected in coming years or scrapped in favor of some new national plan or carbon tax. "China has plans for a national market and one that is the most ambitious in the world," says Barbara Finamore, Asia director at the environmental group Natural Resources Defense Council and longtime Beijing resident. "It would dwarf any other carbon market in the world." More importantly perhaps, the Chinese central government has begun to talk about a cap on coal-burning itself. Statistics show that this year coal use in China slowed for the first time this century, dropping by around 1 percent, according to Greenpeace International. The hopeful sign suggests that peak coal use could come within the next decade or so, although this dip could also be a result of slowing economic growth rather than proactive efforts to slow climate change. But peak coal use is exactly what the Chinese have agreed to ensure now, along with cuts in CO2 intensity by 2020. Already China's National Development and Reform Commission has laid out a plan to cope with climate change through the end of the decade. That means building even more nuclear power plants, wind farms, hydroelectric dams and even to start employing more solar power, of which the country installed 12 gigawattsworth in 2013. In fact, in 2013 more new clean energy sources were added to the grid in China than fossil fuel-fired power-for the first time ever. China has added several hundred gigawatts-worth of such clean energy-the Three Gorges Dam alone pumps out 22 gigawatts- but hopes to add as much as 1,000 gigawatts of these low-carbon emitting sources by 2030. That would constitute 20 percent of its energy—and roughly the total amount of all electricity produced in the U.S. or all the coal-fired power plants China has built in the last few decades. It's also double what the Chinese have committed to achieve by 2015 in their current Five-Year Plan. China is already the world leader in new nuclear and new renewable energy sources, and the energy intensity of its economy dropped by more than 19 percent between 2006 and 2010. But this week's commitment will require an acceleration in these already fast-paced transition efforts [scientificamerican.com] » November 13 2014 - World Energy Outlook 2014, IEA. Does growth in North American oil supply herald a new era of abundance - or does turmoil in parts of the Middle East cloud the horizon? How much can energy efficiency close the competitiveness gap caused by differences in regional energy prices? What considerations should shape decision-making in countries using, pursuing or phasing out nuclear power? How close is the world to using up the available carbon budget, which cannot be exceeded if global warming is to be contained? How can subSaharan Africa's energy sector help to unlock a better life for its citizens? Answers to these questions and a host of others are to be found in the pages of World Energy Outlook 2014 (WEO-2014), released on 12 November in London. Bringing together the latest data and policy developments, the WEO-2014 presents up to date projections of energy trends for the first time through to 2040. Oil, natural gas, coal, renewables and energy efficiency are covered, along with updates on trends in energy-related CO2emissions, fossil-fuel and renewable energy subsidies, and universal access to modern energy services [worldenergyoutlook.org] » November 12 2014 - Oil Sands, Canada, 2015-2038 Production Forecast, CERI Report. Canadian oil and oil equivalent production averaged 3.5 million barrels per day in 2013. Oil sands related production accounted for 56 percent of this total or 1.98 million barrels per day and of that number 51 percent was non-upgraded, raw bitumen, while 49 percent was upgraded to synthetic crude oil. During the same year Canada exported on average 2.57 million barrels per day with 97 percent of those exports going to the United States. For the period 2014 to 2038: Oil sands production (upgraded and non-upgraded) is forecasted to grow from the current level of 1.98 million barrels per day (2013) to 3.7 million barrels per day by 2020 and 5.2 million barrels per day by 2030. Total investment in new Alberta oil sands projects and re-investment (sustaining capital) in existing oil sands projects will exceed $514 billion (2013 Canadian dollars). Revenues from all existing and new projects will exceed $2,484 billion (2013 Canadian dollars).vThe sum of initial capital for new projects, sustaining capital for existing projects and operating and maintenance expenses for all projects is expected to average $55 billion per year (2013 Canadian dollars). Total GDP impacts of all oil sands investment, re-investment and operating revenues is estimated to be $3,865 billion for Canada. Oil sands related total Canadian employment (direct, indirect and induced), as a result of construction of new projects and the operation of new and existing projects, is expected to continue growing from the current level (2014) of 514,000 jobs to a peak of 802,000 jobs in 2028. Oil sands related direct employment in Alberta, including on-site construction, ongoing and turnaround maintenance, off-site prefabrication and modular construction, steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) well development and cold bitumen well development, is expected to continue growing from the current level (2014) of 146,000 jobs to a peak of 256,000 jobs in 2024. Oil sands related taxes directed to the Canadian Federal Government will total $574 billion (2013 Canadian dollars). Oil sands related taxes (excluding royalties) directed to the Province of Alberta will total $302 billion (2013 Canadian dollars). Oil sands royalties are forecasted to grow from the current level (2013) of $4.4 billion to $18.2 billion by 2023. The cumulative total of royalties that will be collected by the Alberta Government will exceed $600 billion over the next 25 years (2013 Canadian dollars). For every direct job generated in the Alberta oil sands, 1 additional job is generated by indirect association and 1.5 jobs by induced association, in Canada [ceri.ca] » November 12 2014 - Climate Change, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, U.S., China, Emissions Cuts Agreement. A climate breakthrough in Beijing?. After nine months of secret negotiations, the US and China have agreed to significant emissions cuts, and for the first time Beijing has announced that its emissions will peak in 2030 [...] just a few points of scepticism, or at least wariness. This deal is good news for all sorts of reasons, but it's worth remembering that these are just targets (the UK set targets too, and is on track to miss them) which are not really enforceable. And given the long lead times (2025 for Washington to meet its new emissions targets; 2030 for Beijing's emissions to peak), it's going to be difficult to hold both countries to their commitments. Then there is the sheer scale of what the two countries have agreed to take on. The US will have to double the pace of its carbon pollution reduction to meet the new target. As for China, the US statement notes that, for Beijing to meet its target of having 20% of energy from zero-emissions sources, 'it will require China to deploy an additional 800-1,000 gigawatts of nuclear, wind, solar and other zero emission generation capacity by 2030 - more than all the coal-fired power plants that exist in China today and close to total current electricity generation capacity in the United States'. Given China's demand for coal and the fact that renewables have not risen as a percentage of global energy production in the last decade, this seems like a tall order [lowyinterpreter.org] » November 12 2014 - Climate Change, Adaptation Strategies, German Energiewende, University of Luneburg Working Paper. Climate change adaptation strategies within the framework of the German "Energiewende" - Is there a need for government interventions and legal obligations? The option of adapting to climate change is becoming more important in climate change policy. Hence, responding to climate change now involves both mitigation to address the cause and adaptation as a response to already ongoing or expected changes. These changes are also of relevance for the energy sector in Germany. An energy sector that in the course of the German "Energiewende", also has to deal with a fundamental shift in energy supply from fossil fuel to renewable energies in the next decades. Based on a synthesis of the current knowledge regarding the possible influences of climate change on the German energy sector along its value-added chain, the paper points out, that the possible impacts of a changing climate should be taken into account in the upcoming infrastructure projects in the course of the Energiewende. The main question here is, whether adaptation options will be implemented voluntarily by companies or not. The paper argues that this has to be the case, when the measure is a private good. If, on the contrary, the measure is a public good, additional incentives are needed. For the German energy sector, the paper shows, that governmental intervention are for example justifiable regarding measures to adapt the grid infrastructure as a critical infrastructure that needs to be protected against current and future impacts of climate change [leuphana.de] » November 11 2014 - Brisbane G20 Summit, Energy Availability, Renewable Energy, GDP Growth. Our projections for different groups of countries add up to produce a global GDP growth of about 4 percent per year in the period 2020 to 2030. This is a little higher than the IMF forecast of 3.9 percent for 2014 to 2019, but it is not unreasonable if one allows for the impact of improved performance in the EMDEs (emerging and developing economies). Given their increasing share in global GDP a modest improvement in EMDE performance could offset slower growth in the advanced economies. It is relevant to ask whether there are aggregate supply constraints that might force the world economy to slow down. Availability of energy is clearly one potential problem, and although falling energy prices from July to October 2014 make this look less of a problem than it did only a few months ago, there is no justification for complacency over a longer period. However, it can be argued that technological change related to the exploitation of renewable energy along with advances in energy efficiency could help overcome this constraint [brookings.edu] » November 11 2014 - Renewable Energy, West Africa, REN21 Report. The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) region has vast renewable energy resources but the energy market to-date remains underdeveloped. REN21's ECOWAS Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Status Report documents developments in the region, providing a regional perspective on the renewable energy and energy efficiency market and industry development across West Africa. The report details ECOWAS Member states' commitment to developing renewable energy and energy efficiency by addressing current energy sector challenges while simultaneously building a resilient energy system. Sustained investment in the region's renewables sector however is desperately needed. The report is for policymakers, industry, investors and civil society to make informed decisions with regards to the diffusion of renewable energy [ren21.net] » November 11 2014 - Fossil Fuel, Reserves and Subsidies, G20. How the G20 subsidises exploration for fossil fuel. Governments from G20 countries are spending $88bn (£55.4bn) to subsidise the search for new oil, gas and coal reserves - more than double the amount being spent by the top 20 private oil and gas companies. The UK, for example, is spending $664m for exploration in Russia, Brazil, India and Ghana among other nations, according to the Overseas Development Institute who gathered the data. Click on the buttons below to see where 10 selected countries are directing their funds in the search for fossil fuels [theguardian.com] » November 10 2014 - Energy Security, Geopolitical Instability, IEA, Geopolitics. Recent geopolitical instability and conflict in major oil- and gasproducing regions are a cause for concern. The IEA has been closely monitoring developments in Eastern Europe and across the Middle East and North Africa to ascertain their impact on energy markets. Thus far, we have seen only relatively minor disruptions, which have been offset by well-supplied markets. And oil prices have actually weakened in the face of the tensions, indicating that markets feel comfortable about supply. But diplomacy has not yet resolved the underlying areas of contention, so we must remain vigilant. While a market response is always preferable, the IEA and its members stand ready to act if needed. But collective action to release emergency oil stocks has always been a "last resort" strategy though an effective one -and is short-term by nature. It is only one tool in the toolbox. And interestingly, it is something of a relic from a time when the definition of energy security was rooted solely in oil. That definition has changed in the 40 years since the IEA was created. And just as our definition of energy security has changed, the ways in which we work to achieve it also are changing. Perhaps the most striking change in how we approach energy security is that while each country must find its own solutions, the challenge is now global. Initially, energy security was seen primarily as a concern of industrialised countries, but this is no longer the case. This is why we are exploring ways to develop stronger multilateral cooperation [energypost.eu] » November 10 2014 - Oil, Production&Resources, Kazakhstan. OPEC won't cut its collective crude output when it meets this month and global oil prices will stabilize once the surplus is absorbed by the market, Kuwait Oil Minister Ali Al-Omair said. OPEC, which supplies about 40 percent of the world's oil, meets Nov. 27 to debate supply. The 12-member Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, which has a production target of 30 million barrels a day, pumped 30.974 million barrels a day in October, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. [...] Oil tumbled into a bear market this year as supply expanded from the U.S. to Libya. OPEC members Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have resisted calls to cut output while Libya, Venezuela and Ecuador have asked for action to prevent even lower prices [bloomberg.com] » November 10 2014 - Oil, Production&Resources, Kazakhstan. "The Kumkol oilfield resources will be depleted in the next 10-15 years to come," Governor of the Kyzylorda region Krymbek Kusherbayev told [...] at the Central Communications Service in Astana. According to him, extractable resources of the region's largest oilfield are estimated at just 126 mln tons while its annual oil production hit 10 mn tons. "If we don't change the economic structure now and don't take urgent economic diversification measures we will sentence the region to face great problems then. That's why the President's industrial and innovation program is the only way out to change the structure and develop the region [inform.kz] » November 10 2014 - Gas, Russia, China. Russia and China have signed a memorandum of understanding to supply gas from western Siberia to China. It is the second big gas deal to be sealed this year as President Vladimir Putin builds investment ties with China to counter increasing isolation from the west. The framework agreement between China National Petroleum Corporation and Russian energy group Gazprom is for an additional 30bn cubic metres of gas per year. It follows a $400bn agreement in May for Russia to sell up to 38bcm of gas per year from eastern Siberia to northeastern China. The deals represent welcome diplomatic and financial support for Mr Putin, whose regime is under fire from the west over its support for Russian separatists in Ukraine. Energy exports are Russia's primary source of hard currency and the expectation is that the Chinese would help with the expensive task of building and financing the pipelines [ft.com] » November 10 2014 - Low Carbon Economy, Aircraft Industry. The aircraft industry is expecting a seven-fold increase in air traffic by 2050, and a four-fold increase in greenhouse gas emissions unless fundamental changes are made. But just how "fundamental" will those changes need to be and what will be their effect on the aircraft we use? The crucial next step towards ensuring the aircraft industry becomes greener is the full electrification of commercial aircraft. That's zero CO2 and NOx emissions, with energy sourced from power stations that are themselves sustainably fuelled. The main technological barrier that must be overcome is the energy density of batteries, a measure of how much power can be generated from a battery of a certain weight. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said that once batteries are capable of producing 400 Watthours per kilogram, with a ratio of power cell to overall mass of between 0.7-0.8, an electrical transcontinental aircraft becomes "compelling". Another aspect is the exponential fall in the cost of solar panels, which have already become the cheapest form of power in most US states. The expected 70% reduction in cost of lithium-ion batteries by 2025, and the rapid rise seen in the cost of kerosene-based jet fuel means that there will be a large and growing disparity in the costs of running aircraft that will greatly favour electrification [businesstech.co.za] » November 10 2014 - Renewable Energy Investment, Climate Change, Australia. New investment into renewable energy projects has dropped by 70 per cent, a report by the Climate Council says. In the last five years most countries around the world had accelerated action on climate change, with China and the United States two of the global leaders on the issue, the report, Lagging Behind: Australia and the Global Response to Climate Change, said. But while Australia was a crucial player in global climate action, it had "moved from a leader to laggard", the report said. In addition, the Climate Council said the Federal Government needed to make its position on renewable energy clear, before Australia lost even more investment in new energy projects. Earlier this year a government commissioned review of Australia's Renewable Energy Target (RET) recommended it be scaled back or wound up. The review also suggested closing the scheme to new companies involved in larger renewable energy projects [abc.net.au] » November 10 2014 - Renewable Energy, PV, Solar Cells, Solar Panels. There has been a lot of effort over the past decade or so to develop transparent solar cells that can be used in see-through solar panels. Those panels could replace windows in large buildings or be an unnoticeable addition to a roof, but what about solar panels that could be integrated into the walls of buildings? CSEM, a Swiss non-profit technology company, has come up with a technology that lets solar panels do just that. Researchers with CSEM have developed solar panels that can come in different colors and have no visible connections, which gives architects a lot of room to incorporate solar power into buildings without having to give up any aesthetic goals. The researchers have focused on white solar panels, not just because of the versatility of the color, but because white solar panels would stay cooler, which boosts their efficiency, and using them over large sections like the roof would keep the buildings themselves cooler, which would reduce the energy demand of cooling buildings [treehugger.com] » November 10 2014 - Climate Change, Adaptation Strategies, Natural Environment, EU, ENCA Report. Climate change increases the need for a cross-European approach to conservation, for example because of likely shifts in species' ranges and the increased need to manage large scale ecosystem processes, such as hydrology, that cross national borders. While there is still a lot we do not know about the effects of climate change on the natural environment, and about appropriate adaptation strategies, there is great potential to share information among the different European countries and to learn from each other's approaches and experiences. This report summarises much of the work done by, and for, the Climate Change Group of the European Network of Heads of Nature Conservation Agencies (ENCA) between 2011 and 2013. The ENCA Climate Change Group is made up of experts in climate change and ecology from government conservation agencies across Europe. Current members of the group include representatives from conservation agencies in England, Germany, Switzerland, Wales, Scotland, Czech Republic, Finland, Spain, Netherlands, Austria, Norway and the Dutch province of Gelderland. The group is chaired by Natural England [bfn.de] » November 07 2014 - Climate Change, Climate Agreement, Paris 2015, Fergus Green (Grantham Research Institute) Paper. This time is different: The prospects for an effective climate agreement in Paris 2015. A question of central importance to preparations for COP21 in Paris is: what sort of policy architecture is most likely to generate sufficiently ambitious action to reduce global emissions? This paper argues that the oftheard call for a 'legally binding' agreement is too simplistic. It finds that the focus on 'nationally-determined contributions', which are unlikely to be binding under international law, is likely to enable the participation, and increase the ambition, of the largest, systemically important emitters, including China and the United States. Any agreement in Paris needs to have dynamic elements that provide for regular reviews and revision of commitments, so that countries' ambition can be ratcheted up over time, as technical and political barriers that inhibit higher domestic ambition are overcome. International cooperation on climate action beyond the main Paris agreement will also be important. Coalitions of countries could seek deeper emissions reductions 'on the side' of the formal negotiations with collaborative action that focuses on particular areas, for example coordination of low-carbon innovation and phasing out the use of coal for power generation [lse.ac.uk] » November 07 2014 - Energy, Clean Technology Innovation, EU. Cleantech innovation in Europe: here are the gamechangers of the future. At a "business booster" event in Barcelona, sixty European cleantech startups supported by KIC InnoEnergy, presented themselves to the world. They offered an impressive variety of new technologies and market innovations, ranging from new storage devices and solar chips to energy saving techniques, financing models and consumer engagement platforms. In this article we present to you some of the gamechangers of our future energy system – all made in Europe. "The future looks good," said Diego Pavía, the CEO of KIC InnoEnergy, one of the three companies set up by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) in 2010 to make innovation happen in Europe (the other two are Climate KIC and ICT Labs). Working with a dozen top universities, over 150 industrial partners and the top-10 cleantech venture capitalists in Europe, KIC InnoEnergy offers educational programmes (Master programmes), supports innovation projects and actively helps create new businesses in Europe. [...] According to Diego Pavía, there are three highly promising sectors at the moment to invest in. The first is offshore wind. Secondly, he said, "where we see real gamechangers is in the convergence of heat, gas and electricity". Today, Pavía noted, "those energy carriers are viewed separately. In the future they will be more and more combined, as for instance in power-to-gas applications." Thirdly, Pavía sees a "critical mass" emerging in “business model innovation". "We see companies that are ready not just to create new businesses, but new markets. They are rethinking the energy system. They will completely change the game." Pavía did not want to elaborate on this, but he said that KIC InnoEnergy would soon announce a new initiative involving various startups that would "change the rules" of the market [energypost.eu] » November 07 2014 - Climate Change, Climate-Smart Agriculture, FAO's Mitigation of Climate Change in Agriculture (MICCA) Programme Report. Science to support climate-smart agricultural development - Concepts and results from the MICCA pilot projects in East Africa. The World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) led the scientific activities of the Mitigation of Climate Change in Agriculture (MICCA) Pilot Projects in Kenya and Tanzania. The research results are summarized in this publication which is directed at local and national decision-makers, researchers and practitioners. It looks at the concepts behind the MICCA's research activities in East Africa. It describes the analytical approaches used and reveals key messages relevant to discussions on climate-smart agriculture [fao.org] » November 06 2014 - Oil Prices, Oil Production, World Economy, Saudi Arabia, Opec, U.S.. Oil prices slumped to multi-year lows on Tuesday after Saudi Arabia discounted supplies to the U.S., a move that is shaking an already volatile market but will likely give the world economy an unexpected stimulus. The 25 percent or so slide in oil prices since the summer could boost consumer spending and business investment in many economies around the world as fuel bills fall. But not everyone's a winner. Oil producing countries like Russia and Venezuela, which have high extraction costs and whose budgets rely on assumptions of relatively high energy prices, stand to lose out. The benchmark New York contract dropped another 3.2 percent Tuesday to $76.22, its lowest level since October 2011. It was trading at $100 a barrel as recently as July. Brent, the international benchmark, declined 2.5 percent, to $82.69, having earlier fallen to $82.08, its lowest level in just over four years. Adam Slater, senior economist at Oxford Economics, reckons the recent fall in oil prices, if sustained, could add around 0.4 percent to GDP in the U.S. in two years, and a little less in Europe. China, which is the second-largest oil consumer and on track to become the largest net importer of oil, could see GDP 0.8 percent higher than it otherwise would have been. "This is similar to a surprise stimulus," said Slater. Lower oil prices wouldn't necessarily be a welcome sign if they were due mainly to weak demand, as occurred in 2008 in the wake of the collapse of Lehman Brothers. The shock to confidence stoked by that bankruptcy led to the world's deepest economic recession since World War II, pushing the benchmark New York rate to around $35 a barrel from over $140 in the space of a few months. Though a drop in demand is a factor in the current slump amid concerns over growth in Europe and China, Slater says supply-side factors are having a much bigger impact than in 2008. The rise of fracking in the U.S., the return of oil output from Iraq and Libya and Saudi Arabia's willingness to resist production cuts have combined to weigh on prices. On Monday, Saudi Arabia, OPEC's largest oil producer, cut prices for customers in the U.S. The move has been interpreted as an attempt by the country to maintain its market share in the world's largest economy against imports from the likes of Canada, Mexico and Venezuela and U.S. shale oil producers. Oxford Economics' Slater reckons that Saudi Arabia's intent could also be to squeeze out high cost producers over time, in the knowledge that it can withstand lower oil prices for longer. Russia and Venezuela are two countries that are considered particularly vulnerable to a sustained fall in prices as their economies are highly dependent on oil. And because their costs of production are high and baseline budget plans are considered optimistic, analysts say they stand to lose more than, say, the Gulf states [pennenergy.com] » November 06 2014 - U.S. Election, Climate Change, Climate Science. The U.S. Election Doesn't Change Climate Science. The election may have changed the political dynamics in Washington, but it doesn't change the science. The reality of global warming and the need for urgent action remain an imperative, a point made clear by this week's alarming IPCC report. Business leaders understand this truth. Smart companies are making wise choices about their energy purchases and future operational planning in a carbon-constrained world. Major investors are seeking to move the Clean Trillion - catalyzing global clean energy investments to $1 trillion per year - from an aspiration to a reality. Both groups are also standing up for the President's Clean Power Plan, which will stimulate innovation, facilitate renewable energy deployment and demonstrate this country's firm commitment to do its part to address climate change at the global level [ceres.org] » November 06 2014 - Nuclear Power, Nuclear Security, Non-Proliferation Treaty, Iran, U.S. UN. Nuclear deal will benefit everyone: Iran UN envoy. Nuclear deal will benefit everyone: Iran UN envoy Dehqani made the remarks in an address to a UN General Assembly. Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency Yukiya Amano was present in the session. Referring to the growing need for energy across the globe and environmental threats posed to the world by fossil fuels, Dehqani underlined safety of nuclear power in the modern world. Dehqani noted that based on IAEA Charter, the UN nuclear agency is responsible to help the member states develop nuclear capability for peaceful means. He said that the rights of the signatory states to the Non-Proliferation Treaty to technical and economic development have to be respected. The Iranian envoy rejected alleged military dimensions of Iran's nuclear program, saying that Iran has no weapons program. He said that the allegations have been made without any acceptable evidence. However, he said that the Islamic Republic of Iran in light of the good faith will continue cooperation with the UN nuclear agency to remove any ambiguity about the nuclear program [irna.ir] » November 06 2014 - Shale, Oil Prices, Drilling Activity, U.S.. The shale revolution's sweet spot is oilfield services, the lower-risk backbone of the American oil and gas boom that pays off regardless of a play's economics. Behind the stardom of the explorers and producers who have put themselves on the revolutionary shale map and absorb most of the risk-are the service providers who make up a highly lucrative market segment. The US land-based rig count rose 3% over the last quarter, reaching a two-year high of 1,870 active rigs. A major factor in this growth has been an uptick in horizontal drilling in the Permian Basin, Texas' revived giant, where the rig count was up 21% year-on-year. And while oil prices slumped in October, drilling activity continues to rise according to Baker Hughes, the third-largest oil services company. Baker Hughes' rig count is up 3.8% in the fourth quarter of this year, compared to the third quarter [oilprice.com] » November 06 2014 - Climate Change, Responding To Climate Change. Cloud computing, big data and smartphones should be the tools of choice for green groups who want to drive global change and force business and governments to respect the environment. That's the view of one of the planet's most experienced development specialists, World Resources Institute president Andrew Steer, who thinks many organisations are too obsessed with piloting small energy or farming projects which have limited impact. In July the WRI launched a data mapping tool using technology from Google, tracking for the first time forest cover in real time. This exposed companies involved in illegal logging or farming in protected areas. Steer says his Washington-based team is now looking at how they could map water use and shortages, and roll out a platform focused on the vulnerabilities and positive policies of cities. "The stakes now are so high we have to aim for systemic change," he tells RTCC in an interview on the sidelines of a Global Environment Facility conference in the US capital. "The world is too big, time is too short and the money is too little if we are simply going to work on a project by project approach and reward ourselves for each individual pilot project looking good. The time for piloting has now ended and we need to think of scale." [rtcc.org] » November 05 2014 - Climate Finance, Cities Energy Performance, UNEP Report. Climate finance for cities and buildings: a handbook for local governments. The objectives of this Handbook are to help raise awareness among local stakeholders regarding climate finance and its potential in the built environment, given the important role that this sector has to play in climate change mitigation. It also aims to help local governments to use climate finance mechanisms as an opportunity to increase the energy performance of their district whilst creating additional revenue, improve resource efficiency and support their wider climate strategies [unep.org] » November 05 2014 - EU Power grid, Trans-European energy Infrastructure (TEN-E Regulation), ENTSO-E Report. The Ten-Year Network Development Plan 2014 (TYNDP) is the product of the review process of ENTSO-E TYNDP 2012. During this review process, many of the stakeholder's comments have been gathered and fed in the TYNDP 2014. For the first time, the TYNDP 2014 includes rigorous cost-benefit analyses of around 100 pan-European network development projects. This is the result of Regulation (EU) 347/2013 on guidelines for transEuropean energy infrastructure (TEN-E Regulation), entered into force in May 2013 and which made ENTSO-E's TYNDP the sole base for the selection of Projects of Common Interest (PCIs), EU-funded pan-European network development projects. The TYNDP 2014 explains how ENTSOE proposes to integrate by 2030 up to 60% of renewable energy, respecting cost-efficiency and security by the planned strengthening of Europe’s power grid [entsoe.eu] » November 05 2014 - Natural Gas, Gas System, EU, Winter Supply Outlook, ENTSOG. The European Network of Transmission System Operators has adopted its Winter Supply Outlook 2014/15 and the accompanying Review of Winter 2013/14. In the Winter Supply Outlook, ENTSOG analysis focuses on both the possible evolution of UGS inventory along the season and the ability of the gas system to face peak situations. The assessment covers different climatic conditions and assesses the possible impact of short disruptions of gas transit through Ukraine under peak situations. The conclusions are: The European gas network is sufficiently robust in most parts of Europe to enable the balance of demand and supply along a cold winter and under peak situations provided gas is available. It also offers the possibility to ensure sustained physical flow toward Ukraine. Nevertheless some particular situations remain such as: The vulnerability of South-East Europe to disruption of gas transit through Ukraine; The importance of interruptible capacity in order to enable the balance of Scandinavian market under peak situations; The lack of entry capacity into Luxembourg under peak situation. It has also to be noted that in these regions progress has been made since last winter with the commissioning of new projects and that the situation will continue to improve in the near future [entsog.eu] » November 05 2014 - World Energy Outlook, IEA, CSIS. The CSIS Energy and National Security Program. Fatih Birol, Chief Economist at the International Energy Agency (IEA), to present the IEA's 2014 World Energy Outlook. The global energy landscape is evolving at a rapid pace, reshaping long-held expectations for our energy future. Dr. Birol will help shed light on the rapidly evolving global energy landscape, presenting the WEO's comprehensive analysis of medium- and longer-term energy trends. This year's edition of the WEO also has a special focus on the outlook for nuclear power and its implications, and an in-depth study of sub-Saharan Africa, highlighting the prospects for improving access to modern energy services and for developing the region's huge resource potential in a way that contributes not only to regional and global energy balances, but also to local and social well-being [...] This event will be on-the-record. Registration required to attend. Please send your confirmation by COB Friday, November 21st to [csis.org] » November 05 2014 - Natural Gas, Oil, EU, Russia, Ukraine, Geopolitics. The risk of disruptions to Russian natural gas flows through Ukraine this winter is protecting European prices from the rout that sent oil to a four-year low. U.K. gas for next quarter fell 13 percent since mid-June, less than half the 28 percent plunge in Brent crude over that time. While Brent is typically the benchmark used to set the price on almost half the gas supply in Europe, the Russia-Ukraine conflict, along with supply-and-demand fundamentals in the market, is having a bigger impact on gas prices than the decline in oil. First-quarter supply interruptions are still possible as Ukraine may struggle to pay Russia $3.1 billion by year-end under an agreement brokered by the European Union last week for gas already consumed, according to Societe Generale SA. The 28-nation EU, which gets 15 percent of its fuel from Russia through Ukraine, sought to avoid repeats of 2006 and 2009, when disputes between the former Soviet republics over gas debts and prices led to shortages across the region amid freezing weather. [...] First-quarter gas in the U.K., Europe's biggest market, dropped 1.1 percent yesterday to 55.33 pence a therm ($8.85 a million British thermal units) on the ICE Futures Europe Exchange in London. Brent traded near the lowest level in four years and was at $82.50 a barrel at 12:24 p.m. Singapore time. The European gas benchmark is at its lowest for the time of year since 2010 after the region's mildest year in half a century left storage sites at record levels. Russia halted gas supplies to Ukraine on June 16, with OAO Gazprom saying Ukraine's debt stands at $5.3 billion. The cut came after Russia annexed Ukraine's Crimea peninsula in March and as a conflict between Kiev and pro-Russian rebels in the eastern part of the country killed more than 4,000 people. Brent crude started to slump in June as growth in U.S. production added to slowing demand in Europe and China. The oil slump, caused by a global oversupply as the U.S. produces the most crude since at least 1983, has the most "downside potential" on summer gas, Neviaski said. The contract for the six months from April has lost 7.4 percent since June 19, when Brent reached its highest this year [energyvoice.com] » November 05 2014 - Climate Change, Emissions, Global Commodity Markets, Global-Supply chains, Tropical Deforestation, Center for Global Development Paper. Trading Forests: Quantifying the Contribution of Global Commodity Markets to Emissions from Tropical Deforestation. This paper aims to improve our understanding of how and where global supply-chains link consumers of agricultural and forest commodities across the world to forest destruction in tropical countries. A better understanding of these linkages can help inform and support the design of demand-side interventions to reduce tropical deforestation. To that end, we map the link between deforestation for four commodities (beef, soybeans, palm oil, and wood products) in eight case countries (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Papua New Guinea) to consumption, through international trade. Although few, the studied countries comprise a large share of the internationally traded volumes of the analyzed commodities: 83% of beef and 99% of soybean exports from Latin America, 97% of global palm oil exports, and roughly half of (official) tropical wood products trade. The analysis covers the period 2000-2009. We find that roughly a third of tropical deforestation and associated carbon emissions (3.9 Mha and 1.7 GtCO2) in 2009 can be attributed to our four case commodities in our eight case countries. On average a third of analyzed deforestation was embodied in agricultural exports, mainly to the EU and China. However, in all countries but Bolivia and Brazil, export markets are dominant drivers of forest clearing for our case commodities. If one excludes Brazilian beef on average 57% of deforestation attributed to our case commodities was embodied in exports. The share of emissions that was embodied in exported commodities increased between 2000 and 2009 for every country in our study except Bolivia and Malaysia [cgdev.org] » November 05 2014 - Unconventional Oil, US, Oil Prices, Oil Markets. Falling oil prices will have an uneven effect across US unconventional plays based on the qualities of reservoirs within any given play, Gaffney Cline & Associates (GCA) said in a recent report, noting there exists a complex relationship between the pace of shale production and falling futures prices for light, sweet crude oil. "Oil prices in the low-to-mid $80/bbl range will allow a lot of US unconventional oil activity to continue, but a further drop could start to have a significant impact on the market and industries associated with it," writes Bob George, GCA executive director and senior strategic advisor. In an article George wrote with Neil Abdalla, GCA senior geoscientist, they noted sliding oil prices have yet to reveal a direct negative effect on US unconventional oil and liquids production, which currently stands at 5 million b/d and represented 95% of US liquids growth during 2011-13. The 95% total involved production from the Bakken, Niobrara, Eagle Ford, Permian basin, and Utica-Marcellus plays. With more than half of the 9 million b/d of liquids produced in October coming from unconventional plays, George and Abdalla examined whether current drilling activity can likely be sustained and whether production growth can be maintained if oil prices continue to fall [ogj.com] » November 05 2014 - Climate Change, Flooding Risk, UK, NAO Report. The risk of flooding is rising as a result of government funding cuts, according to a damning report from the National Audit Office (NAO), which says the cuts are a false economy. Half the nation's flood defences have been left with "minimal" maintenance, according to the spending watchdog. Flooding devastated large parts of England after record rainfall last winter and David Cameron delivered £270m of emergency funding, claiming his government was now spending more than ever before. However, the NAO concluded spending on maintenance had fallen by 6% in real terms in the five years of the coalition government. Furthermore, overall funding had fallen by 10% in real terms, said the NAO, when the one-off emergency funding was excluded. The report also found that 86% of local authorities had failed to publish their flood risk strategies despite being required to do so by ministers since 2011. Five million homes in England are at risk of flooding and the government's own assessment shows climate change is increasing the risk by driving more extreme weather. The NAO report, published on Wednesday, said every £1 spent on flood defences prevented almost £10 in damage. The report noted: "Ad-hoc emergency spending is less good value than sustained maintenance [theguardian.com] » November 04 2014 - Natural Gas, OPAL pipeline, EU, Russia, Germany, Gazprom. The European Commission further postponed from the end of October to the end of January the deadline for taking a decision on OPAL. European authorities have to decide whether to grant Gazprom more access to the gas pipeline across Germany. The Russian company has reduced access to the pipeline, but no other company voiced its interest to take up the spare capacity. "The Commission has agreed with the German Federal Network Agency (Bundesnetzagentur) to prolong the deadline for issuing a decision on OPAL. The reason ... is that certain technical aspects require further attention," a Commission official said to Reuters. The comment is in line with previous declarations of Gazprom's spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov, who recently said that the company is initiating new talks with the new European Commission. European authorities have to decided whether to grant OPAL an exemption from the Third Energy Package [naturalgaseurope.com] » November 04 2014 - Climate Change, Global Migration, Threat Multiplier, US, UE. On Sunday, the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its latest report, reiterating, for those who haven't yet noticed, that we are on the brink of epochal changes driven by climate change, and that we must act now to avoid the worst impacts. The IPCC report is a welcome distraction from the recent hysterical series of immigration-related news headlines. However, the reality is that both climate change and immigration are inextricably linked. The truth is that if you are worried about migration then you ought to be terrified of what is happening to the global climate. In addition to increasing the devastation caused by extreme weather events including storms, floods, droughts and fires, climate change will affect water supplies, crops and livestock, ultimately affecting food security. For many, the only solution is to move. Pentagon and NATO military analysts identify climate change as a "threat multiplier" that increases the chances of conflict and will result in large-scale migration. Just how many climate refugees will be banging on the doors of Europe and the United States is difficult to calculate although estimates range from 25 million to 1 billion by 2050 [independent.co.uk] » November 04 2014 - Oil prices, US Oil Production, US Gasoline, WTI, Brent, US Crude Oil Exports Limitations, EIA Report. U.S. gasoline prices move with Brent rather than WTI crude oil. Recent increases in U.S. crude oil production have sparked discussion on how this increase in supply will be used by U.S. refiners given current limitations on exporting domestic crude. On October 30, EIA released a study that explored the relationships between crude oil and gasoline prices. Key findings from the analysis include: Prices of Brent crude oil, an international benchmark, are more important than the price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI), a domestic benchmark, for determining gasoline prices in all four U.S. regions studied, including the Midwest. The effect that a relaxation of current limitations on U.S. crude oil exports would have on U.S. gasoline prices depends on its effect on international crude prices, such as Brent, rather than its effect on domestic crude prices. Gasoline is a globally traded commodity, and prices are highly correlated across global spot markets. Gasoline supply, demand, and trade in various regions are changing; one effect is that U.S. Gulf Coast and Chicago spot gasoline prices, which are closely linked, are now often the lowest in the world during fall and winter months. A change in current limitations on crude oil exports could have implications for both domestic and international crude oil prices. Such a relaxation could raise the prices of domestically produced oil. If higher prices for domestic crude were to spur additional U.S. production than might otherwise occur, the increase to global crude oil supply could reduce the global price of crude. The extent to which domestic crude prices might rise, and global crude prices might fall, depends on a host of factors, including the degree to which current export limitations affect prices received by domestic producers, the sensitivity of future domestic production to prices changes, the ability of domestic refiners to absorb domestic production, and the reaction of key foreign producers to changes in the level of U.S. crude production [eia.gov] » November 04 2014 - Climate Change, IPPC Synthesis Report, Energy Research. Panel's Latest Warming Warning Misses Global Slumber Party on Energy Research. The year-long rollout of the latest assessment of climate change science and solutions by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change ended [...] in Copenhagen with the release of a final synthesis report offering an overview of the world's climate trajectories and choices. This report cuts across the earlier panel reviews of basic climate science and related economic, technical and policy questions to identify overarching themes. There's much that's valuable, if familiar, including a recitation of ways to limit the buildup of greenhouse gases: More efficient use of energy; Greater use of low-carbon and no-carbon energy (Many of these technologies exist today); Improved carbon sinks (Reduced deforestation and improved forest management and planting of new forests, Bio-energy with carbon capture and storage); Lifestyle and behavioural changes. But there's also much that is important but largely missing. Look a little closer at the second of four steps above: "Greater use of low-carbon and no-carbon energy; many of these technologies exist today." The new synthesis tends to echo the panel's earlier reports on global warming mitigation options, implying that a price on carbon and some shifts in policy (subsidies, for instance) are all that's needed for an swift and affordable transition from conventional use of fossil fuels. But without a substantial boost in basic research and development and large-scale demonstration projects related to technologies like mass energy storage, capturing and storing carbon dioxide, grid management and a new generation of nuclear plants, it's hard to see timely progress. In all of the graphics and take-home points in the panel's synthesis effort, the only language I can find on these points is turgid and buried. [...] In the long slide presentation shown at the Copenhagen release, somehow the panel failed to fit in a single graph like this one from the International Energy Agency showing how utterly inconsequential energy research is in advanced democracies (the O.E.C.D.) compared to budgets for science on other things we care about [nytimes.com] » November 03 2014 - Clean Energy Technologies, Clean Energy Investment, Developing Nations, OECD Nations, Climate Scope 2014 Report. Mapping the Global Frontiers for Clean Energy Investment. For years, it has been widely accepted that only the world's wealthiest nations have the means to enjoy the benefits of zerocarbon emitting sources of energy. Developing nations, it was assumed, could afford only fossil generation. This belief guided numerous investment decisions and policies. It has even shaped the dynamics of international climate talks. But green technologies have come a long way, and clean energy technologies are no longer out of reach for developing countries, which are home to some of the most extraordinary wind, solar, geothermal, biomass, large and small hydro, and other natural resources [...] Climatescope surveyed and analyzed 55 important developing nations to understand market conditions for accommodating the growth of the most innovative clean energy technologies, such as solar (photovoltaics and concentrating), wind, biomass, geothermal, and small hydro (projects smaller than 50MW). The report focused particularly on India and China where 10 states and 15 provinces were examined in greater detail [...] The Climatescope nations represent over half the world's population and approximately a quarter of its GDP. Among the key findings: Demand for electricity overall is growing swiftly in the Climatescope nations. From 2008 through 2013, these countries added 603 gigawatts (GW) of new capacity (roughly three times Russia's current capacity), growing their grids by nearly a third to 2,013GW. By comparison, over the same period OECD nations added 258GW and grew by 9.6 percent to 2,887GW. Demand for clean energy is growing even faster in these countries than in the most developed nations. From 2008 through 2013, Climatescope nations added 142GW (more than France's current total capacity) of new, non-large hydro renewables capacity, representing a 143 percent growth rate. OECD nations also saw strong growth, adding 213GW over those five years or 84 percent more non-large hydro clean energy than in 2008. On a percentage basis, new non-large hydro clean energy has been growing at a quicker clip in Climatescope countries (18.8 percent per year, on average, since 2008) than in OECD countries (12.8 percent). In fact, in 2013 on a volume basis, Climatescope countries added nearly as much capacity (37GW) as OECD nations (43GW). Counting large hydro as an additional source of zerocarbon energy, Climatescope nations now have 666GW installed capacity compared to 806GW in OECD countries. Moreover, in Climatescope nations, renewables (including large hydro) actually represent a larger percentage of total capacity than they do in OECD countries [global-climatescope.org] » November 03 2014 - Germany, Energiewende (energy transition). Germany's Energiewende has revolutionized how we produce power. In order to succeed, Germany will need to optimize its energy infrastructure next - including grid expansion, demand management and backup storage [...] Revolutionary paradigm shifts often require cohesive development of many moving parts, some of which advance more quickly than others in practice. Germany's revolutionary Energiewende (or "energy transition") is no exception. Set to achieve nearly 100 percent renewable energy by 2050, Germany’s Energiewende is one of the most aggressive clean energy declarations in the world. While growth of Germany's installed renewables capacity has been explosive in recent years, optimization measures designed for Energiewende have manifested at a relatively slow pace. Germany already has one of the most reliable electric grids in the world, but as implementation of Energiewende continues, optimization will be key to its future success. This will require better sources of backup generation to accommodate the intermittency of wind and solar, a dynamic energy market that ensures fair compensation for this backup, and a more flexible, resilient grid enabled by smart grid technologies to fully optimize demand side resources and a growing renewable energy portfolio [energytransition.de] » November 03 2014 - Energy Policy, Fossil Fuel, Renewable Energy. How Global Fossil Fuel Dependence Hasn't Changed In 20 Years. [...] I decided to dig deeper into the success of Green energy policies to date. Roger Andrews produced this chart the other day and the low carbon energy trends caught my eye. It is important to recall that well over $1,700,000,000,000 ($1.7 trillion) has been spent on installing wind and solar devices in recent years with the sole objective of reducing global CO2 emissions. It transpires that since 1995 low carbon energy sources (nuclear, hydro and other renewables) share of global energy consumption has not changed at all. New renewables have not even replaced lost nuclear generating capacity since 1999. ZERO CO2 has been abated and the world has done zilch to prepare itself for the expected declines (escalating costs) of fossil fuels in the decades ahead. If this is not total policy failure, what is? [oilprice.com] » November 03 2014 - Oil Production, Gas Production, Falling Prices. ExxonMobil Corp.'s refining and chemical operations rescued the company's third-quarter results amid falling global oil prices and lower oil and gas production. Exxon, the biggest U.S. oil company, posted a surprise increase in profit thanks to a 38 percent increase in profit from turning oil and gas into fuels and chemicals. "There's a reason Exxon is viewed as a safe haven in energy, and it's because it is diversified," said Brian Youngberg, an analyst at Edward Jones. "It can weather low oil prices." The company said Friday that it earned $8.07 billion on revenue of $107.49 billion in the third quarter. Last year during the same period, Exxon earned $7.87 billion on revenue of $112.37 billion. On a per share basis, the company earned $1.89, up from $1.79 last year and far above the $1.71 per share analysts polled by FactSet had predicted on average. Exxon's oil and gas production fell 4.7 percent compared with the same period a year ago, driven mostly by lower natural gas production and the expiration earlier this year of Exxon's rights to production at a field in Abu Dhabi. Exxon's output has been slipping for years. Its production of the equivalent of 3.83 million barrels of oil per day in the quarter was the company's lowest since the third quarter of 2009 [pennenergy.com] » November 03 2014 - Clean Energy, Clean Technology, Patents. Clean energy patents hit an all time high in the second quarter of 2014. Solar patents again led Fuel Cell patents and all other technologies in what has become a pattern the booming solar sector. Toyota and GM again traded places at the top of the patent owner chart with Toyota taking the quarterly Clean Energy patent Crown back from GM. The US led all countries in granted US clean energy patents [renewableenergyworld.com] » November 03 2014 - Oil Market, Oil Prices. Why oil prices diclined now and where they go from here. After three years of eerie calm in the oil market volatility has returned with a vengeance. With prices down $20 in the past few months it seems the market is ignoring the wars in the Iraq, Syria, and Libya. Normally any one of those would be enough to at least keep prices up if not rising. So is it the rise of US production? Domestic production has been rapidly rising for the past three years and is making new records each month. What about the reduced expectations for demand growth in China? Well those are both having an impact, but neither were the tipping point that brought volatility and lower prices back to the market. We can thank two big factors for providing a economic stimulus to the US economy that is actually bigger than the $787 package the Obama administration promoted and passed in 2009. FuelFix summarized a great report from Citigroup about this. Oil-Prices_FuelFIX Citigroup estimates the stimulus impact of oil prices that are now down by 20% to be $1.1 Trillion dollars. If that number isn't mind numbing enough, try this one, $1.8 billion in savings per day. The first and single biggest factor is a familiar one, Saudi Arabia. Once the Saudi's signaled that they would accept significantly lower prices on October 1st the race to $80 and potentially lower was on. The Kuwaiti's quickly moved to support the move by the Saudi's signaling on October 14th that they would follow the Saudi move down. The next OPEC meeting is on Nov 27th so we will surely learn more then, but I do not expect production cuts coming out of that meeting unless we see price declines below $75 before the meeting takes place. The second big factor is the rising dollar [thinkingonenergy.com] » November 02 2014 - Climate Change, Global Warming, IPCC Fifth Assessment Synthesis Report. Observed changes in the climate system. Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and since the 1950s, many of the observed changes are unprecedented over decades to millennia. The atmosphere and ocean have warmed, the amounts of snow and ice have diminished, and sea level has risen. Each of the last three decades has been successively warmer at the Earth's surface than any preceding decade since 1850. The period from 1983 to 2012 was likely the warmest 30-year period of the last 1400 years in the Northern Hemisphere, where such assessment is possible (medium confidence). The globally averaged combined land and ocean surface temperature data as calculated by a linear trend, show a warming of 0.85 [0.65 to 1.06] ºC over the period 1880 to 2012, when multiple independently produced datasets exist [...] Causes of climate change. Anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions have increased since the pre-industrial era, driven largely by economic and population growth, and are now higher than ever. This has led to atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide that are unprecedented in at least the last 800,000 years. Their effects, together with those of other anthropogenic drivers, have been detected throughout the climate system and are extremely likely to have been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century. Anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions since the pre-industrial era have driven large increases in the atmospheric concentrations of CO2, CH4 and N2O. Between 1750 and 2011, cumulative anthropogenic CO2 emissions to the atmosphere were 2040 ± 310 GtCO2. About 40% of these emissions have remained in the atmosphere (880 ± 35 GtCO2); the rest was removed from the atmosphere and stored on land (in plants and soils) and in the ocean. The ocean has absorbed about 30% of the emitted anthropogenic CO2, causing ocean acidification. About half of the anthropogenic CO2 emissions between 1750 and 2011 have occurred in the last 40 years (high confidence) [ipcc.ch] » October 31 2014 - Oil prices, forecast, OPEC, Shale-Oil Drillers, Goldman Sachs, Geopolitics. The news just became worse for Iran, Russia and Venezuela, and better for motorists around the world: Another big Wall Street voice has weighed in with a forecast of long-term lower oil pricesbelow what these three nations require to balance their budgets. Oil prices have been plunging for more than six weeks now, falling more than 20% off their highs of about $115 in June. But in what it calls "The New Oil Order," Goldman Sachs says that US shale-oil drillers have become so potent that they have supplanted OPEC as the reigning global powerhouse. These shale drillers, and not the Saudi-led cartel, will for some time govern oil prices, the bank says in an Oct. 26 note to clients. As a first order of business, says Goldman, internationally traded Brent crude will drop to $80 a barrel the second quarter of next year, 30% below the price just five months ago. The pronouncement comes on top of a series of similar notes from Citi. But as another establishment bank coming to the same conclusion, Goldman spooked traders, who at the end of last week pushed prices back up a bit but yesterday resumed their oil selloff. They bid Brent down to $85.37 a barrel [qz.com] » October 31 2014 - Natural Gas, Russia-Ukraine Deal, UE. Russia has agreed to resume gas supplies to Ukraine over the winter in a deal brokered by the European Union. The deal will also ensure gas supplies to EU countries via Ukraine are secure. "There is now no reason for people in Europe to stay cold this winter," said European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso. European Union energy chief Guenther Oettinger said he was confident that Ukraine would be able to afford to pay for the gas it needed. He added that the agreement might be the "first glimmer" of hope in easing tensions between Russian and Ukraine. [...] The deal follows months of talks between EU officials and the Russian and Ukrainian energy ministers. The terms include the EU acting as guarantor for Ukraine's gas purchases from Russia and helping to meet outstanding debts. The total package is worth $4.6bn (£2.87bn), with money coming from the International Monetary Fund as well as the EU. The total includes funds from existing accords with the EU and IMF. "Unprecedented levels of EU aid will be disbursed in a timely manner, and the International Monetary Fund has reassured Ukraine that it can use all financial means at its disposal to pay for gas," the EC said in a statement. "Further work with the international financial institutions on financial assistance to Ukraine, also in relation to gas supplies, will still continue. But all three sides are reassured that Ukraine will have the necessary financial means." [bbc.com] » October 31 2014 - Energy Efficiency, IEA Report. The CSIS Energy and National Security Program is pleased to host Philippe Benoit, Head of the Energy Efficiency and Environment Division at the IEA, to discuss the IEA's recently released inaugural Energy Efficiency Market Report 2014. The report finds that the global energy efficiency market is worth at least $310 billion a year and is expected to grow. The annual report from the International Energy Agency, now in its second year, confirms the position of energy efficiency as the “first fuel” in the IEA's largest economies. Mr. Benoit will also present a related IEA study, Capturing the Multiple Benefits of Energy Efficiency, which shows that the benefits of energy efficiency go well beyond the simple scaling back of energy demand. The study reframes the discussion about energy efficiency and shows how it has the potential to support economic growth, enhance social development, advance environmental sustainability, ensure energy-system security and help build wealth. 10:00 AM - 11:15 AM, Thursday, November 13th, 2014. This event will be on-the-record. Registration required to attend. Please send your confirmation by COB Wednesday, November 12th to [email protected] [csis.org] » October 31 2014 - Renewable Energy, Biomass, IRENA. Biomass moves into modernity. Throughout the world at least 2.6 billion people lack access to modern fuels for cooking and heating, relying instead on traditional biomass to meet those vital energy needs. "Traditional biomass", International Energy Agency (IEA) refers to consumption of such resources in the residential sector, typically in developing countries, through the often-unsustainable use of wood, charcoal, agricultural residues or animal dung for cooking and heating [...] However, the future role of bioenergy in the world's energy supply is promising, with many organisations, including IRENA, foreseeing a major role for modern, sustainable biomass and biofuel technologies. Around 80% of all renewable energy use (in final energy terms) came from biomass in 2010. Most of this was traditional use, which accounted for half of the World's total renewable energy use according to the IEA. The technologies already exist for biomass to replace conventional energy in an affordable and sustainable manner, and this could lead to significant changes in biomass practices worldwide. One scenario outlined in REmap 2030, IRENA's global renewable energy roadmap, predicts that 30% of total world biomass could be used for power and district heat generation, 30% for liquid biofuels production and the remainder for cooking, heating, and building and industrial uses. This transition depends on increased use of liquid biofuels together with combined heat and power (CHP) in the electricity and industrial sectors, along with the steady reduction of traditional uses of biomass [irena.org] » October 31 2014 - Natural Gas, Russia, Ukraine, UE, Gazprom, Geopolitics. The deadline for Ukraine to repay the remaining gas debt is not stipulated in an interim deal reached between Moscow and Kiev, Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller said on Friday. A corresponding decision will be made by the Stockholm Arbitration Tribunal [...] Russian natural gas deliveries to Ukraine will resume 48 hours after Kiev repays the first $1.45 billion portion of its gas debt and makes an advance payment, Miller said. "Two days after the terms of the agreement signed on October 30 are fulfilled, the deliveries will be resumed," the Gazprom CEO said [itar-tass.com] » October 31 2014 - Climate Change, Artic Sea-Ice Decline, Severe Winters, Nature Geoscience. Over the past decade, severe winters occurred frequently in mid-latitude Eurasia, despite increasing global- and annual-mean surface air temperatures. Observations suggest that these cold Eurasian winters could have been instigated by Arctic sea-ice decline, through excitation of circulation anomalies similar to the Arctic Oscillation. In climate simulations, however, a robust atmospheric response to sea-ice decline has not been found, perhaps owing to energetic internal fluctuations in the atmospheric circulation. Here we use a 100-member ensemble of simulations with an atmospheric general circulation model driven by observation-based sea-ice concentration anomalies to show that as a result of sea-ice reduction in the Barents-Kara Sea, the probability of severe winters has more than doubled in central Eurasia. In our simulations, the atmospheric response to sea-ice decline is approximately independent of the Arctic Oscillation. Both reanalysis data and our simulations suggest that sea-ice decline leads to more frequent Eurasian blocking situations, which in turn favour cold-air advection to Eurasia and hence severe winters. Based on a further analysis of simulations from 22 climate models we conclude that the sea-ice-driven cold winters are unlikely to dominate in a warming future climate, although uncertainty remains, due in part to an insufficient ensemble size [nature.com] » October 30 2014 - Oil, Offshore, Oil Spill Response, Eni, Norway. Eni Norge will buy in training for staff from what it believes is the world's first centre providing instruction for oil spill response in total darkness, which it says will be vital for recovery operations in northern waters. The Norwegian subsidiary of the Italian oil giant Eni has entered into a spill contingency training agreement with the Nordkapp Maritime Training Centre in Honningsvag, Norway. The centre will be the first in the world to use simulators for oil recovery training in "conditions of darkness," the firm said in a statement. It added that the centre has state-of-the-art simulators to mimic a variety of demanding conditions. Eni said this will be vital for its work on the Goliat field development, in the Barents Sea. Located 85km northwest of Hammerfest, Norway (latitude 61 North), the field sees no sunshine during winter months [decomworld.com] » October 30 2014 - Oil and Gas, Mining. Right and Resources Report. In a new analysis of almost 73,000 concessions in eight tropical forested countries, more than 93% of these developments were found to involve land inhabited by Indigenous Peoples and local communities. This report, prepared by The Munden Project, highlights the alarming amount of land that governments have handed over to the private sector for mining, logging, agriculture, oil and gas, including 40% of all land in Peru and 30% in Indonesia. According to Communities as Counterparties: Preliminary Review of Concessions and Conflict in Emerging and Frontier Markets, these concessions often generate conflict with local communities [rightsandresources.org] » October 30 2014 - Climate Negotiations, BRICS, G7, G20, E7. The current impasse in the climate negotiations provides an unprecedented opportunity for the BRICS countries to re-frame a global challenge that has divided countries for the last 20 years. In an increasingly interdependent world for growing economies an agreement is more important for their social and economic development than for the industrialised countries. The political divide focuses on whether it is time to end the differentiation between developed and developing countries. The existing division of countries in the Convention follows the United Nations classification, based on per-capita incomes, and a change must be considered in the United Nations because of the implications for other areas, including the trade regime [indiaenvironmentportal.org.in] » October 30 2014 - Oil, Iran, Geopolitcs. Iran's revenue from crude sales, the OPEC member's biggest export, dropped 30 percent because of the recent decline in global oil prices [...] "International conditions are such that the country's main source of income, i.e. oil revenues, has been cut by some 30 percent," Rouhani said in remarks to parliament published yesterday on Shana, the Oil Ministry's news website. "We have to deal with the new conditions and the global economic conditions." Brent crude, a benchmark for more than half of the world's oil, has plunged more than 20 percent since peaking in June at about $115 a barrel as supply, boosted by U.S. shale production, outpaced demand. Iran needs to achieve a break-even sales price of $143 a barrel this year to maintain its fiscal balance, according to data compiled by Bloomberg [energyvoice.com] » October 30 2014 - Oil, Azerbaijan Production. The Azerbaijan government estimates oil production may decrease in 2015, continuing declines seen this year, Reuters reported. Oil output may be reduced by 2.5 percent in 2015 compared to this year. Oil operator BP cut its oil production estimate for this year at Chirag and Guneshli (ACG) oilfields, citing necessary maintenance work at the Central Azeri and West Azeri platforms. A source close to the government told Reuters that oil output could reach 40.62 million tons in 2015, down from this year, which is expected to end with 41.65 million tons. The report suggests that production may hit its peak in 2014. While output is expected to increase to 40.77 million tons in 2016, it may experience declines the following two years. Despite the report that oil production will fall next year, BP said its oil output increased last year to 43.15 million tons. The company is also working through its Azerbaijan International Operating Company to build a pipeline system to deliver natural gas from Shah Deniz gas field in Azerbaijan to customers in Europe [pennenergy.com] » October 30 2014 - Oil, Oil and Gas Industry, US. Driven by a rise in billion-dollar deals, midstream activity, and interest in upstream shale plays from foreign buyers, mergers and acquisitions in the US oil and gas industry reached the highest levels in the past decade during the third quarter, according to a quarterly report from PwC US Energy Practice. During the 3-month period ending Sept. 30, 78 oil and gas deals with values of more than $50 million took place, accounting for $123 billion in total value, compared with 43 deals worth just $16.4 billion in last year's third quarter. That represents 649% growth in total deal value. For further comparison, second-quarter volume totaled 65 deals and value totaled $48.9 billion (OGJ Online, July 30, 2014). Notably, fourteen megadeals occurred during the third quarter, representing $103.5 billion. Foreign buyers, which took part in the most deals in the last 5 years, announced 17 deals during this year's third quarter, accounting for $22.1 billion in value, an increase over 9 deals worth $2.8 billion during the same period last year. Volume and value of foreign deals, on a sequential basis, increased a respective 70% and 103% from this year’s second quarter. "This extraordinary deal activity occurred while commodity prices declined sharply during the quarter-a trend that accelerated in the first half of October," [...] Fifteen midstream deals occurred during the quarter, including three valued at more than $8 billion each that contributed $74.1 billion in value. That represents 517% growth in deal value vs. the second quarter. Upstream deals accounted for 54% of total deal activity in the third quarter, with 42 transactions representing $29.4 billion. The total number of downstream deals was unchanged at nine, but total deal value decreased to $8.4 billion. During the second quarter, downstream deals totaled $9.3 billion. The number of oil field services deals increased to 12, with total value rising 313% to $11.1 billion compared with the second quarter. Master limited partnerships (MLPs) were involved in 14 transactions, representing 18% of total deal activity in the quarter, consistent with historical levels [...] As with previous quarters, deals targeting shale plays represented almost half of all deal activity, with 36 deals taking place totaling $26.6 billion. Upstream shale deals represented 28 transactions and accounted for $23.1 billion. There were five midstream shale-related deals accounting for $2.5 billion. No midstream deals took place in last year's third quarter. Seven deals occurred in the Eagle Ford totaling $1.8 billion-the most of all the major US shale plays. The Bakken followed with six deals totaling $8.6 billion, the highest sum of the group. Five deals worth $7.8 billion took place in the Permian. The Marcellus had four deals valued at $1.1 billion, and the Niobrara had three deals worth $2.4 billion. The Utica generated two deals, while the Haynesville and Fayetteville each generated one deal [ogj.com] » October 29 2014 - Oil Prices, Saudi Arabian Oil Policy, Shale Texas oil boom/bust, Fossil Fuel Divestment. In one of the more honest assessments of current Saudi Arabian oil policy, Rice University's Jim Krane said there are several plausible reasons behind the Saudis' apparently sanguine approach to falling global oil prices, but only a few within the Kingdom really know. "If you're somebody who looks at geopolitics and energy, you could come up with any number of ways or any number of reasons why the Saudis are not doing what they would usually do," says Krane. "There [are] lots of good reasons for them to keep on producing, but exactly why they're doing it probably only a few dozen people in Saudi Arabia know that," he adds. [NPR] Municipalities located in the heart of the Texas oil boom are not overly concerned about recent oil price declines. "Busts famously follow booms, but economists and industry experts say towns atop Texas' biggest drilling zones probably aren't looking at the beginning of a bust - at least not yet. In the Permian Basin and Eagle Ford, operators have poured billions of dollars into pipelines and other infrastructure, so they're not likely to walk away unless things get much worse." [Texas Tribune] Fossil fuel divestment backers are not saying "I told you so" yet, but some are hinting at that view. Lower oil prices, they say, are forcing companies to reconsider expensive dividend and share buy-back programs, which are some of the things that make oil equities attractive to investors. "If oil prices stay low for a sustained period like during the last recession, the resulting earnings hit could jeopardize those programs, according to Flynn of the Price Futures Group. Those programs are a big reason oil stocks are a staple in investment portfolios." [Inside Climate News] [breakingenergy.com] » October 29 2014 - Climate Change, Energy, Industry, EU, EEA. Policies put the EU on track to meet its 2020 climate and energy targets but bigger push needed for 2030. European Union (EU) greenhouse gas emissions fell almost 2% between 2012 and 2013, putting the EU very close to its 2020 reduction target, according to new analysis from the European Environment Agency (EEA). The EU is also on track to meet two other targets to boost renewable energy and energy efficiency by 2020 [...] Beyond 2020. Last week, European heads of state and government agreed new headline targets for 2030, reducing greenhouse gases emissions by at least 40 % from 1990 levels, increasing renewable energy to make up at least 27 % of final energy consumption and a minimum 27 % reduction in energy consumption compared to business-as-usual. The current projections for 2030 indicate that further efforts are required at national and EU level to keep the EU on track towards its new 2030 targets, as well as its longer term objectives to decarbonise the European energy system and cut EU's greenhouse gas emissions by 80 to 95 % by 2050. [eea.europa.eu] » October 29 2014 - Natural Gas, Geopolitics, EU, US, Russia. When the Ukraine crisis broke out threatening to compromise Europe's energy supply from Russia, many American politicians and pundits called for the United States to expedite exports of liquefied natural gas, or LNG, to help bolster European energy security. Speaker of the House John Boehner opined in The Wall Street Journal, "America not only has a right to develop and market its natural resources. In the face of rising danger, it has an obligation to do so." Never mind that the United States won't have its first LNG export terminal in operation until late 2015 at the very earliest; that much of its approved gas exports are already committed to long-term contracts in Asia; and that Ukraine as well as most European countries under the Kremlin's boot do not have the terminals for receiving LNG [naturalgaseurope.com] » October 29 2014 - Energy, Oil, Petrodollar, Geopolitics, US, Russia, China. The End Of An Era: Is The US Petrodollar Under Threat?. Recent trade deals and high-level cooperation between Russia and China have set off alarm bells in the West as policymakers and oil and gas executives watch the balance of power in global energy markets shift to the East. The reasons for the cozier relationship between the two giant powers are, of course, rooted in the Ukraine crisis and subsequent Western sanctions against Russia, combined with China's need to secure long-term energy supplies. However, a consequence of closer economic ties between Russia and China could also mean the beginning of the end of dominance for the U.S. dollar, and that could have a profound impact on energy markets [oilprice.com] » October 29 2014 - Natural Gas, United Arab Emirates. Dubai Petroleum Establishment (DPE), owned 100% by the government of Dubai and responsible for Dubai's offshore oil and gas development and production, has identified what it calls significant volumes of gas in its T-02 deep gas exploration well. The high-pressure/high-temperature T-02 well was drilled to 18,248 ft (5,562 m) into the Pre Khuff formation and is the deepest well in Dubai to date. The well is in the offshore Fateh field. The new well has been wireline logged to evaluate the potential of the formations, and there are some 390 ft (119 m) of gas-rich zones out of the 900 ft (274 m) drilled and logged in the Pre Khuff formation. The well is being suspended for later re-entry, stimulation, and long-term production testing. Until testing is completed, potential reserves and possible production rates cannot be estimated accurately. The planned production testing procedures require the use of specialist items and equipment that have long lead times for delivery. DPE expects to have test results in late summer 2015 [offshore-mag.com] » October 28 2014 - Natural Gas, Iran, Turkmenistan, Geopolitics. Iran will extract 20 mcm of gas from its Sarajeh and Shorijeh storage facilities as of mid-October for the country's winter consumption, a senior official at the Natural Gas Storage Company (NGSC) said on Tuesday [...] Iran will be able to pass behind the winter consumption climax by launching and operating the facilities in Shourijeh and importing gas from Turkmenistan. Iran has a contract to import 40 mcm/d of gas from Turkmenistan while the latter only delivers 23 to 24 mcm/d. Iran has become one of the five leading countries with underground natural gas storage facilities and the largest in the Middle East region [irna.ir] » October 28 2014 - Carbon Leakage, Climate Change, EU, ETS. The European Commission adopted today the list of industry sectors and subsectors that are deemed to be exposed to a significant risk of carbon leakage for the period 2015 to 2019. After the positive opinion of the Climate Change Committee (in which all Member States are represented), and with no objection raised by either the European Parliament or the Council during the three-month scrutiny period, the European Commission adopted today the list of industry sectors and subsectors that are deemed to be exposed to a significant risk of carbon leakage for the period 2015 to 2019. No further changes were made to the draft list that had been published on 5 May 2014. Industry sectors and sub-sectors deemed to be exposed to a significant risk of 'carbon leakage' receive a higher share of free allowances because they face competition from industries in third countries which are not subject to comparable greenhouse gas emissions restrictions. This second carbon leakage list provides regulatory predictability for industry for the period from 1 January 2015 to 31 December 2019 and succeeds the first carbon leakage list that is still valid until 31 December 2014. According to the ETS Directive, it will be possible to add further sectors to the list if they comply with the criteria stated in [ec.europa.eu] » October 28 2014 - Oil, Natural Gas, Offshore, Subsea Environment Integrity, DecomWorld Technical Paper. Subsea Integrity Market Insight: Challenges & Opportunities. Faults and failures across the subsea system have huge cost, safety and production implications in the highly complex and remote subsea environment - understanding the condition and performance of critical assets as part of a proactive subsea integrity strategy is the only way to eradicate such failures and deliver greater production uptime [decomworld.com] » October 28 2014 - Oil, Natural Gas, Weak Oil Prices, UK. BG Group Plc said third-quarter profit slumped 29%, missing analyst estimates, on weak oil prices and lower production. Profit excluding disposals and one-time items dropped to $759million from $1.07billion a year earlier, the UK's third-largest natural-gas producer said today in a statement. That missed the $809million average of nine analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Higher Brazil oil volumes were mostly offset by lower output in Egypt and Kazakhstan and falling prices, it said. Oil prices have tanked since July as production from US shale fields boomed and the world economy slowed. The price of Brent crude, a global benchmark, averaged $103.46 a barrel in the third quarter, 6.6% less than in the same period in 2013. It's down more than 20 percent this year. Reading, England-based BG slid 0.55 to 1,038 pence by 8:40 a.m. in London, bringing losses this year to 20%. Output fell 2% to the equivalent of 569,000 barrels of oil a day in the quarter, while operating profit from the liquefied natural gas business sank 4% to $576million [energyvoice.com] » October 28 2014 - Natural Gas, Geopolitics, Russia, Ukraine, UE. EU energy commissioner, Ukraine energy minister discuss forthcoming tripartite gas talks. European energy commissioner Guenther Oettinger and Ukraine's Minister of Energy and Coal Industry Yuri Prodan had a telephone conversation on Monday to discuss aspects of the forthcoming tripartite gas talks due in Brussels on October 29, a spokesman for the European Commission told TASS. According to TASS information, the sides discussed issues of financial guarantees to Ukraine to pay for Russian gas supplies in November-December 2014. The spokesman however refused to elaborate whether any agreement on that matter had been reached, saying only that preparatory work for the tripartite talls was underway. After the previous tripartite gas talks in Brussels on October 21, Oettinger admitted that Ukraine needed from one to two billion U.S. dollars to be able to pay for Russian gas [itar-tass.com] » October 27 2014 - Climate Change, Low Carbon, Resilient Development, World Bank free e-Course. Policy Instruments for Low Emissions Development: From Design to Implementation. Dates: November 10, 2014 - November 28, 2014. As the world seeks to enhance global greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation efforts, countries are exploring innovative and cost-effective ways to scale-up emissions reductions and foster private sector investment. A range of policy instruments such as voluntary, regulatory and market-based approaches can help achieve these goals.This course will assist you to plan, design and implement these policy instruments to help spur your country into a low emissions development path. The course starts by discussing the rationale for Low Emissions Development (LED) policy and the expected benefits of such policies. The discussion considers both contributions to global emissions reductions and local development opportunities such as: Increased energy security by reducing the dependence on fossil fuels and exposure to volatile prices. Increased industrial productivity as a consequence of energy efficiency measures. New economic opportunities and employment through deployment and diffusion of low carbon technologies. Reduced costs of environmental degradation. [einstitute.worldbank.org] » October 27 2014 - Oil market, crude stocks, US. US crude stocks likely rose 2.8 million barrels last week. US commercial crude stocks are expected to have increased 2.8 million barrels in the reporting week that ended October 24, according to a Platts analysis and survey of oil analysts Monday. The American Petroleum Institute will release its weekly stocks data at 4:30 pm EDT (2030 GMT) Tuesday and the US Energy Information Administration is scheduled to release its weekly data at 10:30 am EDT (1430 GMT) Wednesday. The EIA five-year average shows inventories typically rising 1.9 million barrels this reporting week. Refineries tend to enter into maintenance when summer driving season concludes, causing stocks to accumulate through late October, stabilize for a few weeks, and then draw down as demand returns in mid-November. US crude stocks are well supplied by recent historical standards. Crude inventory rose 7.1 million barrels in the week ending October 17. At 377.7 million barrels, crude stocks were 5.3% above the EIA five-year average (2009-3). Analysts expect US refinery utilization rates to have increased 0.22 percentage point to 86.9%. EIA data showed US refinery runs at 15.2 million b/d for the reporting week that ended October 17. The last time refineries processed more than 15 million b/d for the same reporting week was in October 2003 [platts.com] » October 27 2014 - Wind Energy, GWEC Outlook. Global Wind Energy Outlook: 2000 gigawatts by 2030. The Global Wind Energy Council and Greenpeace International released the 2014 edition of the Global Wind Energy Outlook in Beijing today. The report shows that wind power could reach 2,000 GW by 2030, and supply up to 17-19% of global electricity, creating over 2 million new jobs and reducing CO2 emissions by more than 3 billion tonnes per year. By 2050, wind power could provide 25-30% of global electricity supply. The new report presents three visions of the future of the global wind energy industry out to 2020, 2030 and up to 2050. The scenarios compare the International Energy Agency's central scenario from its World Energy Outlook with a 'Moderate' and 'Advanced' scenario developed especially for this report, detailing how the global wind industry might deliver in terms of global electricity supply, CO2 emission savings, employment, cost reductions, and investment [gwec.net] » October 27 2014 - Green Economy, climate change, Countries Performance, Dual Citizen Report. The 2014 Global Green Economy Index (GGEI). This 4th edition of the GGEI is an in-depth look at how 60 countries perform in the global green economy, as well as how expert practitioners rank this performance. Like many indices, the GGEI is a communications tool, signaling to policy makers, international organizations, the private sector and citizens which countries are successfully orienting their economies toward greener growth pathways and which ones are not. Importantly, the GGEI also generates perception values, offering unique insights into how communications and information exchange can be leveraged to further advance green economic growth. [...] The graph titled "Climate vs. Green Economy" [...] compares the top country performers in the GGEI to the top country performers from Germanwatch's 2014 Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) [dualcitizeninc.com] » October 27 2014 - Coal, Energy Transition, Global Energy System, Climate Change, China, ASEAN Countries, Australia. The University of Queensland Energy Initiative, in canvassing the "energy-prosperity-climate dilemma" in its latest newsletter, has some eye-opening data on the current role of coal in global energy use. Looking at 2013, the obvious starting point is that overall energy consumption worldwide grew 2.3 per cent. Fossil fuels not only accounted for 86.7 per cent of what was used, but three-quarters of last year's increase. No-one will be surprised to hear that the growth is dominantly in the non-OECD countries, or that China is still a massive presence in surging energy use. But, as the UQ Energy Initiative points out, the much less heralded story is what is happening in the ASEAN countries and South Asia. Over the past three years, it says, coal consumption has grown by nearly 25 per cent in India and 22 per cent in ASEAN countries versus just under 20 per cent in China. "Though they may be coming from a lower starting point, these countries represent a massive population base -- more than 1.25 billion in India and 600 million in the ASEAN nations -- whose appetite for energy is only just beginning." The hard truth, as UQ Energy Initiative reports it, is that the combined global increase in zero-emission electricity supply -- from renewable energy and nuclear plants - was only 7 per cent in these 36 months. "In fact," it adds, "the growth in primary energy from all near-zero carbon energy sources over three years globally was just 30 per cent of the incremental energy from coal in the Asia-Pacific region alone." Top dog in this, of course, is China, which has added new coal-fired power generation capacity equivalent to or greater than Australia's total installed capacity every year for 10 years. In 2013, says UQ, it increased its coal consumption four per cent to 3.7 billion tonnes, roughly half the global consumption of the fuel and more than 10 times Australia's coal exports. [...] "If nothing changes, what then?" [...] if dire IPCC predictions are correct, "we may need to contemplate some rather drastic interventions ('geo-engineering') to manipulate the climate", ranging from using aerosols and cloud seeding to reflect heat away from the atmosphere to ocean fertlisation to absorb carbon dioxide [...] it is interesting to also read the views of Robert Stavins, a member of the IPCC and prominent Harvard professor [...] "the reality is that the emerging economies of China, India, Brazil, South Korea, Mexico and South Africa are rapidly putting in place new infrastructure that depends on burning fossil fuels." [businessspectator.com.au] » October 27 2014 - Energy Transition, Global Energy System, Fossil Fuel Subsidies, Global Green Growth Forum (3GF), Maria van der Hoeven Speech - Executive Director, IEA. The Role of Electricity in Transforming the Global Energy System. The good news is that globally, the IEA's Energy Technology Perspectives 2014's two degrees scenario, or 2DS, confirms that with the right choices, global population and economic growth can be decoupled from energy demand, even for oil. As you can see, a significant part of this decoupling will come through increases in energy efficiency. While it is true that energy savings can result in greater consumption of energy services - the so-called rebound effect - this ignores the positive benefits. When a poor family can save on heating bills, it has more money to spend on other activities, for example on a home computer. This isn't a bad thing. When industries become more efficient, they may become more competitive and increase production. In fact, when we speak to some of our colleagues from developing countries, they are eager to see energy savings channelled back into other productive pursuits, which in turn generate even greater growth. But while energy efficiency remains the largest contributor to emissions reductions, and combined with both the positive and negative potential of some rebound effect, it alone will not enable us to meet global climate targets. We must also clean up the production of the energy that we do use. [...] Another key decision will be on the phasing out of fossil fuel subsidies. The IEA has been placing emphasis on phasing out fossil fuel subsidies for well over a decade in the context of our World Energy Outlook, or WEO. Next month, on 12 November in London, I will be launching the 2014 edition of the WEO, which will include a dedicated chapter on subsidies to fossil fuels. [...] Despite growing momentum to reduce or eliminate subsidies to fossil fuels, our new analysis highlights that they remain a significant problem, primarily where they have become too much of a burden on the public purse. Globally, we have identified 40 countries that subsidise fossil-fuel consumption with a combined value amounting to USD 548 billion in 2013. While this represents a USD 25 billion cut from the previous year, it is still almost five-times the value of subsidies to renewable energy. Reforming energy subsidies is difficult to achieve in practice, but it is not impossible [iea.org] » October 27 2014 - Energy Transition, UE, Energy Future. "The energy transition has only just begun". While policymakers and companies generally acknowledge the need for an energy transition, they still underestimate the enormous task that is facing us. The real energy transition, says Andre' Faaij, the new academic director of the Dutch research institute Energy Academy Europe, has yet to start. And, he adds, it will only succeed if it is strongly directed by government policy - preferably coordinated by Brussels - and approached in a comprehensive manner. "A limited approach, based on particular interests, that won’t work." The "energy transition" is "going to be a much tougher challenge" than most people realise. That's the firm conviction of Professor Andre' Faaij, who since 1 April of this year has been Academic Director of the Energy Academy Europe (EAE), a fairly new top-level institute in Groningen, set up in 2012 to study and help forward a sustainable energy future. "In Europe we are already struggling to achieve 20% sustainable energy", says Faaij in an interview with Energy Post. "And this includes nearly all the low-hanging fruit, such as hydropower and the conventional use of biomass for heat. In most countries solar, wind and advanced biomass account for only 1or 2% of energy supply. And we need to achieve 80% in 2050!" [energypost.eu] » October 26 2014 - Shale Gas, US, Barnett Shale, Fracking Future, geopolitics. Fracking Future Could Rest On Small Texas Town. All eyes are on a small college town just outside of Dallas, Texas, whose claim to fame is three-fold: It is the home to the Barnett Shale; it is where hydraulic fracturing debuted; and now some fear it could be where fracking meets one of its greatest enemies, while conspiracy theories of Russian infiltration abound. On 4 November, the residents of Denton will vote in a local ballot on whether or not to ban fracking within the city limits, and there is a flurry of activity on this battleground that is not likely to end with the vote itself, but will be dragged through the courts in the aftermath. While Denton is but a small college town, this small-town referendum has much larger implications. If Texas bans fracking-even on this small scale-it could snowball and empower other anti-fracking movements and efforts. The local government has the right to invoke home rule, which empowers a local municipality to control zoning ordinances and override state rules. This is what has the oil and gas industry worried, as it threatens to reshape the fracking debate country-wide. The campaign for a referendum on banning fracking was initiated by the Denton Drilling Awareness Group, whose petition for a ban turned up enough support to force the city council to hold a Council vote in July, which ended up being 5 to 2 against the ban. The ban failed to pass, but was put on a November ballot as a public referendum. In July, when things started heating up, the Russian conspiracy theory entered the equation, first spread by the Railroad Commissioner. The fight has become dirty, as it is wont to do in the oil and gas business, and now takes on geopolitical proportions, catapulting this small Texan town into a new sort of fame from which it will not recover for some time. Profracking groups quickly latched on to the Russian conspiracy, recognizing the convenience in this during a time of high-tensions with and sanctions against Russian oil and gas interests, who have in the past been accused of supporting Western anti-fracking groups in order to slow down the American shale boom. Anti--racking supporters are referring to these tactics as "McCarthy-era", as the pro-fracking campaign is now suggesting that anyone who thwarts fracking is supporting Russian President Vladimir Putin, turning anti-fracking sentiments into treason [oilprice.com] » October 26 2014 - Climate change, climate action motive forces, emissions reductions policy, post-Kyoto. What are the Motive Forces for Effective Climate Action? If you might want or need something to happen very badly or urgently that was debatably in your power to influence or effect, the chief rational approach you might choose would be to attempt to understand what are the causal forces or conditions that lead that thing to happen. The alternatives are forms of magical thinking or prayer to assumed-to-be more powerful, perhaps supernatural, beings. As the domain of effective and timely action on climate is largely within the domain of human beings' ability to choose and influence others' choices and such action is considered by increasing numbers of people to be highly desirable, one would think that substantial groups of social scientists would be making their best efforts to figure out how to "make climate action happen". Even if you were not an intense partisan of a particular outcome, as the scenario above suggests, if you were just a scientist or seeker of knowledge of some type, you would also want to understand motive forces, so as to predict future outcomes and make your scientific knowledge of some use to human beings. This is the study of dynamics, how things change over time. Of course, some of the causes of climate action, unfortunately, are related to what we cannot directly and specifically control, i.e. the sequence and timing of unusual weather and other semi-natural events and changes on a scale of months and years. How hot, dry, wet or "unnatural" any of these physical climate-related events/disasters will appear to people will definitely have a catalytic effect on societies and governments now still embracing half-measures or avoiding action all together. It is extremely unfortunate that some of the impetus for effective action will come from events that will already be signs of a climate system on a path to perhaps irreversible instability and hostility to human life. However we cannot count on the destabilized climate system to catalyze the right or proper actions: mounting climate disasters could lead to a focus purely on rearguard adaptation or to the embrace of faulty ideas that will not yield decisive and rapid emissions reductions. As with the Kyoto Protocol's cap and trade system, half-measures can create their own set of entrenched interest groups invested in climate action as windowdressing rather than effective action itself. It still would be required that human beings make up their minds and act either before or after such disasters in a way that reduces their likelihood in the future, including fights with interest groups invested both in the status quo and in faulty ideas about what can spur emissions reductions [neweconomicperspectives.org] » October 26 2014 - Oil Price Shock, geopolitics, IS, Iraq, World Economy. In Early October the IMF looked at what might happen to the world economy if conflict in Iraq caused an oil-price shock. Fighters from Islamic State (IS) were pushing into the country's north and the fund worried about a sharp price rise, of 20% in a year. Global GDP would fall by 0.5-1.5%, it concluded. Equity prices in rich countries would decline by 3-7%, and inflation would be at least half a point higher. IS is still advancing. Russia, the world's third-biggest producer, is embroiled in Ukraine. Iraq, Syria, Nigeria and Libya, oil producers all, are in turmoil. But the price of Brent crude fell over 25% from $115 a barrel in mid-June to under $85 in mid-October, before recovering a little. Such a shift has global consequences. Who are the winners and losers? The first winner is the world economy itself. A 10% change in the oil price is associated with around a 0.2% change in global GDP, says Tom Helbling of the IMF. A price fall normally boosts GDP by shifting resources from producers to consumers, who are more likely to spend their gains than wealthy sheikhdoms. If increased supply is the driving force, the effect is likely to be bigger-as in America, where shale gas drove prices down relative to Europe and, says the IMF, boosted manufactured exports by 6% compared with the rest of the world. But if it reflects weak demand, consumers may save the windfall [economist.com] » October 24 2014 - Energy Trends in the Eastern Mediterranean, geopolitics, Greece, Russia, TAP, CSIS Statesmen's Forum. Evolving Energy Trends in the Eastern Mediterranean. [...] the shifting energy dynamics in the Eastern Mediterranean and Europe. As Europe seeks to develop an Energy Union and to enhance its energy security and diversify its supply, recent energy discoveries in the Eastern Mediterranean could offer an alternative. Greece has taken considerable steps to explore its own energy resource base and develop its energy infrastructure to enhance its domestic energy security. What are the prospects for energy sector development in Greece and across the broader region? How can Greece contribute to the expansion of Europe's Southern Gas Corridor? What impacts will the recently-announced Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) have on Greece and the rest of Europe? In light of the current geopolitical tensions with Russia and instability in the Middle East, will regional political dynamics hinder resource exploration and development? Minister Maniatis will share his insights on these topical issues [csis.org] » October 24 2014 - Climate Change, Certified Emission Reductions (CERs), UNOPS Bid. The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) has just posted an Invitation to Bid (ITB) for Certified Emission Reductions (CERs). The ITB closes on November 7th. UNOPS invites all project developers and carbon offsets traders to respond to the invitation to bid and offer credits that satisfy the quality requirements spelled out in the technical specifications. During the Climate Summit last month, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced that the entire United Nations system is stepping up its efforts to minimize its environmental impact: "The United Nations is doing its part. We will be climate neutral by 2020" [unops.org] » October 24 2014 - Coal, low prices, weak demand, Australia, China. The slide in oil prices has raised speculation that oil companies in the U.S. could be forced to cut back on production, but a market slump in another commodity is also putting pressure on producers. Coal markets are currently experiencing a supply glut that is showing no signs of recovery. Mining companies drew up plans for billion-dollar projects in the mid2000s, when commodity prices were on the upswing. With many of those projects now coming online, coal production is rising. [...] BHP Billiton, an Australian mining giant, just opened a $3.4 billion mine in Queensland, which will add 5.5 million tonnes of coal capacity per year to the global market [...] it's clear that the markets are not being good to coal. BHP Billiton is adding a new "world class" mine, but other mines in Australia are shutting down or laying off workers because of low prices and weak demand. According to Reuters, a third of Australia's mining sector is operating at a loss, choosing to keep operations going while waiting for sunnier days. Coal mining companies may be digging out more coal than ever before, but demand is not keeping up with all of the new supply. Much of that has to do with slowing demand in China. Third quarter figures showed that the Chinese economy expanded at a 7.3 percent annual rate, beating estimates, but still the slowest pace in five years. A slower economy, coupled with an aggressive campaign on behalf of the central government to cut air pollution, meant China's coal consumption actually declined by 1 to 2 percent from January through September of this year [oilprice.com] » October 24 2014 - Carbon Tax, Climate Change, Economic Growth. "The Sudden Rise of Carbon Taxes, 2010-2030, Lawrence MacDonald and Jing Cao outline an imagined scenario in which "It's 2030 and instead of racing toward the brink of climate catastrophe the world has begun to back away. Annual global emissions of heat-trapping gasses have fallen two-thirds-faster than anybody had dared to hope ... with continued steep reductions ahead. Atmospheric CO2 was increasing by 3 ppm per year as recently as 2020; ... today the annual increase has fallen to just 1 ppm, and attention and investment are shifting from the need for steep emissions reductions-a global goal that has largely been attained-to large-scale, low-cost biological methods for extracting carbon from the atmosphere." It all comes about because of emissions fees imposed in the U.S., China, Europe and elsewhere. And it coincides with increased economic growth! Read the attached essay to see how this scenario can actually happen [cgdev.org] » October 24 2014 - Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency, Clean Transport, Private Investment, US. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) regional Private Financing Advisory Network for Asia (PFAN-Asia) is a five-year regional program aiming to accelerate and to increase the private sector investment in clean energy and GHG emission reduction related projects/businesses in Southeast Asia and South Asia countries. PFAN-Asia program is now looking for projects and companies that needs financing for starting/developing renewable energy, energy efficiency and clean transport related businesses in any of the twelve countries: Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Maldives. We provide investment readiness assessment, mentoring services, match-making to investors, and tipping point assistance. Since 2006 we've raised $275 million in this region and $578 million globally. Our services are funded by the US-government to address global warming [cti-pfan.net] » October 24 2014 - Climate and Energy Policy, EU, European Council, Official document. Conclusions on 2030 Climate and Energy Policy Framework. Substantial progress has been made towards the attainment of the EU targets for greenhouse gas emission reduction, renewable energy and energy efficiency, which need to be fully met by 2020. On the basis of the principles identified in the March 2014 European Council conclusions, the European Council agreed today on the 2030 climate and energy policy framework for the European Union. Accordingly, the EU will submit its contribution, at the latest by the first quarter of 2015, in line with the timeline agreed by the UNFCCC in Warsaw for the conclusion of a global climate agreement. The European Council calls on all countries to come forward with ambitious targets and policies well in advance of the Conference of the Parties 21 in Paris. It will revert to this issue after the Paris Conference. The European Council will keep all the elements of the framework under review and will continue to give strategic orientations as appropriate, notably with respect to consensus on ETS, non-ETS, interconnections and energy efficiency [...] GHG emissions reduction target. The European Council endorsed a binding EU target of an at least 40% domestic reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 compared to 1990. To that end: the target will be delivered collectively by the EU in the most cost-effective manner possible, with the reductions in the ETS and non-ETS sectors amounting to 43% and 30% by 2030 compared to 2005, respectively; all Member States will participate in this effort, balancing considerations of fairness and solidarity [...] Renewables and energy efficiency. An EU target of at least 27% is set for the share of renewable energy consumed in the EU in 2030. This target will be binding at EU level. It will be fulfilled through Member States contributions guided by the need to deliver collectively the EU target without preventing Member States from setting their own more ambitious national targets and supporting them, in line with the state aid guidelines, as well as taking into account their degree of integration in the internal energy market. The integration of rising levels of intermittent renewable energy requires a more interconnected internal energy market and appropriate back up, which should be coordinated as necessary at regional level. An indicative target at the EU level of at least 27% is set for improving energy efficiency in 2030 compared to projections of future energy consumption based on the current criteria. It will be delivered in a cost-effective manner and it will fully respect the effectiveness of the ETSsystem in contributing to the overall climate goals. This will be reviewed by 2020, having in mind an EU level of 30% [...] The European Council noted the fundamental importance of a fully functioning and connected internal energy market. Recalling the March 2014 conclusions on its completion, the European Council stressed that all efforts must be mobilised to achieve this objective as a matter of urgency. Preventing inadequate interconnections of Member States with the European gas and electricity networks and ensuring synchronous operation of Member States within the European Continental Networks as foreseen in the European Energy Security Strategy will also remain a priority after 2020 [...] the European Commission supported by the Member States will take urgent measures in order to ensure the achievement of a minimum target of 10% of existing electricity interconnections, as a matter of urgency, and no later than 2020 at least for Member States which have not yet attained a minimum level of integration in the internal energy market, which are the Baltic States, Portugal and Spain, and for Member States which constitute their main point of access to the internal energy market [...] the Commission will also report regularly to the European Council with the objective of arriving at a 15% target by 2030, as proposed by the Commission [consilium.europa.eu] » October 23 2014 - Natural gas, Methane Hydrates, US. The US Department of Energy has launched a 4-year, marine research project to gain a deeper understanding of methane hydrate-bearing sediments. DOE says the new project will further the goals set out by the Methane Hydrate Research and Development Act of 2000 by estimating the occurrence and distribution of marine hydrates and laying the groundwork needed to simulate production behavior from sand-rich reservoirs. A research team led by the University of Texas at Austin, will characterize and prioritize known and prospective Gulf of Mexico drilling locations with a high probability of encountering concentrated methane hydrates. The team includes members from Ohio State University, Columbia University, the Consortium for Ocean Leadership, and the US Geological Survey. Researchers will begin a focused drilling program to acquire conventional cores, pressure cores, and downhole logs. They will then measure in situ properties and reservoir response to short-duration pressure perturbations. Post-fieldwork analyses will determine the in situ concentrations, the physical properties, the lithology, and the thermodynamic state of hydrate-bearing sand reservoirs [ogj.com] » October 23 2014 - Oil, North Sea, UK, GDF, BP. GDF Suez and BP have made a new oil discovery in the UK Central North Sea. The new exploration well, located in block 30/1c, was flow tested at a maximum rate of 5,350 barrels of oil equivalent per day. The discovery, dubbed 'Vorlich' by BP and 'Marconi' by GDF Suez, is a landmark find according to regional president of BP North Sea Trevor Garlick. [...] BP is the operator of block 30/1c. However, GDF Suez, which used the Transocean Galaxy II jack-up rig, is the official operator of the well. Ruud Zoon, managing director of GDF Suez, said: "This is an encouraging exploration discovery in a part of the Central North Sea that needs additional volumes of hydrocarbons to open up development options for several stranded discoveries. The discovery is our third successful well this year and demonstrates a continuing commitment by GDF SUEZ to an active exploration and appraisal drilling programme on the UK Continental Shelf." Business and Energy Minister Matthew Hancock [UK] added: “We are determined to have set the right fiscal and regulatory regimes to make sure we can get the maximum possible economic extraction of oil and gas from the North Sea." [energyvoice.com] » October 23 2014 - Renewable Energy, PV, China. China Greatwall Computer Shenzhen Co., which last month said it was selling shares to fund solar developments, plans to spend more than $87 million on rooftop and ground-mounted systems. The Shenzhen-based company is building projects totaling 60 megawatts of capacity in Guangdong and Jiangxi provinces, according to a statement today. The solar farms, which require government approval, are part of the nation's plan to increase photovoltaic capacity in Central and Eastern China to 10 gigawatts by 2020 [bnef.com] » October 23 2014 - Oil prices, OPEC, Brent, Libya. Libya's OPEC governor called for the group to reduce oil output by at least 500,000 barrels a day as its biggest members discount supplies to defend market share rather than cut production to boost prices. The market is oversupplied by about 1 million barrels a day, Libya's Samir Kamal said by e-mail yesterday. His comments reflected personal views, not the official Libyan position, he said. They mark the first time a member nation representative is suggesting how much production needs to be reduced after prices entered a bear market. Brent crude, a benchmark for more than half of the world's oil, has tumbled about 25 percent since June, as producers including Saudi Arabia cut export prices to stimulate demand amid the highest U.S. output in almost 30 years. Banks including BNP Paribas SA and Bank of America Corp. predict the price rout may be over, in part because they expect the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to reduce supply [bloomberg.com] » October 23 2014 - Climate Change, Insurance Companies, Climate Risk, Ceres Report. Amid growing evidence that climate change is having wide-ranging global impacts that will worsen in the years ahead, Insurer Climate Risk Disclosure Survey Report & Scorecard: 2014 Findings & Recommendations, ranks the nation's 330 largest insurance companies on what they are saying and doing to respond to escalating climate risks. The report found strong leadership among fewer than a dozen companies but generally poor responses among the vast majority [ceres.org] » October 23 2014 - Renewable energy, wind power. Wind economics more compelling than ever. The findings, based on figures by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), contradict the established narrative that touted shale gas as the biggest single factor in bringing down US emissions in recent years, says Greenpeace. The new analysis, which was published in part by Greenpeace and Energydesk, comes in the wake of a major international study recently published illustrating a global shale boom will not reduce emissions, and may lead to an increase in emissions of up to 11 per cent by 2050. The US shale industry has been widely credited for reducing the country's reliance on coal and slashing carbon pollution from the power sector. But research by Greenpeace energy and climate analyst Lauri Myllyvirta suggests that shale gas played a much smaller role than previously thought. Between 2007 and 2013 the US saw the largest fall in coal usage ever experienced by any country, with renewables, energy efficiency and shale gas together picking up the slack. Switching away from coal led to lower emissions from the power sector, which has largely been attributed to fracking [windenergyupdate.com] » October 22 2014 - CO2 emissions, UE. Prof Jim Skea, a vice-chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, says the EU's plan to cut CO2 emissions 40% by 2030 is too weak. He says it will commit future governments to "extraordinary and unprecedented" emissions cuts. The Commission rejected the claim, saying the 40% target puts Europe on track for long-term climate goals. The 40% target - proposed by the European Commission - will be finalised at an EU summit this week. A spokesman for the Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard said: "Our 40% target is in line with science as it puts us right on track to meet our 2050 goal of cutting emissions by 80%-95%. "This is what developed countries will need to reduce by 2050 according to the IPCC to keep global warming below 2C." But Prof Skea, vice-chair of the economics working group of the IPCC, told BBC News the EU's 40% target for 2030 would not lead to the desired cut by the middle of the century [bbc.com] » October 22 2014 - Energy Intensity, Carbon Intensity, CO2 emissions, US, eia. U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions increased in 2013 by 129 million metric tons (2.5%), the largest increase since 2010 and the fourth-largest increase since 1990. Emissions trends reflect a combination of economic factors (population multiplied by per capita output [GDP/population]), energy intensity (energy use per dollar of GDP), and carbon intensity (carbon emissions per unit of energy consumed). In the decade prior to 2013, energy intensity decreased on average by 2.0% per year; given that it increased by 0.5% in 2013, this meant there was a 2.5% swing compared to trend. Energy intensity changes can reflect weather variations that directly affect energy use for heating and cooling as well as changes in the composition of economic activity. Heating degree days, a measure of heating requirements, increased about 19% between 2012 and 2013. As compared to the 2003-12 trend, the increase in energy intensity added about 134 million metric tons. Carbon intensity declined by 0.3% in 2013, but as this decline was less than the previous decade, it led to an increase of about 29 million metric tons of emissions as compared to trend. One factor driving carbon intensity lower has been the changing fuel mix in the electric power sector. The share of electricity generated from natural gas and renewables generally increased while the share from coal decreased through 2012, when natural gas prices fell to their lowest level in more than a decade following a mild winter. With higher natural gas prices in 2013, coal's generation share rose from 39% in 2012 to 40% in 2013, slowing the rate of carbon intensity reduction [eia.gov] » October 22 2014 - Circular Economy, World Economic Forum. The Circular Economy Awards, or The Circulars, is an annual event recognizing individuals and enterprises from commerce, civil society and academia that have made a notable contribution to driving circular economy principles [...] The circular economy is an alternative to the traditional linear economy. It decouples growth from scarce resource use allowing economic development within natural resource limits and allowing companies to innovate to enable customers and users to do 'more with less'. All entries must be submitted by 31st October 2014 [thecirculars.org] » October 22 2014 - Natural gas, Russia, Ukraine, EU. The last round of negotiations between Ukraine and Russia has come to nothing, with European Commissioner Gunther Oettinger suggesting once more that an interim gas deal is soon to come. Oettinger said he hopes the two countries will reach an agreement on Wednesday next week. According to the draft agreement, Ukraine would buy 4 billion cubic meters of gas from Russia at $385 per 1,000 cubic meters on prepayment conditions [naturalgaseurope.com] » October 22 2014 - Carbon Markets, Routledge Studies in Environmental Policy. The Politics of Carbon Markets, published by Routledge. Carbon markets are in the middle of a fundamental crisis. A crisis marked by collapsing prices, fleeing actors, and ever increasing greenhouse gas levels. Yet carbon trading remains at the heart of global attempts to respond to climate change. Not only this, but markets continue to proliferate - particularly in the Global South. This edited volume helps to make sense of this paradox. It brings two urgently needed insights to the analysis of carbon markets. First, the markets must be understood in relation to the politics involved in their development, maintenance and opposition. Second, this politics is multiform and pervasive. Implementation of new techniques and measuring tools, policy development and contestation, and the structuring context of institutional settings and macro-social forces all involve a variety of political actors and create new forms of political agency. This book brings together 12 contributions that focus on this politics of carbon markets. These study the total extent of the carbon markets, from their prehistory to their contemporary expansion and wider impacts. In total, this wide-ranging political perspective on the carbon markets is invaluable to both a scholarly and non-scholarly audience interested in climate change governance. Table of contents: 1. Zombie markets or zombie analyses? Revivifying the politics of carbon markets (Richard Lane and Benjamin Stephan). Part 1: The politics of carbon before carbon. 2. Resources For the Future, resources for growth: the making of the 1975 growth ban (Richard Lane). 3. Politics by other means. The making of the emissions trading instrument as a 'pre-history' of carbon trading (Arno Simons and Jan-Peter Voss). 4. Allometric equations and timber markets: an important forerunner of REDD+? (Heather Lovell and Donald MacKenzie). 5. Virtuous Carbon (Matthew Paterson and Johannes Stripple). Part 2: The Politics of Carbon. 6. A Neo-Gramscian Account of Carbon Markets: The Cases of the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme and the Clean Development Mechanism (Elah Matt and Chukwumerije Okereke). 7. The politics of carbon markets in the global South (Markus Lederer). 8. Carbon governance in China by the creation of a carbon market (Anita Engels, Tianbao Qin and Eva Sternfeld). 9. The currencies of carbon: carbon money and its social meaning (Philippe Descheneau). Part 3: The politics of carbon after carbon. 10. The Politics of Researching Carbon Trading in Australia (Clive L. Spash). 11. Dialogue of the Deaf? The CDM's Legimitation (Crisis Peter Newell). 12. The Postand Future Politics of Green Economy and REDD+ (Kathleen McAfee). 13. Political sellout! Carbon markets between depoliticising and repoliticising climate politics (Chris Methmann and Benjamin Stephan) [routledge.com] » October 22 2014 - Renewable Energy, Geothermal Power. According to "2014 Annual U.S. & Global Geothermal Power Production Report" by the Geothermal Energy Association (GEA), released earlier this year (April, 2014), the international power market is booming, with a sustained growth rate of 4% to 5%. The report further revealed, currently there are 700 geothermal projects in development in 76 countries and that if all geothermal power plants under construction are completed on schedule the global geothermal industry could reach about 13,450 MW of nameplate capacity by 2017. As the report states, there are many opportunities for geothermal power development globally, but where does the industry stand today and what can we expect in 2015? What are the factors involved in ensuring project success and funding in various regions and how do they compare to Europe? To provide you with answers to these questions and many more key insights into the opportunities, challenges, global trends and policies, through expert led case study presentations, interactive session and discussions, ACI's 4th Geothermal Energy Summit, Reykjavik, Iceland, 18-19 Febraury 2015 [wplgroup.com] » October 22 2014 - Oil prices, Brent, WTI, Opec, geopolitics. Oil has been on a wild ride this fall, dropping more than 20 percent from levels seen just a few months ago and pushing gasoline prices down for more than two weeks straight. While Wall Street agonizes over the fallout to the energy sector, Washington is watching to see how the bear market for oil affects international tensions in the Middle East and Eastern Europe, and how much the domestic economy benefits amid worries about a global slowdown. The global Brent crude benchmark steadied near $86 a barrel on Friday, less than $5 above U.S. WTI crude - a much smaller discount for domestic oil than the $15 difference in January. But despite the sharp recent decline, today's crude is hardly cheap by historical standards. "It's not $80 oil that is unusual - $100 oil was unusual," said Edward Chow, a senior fellow in the energy and national security program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. "The fact that there is a cyclical decline should not surprise anyone. The precise timing always surprises everyone." The next flash point for crude may come on Nov. 27, when OPEC members will meet in Vienna, and where Saudi Arabia and its Gulf neighbors may fend off efforts to coax them into a production cut [politico.com] » October 21 2014 - Climate and energy policy, EU 2030 targets. The great EU climate and energy test: European leaders need deal that will convince the world. On 23 October EU leaders will meet to agree the foundations of an EU climate and energy policy for 2030. They need to settle on four targets: greenhouse gas emission reductions, renewables, energy efficiency, and - the most recent addition - interconnections. But even more: they will have to convince markets and policymakers across the world that the EU has a credible climate and energy strategy to offer [energypost.eu] » October 21 2014 - Energy transition, Low-carbon energy system, climate change, economic growth, climate economy. Climate Policy Initiative, two new reports clearly demonstrate that, with the right policies, a low-carbon energy system consistent with avoiding the most damaging effects of climate change could free up trillions of dollars over the next 20 years to invest in better economic growth. The reports were commissioned by the New Climate Economy project as part of the research conducted for the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate. The first report, "Moving to a Low Carbon Economy: The Financial Impact of the Low-Carbon Transition," compares the costs of low-carbon electricity and low-carbon transportation systems with current systems. The second, "Moving to a Low Carbon Economy: The Impact of Different Policy Pathways on Fossil Fuel Asset Values," focuses on the risk of losses in the financial value of existing fossil fuel assets (so called "asset stranding"). A loss in assets' value is critical because it constrains governments and businesses' ability to borrow against them to finance growth and investment, including investment in a low-carbon transition [climatepolicyinitiative.org] » October 21 2014 - Oil, Iraq, Kurdistan, geopolitics. Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) is racing to expand the capacity of its oil refineries - a critical step toward addressing weaknesses in the KRG's oil sector and economy. Kurdistan's two major refineries, near Erbil and Sulaimaniya, process just over 15.3 million liters - 96,000 barrels - of oil a day, according to figures for January released by the region’s Ministry of Natural Resources [iraqoilreport.com] » October 21 2014 - Climate change, global climate agreement, Durban Platform, Paris COP21, C2ES Report. The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions is convening an informal dialogue among officials from more than 20 countries on options for a new global climate agreement. The Toward 2015 dialogue provides an informal opportunity for participants to examine issues related to the ongoing Durban Platform negotiations. The goal of the Durban Platform talks is a new agreement under the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) at the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP 21) in late 2015 in Paris. Participants, who take part in their personal capacities, are meeting five times in 2014 and will continue meeting in 2015. The dialogue's aim is an open exchange of ideas and views contributing to deeper common understandings both among the participants and within the broader climate community. The dialogue co-chairs have released a report drawing on discussions held in the first four sessions from March to September 2014. Toward 2015 is made possible with financial support from the governments of Australia, Germany, Norway and Switzerland [c2es.org] » October 20 2014 - Climate change, impacts, adaptation, mitigation, Nordic countries. Climate change is expected to have a profound impact on natural resources, and thus on the primary industries (agriculture, forestry and fisheries) in the Nordic countries. Climate change induces risks but also creates possibilities for new production systems on land and in the ocean. Climatic changes also represent great challenges for policy-making and management regimes. The current knowledge base on natural resources in the Nordic region needs to be expanded to fully address the impacts of climate change. In particular it is important to address the need for improved policies and new policy instruments. The research programme Climate Change Impacts, Adaptation and Mitigation in Nordic Primary Industries is a coordinated set of thematic research networks with the objective to create a Nordic knowledge base on climate change interactions with primary industries in the Nordic region [norden.diva-portal.org] » October 20 2014 - Oil prices, Saudi Arabia strategy, geopolitics. Analyst criticizes Saudi Arabia for manipulation of oil market. Visiting research fellow at Oxford Institute for Energy Studies Elham Hassanzadeh on Monday criticized Saudi Arabia for manipulation of oil price for political reasons [...] she referred to Saudi Arabia's discounts on oil exports, adding that increase of output and in the meantime big discounts to importers by certain OPEC member states will result in decline of price and harm economy of the cartel's members. Increase of oil production in the US including the shell oil has also affected the oil market and dropped the price, Hassanzadeh added. She also referred to drop of consumption by giant oil consumers including India, China and some European countries as another reason behind the decline in oil prices. Brent oil prices tumbled this week to a four-year low due to ample supplies and low demand over concerns about global economic uncertainty [irna.ir] » October 20 2014 - Oil, Morocco. Genel Energy has hit oil after drilling a well on the Sidi Moussa Block off the coast of Morocco. The discovery was made by the oil and gas explorer along with its partners San Leon and Serica Energy. Cased hole testing will now be done on the SM-1 well which has a total depth of 2,825Mmdbrt (measured depth below rotary table) [energyvoice.com] » October 20 2014 - Nuclear power, France. French President Francois Hollande has promised to limit the growth of the country's nuclear power, many older reactors have been targeted for decommissioning, and Greenpeace and other environmental groups have been relentless in their anti-nuclear campaigning. But until now, it seemed unlikely that France would ever truly rethink its love affair with nuclear power. Last week, it did. On Oct. 10, France's parliament voted to begin moving to undo decades of nuclear growth and to reduce its importance to the country's energy mix. Over the next 11 years, France will reduce the amount of electricity coming from nuclear by one-quarter -- from 75 percent to 50 percent. To do that, estimates are that as many as 20 of France's 58 reactors would have to be closed [oilprice.com] » October 19 2014 - Climate change, national adaptation policies, extreme weather events, EU, EEA (European Environment Agency) Report. This report draws on the results of a self-assessment survey conducted on national adaptation policy processes in Europe. In May 2013, the survey was sent out by the European Environment Agency (EEA) to authorities in countries responsible for coordinating adaptation at national level (the EEA 32 member countries, and in Croatia in July 2013 as a new EU Member State and EEA member country). Some 30 EEA member countries provided their responses on a voluntary basis. Thanks to the high response rate and the wealth of information provided by these European countries, this report presents a unique collection of information and the largest and most comprehensive overview of national adaptation policy processes in Europe, to date [eea.europa.eu] » October 19 2014 - Oil prices, natural gas, shale gas, US, CSIS commentary. Oil prices have collapsed dramatically since June. [...] Brent prices in the low $80s translate to Bakken prices in the low $70s (or below), putting pressure on unconventional producers. At current price levels, operators with high cost structures may be prone to slow or stall their investment in new wells. Even lower-cost operators (many of whom spend more than they take in) will have diminished cash flows available to invest in future production [...] According to International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates, more than half of U.S. natural gas output comes from "associated" volumes that are a byproduct of oil production. As a result, any slowdown in oil drilling could correspond to a slowdown in the growth of the gas supply, too. If this happens, the nation won’t run short of natural gas. Vast, untapped shale gas resources remain, especially within the Haynesville and the gas-prone regions of the Marcellus. That said, production could shift to a modestly higher point on the supply curve [csis.org] » October 19 2014 - Oil prices, oil production, Saudi Arabia, OPEC, renewable energy, geopolitics. In the face of the striking weakness in global oil prices, Saudi Arabia has further challenged markets by seeming uncharacteristically comfortable with the lower prices, refusing to vote with OPEC to cut production. Many have been seeing the Saudi's willingness to let oil prices drop as a retribution against the U.S.'s unrestrained oil boom. Others suspect a U.S.-Saudi conspiracy again Russia. In fact, the real reason may lie in the country's deliberate development of solar energy to ensure a bright future in the face of eventually dwindling oil supplies. In 2010, the Saudi government created the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy, or K.A.CARE and officially said the nation was hoping to get 30% of its energy needs from solar power by 2034. Bids have been opened for the installation of 41 gigawatts of solar power over the next 20 years. At that level, the Saudis will be one of the world's top solar producers. That's interesting and certainly gives more credibility to suggestions the Saudis could eventually export solar power to Europe during Europe's cooler season. It also shows that the greening of Saudi Arabia has begun, something Wall Street needs to better understand when valuing the price of oil in the future [thestreet.com] » October 18 2014 - Oil prices, oil production, oil revenues, URSS, US, Russia, Saudi Arabia, geopolitics. Unleashing the oil weapon against Russia: how to destroy a great empire. Do you remember the old Soviet Union? Dubbed as "The Evil Empire" by Ronald Reagan in 1983, it disappeared in a puff of smoke in 1991, crushed under a mountain of debts. The origins of the financial collapse of the Soviet Union are rather well known: it was related to the fall of the oil prices which, in 1985, went down from the equivalent of more than 100 (today's) dollars per barrel in 1980 to about 30 (today's) dollars and stayed low for more than a decade. The Soviet Union was relying on oil exports for its economy and, in addition, it was burdened with huge military expenses. It just couldn't take a drop of more than a factor of three in its oil revenues [...] It is true, however, that after the first great oil crisis of the 1970s, the world's oil production restarted its growth around 1985. The reasons for the recovery can't be attributed to the work of a group of conspirators sitting in a smoke filled room. Rather, it was the result of a number of new oil fields starting their production phase, mainly in Alaska and in the North Sea. This was the origin of the drop in oil prices and, indirectly, of the fall of the Soviet Union. Today, Russia's oil production has recovered from the downfall of Soviet times and the Russian economy is highly dependent on oil exports, much like the old USSR was. So, a drop in oil prices could do a lot of damage to Russia. Given the political situation with the Ukraine crisis, there are speculations that the West is trying to bring down Russia by repeating the same trick that seemed to be so successful in bringing down the old "Evil Empire". Indeed, we are seeing oil prices dropping below $90 per barrel after years of stability around $100. Is it a fluctuation or a trend? Hard to say, but it is being interpreted as the unleashing of the "oil weapon" against Russia on the part of Saudi Arabia [...] Yet, there are good reasons to think that we could see a drop in oil prices in the near future. One factor is the downturn of several of the world's major economies (e.g. Italy). That could lead to a fall of the demand for oil and, consequently, to lower prices (something similar took place with the financial crisis of 2008). Another factor could be the rapidly growing production unconventional oil (largely in the form of "shale oil") is the U.S. This oil is not being exported in large amounts, but it has reduced the US demand of oil in the world's market. Coupling these two factors, we might well see a considerable drop in oil prices in the near future, although hardly a sustained one. So, would that be the "oil weapon" that will bring Russia to its knees? Maybe, but, as with all weapons, there are side effects to consider » October 17 2014 - Climate investment funds, climate finance, climate mitigation and adaptation, low-carbon economy, ICC (International Chamber of Commerce). Climate Investment Funds (CIF): Private Sector Observer Consultations and Selection Process. The selection process for 2015-1016 private sector observers to the Climate Investment Funds (CIFs) is underway! The private sector is a key stakeholder in both climate mitigation and adaptation activities funded by the CIF. The CIF engages the private sector to help transform and stimulate markets, and is inviting nominations for private sector observers for the Clean Technology Fund (CTF) as well as the three Sub-Committees of the Strategic Climate Fund: the Forest Investment Program (FIP), the Pilot Program for Climate Resilience (PPCR), and the Scaling-up Renewable Energy Program (SREP). Observers will be selected for the term 2015-2016, and should come from business umbrella organizations or associations with verifiable connections to networks that are actively engaged on issues relevant to the CIF. Private sector observers should have expertise in sectors such as renewable energy, clean technology, climate resilience projects, sustainable forestry businesses, or in climate finance related projects [iccwbo.org] » October 17 2014 - Low-carbon energy, renewable energy, energy efficiency, low-carbon companies. "Be practical" is a common theme in discussions about future energy sources - even in light of climate change. The rationale usually is that we all need to "face the reality" that fossil fuels will provide the majority of global energy for decades, unless truly game-changing technological breakthroughs emerge and can be scaled. Yet it's clear that the "be practical" approach is anything but. In light of climate science and alarming reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, now is the time to focus on driving radical energy efficiencies and low-carbon energy sources throughout business operations, power infrastructure and more, as outlined in recent BSR reports translating IPCC climate science for transport, agriculture and extractives and primary industries, as well as our work on data centers. It is time to max out all known low-carbon options while also reaching for a "man on the moon" moment by scaling and innovating further. [...] Consider the new RE100 initiative, which aims to have 100 of the world's top businesses committed to 100 percent renewable power by 2020. It is currently supported by BT, Formula E, H&M, IKEA, J. Safra Sarasin, KPN, Mars, Nestle', Philips, Reed Elsevier, Swiss Re and Yoox. Consider Apple CEO Tim Cook's recent assertion that the "long-term consequences of not addressing climate are huge." Apple's environmental commitments reflect this notion, including that 100 percent of the company's data centers are powered by renewables. And consider Tesla Motors' new Gigafactory, which seeks to propel the company toward its goal of producing the first mass-market electric car in three years by manufacturing cheaper lithium-ion batteries [www.greenbiz.com] » October 17 2014 - Natural gas, Russia, Japan, pipeline, geopolitics. Tokyo has not received any Moscow's proposal on constructing a gas pipeline from Russia's Far Eastern island Sakhalin to northern Japan, but is ready to study such an idea, an official from Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said on Friday. [...] Japan's largest business newspaper, the Nikkei, reported on Wednesday that Russia proposed to Japan to discuss an idea of building a gas pipeline from Russia's Far Eastern island Sakhalin to the northernmost Japanese city of Wakkanai on Hokkaido Island and further to the main territory of the country. If the project is implemented, this will be a first gas pipeline linking Japan with another country, the report said. Japan is the world's larger importer of liquefied natural gas (LNG) which is shipped in tankers. The idea to build a gas pipeline from Russia to Japan has already been debated at the level of experts for many years, but did not reach the level of practical talks. The Japanese parliament has a group of lawmakers who call for building a gas pipeline from Sakhalin to Ibaraki Prefecture, north of Greater Tokyo. Under the project, the pipeline could supply 20 billion cubic meters of gas annually. Japanese experts say a gas pipeline will stretch for a total 1,350km. The construction costs are estimated at 600 billion yens (slightly less than $6 billion) [en.itar-tass.com] » October 17 2014 - Climate change, reducing GHG target, EU. EU Expected to Formalize 40 Percent GHG Reduction Target at Bonn Talks. The European Union will unveil a target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent compared with 1990 levels by 2030 at next weeks United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change summit, which begins Oct. 20 in Bonn, EU and UN sources tell Bloomberg BNA [climate.bna.com] » October 17 2014 - Solar PV, energy. The spectacular global growth of solar PV is one of the big energy stories of today. And it may well become the energy story of the 21st Century. Where did the solar revolution "suddenly" come from? And where will it take us? One of the pioneers of the sector, Peter F. Varadi, co-founder of what was once the biggest solar PV producer in the world, Solarex, has written a unique history of his company and that of solar PV. He also looks ahead to what our solar-powered energy future may look like [energypost.eu] » October 17 2014 - Nuclear fusion, Compact fusion, Lockheedmartin. Being small is a big deal. The compact size is the reason that we believe we will be able to create fusion technology quickly. The smaller the size of the device, the easier it is to build up momentum and develop it faster. Instead of taking five years to design and build a concept, it takes only a few months. If we undergo a few of these testing and refinement cycles, we will be able to develop a prototype within the same five year timespan. To mimic the energy created by the sun and control it here on earth, we're creating a concept that can be contained using a magnetic bottle. The bottle is able to handle extremely hot temperatures, reaching hundreds of millions of degrees. By containing this reaction, we can release it in a controlled fashion to create energy we can use. The heat energy created using this compact fusion reactor will drive turbine generators by replacing the combustion chambers with simple heat exchangers. In turn, the turbines will then generate electricity or the propulsive power for a number of applications [lockheedmartin.com] » October 17 2014 - Climate change, Resilient cities, India, TERI study. 'Climate Resilient Infrastructure Services'. The study assessed the impact of sea-level rise on the infrastructure and assets in the cities of Panaji and Visakhapatnam. The study was supported by USAID as part of its Climate Resilient Infrastructure Services (CRIS) Programme under the larger Climate Change Resilient Development (CCRD) Project [teriin.org] » October 16 2014 - Climate change, natural gas, greenhouse gas emissions, Nature study. A new analysis of global energy use, economics and the climate shows that without new climate policies, expanding the current bounty of inexpensive natural gas alone would not slow the growth of global greenhouse gas emissions worldwide over the long term, according to a study appearing today in Nature Advanced Online Publication. Because natural gas emits half the carbon dioxide of coal, many people hoped the recent natural gas boom could help slow climate change - and according to government analyses, natural gas did contribute partially to a decline in U.S. carbon dioxide emissions between 2007 and 2012. But, in the long run, according to this study, a global abundance of inexpensive natural gas would compete with all energy sources - not just higher-emitting coal, but also lower-emitting nuclear and renewable energy technologies such as wind and solar. Inexpensive natural gas would also accelerate economic growth and expand overall energy use [pnnl.gov] » October 16 2014 - Oil, China. China fuel oil: Plunge in outright prices keep teapot refiners' demand steady. Teapot refineries in eastern China's Shandong province have continued buying fuel oil as an alternative feedstock following recent steep falls in the product's benchmark outright prices, while imports of cheaper alternative feedstock asphalt remains steady, sources said Thursday, October 16. One 90,000-mt cargo of European origin 180 CST straight-run fuel oil is expected to arrive at Shandong port late this week. The cargo was bought by Luqing Petrochemical at a premium of around $100/mt to the Mean of Platts Singapore 180 CST high sulfur fuel oil assessment on a CFR basis, sources said [platts.com] » October 16 2014 - Natural gas, Russia, UE, Brookings Institution policy brief. Russia likely to remain important European gas supplier, report says. Europe's natural gas supply mix likely won't change much without drastic policy interventions despite recent renewed concern over instability in Ukraine, a new Brookings Institution policy brief concluded. This effectively will ensure a continuing significant market share for Russia, it said. "Over 2 decades of market reforms in Europe, overdependence on Russian gas as a problem has been overstated," said Tim Boersma, an Energy Security Initiative fellow in Brookings's Foreign Policy program and one of the four authors. "But a lot more needs to be done, particularly attracting more infrastructure investment." The lack of market development and integration in central and eastern Europe appears likely to remain a problem in the near and medium term, according to the policy brief, "Business as Usual: European Gas Market Functioning in Times of Turmoil and Increasing Import Dependence." During an Oct. 14 discussion of the policy brief, Boersma said, "We've known for a decade now that much more work needs to be done in countries like Hungary." This is demonstrated by its scenario where Ukraine no longer functions as a transit state for gas headed to Europe, the study said. While this would not have a meaningful impact on seven of the eight trading hubs the study examines, it potentially could lead to price spikes during 2015 in the eighth, Austrian Baumgarten, the report said. By constructing additional interconnectors, reverse flow options, and storage facilities, countries like Poland and the Czech Republic are better situated now to resist market abuse than they were 10 years ago, it indicated [ogj.com] » October 16 2014 - Climate change, land use, UNFCCC guide. Greenhouse gas emissions and removals from land use are critical to combat climate change. Due to technical characteristics of land use decisions under the UNFCCC related to the sector have developed differently. It has come to be seen as an arcane and complex subject. The objective of the guide Understanding Land Use in the UNFCCC is to increase the technical understanding of how emissions and removals from the land sector are reported and accounted under the UNFCCC. The guide and summary was produced by independent authors with financial support from the Climate and Land Use Alliance and financial, technical and operational support from FCMC [fcmcglobal.org] » October 15 2014 - Oil, oil prices, markets, CSIS commentary. Oil Markets: "Trouble Ahead, Trouble Behind". On the surface, the easy and conventional explanation for the recent drop (20% since June) in oil prices - even in the face of heightened geopolitical risk/unrest in key oil producing regions - has focused mainly on the growth in supply (especially in the United States), lackluster global demand, and sizable global inventories. In combination, this trifecta has led market analysts to be both complacent (to date, this unrest has not impeded production volumes) and more recently, bearish. U.S. liquids production continues to grow; Russian exports, even in the face of sanctions remain high, and Iraq and Iran continue to export even as Libyan volumes go up and down. Given that the market had already factored in the continued U.S. tight oil surge, the "real surprise" has come in the form of demand loss. At the beginning of the year, many analysts predicted that non-OPEC supply gains would cover the majority of new demand growth, which though viewed as tepid, was still projected to be over 1.2 million barrels per day (mmb/d). Newer forecasts, however, show appreciably weaker growth (on the order of 700-800mb/d) and the reduction so far is concentrated in the second and third quarters, setting up potential problems for a well-supplied market, especially in a slow or no growth global scenario going forward [csis.org] » October 15 2014 - Oil, disinvest, fossil fuel-producing companies, low carbon economy, UK, Bank of England. Earlier this year, an influential group of British politicians warned the Bank of England about the carbon bubble, but now it seems the idea is also catching on at the head of the bank too. According to The Guardian, Mark Carney, told a World Bank seminar that "the vast majority of reserves (of oil, coal and gas) are unburnable," before urging investors to consider the long-term implications of the investments they make. This is a big deal. The carbon bubble-a term that refers to the idea that financial assets invested in coal and oil may become stranded as the world makes the necessary transition away from fossil fuels-has been gaining considerable traction of late. Norwegians are worried about their massive sovereign wealth fund's reliance on oil investments, and pension funds may be deeply vulnerable to over investment in fossil fuels With the Rockefellers divesting their charity from fossil fuels, coal execs fretting about the future of their industry and Lego dumping its branding partnership with Shell Oil, Big Energy is getting squeezed from several sides right now [treehugger.com] » October 15 2014 - Oil, disinvest, fossil fuel-producing companies, low carbon economy, Australia. Time to move to a post-carbon world. Just over a week ago, the Australian National University decided to sell shares worth approximately $16 million in seven companies, representing just 1 per cent of our investment portfolio, and a fraction of the market worth of the companies involved, which has sparked an extraordinary reaction. From one side it has been attacked by elements of industry, media and some political figures as reckless, cowardly, superficial, anti-business, poorly conceived and as destroying jobs. On the other side, my email account has melted down with emails of support, congratulating the university on its action, and the university's Facebook page is awash with positive comments. The reason for this extraordinary response is because the ANU decision is seen as another domino in the divestment-movement effect, involving individuals and institutions deciding to sell their holdings in fossil fuel-producing companies [theage.com] » October 14 2014 - Climate change, adaptation, US, Department of Defense Report. The Pentagon on Monday released a report asserting decisively that climate change poses an immediate threat to national security, with increased risks from terrorism, infectious disease, global poverty and food shortages. It also predicted rising demand for military disaster responses as extreme weather creates more global humanitarian crises. The report lays out a road map to show how the military will adapt to rising sea levels, more violent storms and widespread droughts. The Defense Department will begin by integrating plans for climate change risks across all of its operations, from war games and strategic military planning situations to a rethinking of the movement of supplies [nytimes.com] » October 14 2014 - Oil, price, supply, demand scenario. Crude oil dropped in New York, extending declines from a 22-month low amid concern over a global glut in the commodity. Australian stocks climbed with US index futures after the Standard & Poor's 500 Index capped its biggest three-day loss since 2011, while gold held gains. West Texas Intermediate crude slid 0.9 percent to $84.99 a barrel by 8:55 a.m. in Tokyo after Brent oil sank to an almost four-year low. [...] Oil's rout and a new case of Ebola in the US have exacerbated a selloff in risk assets fueled by concern over the end of Federal Reserve stimulus and the global slowdown. Iraq followed Saudi Arabia and Iran in cutting prices for its crude at the weekend amid speculation oil production is outpacing demand. India releases a key inflation indicator today and gauges of economic growth expectations are due for the euro area and Germany. [...] Iraq, the second-biggest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, will sell its Basrah Light crude to Asia at the biggest discount since January 2009, the country's State Oil Marketing Co. said Oct. 12. Iran last week said it will sell oil to Asia in November at the biggest discount in almost six years, matching cuts by Saudi Arabia. The U.S. government releases data on oil inventories Oct. 16 [energyvoice.com] » October 14 2014 - Natural gas, pipeline, TAPI, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. Penspen awarded technical feasibility study for 1,820 km TAPI Pipeline. Oil and Gas engineering group Penspen has been awarded a contract by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to carry out a technical feasibility study for a proposed 1,820 km, 56 inch diameter pipeline from Turkmenistan's giant Galkynysh Gas Field, to serve energy markets in Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. The pipeline - commonly known as the TAPI Pipeline - will transport gas from Turkmenistan to Afghanistan, Multan in Pakistan and on to the Indian township of Fazilka. ADB has played a leading role in co-ordinating and facilitating the TAPI negotiation process over the past ten years. It is now expected that the pipeline will be completed by 2017. The TAPI Pipeline is expected to transport up to 90 MMcm/d of natural gas. The bulk of exported gas will help meet surging energy demand in India and Pakistan - where energy needs are set to double by 2030 - while the remainder will alleviate chronic power shortages in Afghanistan [pipelinesinternational.com] » October 13 2014 - Energy markets, subsidies, costs, EU, European Commission Report. Subsidies and costs of EU energy. The functioning of energy markets and the size and effect of government interventions has been the subject of debate for years. To date however, a consolidated dataset for government interventions in the power market of the European Union has been missing. This is why the European Commission has commissioned a study that aims at helping to close the knowledge gap by quantifying the extent of public interventions in energy markets in all 28 Member States. [...] The results show that in 2012, the total value of public interventions in energy (excluding transport) in the EU28 were between €120-140 billion. Unsurprisingly, and given the efforts to expand the share of renewable energy in the EU's overall energy consumption, the largest amounts of current public support in 2012 went to renewables, in particular to solar (€14.7bn) and onshore wind (€10.1bn), followed by biomass (€8.3bn) and hydropower (€5.2bn). Among conventional power generation technologies, coal received the largest amount in current subsidies in 2012 with €10.1bn, followed by nuclear (€7 bn) and natural gas (about €5.2 bn). The figures specifying support across technologies do however not reflect the free allocation of emission certificates nor tax support for energy consumption. Including these factors would reduce the gap between support for renewables and other power generation technologies. The study also discusses the order of magnitude of historical interventions, which are considerable for coal and nuclear. Further work is however needed to arrive at more solid estimates of historical subsidies. The interim report also presents figures on the cost competitiveness of the different power generation technologies. The estimated ranges reflect costs of new power generation without public intervention (levelised costs). Costs for producing one MWh of electricity from coal are in a range around €75. Electricity from onshore wind is generated at only somewhat higher costs. Costs for power from nuclear and natural gas are in comparable ranges around €100/MWh. Solar power costs have fallen considerably since 2008 to about €100-115/MWh depending on the size of installations. The interim report also presents estimates on external costs across power generation technologies. These are costs that are not reflected in market prices, such as costs of environmental and health impacts and the impact of climate change. The methods for quantifying external costs come with a high degree of uncertainty, and the report only aims to identify orders of magnitude for external costs. It puts the figure of external costs of the EU's energy mix in 2012 at between €150 and 310 billion [europa.eu] » October 13 2014 - Oil, markets, OPEC, Monthly Oil Market Report. Crude Oil Price Movements. The OPEC Reference Basket fell $4.77 to stand at $95.98/b in September, as sluggish demand and ample supply continue to weight on the oil market. Nymex WTI slipped $3.04/b to $93.03/b in September, while ICE Brent dropped $4.83 to $98.57/b. Speculative net length in ICE Brent was down almost 85% from the peak seen in June 2014. The Brent-WTI spread narrowed to $5.54/b, the lowest since July 2013. World Economy. Expectations for world economic growth in 2014 and 2015 remain unchanged at 3.2% and 3.6% respectively, following a re-basing on 2011 purchase power parity. The OECD is seen growing at 1.8% in 2014 and 2.1% in 2015, with the US experiencing a continued acceleration, while growth in the Euro-zone and Japan remains sluggish. China's figures remain unchanged at 7.4% in 2014 and 7.2% next year. Growth in India is also unchanged at 5.5% this year and 5.8% in 2015. World Oil Demand. Global oil demand growth in 2014 is anticipated to reach around 1.05 mb/d, unchanged from the previous report. Growth this year has been supported by positive performance of China, Brazil and Saudi Arabia, offsetting lower-than-expected growth in some OECD regions. In 2015, world oil demand is forecast to rise by 1.19 mb/d, in line with last month's forecast. World Oil Supply. Non-OPEC oil supply growth in 2014 is forecast at 1.68 mb/d, in line with the previous report. Growth was seen coming mainly from the US, Brazil and Canada, while Mexico, Indonesia and the UK are expected to see a decline. Non-OPEC supply is expected to increase by 1.24 mb/d in 2015. OPEC NGLs is seen growing by 0.2 mb/d in 2015 to average 6.03 mb/d. In September, OPEC crude production averaged 30.47 mb/d according to secondary sources, an increase of 402 tb/d from the previous month [opec.org] » October 13 2014 - Energy, Sub-Saharan Africa Development, IEA Special Report, WEO, World Energy Outlook. Energy sector is key to powering prosperity in sub-Saharan Africa. IEA World Energy Outlook Special Report finds that action in the energy sector could unleash an extra decade of growth. Increasing access to modern forms of energy is crucial to unlocking faster economic and social development in subSaharan Africa, according to the International Energy Agency's (IEA) Africa Energy Outlook, a Special Report in the 2014 World Energy Outlook series. More than 620 million people in the region (two-thirds of the population) live without electricity, and nearly 730 million people rely on dangerous, inefficient forms of cooking. The use of solid biomass (mainly fuelwood and charcoal) outweighs that of all other fuels combined, and average electricity consumption per capita is not enough to power a single 50-watt light bulb continuously [iea.org] » October 13 2014 - Oil, prices, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Brent. Iraq will sell its Basrah Light crude to Asia at the biggest discount since January 2009 as it follows Saudi Arabia and Iran in cutting prices amid a slump in Brent futures to the lowest in almost four years. Iraq, the second-biggest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, trimmed the price differentials for supplies to Asia and Europe for November, the country's State Oil Marketing Co., known as SOMO, said today. Futures slid as much as 3.6 percent in London to the lowest intraday level since December 2010, and West Texas Intermediate lost 1.8 percent after tumbling into a bear market last week. The world's two most-traded oil futures are collapsing as demand growth slows and output expands in the U.S., Russia and other nations. OPEC's biggest producers are responding by cutting prices, sparking speculation they are ready to compete for market share. Iran last week said it will sell oil to Asia in November at the biggest discount in almost six years, matching cuts by Saudi Arabia [bloomberg.com] » October 13 2014 - Coal, China, tax, energy efficiency, emission reductions. China is planning to impose a tax on coal that will take effect on Dec 1, Premier Li Keqiang said on Wednesday during an executive meeting of the State Council. The new levy will be a sales tax on coal and will replace the current tax based on output volume. "China's resource tax reform plan for the coal industry is a major step in the reform of the fiscal and taxation systems," the premier said. "Currently, the resource tax on oil and gas has been conducted thoroughly. Along with the new resource tax on coal, a dual pricing system on resources will be established." Jia Kang, head of the Research Institute for Fiscal Science of the Ministry of Finance, said reform of the coal tax will likely hike the price of coal and will result in greater energy efficiency, emissions reductions and a balancing of China's energy mix. He predicted that if the new coal tax is about 3 to 5 percent of the coal sales value, this will increase the tax on each metric ton of coal to up to 10 yuan ($1.60) per ton. China's coal sector has in recent years been hit hard by stagnant inventories and falling prices [usa.chinadaily.com.cn] » October 12 2014 - Climate science, global warming, climate change, human activities, Climate Risk Management, paper. A probabilistic analysis of human influence on recent record global mean temperature changes. December 2013 was the 346th consecutive month where global land and ocean average surface temperature exceeded the 20th century monthly average, with February 1985 the last time mean temperature fell below this value. Even given these and other extraordinary statistics, public acceptance of human induced climate change and confidence in the supporting science has declined since 2007. The degree of uncertainty as to whether observed climate changes are due to human activity or are part of natural systems fluctuations remains a major stumbling block to effective adaptation action and risk management. Previous approaches to attribute change include qualitative expert-assessment approaches such as used in IPCC reports and use of 'fingerprinting' methods based on global climate models. Here we develop an alternative approach which provides a rigorous probabilistic statistical assessment of the link between observed climate changes and human activities in a way that can inform formal climate risk assessment. We construct and validate a time series model of anomalous global temperatures to June 2010, using rates of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, as well as other causal factors including solar radiation, volcanic forcing and the El Nino Southern Oscillation. When the effect of GHGs is removed, bootstrap simulation of the model reveals that there is less than a one in one hundred thousand chance of observing an unbroken sequence of 304 months (our analysis extends to June 2010) with mean surface temperature exceeding the 20th century average. We also show that one would expect a far greater number of short periods of falling global temperatures (as observed since 1998) if climate change was not occurring. This approach to assessing probabilities of human influence on global temperature could be transferred to other climate variables and extremes allowing enhanced formal risk assessment of climate change [sciencedirect.com] » October 12 2014 - Nuclear power, UK, EU, Hinkley C. The European Commission announced this week that Britain's first new nuclear power plant for over twenty years does not violate state aid laws, and it now appears certain that it will be built. Hinkley C has been described as the "most expensive power plant ever built", "extremely expensive" and a "bad deal for consumers" by the usual assortment of green voices. Yet, the strike price agreed between the UK government and EDF for this power plant is no different to that agreed for onshore wind farms, less than it is for solar power and far less than for offshore wind. So, how is Hinkley C the most expensive power plant ever and a bad deal for consumers? Would consumers be better off if the UK government instead paid offshore wind farms £150/MWh for intermittent electricity as it is currently doing, instead of £92.50/MWh to a nuclear power plant for baseload electricity? Strangely, such important questions are not asked in the debate about the costs of this power plant. Or at least they are not asked by the loudest voices in the debate. Honest appraisals of this deal are in low supply. Let's get some simple things out of the way. This is a poor deal that has mostly resulted from political incompetence and mismanagement. Paying a French state owned company a guaranteed price of £92.50/MWh, and relying on a state owned Chinese firm to weigh in with a few billion in capital does seem rather strange. A more rational policy would be for the UK government to do the investing [theenergycollective.com] » October 12 2014 - Climate finance, carbon price, carbon intensity, institutional investors portfolio, Montreal carbon pledge. There are increasing signs of a seismic shift in the response by business and finance to the threat of runaway climate change. Just days after more than a thousand businesses pushed for policies setting a price on carbon emissions to encourage a shift to cleaner energy technologies, some of the world's largest institutional investors have committed to act on the carbon intensity of their portfolios. The investors, along with the UNsupported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), which represents more than $45tn in assets under management, have announced the creation of the Montreal Carbon Pledge, which makes a commitment to measure and publicly disclose the carbon footprint of their entire investments on an annual basis. The PRI has ambitions for investors with a combined portfolio of $1tn to sign up ahead of the key global climate talks in Paris in December 2015, although this is still tiny when compared with the estimated total of more than $75tn in investable assets [theguardian.com] » October 11 2014 - Oil, climate change, climate litigation, GHG producers, Canada, West Coast and University of British columbia report. Payback Time? What the internationalization of climate litigation could mean for Canadian oil and gas companies, by Andrew Gage, Staff Counsel at West Coast, and University of British Columbia professor Michael Byers, analyzes scenarios in which the legal landscape concerning climate damages litigation could suddenly and dramatically change. According to the study, the most serious risk to Canadian companies is not litigation in Canada. Because the impacts and causes of climate change are global, climate damages litigation could take place in, and apply the laws of, any of the countries where damage occurs. These countries may also choose to adopt new laws clarifying the legal rules around climate damages litigation, much as Canadian provinces did to facilitate tobacco litigation. As a result, large-scale greenhouse gas producers and their shareholders are exposed to significant legal risks that will only grow into the future. Payback time? then considers the total potential liability of five oil and gas companies currently trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange - EnCanada, Suncor, Canadian Natural Resources, Talisman, and Husky and finds these five companies could presently be incurring a global liability as high as $2.4 billion per year for their contribution to climate change. The study concludes that given the sheer number and diversity of potential venues for litigation, and the growing interest in pursuing it, civil liability for large-scale green house gas emitters is extremely likely, particularly as the costs associated with climate change rise [wcel.org] » October 10 2014 - Energy, natural gas, geopolitcs, Russia, Gazprom. The Gazprom energy vision. On 7 October Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller made a remarkable speech at the IV St. Petersburg International Gas Forum on the global gas industry: "We believe that by the year 2050 natural gas will represent one third of the global energy mix and that the production volumes will exceed 7 trillion cubic meters per year. The share of LNG in the global trade, both in the medium and in the long term, will not change, but will stay at a level of 30%. The North American gas market will be solving its own problems during the next 10-20 years and shale gas will remain a regional market development - not a global one. The Asian-Pacific market is the most dynamic, fastest growing and also the most promising market. The share of gas transported through pipelines on the Asian-Pacific market and the Chinese market will grow steadily. Gazprom has entered the Asian-Pacific market this year with a very lucrative contract worth $ 400 billion over 30 years. But this is only the beginning, and the prospects for pipeline gas supplies to the Chinese market are simply enormous. Our shipments may grow in the short term up to 60 and even up to 100 billion cubic meters of gas per year. Looking at the cost structure in European industry we see that energy consumption in the production sector of European companies has increased. And most importantly, because of that, the competitiveness in the European production sector has decreased. Europe has built a large number of LNG terminals to diversify its supply base but they are only used at 20% capacity. The reason is that the European market has lost the battle with the Asia-Pacific LNG market when it comes to prices for LNG. There could be new approaches towards gas pricing. Such new approaches could replace spot markets and hubs on the European gas market that simply do not have enough liquidity and do not produce the right pricing signals. Gazprom is analysing and examining its own strategies which guided the company lately. The company is re-evaluating whether it is worth being everywhere on the value chain in Europe e.g. from production to retail. The European market isn't a buyer's market now and Gazprom may be more selective in pursuing projects it already planned because reaching end users in Europe doesn't necessarily work. This does not mean that Gazprom will abandon some projects, but it does mean that there will be changes. This year we will extract 463 billion cubic meters of gas but our annual production rate is 617 bcm which means Gazprom has excess capacity. This is needed so we can react to the demands of the market and also pass this winter calmly. The gas market has developed very quickly in all the regions of the world and strategies that guided the companies in those markets have very quickly became obsolete. All the players in the gas markets in North America, the Asia-Pacific and the EU face the challenge to design new strategies and have new approaches. The 20th century was the century of oil. The 21st century is the century of gas [energypost.eu] » October 10 2014 - Crude oil, refined oil products, biofuel, UE antitrust. The European Commission can confirm that on 7 October 2014, Commission officials carried out unannounced inspections at the premises of companies active in the production, distribution and trading of ethanol, a biofuel. These inspections took place in two EU Member States. They follow inspections that the Commission and the EFTA Surveillance Authority undertook in May 2013 in the crude oil, refined oil products and biofuel sectors (see MEMO/13/435). The Commission has concerns that price benchmarks may have been distorted through anti-competitive behaviour, including through possible collusion when submitting price information to a Price Reporting Agency. Such behaviour, if established, may amount to violations of European antitrust rules that prohibit cartels and restrictive business practices and abuses of a dominant market position (Articles 101 and 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU and Articles 53 and 54 of the EEA Agreement) [europa.eu] » October 10 2014 - Climate change, disaster risk reduction. World Disasters Report 2014 - "Culture and Risk". The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) annual World Disasters Report is this year on the topic of Culture and Risk, and examines how culture must be included in climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction to make it more effective. The report will be free to download from 16th October [ifrc.org] » October 10 2014 - Nuclear Power, UK, state aid rules. Britain's first new nuclear plant in a generation will cost at least £24.5bn, EU regulators have disclosed, as they approved a 35-year subsidy contract for the project at Hinkley Point in Somerset. The cost is far higher than the £16bn previously cited by developer EDF Energy predominantly because it includes, for the first time, the interest costs during the decade-long construction period. It is also in nominal terms, while the £16bn was in 2012 prices. Joaquin Almunia, the EU Competition Commissioner, disclosed that the total cost could be as high as £34bn, a figure that Vincent de Rivaz, EDF Energy chief executive, said included the maximum EDF could have to put into the project in a worst-case scenario if there were "huge problems". Under a deal with the Government, agreed a year ago, UK energy bill-payers will guarantee EDF and its partners a price of £92.50 - twice the current market price of electricity - for each megawatt-hour of power that the plant's twin reactors generate over a 35-year period [telegraph.co.uk] » October 10 2014 - Natural gas, Australia, unconventional resources, LNG. The Federal Government's Energy Green Paper has highlighted the need for unconventional gas resources on the eastern coast, as conventional resources are depleted in the lead up to LNG exports from Gladstone. The paper singles out New South Wales and Victoria as having unnecessary regulatory and planning barriers preventing much needed supply, while calling for improved transparency and competition within the market. Launching the Green Paper at the International Mining and Resources Conference in Melbourne, Federal Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane said the Government's focus is to enhance competition, innovation and productivity in the energy sector [gastoday.com.au] » October 09 2014 - Natural gas, Russia, China, pipeline, geopolitics. China's CNPC has received government permission to start a preliminary engineering project of the Chinese part of Russia's Power of Siberia gas pipeline and will start laying the pipeline in January-June 2015, the company said in a statement Thursday. The construction of the part going from the city of Heihe in northeast China to Shanghai will be finished and Power of Siberia will be launched in 2018. The construction of the Russian part of the pipeline began on September 1. Russia-China gas contract. In May, Gazprom signed a US $400 billion 30-year contract with CNPC. to supply 38 billion cubic meters of gas per year to China. The contract envisages delivery of 38 billion cubic meters of natural gas to China annually [en.itar-tass.com] » October 09 2014 - Wind farms, wind flow test, DNV GL, E.ON. DNV GL, a leading global energy advisory and testing authority, announced that it has achieved the highest score in a wind flow modelling blind test organised by E.ON, a leading power and gas company. The blind test challenged six participants, including some of the most reputable consultancies in the global wind industry, to accurately predict the wind regime at eight wind farm sites. The most attractive wind farm sites are often found at locations where the wind conditions are difficult to quantify. Examples include sites affected by atmospheric stability, exposed and hilly sites as well as wind farms in or near forests. An ongoing challenge for the wind industry is to accurately predict the variation of wind speed across such "complex" sites in order to determine a credible estimate for the energy output of the project in question. If these predictions can be made more accurately, even by a relatively small amount, it leads to a direct improvement in the financing conditions available to project developers - thereby reducing the cost of electricity delivered to the grid and improving returns. DNV GL has been developing improved methods for predicting wind flow on complex sites for more than two decades and in recent years has developed cutting edge Computation Fluid Dynamics (CFD) techniques to boost accuracy further [dnvgl.com] » October 09 2014 - Urban transit system, Public transport, University of California and Institute for Transportation and Development Policy Report. A Global High Shift Scenario: Impacts And Potential For More Public Transport, Walking, And Cycling With Lower Car Use. According to this report, a global shift toward investments in clean urban transit systems designed to get people out of their cars could save more than $100 million in public and private spending between now and 2050 and cut carbon emissions by as much as 1,700 megatons a year in 2050. Designing cities that offer people "clean options for using public transportation, walking and cycling” are an affordable strategy for cutting “global warming pollution," [itdp.org] » October 08 2014 - Oil, production, price, US, Libya, EIA. The price of North Sea Brent crude oil has fallen to around $91 per barrel, the lowest level in more than two years and about 21% lower than its year-to-date peak of $115 per barrel on June 19. Before its recent decline, average monthly Brent spot prices had traded within a narrow $5 per barrel range, from $107 to $112 per barrel, for 13 consecutive months through July 2014. During that period of low price volatility, substantial oil supply disruptions in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) were offset by increases in U.S. production and weaker-than-expected global demand. More recently, however, the resumption of significant Libyan oil production, combined with the weakening outlook for global oil demand, has put downward pressure on prices. The sustained increase in Libyan production over the summer-increasing from 200,000 barrels per day (bbl/d) in June to 900,000 bbl/d at the end of September-has added supplies to an already well-supplied light sweet crude market in the Atlantic Basin, despite the fact that Libya's recent production has not come close to its previous level of 1.65 million bbl/d in 2010 and 2011, before fighting that occurred during the Arab Spring. Over the past several years, increasing U.S. light sweet crude production has significantly reduced light sweet crude imports to the United States. Those reduced imports, which were sourced primarily from Africa, became available to replace Libyan production lost during a time of civil war and subsequent unrest. While Libyan production was disrupted, supply and demand in the Atlantic Basin was relatively balanced. However, as Libyan production has returned and has remained largely online despite internal unrest, the price of Brent crude oil has fallen. Although the return of significant Libyan production has been an important factor putting downward pressure on the Brent price, weakening global demand, particularly in Europe and Asia, is also important. Economic growth in 2014 outside of the United States has been slow, and recent data releases appear to confirm lower-than-expected growth, particularly in Asia and Europe. China reported that its industrial production has risen at the slowest pace since 2008. In Europe, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has reduced expectations for economic growth through 2015 after data showed second-quarter 2014 gross domestic product (GDP) fell in Germany and Italy and stagnated in France [eia.gov] » October 08 2014 - Oil, oil contracts, Iran, sanctions. Iran's Petroleum Minister Bijan Namdar Zangeneh has said that the country's new model of oil contracts is to be finalized soon. [...] Iran plans to unveil the new type of its oil contracts in London in February next year in an attempt to attract foreign investors provided that the Western governments lift their sanctions against Tehran. [...] Iran is also poised to introduce a new model of oil contracts, known as Iran Petroleum Contract (IPC) to replace "buy-back" contracts which, he added, are no longer attractive to foreign companies. Under a buyback deal, the host government agrees to pay the contractor an agreed price for all volumes of hydrocarbons the contractor produces. But under the IPC, NIOC will set up joint ventures for crude oil and gas production with international companies which will be paid with a share of the output. Foreign companies are expected to rush back to Iran as hopes soar for relief in sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic over its nuclear program [shana.ir] » October 08 2014 - Oil prices, geopolitics, Russia, US, EU. Falling oil prices are inflicting deeper economic pain on Russia's economy, which is already reeling from EU and U.S. sanctions. Russia is currently considering its budget for 2015-2017, and based on the numbers, the Kremlin is planning for leaner times. With oil revenue accounting for around half of the country's budget, any dip in prices has a ripple effect. And in recent years, Russia's economy has become more dependent on oil to meet its budget commitments. Excluding oil revenue, Russia has run a budget deficit that hit 10.3 percent in 2013, the highest level in three years. In other words, the government needs oil revenues to plug budget holes, and that need is growing [oilprice.com] » October 08 2014 - Climate change, climate policy, 2015 agreement. Alternative Models for the 2015 Climate Change Agreement. A primary goal of the Durban Platform negotiations should be to develop an agreement that will maximize reductions in greenhouse gas emissions over time. Achieving this objective will be a function of not only the ambition of the 2015 agreement, but also the levels of participation and compliance by states. A higher level of ambition will not necessarily make the agreement more effective, if fewer states participate or comply. In general, international agreements can serve a contractual, prescriptive, or facilitative function. In the climate change context, the contractual and prescriptive models are not politically realistic at this time, so the 2015 agreement should focus on the law's catalytic and facilitative roles. Although the Durban Platform negotiations still have a long way to go, the decision adopted last year at COP-19 in Warsaw suggests that the 2015 agreement will have a hybrid quality, which seeks to balance national flexibility and international discipline. In many if not most countries, the climate change issue is driven more by national than by international politics, so the agreement needs to allow states to determine the content of their own commitments. This approach represents a concession to political and diplomatic realities, as well as to the limits of international agreements in influencing countries' behavior in an area so vital to their interests. At the same time, the 2015 agreement needs to prod states to do as much as possible, through multilateral rules on transparency and accountability that help foster a virtuous cycle, in which states make progressively more ambitious contributions. Thus far, the top-down elements of the hybrid approach remain largely an abstraction. What remains to be seen is whether parties will be able to agree on rules that sufficiently discipline national flexibility and promote stronger ambition [fni.no] » October 07 2014 - Eni, 2014 World Oil and Gas Review. Eni has announced the publication of the thirteenth edition of the World Oil and Gas Review, the annual statistical review of the world's oil and gas market and refining system. 2013 saw a slight increase in world oil reserves thanks to the contribution of non-OPEC countries, firstly the United States (+9.8% on the previous year). The United States led the increase in crude production with an increase of 12.2% compared with 2012, thanks to the contribution of tight oil, which more than made up for the fall in production in Iran and Libya (-9.8% and -35.5% respectively). Global oil demand continues to grow (+1.4%). For the first time since the beginning of the global economic crisis, 2013 also saw a positive trend in OECD countries. Growth was driven by the United States which remains the world's biggest consumer of oil, while the continuing economic crisis in Europe led to a slight fall (-0.7% vs. 2012). In the refining industry Europe is engaged in a tough rationalisation process (there has been a fall in capacity of around 2 million b/d from pre-crisis levels). The availability of low-cost crude has re-launched the competitiveness of refining in the USA. Asia-Pacific and the Middle East confirm the trend of recent years in investments in new refining capacity. In the gas market, shale has made the USA the leader in production for the second year running and reserves have increased by over 5%. On a global basis, gas reserves continue to grow, also thanks to new discoveries such as that in Mozambique. There was a modest increase in global gas consumption in 2013 (around 1% vs. and average of 2.5% between 2000 and 2013). The wide availability of domestically produced gas in the USA helped to drive an increase in consumption (+2% vs. 2012) confirming the country's position as the world's largest consumer of gas [eni.com] » October 07 2014 - Energy market, EU internal energy market, ACER (Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators). Recommendation of the Agency on the regulatory response to the future challenges emerging from developments in the internal energy market. This document contains European energy regulators' considered conclusions on the regulatory challenges we expect will emerge over the coming decade from the development of the Internal Energy Market (IEM) [...] The IEM will increasingly deliver tangible benefits to European energy consumers and so its completion remains a top priority for the Agency and for National Regulatory Authorities (NRAs). The Commission's President designate has announced the objective of a European Energy Union and has proposed the appointment of a Vice President for Energy Union and Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy. This clearly indicates that European energy market integration is likely to receive a renewed impulse and IEM competition remains a top priority. Therefore, in the immediate future, the regulatory focus will continue to be on the development and implementation of the Network Codes, Guidelines and other measures which are fundamental to the achievement of full energy market integration. Nevertheless, we consider that it is essential that we also look further ahead from the perspective of energy regulators to examine the challenges that we expect the energy sector will face after the full implementation of the existing rules, including the development of retail market competition, so that the benefits of the IEM feed through to energy consumers. In this way, all those involved in the development of the IEM can be informed, and the Agency and NRAs, including through CEER, can develop a regulatory response which will remain fit for the purpose [acer.europa.eu] » October 07 2014 - Natural gas, CO2 emissions, climate change, US energy plan, economic base study. A recent report from the Global Carbon Project on 2013 carbon dioxide emissions found that we set a new record of 36 billion tons of CO2. The amount is predicted to increase by another 2.5 percent in 2014. President Obama's energy plan to reduce carbon emissions positions natural gas as the great bridge fuel, as its carbon emissions are half that of coal. Other coal still accounts for 39 percent of U.S. electricity generation. Natural gas extraction through fracking is booming, so much so that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission this week approved the highly contested $3.8 billion Cove Point natural gas processing and export facility, located in the Chesapeake Bay area of Maryland. This is the third such natural gas facility that the U.S. Department of Energy has approved this month. With study after study implicating fracking for its link to earthquakes, groundwater, pollution, underestimating methane release, and even cancer and birth defects, a new economic base study has been published in the journal of Environmental Research Letters by the University of California, Irvine; Stanford University; and the Seattle-based nonprofit Near Zero. The study looks at the implications of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and whether natural gas can function as a short-term bridge as we transition to renewable energy [therealnews.com] » October 06 2014 - Energy storage, battery, storage technologies, HSBC report. New report from HSBC says conventional generators will be the biggest losers from the upcoming energy storage boom, as both consumers and grid operators look to battery and other storage technologies. Conventional electricity generators have already received a battering from the revolution inspired by rooftop solar. Most fossil fuel generators - particularly those in Europe and Australia, are struggling to make a profit. But things are likely to get worse. The influx of battery storage is destined to further reduce demand from conventional generators. A major new analysis from global investment bank HSBC - Energy Storage, Power to the People – says the boom days for the fossil fuel generation are over. [...] The HSBC analysis looks at a range of storage technologies and how that will impact the conventional energy systems. Its major conclusion is that affordable battery storage will increase distributed generation - solar panels on household and business rooftops - and further reduce demand from the grid. On top of that, grid operators are also likely to use large-scale battery storage to balance demand and supply and for smart grid enhancements. That's more bad news for conventional power generators. Once again, it says, the revolution will be led by Germany, notwithstanding the major initiatives in California and China [reneweconomy.com.au] » October 06 2014 - Oil, US crude export. The U.S. crude oil export debate rolls on, but what is often overlooked is the fact that rising production is finding its way to world markets. Platts Editorial Director for Americas Oil Markets, Richard Swann, addresses this phenomenon [plattstv.com] » October 06 2014 - Smartgrid, microgrid, renewable energy, low carbon economy, Boston, US. Contrary to popular thinking, utility franchise rights aren't a big obstruction to microgrids in Massachusetts. That's the word from a legal analysis released this week by Harvard Law School at the request of the City of Boston. The city, which wants to see more microgrids within its borders, asked Harvard’s Emmett Environmental Law & Policy Clinic to examine how state utility law affects microgrids. The report challenges the commonly held notion that utility franchise rights make it hard for microgrids to run wires across public roads in the state [microgridknowledge.com] » October 04 2014 - Oil, crude, shale, Carabodo, Barash light, Venezuela, Iraq, US, bloomberg, IEA. Asia is getting a greater choice of crude from Alaska North Slope to Venezuela’s Carabobo and Iraqi Basrah Light as the U.S. shale boom cuts American demand for overseas oil. Crude from around the world is competing for buyers in Asia, says the Paris-based International Energy Agency. South Korea is taking the first Alaskan export cargo since 2004, Japanese traders are purchasing U.S. shipments of ultra-light oil from the Gulf of Mexico and India is buying more Latin American output. Asia will account for more than half of global demand growth this year. The U.S. shale revolution is changing the flow of oil and challenging the influence of traditional suppliers. Saudi Arabia, the biggest exporter, is cutting premiums to attract more Asian buyers, according to the IEA [bloomberg.com] » October 03 2014 - Climate change, global warming, MIT Energy and Climate Outlook. Unless we change direction, the future world will be 3-5 C warmer, thirstier, still dependent on fossil fuels. Global temperature is likely to rise 3.3-5.6 C by the end of this century, unless international climate negotiations in Paris next year are more effective than expected, according to a report released Monday by the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change. The predicted temperature increase surpasses the threshold identified by the United Nations as necessary to avoid the most serious impacts of climate change, altering precipitation patterns and heightening the pressures of population and economic growth [...] The 2014 Energy and Climate Outlook provides an integrated assessment of how human activities, given our current development path, are interacting with complex Earth systems and ultimately affecting the natural resources on which we depend. It uses a projection modeling system developed by MIT's Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change, the Integrated Global Systems Model (IGSM) framework, to determine the associated energy, climate, atmosphere, ocean, and land-use implications. We provide a projection, not a prediction, as the future will ultimately be determined by actions taken over the next decades that are intended to stabilize our relationship with the planet. We incorporate the emissions targets currently proposed by the international community to address the challenges of climate change. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) reached an accord in 2009 for the so-called Copenhagen pledges, which were further specified in the Cancun agreements. These pledges are set to expire in 2020. Our objective is to show how far the current 2020 pledges take us, and what is at risk if we fail to push beyond these emissions reduction goals. A principal product of this Outlook is a detailed set of economic, energy, land use, water stress, and emissions projections for each of the 16 major countries or regions of the world, through the year 2050. We provide this numerical data in the hopes that researchers and policymakers will find them useful for their own analyses [globalchange.mit.edu] » October 03 2014 - Energy storage, renewable energy, EROEI, climate change. Several recent analyses of the inputs to our energy systems indicate that, against expectations, energy storage cannot solve the problem of intermittency of wind or solar power. Not for reasons of technical performance, cost, or storage capacity, but for something more intractable: there is not enough surplus energy left over after construction of the generators and the storage system to power our present civilization. The problem is analysed in an important paper by WeiBbach et al. (Energy intensities, EROIs, and energy payback times of electricity generating power plants) in terms of energy returned on energy invested, or EROEI the ratio of the energy produced over the life of a power plant to the energy that was required to build it. It takes energy to make a power plant - to manufacture its components, mine the fuel, and so on. The power plant needs to make at least this much energy to break even. A break-even powerplant has an EROEI of 1. But such a plant would pointless, as there is no energy surplus to do the useful things we use energy for. There is a minimum EROEI, greater than 1, that is required for an energy source to be able to run society. An energy system must produce a surplus large enough to sustain things like food production, hospitals, and universities to train the engineers to build the plant, transport, construction, and all the elements of the civilization in which it is embedded. For countries like the US and Germany, WeiBbach et al. estimate this minimum viable EROEI to be about 7. An energy source with lower EROEI cannot sustain a society at those levels of complexity, structured along similar lines. If we are to transform our energy system, in particular to one without climate impacts, we need to pay close attention to the EROEI of the end result [bravenewclimate.com] » October 03 2014 - Shale gas, UK. The UK Government appointed John Loughhead as Chief Scientific Advisor, betting on him to foster the British shale gas industry. Loughhead, currently Executive Director at UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC), has a well-respected academic background. He is also the non-executive director at the R&D Board of the UK Ministry of Defence. "New technology is the driving force that is moving us to a low carbon economy, powering new jobs and green growth. With vast engineering experience across academia and the private sector, Professor Loughhead brings a depth of knowledge that will be invaluable in areas such as shale gas, as well as keeping the UK as an energy world leader and creating momentum towards a global climate change deal," Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey commented in a note. Loughhead mentioned that he will also be working on climate change [naturalgaseurope.com] » October 03 2014 - Shale, oil, Eagle Ford, US. Oil production in the Eagle Ford shale region in Texas continues to increase due to more drilling operations and improved drilling efficiency. The region also generated more than $87 billion in economic output last year, according to the University of Texas at San Antonio. Producers in the region have raised the amount of horizontal drilling as well as hydraulic fracturing operations in the Eagle Ford, which has made it possible to increase production despite well decline rates, the UTSA stated. First-year decline rates in the Eagle Ford have moved between 60 and 70 percent, but second-year decline rates have increased from 30 percent in 2009 to 50 percent in 2011 and 2012. Typically, wells will have high production rates at the beginning, then see large decline rates until they level off. The increased output and faster decline in Eagle Ford shale wells can be attributed to fracking, which is known to increase initial production rates then causes a severe drop in production. [pennenergy.com] » October 03 2014 - CO2 emissions, Carbon capture and storage, low carbon economy, IEA. The International Energy Agency (IEA) [...] welcomed the launch of the world's first large-scale power station equipped with carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology, calling it a historic milestone along the road to a low-carbon energy future. The 110MW retrofit of SaskPower's Boundary Dam coal-fired power plant in Saskatchewan, Canada will trap around 1 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year. The captured CO2 will be injected into nearby oilfields to enhance oil recovery. The plant began capturing CO2 in September and was due to be inaugurated this week [...] Several CCS projects are under construction or in advanced stages of planning. Early 2015 should see the start of operations for another large power-CCS project in Kemper County, Mississippi. Further projects are currently under construction elsewhere in the United States and Canada plus Saudi Arabia and Australia [iea.org] » October 02 2014 - Climate change, low carbon economy, Australia, UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network's Pathways to Deep Decarbonization project report. Pathways to Deep Decarbonisation in 2050: How Australia can prosper in a low carbon world.The report presents an illustrative deep decarbonisation pathway for Australia - just one of many possible pathways - developed using a combination of wellestablished modelling tools to identify feasible and least-cost options. The frame of reference for the analysis is that all countries decarbonise by 2050, consistent with the objective of limiting the increase in global mean surface temperature to 2C in order to avoid dangerous climate change [..] This report is part of the global Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project (DDPP), which aims to understand and show how countries can transition to a very low-carbon economy. The project comprises 15 countries representing over 70% of global greenhouse gas emissions and is convened under the auspices of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), and the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI) [clivehamilton.com] » October 02 2014 - Coal, Poland, Russia. Poland to adopt new law to limit Russian coal imports. A draft law that will introduce quality control checks on coal and may reduce Russian imports to Poland will have its first reading in Parliament on Wednesday, deputy Economy Minister Tomasz Tomczykiewicz said late Tuesday. "There will be the first reading tomorrow of one of the fuel quality laws, which extends these regulations to include coal, which earlier was not covered by any quality checks," Tomczykiewicz told Polish Radio. Asked if the law was directed primarily towards Russian coal imports because they are the cheapest and account for the bulk of all imports, the minister replied: "That is true. Of course these rules will apply to all coal, even those supplied by Polish companies." Reducing coal imports from Russia was one of the demands of Polish miners who stopped trains carrying Russian coal from entering Poland by blocking the tracks last week. Tomczykiewicz said the draft law, which has the support of opposition parties, could be adopted as soon as next week [platts.com] » October 02 2014 - Climate change, public ethics, low carbon economy, China, China's greenhouse gas emissions now surpass the combined total of the United Sates and the European Union. When measured on a per person basis, the average Chinese is responsible for more damage to the climate than the average European. The gaps will become wider. Unless China soon stops and reverses the rampant growth of its carbon emissions there will be no chance of preventing the descent into an unliveable planet. So global hopes for preventing climatic catastrophe, or at least avoiding the worst, now depend, more than on any other factor, on how China's political and economic system responds to the deafening alarm bells being rung by the world's climate scientists. In practical terms this means rapidly weaning the booming Chinese economy off fossil fuels, and first and foremost coal. The West can hardly complain that its citizens' future now lies in the hands of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party, for it was our refusal to accept responsibility when we had the chance that ceded it to them [clivehamilton.com] » October 01 2014 - Climate change, low carbon economy, Certified emission reductions (CERs). The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) is planning to publish an Invitation to Bid (ITB) for Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) within the next few weeks. UNOPS invites all project developers and carbon offsets traders to respond to the invitation to bid and offer credits that satisfy the quality requirements spelled out in the technical specifications. During last week's Climate Summit Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced that the entire United Nations system is stepping up its efforts to minimize its environmental impact: "The United Nations is doing its part. We will be climate neutral by 2020." [ungm.org] » October 01 2014 - Oil markets, prices, stress scenarios, Russia. A world oil price plunge to $60 per barrel is an unlikely scenario, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said on Wednesday. "We believe this is unlikely," the finance minister said, adding the budget of Saudi Arabia, a major oil exporter, was balanced at the oil price of $80-85 per barrel. Russia's draft budget for 2015, which envisages a deficit of 0.6% of GDP, is based on an oil price of $96 per barrel. The Russian finance minister said the ministry has not examined a stress scenario of an oil plunge to $60 per barrel. "We had a stress scenario of $80 per barrel," Siluanov said. The Russian government has mapped out a number of measures, if world oil prices fall sharply, the finance minister said. "In this case, we plan to use the unallocated reserve in the budget. It totals 70 billion rubles [$1.7 billion at the current exchange rate] so far but we hope to increase it by 100 billion rubles [$2.5 billion]," the finance minister said [en.itartass.com] » October 01 2014 - Renewable energy, 100% RE strategies, World future council report. The World Future Council, in collaboration with Berlin-based E3 Analytics, has recently published a new report analyzing how jurisdictions around the world can achieve 100% renewable energy. The report looks at eight (8) jurisdictions around the world and provides an overview of the progress made in transitioning to 100% renewable energy in the electricity, heating/cooling, and transport sectors, including Denmark, Cape Verde, Tuvalu, and Fukushima Prefecture in Japan. After analyzing how the various practical and political challenges are being overcome, the report highlights five (5) key findings, as well as five (5) policy recommendations aimed at both policymakers and practitioners from around the world: In addition to providing valuable data and insights into a variety of 100% RE strategies, the report makes it clear that achieving 100% is both realistic, and affordable, and can be done using today’s technologies [worldfuturecouncil.org] » October 01 2014 - Geopolitics, Qatar, gas, foreign policy. The tiny, gas-rich emirate has pumped tens of millions of dollars through obscure funding networks to hard-line Syrian rebels and extremist Salafists, building a foreign policy that punches above its weight. [...] For years, U.S. officials have been willing to shrug off Doha's proxy network -- or even take advantage of it from time to time. Qatar's neighbors, however, have not. Over the past year, fellow Gulf countries Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain have publicly rebuked Qatar for its support of political Islamists across the region. These countries have threatened to close land borders or suspend Qatar's membership in the regional Gulf Cooperation Council unless the country backs down. After nearly a year of pressure, the first sign of a Qatari concession came on Sept. 13, when seven senior Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood figures left Doha at the request of the Qatari government [foreignpolicy.com] » September 30 2014 - Natural gas, renewable energy, carbon emisions, US, Environmental Research Letters article. The effect of natural gas supply on US renewable energy and CO2 emissions. Increased use of natural gas has been promoted as a means of decarbonizing the US power sector, because of superior generator efficiency and lower CO2 emissions per unit of electricity than coal. We model the effect of different gas supplies on the US power sector and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Across a range of climate policies, we find that abundant natural gas decreases use of both coal and renewable energy technologies in the future. Without a climate policy, overall electricity use also increases as the gas supply increases. With reduced deployment of lower-carbon renewable energies and increased electricity consumption, the effect of higher gas supplies on GHG emissions is small: cumulative emissions 2013–55 in our high gas supply scenario are 2% less than in our low gas supply scenario, when there are no new climate policies and a methane leakage rate of 1.5% is assumed. Assuming leakage rates of 0 or 3% does not substantially alter this finding. In our results, only climate policies bring about a significant reduction in future CO2 emissions within the US electricity sector. Our results suggest that without strong limits on GHG emissions or policies that explicitly encourage renewable electricity, abundant natural gas may actually slow the process of decarbonization, primarily by delaying deployment of renewable energy technologies [Environmental Research Letters - iopscience.iop.org] » September 30 2014 - Climate change, China, climate policy. China Carbon Forum began a new initiative: CCF Insights. CCF Insights is aimed at enhancing engagement with our network and will be distributed regularly, covering topical and relevant issues relating to climate change policy in China [chinacarbon.info] » September 30 2014 - Climate change, carbon emissions, climate policy. Cumulative emissions and climate policy. The emerging scientific focus on cumulative carbon emissions may make climate negotiations harder. But, it serves to clarify the scale and scope of climate mitigation needed to meet potential temperature targets [nature.com] » September 29 2014 - Renewable energy, Japan. Japan has added 11,090 megawatts of clean energy capacity since July 2012, when it began an incentive program to encourage investment in renewables, according to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. Of the total, Japan has added 10,880 megawatts of solar capacity through the end of June, according to METI data updated on Sept. 26. Japan has approved 71,780 megawatts of renewable energy projects, according to the ministry data. Solar accounts for 96 percent of the approved capacity [bnef.com] » September 29 2014 - Natural gas, LNG, Argentina. Argentina has been actively seeking deferral of LNG cargoes recently as warmer-thanaverage temperatures in the capital city of Buenos Aires have reduced domestic demand for natural gas. While Enarsa has reportedly contacted several of its LNG suppliers in an attempt to defer the arrival of cargoes delivering during the fourth quarter, delays in current deliveries have also been seen. Vessels in queue include the 161,337 cubic meter Lobito, which has been off the coast of Bahia Blanca for more than 12 days [platts.com] » September 29 2014 - Renewable energy, coal, EU. Can bioenergy replace coal? Europe wants 27 percent of its energy to come from renewable sources by 2030. Bioenergy has the potential to help the continent reach that goal, but it requires an industry comeback. Like all renewable energy in the European Union, bioenergy has struggled against low-priced coal imports, low carbon dioxide prices in the emissions-trading system, and an economic and regulatory backlash against renewable-energy policies, including substantial cuts in government support. But don't count out biomass-based energy just yet. Although today it fails to compete on cost with other renewables such as wind and solar, we believe bioenergy not only has the potential to significantly improve but could even become cost competitive with coal [mckinsey.com] » September 29 2014 - Natural gas, Russia, Ukraine, UE. Russian brinkmanship over energy supplies to Europe is peaking, yet the European Union, Ukraine, and Russia apparently reached a deal to keep natural gas flowing, preventing millions from freezing this winter. [...] Ukraine gets to replenish its half-empty storage tanks; Russia gets at least some of the money Ukraine owes it. And by promising to sell Ukraine modest volumes over the next six months at a reasonable price, the deal undercuts Europe's newfound business of reselling gas to Ukraine. Europe, for its part, would see fears of a supply crunch recede: The more gas Ukraine has, the less likely Kiev is to tap into transit gas flows that pass through the country on their way to other customers in Europe, as happened in the past. That's especially important for vulnerable countries in southeastern Europe [foreignpolicy.com] » September 26 2014 - Natural gas, prices, reserves, unconventional gas, EU supply. The current boom in unconventional natural gas extraction, largely confined to North America over the past decade, seems poised for continued growth and international expansion in the years ahead. With Asia and Europe expected to utilize natural gas to meet a greater share of their energy demands, while largely lagging behind in the development of their domestic natural gas reserves, the stage is set for imports of the commodity to surge. The August 2014 issue of ZE DataWatch tackles the demand-side dynamics underpinning the future of natural gas markets, in a follow up to last month's in-depth exploration of the factors surrounding natural gas supply. However, after considering both sides of the market in isolation, it's worth reflecting on the potential scenarios arising from their interaction. In the three months prior to September 2014, the World Bank's monthly average natural gas index dropped by 12% globally, in part due to higher storage levels and consistent streams from existing reserves. This downward pressure has caused prices to sink to $9 USD/MMbtu in Europe, despite geopolitical upheaval; just below $4 USD/MMbtu in North America; and under $16 USD/MMbtu for landed LNG cargoes in Asia. Regular seasonal easing accounts for some of the drop, but price forecasts remain relatively depressed through the winter heating season and into 2015. While this may be good news for commercial consumers, the persistence of this downward trend will have negative impacts on the arbitrage opportunities projected to drive much of the investment in supply over the next decade [blog.ze.com] » September 26 2014 - Key World Energy Statistics IEA, 2014 edition. An electronic version of the 2014 edition of the Key World Energy Statistics - the International Energy Agency's free, easy-to-consult reference tool - is now available for download, offering the most important statistics on production, transformation and consumption of energy, as well as CO2 emissions, in more than 140 countries and regions, with global and regional overviews. Published each year since 1997, the booklet presents 16 different headline statistics for each country, from gross domestic product to total primary energy supply to energy production to CO2 emissions per capita. Overview sections offer graphs showing energy output, generation or refining, and consumption by region, fuel or sector from 1973 through to 2013, with pie charts demonstrating differences for these two time periods. Other sections present energy-related CO2 emissions, energy projections, and various market and retail prices for select fuels and countries [energypost.eu] » September 26 2014 - Gas, EU energy security, shock winter risk, Ukraine, Russia. Major investment in European gas storage, transmission and emergency planning make a repeat of the 2009 gas shock unlikely this winter, market observers say, even if Russia trims exports to retaliate against western sanctions. That should be comforting news to EU Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger, who is meeting with energy ministers from Ukraine and Russia (Yuriy Prodan and Alexander Novak) on Friday in Berlin. But analysts do caution that the EU-s long-term energy security rests on further market integration and diversification [energypost.eu] » September 25 2014 - Oil and gas, world reserves, OPEC Annual statistical bullettin 2014. The OPEC Annual Statistical Bulletin (ASB) contains about 100 pages of tables, charts and graphs detailing the world's oil and gas reserves, crude oil and product output, exports, refining, tankers, plus economic and other data [opec.org] » September 25 2014 - Climate change, mitigation costs, Nature paper. Climate change mitigation can benefit human health by reducing air pollution. Research now shows that the economic value of health improvements can substantially outweigh mitigation costs, and that more flexible policies could have higher benefits [nature.com] » September 25 2014 - Climate change, UN NYºC summit, Oil and gas climate initiative. The Oil and Gas Climate Initiative announced by Saudi Aramco on behalf of others engaged, including BG Group, Eni, PEMEX and TOTAL aims to build a platform to share best practices within the industry, address key climate risks, and catalyze meaningful action and coordination on climate change in areas such as energy access, renewable energy, energy efficiency, reduction of gas flaring and methane emissions, among others - followed by regular reporting on ongoing efforts [un.org] » September 25 2014 - Natural gas, pipeline, BP, Azerbaijan, South Stream, EU, geopolitics. British Petroleum's Azerbaijan International Operating Company (AIOC) said it has begun construction of the Azeri pipeline project, according to a company release. At the Southern Gas Corridor, the pipeline is expected to eventually transport 16 billion cubic meters per year of gas from the Shah Deniz gas field, the largest natural gas field in Azerbaijan and one of the biggest in the world. The pipeline system will stretch 3,500 kilometers and provide energy supplies to Georgia, Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria, Albania and Italy, said BP CEO Bob Dudley. The pipeline may reduce Europe's dependence on Russian gas supplies, according to Bloomberg [pennenergy.com] » September 24 2014 - EU energy policy, energy security, unconventional sources of fossil fuel, shale gas, geopolitics, OPEC, Oil, Gas & Energy Law Journal paper. Unconventional Energy Sources and EU Energy Security: A Legal, Economic and Political Analysis. This paper examines the system of law and governance of international trade in unconventional energy sources. Currently, there is no cohesive governance for global energy trade. On the contrary, governance of energy trade mainly arises by default, rather than design, through the ad hoc interplay of different aspects of the international economic and political system. This has implications for the European Union (EU), which relies heavily on the rest of the world for its energy supply, and consequently its energy security. The paper provides some background to EU energy policy; it then explains the current revolution of unconventional sources of fossil fuel and how it may geopolitically impact the EU. The last section concludes the paper and provides some policy recommendations [papers.ssrn.com] » September 24 2014 - Oil, refineries, Saudi Arabia, EU. Saudi Arabia's newest oil refinery reached full capacity last month, adding to international competition that Total SA and Vitol SA said will force more European plants to close. The Satorp refinery, a venture between Total and Saudi Arabian Oil Co., processed crude at full capacity of 400,000 barrels a day on Aug. 1, Patrick Pouyanne, Total's president of refining and chemicals, said at a conference in Brussels today. Europe's refineries are too small and not sophisticated enough to compete with new plants, Chris Bake, executive director at Vitol, the world's largest oil trader, said at a separate conference in Fujairah, in the United Arab Emirates [...] European refineries are shutting or converting to storage depots at the fastest pace since the 1980s after demand for oil products dropped for seven years and competition from other regions intensified. Seventeen plants closed in the past six years, according to the International Energy Agency, the Paris-based adviser to 29 nations. Another 10 refineries need to close, equating to 1.5 million to 2 million barrels of daily capacity [bloomberg.com] » September 24 2014 - Oil, fossil fuel assests, climate change UN summit, Global Divest-Invest. The Rockefeller Brothers Fund is joining a coalition of philanthropists pledging to rid themselves of more than $50bn (£31bn) in fossil fuel assets. The announcement was made on Monday, a day before the UN climate change summit opens on Tuesday. Some 650 individuals and 180 institutions have joined the coalition. It is part of a growing global initiative called Global Divest-Invest, which began on university campuses several years ago, the New York Times reports. Pledges from pension funds, religious groups and big universities have reportedly doubled since the start of 2014 [bbc.com] » September 24 2014 - Climate change, NY UN summit. World leaders are meeting at the United Nations for a summit that is intended to set the stage for global negotiations later this year in Lima and next year in Paris, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the threat of global climate change. The negotiations are at an important crossroad. Twenty years ago at the original "Earth Summit" in Rio de Janeiro, the nations of the world enacted the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and established two key principles. One was the goal of stabilizing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere. The other was that the governments should protect the climate system "on the basis of equity and in accordance with their common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities." This second principle signaled the conviction that although the climate problem is a global issue, with all countries contributing, rich nations had historically contributed more to the atmospheric stock of greenhouse gases than others. Listed in Annex I of the Convention, the wealthy nations were committed to take actions [...] Since 1990, the base year of the Kyoto Protocol, emissions have grown by approximately 5 percent annually in the non-Annex I countries, while remaining about flat in the Annex I nations. Furthermore, the dichotomous structure effectively quadrupled the global cost of emission abatement necessary to stabilize atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, relative to a cost-minimizing scenario [belfercenter.ksg.harvard.edu] » September 23 2014 - Oil, drop in prices, economic growth, debt bubble collapse. [...] Falling commodity prices are bad news. It likely means that the debt bubble which has been holding up the world economy for a very long-since World War II, at least-is failing to expand sufficiently. If the debt bubble collapses, we will be in huge difficulty. Many people have the impression that falling oil prices mean that the cost of production is falling, and thus that the feared "peak oil" is far in the distance. This is not the correct interpretation, especially when many types of commodities are decreasing in price at the same time. When prices are set in a world market, the big issue is affordability. Even if food, oil and coal are close to necessities, consumers can't pay more than they can afford. A person can tell [...] that since the first part of 2011, the prices of Brent oil, Australian coal, and food have been trending downward. This drop in prices continues into September. For example, [...] Brent oil price is $97.70, while the average price for the latest month shown (August) is $105.27. It is this steeper, recent drop, which many are concerned about [oilprice.com] » September 23 2014 - Climate change, global investors report. World's leading institutional investors managing $24 trillion call for carbon pricing, ambitious global climate deal. Ahead of the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's Climate Summit at the United Nations to spur climate action and facilitate a global climate agreement in 2015, nearly 350 global institutional investors representing over $24 trillion in assets have called on government leaders to provide stable, reliable and economically meaningful carbon pricing that helps redirect investment commensurate with the scale of the climate change challenge, as well as develop plans to phase out subsidies for fossil fuels. 2014 Global investor statement [investorsonclimatechange.org] » September 23 2014 - Climate change, UN summit, UK, Cameron controversy. Prime Minister David Cameron is joining more than 120 world leaders, including US president Barack Obama, today at a summit convened by United Nations secretary general Ban Ki-Moon with the intention of restoring momentum to the international battle against climate change. Downing Street said Mr Cameron will press for strong and early commitments from the international community ahead of next year's Paris conference, when a new global deal on action to limit climate change is planned. He will make clear that he will push for a target of at least 40% reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in Europe when he meets fellow EU leaders next month. But the Prime Minister risks sparking controversy by arguing that the fight to limit global warning to 2C should be seen as an opportunity for economic growth, calling on governments to cut "green tape" to encourage investment in new technologies such as shale gas [energyvoice.com] » September 23 2014 - Oil, crude prices, world oil demand, world oil supply, OPEC MOMR. Monthly Oil Market Report, 09-14. Crude Oil Price Movements. The OPEC Reference Basket fell by $4.86 in August to stand at $100.75/b. Nymex WTI declined by $6.32 to $96.08/b and ICE Brent dropped $4.79 to $103.40/b. Speculators sharply cut net long positions amid ample supply and low demand. The Brent-WTI spread widened to around $7.30/b as stock draws at Cushing, Oklahoma, have finally stalled. World Economy. World economic growth for 2014 and 2015 remains unchanged at 3.1% and 3.4% respectively. A better-than-expected US GDP in 2Q14 was offset by on-going challenges in the Euro-zone and a large decline in 2Q14 GDP growth in Japan. This kept the OECD GDP growth forecast at 1.8% in 2014 and 2.0% in 2015. Expectations for China and India remain unchanged, with China growing at 7.4% and 7.2%, and India at 5.5% and 5.8%. Brazil has been revised down to 0.7% in 2014 and 1.4% in 2015, and Russia's GDP growth forecast has also been lowered to 0.3% in 2014 and 1.1% in 2015. World Oil Demand. World oil demand growth in 2014 is expected to reach 1.05 mb/d, following a downward revision of around 50 tb/d, mainly due to the weaker-than-expected performance of the OECD region. In 2015, world oil demand is forecast to increase by 1.19 mb/d, representing a marginal downward adjustment, as an upward revision in the non-OECD region was offset by slower OECD growth. World Oil Supply. Non-OPEC oil supply growth is expected to increase by 1.68 mb/d in 2014, following an upward revision of 180 tb/d from last month. In 2015, non-OPEC oil supply is projected to grow by 1.24 mb/d, representing a downward adjustment of 30 tb/d from the previous forecast. OPEC NGLs and non-conventional liquids are forecast to grow by 0.2 mb/d in 2015 to average 6.03 mb/d. In August, OPEC crude oil production according to secondary sources increased by 231 tb/d to average 30.35 mb/d [opec.org] » September 22 2014 - Renewable energy, global energy investment, Ernst & Young RECAI (Renewable energy country attractiveness index) issue 42. There really are renewable energy opportunities everywhere and for everyone. Recent BNEF analysis forecasts that US$5t of an estimated US$7.7t of global energy investment could be spent on renewables by 2030, but the exciting reality is that this will encompass both lifechanging access to residential-scale power for the world's poorest communities, as well as mega-scale projects that will accelerate us toward grid parity and beyond. It will encompass billions of dollars of investment from mainstream lenders, institutional investors and major corporates, as well as little as US$25 from thousands or even millions of crowdfunders and cooperatives. And it will encompass increased renewables deployment across all corners of the world, from the smallest island to the largest desert [ey.com] » September 22 2014 - Climate change, weather events, library, New Zealand. A web based digital library containing information on climate change and adverse weather events is now available. The library is an initiative between the Ministry for Primary Industries and AgResearch to help the primary industries assess the risks and impacts and respond to climate change and adverse weather events on land based businesses in New Zealand. There are over 1600 peer reviewed resources that will be useful to a range of primary sector occupations and farming systems. They are presented as user friendly fact sheets to support farmer and land manager decisions on how best to plan for the future and be resilient to the challenges ahead [climatecloud.co.nz] » September 22 2014 - Natural gas, pipeline, South Stream, geopolitics. While Serbia appears one hundred percent committed to pursuing the South Stream project, the EU continues to produce new ideas on how to block the proposed gas route. This is in the midst of a confused political situation regarding the pipeline's entry point in Bulgaria, a country about to enter a polarized early general election. To begin, the EU's Directorate-General (DG) for Energy, through its spokesperson, recently stated that the Commission cannot legally enforce its provisions against South Stream, regarding the portion that will pass through Serbia, due to its non-EU member state status as it is not bound by the same rules. According to news streams out of Belgrade and Moscow, the Serbian route should start its construction process by mid-October 2014. Nevertheless, it should be noted that without Bulgaria's part of the pipeline, it is not feasible to assume construction will commence before the new Bulgarian government is elected after the 5th of October and is ready to announce a re-commencement of work on the section going from the Black Sea up to the borders with Serbia. As such, it can be assumed that the infrastructure process in Serbia itself will be delayed by a few weeks (and possibly a few months) [naturalgaseurope.com] » September 22 2014 - Oil, natural gas, Norway resources. Wood Mackenzie says Norway has 10 Bboe of discovered natural resources that have yet to be developed. It believes more than 60% could be commercialized, potentially adding $106 billion to the country's oil and gas industry revenues. The resources are spread across 206 discoveries, ranging in size from less than 1 MMboe to the 2.4-Bboe Johan Sverdrup field. Half are in the North Sea with the remainder divided between the Norwegian Sea and the Barents Sea. James Webb, Northwest Europe upstream analyst, said: "We consider 4.8 Bboe likely to be economic, with 1.6 Bboe potentially economic, and the remaining 3.6 Bboe not commercial…" However, the industry will need to address certain issues to maximize value from these projects, he cautions. "Low reserves, lack of infrastructure, and/or complex geology are just some examples of the technical obstacles faced. "Commercially, the global upstream industry faces an extremely difficult economic environment. Investors are increasingly demanding bigger dividends and a better rate of return. As a result many companies have committed to stricter capital discipline and are intensely screening projects based on financial criteria. Capital intensive projects are particularly being scrutinized. This means more difficult projects could be delayed, and in some circumstances will simply remain undeveloped." [offshore-mag.com] » September 19 2014 - Climate finance, Multilateral Development Banks (MDB) report. The third annual Joint MDB report on Climate Finance was released today. It was prepared by the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the European Investment Bank (EIB), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the World Bank Group (WBG) and demonstrates the shared engagement expressed by the group of six MDBs to reinforce transparency of their financing for climate change mitigation and adaptation. The report analyses the financial commitments from the institutions to support climate change mitigation and adaptation, and the information provided has been expanded to include both a more detailed sector based breakdown and a split between public and private operations, as well as a regional breakdown of MDB financing. The MDBs believe that setting meaningful targets and identifying opportunities for climate finance requires consistent and robust data. This report is therefore based on the common climate finance tracking methodology that MDBs have developed [eib.org] » September 19 2014 - Oil, natural gas, world production, geopolitics, China, Russia, US, EU. China potentially could dictate terms as the fastest growing market in a world suddenly awash in potential oil and gas resources, speakers suggested during a discussion of energy and security in China and Pacific Asia at the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars. That would put pressure on Russia to reconsider threats to cut off sales to European countries and other customers for political purposes since its potential new supplies may be too expensive to develop, especially if the US decides to aggressively export crude oil and LNG [ogj.com] » September 19 2014 - Oil, markets, WTI, Brent, OPEC. West Texas Intermediate crude declined as speculation the Federal Reserve may raise interest rates countered signs of lower production from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. Brent also fell in London. WTI fell as much as 0.8 percent in New York. The dollar headed for a six-week gain versus the yen, curbing the appeal of commodities, after the Federal Reserve raised estimates for future interest rates on Sept. 17. Libya said yesterday its biggest operating oil field, Sharara, remained shut after an attack at the connected Zawiya plant [...] Fed Outlook. Fed officials who met Sept. 16-17 increased their median estimate for the federal funds rate to 1.375 percent at the end of next year, versus June's forecast for 1.125 percent. The dollar added 0.1 percent to 108.79 yen in London, after touching 109.46 earlier, the highest since August 2008. OPEC, supplier of about 40 percent of the world's oil, may reduce its daily quota by 500,000 barrels to 29.5 million in 2015, Secretary-General Abdalla El-Badri said in Vienna on Sept. 16. Saudi Arabia cut its crude supply by 408,000 barrels a day in August, the biggest reduction since 2012, a submission made by the country to OPEC shows. Demand for OPEC's oil will drop to 29.2 million barrels a day in 2015 from 29.5 million this year, the group said in a Sept. 10 report [bloomberg.com] » September 19 2014 - Natural gas, TANAP pipeline, Turkey, Azerbaijan, EU. The Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline, TANAP - a pipeline that will transport gas from Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz field to Europe through Turkey - will be a dream come true, Turkey's Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Thursday ahead of his official visit to Azerbaijan. Following Davutoglu's upcoming talks on Friday on bilateral relations and regional and international developments with Azerbaijani officials, the TANAP project foundations will be laid Saturday which Davutoglu described as a 'peace project' that will connect the Caucasus with the Balkans. An estimated 6 billion cubic meters of gas will be delivered to Turkey and 10 billion cubic meters to Europe via the TANAP pipeline which is projected to be opened in 2018 and in which Turkey has a 30 percent share in the project [aa.com.tr] » September 19 2014 - Scotland, UK, indipendence referendum. Scotland has decided and our position as a valuable partner within the United Kingdom continues. But even before the dust settles, it is vitally important that both the Scottish and UK Governments join together to send out an unequivocal message that Scotland is very much open for business. The markets, and importantly the oil and gas sector, need strong and forthright assurances that we understand and will meet the criteria that is required to attract international investment. Now is the time to pull together and ensure we deliver on the actions which are required of the Wood Report and the Scottish Government Oil and Gas Review. Successive governments have taken short term positions regarding management of the oil and gas industry but that is no longer tenable [energyvoice.com] » September 19 2014 - Shale gas, hydraulic fracturing, environmental challenges, US. Shale gas, natural gas extracted from shale using hydraulic fracturing, is found throughout much of the United States. This includes Pennsylvania, home to Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and much of the Marcellus shale region. As a result, CMU researchers have studied shale gas and the implications of its widespread use, looking at both the potential for regional economic opportunities as part of the American Shale & Manufacturing Partnership and environmental challenges. Many visitors come to Pittsburgh from all over the world to discuss the issues surrounding shale gas use with our experts, and CMU recently hosted a regional public forum as part of the Department of Energy's Quadrennial Energy Review (QER) that focused on natural gas transmission, storage and distribution. As directed by President Obama, this first QER will focus on developing a road map to enhance the nation's infrastructure for transporting, transmitting and delivering energy. The QER discussion lead us to think about what actions could be taken by Congress or the administration at the national level on this important energy resource. We believe congressional or administration initiatives should include three key strategic thrusts, including initiation and support of: Regional capabilities, [...] Supportive environments for investment, effective permitting and long-term planning of an optimal system design, and rational development of public policy that aligns the upstream (hydraulic fracturing to extract shale gas), midstream (pipelines and storage), and downstream (chemical industry, utilities, transportation) natural gas infrastructure to serve both national consumer markets and the potential for regional growth in chemical and industrial manufacturing; and Critical technology innovations to ensure the most energy-efficient and sustainable utilization of natural gas and to accelerate the emergence of a nextgeneration chemical industry [thehill.com] » September 18 2014 - Oil, oil train accident, risk, report, US. With increasing numbers of volatile crude oil trains moving through Seattle's "antiquated" downtown rail tunnel, city emergency planners say more must be done to lower the risk of an oil train accident and improve the city's ability to respond. In a report to the Seattle City Council, emergency managers warned that an oil train accident resulting in fire, explosion or spill "would be a catastrophe for our community in terms of risk to life, property and environment." BNSF Railway can make immediate safety improvements in the mile-long 100-year-old rail tunnel that runs under downtown Seattle, including installing radio communication, a fire suppression system to release water and foam, and a permanent ventilation system, according to the report written by Barb Graff, who directs the city's office of emergency management, and Seattle assistant fire chief A.D. Vickery. About one or two milelong trains each day carry crude oil from the Bakken region of North Dakota, Montana and Canada through the city of about 650,000 residents [pennenergy.com] » September 18 2014 - Renewable, clean energy investment, Scotland, UK. A vote by Scotland in favour of independence from the UK would be likely to damage clean energy investment, at least in the short term, as developers and banks are gripped by uncertainty over the future shape of the power market and incentives for renewables. Research from analysis company Bloomberg New Energy Finance, published this week, concludes that the negotiations between Scotland and the rest of the UK over energy - after any "yes" vote on 18 September – would be complex, involving tough bargaining, and would be likely to extend over a period of many months, if not longer [bnef.com] » September 18 2014 - Climate change, policy, CO2 emissions, climate agreement, multilateralism, WBGU report. The 5th Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) makes it unmistakeably clear: unacceptable climatic consequences, which are likely to escalate beyond the 2ºC guard rail, can only be avoided if further increases in greenhouse-gas concentrations are halted as soon as possible. The WBGU therefore recommends reducing CO2 emissions from fossil fuels to zero by 2070 at the latest. This policy goal is both ambitious and incisive, because 'the zero target must be reached' by every country, every municipality, every company and every citizen if the world as a whole is to become climate-neutral. However, the 2ºC line can only be held if a large proportion of stakeholders - especially the OECD countries - start reducing their emissions much earlier. Global society as a whole has only a very limited carbon budget at its disposal; emissions should therefore peak by 2020 if possible, or in the third decade at the latest. In this report the WBGU outlines a two-pronged strategy for global climate protection based on interaction between multilateralism and civil society. To achieve this, on the one hand the Paris Climate Agreement targeted for late 2015 should exhibit certain characteristics set out by the WBGU. In particular, a process should be agreed to ensure compliance with the 2ºC guard rail. On the other hand, all social actors should make their specific contributions towards decarbonization. In this way, an intricate responsibility architecture for the future of our planet can emerge in which vertical delegating and horizontal engagement are not contradictions, but complementary factors that reinforce each other [wbgu.de] » September 18 2014 - Oil, Artic, risks. Fossil Fuel Development in the Arctic is a Bad Investment. The world has become blinded by oil and gas as the familiar ways to run the economy and so is proceeding to look for them in hard-to-reach places like the Arctic, even as the costs mount and the returns diminish. An example of the world being set in its ways was the announcement on August 28th that Royal Dutch Shell, despite many setbacks in recent years, submitted plans to the U.S. government to again drill for oil offshore of Alaska as early as summer 2015. Currently, about 10 percent of the world's oil and one-quarter of its natural gas production come from the Arctic region, which has warmed by more than 2 degrees Celsius since the mid-1960s. Countries that border the Arctic Ocean are staking claims to expand their rights beyond the traditional 200-mile exclusive economic zone in anticipation of future oil and gas prospects. According to current estimates, the United States has the largest Arctic oil resources, both on and offshore. Russia comes in second for oil, but it has the most natural gas. Norway and Greenland are virtually tied for third largest combined oil and gas resources. Canada comes in fifth, with almost equal parts oil and natural gas. In developing these resources, Russia is leading the pack. Production has started at almost all of the 43 large oil and natural gas fields that have been discovered in the Russian Arctic, both on land and offshore. Russia drew its first oil from an offshore rig in Arctic waters in December 2013. On August 9, 2014, ExxonMobil and Russia's Rosneft together began drilling Russia’s northernmost oil well offshore of Siberia. Russia's Novatek is working with France's Total and the China National Petroleum Corp to develop a liquefied natural gas plant in the Arctic. However, tightening U.S. and European sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine crisis threaten the future of these joint ventures [...] As Shell has seen, operating in the Arctic brings great risks. The shrinking Arctic sea ice allows waves to become more powerful. The remaining ice can be more easily broken up into ice floes that can collide with vessels or drilling platforms. Large icebergs can scour the ocean floor, bursting pipes or other buried infrastructure. Much of the onshore infrastructure is built on permafrost-frozen ground—that can shift as the ground thaws from regional warming, threatening pipe ruptures. Already, official Russian sources estimate that there have been more than 20,000 oil spills annually from pipelines across Russia in recent years. Arctic operations are far away from major emergency response support [earth-policy.org] » September 17 2014 - Climate change, global economic growth, Global Commission on the Economy and Climate Report. Better growth better climate. The new climate economy. All over the world, people want to achieve better lives for themselves and for their children. Governments want to secure economic growth, improve living standards, create jobs and reduce poverty. Businesses want to expand and become more profitable. Today we also know that the world must deal with the challenge of climate change. Can these aspirations all be met at the same time? Is it possible to tackle long-term climate change while also, now, promoting economic growth and development? Or must we choose between our future security and our current living standards? It was to provide an objective, independent examination of these questions that the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate was established in 2013 by a group of seven countries. Our report is addressed to economic decision-makers across the world in both public and private sectors. Its core conclusion is that, by shaping the major processes of structural and technological change now occurring in the global economy, we can create lasting economic growth while also tackling the immense risks of climate change [newclimateeconomy.report] » September 17 2014 - Oil, markets, production, stock levels, spare capacity, Opec, Russia. Third High-Level Meeting of the OPEC-Russia Energy Dialogue. [...] Both Parties provided their views on current oil market developments and prospects, with a general consensus that the market is well-supplied with healthy stock levels and adequate spare capacity. They also underscored the importance of stable and predictable markets for the health of the industry and investments, and the well-being of the global economy. They reviewed the summary discussions of the technical meeting that took place between experts from both Parties on tight oil and shale gas, and global refinery developments [opec.org] » September 17 2014 - Climate change, low carbon economy, policy. Taking place from September 22-28, Climate Week NYC is a key international platform for governments, businesses and civil society to collaborate on low carbon leadership, through a week filled with events, activities and high-profile meetings. And this year it is set to be the biggest yet, with over 120 affiliate events confirmed. In 2014 Climate Week NYC is also the collaborative space for all related events in support of the UN Climate Summit, convened by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday September 23. Together the two summits have the potential to catapult climate change back to the top of the world agenda, mobilizing leaders to act now [climateweeknyc.org] » September 17 2014 - Climate policy, FEEM. LIMITS Final Conference and Final Project Meeting, organised by Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM) in Brussels, Belgium, 25-26 September 2014. [...] An interesting opportunity for discussing post-2020 emission reduction commitments beyond the traditional divide of developed versus developing countries. A refocus on the major economies might help achieve more than expected, and calls for new analytical thinking about the best policy instruments which can be put into place to provide adequate incentives to join the coalition. Integrated assessment models are tools which are heavily used to assess the implications and the interactions of climate mitigation policies globally, and which play an increasingly important role in the scientifi c debate about climate change mitigation. Global coupled energyeconomy-land use-climate models are thus needed to assess the feasibility and socio-economic implications of 2 degree pathways [feemproject.net] » September 17 2014 - Coal, China, Australia. Australian suppliers likely to be hit hard by China curbs on coal quality. Several Australian thermal coal suppliers are likely to be hit by the Chinese government's move to restrict use of high ash and sulfur material from 2015 [...] "While there are significant uncertainties regarding the guidelines, they have the potential to impact 105 million mt of imported thermal coal demand," Wood Mackenzie said in a note. "While we expect the impact of the guidelines to be positive for imported thermal coal demand overall, high ash exports such as those from Australia would be negatively impacted," Wood Mackenzie said. In a bid to fight pollution, China's National Development and Reform Commission announced measures to restrict the quality of coal to be used in the country effective January 1, 2015 [platts.com] » September 17 2014 - Renewable energy, economic growth, value policies, iea-retd report, Germany. Renewable energy technologies provide more than just energy. They can – with the right policy environment – create jobs and contribute to economic growth. The RE-ValuePolicies report gives insight in the key factors in renewable energy (RE) value creation. It presents a wide set of policy instruments for value creation which can be used to complement the currently used set of RE policies, in order to enable countries to maximise the economic benefits of the further development of the RE industry. What are the policy instruments that optimally support the renewable energy industrial value chain and capture its value? The report was prepared by a consortium of the Gesellschaft fur Wirtschaftliche Strukturforschung (GWS), the German Development Policy Institut (DIE) and the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI), all Germany [iea-retd.org] » September 17 2014 - Energy, climate change, policy, paper. This article reports on changes in climate science, social science, public administration, and policymaking over the past twenty-five years. It responds to Gene I. Rochlin's "retrospective examination" of energy research and the social sciences. In 2014, we find that social scientists are still disadvantaged by policy-maker biases and inaccessible deliberative systems, but also better poised to conduct original humanistic energy research and produce targeted social change interventions. We review promising social scientificadvancements, particularly in the realm of citizen action research. We conclude with the case study of evidencebased practice, a model from the health field that illustrates how climate change and energy research, practice, and policymaking could benefit from the inclusion of social science perspectives and methods [sciencedirect.com] » September 16 2014 - Energy, energy aceess, energy transition, sustainable development, industry, enea consulting outlook report. Global panorama of energy access: Current situation, challenges and outlook. Globally 1.3 billion people do not have access to electricity. If this figure is projected to decline 1 billion by 2030, the global population who relies on the traditional use of biomass for cooking is expected to substantially increase, from 2.6 billion to 2.7 billion people. In its commitment to energy access, ENEA published a synthesis on the current situation and the further development perspectives of energy access worldwide, a crucial issue of human and economic development and an opportunity for the private sector. This synthesis present the ecosystem of the actors involved in the improvement of energy access and the technical solutions that serve the needs of this high-potential market. The five main challenges energy access has to address are presented in this publication: energy prices, equipment financing, distribution, change of scale and environmental performances [enea-consulting.com] » September 16 2014 - Coal, clean coal technology, IEA research report. Developments in oxyfuel combustion of coal. In oxyfuel combustion, coal is fired in a mixture of oxygen and recycled flue gases to produce a concentrated stream of CO2 which can be purified for sequestration through physical separation processes. Despite the successful operation of a 30 MWth pilot plant since 2008, oxyfuel capture has yet to progress to the demonstration phase, however, the recent commissioning of a 100 MWth retrofit project and a 30 MWth oxyfuel circulating fluidised bed represent major steps for the technology. A number of new demonstration projects have also progressed to advanced stages of planning, of which the 168 MW FutureGen 2.0 plant could commence construction this year. With operation at the pilot-scale well-established, ongoing oxyfuel research has focused on clarifying the complex effect of the altered gas composition on combustion, heat transfer, and corrosion mechanisms in the boiler. As overall plant efficiency is limited by the substantial auxiliary loads required for oxygen production and purification of the CO2 product, optimisation of these processes is also key to future scale up. Commercial cryogenic air separation units can be thermally integrated with the plant's steam cycle for higher efficiencies, or potentially replaced by membrane-based processes currently in early stages of development. New technologies trialled for CO2 purification have focused primarily on improving SOx and NOx removal and achieving almost complete CO2 capture. This report will review technological progress in each element of the oxyfuel plant, as well as presenting the latest results from large pilot projects and demonstration Front-End Engineering Design (FEED) studies. Finally, recent analyses of the potential efficiency and economic performance of future commercialscale plant are compared [iea-coal.org.uk] » September 16 2014 - Energy management, energy efficiency, CO2 emissions mitigation, ISO 50001. Learn about ISO 50001 implementation and results, new case studies from the Global Superior Energy Performance (GSEP) Energy Management Working Group. [...] GSEP, an initiative of the Clean Energy Ministerial and International Partnership for Energy Efficiency Cooperation, publishes the series in an effort to improve energy efficiency and mitigate carbon emissions around the globe. U.S. Case Study. Working toward carbon neutrality, HARBEC, Inc.'s small-scale, specialty plastics manufacturing facility in upstate New York implemented an energy management system that earned both ISO 50001 certification and Platinum certification through Superior Energy Performance (SEP), which administered through the U.S. Department of Energy [...]. The USD$127,000 invested to implement SEP was paid back by the resulting operational energy cost savings within 2.4 years. The EnMS now saves the plant 6 billion Btu (6,300 gigajoules) annually and lowers energy costs by USD$52,000 each year at prevailing energy prices. HARBEC's realtime automated system continuously monitors plant equipment to sustain and continuously improve energy performance. The case study provides the cost-benefit analysis for implementing SEP, details about implementation of ISO 50001, and the measurement and verification of the energy performance improvement. Canadian Case Studies. IBM implemented an EnMS at its manufacturing facility in Bromont, Quebec, which helped it to reduce energy consumption by 9.2% and save CAD$550,000 in 2013. The savings came from 36 energy efficiency projects implemented as part of the EnMS. Tool modifications generated approximately 27% of the savings, while heating, ventilation, and air conditioning and exhaust reduction projects generated the other 73%. Equipment throughout the plant is now monitored using dashboards that show real-time energy use [cleanenergyministerial.org] » September 16 2014 - Climate change mitigation, climate finance instrument, Methane, World Bank. the World Bank Group together with several partners announced the design of the Pilot Auction Facility for Methane and Climate Change Mitigation (PAF), an innovative climate finance instrument that will use auctions to maximize the use of limited public resources for climate change mitigation while leveraging private sector financing. The facility has a target capitalization of $100 million, with several donors considering pledges, including Germany, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States. In its first phase, the facility will focus on methane reducing projects, possibly including landfill, animal waste, and wastewater projects. Buyers will bid to receive a tradable put option for a guaranteed price for each ton of methane emissions that such projects reduce. This price guarantee provides private investors with a financial incentive to fund projects, using the competitive nature of the auction to determine the value of the guarantee, maximizing the efficient use and impact of public funds. The World Bank Group continues to lead development of innovative financial instruments that mitigate climate change. The pilot's auction will be the first of its kind for financing climatefriendly investments [worldbank.org] » September 16 2014 - Natural gas, shale, unconventional, CGS, LNG, Australia. the Australian East Coast CSG and Shale Map for the industry, which depicts major granted CSG and emerging shale tenements and other unconventional gas-related information. In addition to CSG and shale tenements, the East Coast CSG and Shale Map depicts the location of producing CSG fields; gas-producing basins; and capacity, proponent and first LNG details on proposed CSG-to-LNG projects. Developed in collaboration with State and Federal Governments and industry associations, this fully verified map also details the operator and joint venture participants of each tenement, as well as their unconventional focus [gastoday.com.au] » September 15 2014 - Global energy demand, natural gas, unconventional resources, efficiency. Global energy demand is expected to increase 35% to 2040, translating to 120 billion boe/year, or nearly 350 million boe/d, stated Rocky Becker, vice-president, Europe-CaspianRussia at ExxonMobil Exploration Co. As part of a panel speaking at the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) International Conference and Exhibition on Sept. 15, Becker outlined the contributing factors to US success in unconventional resource development and how these might be applied in international prospects to help meet increasing demand levels. [..] Meanwhile, the global economy is expected to grow 2.8%/year through 2040, with China leading the trend with an expected growth of 20% during the same period, Becker said. With population growth and increased GDP for many non OECD countries, natural gas will make up a major portion of the increased energy demand-or 25% of total energy supply by 2040. "The projection in energy demand includes significant efficiency improvements and the growing use of natural gas generation," Becker explained. "Without these efficiencies we would expect energy demand to be about 70% higher for the same period." The savings are roughly the amount of current energy consumption worldwide. Remaining natural gas supplies are estimated to be 28,000 tcf, which is equal to 200 years at current consumption rates. "Unconventional gas makes up 40% of this resource globally and in North America unconventional gas makes up 60% of its remaining supply," Becker said. ExxonMobil, the largest producer in the US, currently produces the majority of its natural gas from unconventional plays. [...] Due to North America's success with unconventional development, many countries are now prospecting potential for shale discoveries. However, the challenge facing international development is converting unconventional resource opportunities to profitable ventures on a scale similar to what has been achieved in North America. While drilling and completion technologies can be transferred and applied, other variables also contribute to overall success [ogj.com] » September 15 2014 - Climate change, global warming, NASA data. NASA reported today (15 September 2014) that the global surface temperature anomaly for August 2014 was 0.7C. This makes August 2014 the hottest August since records began in 1880. The previous record of 0.69C was set in 2011. The temperature anomaly is the variance in degrees C against the long term 1951-1980 average. This result is apparently at odds with satellite measurements of the global tropospheric temperature based calculated by the University of Alabama in Huntsville and by US firm remote Sensing Systems. Both these data sets showed the global temperature anomaly climbing sharply in the first part of the year before peaking in the Summer. The NASA data seems to show a rapid rise in the first five months of the year before dropping back in June and July and then increasing again in August [reportingclimatescience.com] » September 15 2014 - Energy, sustainable energy, global power sector transformation. The first edition of REthinking Energy, the flagship series from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), analyses the transformation of the global power sector while reviewing progress in the transition to a sustainable energy future. An alignment of economic forces, global population growth, the threat of climate change and rapid technological advances has set in motion a transformation of the global energy system. A new system based on renewables would enhance energy access and security, create jobs and safeguard health and the environment, IRENA's report argues. Renewable energy has moved from the margins to the majority in both investment and new capacity additions. It now represents a major portion of the global power supply - and is growing at unprecedented scale. Financing renewables is becoming cheaper and easier [irena.org] » September 15 2014 - Natural gas, shale, fracking, Scotland. With natural gas prices in Europe more than double costs in the U.S., Ineos Group AG has a novel solution: start fracking. The world's fourth-biggest petrochemical manufacturer bought a license last month to look for fuel around its refinery in Grangemouth, Scotland. That complements a deal by Ineos to import gas from the U.S., a step followed by other chemical companies in Europe such as Borealis AG and Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC). Scotland will [...] vote on whether to stay in the U.K. Producers of everything from fertilizers to plastics are looking for new energy sources at a time when options are limited. Shale exploration has helped boost supply and depress prices in the U.S. In Europe, the U.K. and Poland have embraced fracking -- blasting water, sand and chemicals to harvest fuel embedded deep underground -- while most of the rest of the continent, citing environmental harm, has not. The challenge has become urgent given the European Union's dependence on Russia for 30 percent of its supplies, much via pipelines in Ukraine [bloomberg.com] » September 15 2014 - Climate change, climate financing. The world's six multilateral development banks reaffirmed their shared commitment to lead by example by continuing to reinforce and further develop climate financing through a joint statement issued in advance of the United Nations Secretary-General's Climate Summit being convened in New York on 23rd September. The African Development Bank (AfDB), Asian Development Bank (ADB), European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), European Investment Bank (EIB), InterAmerican Development Bank (IDB), and World Bank Group (WBG) together pledged to maintain a strong institutional focus on climate change. This will include leveraging additional private sector investment, continuing to innovate and promote more robust and transparent climate finance tracking and reporting. Since they began jointly tracking climate finance flows in 2011, the six multilateral development banks have delivered nearly US$75 billion in financing to help developing countries and emerging economies respond to the challenges of climate change. On average, about 80 percent of this lending has supported investment in mitigation activities and 20 percent to adaptation. The statement also confirmed the intention of the multilateral development banks to count and track climate finance investments in the same way. This is expected to enable greater cooperation and shared experience between the banks and other financial bodies involved in climate action. With their ability to catalyze public and private funds, the multilateral development banks have successfully attracted and deployed climate financing to support low-carbon resilient growth in developing countries and emerging economies [ebrd.com] » September 15 2014 - Climate change, negotiations towards Paris, EU, IES webinar. 'On the way to Lima and Paris: the EU's role in international climate policy'. In December 2015, a new global agreement to fight climate change is to be adopted at the 21st Conference of the Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Paris. Negotiations on this Paris agreement approach another major milestone at this year's 20th Conference of the Parties in Lima in December when elements of a negotiating text should be agreed upon. A full negotiating text is then to appear during the first half of 2015, when countries are also expected to put forward their own "intended nationally determined contributions" to global climate protection. What are/should be the core objectives of the EU for the 2015 Paris agreement given the state of international discussions? What should and can the Paris agreement deliver? What would be required for the EU to play a productive leadership role in the negotiations towards Paris? These are some of the core questions this webinar will explore, touching upon both EU domestic politics and the international context: Monday 22 September 2014, 12.00-13.00h (CEST) [ies.be] » September 13 2014 - Oil, markets, prices. Global oil prices have slid in recent weeks, a trend that shows no signs of changing in the immediate future. The two main benchmarks for oil prices, Brent and WTI, hit their highest levels so far this year in June amid the initial onslaught in Iraq of the Sunni jihadist group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Fears that the militant group would seize Iraqi oil fields pushed up prices. Brent crude has now dipped below $100 per barrel, for the first time in over a year. WTI is trading around $92 per barrel, a 16-month low. Prices have dropped for a few reasons. ISIS's advance has come to a halt and fears that Iraq's oil production would be affected have abated. Libya has brought some of its oil back online, with August production averaging around 538,000 barrels per day (bpd) -- more than double its average daily production from June. Libya's National Oil Corporation says that production is now topping 800,000 bpd and could exceed 1 million bpd in October. U.S. oil production also continues to rise. In June, the U.S. produced 8.5 million bpd, an increase of 500,000 bpd since the beginning of the year. Higher production continues to cut into imports, leaving greater supplies on the global market. Perhaps most importantly, global demand has been surprisingly lackluster. The latest data from the U.S. Energy Information Agency (EIA) shows that refined product (gasoline, for example) inventories are increasing - an indication that production is overwhelming consumption. A slowing Chinese economy is also putting a damper on crude oil prices. Weak economic data published by the Chinese government showed that China's import growth slowed for a second straight month, suggesting the economy continues to cool. The glut of supplies and weak demand is causing problems for OPEC, according to the cartel's monthly report. OPEC lowered its demand projection for 2015 by 200,000 and in August, Saudi Arabia cut production by 400,000 bpd in an effort to stem oversupply. As noted by Steve LeVine in Quartz, cheaper oil could present problems for oil producing countries, which generally rely on high prices to keep their national budgets in the black. Iran, for example, needs a price of $136 per barrel to pay for its current levels of public spending. Other countries - Nigeria, Ecuador, Venezuela, Iraq - are all facing looming budgetary problems as their required "breakeven" prices are higher than what oil is currently selling for on the market. Russia needs between $110 and $117 per barrel to finance its spending, which means the Kremlin can't be happy as it watches Brent prices continue to drop. Combined with an already weak economy, Russia could see its $19 billion surplus become a deficit by the end of the year [oilprice.com] » September 12 2014 - Oil, natural gas, geopolitics, sanctions against Russia, EU. European Union governments agreed on Thursday to begin their new sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine crisis on Friday but could lift them next month if Moscow abides by a fragile truce, while the United States prepared its own fresh sanctions [...] The new EU sanctions are expected to put Russia's top oil producers and pipeline operators, Rosneft, Transneft and Gazprom Neft, on a list of Russian state-owned firms that will not be allowed to raise capital or borrow on European markets, an EU diplomat said. EU sanctions do not include the gas sector and in particular state-owned Gazprom, the world's biggest gas producer and the biggest gas supplier to Europe. But under the EU penalties, firms in the bloc will be barred from providing drilling or well testing services for deepwater oil exploration, Arctic oil exploration or production and shale oil projects in Russia [reuters.com] » September 12 2014 - Natural gas. geopolitics, South stream, Russia, EU. RUSSIA'S South Stream gas pipeline project is the European Union's most controversial challenge in the wake of the Russia-Ukraine conflict. It impacts the bilateral relationship with Russia and relationships between the 28 member states in the EU. Building the pipeline has already started in Bulgaria and Russia. Conflict over the project highlights the internal structural weaknesses and competing national interests between the EU's 28 member states and their often short-term defined strategic interests. It also demonstrates the EU's inability to speak with one voice towards Moscow or present a coherent strategic response to Russia's geopolitically defined energy and foreign policies. Regulation for a competitive gas market is the only weapon the EU has to strengthen resilience of its energy supply security and taking wider economic and public interests into account. But EU member countries often support their national energy champions rather uncritically and fail to review their energy projects with Russia taking into account the wider strategic implications for overall national economic competitiveness and public interests [worldreview.info] » September 12 2014 - Climate change, GHG emissions, PWC low carbon economy index. The 2014 Low Carbon Economy Index (LCEI) shows an unmistakeable trend. For the sixth year running, the global economy has missed the decarbonisation target needed to limit global warming to 2ºC. Confronted with the challenge in 2013 of decarbonising at 6% a year, we managed only 1.2%. To avoid two degrees of warming, the global economy now needs to decarbonise at 6.2% a year, more than five times faster than the current rate, every year from now till 2100. On our current burn rate we blow our carbon budget by 2034, sixty six years ahead of schedule. This trajectory, based on IPCC data, takes us to four degrees of warming by the end of the century. This stark message comes in the run up to a critical series of climate negotiations, kicking off in New York and Lima in late 2014, then moving to Paris by December 2015 for the COP21 Summit, widely thought of as the last chance to secure a global agreement on action on climate change. While the mood music for these climate negotiations is around two degrees – the threshold at which there is a substantial chance of avoiding climate feedback loops and runaway climate change – the sum of the pledges on the table limits warming only back to three degrees. We have got a gigatonne-gap, with global pledges falling more than 8 gigatonnes a year short of what is needed for two degrees. But LCEI 2014 also brings two important grounds for optimism [pwc.blogs.com] » September 12 2014 - Energy efficiency, energy transition, buildings, Netherlands, renewables. The Netherlands has found a way to refurbish existing buildings to net zero energy, within a week, with a 30-year builders' guarantee and no subsidies. Oh and they come with a new kitchen and bathroom too. Now revolutionary renovation programme Energiesprong (literally: Energy Jump) is looking to take its learnings to France and the UK. It’s asking for €10 million in EU funds to help. The European Commission will discuss this plucky bid for a slice of its Horizon 2020 programme for research and development in the next weeks, for a decision in early November [energypost.eu] » September 12 2014 - Climate change, Energy, China policy, CEEP Crawford paper. China's Climate and Energy Policy: On Track to Lowcarbon Growth?. China has become the world's largest emitter of greenhouse gases, and in many ways is the linchpin of global climate change policy. If China's coal use and carbon dioxide emissions keep growing alongside GDP then current global goals for limiting climate change will be out of reach. If, however, China manages to decouple its emissions trajectory from its economic growth then ambitious global emissions reductions scenarios remain feasible, and other industrialising countries may be inclined to emulate China's pathway. For China's policymakers, climate policy goes hand in hand with other objectives, including reducing local air pollution, improving energy security and attaining a leadership position in advanced manufacturing technologies. The various targets to 2020 for emissions, energy use and energy technologies reflect this. China appears on track to achieving these, but action commensurate with strong global climate change mitigation during the following decade will require ongoing and strengthening policy effort. China's climate change policy is intricately linked to two fundamental aspects of China's economic trajectory. First, macro-economic 'rebalancing', less rapid GDP growth and ongoing structural change in China's economy could facilitate a marked slowdown in the growth rate of energy demand, and hence carbon dioxide emissions. Second, continuing the drive for market reform in China's economy, as the new leadership seems intent on, can help China achieve emissions reductions at lower economic cost [press.anu.edu.au] » September 11 2014 - Energy markets, geopolitics, Russia, Asia, CSIS event. Russia's Role in Asian Energy Markets. European sanctions have accelerated Russia's political and economic push into Asia. At the center of Russia's turn to Asia is energy: Moscow sees new markets in Asia as an alternative to stagnant, politically risky Europe, while Asian investment is crucial for Russia's ability to tap new source of oil and gas. Despite the signing of a $400 billion gas deal with China in May, Russia's ability to make good on its Asian energy ambitions remains uncertain. What are the prospects for Russia's energy industry in Asia? What impact will Russian energy have on regional economics and geopolitics? Is Russia's eastward turn a threat to U.S. and European interests? Monday, Sep 22, 2014 | 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM [csis.org] » September 11 2014 - Natural gas, India, pipeline. India's state-owned natural gas company GAIL is set to commence work on the 2,050 km Jagdishpur - Phulpur - Haldia natural gas pipeline, which will connect eastern India to the national gas grid by transporting natural gas to West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, and Uttar Pradesh. The pipeline is a significant investment, estimated to cost Rs 10,000 crores (over $US2 billion) [pipelinesinternational.com] » September 11 2014 - Energy efficiency, IEA report, efficiency multiple benefits. Capturing the Multiple Benefits of Energy Efficiency. As energy efficiency continues to gain attention as a key resource for economic and social development across all economies, understanding its real value is increasingly important. The multiple benefits approach to energy efficiency policy seeks to expand the perspective of energy efficiency beyond the traditional measures of reduced energy demand and lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by identifying and measuring its impacts across many different spheres. The term "multiple benefits" aims to capture a reality that is often overlooked: investment in energy efficiency can provide many different benefits to many different stakeholders. Whether by directly reducing energy demand and associated costs (which can enable investment in other goods and services) or facilitating the achievement of other objectives (e.g. making indoor environments healthier or boosting industrial productivity), recent research acknowledges the enormous potential of energy efficiency. This publication demonstrates its role as a major contributor to strategic objectives across five main themes: enhancing the sustainability of the energy system, economic development, social development, environmental sustainability and increasing prosperity [iea.org] » September 11 2014 - Oil markets, EIA short-term energy outlook. Weakening global demand and increased Libyan oil exports contributed to a drop in the North Sea Brent crude oil spot price to an average of $102 per barrel (bbl) in August, $5/bbl lower than the July average and $10/bbl below the average in June. For the first time in 14 months, average Brent spot prices fell outside the relatively narrow $5/bbl range between $107/bbl and $112/bbl. EIA projects that Brent crude oil prices will average $103/bbl in fourth-quarter 2014 and $103/bbl in 2015, $5/bbl and $2/bbl lower than forecast in last month's STEO, respectively. The WTI discount to Brent, which averaged $11/bbl in 2013, is expected to average $8/bbl in both 2014 and 2015. Total U.S. crude oil production averaged an estimated 8.6 million barrels per day (bbl/d) in August, the highest monthly production since July 1986. Total crude oil production, which averaged 7.5 million bbl/d in 2013, is expected to average 9.5 million bbl/d in 2015, 0.2 million bbl/d higher than projected in last month's STEO. If achieved, the 2015 forecast would be the highest annual average crude oil production since 1970. Natural gas plant liquids production increases from an average of 2.6 million bbl/d in 2013 to 3.1 million bbl/d in 2015. The growth in domestic liquids production has contributed to a significant decline in petroleum imports. The share of total U.S. petroleum and other liquids consumption met by net imports fell from 60% in 2005 to an average of 32% in 2013. EIA expects the net import share to decline to 21% in 2015, which would be the lowest level since 1968. Natural gas spot prices fell 15% from an average of $4.59/million British thermal units (MMBtu) in June to $3.91/MMBtu in August even as natural gas stock builds continued to outpace historical norms. Natural gas working inventories on August 29 totaled 2.71 trillion cubic feet (Tcf), 0.47 Tcf (15%) below the level at the same time a year ago and 0.50 Tcf (15%) below the previous five-year average (2009-13). Projected natural gas working inventories reach 3.48 Tcf at the end of October, 0.34 Tcf below the level at the same time last year. EIA expects that the Henry Hub natural gas spot price, which averaged $3.73 per MMBtu in 2013, will average $4.46/MMBtu in 2014 and $3.87/MMBtu in 2015 [eia.gov] » September 10 2014 - Climate change, Development in Practice Journal, Special issue on climate change adaptation and development. Climate change is real, it is happening, and it is man-made (IPCC WGI 2013). We also know that we have already put so many greenhouse gas (GHG) pollutants into the atmosphere that we will see significant and long-term change that we need to adapt and adjust to. It is fundamentally important for all development practitioners to understand these impacts and to get to grips with the challenge of how and when to adapt to climate change. As this special issue went to print, the international science community gathered to discuss their understanding of climate change impacts and to produce an update of the assessment that was made five years ago. There are plenty of grim presentations1 of what the extremes of the possible climate scenarios will throw at us over the next 100 years, but not all change will be disastrous; some change will be beneficial, but much of the change will happen at an unprecedented rate that will require the best possible analysis and understanding of how and when we should adapt to climate change [tandfonline.com] » September 10 2014 - Oil markets, unconventional oil, US crude oil exports, Brookings report. The skyrocketing growth of unconventional oil and natural gas production in the United States has ignited an intense debate on the impact of energy exports on U.S. energy and economic security and its foreign policy. In "Changing Markets: Economic Opportunities from Lifting the U.S. Ban on Crude Oil Exports," Charles Ebinger and Heather Greenley worked with National Economic Research Associates (NERA) to examine the economic and national security impacts of lifting the ban on crude oil exports. Learn eights facts about U.S. crude oil production within the key findings outlined below and download the full report [brookings.edu] » September 10 2014 - Climate change, green climate fund, BRIC. [...] recent moves by the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) have decisively undermined the entire edifice of UN climate talks - likely for the better given the appalling track record of climate action of the UN. Since their inception in 1980, UN climate talks have been built on the premise that the developed world, responsible for most of the pollution since industrialization, will fund a global clean-up of the planet, partly directly and partly via institutions where they control the Board, such as the World Bank Group. After all that's what rich developed countries, periodically feeling guilty, have promised at repeated climate talk venues. The promised money never arrived. Over the past five years, the Green Climate Fund (or GCF) has been presented as the key vehicle via which $100 billion of funding per year will be diverted from rich to developing countries to help the latter mitigate emissions and adapt to climate change. However, negotiations for a comprehensive climate deal have led nowhere as guilt is invariably replaced by political and financial reality, especially after the 2008 financial crisis [theecologist.org] » September 10 2014 - Climate change, climate action, Twitter Q&A. America's most-watched TV weather anchor, The Weather Channel's Sam Champion, will join us for a live Twitter Q&A about American people's awareness of and appetite for bold climate action. In the lead up to Climate Week NYC we're hosting a series of live #CWNYC Twitter Q&As to drive public conversation on climate change and low carbon growth [...] on September 10, 12-1pm New York time/5pm London time, to discuss the nation's readiness and ambition to act on climate [theclimategroup.org] » September 09 2014 - Climate change, greenhouse gases, CO2 atmospheric concentrations, WMO report. The amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere reached a new record high in 2013, propelled by a surge in levels of carbon dioxide. This is according to the World Meteorological Organization's annual Greenhouse Gas Bulletin, which injected even greater urgency into the need for concerted international action against accelerating and potentially devastating climate change. The Greenhouse Gas Bulletin showed that between 1990 and 2013 there was a 34% increase in radiative forcing - the warming effect on our climate - because of long-lived greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2), methane and nitrous oxide. In 2013, concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere was 142% of the pre-industrial era (1750), and of methane and nitrous oxide 253% and 121% respectively. The observations from WMO's Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW) network showed that CO2 levels increased more between 2012 and 2013 than during any other year since 1984. Preliminary data indicated that this was possibly related to reduced CO2 uptake by the earth's biosphere in addition to the steadily increasing CO2 emissions. The WMO Greenhouse Gas Bulletin reports on atmospheric concentrations - and not emissions - of greenhouse gases. Emissions represent what goes into the atmosphere. Concentrations represent what remains in the atmosphere after the complex system of interactions between the atmosphere, biosphere and the oceans. About a quarter of the total emissions are taken up by the oceans and another quarter by the biosphere, reducing in this way the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. The ocean cushions the increase in CO2 that would otherwise occur in the atmosphere, but with far-reaching impacts. The current rate of ocean acidification appears unprecedented at least over the last 300 million years, according to an analysis in the report [wmo.int] » September 09 2014 - World energy crisis, oil, natural gas, coal. gas spot markets, take or pay contract. As everyone remains focused on the price of crude, the wider energy market is headed for a serious shortfall. [...] it's impossible not to recognize there is a new energy crisis quickly developing in other parts of the world. This is not a rising Armageddon, the end of the world as we know it, or some script for a survivalist thriller. But it is another dramatic example of how the lack of energy shapes the world. In this case, the supply of oil and gas is still adequate and trade is on the upswing. The rising problem has to do with energy availability. In certain areas of the world, the generation and distribution of energy is beginning to morph into a bona fide crisis. In short, the infrastructure in place is simply not enough to reliably keep the lights on. [...] On the upstream (production) side, the advent of unconventional oil and gas has fundamentally altered expectations on supply. Most of this supply is global, and not centered just in North America. But these new resources will take some time to develop. In the near future, liquefied natural gas (LNG) trade will be bringing natural gas via tanker to places that have usually been dependent only on pipelined gas. And while the LNG needs to be regasified at a receiving terminal and injected into the existing pipeline network, its delivery will provide a major new advantage. It involves the establishment of local spot markets where contracts are made and executed in a few days, rather than those that tie parties to long-term commitments. More often than not, these agreements contract deliveries over a period of 20 years and require that a certain amount be taken each month or paid for as if it was. What's more, the cost of these "take or pay" provisions are based on a basket of oil and oil products, even though the commodity purchased is gas. This last element is the single major reason for rising energy costs in areas that are dependent on these pipelined gas agreements. The cost of the gas is tied to the price of oil, which is already high and rising. The good news is that the development of local spot markets allows for an alternative that will almost always undercut the pipeline price. The crucial element is the guarantee of sufficient and regular supply. And the expansion LNG trade worldwide is about to provide both. [/oilandenergyinvestor.com] » September 09 2014 - World energy crisis, global financial crisis, peak oil, energy return on energy invested, global economy and environment, MSSI research paper. The Limits to Growth "standard run" (or business-as-usual, BAU) scenario produced about forty years ago aligns well with historical data that has been updated in this paper. The BAU scenario results in collapse of the global economy and environment (where standards of living fall at rates faster than they have historically risen due to disruption of normal economic functions), subsequently forcing population down. Although the modelled fall in population occurs after about 2030-with death rates rising from 2020 onward, reversing contemporary trends-the general onset of collapse first appears at about 2015 when per capita industrial output begins a sharp decline. Given this imminent timing, a further issue this paper raises is whether the current economic difficulties of the global financial crisis are potentially related to mechanisms of breakdown in the Limits to Growth BAU scenario. In particular, contemporary peak oil issues and analysis of net energy, or energy return on (energy) invested, support the Limits to Growth modelling of resource constraints underlying the collapse. [sustainable.unimelb.edu.au] » September 08 2014 - Oil, BP, Offshore spill, Gulf of Mexico Disaster. BP could be looking at close to $18 billion in additional fines over the nation's worst offshore oil spill after a federal judge ruled Thursday that the company acted with "gross negligence" in the 2010 Gulf of Mexico disaster. U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier concluded that the London-based oil giant showed a "conscious disregard of known risks" during the drilling operation and bears most of the responsibility for the blowout that killed 11 rig workers and spewed millions of gallons of oil over three months. In the next stage of the case, set to begin in January, the judge will decide precisely how much BP must pay. Under the federal Clean Water Act, a polluter can be forced to pay a maximum of $1,100 in civil fines per barrel of spilled oil, or up to $4,300 per barrel if the company is found grossly negligent. Barbier's finding exposes BP to the much higher amount. Even as the oil giant vowed to appeal, BP stock fell $2.82, or nearly 6 percent, to $44.89, reducing the company's market value by almost $9 billion [pennenergy.com] » September 08 2014 - Climate change, weather reports. How will climate change impact our weather in the year 2050? Watch "weather reports from the future". If humanity's greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase, the average temperature of the Earth's lower atmosphere could rise more than 4ºC (7.2ºF) by the end of the 21st century. But what does a global average temperature rise really mean? How would we experience it on a daily basis? To find out what could lie in store, the WMO invited television weather presenters from around the world to imagine a "weather report from the year 2050." What they created are only possible scenarios, of course, and not true forecasts. Nevertheless, they are based on the most up-to-date climate science, and they paint a compelling picture of what life could be like on a warmer planet. These worst-case futures do not need to happen. WMO is launching these videos during the month of September to support the UN Secretary-General's call for world leaders from government, finance, business, and civil society to support ambitious action on climate change at the UN Climate Summit on 23 September [wmo.int] » September 08 2014 - Climate change, emissions, economics, articles. Taylor & Francis article collection on The Economics of Environment. This month we're looking at important issues such as climate change, emissions, and pollution - and how this can affect and be shaped by economics. These articles have been chosen especially from our Economics and Environment portfolios and are free to read for the whole of September 2014 [tandfonline.com] » September 08 2014 - Oil, OPEC price. The price of OPEC basket of twelve crudes stood at 98.36 dollars a barrel on Friday, compared with $99.13 the previous day, according to OPEC Secretariat calculations. The new OPEC Reference Basket of Crudes (ORB) is made up of the following: Saharan Blend (Algeria), Girassol (Angola), Oriente (Ecuador), Iran Heavy (Islamic Republic of Iran), Basra Light (Iraq), Kuwait Export (Kuwait), Es Sider (Libya), Bonny Light (Nigeria), Qatar Marine (Qatar), Arab Light (Saudi Arabia), Murban (UAE) and Merey (Venezuela) [opec.org] » September 05 2014 - Oil, risks of drilling, BP, Gulf oil spill. A U.S. judge's watershed ruling means the final cost to BP Plc for the 2010 Gulf oil spill may eclipse $50 billion, wiping out years of profits and highlighting the risks of drilling as the industry pushes into more dangerous areas such as deeper waters and ice-bound Arctic fields. Yesterday's court decision that BP acted with gross negligence in the Gulf of Mexico disaster may hamstring the company financially as the industry's search for resources becomes more expensive and dangerous. Companies including Exxon Mobil Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell Plc are also facing increasing pressure to show investors they can still grow as production declines [bloomberg.com] » September 05 2014 - Climate change, bioeconomy, Nordic way. Climate crisis and the bioeconomy - friends or foes? Should the developing bioeconomy be considered as part of the problem or part of the solution with regards to climate change? How does the one affect the other, and what can the Nordic region do to promote more sustainable production? We brought together two of the region's leading experts on these matters, Professor Jorgen E. Olesen from Aarhus University and Matis Director Sveinn Margeirsson, to discuss the bioeconomy and climate change [nordicway.org] » September 05 2014 - Natural gas, pipeline, TANAP, geopolitics, Turkey, Azerbaijan. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated that the TransAnatolian gas pipeline (TANAP) project, which Turkey and Azerbaijan agreed to build to carry gas from the latter to Europe via Turkey, will started to be established on September 20. [...] Speaking during a press conference with his counterpart Ilham Aliyev [...] Azerbaijan and Turkey signed an intergovernmental agreement on June 26 on the TANAP project. In December last year, Azerbaijan and Turkey signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a consortium to build a gas pipeline to supply gas from the Shah Deniz field to Europe through Turkish territory. At present, BOTAS has a 20 per cent stake in TANAP, and the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) has an 80 per cent share. The initial capacity of the pipeline is expected to reach 16 billion cubic meters per year. About six billion cubic meters of the volume will be allocated to Turkey, while the rest will be transported to Europe [cihan.com.tr] » September 04 2014 - Oil, geopolitics, Kurdistan production. After nearly a month, companies such as ShaMaran Petroleum Cop. are resuming drilling operations in the Kurdistan region. ShaMaran will pick back up production in the Atrush block at the Chiya Khere-8 development well. Drilling operations at the well were suspended for 21 days following the regional safety issues, according to an official company statement. Kurdistan has 12 billion barrels of oil and 22 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves, according to Bidness ETC, and these figures do not account for unproven oil and gas reserves in the region [pennenergy.com] » September 04 2014 - Renewable, offshore wind, Japan. Case for commercialised floating turbines in offshore Japan stronger than ever. While floating offshore wind is a nascent technology, comprising just the first demonstration projects, it could be that large scale floating turbine arrays become the norm in the future, as a natural development of the offshore wind industry [windenergyupdate.com] » September 04 2014 - Renewable, UK, Scotland. Scotland is the British powerhouse of renewables, contributing 36% of the total amount of renewable energy generated in the UK - but the outcome of this month's vote on independence could have huge ramifications for the renewable sector. [...] how Scottish independence would affect energy markets in Great Britain and future investments in renewable projects [future-power-magazine] » September 04 2014 - Oil & gas, coal, stock market values, fossil fuel disinvestment, white paper bloomberg. Oil & gas and coal companies form one of the world's largest asset classes, worth nearly $5trn at current stock market values. In the past two years, dozens of public and private institutions have announced plans to divest fossil fuels from their portfolios – a movement one executive described as "one of the fastest-moving debates I think I’ve seen in my 30 years in markets". Fossil fuels are investor favourites for a reason. Few sectors offer the scale, liquidity, growth, and yield of these century-old businesses vital to today's economy. This White Paper explores the motivations behind fossil fuel divestment, the scale of existing fossil fuel investments, and potential alternatives for investment re-allocated from oil, gas, and coal stocks [bnef.com] » September 03 2014 - Carbon capture and sequestration (CCS), CO2 emissions, climate change. Construction has begun on the stalled FutureGen 2.0 carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) project in western Illinois, according to project officials, but major hurdles remain for the $1.65 billion first-of-its-kind power plant. Installation of the first foundation piling meets an Aug. 31 start-construction deadline required by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, Kim Biggs, a spokeswoman for the agency [...] The work represents a victory for the project, which involves retrofitting one boiler in a nearly 50-year-old coal plant owned by Ameren Corp. to capture roughly 90 percent of its carbon dioxide emissions. Success would demonstrate that the technology effectively required for new power plants by the Obama administration is achievable. Critics have said it's not yet commercially viable [bna.com] » September 03 2014 - Climate change, climate finance. CDKN launches Climate compatible development Impact Research Fund. The Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) launches a new global research call. Under the Climate compatible development Impact Research Fund (CIRF), CDKN seeks to fund research of the highest scientific standards with clear potential for policy impact. [...] looking for excellent, ambitious proposals under four thematic areas, for applied research projects of 12-20 months' duration. Research priorities under the four thematic areas are as follows: Robust national plans for climate compatible development transitions; Enabling conditions for urban climate compatible development; Climate-related disaster risk management and adaptation; Climate compatible development and the water, energy and food security nexus. [...] seeking to commission 8 - 16 research projects, up to a total value of £3.35 million [cdkn.org] » September 03 2014 - Shale oil, shale gas, Argentina. One of the world's legendary investors is upping his bet on Argentina's shale oil and gas industry in a show of confidence for shale production in South America's largest unconventional prize - and a big boost for both supermajors and smaller players making big waves in the heart of new discovery areas. George Soros has doubled his stake in YPF SA, the state-owned oil company in Argentina, which sits atop some of the world's largest shale oil and gas resources, and is about to get even larger following a new discovery over the last couple of weeks of a second key shale play. Argentina holds an estimated 27 billion barrels of technically recoverable oil and 802 trillion cubic feet of technically recoverable shale gas, much of it located in the Vaca Muerta, an enormous shale formation in the Neuquen basin -- the second-largest shale gas deposit and the fourth-largest shale oil deposit in the world. And on Aug. 14, YPF announced the discovery of oil in another shale formation-Agrio shale--in the same basin. Some estimates suggest that combined, the two plays' reserves could be worth as much as $3 trillion [oilprice.com] » September 02 2014 - Climate change, Arctic region warming, Nature geoscience review. The Arctic region has warmed more than twice as fast as the global average - a phenomenon known as Arctic amplification. The rapid Arctic warming has contributed to dramatic melting of Arctic sea ice and spring snow cover, at a pace greater than that simulated by climate models. These profound changes to the Arctic system have coincided with a period of ostensibly more frequent extreme weather events across the Northern Hemisphere mid-latitudes, including severe winters. The possibility of a link between Arctic change and mid-latitude weather has spurred research activities that reveal three potential dynamical pathways linking Arctic amplification to mid-latitude weather: changes in storm tracks, the jet stream, and planetary waves and their associated energy propagation. Through changes in these key atmospheric features, it is possible, in principle, for sea ice and snow cover to jointly influence mid-latitude weather. However, because of incomplete knowledge of how high-latitude climate change influences these phenomena, combined with sparse and short data records, and imperfect models, large uncertainties regarding the magnitude of such an influence remain. We conclude that improved process understanding, sustained and additional Arctic observations, and better coordinated modelling studies will be needed to advance our understanding of the influences on mid-latitude weather and extreme events [nature.com] » September 02 2014 - Natural gas, South stream pipeline, geopolitics, Russia, Ukraine, EU. RUSSIA'S South Stream gas pipeline project is the European Union's most controversial challenge in the wake of the Russia-Ukraine conflict. It impacts the bilateral relationship with Russia and relationships between the 28 member states in the EU.Building the pipeline has already started in Bulgaria and Russia. Conflict over the project highlights the internal structural weaknesses and competing national interests between the EU's 28 member states and their often short-term defined strategic interests. It also demonstrates the EU's inability to speak with one voice towards Moscow or present a coherent strategic response to Russia's geopolitically defined energy and foreign policies. Regulation for a competitive gas market is the only weapon the EU has to strengthen resilience of its energy supply security and taking wider economic and public interests into account [worldreview.info] » September 02 2014 - Geothermal development, US. For various reasons -- including logistics, economics and permitting issues -- geothermal has not even come close to reaching its potential. That could be changing, though, with the introduction this summer of a series of geothermal bills that may hasten its development and remove some bureaucratic obstacles. Renewable Energy World reported at the end of July that U.S. House and Senate subcommittees discussed permitting needs and took up two bills related to geothermal development. The House subcommittee heard that an inordinate amount of red tape hampers geothermal in the U.S. For example, the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires geothermal developers to submit over 175 "document sets" for each project, which could mean hundreds of thousands of pages. The subcommittee also learned that geothermal power projects can take as many as seven years to develop, compared to three to five years for oil and gas projects, and just 18 months for solar or wind start-ups. The Geothermal Energy on Federal Lands Act would streamline the process to allow a geothermal project to move forward quickly if resources are found, while another proposed bill would promote the development of renewable energy on public lands [oilprice.com] » September 02 2014 - Energy system transformation, UBS report. UBS: solar set to transform energy system within 20 years. According to a paper from UBS, the world's largest private bank, the solar industry is set to transform energy systems over the next two decades and place an emphasis on locally sourced power. The paper states, "Solar panels and batteries will be disruptive technologies. Solar is at the edge of being a competitive power generation technology." It said that the biggest drawback to solar has been its intermittency, but added that batteries and electric vehicles can play a role in this. The paper explains that battery costs have declined rapidly and are expected to fall more than 50% by the end of the decade. As electric vehicles become mass-produced, their costs will also fall [blueandgreentomorrow.com] » August 29 2014 - Renewable energy. Renewable energy capacity grows at fastest ever pace. Green technologies now produce 22% of world's electricity. Wind, solar and other renewable power capacity grew at its strongest ever pace last year and now produces 22% of the world's electricity, the International Energy Agency said on Thursday in a new report. More than $250bn (£150bn) was invested in "green" generating systems in 2013, although the speed of growth is expected to slacken, partly because politicians are becoming nervous about the cost of subsidies [theguardian.com] » August 29 2014 - Oil market, Opec, US, geopolitics. OPEC's Proxy Wars. Oil to $75. The oil price just broke down [...] For the past five years, we've been riding an uptrend. This week, the price of oil broke below that trend line. That is a bearish sign for oil prices. More Supply from the U.S. It isn't quite a secret that the U.S. is pumping mad oil. We are now riding at the top end of the five-year range of oil supply. This week, supplies in Cushing, OK rose by 500,000 barrels to 20.7 million barrels. Cushing is the physical delivery point for the NYMEX contract, and WTI is more and more sensitive to the Cushing supply levels. Both Brent and WTI have fallen by more than 10% since mid-June and remain on track to post a second monthly fall as China is slowing down, Europe is facing another recession, and U.S. oil imports are falling. OPEC Civil War. On top of all of this, the Middle East is in a real shooting war between Sunnis and Shias - that is, Iran is fighting Saudi Arabia, with proxy wars in Iraq and Syria. It's no wonder there is little cooperation in OPEC, as seen by a public fight at June's OPEC meeting. Countries like Iran, Tunisia, and Libya want to reduce supplies and jack up the oil price so they can pay for their deteriorating economies before the peasants break out the pitchforks. The WSJ reported that Iran needs Brent prices at $105 to cover its societal costs. Don't forget that the Middle Eastern revolutions of the past three years were based on food inflation. People will put up with almost anything before they overthrow a government, but they will not let their children starve. The Arab Spring was trigged by a Tunisian food vendor over the high prices of food. On the other side the argument is Saudi Arabia, who understands price elasticity of demand. It wants to pump more oil to bring down prices [energyandcapital.com] » August 29 2014 - Nuclear security, US, report. Cutting Too Deep: The Obama Administration's Proposals for Nuclear Security Spending Reductions. This report explains how the Obama administration's proposed budget cuts would delay nuclear and radiological material removals, research reactor conversions, and other important nuclear security work. The authors recommend that Congress should act to reduce the scale of the proposed cuts by at least $100 million, and should consider other substantial increases in funding for nonproliferation programs [belfercenter.ksg.harvard.edu] » August 29 2014 - Economy, US, stock market. Many in the U.S. Intelligence Community Fear a $100 Trillion American Meltdown is Imminent. Interview with Jim Rickards, the CIA's Financial Threat and Asymmetric Warfare Advisor. Jim Rickards has spent more than 3 decades on Wall Street as a leading international investment banker, hedge fund manager, and as the architect behind the technology nicknamed "the brains" of the NASDAQ. Rickards and many of his colleagues in the U.S. Intelligence Community have been tracking a series of alarming signals that point to an imminent American economic collapse. They predict a sudden 70% stock market crash is about to strike, followed by a $100 trillion meltdown… and it will plummet US into a 25-year Great Depression. [...] Jim Rickards, Predicts Today's Sudden Market Pullback is One Piece of a Much More Dangerous Puzzle [moneymorning.com] » August 28 2014 - Energy efficiency. IPIECA, New topics added to Energy Efficiency Compendium. Energy efficiency is a critical element of modern plant management, offering a win-win on cost savings and GHG emissions reductions. As part of IPIECA's greenhouse gas management work, we have added 11 topics to the IPIECA-OGP online database of energy efficiency technologies and good practice. The database aims to raise awareness of such technologies and increase their uptake across the oil and gas industry. The new topics added cover: Cooling systems; Electric motors; Energy efficient activation; Energy efficient design; Flowlines; General performance and efficiency monitoring; Green completions; Heat exchangers; Open cycle gas turbines; Power recovery turbines; Pumps for power [ipieca.org] » August 28 2014 - Climate change, Nature climate change commentary. Renegotiating the global climate stabilization target. Climate policy has gained focus with the adoption of the 2 °C target, but action to avoid dangerous climate change has not occurred as expected. It is time to reconsider the target, and most importantly, the relationship between climate science and policy [nature.com] » August 28 2014 - Natural gas, pipeline, Russia, China. Gazprom holds talks with Chinese Ambassador to Russia. The parties addressed the progress with and the prospects for strategic co-operation, placing a special emphasis on the Russian gas pipeline project to China. The meeting comes after Gazprom and China National Petroleum Corporation signed the contract for Russian gas supply by pipeline to China in late May 2014. The 30-year contract stipulates gas supplies amounting to 38 Bcm/a, and is one of the largest global investment projects. $US55 billion will be invested in the construction of production and transmission facilities in Russia, with an extensive gas infrastructure network to be set up in Russia's east [pipelinesinternational.com] » August 28 2014 - Climate change, Nature climate change commentary. Climate science reconsidered. There is a gap between the current role of the climate science community and the needs of society. Closing this gap represents a necessary but insufficient step towards improved public discourse and more constructive policy formulation on climate change [nature.com] » August 28 2014 - Climate change, Nature corrispondence, UK, Ireland. Meteorological agencies of Ireland and the UK have confirmed that winter (December to February) 2013–2014 (W2013–14) set records for precipitation totals and the occurrence of extreme wind speeds. [nature.com] » August 28 2014 - Economy, US, stock market. Many in the U.S. Intelligence Community Fear a $100 Trillion American Meltdown is Imminent. Interview with Jim Rickards, the CIA's Financial Threat and Asymmetric Warfare Advisor, Today, at 3 PM (Eastern Time). Jim Rickards has spent more than 3 decades on Wall Street as a leading international investment banker, hedge fund manager, and as the architect behind the technology nicknamed "the brains" of the NASDAQ. Rickards and many of his colleagues in the U.S. Intelligence Community have been tracking a series of alarming signals that point to an imminent American economic collapse. They predict a sudden 70% stock market crash is about to strike, followed by a $100 trillion meltdown… and it will plummet US into a 25-year Great Depression. They now fear this outcome is unavoidable. [...] In this exclusive interview he will discuss: The alarming pattern in our stock market that is now 2X more unstable than it was prior to the "Black Tuesday" crash of 1929. The frightening signal the intelligence community has detected that suggests our society is already suffering from a secret depression that will soon spiral down to 1930s levels. The one chart that proves our GDP growth is about to flatline. The five flashpoints that could set everything in motion at any moment. The emergency measures our government has already put "in play" for this coming collapse [moneymorning.com] » August 27 2014 - Energy storage, renewable energy, microgrid, energy operating system. Let's Stop Just Consuming and Become Part of the Internet of Energy. While there are lots of hardware systems available, he [Ryan Wartena, CEO and founder of Growing Energy Labs] saw a dearth of "platforms," or operating systems. And as we add electric vehicles, renewable energy and energy storage to energy system, we need such operating systems more than ever. For example, if companies are generating more power than they need using renewable energy, and selling that power to the utility, they need an energy operating system to allow them to track changing prices, generate and store power, and sell it back to the grid. That's where GELI's software comes in. In a microgrid, GELI's software makes operational decisions based on the price of power and energy, in addition to the electrical status and activity of the microgrid itself and other system components. It optimizes the energy storage system within the context of the microgrid and the power grid. For this work, GELI recently garnered an Innovation Award by Energy Storage North America. The awards identified the leading energy storage projects in North America. The company's business model focuses on getting energy storage out there as quickly as possible. Rather than offer a turnkey system, the company brings different components together, provides integration software, and lets its customers-solar developers-buy from original equipment manufacturers [microgridknowledge.com] » August 27 2014 - Energy, electricity transmission investment, US, EIA. There has been a five-fold increase in new electricity transmission investment in the United States by major investors and privately owned companies during the 15 years from 1997 to 2012. The investment increased from $2.7 billion in 1997 to $14.1 billion in 2012-reversing a three-decade decline. The first major wave of electricity transmission investment ended in the late 1960s. It began with electrification in the early 1900s and was driven by increased use of new transmission technology, the growing use of large central station generating plants to serve large areas, and growing electricity demand following World War II. From then until the mid-1990s, investment in transmission infrastructure declined. It has increased since then for several reasons: Improving reliability; Connecting to renewable energy sources; Accommodating changes in electricity demand; Increasing costs to build new transmission; Reforming markets [eia.gov] » August 27 2014 - Offshore wind farm, UK. The first of 35 Siemens 6MW turbines has been successfully erected at the Westermost Rough offshore wind farm, a joint venture between DONG Energy (50%) and its partners Marubeni Corporation (25%) and the UK Green Investment Bank (25%). The Westermost Rough offshore wind farm marks the first time that the next generation Siemens 6MW turbine will be used on a commercial scale – an important step on DONG Energy's cost of energy reduction strategy. The wind farm will have a capacity of 210MW, producing enough electricity to power approximately 210,000 homes [dongenergy.co.uk] » August 27 2014 - Natural gas, geopolitics, Russia, Ukraine, UE. Russia's Energy Minister Alexander Novak and EU Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger will hold a bilateral meeting on Tuesday night to discuss issues of Russian natural gas supplies to Ukraine and Europe. "We will discuss the current situation concerning with gas deliveries and transit," Novak, who is currently visiting the Belarusian capital of Minsk, told journalists. "More detailed talks will be held in Moscow on August 29. Earlier on Tuesday, Alexander Novak said Russia was ready to sell to Ukraine additional gas volumes should Kiev pay for them [itar-tass.com] » August 27 2014 - Climate change, US-China dialogue, official government report. Report of the U.S.-China Climate Change Working Group to the 6th Round of the Strategic and Economic Dialogue, July 9, 2014. Given the latest scientific understanding of accelerating climate change and the urgent need to intensify global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, forceful, nationally appropriate action by the United States and China - including large-scale cooperative action - is more critical than ever. To meet this need, the two countries established the CCWG on April 13, 2013. In July 2013, the CCWG launched an enhanced policy dialogue and five action initiatives, including: Emission Reductions from HeavyDuty and Other Vehicles; Smart Grids; Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage; Energy Efficiency in Buildings and Industry; and Collecting and Managing Greenhouse Gas Emissions Data. These initiatives address some of the key drivers of greenhouse gas emissions in both countries and will produce significant co-benefits, including cleaner air and energy savings and water recovery. During Secretary Kerry's visit to Beijing in February 2014, the United States and China agreed on implementation plans for all five initiatives. They also agreed to work together, within the vehicle of the CCWG, to collaborate through enhanced policy dialogue, including the sharing of information regarding their respective post-2020 plans to limit greenhouse gas emissions. This Report outlines progress made on the five initiatives and in the enhanced policy dialogue, as well as collaboration on hydrofluorocarbon (HFCs), and highlights new and possible areas of cooperation [en.ndrc.gov.cn] » August 27 2014 - Nuclear power, US. The floundering U.S. nuclear industry just got a bit of good news: Utah is considering building two new nuclear reactors. Blue Castle Holdings Inc. has signed a memorandum of understanding with Westinghouse that could eventually lead to the construction of two AP1000 nuclear reactors. The two reactors have an estimated cost of $10 billion and an estimated operational date of 2024. If constructed, Blue Castle says the reactors will increase Utah's electricity generation capacity by 50 percent, which would replace the power lost with the retirement of a few coal plants in the state. The announcement is important because building new nuclear reactors in the United States has been a struggle, to say the least. There are five other reactors under construction - two in South Carolina, two in Georgia, and one in Tennessee. All have suffered delays and unexpected cost increases. Demonstrating the ability to build new advanced nuclear reactors like the AP1000 is critical for the industry's long-term health. But it is also important for the U.S. as a whole because nuclear power is the largest source of carbon-free electricity in the country [oilprice.com] » August 26 2014 - Oil, Libya. Libya's crude production has continued to rise, reaching 630,000 b/d late Monday, a spokesman for state-owned National Oil Corp said. The country's oil production has been ramping up since July, with all its export terminals, including the eastern ports of Es Sider and Ras Lanuf, back under state control and operational. However, not all oil fields are back in operation. "The Waha oil field is not operational yet, and there is no information about restarting it," NOC spokesman Mohamed al-Harari said Monday. "We have enough crude at the tank farms before we start operating all the fields at the same time." The 160,000 b/d field is operated by Waha Oil Company, a joint venture of NOC with three US firms -- ConocoPhillips, Marathon Oil and Hess Corporation. Production is normally transported to the 340,000 b/d Es Sider and is expected to restart once storage space at the port is cleared. Germany's Wintershall, another major foreign oil producer, said last week it was ready to resume production at its onshore fields, but was waiting for approval from NOC. [platts.com] » August 26 2014 - Natural gas, greenhouse gas emissions, US. Natural gas is touted as a great success story in the US, not just by industry but also by the Obama administration and even by many environmentalists. The gas boom is supposed to have led to lower greenhouse gas emissions and to help pave the way to a greener future. But according to Harvard historian of science Naomi Oreskes, this is wishful thinking. There is no evidence that higher gas use has led to lower emissions and there is every reason expect that the dash for gas will "simply increase the total amount of fossil fuel available in the world to burn, accelerating what is already beginning to look like a rush towards disaster" [reneweconomy.com.au] » August 26 2014 - CO2 utilisation, conference, Germany. ACI's 3rd Carbon Dioxide Utilisation Summit 2014 will ultimately discover how to turn waste CO2 into profitable, commercially viable opportunities and the best ways to progress from pilot stage to full scale operational businesses. The conference will address both the technical and commercial aspects of CO2 Utilisation in Europe and across the globe. With individual case study analysis, you can join the investigation on the different applications of emerging and existing CO2 applications and find out how to maximise usage from CO2 waste. Applications examined will include Power to Gas/Liquids, Fuel, Petrochemical, Chemical, Urea, Algae, and Power/Energy sectors. 22-23 october 2014, Bremen, Germany [wplgroup.com] » August 26 2014 - Natural gas, geopolitics, Ukraine, Russia. Ukrainian state-run oil and gas company Naftogaz has returned to Russian energy giant Gazprom $10.54 million which the Russian gas monopoly paid to Ukraine for gas transit in July, the Ukrainian company said on Tuesday. "Ukraine's Naftogaz did not accept $10.54 million which Gazprom transferred as additional payment for Russian gas transit via Ukraine in July and has returned the payment to the contract party," Naftogaz said. The Ukrainian company noted that "the current situation is caused by disagreements between the two companies over the gas transit price through Ukraine." "Gazprom has earlier transferred an advance payment for transit supplies. The formula calculating the transit price takes into account the price for Russian gas delivery to Ukraine. According to Naftogaz's estimates, the prepayment has not been used fully," the Ukrainian company said [itar-tass.com] » August 26 2014 - Climate change, scenario process, socioeconomic pathways. The International Committee On New Integrated Climate change assessment Scenarios (ICONICS) recently updated its website. This committee aims to facilitate the new climate change scenario process. This website provides an introduction to the new scenario process, an overview of available and upcoming publications, events, and projects that develop or use the Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs) and Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs). You are encouraged to submit your own publications and projects to be added to the list, and to let us know about any upcoming events that should be listed [cgd.ucar.edu] » August 25 2014 - Oil, natural gas, UK, Scotland. Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond continues to insist that the strong future of Scottish oil would provide major support for the country if it achieves independence from the United Kingdom -- but not everyone agrees. Scotland will hold a referendum on Sept. 18 to vote on the question of whether it should become an independent country. Addressing the Scottish Parliament on Aug. 21, Salmond repeated predictions he has made before about the long-term strength of Scotland's oil sector. Sir Ian Wood, founder of the multinational energy company Wood Group based in Aberdeen, argued that Salmond was exaggerating the country's oil reserves by 60 percent [oilprice.com] » August 25 2014 - Oil, natural gas, fracking, US survey. A US survey of almost 250 chemicals used in fracking has identified potentially harmful compounds and exposed a lack of information about them that is hampering efforts to understand fracking's environmental impact . Hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, involves pumping high-pressure water into shale formations kilometres beneath the ground to break the formations apart, releasing the gas and oil they contain. In the US, fracking operations have regenerated the domestic oil and gas industry, boosting production and driving down energy prices. The US chemical industry has also benefited from cheaper feedstocks, such as ethene, giving it a competitive edge over other regions. Governments and chemical companies in other countries are hopeful that fracking might be similarly fruitful outside the US. However, the potential environmental costs of fracking have also brought criticism and resistance from campaign groups and the public. In particular, the effects of chemical additives used as part of the fracking process have raised concerns – formulations whose precise ingredients are often protected as proprietary information [rsc.org] » August 23 2014 - Greenhouse Gas, IEA report . IEAGHG, Greenhouse Gas R&D Programme Annual Review 2013. The headline from this report is that atmospheric CO2 levels are rising and as a consequence the oceans are becoming more acidic. The consequences of ocean acidification are ecosystem and biodiversity change, the potential to affect food security and the capacity of the ocean to absorb CO2. Our oceans have historically absorbed about 25% of the CO2 emitted into the atmosphere. Without the ocean absorbing power global emissions will increase more rapidly, the impacts of which are significant and the economic consequences could be substantial. This I am afraid is the do nothing or business as usual scenario. The only way to reduce the long term potential damage of ocean acidification is to significantly reduce global emissions of CO2 [ieaghg.org] » August 23 2014 - Renewable energy, solar cell. New type of solar concentrator doesn't block the view. A team of researchers at Michigan State University has developed a new type of solar concentrator that when placed over a window creates solar energy while allowing people to actually see through the window. It is called a transparent luminescent solar concentrator and can be used on buildings, cell phones and any other device that has a flat, clear surface. And, according to Richard Lunt of MSU's College of Engineering, the key word is "transparent." Research in the production of energy from solar cells placed around luminescent plastic-like materials is not new. These past efforts, however, have yielded poor results - the energy production was inefficient and the materials were highly colored [...] The solar harvesting system uses small organic molecules developed by Lunt and his team to absorb specific nonvisible wavelengths of sunlight [phys.org] » August 23 2014 - Oil, oil price, running out of cheap oil. Everyone seems to agree that the world is running out of cheap oil. But how cheap is cheap? Until we know it's hard to say exactly what the world is running out of, or indeed if it's running out of it at all. Clearly what is needed is for someone to put a dollar value on cheap oil [...] Before we can start we need a definition of "cheap". Webster's defines it as "worth more than the price paid", which is probably as good a definition as any, so we will use it. But how do we define when oil is no longer worth more than the price paid, i.e. not cheap? When the world stops buying it. There is of course no exact point at which this occurs; in theory oil will become progressively less "cheap" as the price rises and consumption growth will decrease progressively as a consequence. However, there will come a point at which the oil price becomes high enough to turn consumption growth negative, and for the purposes of analysis I've picked this as the "cheap" oil threshold [...] Between 1965 and 1974 the world spent less than 2% of its GDP on oil. Between 1974 and 1980 the percentage quadrupled to 7.5%. Between 1980 and 1986 it fell back to 2%. Between 1986 and 2003 it oscillated around 2%, dropping briefly to 1% in 1998. Since 2003 it has doubled to around 4% [oilprice.com] » August 23 2014 - Carbon emission permits, California. California carbon emission permits fetched $11.50 a tonne at the cap and trade program's eighth auction, bringing the total amount raised for the state to more than $833 million, officials said on Thursday. [poincarbon.com] » August 22 2014 - Climate change, sustainable development, post-2015 international agreement. On 10 September 2014, CDKN and ODI will hold an event to explore the linkages between climate change and the post-2015 development framework. The event will bring together experts and practitioners in climate change and sustainable development to present and discuss the views of developing countries on this topic. The outcomes will be shared with the Executive Office of the UN Secretary-General in advance of the Leaders' Summit on Climate Change in New York in September. Climate change is one of the most pressing challenges the world faces today. It affects all aspects of the development agenda, from poverty eradication to healthcare, to economic growth and disaster risk reduction. Without concerted global efforts to address climate change, climate impacts are likely to undermine the success of future global development. 2015 is a crucial year for global action on climate change and sustainable development with an international agreement on climate change, the post-2015 development goals and a future framework on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) all set to be finalised. The Open Working Group has concluded its negotiations by producing a substantial, inclusive list containing 17 sustainable development goals. This initial list of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will be presented at the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in New York at the end of September, 2014. At the same time the UN Secretary General has organised a Climate Summit in order to catalyse action on climate change prior to the UNFCCC Climate Change Conference in 2015 [odi.org] » August 22 2014 - Oil, natural gas, automation technologies. The rapid progress of technology such as big data and analytics, sensors, and control systems offers oil and gas companies the chance to automate high-cost, dangerous, or error-prone tasks. Most oil and gas operators are starting to capture these opportunities and would do well to accelerate their efforts. Companies that successfully employ automation can significantly improve their bottom line. While automation offers many potential benefits in the upstream value chain of exploration, development, and production, some of the biggest opportunities are in production operations, such as reducing unplanned downtime. Given the oil and gas industry's substantial increases in upstream capital investment, optimizing production efficiency is essential. Automation creates several opportunities to that end: maximizing asset and well integrity (by which we mean optimizing production without compromising health, safety, and the environment), increasing field recovery, and improving oil throughput. [mckinsey.com] » August 22 2014 - Natural gas, geopolitics, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Norway. Lithuania is playing its cards to increase energy security, applying for EU support for an interconnection project with Poland and singing its first LNG contract with Norway's Statoil. Baltic countries are completely reliant on Russian gas and are trying to progress with new plans to minimise the impact of an eventual gas cut off [naturalgaseurope.com] » August 22 2014 - Renewable energy, Solar, wind, natural gas, costs. Sowing Confusion About Renewable Energy. Readers of The Economist may have been surprised to read in its 26 July 2014 "Free exchange" section on page 63, or in its online version, the "clear" conclu-sion that solar and wind power are "the most expensive way of reducing greenhouse-gas emissions," while "nuclear plants…are cheaper," so governments are foolish to boost renewables and mothball nuclear. In each of the past three years, the world has invested more than a quarter-trillion dollars to add over 80 billion watts of renewables (excluding big hydro dams). That growth is accelerating: solar power is scaling faster than cellphones. Big European utilities lost euro0.5 trillion in market cap, as an Economist cover story featured, not because renewables couldn't compete, but because they competed all too well, wiping out old power plants' profits. The same is happening to some well-running U.S. nuclear plants, now facing closure as uneconomic just to operate. Shouldn't the runaway market success of renewables-soon to beat grid power on price, says Bloomberg, in most of the world-have raised a flag at the Economist article's conclusion? [forbes.com] » August 22 2014 - Solar, wind, natural gas, costs. In May, the Brookings Institution published a working paper by economist and nonresident senior fellow Dr. Charles R. Frank Jr. claiming that solar and wind were far more expensive than previously thought. [...] That paper got a big and unwarranted boost when The Economist featured its conclusions in a full-page article. There was just one problem: the paper's conclusions were wrong. Dr. Frank's paper examined technology options for reducing carbon emissions by burning less fossil fuel for electricity generation. He evaluated five coal-saving options -- wind, solar photovoltaics (PV), hydro, nuclear and gas combined-cycle -- ranking them from the most to the least cost-effective carbon-savers [greentechmedia.com] » August 21 2014 - Oil, natural gas, Algeria. Algeria's central bank said exports of oil and natural gas dropped 9 percent in the first quarter compared to last year, Reuters reported. The Bank of Algeria said the latest decrease, which resulted in a 12 percent drop in earnings in the energy sector, reflected a pattern of declines that began in 2010. The central bank said exports of crude oil were down 19 million barrels in the first quarter reaching 42 million barrels. While natural gas and condensate exports both decreased, liquefied natural gas shipments rose from 6.1 million cubic meters between January and March last year to 7.2 million cubic meters in the same period this year. With energy exports on the decline due to slowing exploration activity, Algeria plans to invest $100 billion between 2014 to 2018 to boost oil and gas production [pennenergy.com] » August 21 2014 - Energy, energy security, green economy, climate change, financing, Africa. The Energy and Environment Partnership (EEP) Programme with Southern and East Africa is Programme which is seeking high-quality applications for projects in the two regions that can contribute to the reduction of poverty by promoting inclusive and job-creating green economy and by improving energy security while mitigating global climate change. The EEP S&EA Call for Proposal nine (CFP9) - Programme Window 1 - Innovation 2, is now open. Maximum grant: euro 100 000 – 300 000 depending on the level of co-financing. Deadline: 23th September, 2014. To be eligible, projects should be implemented in one or more of the following partner countries: Botswana, Burundi, Kenya, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia [eepafrica.org] » August 21 2014 - Oil, natural gas, pipelines, South stream, GALSI, White stream, MEIDP, deepwater Leviathan field pipeline, Iran-Oman subsea pipeline. Operators and developers are studying, planning and building just over 7,050 mi (11,346 km) of oil and gas pipelines to bring these supplies from offshore fields to onshore markets. The total reflects a significant increase from last year's survey, which showed a total of almost 5,600 mi (9,012 km). This year's total represents a 26% increase over last year. The increase is driven in very large part by the development of the South Stream pipeline project, and the decision by the developers to build four 578-mi (930-km) pipelines to move natural gas from Russia to Bulgaria (and then to European markets) via the Black Sea. If all four lines are built according to plan, South Stream will include more than 2,300 mi (3,701 km) of pipe. Installation of the first South Stream pipeline is expected to begin this fall, and will be undertaken by Saipem, who will use its Castoro Sei vessel to work toward a 2015 completion date. Construction on the second line will be undertaken by Allseas, using its new Pieter Schelte vessel. Work on this second line is scheduled for a late 2016 completion timeframe. Due to the increase in South Stream's project scope, Europe is the clear leader in the survey for the third year in a row, with 4,178 mi (6,724 km) of pipeline systems being built and planned [offshoremag.com] » August 20 2014 - Coal, US, China. Lost in the debate about exporting U.S. oil and natural gas is any mention of America's greatest energy export. Coal. And while legislators, corporations, environmentalists and others argue over pipelines, refineries, tariffs and trade agreements in the oil and natural gas industries, the U.S. sends tons of coal to eager customers all over the globe. Coal usage is at a 45-year peak, and Europe and Asia will take every ounce we can export… Coal, the Fuel of the Future. Oil, natural gas, and renewable energy sources may be the ones in the spotlight, but King Coal is still king. This relatively cheap and easy to transport fuel may be losing its popularity in the U.S. and parts of Europe demand has been relatively flat - but the rest of the world is embracing it. China, for example, is the world's largest coal user, producer, and importer. While global demand excluding China inched up from 3.8 to 4.3 billion tons between 2000 and 2011, China's coal usage skyrocketed from 1.5 to 3.8 billion tons [oilandenergyinvestor.com] » August 20 2014 - Carbon market, climate change, economics, webinar. Global Carbon Market Update Webinar 9th Sept 2014-10th September 2014. Join Point Carbon analysts at Thomson Reuters to discuss recent developments in the world's carbon markets from Europe and North America to China, Korea, Kazakhstan, New Zealand and Australia. Tuesday, September 9, 2014 10:00:00 AM CEST - 11:00:00 AM CEST Wednesday, September 10, 2014 6:00:00 PM CEST - 7:00:00 PM CEST [Thomson Reuters] » August 20 2014 - Oil, geopolitics, Middle east. The violence and cutthroat politics of the Middle East, combined with declining oil and gas production levels, has triggered a subtle but significant shift away from what has long been the center of the energy industry to other regions around the world. The overall geopolitical situation in the Middle East has been deteriorating since the first major war between Arabs and Israelis in 1948. Conflicts are becoming more violent, weapons used are deadlier, and the number of casualties keeps rising. The two most recent conflicts in the region -the war in Gaza between Palestinians and Israelis -- claimed the lives of some 2,000 Palestinians and about 60 Israeli soldiers. The incredible slaughterhouse that is a mixture of civil war, religious conflict and social economic conflagration taking place today in Syria and Iraq bears witness to the frightening level of mounting violence every time a conflict resumes in the troubled region [oilprice.com] » August 19 2014 - Coal, natural gas, China. China relies heavily on domestic coal (and to a lesser extent oil) to meet rising energy consumption. To reduce air pollution and carbon dioxide emissions, the Chinese government is attempting to replace some of the country's coal and oil use with natural gas. Natural gas accounted for only 4.9% of China's total energy consumption in 2012, but large investments in domestic natural gas production and infrastructure, along with growing imports, are likely to underpin a significantly larger role in the future. The Chinese government anticipates increasing its natural gas share of total energy consumption to around 8% by the end of 2015 and 10% by 2020 [eia.gov] » August 19 2014 - Climate change, carbon emissions price, carbon tax, cap-and-trade. Back in June, Henry Paulson, the former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, published an opinion piece in the New York Times calling for a price on carbon dioxide emissions. Mr. Paulson correctly asserts that "putting a price on emissions will create incentives to develop new, cleaner energy technologies." It will also create incentives to make coalfired power plants more efficient, reducing the amount of carbon dioxide they emit. More importantly, as my recent Brookings working paper illustrates (The Net Benefits of Low and No-Carbon Electricity Technologies), it will encourage a switch of electricity production from inefficient coalfired plants to more efficient natural gas-fired power plants, reducing CO2 emissions by as much as two-thirds per megawatt-hour. In his article, Mr. Paulson used the words "putting a price on carbon dioxide emissions" and "carbon tax" interchangeably. In this he was incorrect. A carbon tax is one way to put a price on emissions. Cap-and-trade is another. A carbon tax and cap-and-trade are opposite sides of the same coin. A carbon tax sets the price of carbon dioxide emissions and allows the market to determine the quantity of emission reductions. Cap-and-trade sets the quantity of emissions reductions and lets the market determine the price. Which of the two is better? [brookings.edu] » August 19 2014 - Oil, crude processing facilities costs, US, EIA study. The US Energy Information Administration will release a new study next month on the costs of crude processing facilities, including splitters and stabilizers, EIA Administrator Adam Sieminski said Monday. The study will be released as exports of processed condensates are expected to ramp up following recent rulings by the US Department of Commerce that gave legal backing for two Eagle Ford players to export condensate. Commerce ruled that Pioneer Natural Resources and Enterprise Products Partners could export condensate without a license because the condensate was processed through a distillation tower. Because it was processed, this condensate was no longer crude oil and, in turn, not subject to US restrictions on crude exports. The rulings, however, have raised questions over what exactly needs to occur for condensate to be deemed processed, and because the Commerce rulings are not public, several firms are unsure if their processing will fall within the agency's parameter [platts.com] » August 18 2014 - Natural gas, shale gas, fracking, rural economy imacts, UK, report. Ministers were accused of having "something to hide" over the impact of fracking on affected areas after an internal Government document was released in a heavily redacted form. Green MP Caroline Lucas said the Government should be "straight with the British public" about the impact of the controversial process for extracting shale gas. The row over the document came as a survey commissioned by the onshore oil and gas industry body showed widespread support for exploiting shale reserves. The official analysis - titled Shale Gas: Rural Economy Impacts - had several key sections obscured when it was published in response to a request under environmental information laws. Assessments of the impacts on house prices and local services were heavily redacted in the draft report published under the Environmental Information Regulations. Ms Lucas called for the report to be published in full and said: "What I'm concerned about is it looks as if the Government has got something to hide. "This is a report that purports to be about looking at the impacts of shale gas exploitation on rural economies and yet huge amounts of it have been redcated. "Were it not so serious, it would almost be comical". She said it "adds to the atmosphere of public concern and mistrust" about the effects of the controversial process for extracting shale gas. The draft internal document was shared by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) with the Environment Agency and considered the potential impact of shale gas development on the rural economy. The report refers to 2010 findings about the situation in Texas which indicated that properties worth more than 250,000 US dollars (£149,000) located within 1,000 feet of a well saw their values fall by between 3% and 14% [energyvoice.com] » August 18 2014 - Energy supply security, geopolitics, IEA. Energy Supply Security: The emergency response of IEA countries (2014) provides an overview of the most recent oil and natural gas emergency policy reviews of the 29 IEA member countries, as well as those of key partners such as Chile, China, India and ASEAN. The publication assesses each country's emergency arrangements for security of supply of oil and gas, their stockholding structure, demand restraint measures and fuel switching capacity, and also provides a summary of energy security best practice amongst the IEA membership and beyond. This publication also includes an overview of the electricity security assessment framework recently developed by the IEA for the purposes of strengthening countries' electricity security [iea.org] » August 16 2014 - Fossil fuel subsidies, economic impact, fossil fuel subsidy reform (FFSR), climate change, transition to low-carbon economies, ODI report. Fossil fuel subsidies in developing countries. The McKinsey Global Institute estimates that governments are subsidising the consumption of resources (including water, energy, steel, and food) by up to $1.1 trillion per year, and that many countries commit 5% or more of their GDP to energy subsidies (Dobbs, Oppenheim, Thompson, Brinkman, & Zornes, 2011). These amounts may be under-estimates, however, as subsidies for fossil fuel consumption in developing countries alone were estimated to be $544 billion in 2012 (IEA, 2013a). On top of their social and economic impact, fossil fuel subsidies have a significant impact on our climate. The International Energy Agency (IEA) lists phasing out fossil fuel subsidies as one of four necessary policies to keep the world on course for the 2-degree global warming target at no net economic cost. The benefits to the climate of removing fossil fuel subsidies include: lowering the global cost of stabilising GHG concentrations; shifting economies away from carbon-intensive activities; encouraging energy efficiency, and; promoting investment in the development and diffusion of low-carbon technologies (OECD, 2011). In spite of important climate benefits, at present the crucial role of fossil fuel subsidy reform (FFSR) is not acknowledged in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and is only beginning to gain traction in discussions on the use of climate finance. There remain significant opportunities to support FFSR as part of wider climate mitigation efforts, which can play an important role in enabling the scale of investment required for the transition to low-carbon economies [odi.org] » August 16 2014 - Oil markets, oil demand, oil supplies, geopolitics, oil-producing countries conflicts, IEA report. Weak global oil demand is keeping a lid on prices, according to a new report from the International Energy Agency (IEA), and that's bad news for companies carrying a lot of debt. Oil demand for 2014 will be lower than previously expected, prompting the IEA to downgrade its forecast by 180,000 barrels per day (bpd) for the year. In the second quarter, global demand only increased at an annualized rate of 700,000 barrels per day, the slowest pace in over two years. Flagging demand is helping to keep oil prices from spiking, which is fortunate, considering that violence in oil producing countries around the world is keeping a substantial portion of oil supplies offline. All told, around 4 percent of global oil supplies are offline because of conflict. But, according to the IEA, "Oil prices seem almost eerily calm in the face of mounting geopolitical risks spanning an unusually large swathe of the oil-producing world." Libya has been in a state of political crisis for over a year, which has kept most of its 1.6 million barrel-per-day capacity offline since the summer of 2013. Nigeria has experienced sabotage to key pipeline infrastructure, knocking some of its production offline. Iran has been under western sanctions since 2012, which have capped Iranian oil exports at 1 million bpd - about 1.5 million bpd lower than pre-2012. And Iraq, despite continuing crisis and chaos, has remarkably kept its output fairly steady [oilprice.com] » August 16 2014 - Natural gas, EU, Norway. Norway's production figures indicate that the Scandinavian country produced less gas than forecasted for the third consecutive month. Additionally, for the fourth month in a row, gas production was lower than a year before. 'The total petroleum production for the first seven months in 2014 is about 125.4 million standard cubic meters oil equivalents. (MSm3 o.e.), broken down as follows: about 50.0 MSm3 o.e. of oil, about 13.4 MSm3 o.e. of NGL and condensate and about 62.0 MSm3 o.e. of gas for sale,' reads a note released by the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate on Thursday. In July, the country produced around 8 MSm3, with respected to a forecast of almost 9 MSm3 [naturalgaseurope.com] » August 16 2014 - Oil markets, oil demand, oil supply, IEA oil market report. The IEA Oil Market Report (OMR) for August lowered its 2014 global oil demand growth forecast to 1.0 million barrels per day (mb/d) on lower-than-expected deliveries in the second quarter and the International Monetary Fund's weaker outlook for economic growth. But as the economy improves in 2015, demand is set to accelerate by 1.3 mb/d in 2015. OPEC crude oil supply rose by 300 000 barrels per day (300 kb/d) to 30.44 mb/d in July, a five-month high, as a boost from Saudi Arabia to 10 mb/d and a tentative recovery in Libyan output more than made up for declines in Iraq, Iran and Nigeria. The "call on OPEC crude and stock change" averages around 30.8 mb/d for the fourth quarter, just like in the third, the OMR informed subscribers. The global oil supply increased 230 kb/d in July, to 93.0 mb/d, with higher OPEC output countering slightly lower non-OPEC supply. Compared with July 2013, global supplies rose 840 kb/d, as a 1.2 mb/d increase in non-OPEC supplies more than offset a 360 kb/d decline in OPEC output. OECD industry stocks posted their sixth consecutive monthly build in June, rising 13.8 mb to stand at 2 671 mb at the end of the month, their highest level since September 2013. Inventories' deficit to the five-year average narrowed to 42.1 mb from 52.0 mb at the end of May. The second-quarter stock build of 88 mb was the largest quarterly build since the third quarter of 2006 [iea.org] » August 16 2014 - Oil, exploration & production, US. The American Petroleum Institute (API) has released comments to urge the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) to consider all outer continental shelf areas for inclusion in the government's offshore oil and natural gas leasing program for 2017-2022 [offshore-mag.com] » August 16 2014 - Renewable energy, underwater turbines, power of ocean currents. A new technology that harnesses the power of ocean currents could provide a clean and limitless form of renewable energy, some scientists say. A group of scientists and engineers who describe themselves as "nerds in wetsuits and flippers" has launched a crowdfunding campaign, called Crowd Energy, to do just that. Their idea is to use giant underwater turbines to capture the energy from deep-ocean currents, such as the Gulf Stream off the coast of Florida. While energy generated from these turbines may not be able to completely replace fossil fuels, as the group claims, the devices could still be an important source of clean energy, experts say [livescience.com] » August 16 2014 - Oil markets, geopolitics, resource nationalism, shale, US, IEA. The wave of resource nationalism among oil-producing nations that helped propel prices to a record in 2008 is dissipating as competition from U.S. shale stirs governments to offer better terms, the IEA said. Sliding crude prices in the face of supply threats in Iraq and Libya reflect that industry concerns of scarcity have been replaced with a perception of sufficiency, said Antoine Halff, head of the Paris-based International Energy Agency's industry and markets division. Producing countries such as Russia and Argentina who sought greater control of resources from international oil companies in the last decade are now changing tack to entice foreign partners, he said. "Back in 2008, we were at the peak of a cycle of resource nationalism among producing countries," Halff said in an interview. "Now we're in a completely different situation, where some of the very same countries that had indulged in resource nationalism are back-pedaling, and making their investment terms more attractive to foreign companies." Oil's climb during the last decade, driven by concerns that supplies were dwindling, spurred a competition for reserves that encouraged producing nations to increase their proportion of revenues through higher taxes, Halff said. Surging shale oil output in the U.S. has boosted the nation’s production to its highest in three decades [bloomberg.com] » August 14 2014 - Oil & gas, offshore industry, subsea controls system obsolescence, paper. The increasing world energy demands for enhanced oil and gas recovery in the offshore industry has led to new subsea technology developments with increased system functionality. Technologies such as subsea processing and instrumentations for subsea control data acquisition place a greater demand on bandwidth, power and capacity. Therefore, the legacy controls system becomes obsolete and proves unsustainable in supporting the increased functionality placed on it by the new subsea technologies. With the fast evolution of electronics, the replacement of the core components of the control system when they fail becomes difficult as they are no longer being produced or supported by the original component manufacturers (OCM). The present paper explores the different strategies in addressing obsolescence on the subsea controls system for offshore field developments [decomworld.com] » August 14 2014 - Natural gas, geopolitics, EU markets, Russia, Ukraine. Russia-Ukraine Crisis: What Lies Ahead for Europe's Gas Markets?. The coming months will be significant for European gas markets after Western sanctions against Russia were tightened in an attempt to persuade President Vladimir Putin to do more to end the conflict in eastern Ukraine, where the EU and US accuse Moscow of arming pro-Russian separatists. Putin said on Aug. 5 he had instructed the government to come up with a response to the West that would help Russian firms but not hurt customers. The gas industry has been left untouched because of Europe's heavy dependence on Russian gas - Russia provided 27% (or 125 billion cubic meters) of EU gas supply in 2013, equivalent to 40% of EU gas imports - but the Russian foreign ministry has said any damage to Russia's oil and gas sector will have a knock-on effect for Europe in the form of higher energy prices. With the situation highly volatile, WGI looks at some basic scenarios for what could unfold in Europe before and over the coming winter, ranging from a de-escalation to one where the current cut in flows to Ukraine expands to all Russian shipments through Ukraine to Europe - as happened in early 2009 - or even to all Russian flows to the EU. This last scenario looks unlikely, given the value of Gazprom's exports to the West, but not impossible. One certainty is that the EU cannot afford to place sanctions on Gazprom, something the US understands [oilandmoney.net] » August 14 2014 - Energy policy, EU, UK, energy prices, climate change. The European Union's energy policy is not working and its rules have played an "increasing" role in "reducing Britain's industrial output and in destroying jobs" an independent business campaign group has warned. Rising energy costs threaten up to 1.5 million jobs in the energy intensive sector, with 363,000 of these jobs being at high risk, research by Business for Britain has claimed. EU energy regulations have cost the UK economy between £86.6billion and £93.2billion (net) so far, according to the group's research of Government Impact Assessments contained in its paper on EU energy policy. The report entitled "Energy policy and the EU How a better deal could bring down the cost of energy and save jobs", analysed the impact of recent EU energy laws and concluded the EU should devise one target for reducing emissions with member states free to determine their own policies to meet this target. It found energy prices across the EU were among the highest in the developed world, with medium sized industrial consumers in the EU paying around 20% more for electricity than companies in China, approximately 65% more than companies in India and more than twice as much as companies based in the US and Russia. The paper also argued Europe's high energy prices "undermine efforts" to combat climate change, warning Europe could become increasingly dependent on imports from other countries, which do not comply with the same high environmental standards as European firms [energyvoice.com] » August 13 2014 - Climate change, energy transition, CO2, hydrogen polymer "sponge", fuel-cell. You can't just flip a switch and immediately shift the world's energy use from fossil fuels to something cleaner like hydrogen. Such change takes time. But a team of scientists reports that we can use a common plastic to make that transition easier. The polymer "sponge" is a powdery substance that "adsorbs" large amounts of carbon dioxide when under pressure. When a substance adsorbs something, such as CO2, it holds on to it so the CO2 can be used for some other purpose. In this case, the CO2 would be used for a new technology that converts fossil fuels to extremely clean hydrogen gas. "The key point is that this polymer is stable, it's cheap, and it adsorbs CO2 extremely well. It's geared toward function in a real-world environment," says Andrew Cooper of the University of Liverpool, who led the research. "In a future landscape where fuel-cell technology is used, this adsorbent could work toward zero-emission technology." In a report at the 248th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world's largest scientific society meeting in San Francisco, Cooper explains that hydrogen made by a conversion process known as integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) could be an important element in electricity-generating fuel cells. The hurdle, Cooper explains, is that IGCC produces both hydrogen and carbon dioxide, which must be separated. This is where his polymer comes in. The adsorbent sponges could be installed in smokestacks at oil- or coal-burning power plants, where they would trap carbon dioxide and expand, much as an absorbent sponge soaks up water [oilprice.com] » August 13 2014 - Oil market, OPEC, Monthly Oil Market Report. Crude Oil Price Movements. The OPEC Reference Basket fell by $2.28 to $105.61/b in July amid easing worries about supply disruptions and weaker-than-expected refinery crude demand in Asia and Europe. Speculators also sharply reduced net long positions. Nymex WTI in July lost $2.75 to stand at $102.39/b and ICE Brent slipped $3.78 to $108.19/b. The Brent/WTI spread narrowed further by almost $1.00 to stand at 5.80/b, comparable to September 2013 levels. World Economy. World economic growth for 2014 and 2015 remains unchanged at 3.1% and 3.4% respectively. The better-than-expected first half GDP numbers in the US led to an upward revision to this year's US GDP growth forecast to 2.0% from 1.6%. This also lifted the OECD forecast for 2014 to 1.8% from 1.7%, while the 2015 OECD growth forecast remains at 2.0%. The positive developments in the OECD have been counterbalanced by downward revisions mainly for Latin American economies, while the growth forecasts for China and India remain unchanged. World Oil Demand. The forecast for world oil demand growth in 2014 has been revised down slightly to 1.10 mb/d, following the lower-than-expected performance of the OECD in 2Q14. For 2015, demand growth is expected to be around 1.21 mb/d, in line with the previous report. World Oil Supply. Non-OPEC oil supply growth is forecast to increase by 1.50 mb/d in 2014, representing a minor upward revision from the previous report as most 2Q14 data has become available. Non-OPEC oil supply growth in 2015 has been revised lower to 1.27 mb/d. OPEC NGLs and non-conventional liquids are expected to grow by 0.2 mb/d to average 6.01 mb/d in 2015. In July 2014, OPEC crude oil production increased by 167 tb/d to average 29.91 mb/d, according to secondary sources [opec.org] » August 13 2014 - China, US, energy investment. China Outpaces U.S. in African Energy Investment. [...] despite the Obama administration's best effort to inject new muscle, and $14 billion of private investment, into U.S.-African business relationships, the reality is that the United States has fallen far behind Europe and Asia when it comes to meaningful foreign investment, even if Kentucky Fried Chicken has proved immensely popular with Kampala's mallgoers. Nowhere is the evidence of that surge clearer than in the energy sector, where a handful of companies from the United Kingdom, France, China, Canada and the Middle East are licensed to tap much of East Africa's oil reserves and ship crude through a 800-mile pipeline to the Indian Ocean. Meanwhile, Russian and Korean firms are vying to build East Africa's newest oil refinery, a 60,000-barrelper-day plant in northwestern Uganda [...] For now, most of East Africa's leaders appear to be focused on trying to tap a seemingly bottomless well of Chinese direct aid and loans for everything from energy projects to road building to technology improvements. For example, last September, Chinese National Offshore Oil Corp. secured a $2 billion government contract to develop the Kingfisher oil field in northwest Uganda, estimated to hold 635 million barrels of oil, about 200 million of which is considered recoverable [scientificamerican.com] » August 12 2014 - Oil, Saudi Arabia, energy crisis. Ask most Americans which country is the world's largest oil producer is, and you will likely hear some familiar names - Saudi Arabia, Iran and Iraq. Some might suggest Russia, which produces more than 10 million barrels a day. Yet according to recent numbers from the International Energy Agency and Bank of America, it's another country has taken the lead in global production - the United States. And this new reality raises an interesting question: Is this the beginning of the end of former number one Saudi Arabia's global oil dominance? In recent years, everyone from Citigroup to Chatham House has suggested Saudi Arabia - the world's biggest oil exporter - could face oil shortages in the next 10 to 15 years, prompting many to ask whether the country and its heavily oil-dependent economy are prepared for the potential crisis. The answer is yes, and no. Local energy demand has skyrocketed, and could increase by 250 percent by 2028, largely due to a population boom that has seen the Kingdom's population jump from six million in 1970 to over 29 million today. This in turn has prompted the state to explore oil alternatives for domestic energy use. Indeed, in June, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates reportedly signed an accord to jointly develop renewable energy and clean technology. In addition, Saudi Arabia has indicated it hopes to become a key market for renewable energy by 2032, with a projected third of the country's power to come from this source [globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com] » August 11 2014 - Natural gas, Iran, EU, geopolitics. Iran is ready to consider the possibility of transporting its gas to Europe via the TransAnatolian pipeline (TANAP). Iranian Minister of Communication and Information Technologies Mahmoud Vaezi made the remarks at a meeting with head of the Azerbaijan State Oil Company (SOCAR) Rovnag Abdullayev. Responding to the offer of the Azerbaijani side, the minister stressed that coordination is needed between the Azerbaijani and the Iranian oil and gas companies in order to meet the needs of the European market in the gas. TANAP project envisages transporting gas from the Shah Deniz field through Turkey up to the country's border with Europe. The pipeline's initial capacity is expected to be 16 billion cubic meters per year. About six billion cubic meters of gas will be delivered to Turkey and the rest to Europe. The pipeline's capacity can be further expanded to 31 billion cubic meters of gas per year. TANAP shareholders plan to lay the pipeline's foundation in 2014 and commission it in 2018. TANAP project's cost is estimated at $10 billion to $11 billion [trend.az] » August 11 2014 - Energy, China, US, geopolitics. Twenty-First Century Energy Superpower: China, Energy, and Global Power. If you want to know which way the global wind is blowing (or the sun shining or the coal burning), watch China. That's the news for our energy future and for the future of great-power politics on planet Earth. Washington is already watching - with anxiety. Rarely has a simple press interview said more about the global power shifts taking place in our world. On July 20th, the chief economist of the International Energy Agency (IEA), Fatih Birol, told the Wall Street Journal that China had overtaken the United States to become the world's number one energy consumer. One can read this development in many ways: as evidence of China's continuing industrial prowess, of the lingering recession in the United States, of the growing popularity of automobiles in China, even of America's superior energy efficiency as compared to that of China. All of these observations are valid, but all miss the main point: by becoming the world's leading energy consumer, China will also become an ever more dominant international actor and so set the pace in shaping our global future [huffingtonpost.com] » August 11 2014 - climate change, Jordan. Climate change has become a global concern in recent decades and Jordan is no exception. According to IPPC, scientific evidences show that the earth experienced an average warming of around 0.7ºC during the 20th century, and are projected to warm by up to 4ºC by the end of the 21st century. Scientific studies reveal an increase in annual minimum air temperatures in Jordan since 1970s. The increase of mean temperature indicates a slight regional climate change, while decreasing temperature range proves that the earth is trapping terrestrial infrared radiation responsible for climate change. Besides, researchers predict further increase in the mean annual temperatures by 3±0.5ºC in winter and 4.5±1ºC in summer by the end of the 21st century. According to the National Climate Change Policy of Jordan, Jordan’s total GHG emissions are relatively small with less than 20 million tons of CO2 eq p.a. to global emission. The main sources of GHG emissions in Jordan are as follows [ecomena.org] » August 8 2014 - Oil, US, economic growth. Making Sense Of The US Oil Story [...] One of the issues is that a few years ago, the US created a new oil-related grouping, combining valuable products with much less valuable (lower energy content, less dense) products. Using this new grouping, the US was able to show much improved growth in total "oil" supply. The US EIA now calls the grouping "Total Oil Supply." I refer to it as "Total Liquids," a name I find more descriptive. Besides "crude and condensate," the mixture includes "other liquids," "natural gas plant liquids," and "refinery expansion." "Crude and condensate" is the original grouping. Often, it is just referred to as "crude oil." "Other liquids" is primarily ethanol from corn. If we produced coal-to-liquids, it would be in this category as well. Natural gas plant liquids (NGPL) are the liquids that condense out of natural gas when they are chilled and compressed in the natural gas processing plant. Refinery expansion occurs when a refinery breaks long chain hydrocarbons into shorter ones. The resulting products take up more volume, but don't really have more energy content. In some ways, the process is like making whipped cream out of whipping cream–more volume, but not really more product. The new products tend to be more valuable-say, diesel and lubricating oil made from something close to asphalt. [...] There is a close tie between energy consumption and economic growth. [...] Perhaps if energy consumption is flat, with the benefit of technological progress and efficiency changes, there can still be economic growth. There is definitely a connection, though. Energy of the right type is needed for every process we can think of-getting to work, shipping goods, operating our computers, heating metals when they are refined. The problem comes when what we are facing in shrinkage of energy consumption, over and above what can be accommodated by technological progress and efficiency. [...] Then we have danger of a collapsing financial system, as the low energy consumption growth pushes the economy toward contraction. The economy has been held together since 2008 with quantitative easing and zero interest rates. The plan has been to allow consumers more income to spend, by keeping interest rates artificially low [oilprice.com] » August 8 2014 - Oil, Iraq, Kurdistan, geopolitics. Oil company Afren has suspended output at its Barda Rash oilfield in Iraqi Kurdistan, the first field to shut in the region as Islamist militants advance closer, weighing on shares of London-listed oil producers active there [uk.reuters.com] » August 8 2014 - Energy, efficient use, smart grid, smart community, smart city plan, case studies Toshiba. The Toshiba Group is already participating in 36 smart community and smart grid demonstration projects around the world. In Japan, Yokohama City and other local governments are addressing various smart development solutions in partnership with Toshiba. Also in Asia, Toshiba is creating smart solutions to urban problems, and developing smart industrial zones in China, India and ASEAN countries. Throughout Europe and North America, Toshiba is contributing to environmentally friendly town development. Including redevelopment and new city projects, from large cities to small and mediumsized towns and industrial zones, Toshiba is working on various projects in many different regions. By taking part in a large number of projects, Toshiba is steadily increasing its capacity to deliver common and standardized solutions packages. Combining these packages as appropriate allows Toshiba to take regional characteristics into account and to quickly deliver the optimum solution that fits the needs of the local region [...] Miyakojima island (Japan) includes solar-powered recharging stations for micro-Electric Vehicles [...] Genova (Italy) smart city plan, Acea (Roma, Italy) smart grid [toshiba-smartcommunity.com] » August 8 2014 - Coal, China. China's decision to ban the use of coal from Beijing and other major cities by 2020 grabbed headlines this week, but experts are saying it is unlikely to have a significant impact on the country's coal consumption. Despite the nation increasing efforts to curb air pollution, demand for the fossil fuel in China is expected to stay steady, as the country's population and economy expand. Coal-fired power and heating is a major generator of greenhouse gases and, according to data from the US Energy Administration (EIA), it has helped turning the Asian giant into the world's largest emitter of carbon and other heat-trapping gases. According to official Xinhua News agency, coal accounted for 25% of Beijing's energy consumption in 2012 and 22% of the fine particles floating in the city's air. Motor vehicles, industrial production and general dust also contributed to pollution in the city of 21 million people [oilprice.com] » August 7 2014 - Shale gas, US, Marcellus basin, EIA. Natural gas production in the Marcellus Region exceeded 15 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) through July, the first time ever recorded, according to EIA's latest Drilling Productivity Report. The Marcellus Region, mostly located in West Virginia and Pennsylvania, is the largest producing shale gas basin in the United States, accounting for almost 40% of U.S. shale gas production. Marcellus Region production has increased dramatically over the past four years, increasing from 2 Bcf/d in 2010 to its current level. The rig count in the Marcellus Region has remained steady at around 100 rigs over the past 10 months. Given the continued improvement in drilling productivity, which EIA measures as new-well production per rig, EIA expects natural gas production in the Marcellus Region to continue to grow. With 100 rigs in operation and with each rig supporting more than 6 million cubic feet per day in new-well production each month, new Marcellus Region wells coming online in August are expected to deliver over 600 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) of additional production. This production from new wells is more than enough to offset the anticipated drop in production that results from existing well decline rates, increasing the production rate by 247 MMcf/d [pennenergy.com] » August 7 2014 - Gasoline, diesel, alternative fuels. Breaking out of the gasoline/diesel duopoly. When fuels as versatile as petroleum products are in transports, it is not surprising that several alternative fuels are needed to substitute for different vehicle types and usages. Petroleum products' qualities are their unsurpassed energy and volume density and their ease of handling. Now that we're faced with the prospect of scarcity, global warming and constraints on local pollutants, the transportation sector is required to find alternatives to what has fuelled us for 100 years. Necessity being the mother of invention, several alternative fuels are now emerging. None of them are exactly new technologies, but a combination of technical improvements, ever-stricter emission norms, and the deployment of a distribution infrastructure are giving each of these technologies a chance to occupy a niche within road and rail transportation [agienergia.it] » August 7 2014 - Energy, climate change, coastal and inland flooding risk, US, EIA tool. A new component of EIA's Energy Mapping System allows users to view critical energy infrastructure that may be vulnerable to coastal and inland flooding. These new map layers enable the public to see existing energy facilities that could potentially be affected by flooding caused by hurricanes, overflowing rivers, flash floods, and other wet-weather events. The mapping tool combines flood hazard information from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) with EIA's existing U.S. Energy Mapping System that shows power plants, oil refineries, crude oil rail terminals, and other critical energy infrastructure. The maps can help readers understand what energy infrastructure assets are currently exposed to flood risk. The maps show areas that have a 1% and 0.2% annual chance of flooding (essentially a 1-in-100 and 1-in-500 chance, respectively). The tool also contains regulatory floodways, levees, areas with levees (and therefore reduced flood risk), and areas with conditions that might be identified in the future as having a 1% annual flood hazard. To determine if a specific area is vulnerable to flooding, users can input an address, town, or county name and see street-level results. They also can zoom in on areas of the United States highlighted with flood hazard information [eia.gov] » August 7 2014 - Renewable, wind energy, UK. Turbines and targets: the UK wind energy landscape. Wind energy looks set to play a key role in Britain's energy future. But as the UK tops the Ernst & Young list of most attractive markets for offshore wind, is enough being done to meet carbon emissions reduction targets and fill the gap left by dwindling conventional fuel sources? With domestic wind power capacity doubling between 2011 and 2013 to roughly 10.5 gigawatts (GW), the United Kingdom has the third-largest cumulative installed wind energy capacity in Europe behind Germany and Spain. In terms of annual installations, last year the UK was the second-largest EU market, installing 1.9 GW of new wind power capacity, while recent data has confirmed that the amount of wind power generated in the UK hit a record high in 2013/14. Indeed, high wind speeds, combined with increasing market maturity, competitive costs and investor confidence, has made the UK a hugely attractive location for wind development - as confirmed in the Ernst & Young Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Indices (RECAI), which ranked the UK number one in the world for offshore wind. With momentum gathering, several large-scale wind projects have been given the green light in the UK, including the East Anglia One offshore wind farm, which is expected to bring in £520m of investment and support almost 2,900 jobs, and the Green Port Hull project in East Yorkshire [windenergyupdate.com] » August 6 2014 - Climate change, economics, UNFCCC, Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), emission-reduction projects update. In July 17 new CDM projects were submitted. These projects were all hosted by India. In addition 1 project from China and 1 from India were resubmitted. 8 CDM projects got their registration action in July, bringing the total number of registered CDM project up to 7538, or 87% of the 8707 of the CDM projects that are alive. Only 1152 projects are still at validation and 17 have requested registration. For 1859 CDM projects the DOEs terminated validation, and for 267 the DOEs gave a negative validation. 270 projects were rejected by the EB, and 63 projects were withdrawn. July had a monthly issuance of 6.0 MCERs. The total issuance is now 1472 MCERs. The average issuance success is 89.6%. According to the "Annual compilation and accounting report for Annex B Parties under the Kyoto Protocol for 2013" FCCC/KP/CMP/2013/6 the total Voluntary Cancellation until the end of 2012 was 4.9 MCERS, and it could easily be the double now. Since the Voluntary Cancelations in the central registry is now 1.1 MCERs, the Voluntary cancelation in the national registries must be around 10 MCERs. However, it is secret how much was canceled for which projects in the national registries [cdmpipeline.org] » August 6 2014 - Oil, refinery emissions, EPA. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is holding its second and final hearing on proposed new standards for oil refinery emissions as part of a 60-day public comment period. The hearing Tuesday in suburban Houston is the result of a consent decree resolving a lawsuit against the EPA by Earthjustice and the Environmental Integrity Project on behalf of communities near oil refineries. The suit argued that the EPA was more than a decade late in reviewing and updating toxic air standards for oil refineries. New rules could be widely felt in Texas, home to 27 refineries, including eight in the Houston area. The standards include forcing oil refiners to monitor and publicly report the amount of cancer-causing benzene released into neighborhoods [pennenergy.com] » August 6 2014 - Energy, natural gas, geopolitics, Japan, Russia. Japan, dependent on imports for almost all its fuel, is pursuing natural gas projects and energy purchases in Russia despite new sanctions last week designed to punish Vladimir Putin and his associates. Japan won't be keen on deeper sanctions that would curb its access to gas, oil and coal from Russia, said Will Pearson, a London-based director of Eurasia Group, an energy and natural resources consultant. "Japanese firms are very interested in accessing Russian natural resources, thanks to their proximity," he said. Japan buys about 65 percent of the liquefied natural gas coming from Russia's Sakhalin-2, a 9.6 million metric ton-a-year project, according to Leigh Bolton, managing director of Holmwood Consulting Ltd., a Surrey, England-based energy consultant. Neither country will break the contracts based on sanctions, he said. Japan will freeze assets of individuals or groups involved in increasing instability in Ukraine and in the annexation of Crimea, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said July 28. Russia's foreign ministry said July 29 that Japan's new sanctions are "unfriendly, shortsighted" and will hurt bilateral relations. Japan continues to view Russia as an important, resource-rich country, a Tokyo-based official at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said, asking not to be identified due to internal policy [bloomberg.com] » August 5 2014 - Germany's energy transition (Energiewende), green industrial policy, paper. The challenge of Germany's energy transition (Energiewende) as the centrepiece of the country's green industrial policy. In addition to creating a sustainable foundation for Germany's energy supply and contributing to global climate change objectives, the Energiewende is intended to create a leading position for German industry in renewable energy technologies, boost innovative capabilities and create employment opportunities in future growth markets. The success in reaching these aims, and indeed the future of the entire concept, is fiercely debated. The paper aims to provide an up-to-date and balanced assessment of costs and benefits of renewable energy support measures. However, since costs and benefits can differ widely between targeted technologies, we compare solar photovoltaic (PV) and wind energy to illustrate critical elements of green industrial policy success. We find mixed evidence that Germany reaches its green industrial policy aims at reasonable costs. Wind energy seems to perform better against all policy objectives, while the solar PV sector has come under intense pressure from international competition. However, this is only a snapshot of current performance, and a dynamic and systemic perspective may nonetheless make the support of various renewable energy sources advisable [Pegels, Lutkenhorst, German Development Institute] » August 5 2014 - Unconventional resources, shale gas, tigth oil, IEA report. By 2019, tight oil supply outside the United States could reach 650,000 barrels per day, including 390,000 b/d from Canada, 100,000 b/d from Russia, and 90,000 b/d from Argentina, according to a new report from the International Energy Agency dated June 17. Several countries are trying to replicate the success the US has enjoyed with its shale and tight oil development. In a June 18 report on international shale, consulting firm Accenture said that Argentina's Neuquen Basin has the greatest potential for development of its unconventional resources, including shale gas and oil, outside North America. The report reviewed basins in Argentina, Australia, China, Mexico, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, and the United Kingdom. It examined each of these basins against eight "critical factors" required for the development of unconventional resources and analyzed their investment prospects. Of these basins, the largest number of test wells drilled to date (about 200) have been drilled in Argentina and China, where the technically recoverable shale gas resources are estimated at 802 trillion cubic feet and 1,115 tcf, respectively. By comparison, the US has an estimated 665 tcf [ogfj.com] » August 5 2014 - Natural gas, South Stream, geopolitics, Russia. Gazprom tightening links with Bosnia and Herzegovina. Led by Alexander Medvedev, Deputy Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee the Company's delegation paid a working visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina today. As part of the visit, meetings were held with the Government officials, namely Bakir Izetbegovic, Chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Zeljko Komsic, Member of the Presidency, Vjekoslav Bevanda, Chairman of the Council of Ministers, and Zlatko Lagumdzija, Vice Chairman of the Council of Ministers - Minister of Foreign Affairs. Alexander Medvedev also held talks with Boris Tucic, Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations of Bosnia and Herzegovina - Co-President of the Russian-Bosnian Committee on Trade and Economic Cooperation. The meetings were focused on the prospects for cooperation in the energy sector, particularly, the implementation of the South Stream project and the possible construction of a gas branch to Bosnia and Herzegovina. Following the talks, the parties highlighted the strategic importance of the South Stream infrastructure project for reinforcing the European energy security for many years to come. [south-stream.info] » August 5 2014 - Climate change, El Nino. The latest model runs have reduced the chance of an El Nino developing by late summer in the Northern Hemisphere. The probability of an El Nino forming during the current July-September season is slightly above 50%, down from about 65% a month ago. The reason for this reduction is that the above-normal sea surface temperature (SST) pattern in the tropical Pacific has weakened slightly since June. "About a month ago, the SST anomalies both near the International Date Line and off the coast of South America were stronger," explained IRI Chief Forecaster Tony Barnston. Last week, the Nino3.4 sea surface temperature anomaly was +0.3ºC, down from +0.4°C in early June. While the current +0.3°C anomaly indicates neutral ENSO conditions, model forecasts still predict a 75% chance of an El Nino developing by late autumn in the Northern Hemisphere. These probabilities are a slight decrease from IRI's June forecast and slightly lower than the joint NOAA Climate Prediction Center/IRI forecast issued on July 10 [iri.columbia.edu] » August 4 2014 - Nuclear, safety, US National Academy of Sciences report. A new congressionally mandated report from the National Academy of Sciences concludes that the overarching lesson learned from the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident is that nuclear plant licensees and their regulators must actively seek out and act on new information about hazards with the potential to affect the safety of nuclear plants. The committee that wrote the report examined the causes of the Japan accident and identified findings and recommendations for improving nuclear plant safety and offsite emergency responses to nuclear plant accidents in the U.S [...] Nuclear plant operators and regulators in the U.S. and other countries are taking useful actions to upgrade nuclear plant systems, operating procedures, and operator training in response to the Fukushima Daiichi accident. As the U.S. nuclear industry and its regulator, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (USNRC), implement these actions, the report recommends particular attention to improving the availability, reliability, redundancy, and diversity of specific nuclear plant systems: DC power for instrumentation and safety system control; tools for estimating real-time plant status during loss of power; reactor heat removal, reactor depressurization, and containment venting systems and protocols; instrumentation for monitoring critical thermodynamic parameters - for example temperature and pressure - in reactors, containments, and spent-fuel pools; hydrogen monitoring, including monitoring in reactor buildings, and mitigation; instrumentation for both onsite and offsite radiation and security monitoring; communications and real-time information systems. To further improve the resilience of U.S. nuclear plants, the report also recommends: The U.S. nuclear industry and the USNRC should give specific attention to improving resource availability and operator training, including training for developing and implementing ad hoc responses to deal with unanticipated complexities; The U.S. nuclear industry and USNRC should strengthen their capabilities for assessing risks from events that could challenge the design of nuclear plant structures and components and lead to a loss of critical safety functions. Part of this effort should focus on events that have the potential to affect large geographic regions and multiple nuclear plants, including earthquakes, tsunamis and other geographically extensive floods, and geomagnetic disturbances. USNRC should support these efforts by providing guidance on approaches and overseeing rigorous peer review. USNRC should further incorporate modern risk concepts into its nuclear safety regulations using these strengthened capabilities. USNRC and the U.S. nuclear industry must continuously monitor and maintain a strong safety culture and should examine opportunities to increase the transparency of and communication about their efforts to assess and improve nuclear safety. Until now, U.S. safety regulations have been based on ensuring plants are designed to withstand certain specified failures or abnormal events, or "design-basisevents" - such as equipment failures, loss of power, and inability to cool the reactor core - that could impair critical safety functions. However, four decades of analysis and experience have demonstrated that reactor core-damage risks are dominated by "beyond-design-basis events," the report says. The Fukushima Daiichi, Three Mile Island, and Chernobyl accidents were all initiated by beyond-design-basis events. The committee found that current approaches for regulating nuclear plant safety, which have been based traditionally on deterministic concepts such as the design-basis accident, are clearly inadequate for preventing core-melt accidents and mitigating their consequences. A more complete application of modern risk-assessment principles in licensing and regulation could help address this inadequacy and enhance the overall safety of all nuclear plants, present and future [nationalacademies.org] » August 4 2014 - Natural gas, EU. The European gas market is a disaster in terms of the weather, according to Anne-Sofie Corbeau, Senior Gas Expert at the International Energy Agency (IEA), who offered her insights on European gas flows to Natural Gas Europe at Flame in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. [...] "The demand has totally collapsed. I mean it was already on a downward trend, but with the weather effect across all Europe we are seeing in some cases demand being down by up to 20%. So this year from the demand perspective is going to be way below, probably at the level that we saw at the beginning of the year 2000. So we are back to one decade ago." She explains that the IEA has recently released (on June 10) its Medium-Term Market Report 2014 on natural gas, which she says covers the period from 2012 up to 2019. Given that European gas production is likely to continue to decline, she says that Europe will still have basically the same existing suppliers, "but on top of that very end of the period, of course, we have Azerbaijan increasing the supplies because Shah Deniz is hopefully going to arrive at that time, so that will be probably mostly be swallowed by Turkey, because Turkey is one of the few countries, where gas demand is going to generally increase." [naturalgaseurope.com] » August 4 2014 - Natural gas, geopolitics, LNG, Azerbaijan, Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan. The Central Asian basin is home to some of the largest natural gas deposits in the world. The export markets, however, are dominated by pipeline routes, leaving these countries hindered by opaque, long-term contracts as opposed to selling more of their gas on the international spot market with Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). So why hasn't LNG taken off in this part of the world? Firstly, LNG is often seen more as a risk than an opportunity. As investment continues to rise in LNG, the pressure on traditional producers is raised. Undiversified economies such as Azerbaijan, Russia, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan face long-term risks due to the rise of LNG. Nonetheless, I will argue here that the revolution of LNG will take time to impact these countries. These will be driven by questions of quantity, price, and contracts. In 2010 the total size of the global LNG market totaled 10 trillion cubic feet (tcf). This is a small number in comparison to the total market share of natural gas globally which totaled 113.0 tcf in 2010. The marginal impact will continue to have positive effects, providing points of leverage for importers with exporters when negotiating piped natural gas contracts [silkroadreporters.com] » August 1 2014 - Oil market, Saudi crudes. Saudi Aramco may cut the official selling price differentials for September-loading crude cargoes for export to Asia amid weak refining demand in the region, most of the traders said this week [...] Saudi Arabia's main export grades are Arab Light and Arab Medium, the August OSP differentials to the monthly average of Platts Oman and Dubai assessments for which were set at a premium of $2.05/barrel and 5 cents/b respectively. The formula, which typically uses the difference between Platts Dubai crude cash and swap assessments over the last five trading days of a month, is understood to play a role in setting the OSP differential for Arab Light. Some traders said they expected this formula to be abandoned for September-loading cargoes due to the underlying weakness in demand for crude oil from Asian refiners. This follows sluggish gasoil cracks, which in turn has led to low margins in recent weeks. In the last five working days of July, the spread between September cash Dubai and September Dubai swap averaged 77 cents/b, against an average of 69 cents/b in the last five days of June, according to Platts data. Traders said they expected cuts of around 20-30 cents/b in the differential for Arab Light. One trader even put the cut at 70 cents/b due to the weak demand currently. For Arab Medium, a trader said he expected a similar cut of around 25-30 cents/b. The cut in differential for Arab Heavy was likely to be less, around 15 cents/b, he added, citing some stability in the fuel oil crack to Dubai through July. The discount of FOB Singapore 180 CST high sulfur fuel oil cracks for one month forward against Dubai crude oil narrowed to an average of $10.60/b in July, compared with $10.76/b in June. The Arab Heavy OSP for August was set at a discount of $2.80/b to the average of Platts Oman and Dubai assessments [platts.com] » August 1 2014 - Oil market. The price of OPEC basket of twelve crudes stood at 103.57 dollars a barrel on Thursday, compared with $105.21 the previous day, according to OPEC Secretariat calculations. The new OPEC Reference Basket of Crudes (ORB) is made up of the following: Saharan Blend (Algeria), Girassol (Angola), Oriente (Ecuador), Iran Heavy (Islamic Republic of Iran), Basra Light (Iraq), Kuwait Export (Kuwait), Es Sider (Libya), Bonny Light (Nigeria), Qatar Marine (Qatar), Arab Light (Saudi Arabia), Murban (UAE) and Merey (Venezuela) [opec.org] » August 1 2014 - Oil, geopolitics, risky areas, oil majors. The rising tide of political instability around the world is negatively affecting the some of the oil industry's largest companies, and several are considering withdrawing their investments in risky areas. Violence, government turmoil, sabotage, and economic sanctions are presenting serious challenges to the oil majors, after years of expanding deeper and deeper into some of the least developed parts of the world. The Wall Street Journal wrote on July 27 about several companies that are pivoting away from troubled regions, and moving towards industrialized countries - willing to assume the higher cost of operating in richer nations as the price for a more stable investment climate. ExxonMobil is no stranger to these problems. It inaugurated its $19 billion Papua New Guinea liquefied natural gas facility earlier this year, which is now running at full capacity and delivering LNG to clients in Asia. However, costs reached 25 percent higher than originally projected, owing to "poor infrastructure, rough terrain, and angry locals," as the Wall Street Journal put it. ExxonMobil's problems in Russia could far outweigh its difficulties in Papua New Guinea. The company is working with Rosneft, Russia's state-owned oil company, and has billions of dollars tied up in multiple oil and gas projects in Siberia, the Arctic, and the Russian Far East [oilprice.com] » July 31 2014 - Oil, MIddle east, Iraq, Syria, ISIS, geopoltics. The Islamic State Is the Newest Petrostate. The Islamic State, the world's richest terror group, is reaping millions of dollars a day from selling stolen oil to shady businessmen across the Middle East. The militants who have conquered broad swaths of Iraq and Syria are turning to good old-fashioned crime - oil smuggling, in this case - to underwrite its main line of work. The money it can earn from illicit oil sales further bolsters the group's status as one of the richest self-funded terrorist outfits in the world, dependent not on foreign governments for financial support but on the money its reaped from kidnappings and bank robberies. The group has also managed to steal expensive weaponry that the United States had left for the Iraqi military, freeing it from the need to spend its own money to buy such armaments. But even the millions of dollars a day that the Islamic State seems to be raking in by trucking stolen oil across porous borders is not enough to meet the hefty obligations created by the group's own headlong expansion. Taking over big chunks of territory, as in eastern Syria and in northern Iraq, could also leave it forced to take on the sorts of expensive obligations - such as paying salaries, collecting the trash, and keeping the lights on - usually reserved for governments [foreignpolicy.com] » July 31 2014 - Climate change, science, environmental and socio-economical effects. The effects of the global changes related to rapid modification in climate patterns are so heterogeneous, complex and vast that understanding all climate-change related environmental and socio-economical effects is one of the largest efforts in the science world. A rapidly changing climate will undoubtedly have consequences on human well-being and health: people will be forced to adapt to new temperature averages, new weather extremes, as well as different weather and climate patterns (the length of seasons and pollen seasons, higher rain-intensity, drought). Although climate patterns have previously been relatively stable, in the next 50 years they are likely to change at an increasing speed. The major public health organizations of the world say that climate change is a critical public health problem. Climate change makes many existing diseases and conditions worse, and may also contribute to the introduction of new pests and pathogens into new regions or communities. As the planet warms, oceans expand, sea levels rise, floods and droughts become more frequent and intense, and heat waves and hurricanes become more severe. The most vulnerable people - children, the elderly, the poor, and those with underlying health conditions - are at increased health risks due to climate change. Furthermore, our health care infrastructure will undergo new increasing stress. Science data show that action must be taken [climatescienceandpolicy.eu] » July 31 2014 - Oil, Russia, US-EU sanctions. A Norwegian drill rig owner is supplying Russian oil giant OAO Rosneft (ROSN) and Exxon Mobil Corp. with the kind of high technology that will be barred under U.S. and European Union sanctions taking effect as soon as tomorrow. Though the EU said it will deny export licenses for equipment intended for deep-water and arctic oil production, Rosneft's six rig leases from Seadrill Ltd. (SDRL)'s North Atlantic Drilling (NADL) unit, signed July 29, appear to thwart sanctions intended to block Russian oil companies from obtaining Western drilling expertise. Seadrill's unit can proceed with the Rosneft contracts, worth $4.25 billion, because they were signed before the sanctions take effect, said Rune Magnus Lundetrae, Seadrill's chief financial officer. The drilling contracts show how the latest round of international sanctions may have only minimal impact on Russia's oil industry, at least in the short-term [bloomberg.com] » July 30 2014 - Nuclear industry, status report. "What will be the impact of the Fukushima nuclear accident on the global nuclear industry?" [...] The answer is, of course, "no one really knows." But, it is an unavoidable question that needs to be explored, even though we cannot predict the future. More than three years later, we hear both positive and negative views on the future of nuclear industry [...] Without deeper understanding of what happened in the past and of what is happening now, a wise decision for the future action cannot be made. The World Nuclear Industry Status Report (WNISR) 2014 is a perfect reference for that purpose. There are other authoritative references on the global nuclear energy situation, such as the ones by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the World Nuclear Association (WNA) etc., or some dark projections are made by citizen organizations against nuclear energy. All reports are useful, of course, but it is critically important to understand the past and current situations without bias for a healthy public policy debate. Unfortunately, not only policy makers but also the general public are confused by arguments and ideologies imposed by both pro-and anti-nuclear organizations. This is not healthy [...] One important innovation that The World Nuclear Industry Status Report made this year is to establish a new category, called "Long Term Outage (LTO)." Its definition is very clear and empirical: "A nuclear power reactor is considered in LTO if it has not generated any power in the entire previous calendar year and in the first semester of the current calendar year." [worldnuclearreport.org] » July 30 2014 - Renewable, solar energy, Csis conference, US. Solar Energy: Adoption and Marketability. Solar energy is frequently lauded as a potential game changer in the energy landscape and with good reason: it is the fastest growing source of renewable electricity globally (albeit from a small base), and its average cost is quickly falling, with the cost per watt installed having declined over 17 percent in 2011 alone. Solar is now cost competitive without subsidy in a number of places throughout the world. Yet challenges still remain. Obstacles in areas ranging from financing to installation to grid integration to cost all indicate solar energy's persistent dependence on innovation to launch it to its prospective more prominent role in the energy landscape. The CSIS Energy and National Security Program is pleased to host Ethan Zindler, Head of Policy Analysis at Bloomberg New Energy Finance and CSIS Energy Program Senior Associate, Yuri Horwitz, CEO of Sol Systems, Elaine Ulrich, Solar Energy Technologies Program, Acting Team Lead for SunShot Balance of Systems-Soft Costs, U.S. Department of Energy to discuss innovation and its effects on the adoption of solar energy. The session, part of the Energy Program's Frontier Energy Series, will focus on recent technological developments in the sector as well as changes in the market and policy environments that may together determine its market potential in the coming years. 10:00 AM - 11:15 AM, Tuesday, August 5th, 2014 [csis.org] » July 30 2014 - Energy, Co2 and Hydrogen for chemical energy storage, E.ON. The 3rd Carbon Dioxide Utilisation Summit, Bremen on 22nd & 23rd October 2014, Peter Radgen, Head Of Innovation Center Carbon Capture & Storage, E.ON, presentation on "Catalytic CO2 conversion to energy carriers": The role of Co2 and Hydrogen for chemical energy storage; SNG, Methanol and DME; Technology status, economics and current experiences; Commercial availability of technology will be considered, along with market opportunities, economic factors including environmental incentives and carbon market and barriers to implementation [wplgroup.com] » July 30 2014 - Oil, energy technologies, sanctions, Ukraine, Russia, US. US to restrict exports of energy technologies to Russia for oil projects. The US on Tuesday said it will impose restrictions on exports of US energy technologies to Russia for use in deepwater, Arctic offshore or shale oil projects, as part of a sanctions packaged aimed at punishing Moscow for further escalating the crisis in Ukraine. The export restrictions dovetail with similar measures the EU is expected to impose on Russia later this week. Under the sanctions, US companies wishing to export such technology to Russia would need to receive permission from the US Department of Commerce [platts.com] » July 30 2014 - Climate change, Fifth Assessment Report, indirect impacts from climate change, tourism, paper. A new briefing distils the key findings from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Assessment Report for the tourism sector: The sector is exposed to numerous direct and indirect impacts from climate change. Sea-level rise and more acidic oceans will threaten coastal tourism infrastructure and natural attractions. Rising temperatures will shorten winter sport seasons and threaten the viability of some ski resorts. Climate change will lead to changes in biodiversity, affecting eco-tourism. Adaptation options exist, but many are likely to add costs and offer only short-term relief. Locations at risk can invest in more resilient infrastructure. However, under scenarios that see high emissions, and higher temperatures, questions exist as to whether adaptation is possible at all. The contribution of tourism to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is rising and is projected to grow 130% between 2005 and 2035. There is considerable uncertainty about how tourists will respond to the effects of climate change. Academic research provides much detail on likely impacts, and on possible changes in tourism demand. These changes are likely to create opportunities at both the destination and business level [cisl.cam.ac.uk] » July 29 2014 - energy, natural gas, Ukraine, Russia, UE. Would Sanctions on Russian Energy Work? The downing of flight MA17 has prompted calls for further sanctions on Russia targeted at its energy sector. Russia is the world's largest exporter of natural gas and second largest exporter of oil which together account for near 60% of its export earnings. Gazprom supplies 30% of Europe's gas - some 15% via Ukraine - and has warned exports will be affected if sanctions are expanded. But in its payments row with Ukraine Gazprom has already stated that it will "only be supplying the exact amount of gas requested by our European partners to the Russia-Ukraine border". Considering that Ukraine itself needs to draw gas supplies from the same pipelines, Europe is already threatened with gas shortages. But Russia itself also faces challenges, namely in maintaining – let alone growing – production as existing fields deplete. In 2000, it drilled 3,770 wells and production was some 17 million boe/day. By 2013 it was drilling some 7,500 wells and achieved a production of 23 million boe/day – well numbers up 99% for a production gain of 35%. On this basis at DW we forecast it will need to be drilling over 8,800 wells in 2020 and in increasingly more difficult areas, hence the Exxon rig sailing to location in the Russian arctic [naturalgaseurope.com] » July 29 2014 - Oil, BP, financial spike, upstream projects. British oil giant BP has reported a 34% rise in year-on-year profits for its second quarter of the year. The financial spike was driven by increased production and higher oil and gas sales prices. Underlying replacement cost profit for the quarter was $3.6billion, compared to $2.7billion in 2013. The figure was 13% higher than the $3.2billion result for the first quarter of 2014. Increased production from new and recently started higher-margin upstream projects and increased processing of heavy crude oil by the newlymodernised Whiting refinery contributed to an operating cash flow of $7.9billion in the second quarter, the major said in a statement. Total operating cash flow for the first half of the year was $16.1billion [energyvoice.com] » July 29 2014 - Oil market, Opec, US, Russia, Canada. The global price of oil has been stable as never before - despite some of the world's biggest disruptions to oil supply. While key members of the Organisation of Producing and Exporting Countries (OPEC) - Iran, Libya and Syria have faced major supply disruptions since the Arab Spring in 2011, three non-OPEC countries - the United States, Canada and Russia – have experienced remarkably high growth. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) also reached record production. These losses, from Africa and the Middle East, were matched almost exactly by additional supplies, particularly from the US's fracking boom. The net effect has produced a stable market, according to BP's latest Statistical Review of World Energy. Without the disruptions, the oil prices would have tumbled, while without the surge in US production they would have soared. The past three years has seen the least price volatility since oil prices were no longer regulated in 1970. But this may not last for long, warned BP's Chief Economist Christof Ruehl. The oil market was 'eerily calm', said Mr Ruehl who warned that the period of price stability could be unsettled by the chaos in Iraq. Iranian oil production continues to decline as a result of sanctions and lack of investment and technology. In 2013, oil production of 3.5 Million barrels per day (Mb/d) was six per cent lower than in 2012. A year after the 2011 civil war, Libya exceeded expectations and rapidly ramped its oil production back up by more than 1Mb/d. In 2012, oil production averaged 1.5Mb/d. That recovery, however, was short-lived. In 2013, security challenges and political rivalries between different groups vying for control of local oil and gas resources and power in Libya resulted in a significant fall in oil production and exports. In 2013, oil production in Libya fell by almost 35 per cent compared with 2012 [worldreview.info] » July 29 2014 - Oil, Libya war. A fire from fuel tanks near Tripoli's international airport that has been ignited by rocket attacks is out of control as clashes between rival militias have resumed in the area, the National Oil Company says. Six million litres of fuel were set ablaze by a rocket late on Sunday, with a second depot hit on Monday. "It is out of control. The second tank has been hit and the firefighters have withdrawn from the site as the fighting has resumed in the area", National Oil Company spokesman Mohamed Al-Harrai told Reuters on Monday. "The situation is very dangerous after a second fire broke out at another petroleum depot," the government said, warning of a "disaster with unforeseeable consequences". The Libyan government earlier appealed for "international help" fighting the blaze amid heavy fighting that the Libyan government said has killed more than 150 people in Tripoli and Benghazi during two weeks of fighting [aljazeera.com] » July 29 2014 - Energy, economic impacts, Clean power plan, CO2, study, EPA, US. The CSIS Energy and National Security Program and the Rhodium Group (RHG) release the preliminary results from their study on the economic and energy system impacts of the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed 111(d) rule – the Clean Power Plan - regulating carbon dioxide from existing power plants. The results from the study are compared with the economic impacts in the EPA's regulatory impact analysis, highlighting areas where the modeling results diverge [csis.org] » July 29 2014 - Geopolitics. Discussion with Dr. Henry Kissinger highlighting his latest book, World Order. Grounded in Dr. Kissinger's deep study of history and experience as national security advisor and secretary of state, World Order guides readers on a tour of the globe and offers Dr. Kissinger's analysis of the twenty first century's ultimate challenge: how to build a shared international order in a world of divergent historic perspectives, violent conflict, and ideological extremism [csis.org] » July 28 2014 - Climate change, Antartic sea ice, processing data satellite, IPCC's AR, EU, US. New research suggests that Antarctic sea ice may not be expanding as fast as previously thought. A team of scientists say much of the increase measured for Southern Hemisphere sea ice could be due to a processing error in the satellite data. The findings are published in The Cryosphere, a journal of the European Geosciences Union (EGU) (A spurious jump in the satellite record: has Antarctic sea ice expansion been overestimated?). Arctic sea ice is retreating at a dramatic rate. In contrast, satellite observations suggest that sea ice cover in the Antarctic is expanding - albeit at a moderate rate and that sea ice extent has reached record highs in recent years. What's causing Southern Hemisphere sea ice cover to increase in a warming world has puzzled scientists since the trend was first spotted. Now, a team of researchers has suggested that much of the measured expansion may be due to an error, not previously documented, in the way satellite data was processed. "This implies that the Antarctic sea ice trends reported in the IPCC's AR4 and AR5 [the 2007 and 2013 assessment reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] can't both be correct: our findings show that the data used in one of the reports contains a significant error. But we have not yet been able to identify which one contains the error," says lead-author Ian Eisenman of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at University of California San Diego in the US. Reflecting the scientific literature at the time, the AR4 reported that Antarctic sea ice cover remained more or less constant between 1979 and 2005. On the other hand, recent literature and the AR5 indicate that, between 1979 and 2012, Southern Hemisphere sea ice extent increased at a rate of about 16.5 thousand square kilometres per year. Scientists assumed the difference to be a result of adding several more years to the observational record [egu.eu] » July 28 2014 - Energy transition, low-carbon energy system, innovation, scientific advances, material, chemical processes. Discussions on the energy transition usually focus on the economics of renewables and cost comparisons with fossil fuels and other energy sources. What is usually ignored, are innovations in materials and chemical processes, which are nonetheless increasingly important as agents of change in the energy sector [...] Basic research has played and continues to play a central role in the evolution of the energy sector. Historically, fundamental science has driven the development of new, innovative technologies that triggered disruptive changes in industries, economies and societies. To achieve the goal of global transition to a sustainable and low-carbon energy system, we need new scientific advances, which will solve existing technological barriers in producing, storing and using clean energy. Researchers at MIT have developed a new device called an "artificial leaf" that can convert energy from sunlight to electrical energy or fuel, imitating the photosynthetic process of plants. This “artificial photosynthesis” could be described more accurately as the solar-powered electrolysis of water. The leaf is a silicon cell that uses energy from the sun to electrochemically split water into hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen is collected and can be either used as a fuel or stored in a fuel cell [...] In 2013, an international group of researchers from the US and Europe made another leap forward by creating the first computer-designed superconductor. They developed a new iron tetraboride superconductor based on advanced electronic structure computations. Until that time, all superconducting materials had been discovered experimentally and often accidentally. This new approach opens up a whole new path to predicting and designing new superconducting materials. The development of new advanced superconductors could bring tremendous changes to the entire energy infrastructure. Superconducting wires and tapes can carry 100 to 200 times more electric current than conventional wires. Higher-performance and lower-cost superconductors would increase power transmission capability and grid reliability, reduce transmission losses and cost, enable the effective incorporation of renewable energy, and through that and greater efficiency, reduce greenhouse emissions. Superconductors could also increase the efficiency and performance of practically all electrical equipment and devices [...] Professor Angela Belcher and her colleagues at MIT decided back in 2009 to take different elements from the periodic table, find their corresponding DNA sequence and then code for corresponding protein sequences to build structures with certain properties. The scientists used a simple, benign virus. When a virus attacks a cell, it injects its genetic material inside. As a result, instead of performing its normal functions, the cell starts making copies of the virus. By inserting a specific gene into the virus, the researchers spurred the virus to produce a protein coat that binds with compounds such as cobalt oxides and iron phosphates. The scientists could then grow nanowires with these compounds, which they used in an electrode for a prototype lithium-ion bio-battery [...] Ever since it was discovered, graphene has been hailed as a natural wonder of the materials world, destined to transform a number of industries, including cleantech. Graphene can increase both the energy capacity and charge rate of rechargeable batteries. It can dramatically improve highperformance superconductors for energy storage. It may lead to a promising approach for making solar cells that are inexpensive, lightweight and flexible. Multifunctional graphene mats are promising substrates for catalytic systems and fuel cells. Graphene also shows potential in low-cost water filtration and desalination. It can be used in combination with other crystals for an almost limitless number of applications. In 2013, the European Commission announced a €1 billion investment into graphene research and development that will be spread over 10 years. The aim of this huge funding initiative - one of the largest-ever European research projects between academia and industry - is to help push graphene from the research lab to the marketplace. "No one can accurately predict what the future holds for us," said Professor Geim, now chairman of the Graphene Flagship project, at its launch. "But with so many potential technologies that have already been suggested for graphene, even statistically the chances are sky high that graphene will bring around some really important future technologies. Nevertheless, one needs to remember that it takes typically 40 years for a new material to move from academia to consumer shelves […] Our expectations should remain realistic." [Denis Kuznetsov, energypost.eu] » July 25 2014 - Energy, water, land, DOE report. About the inextricable link between the energy and water sectors, land is a third component in this nexus that's starting to gain recognition – and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is taking note. In fact, they recently released a 250plus page report on the energy-water nexus with accompanying visuals to illustrate the connection between these three sectors. Sankey diagram - The primary graphic used to illustrate the connection between these three resources is the Sankey diagram. At first glance, it may make your head spin, but Sankey diagrams are commonly used to visualize energy transfers (although they are also used for other things, such as migration flows). For example, the Energy Information Agency (EIA) uses Sankey diagrams in its Annual Energy Reports to illustrate the production and consumption of different energy sources. Since the width of the arrows corresponds with quantity, the viewer can easily see where the biggest impacts lie. In this case, it's clear to see which energy resources are gulping down our water [Kate Zerrenner, blogs.edf.org] » July 25 2014 - Renewable energy, US, British Columbia, Germany. Could BC Become a 100% Renewable Energy Region? They're doing it in Germany: 140 regions of the country have set a goal to become 100% renewable energy regions, covering 30% of Germany's land and 26% of her people. Could British Columbia do the same? The climate emergency warnings are dire, and the need is great. When viewed historically, it is clear that the age of fossil fuels represents only the tiniest blip of time. [...] Here in BC, 80% of our greenhouse gas emissions-the direct cause of climate change-come from burning fossil fuels, so it's clear that a transition is needed. So let's embark on a mental exercise to see what it might involve. Would the transition away from fossil fuels fatally weaken BC's economy, as some conservative thinkers fear? Worse yet, would it drag us back to the dark ages? Are the fear-mongers right? These are important questions to address [bcsea.org] » July 25 2014 - Oil, forecasts, economy. World oil production, dealing with an unstable situation. The standard way to make forecasts of almost anything is to look at recent trends and assume that this trend will continue, at least for the next several years. With world oil production, the trend in oil production looks fairly benign, with the trend slightly upward. If we look at the situation more closely, however, we see that we are dealing with an unstable situation. The top ten crude oil producing countries have a variety of problems. Middle Eastern producers are particularly at risk of instability, thanks to the advances of ISIS and the large number of refugees moving from one country to another. Relatively low oil prices are part of the problem as well. The cost of producing oil is rising much more rapidly than its selling price [...] In fact, the selling price of oil hasn't really risen since 2011, because citizens can't afford higher oil prices with their stagnating wages. The fact that the selling price of oil remains flat tends to lead to political instability in oil exporters because they cannot collect the taxes required to provide programs needed to pacify their people (food and fuel subsidies, water provided by desalination, jobs programs, etc.) without very high oil prices. Low oil prices also make the plight of oil exporters with declining oil production worse, including Russia, Mexico, and Venezuela. Many people when looking at future oil supply concern themselves with the amount of reserves (or resources) remaining, or perhaps Energy Return on Energy Invested (EROEI). None of these is really the right limit, however. The limiting factor is how long our current networked economic system can hold together. There are lots of oil reserves left, and the EROEI of Middle Eastern oil is generally quite high (that is, favorable). But instability could still bring the system down. So could popping of the US oil supply bubble through higher interest rates or more stringent lending rules [oilprice.com] » July 24 2014 - Energy, electricity generating palnts, UK, coal, capacity market, The UK government's new capacity market, which will support electricity generating plants that can be switched on to deal with shortages and so help to prevent black-outs, will prolong the lives of some of the country's coal fleet. These coal-fired power stations have an average age of 42 years and produce higher carbon emissions per MWh produced than other generation technologies. This finding, in a research report published by Bloomberg New Energy Finance for its clients this week, means that the policy will do little in its early years to encourage investment in new gas-fired plants, or demand response arrangements to reduce electricity demand at peak times. Seb Henbest, head of Europe, Middle East and Africa at Bloomberg New Energy Finance, said: "This message from our analysis will disappoint those who have been hoping that the capacity market would immediately pave the way for new gas-fired capacity in the UK, and also those who have been calling for the rapid retirement of coal-fired power plants." Last month, the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition published the final design for the capacity market, which is being brought in to ensure that the UK has enough available power capacity to prevent black-outs during periods of high demand, such as winter cold snaps. The capacity market received state aid approval from the European Commission on Wednesday 23 July. This new market will involve auctions, with the winning bids receiving payments for keeping capacity available in case of need. The first auction will be held on 9 December 2014 and will cover electricity supply in 2018-19. There will be a second auction round in December 2017. The report, based on detailed analysis of the current UK generating fleet, the cost for new power stations and demand response services, and the outlook for power prices, found that eligible legacy capacity going into the December 2014 auction will be 56.2GW, more than enough to meet the government's target level for capacity in 2018-19 of 53.3GW [about.bnef.com] » July 24 2014 - Climate change, carbon tax, emission trading system, Australia, New Zeland. Australia disappointed carbon market advocates last week when its national legislature voted to scrap the country's carbon tax and planned emissions trading system (ETS). The AU$23 carbon tax incentivized significant pre-compliance offset purchases in 2012. Ecosystem Marketplace's State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets 2013 report accounted for five million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e) in offset transactions that did not see a repeat in this year's report. Australia's offset market will likely be replaced with an "Emissions Reduction Fund," which would serve as a reverse auction for the government to buy from competing sellers. Having already opted out of the Kyoto Protocol's second phase, New Zealand is contemplating going the way of its Oceania neighbor and abolishing its ETS. The future of the NZ market rests with a general election in September. If the ruling National Party retains the power to form a government, then no change to the system is expected. The speculation has pressured prices on the NZ ETS over the last month. However, there is life after Kyoto as Japan's J-Credit System shows. The system combines the two prior offset standards: the Japan Domestic Clean Development Mechanism program that offered local certification of businesses' emissions reductions, and Japan's Verified Emissions Reduction System, which verified domestic project offsets [ecosystemmarketplace.com] » July 24 2014 - Climate change, energy, California drought. America gets pummeled by the California drought A punch to the gut ... California is one of the largest agricultural producers in the country. In fact, the Central Valley is responsible for almost 25 percent of the food we eat. Since this is the third-most severe drought on record, farmers are finding other ways to irrigate their crops. Tapping into the groundwater supply seems to be the only way out of this mess. Fortune Magazine explains the situation, "Direct costs to agriculture are expected to reach $1.5 billion, including revenue losses of $1 billion and $500 million in additional water-pumping costs. This net loss totals about 3% of the state's total agricultural value." Coincidentally, California is the only state that has no groundwater management plan in place, which will only make the situation worse as the drought is expected to continue throughout next year. And a jab to the kneecaps. With a low blow to one of the state's most significant sources of energy, hydroelectricity, residents better prepare for a boost in their electric bills. "We're going to have to purchase more replacement power on the open market - and that is generally more expensive - in order to meet all of our customers' needs," stated Lynsey Paolo, spokeswoman for Pacific Gas and Electric Company. "We've been trying to manage our reservoirs in a way that we're keeping a reasonable supply so that we'll have low-cost hydro available, but the overall impact is that there will be an impact on rates." The state is offsetting in-state hydro power with an increase in renewable energy, gas power plants, and out-of-state imports. We don't know how long this drought will last, so looking to different relief efforts is a must. Taking a proactive role in conserving energy, limiting greenhouse gases, participating in demand response programs, and preserving water supplies will put us on the road to recovery [yourenergyblog.com] » July 24 2014 - Oil, natural gas, presalt production, Brazil. Petrobras's June oil production in Brazil averaged 2,008,000 b/d, up 1.7% from May's production of 1.975 MMb/d. Including production operated by Petrobras for its partners in Brazil, the volume reached 2,135,000 b/d, up 2.1% from last month's production of 2,092, b/d. In June, presalt production in the Santos and Campos basins increased 6.7% from May, with a volume of 477,000 b/d, setting another monthly record. A new presalt daily production record of 520,000 b/d was established on June 24. These volumes include the production operated by Petrobras for its partners. These records are a consequence of new projects in the presalt layer, as well as the high production levels of the wells from Lula and Sapinhoa' fields. Another important record in the presalt was the conclusion of the first well drilled and completed in just 92 days, which occurred on June 30 in well 8-LL-38D-RJS, in the area of Lula/Iracema Sul. Another highlight of this month was the startup of the natural gas flow produced in platforms P-58, at the north area of Parque das Baleias, in the Campos basin presalt, and the FPSO Cidade de Paraty, at Lula Nordeste area, Santos basin presalt. The gas flow to the Cacimbas (P-58) and Caraguatatuba (Cidade de Paraty) gas treatment units allowed not only the growth in gas production, but also the growth in liquids produced, as presalt's gas is richer. The startup of the gas from these platforms allowed Petrobras to reach a record of domestic natural gas delivery to the market on July 14 with a volume of 48.1 MMcm (1,698 MMcf). The company's oil and natural gas production in Brazil in the same month was 2,426,000 boe/d, a 1.6% rise from May (2,387,000 boe/d). Including the production operated by Petrobras for its partner companies in Brazil, the volume reached 2,610,000 boe/d, up 2% from May's production of 2,558,000 boe/d [offshore-mag] » July 23 2014 - Climate policy, India, Paris climate negotiating session [Navroz Dubash, senior fellow and Lavanya Rajamani, professor at Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi]. India faces a challenging context before the next landmark climate negotiating session, planned for December 2015 in Paris. While exhuming the past can be illustrative, and even entertaining, it is now perhaps time to look forward and anticipate how a principled approach, strategic vision, political acumen and technical expertise can be better combined in India’s negotiating approach. What should we be preparing for between now and Paris? Unsettling political calculations. First, by all accounts the U.S. and China are on the brink of a bilateral understanding on climate change that will completely unsettle existing political calculations. The U.S. has recently unveiled its most ambitious effort (albeit by its rather low standard of past effort) to domestically address carbon emissions, and China has sent out signals about capping its emissions in the near future. A potential shift in China's position toward emission caps will be tectonic. Most notably, without China, India's current favoured group of allies, the 'like-minded developing countries', will be reduced to an assorted assemblage of oil producers such as Saudi Arabia and Venezuela and some Latin American countries such as Bolivia, Cuba and Ecuador. India will be making cause with countries that many climate vulnerable nations view as obstructionist in climate talks. In reality, India is both a highly vulnerable country, and also a large emerging economy. Our alliances need to account for this national context, and consider the likelihood of a U.S.-China rapprochement before Paris. Second, the negotiations toward Paris are premised on preparation by countries of 'intended nationally determined contributions' to be submitted in early 2015. There is a reassuring recognition that these contributions will be tailored to national circumstances and constraints and backed by a national processes that take into account domestic priorities and plans. Many countries, including our BASIC partners, have launched national consultations to determine what their contributions should be [thehindu.com] » July 23 2014 - Natural Gas, South Stream pipeline, Bulgaria, Gazprom. The state-owned Bulgarian Energy Holding (BEH) will approve the EUR 620 m loan it was offered by Russia's Gazprom for the construction of South Stream in Bulgaria during a meeting currently held after 17.00 h EET, Capital Daily reported. The news comes as the government of Plamen Oresharski is expected to resign on Tuesday, the resignation being set for parliament voting on Thursday. The EUR 620 m is meant to help BEH finance its participation in the project. The amount however would not be enough for BEH to cover its 15-percent share, as the contract with Stroytransgaz Consortium is estimated at EUR 3.8 m rather than the initial EUR 3.5 m, thus obliging BEH to put EUR 68 m more of own financing on the table, Capital wrote. BEH will pay back the loan with the future dividends from the pipeline [naturalgaseurope.com] » July 23 2014 - Oil, tar sands, WTO, EU, FQD. Since its inception in 2009, the Fuel Quality Directive (FQD), a European Union regulation aimed at reducing the climate impact of transport fuels, has been attacked by powerful lobby interests that do not want the EU to take action to curtail the use of particularly greenhouse gas intensive fossil fuels. While the FQD aims to reduce the climate impact of fossil fuels by addressing all sources of high carbon oil (for example oil shale, coal-to-liquid or tar sands), the oil industry has waged an extensive lobby campaign to portray the FQD as unfairly discriminating against one specific oil source: tar sands. The Canadian government has been acting as dirty oil's advocate since 2009, putting pressure on the EU through trade negotiations and threatening to file a complaint at the World Trade Organisation (WTO). But recently the pressure on the EU to weaken the Fuel Quality Directive has increased notably, with oil industry groups taking the lead on lobbying efforts. And oil companies and refiners have found a new lobby vehicle to attack the FQD: the ongoing negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). The EU and the US are currently the world's largest trading blocs and, if agreed, the TTIP would be the world's largest free-trade agreement. EU and US negotiators have repeatedly stated that they aim to make the TTIP a "gold standard" agreement, or a blueprint for future trade agreements. It is therefore of critical importance that the agreement does not undermine social or environmental objectives or the ability of governments to tackle climate change [greenpeace.org] » July 22 2014 - Oil market, Ukraine, Gaza, Geopolitcs. The downed jetliner in Ukraine and Israel's Gaza offensive blindsided speculators who had cut bullish crude bets on the assumption that risks to supply were diminishing. Crude futures rose after money managers slashed net-long positions in West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark grade, by 15 percent in the seven days ended July 15, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission said. It was the biggest drop in bullish wagers since March 2013 [bloomberg.com] » July 22 2014 - Climate change, climate negotiations, special report. Crossroads in climate negotiations when adaptation and mitigation meet in Bonn. During the Bonn session in June, it seemed that Parties became more accepting of the synergies and linkages between mitigation and adaptation. However, identification of the technical details and development of modalities concerning the relationships between mitigation and adaptation has not yet been considered within the UNFCCC. Many Parties have mentioned that such information would be useful. Recognition of the links between adaptation and mitigation has been argued for inclusion in the Paris Agreement and it can be expected that the discussion will be ongoing into the October ADP inter-sessional (ADP 2-6) and COP20 in Lima [forestsclimatechange.org] » July 21 2014 - Oil, upstream activity. Oil services provider Schlumberger sees a "strong" outlook for upstream activity in the second half of 2014, with its international businesses expanding in all geographic markets and North America offering growth opportunities, particularly in onshore shale plays, its CEO said Friday. As the global economy continues to recover, the global oil market is relatively tight, although solid demand has been offset in part by pockets of supply uncertainty due to political events in parts of the world, Paal Kibsgaard said during a second-quarter earnings call. But in general, Brent crude that is holding above $100/barrel should encourage investment in oil-directed activity as US production continues to grow, Kibsgaard said. In 2014, "we continue to expect well-related E&P investment levels to grow north of 6%, driven by more development than production-focused activities," he said. Meanwhile, "exploration spending will be largely flattish in 2014 driven by lower seismic spending as international oil companies focus on free cash flow generation." [platts.com] » July 21 2014 - Natural gas, South Stream, Russia, Italy, UE. Russia is mounting a major publicity campaign in Europe for its proposed South Stream gas pipeline in an apparent effort to reassure its EU customers that they can rely on Russian gas for the indefinite future. Meanwhile, Russia is working on an alternative that it says will satisfy everyone, except perhaps Ukraine: the South Stream pipeline, which would bypass Ukraine, instead crossing the Black Sea into Central and Southern Europe. On July 17, a major Italian newspaper, La Repubblica, published a full-page article based on information from Russia Beyond The Headlines (RBTH), an agency of the Russian government. The article bore the headline, "South Stream On Its Way to Going Ahead." The article is part of a broader Russian public relations effort elsewhere in Europe promoting South Stream as a source of 63 billion cubic meters of gas to EU customers per year, meeting 15 percent of Europe’s current needs. The article in La Repubblica said many countries have agreed to provide transit rights for the pipeline. Nevertheless, the European Commission has suspended approval of the project and urged member countries to freeze work on the pipeline until Russia and Ukraine resolve their differences. [oilprice.com] » July 21 2014 - Natural gas, South Stream, Russia, UE, Serbia. South Stream has entered into a contract with Centrgaz for the construction of the Serbian section of the South Stream gas pipeline. Centrgaz will focus on design, procurement, construction and installation activities, personnel training, and commissioning of South Stream in Serbia. The contract stipulates involving Serbian subcontractors in carrying out certain operations. South Stream is Gazprom's global infrastructure project aimed at constructing a gas pipeline with a capacity of 63 Bcm/a across the Black Sea to Southern and Central Europe for the purpose of diversifying the natural gas export routes and eliminating transit risks. First gas will be supplied via South Stream in late 2015. The gas pipeline will reach its full capacity in 2018 [pipelinesinternational.com] » July 20 2014 - Renewable energy, climate change adaptation, Africa, funding. The Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund, third round of the Renewable Energy and Adaptation to Climate Technologies Funding Window (REACT). REACT is open to business ideas based on low cost renewable energy and solutions (technologies, products, services) that can help rural people adapt to climate change. The round has a US$20 million funding availability, for profit-private sector companies may apply for grants and interest free loans. Companies may be from anywhere around the world, but the projects must be implemented in one or more countries of the East African Community (Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda). The third round of REACT particularly encourages applications targeted at arid and semi-arid areas of East Africa. REACT provides patient risk capital (grants, interest free loans) to businesses with potentially transformative climate change solutions and which seek to make a profit, go to scale and to have a deep social impact. [aecfafrica.org] » July 19 2014 - Nuclear security, Iran, Germany, 5+1 powers. German FM stresses 'tangible progress' in Iran nuclear talks German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier highlighted 'tangible progress' in the Iran nuclear negotiations as Iran and the six world powers agreed to extend their talks on a nuclear agreement for several months [irna.ir] » July 18 2014 - Oil, natural gas, North Sea. Exploration in the North Sea has continued to plummet due to ever spiralling costs and firms taking a "wait and see" approach to new regulation and taxes, new research has found. The report, compiled by Deloitte's Petroleum Services Group (PSG), revealed that a total of seven exploration and appraisal (E&A) wells were drilled on the UKCS in the second quarter of the year, down "significantly" from the 17 drilled in same quarter in 2013 - a year which trade body Oil & Gas UK claimed exploration was in "crisis". The figures were backed by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc) whose half year figures showed only 12 wells - either for exploration or appraisal - were drilled, compared to 27 in the period last year [energyvoice.com] » July 18 2014 - Oil and natural gas resources, estimates, EIA. Crude oil and natural gas resources are the estimated oil and natural gas volumes that might be produced at some time in the future. The volumes of oil and natural gas that ultimately will be produced cannot be known ahead of time. Resource estimates change as extraction technologies improve, as markets evolve, and as oil and natural gas are produced. Consequently, the oil and gas industry, researchers, and government agencies spend considerable time and effort defining and quantifying oil and natural gas resources. For many purposes, oil and natural gas resources are usefully classified into four categories: Remaining oil and gas in-place (original oil and gas in-place minus cumulative production at a specific date); Technically recoverable resources; Economically recoverable resources; Proved reserves. The oil and natural gas volumes reported for each resource category are estimates based on a combination of facts and assumptions regarding the geophysical characteristics of the rocks, the fluids trapped within those rocks, the capability of extraction technologies, and the prices received and costs paid to produce oil and natural gas. The uncertainty in estimated volumes declines across the resource categories based on the relative mix of facts and assumptions used to create these resource estimates. Oil and gas in-place estimates are based on fewer facts and more assumptions, while proved reserves are based mostly on facts and fewer assumptions [eia.gov] » July 17 2014 - Wind energy, France. Wind energy all the fashion in France. In a country famed for its adherence to style, across France there is plenty of evidence to suggest that wind energy is becoming an increasingly fashionable way to produce energy. We assess the latest targets under Energy Minister Segolene Royal. Socialist politician Segolene Royal has been appointed the energy minister, and one of her first policy aims is for France to have combined offshore wind power capacity of 6000 MW by 2020. The latest developments that favour the development of wind energy include the conclusions from the second environmental conference, which took place in September last year, and examined all the debates on energy transition [windenergyupdate.com] » July 17 2014 - Shale, oil, US. As Taylor Consulting, Inc. (TAYO) continues to scout and acquire real estate near Texas' Cline Shale, the latest estimates for the formation predict that the formation could soon spawn the biggest oil and gas boom in U.S. history. Although the Cline formation is smaller in area than Texas' other primary shale plays�Barnett and Eagle Ford-its hydrocarbons are denser, potentially containing an incredible 3.6 million barrels of recoverable oil per square mile. That gives the Cline Shale an estimated 30 billion recoverable barrels, making it 50 percent larger than the nation's top two shale plays, Eagle Ford and North Dakota's Bakken, combined. With the Cline Shale poised to become home to an inestimable amount of drilling and exploration in the coming years as the U.S. moves toward energy independence, the flood of new business and residents into Texas' Permian Basin region is expected by many to climb steadily. In order to capitalize on the coming demand for real estate to be used for everything from temporary housing to public infrastructure to entertainment amenities, TAYO is building a portfolio of properties offering multiple avenues for potential revenue [pennenergy.com] » July 17 2014 - Oil market, UE sanctions on Russia. Oil Gain on Russian Sanctions Seen Muted on Spare Capacity. Gains in crude prices driven by new sanctions on Russia will be limited because there's sufficient spare export capacity and no shortage of global supply, according to Nomura Holdings Inc. and Sapient Global Markets. Brent crude for September delivery was little changed at about $107 a barrel in London trading today after the U.S. Treasury Department said OAO Rosneft, Russia's biggest oil company, and natural gas producer OAO Novatek are among those hit by the penalties. Futures rose 2 percent to $111.20 on March 3 after Ukraine mobilized its army reserves as its neighbor seized control of the Black Sea region of Crimea. The measures are the latest response to what U.S. and European leaders say is President Vladimir Putin's refusal to end support for rebels who have been battling Ukrainian government forces in the east. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, which last month pledged to replace any barrels lost during the conflict in Iraq, may cover any potential cut in supply from Russia, Nomura predicts. "OPEC will step up and export more to replace the lost Russian crude and calm these oil-price spikes," Gordon Kwan, the regional head of oil and gas research at Nomura Holdings Inc. in Hong Kong, said today. "The U.S. and EU are smart enough not to risk derailing the global economic recovery by choking off Russia's oil exports." OPEC's spare capacity is estimated at 3.25 million barrels a day, the International Energy Agency said in its monthly report on July 11. Saudi Arabia, the group's biggest producer, pumped 9.9 million barrels a day of oil in June, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The kingdom is capable of producing as much as 12.5 million. Russia exported about 6.14 million barrels a day of crude in May, said the Paris-based agency, an adviser to developed nations. Commercial oil inventories held by members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development rose by 44.2 million barrels in May to 2.639 billion, its report shows [bloomberg.com] » July 17 2014 - Oil, natural gas, geopolitics, global conflicts, Iraq, Syria, Ukraina, Russia, Sudan, China. Twenty-first century energy wars: how oil and gas are fuelling global conflicts. Fossil fuels are triggering violent conflicts all over the world, says Michael Klare, Professor of Peace and World Security Studies at Hampshire College in Massachusetts, the US. Klare zooms in on four areas - Iraq/Syria, South Sudan, the Crimea/Ukraine, and the South China Sea � to argue that the desire to control valuable oil and gas assets is fuelling long-standing historic tensions. "In a fossil-fuel world, control over oil and gas reserves is an essential component of national power," he warns. [...] It should surprise no one that energy plays such a significant role in these conflicts. Oil and gas are, after all, the world's most important and valuable commodities and constitute a major source of income for the governments and corporations that control their production and distribution. Indeed, the governments of Iraq, Nigeria, Russia, South Sudan, and Syria derive the great bulk of their revenues from oil sales, while the major energy firms (many state-owned) exercise immense power in these and the other countries involved. Whoever controls these states, or the oil- and gas-producing areas within them, also controls the collection and allocation of crucial revenues. Despite the patina of historical enmities, many of these conflicts, then, are really struggles for control over the principal source of national income. Moreover, we live in an energy-centric world where control over oil and gas resources (and their means of delivery) translates into geopolitical clout for some and economic vulnerability for others. Because so many countries are dependent on energy imports, nations with surpluses to export - including Iraq, Nigeria, Russia, and South Sudan - often exercise disproportionate influence on the world stage. What happens in these countries sometimes matters as much to the rest of us as to the people living in them, and so the risk of external involvement in their conflicts - whether in the form of direct intervention, arms transfers, the sending in of military advisers, or economic assistance - is greater than almost anywhere else. The struggle over energy resources has been a conspicuous factor in many recent conflicts, including the Iran-Iraq War of 1980-1988, the Gulf War of 1990-1991, and the Sudanese Civil War of 1983-2005. On first glance, the fossil-fuel factor in the most recent outbreaks of tension and fighting may seem less evident. But look more closely and you'll see that each of these conflicts is, at heart, an energy war [energypost.eu] » July 16 2014 - Oil market, projection, IEA, Oil market report for July, first projections for 2015. Oil futures surged in mid-June by $5/bbl to a nine-month high of more than $115/bbl for Brent as Islamist forces gained ground in Iraq, but later reversed their gains on confidence that Baghdad's southern fields would remain untouched and improved prospects for a recovery in Libyan exports. Brent last traded at $108/bbl, WTI at $102/bbl. OPEC supplies were virtually unchanged in June at 30.03 million barrels per day (mb/d), as lower Iraqi production offset gains in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Nigeria and Angola. The 'call' on OPEC for 2H14 was cut by 350 000 barrels per day (350 kb/d) to 30.6 mb/d on improved nonOPEC supply and lower demand, and is forecast to dip to 29.8 mb/d in 2015 from 29.9 mb/d in 2014. Non-OPEC supply is forecast to grow by 1.2 mb/d in 2015, down slightly on 2013 and 2014 forecast levels. Global supplies were largely unchanged month-on-month in June, at 92.6 mb/d, but 995 kb/d higher than a year ago. Annual non-OPEC output growth of 1.7 mb/d more than offset OPEC declines of 765 kb/d. Global oil demand growth is forecast to accelerate to 1.4 mb/d in 2015 from 1.2 mb/d in 2014, as macroeconomic conditions improve. The estimate of 2014 demand has been trimmed by 130 kb/d to 92.7 mb/d following weaker-than-expected mid-year economic data. Global refinery crude runs dipped below year-earlier levels in June, for the first time since October. Planned and unplanned outages, capacity rationalisation and weak margins cut runs by 0.9 mb/d on the year, to 76.8 mb/d. The 2Q14 estimate has been lowered by 0.3 mb/d, to 76.2 mb/d, while the 3Q14 forecast is unchanged, at 77.8 mb/d. OECD commercial oil inventories built by a steeper-than-usual 44.2 mb in May, to 2 639 mb. Their deficit to the five-year average narrowed to 69.6 mb from a revised 106.1 mb at end-April. Refined products covered 29.0 days of demand at end-May, up 0.4 days on the month. Preliminary data show that OECD stocks rose by 8.3 mb in June [iea.org] » July 16 2014 - Energy, low carbon growth, India, report. Long-Term Energy and Development Pathways For India, 2014. India is both the fourth largest emitter of greenhouse gas emissions and home to the largest population of the world's poor. Climate policy for India must therefore include a strong element of inclusive growth, implying that reducing conditions of deprivation must go hand in hand with reducing overall emissions. A low carbon inclusive growth strategy for India is developed in this study using a transparent, bottom-up scenario modelling effort. The study shows that it is possible for India to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to 2005 levels by 2030 and also provide modern energy services to more than half its population who are currently unserved or under-served in this regard. This would entail having to focus on providing energy services to at least the bottom 50 million or so households by providing LPG or advanced electric cookstoves where feasible, access to electricity for lighting, water, sanitation services, improved access to services in urban areas (involving changes in land-use and transport), improved agricultural services, and so on. At the same time, commitments would be required to improve efficiency across the board and increase penetration of renewable energy in electricity generation and to make efforts to shift transport, housing and industry towards more sustainable models [energycommunity.org] » July 16 2014 - Oil production, Nigeria. Nigeria's crude oil production averaged 2.26 million b/d in the first quarter of this year, bolstering the country's economic growth rate to 6.21% during period, according to government data released Wednesday. Oil output was 30,000 b/d lower than average production of 2.29 million b/d in the corresponding period last year, according to the data from the National Bureau of Statistics, but it was higher than the 1.87 million b/d at the end of 2013. "As a result, the growth rate of real GDP was recorded at 6.21% in Q1 2014, higher than 4.45% recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2013," the agency added. Andrew Yakubu, head of state oil company Nigerian National Petroleum Corp, said Sunday the country's oil production was presently at over 2.3 million b/d, and expected to rise further as the government clamps down on oil theft and sabotage attacks on production facilities. The statistics office said it expects the economy to grow by 6.19% in 2014, up from 5.5% last year, on the back of rising oil output [platts.com] » July 16 2014 - Climate change, disaster risk reduction, El Nino. For years, people have been pointing to El Nino as the culprit behind floods, droughts, famines, economic failures, and record-breaking global heat. Can a single climate phenomenon really cause all these events? Is the world just a step away from disaster when El Nino conditions develop? What exactly is this important climate phenomenon and why should society care about it? Who will be most affected? We address these questions as well as clear up some common misconceptions about El Nino, La Nina, and everything in between! First, the basics. El Nino refers to the occasional warming of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean around the equator (see image below). The warmer water tends to get only 1 to 3 degrees Celsius above the average sea-surface temperatures for that area, although in the very strong El Nino of 1997-98, it reached 5 degrees or more above average in some locations. La Nina is the climate counterpart to El Nino- a yin to its yang, so to speak. A La Nina is defined by cooler-than-normal sea-surface temperatures across much of the equatorial eastern and central Pacific. El Nino and La Nina episodes each tend to last roughly a year, although occasionally they may last 18 months or longer [iri.columbia.edu] » July 16 2014 - Climate change, reduced emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, payments for ecosystem services, UK, papers. This overview summarises key lessons from a series of five policy briefs considering key themes and lessons relating to reduced emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) and to community approaches to payments for ecosystem services (PES) [bioclimate.net] » July 15 2014 - Oil, World petroleum congress, Report. On 15-19 June 2014, the world's leading energy executives and government ministers gathered in Moscow, Russia for the 21st World Petroleum Congress, the largest and arguably the most prestigious oil and gas event in 2014. Held every three years, the theme for 21WPC was "Responsibly Energising a Growing World," with over 100 high-level plenary and ministerial sessions, roundtables and best practice sessions providing expert views on how the world will meet growing energy demand in a more sustainable manner. Sustainability was a main theme of the Congress, especially in light of the growing focus on unconventional shale gas and oil around the world and the continued struggles of the industry in some places to earn what has been called the "social license to operate" [naturalgaseurope.com] » July 15 2014 - Climate change, disaster risk reduction, weather and water extremes, atlas. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED) of the Catholic University of Louvain (UCL) in Belgium have issued a new Atlas of Mortality and Economic Losses from Weather, Climate and Water Extremes, 1970-2012. It describes the distribution and impacts of weather, climate, and water-related disasters and highlights measures to increase resilience. The report was published ahead of the First Session of the Preparatory Committee Meeting (Geneva 14-15 July) for the Third United Nations World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction. It seeks to inform debate on the post-2015 framework both for disaster risk reduction and sustainable development [wmo.int] » July 15 2014 - Oil market, IEA, Csis, report presentation. IEA's Medium-Term Oil Market Report. The non-conventional supply revolution that is transforming the North American oil patch has been widely recognized as a game changer for the oil markets and industry, but how is this transformation playing out against the backdrop of other relevant market developments? How long can the US oil boom be expected to last, and what will it take for other countries to replicate this success story? What is holding up OPEC supply growth, and what will OPEC production capacity look like by the end of the decade? These are just some of the questions addressed in the 2014 edition of the Medium-Term Oil Market Report (MTOMR), making the report's insights into the oil market for the next five years essential reading for energy industry and market stakeholders, policy makers and all those interested in energy and the broader economy. Antoine Halff?, Head of the Oil Industry and Markets Division at the International Energy Agency to present the IEA's Medium-Term Oil Market Report [csis.org] » July 14 2014 - Peak oil, oil reserves, BP, report. BP's Latest Estimate Says World's Oil Will Last 53.3 Years. According to BP, drivers whose vehicles rely on burning oil have a little more than a half-century to find alternate sources of energy. Or walk. BP's annual report on proved global oil reserves says that as of the end of 2013, Earth has nearly 1.688 trillion barrels of crude, which will last 53.3 years at current rates of extraction. This figure is 1.1 percent higher than that of the previous year. In fact, during the past 10 years proven reserves have risen by 27 percent, or more than 350 billion barrels [oilprice.com] » July 14 2014 - Climate change, economy, environment, Australia. A study by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in the United States found that as much as 73 percent of Australian land used for viticulture could become unsuitable by 2050. As the country's traditional wine-growing regions, including the Barossa, the Hunter Valley and Margaret River, grow ever hotter and drier, winemakers are rushing to Tasmania. Average summer temperatures there are about 38 percent cooler than in the Barossa [nytimes.com] » July 14 2014 - Oil, Iraq. A deal to link the Baghdad-controlled parts of Kirkuk's oil fields to the Kurdistan export pipeline would have brought a quarter million barrels of Iraqi oil exports back online relatively quickly - and the collaboration could have eased tension that is stalling political and military progress. As of Friday morning, that deal is now effectively dead.At dawn, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) dispatched its armed forces and civilian staff to take over nearly the entire North Oil [iraqoilreport.com] » July 14 2014 - Climate change, IPPC, Assessment reports (ARs), treatment uncertainties communication, paper. The IPCC and treatment of uncertainties: topics and sources of dissensus. Characterizing uncertainty in the assessment of evidence is common practice when communicating science to users, a prominent example being the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Assessment Reports (ARs). The IPCC guidance note is designed to assist authors in the assessment process by assuring consistent treatment of uncertainties across working groups (WGs). However, debate on this approach has surfaced among scholars on whether applying the guidance note indeed yields the desired consistent treatment of uncertainties thus facilitating effective communication of findings to users. The IPCC guidance note is therefore a paradigmatic case for reviewing concerns regarding treatment of uncertainties for policy. We reviewed published literature that outline disagreement or dissensus on the guidance note in the IPCC assessment process, structured as three distinct topics. First, whether the procedure is reliable and leads to robust results. Second, whether the broad scope of diverse problems, epistemic approaches, and user perspectives allow for consistent and appropriate application. Third, whether the guidance note is adequate for the purpose of communicating clear and relevant information to users. Overall, we find greater emphasis placed on problems arising from the procedure and purpose of the assessment, rather than the scope of application. Since a procedure needs to be appropriate for its purpose and scope, a way forward entails not only making deliberative processes more transparent to control biases. It also entails developing differentiated instruments to account for diversity and complexity of problems, approaches, and perspectives, treating sources of uncertainty as relevant information to users [wires.wiley.com] » July 12 2014 - Shale and coalbed methane, Germany, fracking, new regulation. The German Federal Environment Ministry and the Federal Ministry of Economics have agreed on common core principles for the regulation of hydraulic fracturing ("fracking"). The position of the ministries is that fracking for shale and coalbed methane, will not be allowed for economic purposes in the foreseeable future. As it is not currently possible to assess the impact of fracking shale rock and coal beds due to a lack of empirical evidence in Germany, the proposed regulatory measures follows the principle that the protection of health and the protection of drinking water is an absolute priority [naturalgaseurope.com] » July 12 2014 - Climate change, low carbon economy, Decarbonization, DDPP report. The Deep Decarbonization Pathway Project presented its interim 2014 report to the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in New York. The report has been produced cooperatively by leading research institutes in 15 countries to outline national pathways for staying within 2°C. The Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project (DDPP) is a collaborative initiative to understand and show how individual countries can transition to a low-carbon economy and how the world can meet the internationally agreed target of limiting the increase in global mean surface temperature to less than 2 degrees Celsius (°C). Achieving the 2°C limit will require that global net emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) approach zero by the second half of the century. In turn, this will require a profound transformation of energy systems by mid-century through steep declines in carbon intensity in all sectors of the economy, a transition we call "deep decarbonization." [unsdsn.org] » July 11 2014 - Climate policy, IPCC. Climate Policy: Political implications of data presentation What is the appropriate balance between scientific analysis and governmental input in the IPCC? Claiming government overreach and calling for greater insulation of the process come from a misleadingly simple interpretation. Such insulation would likely diminish the policy relevance of the SPM. The SPM is �approved� by governments, not merely �accepted� as is the main report, which invests it with an important measure of governmental ownership. An approval process is worth preserving, as it is precisely what makes the IPCC distinct from any number of technical reports. We explore an alternative vision for articulating science and politics at the IPCC [cprindia.org] » July 11 2014 - Energy, China, climate change. Why China's Energy Consumption Will Keep Rising. In 1997, the Kyoto Protocol was signed. This was to usher in an era where the planet was to tackle climate change, and we were to see an energy transition from dirty, polluting fossil fuels to their low-carbon alternatives. Instead, here is what happened. Global coal consumption grew more in the last ten years than it did in the previous forty. After decades of global energy consumption growth being dominated by oil and natural gas, coal grew more in the last decade than oil did in the last 25 years and more than gas did in the last 22 years. The comparisons with low-carbon energy sources is even more stark. In the years since the Kyoto Protocol was signed, growth in primary energy consumption from coal was eight times larger than for wind, solar and nuclear energy put together. This incredible growth in coal consumption means that the global energy system is no less carbon intensive than it was when the Kyoto Protocol was signed in 1997. And this growth in coal was dominated by one country: China. 87% of the growth in global coal consumption in the years 2003 to 2013 came in China alone, and China now consumes just over half of the world's coal. Coal however is not the only thing that China produces or consumes half of. Production of almost all major materials is now dominated by China. Most remarkable is China's dominance of cement making, with China laying down more concrete in the last three years than America did in the last century; probably the most astounding, and almost literally unbelievable, fact demonstrating the rapid growth of China. Production of these materials also comes with a massive energy and carbon emissions footprint. Cement and steel making in China alone now require more energy and emit more carbon dioxide each year than major economies such as Germany and Japan [theenergycollective.com] » July 11 2014 - Oil, geopolitics, Iraq. "Future of Oil Hangs on Iraqi Politics". Fears that events in Iraq will send global oil prices soaring have abated. Yet, the crisis has potentially huge implications for oil. Under any conceivable outcome to the current situation, oil production from Iraq will fail to meet recent expectations. The reason for this dire prognosis is that politics - not security or logistics - will be the biggest determinant of Iraq's oil trajectory in the years ahead. In 2012, the International Energy Agency forecast that Iraq would account for 45 percent of the growth in global oil supply from 2012 to 2035. In its projection, the IEA anticipated that Iraq would move to producing more than 6 million barrels a day in the next five and a half years, from 3.3 million barrels a day. Production at such levels would make Iraq the fourth-largest producer, after Russia, Saudi Arabia and the U.S. � assuming all increased their production along projected lines. In the short term, immediate large-scale Iraqi production disruptions - fears of which briefly drove the price of oil to a record nine-month high in mid-June - are unlikely. Almost 85 percent of Iraq's production occurs in the deep south of the country, far from the front lines of the confrontation with the Islamic State for Iraq and Syria. Even if Iraq's crisis morphs into a sectarian civil war, production in the Shiite-dominated south wouldn't necessarily grind to a halt. Even in the worst years of the 2006-2008 sectarian conflict, production edged upward. The real cause for concern is a few years ahead, when the world will be expecting to consume Iraqi oil that may still be in the ground. The current conflict, regardless of what turns it takes in the weeks and months ahead, virtually ensures that Iraq will struggle to bring anticipated volumes of oil to market. Consider the oil implications of each of three plausible scenarios [belfercenter.ksg.harvard.edu] » July 10 2014 - Natural gas, Iran, Russia. Russia is to invest in Iran's gas industry following a recent meeting between officials from National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) and two Russian companies, said Deputy Petroleum Minister on Gas Affairs Hamid-Reza Araqi. The two sides met on the sidelines of a visit to Moscow by an Iranian delegation to the 21st World Petroleum Congress in June. During the meeting, they discussed further cooperation on investment and implementation of infrastructural projects in gas industry and the Russian companies agreed to build gas pipelines for Iran. The Russian side also expressed willingness to participate in implementation of big projects in Iran, Araqi said. He also said that the Russian companies are scheduled to send their representatives to Iran for further talks and visiting the projects. Araqi said that Iran and Russia, as two big natural gas producers in the world, are determined to boost their cooperation. Iranian Petroleum Minister Bijan Namdar Zangeneh last year called for new conditions to be introduced for oil contracts in order to be able to attract potential foreign investors to participate in Iran's oil industry [shana.ir] » July 10 2014 - Oil, Opec Monthly Oil Market Report. Crude Oil Price Movements. The OPEC Reference Basket increased by $2.45 in June to reach $107.89/b. Nymex WTI gained $3.35 to $105.15/b and ICE Brent added $2.73 to $111.97/b. Speculator net long positions on ICE Brent hit a record high on turmoil in Iraq. The Brent/WTI spread closed the month below $7/b, after having widened to near $10/b mid-month. World Economy. World economic growth for 2014 has been revised to 3.1% from 3.4%, triggered by unexpected low 1Q14 growth in the US. The 2015 growth forecast stands at 3.4%, supported by the accelerating pace of OECD growth from 1.7% this year to 2.0% in 2015. China's GDP is forecast to grow by 7.2% in 2015 from 7.4% in the current year. India is seen growing at 5.8% next year, up from 5.5% in 2014. World Oil Demand. Global oil demand growth in 2014 is forecast at 1.13 mb/d, broadly unchanged from the previous report. World oil demand in 2015 is anticipated to increase at a faster pace of 1.21 mb/d. OECD demand is expected to see positive growth for the first time since 2010, increasing around 40 tb/d, while nonOECD consumption is expected to provide the bulk of oil demand growth with 1.18 mb/d. World Oil Supply Non-OPEC oil supply is expected to increase by 1.47 mb/d in 2014, following a slight upward revision from the previous report. In 2015, non-OPEC supply is projected to grow at a slower pace of 1.31 mb/d. OPEC NGLs and non-conventional liquids are forecast to grow by 200 tb/d in 2015 to average 6.0 mb/d, after growth of 150 tb/d this year. In June 2014, OPEC crude oil production, according to secondary sources, declined by 79 tb/d to average 29.70 mb/d [opec.org] » July 10 2014 - Oil, Libya. Production at one of Libya's largest oilfield restarted, pumping at more than 90 percent of its capacity in a boost to the troubled North African nation, a Libyan official said Wednesday. The pumping at southwestern El Sharara oilfield, one of Libya's largest at 340,000 barrels per day, had been intermittently shut down because of protests in the area over financial and political demands. The resumption of production comes days after the central government resolved another dispute with militias in the country's east that had caused exports from two of the country's oil ports to stop for almost a year. The disputes over oil had knocked the country's regular 1.6 million barrels per day production down by 80 percent, seriously hurting revenues, as well as the central's government grip on power. Mohammed al-Harari, spokesman for the National Oil Corporation, said that 325,000 barrels per day are being pumped from the Sharara oilfield since it reopened. Production resumed a day earlier. The National Oil Corporation lifted a force majeure from two other eastern ports - Ras Lanuf and al-Sidra - on Sunday, following an agreement with rebels in the area to end their control over them [pennenergy.com] » July 10 2014 - Climate change, climate science, CO2, methane. One of the biggest fights involves how much effort to put into stopping leaks of methane gas into the atmosphere. It may sound like an obscure topic, but the leaks could have a great effect on the climate that people living today experience. This issue has grown in importance with the release of President Obama's new climate plan. It calls for greater use of natural gas, which consists mostly of methane. Among a few academics and on the far left of the environmental movement, cries are going up that the president is about to lock America into a supposed solution to climate change that will be worse than burning coal. Is that claim plausible? The basic scientific facts are pretty clear. By far the most important greenhouse gas that humans are spewing into the atmosphere is carbon dioxide, which comes from burning fossil fuels. The second most important is methane, which comes from many sources. It is released when coal is mined; it escapes when wells are drilled for oil or natural gas; and it leaks from pipes that distribute natural gas. Certain agricultural practices also throw up a huge amount. Pound for pound, methane is a far more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. But in stark contrast to CO2, methane breaks down quickly in the atmosphere. Every time you flip on a light switch, causing more coal to be burned and CO2 to be released, you are slightly altering the earth's climate for thousands of years. Release a puff of methane, scientists say, and the climate influence will be gone in a few decades. "The methane is like a hangover that you can get over if you stop drinking," said Raymond T. Pierrehumbert, a climate scientist at the University of Chicago and the author of a textbook on planetary atmospheres. �CO2 is more like lead poisoning � it sticks around, you don't get rid of it, and it causes irreversible harm." Despite that difference, billions of dollars are being spent to control methane leaks, and some people argue for spending more. Dr. Pierrehumbert is a leading voice challenging that approach. He argues, essentially, that the world has yet to mount a serious effort to control carbon dioxide, which will be vastly more harmful in the long run, and that methane and other shortterm pollutants should largely be ignored until that bigger problem is fixed. He summarizes his position by adapting St. Augustine's plea for chastity: "Lord, give me methane control, but not yet." Taking the opposite view are scientists who argue that the short-term effect of methane presents an opportunity not to be overlooked. Global warming is already a problem, they point out, noting the rise of certain extreme weather events. Aggressively controlling methane, they say, would help slow the warming sharply over the coming decades [nytimes.com] » July 10 2014 - Climate change, UN, carbon credits. The United Nations climate change secretariat is planning to enable local governments, companies and individuals to offset their planet-warming emissions using U.N.-certified carbon credits [pointcarbon.com] » July 09 2014 - South stream, natural gas, Italy, Russia, Ukraina, EU. Italy favours the peaceful resolution of the conflict in Ukraine, Italy's Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini has said. "Italy's position is that the Ukrainian crisis can be resolved on the basis of a political decision," Mogherini said at a meeting with Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday. [...] Russia and Italy have agreed to implement the South Stream project, Russia's top diplomat has said. "Today we've confirmed our readiness to continue actions for solving the existing problems, including within the dialogue with the European Commission," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said. "The agreements were signed when there were no problems from the European Commission. At present, the EC is trying to bring the agreements in line with the Third Energy Package. We see no grounds for revising the agreements," Lavrov said [en.itar-tass.com] » July 09 2014 - EU, renewable energy, funding projects. The European Commission today awarded �1 billion funding to 19 projects to fight climate change under the second call of the so-called NER 300 funding programme. The funding for the projects comes from revenues resulting from the sale of emission allowances in the EU Emissions Trading System. This makes the polluters the driving force behind developing new lowcarbon initiatives. The funding will be used to demonstrate technologies that will subsequently help to scale-up production from renewable energy sources across the EU as well as those that can remove and store carbon emissions. The projects awarded co-financing today cover a range of technologies - bioenergy, concentrated solar power, geothermal power, photovoltaics, wind power, ocean energy, smart grids and, for the first time, carbon capture and storage (CCS) [europa.eu] » July 09 2014 - Climate change policy, US. Go Ahead Without Us': Global Climate Change Policy in the Absence of Full Participation. This symposium collection in Transnational Environmental Law (TEL) considers prospects for progress on global climate change policy under the assumption that the United States (US), or another critical national actor, will not meaningfully participate in any international climate change mitigation regime. Almost without exception lawmakers, diplomats, academics, and other interested parties discuss global climate change policy under the assumption that robust US participation is necessary to achieve success � an understandable view, given that as much as 20% of annual global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are attributable to the US. Meanwhile, for the better part of the last two decades, US ambivalence and at times outright hostility towards climate change policy have impeded the development of a robust international regime. The national US political situation - from the disincentives for bipartisan compromise in a winner-takes-all two-party system, to the de facto super-majority requirement for the passage of legislative bills in the Senate, to the contorted alignment necessary to secure agreement between the House, the Senate and the President - make it reasonable to wonder if the US could ever adopt the kinds of robust and transformative policy declared to be necessary by much of the climate change policy community [journals.cambridge.org] » July 09 2014 - China, renewable energy, photovoltaics. China's Solar Panel Production to Double by 2017. China installed a world record amount of solar photovoltaics (PV) capacity in 2013. While this was the first time the country was the number one installer, China has led all countries in making PV for the better part of a decade. China now accounts for 64 percent of global solar panel production�churning out 25,600 megawatts of the nearly 40,000 megawatts of PV made worldwide in 2013-according to data from GTM Research [earth-policy.org] » July 08 2014 - Oil, Iraq, oil fields pipeline. Significant threats to foreign companies in volatile Iraq. The rapid advance of Islamist militants across northern and central parts of Iraq surprised many. However, the momentum for the advance has been building for years. The Sunni community has become increasingly frustrated with the Shi'ah dominated authorities in Baghdad for having marginalised them through alleged arbitrary arrests and a lack of investment among other things. Groups such as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL � recently renamed as the "Islamic State" or IS) openly oppose the government and the post-invasion democratic Iraqi state which has disenfranchised the Sunni community through simple demographics (there are thought to be more than two Shi'ah Arabs for every Sunni Arab in the country). [...] The Kurdish authorities therefore face a strategic and geo-political minefield in the years ahead. However, the region and its people are no stranger to difficult times and may yet be able to defy the difficult prospects which lie ahead. The threat to foreign companies is certainly significant, with many reviewing their contingency plans or evacuating accordingly. However, there is another emerging threat which has not yet received the same attention as the IS. Shi'ah militia groups are expanding rapidly as young men answer calls to defend their communities and shrines. For the time being they will focus their efforts on tackling the Sunni fighters, but these groups have targeted Western interests and even specifically singled out the energy sector in the past [energyvoice.com] » July 08 2014 - South gas corridor, TAP, natural gas, EU. The Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) launched a new visual identity and website signifying the next phase of the project's development, as preparations continue to build the 870km pipeline. TAP will be an important element of the Southern Gas Corridor, strategic gas value chain, which will transport natural gas from Azerbaijan to European markets. TAP's new visual identity comprises of a bright new logo and a newly launched website. This will provide local communities in the pipeline's transit countries of Greece, Italy, and Albania with detailed, up-to-date and relevant information about the project. Topics covered in the new website include the land easement and acquisition process, position on procurement, and the benefits that TAP could bring. The website also aims to be a useful public resource for TAP's many international stakeholders. TAP continues to make progress in preparing for construction of the pipeline, which is due to begin in 2016, with the building of access roads and bridges in Albania scheduled to commence in 2015 [tap-ag.com] » July 08 2014 - Oil shale, Jordan, geopolitics. Jordan's Oil Shale Efforts Continue to make up for Egypt's Natural Gas Disruptions. Jordan is searching for oil shale as part of its strategy to develop its indigenous resources. Having been reliant on imports to meet as much as 97% of its energy needs, the Hashemite Kingdom is determined to implement an efficient energy strategy that will ensure the end of its energy vulnerability and reduce its energy bill. Royal Dutch Shell Plc. is conducting drilling in the Harraneh Eastern region of Jordan, in the hope to encounter oil shale. The end of the year will be key in determining the commercial potential of the deeper layers of Jordanian oil shale. Shell has already invested USD 200 million in oil shale explorations in Jordan and is expected to invest up to USD 800 million in further shale exploratory activities. Oil shale explorations in Jordan started with the signing in 2009 of an agreement between the Jordanian government and the Jordan Oil Shale Company (JOSCO). JOSCO is a wholly owned subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell pls, registered in the Kingdom to search for and evaluate the commercial potential of Jordanian oil shale. The Hashemite Kingdom's master plan to develop indigenous resources and increase energy security gained more importance in the aftermath of the Arab Spring that caused the disruption in the flow of Egyptian natural gas to Jordan. The numerous supply cuts and the reductions in the quantities supplies caused the Kingdom to import expensive fuel products for energy generation that led to a spike in the energy bill [naturalgaseurope.com] » July 08 2014 - Oil, Mexico, Csis, watch live. Mexico's Oil and Gas Sector. Despite its position as the world's 9th largest producer of oil and the third-largest in the Western Hemisphere, Mexico has been plagued by consistent declines in production. At the end of 2013, Mexico approved historic legislation which would end the ban on private sector participation in the Mexican energy sector. These reforms promise to address many of the obstacles that have led to the country�s declining oil production. Before the reforms can take effect, however, the Mexican Legislature must pass secondary laws that focus on the fiscal regime, especially important will be the exploration and production contracts. The CSIS Energy and National Security and Americas Programs are pleased to host Jesus Reyes Heroles, Former General Director of Petroleos Mexicanos (PEMEX) and Executive President of Grupo de Economistas y Asociados, Pedro Haas, Director of Advisory Services at Hetco, and Ed Morse, Head of Commodities Research at Citigroup, to discuss the recently introduced reforms to the Mexican Oil and Gas sector, the likely path forward, the implications for PEMEX and the resultant impacts on world oil markets. Ambassador Medina Mora, Mexican Ambassador to the United States, will provide introductory remarks. Guy Caruso, Senior Adviser at CSIS, will moderate. Watch live at 1:30 pm est [csis.org] » July 07 2014 - Climate change, mitigation, US, biogas, renewable fuel, EPA. EPA, Final Rule for Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) Pathways II and Modifications to the RFS Program, Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel Requirements, and E15 Misfueling Mitigation Requirements. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking final action to qualify additional fuel pathways that the Agency has determined meet the lifecycle greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction requirements for cellulosic biofuel under the National Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program. This final rule also provides guidance regarding the feedstocks that EPA considers to be crop residues, including clarification that EPA considers corn kernel fiber to be a crop residue. EPA is also finalizing other minor amendments related to survey requirements associated with the ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) program and misfueling mitigation regulations for 15 volume percent ethanol blends (E15) [epa.gov] » July 07 2014 - Oil, US, geopolitics. The U.S. will remain the world's biggest oil producer this year after overtaking Saudi Arabia and Russia as extraction of energy from shale rock spurs the nation's economic recovery, Bank of America Corp. said. U.S. production of crude oil, along with liquids separated from natural gas, surpassed all other countries this year with daily output exceeding 11 million barrels in the first quarter, the bank said in a report today. The country became the world's largest natural gas producer in 2010. The International Energy Agency said in June that the U.S. was the biggest producer of oil and natural gas liquids [...] Oil extraction is soaring at shale formations in Texas and North Dakota as companies split rocks using high-pressure liquid, a process known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. The surge in supply combined with restrictions on exporting crude is curbing the price of West Texas Intermediate, America's oil benchmark. The U.S., the world's largest oil consumer, still imported an average of 7.5 million barrels a day of crude in April, according to the Department of Energy's statistical arm [...] U.S. oil output will surge to 13.1 million barrels a day in 2019 and plateau thereafter, according to the IEA, a Paris-based adviser to 29 nations. The country will lose its top-producer ranking at the start of the 2030s, the agency said in its World Energy Outlook in November [bloomberg.com] » July 07 2014 - Sustainable energy transition, energy economics, renewable energy, system dynamics, paper. A Framework for Defining Sustainable Energy Transitions: Principles, Dynamics, and Implications. While partial energy transitions have been observed in the past, the complete transition of a fossil-based energy system to a sustainable energy one is historically unprecedented on a large scale. Switching from an economy based on energy stocks to one based on energy flows requires a social paradigm shift. This paper defines Sustainable Energy Transition (SET) and introduces a set of five propositions that prescribe its sustainability. The propositions are comprehensive, spanning environmental constraints, resource availability, equity, and the transition dynamics from an energy and economic accounting perspective aimed at addressing all three pillars of sustainability. In order to rigorously define the constraints of SET a theoretical energy economy framework is introduced along with the concept of the renewable energy investment ratio. The paper concludes with a practical application of the SET propositions on the global energy system and identifies an order of magnitude underinvestment in the renewable energy investment ratio in comparison to the estimated level needed for a controlled transition that satisfies all propositions. The option of drastically increasing this ratio in the future may not be available as it would reduce societally available energy, imposing unacceptably high energy prices that would induce either fossil resource extraction beyond the safely recoverable resources or energy poverty [sustainability-mdpi.com] » July 07 2014 - China, biomass energy. For a Green Future: an Overview of Biomass Energy in China. China has abundant of biomass energy resources, from agricultural wastes, such as straws, and forestry wastes, residential wastes and industrial wastes, and energy crops and plantations, etc. Annually, there are nearly 300 million tons of crop straw wastes, 300 million tons of forestry waste are available for fuel production. Besides with biogas and MSW, the total biomass resource with equivalent of around 500 million tons of coal can be potentially converted into fuel. With increasing demand for energy and rising concerns for the environment issues, the Chinese government issued series of laws and policies to ensure the realization of its target that by 2010 the percentage of renewable energy share will take 10% of the country's total energy consumption and by 2020 it will be 15 percent. While the percentage of the biomass energy will be largely increased which will be shown in the following diagram [renewableenergyworld.com] » July 07 2014 - Renewabel energy, datasets and maps, Irena (International Renewable Energy Agency). The Global Atlas for Renewable Energy, new datasets and maps focused either on a region, a resource or a specific dataset. The most recent datasets added and maps created in the Global Atlas map gallery since March 2014 [globalatlas.irena.org] » July 06 2014 - Climate change, FAO, Economics, Policy Innovations, Climate-Smart Agriculture, paper. Climate variability, adaptation strategies and food security in Malawi. This paper assesses farmers' incentives and conditioning factors that hinder or promote adaptation strategies and evaluates its impact on crop productivity by utilizing household level data collected in 2011 from nationally representative sample households in Malawi. We distinguish between (i) exposure to climatic disruptions, (ii) bio-physical sensitivity to such disruptions, (iii) HH adaptive capacity (iv) system-level adaptive capacity that serve as enabling factors for household-level adaptation [fao.org] » July 04 2014 - Renewable subsidy schemes, EU. EU Court upholds national renewable subsidy schemes in surprise decision. In a rare event, the EU Court of Justice has overturned the opinion of its own Advocate-General to rule that member states are not obliged to open up their national renewable subsidy schemes to producers in other countries. The decision was welcomed by renewables producers and member states such as Germany, which have generous subsidies in place. But it was lambasted by others, such as RECS International, an organisation of market players, including the likes of Eon, RWE, Vattenfall and Enel, which promotes pan-European renewables trading. They regard it as a major missed opportunity to harmonise energy legislation in Europe. Is this the latest blow to the EU internal energy market? [energypost.eu] » July 04 2014 - Green Industrial policy, Germany, renewable energy. Stable Policies, Turbulent Markets-Germany's Green Industrial Policy: The costs and benefits of promoting solar PV and wind energy. Green industrial policy (GIP) is the pursuit by governments of national economic excellence in key green economy sectors, with a view to creating globally competitive domestic firms. It differs in only a few respects from traditional industrial policy, most significantly with respect to the potential global environmental benefit that comes from private sector innovation and competition in these sectors. GIP is increasingly used by governments in the developed and developing countries, a trend that is likely to be reinforced in coming years by the desire to capture the environmental and economic benefits of green economy sectors. However, as with traditional industrial policy, it is easy to implement policies that undermine rather than support the intended goals. This report is one in a series that considers the lessons for GIP that can be learnt from policies in the renewable energy sector. The aim of the series is to provide policy makers with research to support the development of cost effective, well targeted policies for the development of green industries. The reports highlight how policies have worked, the outcomes of the policies and the lessons that have been learnt. This report focuses on the wind and solar sectors in Germany. It reviews the German policy in support of raising the share of renewables in the energy mix within the context of multiple social, economic and technological objectives. Based on this analysis, the report concludes that the extent to which policies have achieved their green industrial goals at reasonable cost is mixed. Wind energy seems to perform better against all policy objectives, while the solar PV sector has come under intense pressure from international competition [iisd.org] » July 04 2014 - Oil market, Libya, Iraq. Oil futures settled marginally down to a three-week low Thursday after Libya declared an end to the crisis that has hampered its exports for more than a year. NYMEX August crude settled at $104.06/barrel, down 42 cents; ICE August Brent ended 24 cents lower at $111/b. In products, NYMEX August ULSD settled 1.77 cents lower at $2.9284/gal, while August RBOB ended 42 points lower at $3.0198/gal. Libya's interim Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thani declared the country's oil sector crisis "over" after the government reached an agreement with rebel leaders, allowing the government to take back control of the major eastern oil terminals at Es Sider and Ras Lanuf. Still, doubts remain among market players and analysts as to when exports will actually resume from the two ports and whether the newly found harmony in Libya can be sustained for any length of time. Meanwhile, the petroleum complex extended the week's decline as "emotions have swung from concern to relative complacency over the battle for control of Iraq as production from the major southern oil fields remains unaffected," said Tim Evans, commodity analyst at Citi Futures Perspective [platts.com] » July 04 2014 - Shale gas, UK. The United Kingdom is trying to increase transparency in the shale gas debate, publishing some material about the relationship between groundwater and fracking in the country. 'The British Geological Survey (BGS) in partnership with the Environment Agency (EA) have, for the first time, published a series of maps which show the depth to each shale gas and oil source rock below principal groundwater aquifers in England and Wales. Understanding the distance between the two is important when assessing the environmental risks of shale gas and oil exploitation,' reads the note released on Wednesday. If the note is nothing particularly new for experts, it proves that British authorities are trying to give answers to the questions posed by the public and local communities [naturalgaseurope.com] » July 04 2014 - Carbon market, EU. An Italian lawmaker from Europe's largest political grouping, who last year voted against propping up EU carbon prices, is poised to chair the European Parliament's environment committee, a move that may hinder reform of the bloc's emissions market [pointcarbon.com] » July 03 2014 - Iran, oil, biofuels A senior Iranian petroleum researcher has said that Iran should consider alternatives to fossil fuels. "Biofuels are set to replace fossil fuels in the coming three decades," Amir-Nasser Ahmadi, member of the Research Institute of Petroleum Industry, said. He said the focus in Iran is on fossil fuels due to the richness of the country in oil. He also said that fossil fuels leave harmful impacts on the environment. A biofuel is a fuel that contains energy from geologically recent carbon fixation. These fuels are produced from living organisms. Examples of this carbon fixation occur in plants and microalgae. These fuels are made by a biomass conversion (biomass refers to recently living organisms, most often referring to plants or plant-derived materials). This biomass can be converted to convenient energy containing substances in three different ways: thermal conversion, chemical conversion, and biochemical conversion. This biomass conversion can result in fuel in solid, liquid, or gas form. This new biomass can be used for biofuels. Biofuels have increased in popularity because of rising oil prices and the need for energy security [shana.ir] » July 03 2014 - Nuclear, Iran, paper, Belfer center Harvard Kennedy School. Blocking All Paths to an Iranian Bomb. How the West Can Avoid a Nuclear Maginot Line. Most public discussion has focused on Iran's most visible path to a nuclear weapon, namely the use of fissile material from Iran's declared and safeguarded facilities. There are, however, at least three additional paths by which Iran could obtain a nuclear bomb: enrich HEU at a covert facility, buy a weapon abroad, or a hybrid of the two. While ongoing negotiations are focused primarily onconstraining the overt path, they also offer an opportunity to increase confidence that Iran will not be able to obtain a nuclear weapon along the other azimuths. Having identified the main a ternat ve paths and ana yzed how Iran cou d overcome obstac es on each path to obta n a nuc ear weapon, we propose for debate the fo ow ng recommendat ons [belfercenter.ksg.harvard.edu] » July 03 2014 - South Stream p pe ne, natura gas, EU. ShawCor s pipe coating division Bredero Shaw has been awarded a contract w th a va ue of approx mate y $US50 m on from Maruben Sum tomo Consort um for coat ng serv ces for Line 2 of the South Stream Offshore Pipeline. The South Stream Offshore P pe ne system compr ses four para e p pe nes that w cross the B ack Sea and transport gas from Russia to Bulgaria and on to Central and Southern Europe. Th s contract nvo ves coat ng a 342 km spread of the 32 nch d ameter p pe ne w th three- ayer po ypropy ene and nterna f ow coat ng. Coat ng s expected to commence n the th rd quarter of 2014 and be comp eted n 2015 [pipelinesinternational.com] » July 03 2014 - Renewab es, offshore w nd farms. Compared to their onshore cousins, who average up to 3MW, offshore wind turbines are growing ever larger and larger to capture greater energy potential at sea. We ook at how th s market dynam c s mpact ng the supp y cha n and today s offshore pro ects. Offshore w nd farms n the North Sea began w th turb ne capac t es comparab e to onshore w nd pro ects, but now w nd pro ects offshore have nsta ed turb nes of 3 to 5MW w th capac t es st ncreas ng. Turb nes of 6, 7 and 8MW are now on the r way to market. S emens, for examp e, offered a market ready 6MW turb ne ast year and expects to debut even a 10MW turbine w th n the next decade. Th s wou d be a g gant c turb ne w th a rotor d ameter of over 200 metres [windenergyupdate.com] » July 03 2014 - Energy, power pr ces, renewab es, UK. How cheaper energy could threaten Britain s green ambitions. G ven the perenn a hoo-ha over the cost of energy, po t c ans m ght be expected to ce ebrate any h nt that tar ffs w fa . Yet the government s p an to decarbon se Br ta n w thout wreck ng ts economy rests on the assumpt on that pr ces w go up. Specu at on to the contrary s start ng to put t n a t ght spot. In March the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) forecast that the wholesale price of electricity will soar from £53 ($90) per megawatt hour in 2013 to about £80 in 2030. Yet a report released this month by Aurora, a research f rm, argues that a slow decline is more likely. It s more bear sh about gas pr ces-wh ch great y nf uence the cost of e ectr c ty-and about ncreases n the country s much-ma gned carbon tax. If Aurora s pred ct ons are accurate t cou d have b g mp cat ons for Br ta n s panop y of env ronmenta subs d es. At present the government pays renewab es f rms the d fference between the pr ce the r energy fetches n the markets and what they need to make a prof t. Lower market rates make the government cough up more cash. Because the government has capped the tota amount t can spend on subs d es, that wou d probab y mean cutt ng the number of pro ects t pays for [economist.com] » July 03 2014 - C mate change, econom cs, bus ness, proposa s, MIT. In the MIT Climate CoLab, you can work w th peop e from a over the wor d to develop ideas for what we should do about climate change. Become a Member ( ts free!) and you can submit a proposal in one of over a dozen contests on topics like Transportation and Shifting behavior for a changing climate. The creators of the w nn ng proposa s w be nv ted to present their ideas before investors and business, industry, and government leaders at a conference at MIT this fall, and the creators of the top-ranked proposa w a so share a Grand Prize of $10,000. But that s not a ! Just by spread ng word of the contest you and your fr ends can w n a share of the $2,000 Soc a Network Pr ze. If you share the contest w th someone who w ns the $10,000 Grand Pr ze then you w n $1,000, and you w n money even f the w nner s over 6 degrees of separat on from you! See how t works [climatecolab.org] » July 03 2014 - Energy secur ty, geopo t cs, EU, US. EU Energy Security and Transatlantic Cooperation. The CSIS Energy and Nat ona Secur ty and Europe Programs hosted Dom n que R stor , D rector Genera for Energy for the European Comm ss on, to d scuss the strateg c mportance of transat ant c cooperat on for key energy pr or t es. W th a rap d y evo v ng energy andscape featur ng nove sources of supp y a ongs de supp y d srupt ons, the need for cooperat on has become ncreas ng y sa ent. Mr. R stor d scuss the common objectives of the U.S. and the EU, including competitiveness, security of supply, and decarbonization, and the importance of cooperation on those objectives [csis.org] » July 02 2014 - Energy secur ty, natura gas, geopo t cs, EU, Ukra ne, Russ a. The European Union s energy security is under threat - one of ts argest supp ers of natura gas has gone rogue. If V ad m r V. Put n s efforts to destab ze Ukra ne had cu m nated n an nvas on, up to 15 percent of Western Europe s tota supp y wou d have been mmed ate y cut off. Ukraine has the world s largest gas-transit system. Even f the r sk of a conf ct there eventua y d sso ves, Mr. Put n s Krem n st presents the European Un on w th a ma or energy secur ty prob em. The European Union needs to develop emergency plans that focus on quick replacement of lost energy sources - and long-term strategies that free it of dependence on Russia. In a , Gazprom prov des 27 percent of Europe s gas supp y. F fteen percent v a Ukra ne, and the rest through the Nord Stream p pe ne under the Ba t c Sea and the Yama p pe ne through Be arus and Po and. That 15 percent s much more s gn f cant than t m ght appear because some European Un on member states, such as Bu gar a, Roman a and S ovak a, are arge y so ated from the rest of the market and wou d have d ff cu ty rep ac ng any osses qu ck y. Moreover, supp es cannot eas y be red rected to the Yama and Nord Stream p pe nes. Even f that were so, they wou d not be ab e to rep ace a 80 b on cub c meters trans ted across Ukra ne n 2013 [naturalgaseurope.com] » July 02 2014 - C mate change, atmospher c carbon d ox de. NASA successfully launched its first spacecraft dedicated to studying atmospheric carbon dioxide at 2:56 a.m. PDT (5:56 a.m. EDT) Tuesday. The Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) raced skyward from Vandenberg A r Force Base, Ca forn a, on a Un ted Launch A ance De ta II rocket. [...] OCO-2 soon w beg n a m n mum two-year m ss on to ocate Earth s sources of and storage p aces for atmospher c carbon d ox de, the ead ng human-produced greenhouse gas respons b e for warm ng our wor d, and a cr t ca component of the p anet s carbon cyc e. "C mate change s the cha enge of our generat on," sa d NASA Adm n strator Char es Bo den. "W th OCO-2 and our ex st ng f eet of sate tes, NASA s un que y qua f ed to take on the cha enge of document ng and understand ng these changes, pred ct ng the ram f cat ons, and shar ng nformat on about these changes for the benef t of soc ety." OCO-2 will take NASA s studies of carbon dioxide and the global carbon cycle to new heights. The m ss on w produce the most deta ed p cture to date of natura sources of carbon d ox de, as we as the r "s nks" -- p aces on Earth s surface where carbon d ox de s removed from the atmosphere. The observatory w study how these sources and s nks are d str buted around the g obe and how they change over t me [jpl.nasa.gov] » July 02 2014 - C mate r sk report, economy, US. The American economy could face significant and widespread disruptions from climate change unless U.S. businesses and policymakers take immediate action to reduce climate risk, accord ng to the report, "Risky Business: The Economic Risks of Climate Change in the United States". The pub cat on summar zes f nd ngs of an ndependent assessment of the mpact of c mate change at the county, state, and reg ona eve , and shows that commun t es, ndustr es, and propert es across the U.S. face profound r sks from c mate change. The f nd ngs a so show that the most severe r sks can st be avo ded through ear y nvestments n res ence, and through mmed ate act on to reduce the po ut on that causes g oba warm ng [cmcc.it] » July 02 2014 - Energy, g oba overv ew report, power nvestment. The 2030 Market Outlook is Bloomberg New Energy Finance s long-term view of how the world�s power markets will evolve to 2030. These are the f nd ngs from the g oba overv ew report, cover ng the ma or econom c and techno og ca f nd ngs. By 2030, the world s power mix will have transformed: from today s system with two-thirds fossil fuels to one with over half from zero-emission energy sources. Renewables will command over 60% of the 5,579GW of new capacity and 65% of the $7.7 trillion of power investment. Rooftop so ar PV w dom nate, tak ng up a f fth of the capac ty add t ons and nvestment to 2020. But foss fue s w ma nta n a 54% share of generat on � a be t down from 67% n 2013. Economics - rather than policy - will increasingly drive the uptake of renewable technologies. Deve op ng countr es burgeon ng econom c growth w see them strugg e to sat sfy the r appet te for power. In contrast energy eff c ency measures, m ted econom c expans on and r s ng reta power pr ces n deve oped countr es w mean more moderate power demand growth - negat ve to some. If governments wish to decarbonise their power sectors by 2030, they cannot rely on economics (ie, declining renewable technology costs) and market forces alone - some form of policy intervention will be required [bnef] » July 02 2014 - Geotherma energy. The Iceland Deep Drilling Project conducts groundbreak ng research nto exp o t ng the heat found thousands of metres underground n vo can c bedrock. In January the researchers created the world s first magma-based geothermal energy system [future-power-magazine] » July 02 2014 - O markets, Opec. The price of OPEC basket of twelve crudes stood at 108.68 dollars a barrel on Tuesday, compared w th $108.59 the prev ous day, accord ng to OPEC Secretar at ca cu at ons. The new OPEC Reference Basket of Crudes (ORB) s made up of the fo ow ng: Saharan B end (A ger a), G rasso (Ango a), Or ente (Ecuador), Iran Heavy (Is am c Repub c of Iran), Basra L ght (Iraq), Kuwa t Export (Kuwa t), Es S der (L bya), Bonny L ght (N ger a), Qatar Mar ne (Qatar), Arab L ght (Saud Arab a), Murban (UAE) and Merey (Venezue a) [opec.org] » July 02 2014 - Carbon market, EU. European carbon prices climbed above 6 euros ($8.18) for the first time since March on Tuesday, ga n ng as much as 3.3 percent as specu ators bet that demand from ut t es and ower supp y from upcom ng auct ons wou d dr ve pr ces h gher [pointcarbon.com] » July 01 2014 - Iraq and Global Oil Markets. Wh e the s tuat on n Iraq rema ns f u d, for now the most mmed ate focus for the Iraq government s to concurrent y attempt to conta n the ISIL threat n the north, wh e secur ng the area around Baghdad and the o fac t es and nfrastructure n the south. Last month (May), Iraq produced some 3.4 m on barre s per day (mmb/d), at east 75 percent of wh ch came from the Sh a-dom nated south (Ruma a, West Qurna, Zuba r, etc.). An add t ona 200,000 to 250,000 barre s per day are reported y st access b e out of K rkuk (pr mar y transported by p pe and truck) to ne ghbor ng Turkey, a though sabotage and secur ty threats are ke y to m t that vo ume as the ear er p pe ne repa rs (see above) are un ke y to be undertaken/comp eted anyt me soon. Beyond the obv ous, the current s tuat on poses a number of r sks and cha enges, but a so some opportun t es (most notab y for the Kurds). At present, the comb nat on of the oss of L byan, N ger an, Venezue an and Iran an o product on for var ous reasons, the uncerta nty surround ng Russ a s gamb t n Ukra ne and the prospects for further reduct ons (seasona ma ntenance, hurr canes, etc.) as we enter the second ha f of the year po nt to potent a y t ghter markets and h gher pr ces (EIA s Short term energy out ook for June dent f ed some 2.6 mmb/d of unp anned supp y d srupt ons from OPEC sources and an add t ona 720 mmb/d of non-OPEC vo umes). Further, s nce Iraq was expected to contr bute a arge port on of near term ncrementa OPEC ncreases, susta ned or enhanced v o ence wou d undoubted y m t nvestment and vo umes go ng forward. And wh e Saud Arab a st ma nta ns over a m on barre s per day of spare capac ty and cou d offset some of the oss of arger Iraq vo umes, a comp ete oss of Iraq exports wou d requ re more drast c measures - ke the re ease of strateg c stocks - n order to prevent pr ces from sp k ng [csis.org] » July 01 2014 - O ndustry trends. The Oil Big Five: Trends, Market Drivers, and Global Issues. The rebirth of the Permian Basin in Texas. On y a few years ago, the Perm an Bas n was cons dered p ayed out by vert ca dr ng, a dry expanse of commun t es that had a ready been put through severa terat ons of the boom-and-bust wr nger. But the US hor zonta r g count h t 1,248 (a new record) n m d-May, w th the Perm an Bas n of West Texas and southeastern New Mex co expected to take up a arge chunk of new state-of-the-art and r gs now under construct on [...] China s crude. Buzz around the p anned Shangha crude futures contract has reached a crescendo, and the Shangha Futures Exchange s say ng t w def n te y be aunched th s year. The Shangha Internat ona Energy Exchange has swung nto top gear and s engag ng w th exchanges and traders to f na ze deta s of the contract. Meanwh e, Moscow s $400 b on dea to supp y gas to Ch na showed Ch na can dr ve a hard barga n, and the country s crude o mports n Apr soared to a record 6.81 m on b/d, spurred by vo umes from Iran and Iraq [...] Seasonality driving North Sea crude. At the beg nn ng of May, trad ng was br sk and f e d ma ntenance ha ved the comb ned output from the Statf ord, Gu faks and DUC comp exes n June, wh ch supported d fferent a s. At the end of the month, crude d fferent a s softened w th poor demand from European ref ners. And on May 29, North Sea med um su fur crude grade Fort es faced poor ref n ng marg ns and was assessed at ts owest s nce Apr 16 of 2013 [...] The legalities of oil exports between Turkey and Iraq. In May, 1 m on barre s of crude was p ped from the Kurd stan reg on of northern Iraq to Turkey�s Med terranean port of Ceyhan, where the cargo was so d and exported. It was the f rst t me Kurd sh crude had been so d and oaded out of Ceyhan ndependent y of Iraq state o marketer SOMO, but Iraq cons ders the sa e ega under ts const tut on and s threaten ng to take Turkey to court over the sa e [...] The future of India under the Bharatiya Janata Party. The BJP dec s ve y won Ind a s genera e ect ons, and the o ndustry s now wa t ng to see what the new government, ed by Pr me M n ster Narendra Mod , w do to encourage more act v ty n the energy sector. Among the expected changes are deregu at on of d ese pr ces, cuts to government subs d es, more support of domest c o and gas exp orat on, and d fferent po cy ncent ves for deepwater and u tra deepwater exp orat on [blog.ze.com] » July 01 2014 - Sha e gas, o , EU. Scotland has modest shale gas and oil resources, an assessment by the British Geological Survey suggests. The est mates for the M d and Va ey suggest sha e gas resources of 80trillion cubic feet - cons derab y ower than the 1,300tr on cub c feet thought to be n the Bow and sha e n northern Eng and. There s an est mated 6billion barrels of shale oil n the area, wh ch stretches across Scot and and nc udes G asgow and Ed nburgh, s ght y more than the centra est mate of 4.4b on barre s n the Wea d Bas n n southern Eng and. But the amount of gas and oil that can be extracted from the shale is likely to be far lower than the total resource. In the US shale oil exploration has only been able to access up to 10% of the total oil. The M d and Va ey s est mates are part cu ar y uncerta n, experts sa d, because the area has fewer h stor c we s and ess se sm c data to re y on than other areas wh ch have been assessed. More exp oratory dr ng and test ng s needed to determ ne how much of the o and gas resource can be recovered [energyvoice.com] » July 01 2014 - O market, US. Exports from US condensate decision to be limited: ana ysts. The near-term effects of a recent US dec s on grant ng two Eag e Ford p ayers ega stand ng to export processed condensate w ke y be severe y m ted, ana ysts sa d Monday. Infrastructure constraints, high shipping costs and an expected increase in competition amongst foreign producers will likely mute the impact of the US Commerce Department s decision regarding US condensate exports. "Th s atest ru ng s not a panacea," sa d Morgan Stan ey ana yst Adam Longson n a report. "Taken at face value, the latest ruling has little direct impact on the current US crude balance, given the limited scope." Last week, Commerce conf rmed that both Enterpr se Product Partners and P oneer Natura Resources wou d be a owed to export crude condensate s nce t s processed through d st at on towers and s cons dered a petro eum product not sub ect to the crude export restr ct ons n p ace for the past 40 years. While initial estimates of US condensate exports climbed as high a 1 million b/d, Longson said these forecasts vastly overstated the significance of the decision, wh ch was an nterpretat on of ex st ng statute rather than a change n current aw [platts.com] » July 01 2014 - Energy markets, hydropower, UE. Defining the Role of Hydropower in European Energy Mix. ACI s Hydropower Deve opment: Europe 2014 Summit, tak ng p ace on 17th and 18th of September 2014 n Porto, Portuga w compr se two days of forma presentat ons, nteract ve pane d scuss ons and exce ent network ng opportun t es, prov d ng an dea sett ng to convene w th your peers to d scuss both current operat ona & future p anned hydro power p ants, energy markets reform, potent a barr ers & support po c es as we as pro ect econom cs & f nance [wplgroup.com] » July 01 2014 - C mate change, econom c v ew of c mate change, US. What are the Benefits and Costs of EPA s Proposed CO2 Regulation?. On June 2nd, the Obama Adm n strat on s Env ronmenta Protect on Agency (EPA) re eased ts ong-awa ted proposed regu at on to reduce carbon d ox de (CO2) em ss ons from ex st ng sources n the e ectr c ty-generat ng sector. The regu atory (ru e) proposa ca s for cutting CO2 emissions from the power sector by 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. Th s s potent a y s gn f cant, because e ectr c ty generat on s respons b e for about 38 percent of U.S. CO2 em ss ons (about 32 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) em ss ons). On June 18th, EPA pub shed the proposed ru e n the Federa Reg ster, n t at ng a 120-day pub c comment per od. [...] Cost-Effective, Perhaps - but Efficient? The proposed ru e grants freedom to mp ement ng states to ach eve the r spec f ed em ss ons-reduct on targets n v rtua y any way they choose, nc ud ng the use of market-based instruments (the Wh te House has referenced cap-and-trade n th s context, a though somewhat ob que y as "market-based programs," and state- eve carbon taxes m ght a so be acceptab e - f any states were to nc ude them n the r p ans to mp ement the regua t on). A so, the proposa a ows for mu t state proposa s and for states and reg ons to estab sh nkages among the r state and mu t -state market-based nstruments. Some quest ons rema n regard ng the tempora f ex b ty (bank ng and borrow ng) that the proposed ru e w a ow, but t s reasonab e to conc ude at th s po nt that a though EPA may not be guarantee ng cost-effect veness, t s a ow ng for t, ndeed fac tat ng t. As Da as Burtraw of Resources for the Future has sa d, the proposed ru e ought to be udged to be potent a y cost-effect ve. [robertstavinsblog.org] » June 30 2014 - C mate change, geoeng neer ng report, Germany. Options and Proposals for the International Governance of Geoengineering. The study has three ma n parts: After the ntroduct on, sect on 4 exp ores whether and to what extent t s usefu and feas b e to have a s ng e def n t on of geoeng neer ng for governance purposes. sect on 5 ana yses the ex st ng governance of geoeng neer ng n nternat ona aw, w th a br ef overv ew of EU and German aw. On th s bas s, sect on 6 deve ops spec f c regu atory opt ons and proposa s. We ana yse why governance of geoeng neer ng shou d be pursued and deve op spec f c proposa s how such governance shou d be des gned [umweltbundesamt.de] » June 30 2014 - O , US. The U.S. has succeeded in lifting its oil production to over 8 million barrels per day, the highest levels in decades. But where exactly is all that oil coming from? The answer for the ast severa years has been the Bakken field in North Dakota and the Eagle Ford in Texas. Those two reg ons are pr nc pa y respons b e for the surge n o product on. But n Apr 2014, North Dakota surpassed the 1 million barrel per day mark - a m estone for a state that was produc ng fewer than 200,000 barre s per day ust f ve years ago. Texas has a ways oomed arge n the U.S. o product on p cture. The Eagle Ford and Permian basins are the ma n sources of product on growth, ft ng the state s o output from just over 1 million barrels per day in 2009 to 2.9 million barrels per day in March 2014. The Lone Star state now accounts for more than one-th rd of Amer ca s da y tota product on. Texas and North Dakota get most of the attent on, but Amer cans m ght be surpr sed by other ma or domest c sources of o . After Texas, the most o comes out of federa y-owned waters n the Gulf of Mexico. The 1.3 million bpd from the Gulf accounts for over 16 percent of U.S. production. But desp te the enormous output, we hear very tt e about the Gu f. Perhaps that s because, as de from the occas ona d saster (see: Deepwater Hor zon), offshore dr ng s arge y out of the pub c eye. There s no hagg ng over and eases, truck traff c, no se, or other s de-effects of and-based operat ons. Taken together, Texas, North Dakota, and the Gu f of Mex co account for two-th rds of U.S. o product on. There are other surprising facts hidden in Energy Information Agency data, such as Alaska s contribution to the country s total level of oil production. A aska s economy s arge y dependent on o , t has ong been a ma n source of o , and ts e ected off c a s are overwhe m ng y support ve of the o ndustry [oilprice.com] » June 30 2014 - Ind a, gas p pe ne. A state-owned gas pipeline exploded and burst into flames Friday, killing at least 15 people, destroying homes and forcing the evacuation of neighboring villages in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, author t es sa d. F ames rose more than 80 feet (25 meters) nto the a r, scorch ng the tops of coconut and pa m trees and send ng dense b ack c ouds of smoke nto the sky, w tnesses sa d. V agers ran out of the r homes and crowded the streets. Scores of houses and shops were gutted, off c a s sa d [pennenergy.com] » June 30 2014 - O markets, Iran. Iran Ready to Compensate Oil Undersupply. Iran can supp y enough crude o to compensate for any shortages n the market, a deputy petro eum m n ster sa d. "In case of crude o supp y s ump n the wor d markets, Iran w be ready to make up for th s shortage n three months," Roknedd n Javad , who s a so manag ng-d rector of Nat ona Iran an O Company (NIOC), sa d. He a so sa d that Iran is trying to raise its crude oil exports, regard ess of Western sanct ons. Javad sa d Iran s exports dec ned to 800,000 b/d a year ago due to nternat ona sanct ons. He added that the country s o exports have reached an acceptab e eve now. Javad sa d Iran s petro eum ndustry s opt m st c about the return of fore gn compan es nto Iran [shana.ir] » June 30 2014 - C mate change, energy trans t on, EU energy po cy. A warning from the IPCC: the EU 2030 s climate target cannot be based on science alone. The European Un on often emphas zes that t s pursu ng a "sc ence-based" c mate po cy. The European Counc s ong-term em ss on reduct on target of 80-95% by 2050 exp c t y refers to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmenta Pane on C mate Change (IPCC). Thus, t came as a surpr se for many European po cymakers and stakeho ders that the atest IPCC report d d not offer any spec f c gu de nes on future EU c mate targets. Br g tte Knopf from the Potsdam Inst tute for C mate Impact Research (PIK) and O ver Geden from the German Inst tute for Internat ona and Secur ty Affa rs (SWP), two ead ng nst tut ons n the f e d of sc ent f c po cy adv ce, argue n ne w th the ph osophy of the new IPCC report that the quest on of adequate EU targets for 2030 or 2050 cannot be based pure y on sc ence, but must u t mate y be dec ded n the po t ca arena [energypost.eu] » June 28 2014 - C mate change, env ronmenta po cy. Global environmental governance has experienced a remarkable evolution over the last two decades, seeing the United States handing over its leadership role to the European Union. Th s paper ana yses the transformat on of transat ant c env ronmenta governance through the ens of three scenar os, name y endur ng partnersh p, structura dr ft and funct ona re at onsh p. While the emergence of major disagreements over key issues such as climate change and biodiversity precludes the possibility of considering transatlantic environmental relations as an enduring partnership, these tensions have not degenerated into a structural drift, and var ous forms of cooperat on have endured at d fferent eve s and n d fferent env ronmenta ssue-areas. Due to the coex stence of cooperat on and d sagreement and the key ro e p ayed by domest c po t ca factors n shap ng EU and US env ronmenta postures, the present and future evo ut on of the transat ant c env ronmenta partnersh p can be best conceptua sed as a funct ona re at onsh p [iai.it] » June 28 2014 - Smart gr d, US. The Smart Grid is Coming � Who Wins Who Loses. Summer days are here and a r cond t oners are runn ng fu b ast n much of the Un ted States. Summer months tend to be per ods of h gh e ectr c ty demand, part cu ar y dur ng bouts of ntense heat waves. For examp e, the average home consumes 40% more e ectr c ty on a 103 degree Fahrenhe t day compared to an average summer day of 83 degrees. That means that ut t es have to crank up e ectr c ty generat on to meet demand, wh ch can f uctuate w d y. W th power p ants runn ng fu t t there s tt e room for error � blackouts are not uncommon when the grid is so stressed. But the prob em s compounded by the fact that the U.S. e ectr c ty gr d s ag ng and ncreas ng y show ng s gns of stra n. The Amer can power gr d has over 450,000 m es of h gh-vo tage transm ss on nes, fed by over 7,000 ag ng power p ants. More to the po nt, over 70% of the nat on�s transm ss on nes are over 25 years o d, and the average power p ant s over 30 years o d. As frag ty of the gr d has ncreased, so has the nc dence of b ackouts and weather-re ated power outages. The U.S. suffers $18 to $33 billion in costs each year from power outages related to severe weather alone. But the problem goes beyond weather � total costs for all outages reach as high as $150 billion a year across the country. And the problem has gotten worse over time. Power outages in the U.S. have skyrocketed by 285% since 1984. And that shou d not come as a surpr se cons der ng the wor d s argest economy s arge y powered by a bunch of e ectr ca w res strung up on wooden po es. In an era where so much data s prov ded to nternet users nstantaneous y, t may be d ff cu t to understand why the e ectr ca gr d s stuck n the past. But n the com ng years, the U.S. hopes to br ng the ear y 20th century e ectr ca system nto the 21st century. Replacing and/or upgrading the grid, which is an estimated $876 billion asset, will mean an enormous business opportunity for companies in the smart grid arena [oilprice.com] » June 28 2014 - Carbon markets, EU ETS, post-Kyoto. "Carbon markets and the post-2020 Agreement", Tendances Carbone. EU ETS reforms: the EU Comm ss on hosted a pane of experts to d scuss techn ca aspects of the proposa of the Market Stab ty Reserve. Market Stab ty Reserve of the EU ETS: Germany supports the Comm ss on proposa of a market stab ty reserve and ca s for a aunch of the mechan sm s gn f cant y before 2020, .e. a ready n 2017. 2030 energy and c mate package: EU Counc , the target of CO2 em ss ons reduct on of 40% by 2030 to take a f na dec s on as soon as poss b e and ater n October 2014 [cdcclimat.com] » June 27 2014 - TAP (Trans adr at c p pe ne), EU, natura gas. TAP issues contract notice for supply and installation of gas turbine compressors in Greece and Albania. Trans Adr at c P pe ne (TAP) s cont nu ng ts pre-qualification of potential suppliers for the construction of the 870km-long high pressure natural gas pipeline with its associated infrastructure across Greece, Albania, and Adriatic Sea with landfall in Southern Italy. Th s week TAP has ssued ts fourth contract not ce n the Off c a Journa of the EU � the EU Gazette: L nk to the announcement for the supp y and nsta at on of 15 MW range gas turb ne turbo compressors. S x turbo compressors w be purchased for nsta at on on two compressor stat ons - three for a compressor stat on n A ban a near F er, and three for a compressor stat on n Greece near K po . Compan es nterested n be ng pre-qua f ed for th s contract need to request a pre-qua f cat on quest onna re from TAP no ater than 14.07.2014. Th s request can be sent to TAP v a ema at [email protected] The scope of th s Supp y Contract w nc ude manufactur ng, de very, eng neer ng, nsta at on and pre-comm ss on ng of the turbo compressors. The potent a supp ers need to demonstrate that the r equ pment s "proven techno ogy", wh ch has been successfu y used on compressor stat ons s m ar to TAP s. The compressor stat ons w be bu t n accordance w th the nternat ona ndustry standards on hea th and safety, ocated at a s gn f cant d stance away from h gh y popu ated areas, caus ng m n mum mpact on the env ronment and oca commun t es. TAP has deve oped a set of measures to m t gate any mpacts as descr bed n ts Env ronmenta and Soc a Impact Assessments (ESIA n A ban a and ESIA n Greece) [tap-ag.com] » June 27 2014 - O . Iraq, Kurd stan. In May, Iraq -Kurd stan for the f rst t me ever so d o to nternat ona markets, defy ng a ban on o exports from the centra government n Baghdad. Accord ng to Fr edbert Pf �ger, the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) will have no problems finding investors and customers to build up its potentially huge oil and gas business. W th the current cr s s n Iraq, Baghdad should come to terms with the KRG if it wants to share in the proceeds. Wh e Iraq faces the prospect of a potent a breakup fo ow ng the conquests by the rad ca Is am st ISIS group, the autonomous Kurd sh reg on n the country s north has rema ned stab e. The Kurd sh Peshmerga m t a are secur ng the border. The economy is growing rapidly thanks to an abundance of fossil resources [energypost.eu] » June 27 2014 - C mate change. A broad view of climate history. Over the past few m on years, the Earth s c mate has osc ated between co d g ac a and warm nterg ac a states. The nature of these climate swings - and the dea of the nteract ons between so ar rad at on and the and-see�a r� ce system that govern them � seems incontrovertible. However, t was on y a few decades ago [nature.com] » June 27 2014 - Nuc ear, fus on, EU, Ita y. A landmark multimillion contract has been signed between F4E and SIMIC S.p.A, an Italian company specialised in high-tech engineering and manufacturing, marking the successful completion of Europe s strategy in the domain of the Toroidal Field (TF) coils, part of ITER s impressive magnet system. The D rector of F4E, Professor Henr k B nds ev, exp a ned that "thanks to th s contract the ast and most dec s ve chapter of the TF co s manufactur ng s about to be wr tten. We w produce magnets of unprecedented s ze and power fo ow ng extreme y comp ex techn ques. Th s f na procurement s a c ear demonstrat on of Europe s comm tment to the pro ect and ts capac ty to be compet t ve and meet h gh techn ca standards". For Mar anna G no a, Commerc a Manager of SIMIC S.p.A th s m estone " s an mpress ve ach evement that enhances the proven track record of our company and assoc ates Ita an manufactur ng amongst the most sk ed n the wor d. ITER has g ven us the opportun ty to bu d nternat ona co aborat ons. In th s contract for nstance, we w co aborate w th Babcock Noe Gmbh. Th s pro ect has g ven us the poss b ty to access new markets and grow both n s ze and expert se". The contract s expected to run for approx mate y f ve years and ts budget will exceed the amount of 100 million EUR. Through th s contract, the TF coils will be tested at extremely low temperatures reaching nearly -200 degrees Celsius/80 Kelvin and subsequently will be inserted within their cases in order to be finally assembled in the ITER machine. [fusionforenergy.europa.eu] » June 27 2014 - South stream, gas market, EU energy secut ty. European Comm ss oner for Energy Gunther H. Oett nger re terated h s conv ct on that the South Stream project should be mothballed and that Europe should rather intensify cooperation with the United States, Canada and Japan, wh e a so promot ng a more ntegrated energy market. "New nfrastructure nvestments promoted by dom nant supp ers must adhere to a nterna market and compet t on ru es. Th s s why we sa d that the South stream project should be suspended until full compliance with EU legislation is ensured and re-evaluated in light of the EU s energy security priorities," Oett nger sa d n Brusse s on Wednesday. Oett nger sa d that Europe has to include Ukraine, Moldova and the Western Balks in its energy security strategy, support ng reverse f ows. At the same t me, Europe s ook ng at Norway to ncrease energy secur ty. "In the com ng years, LNG w be an mportant f ex b ty e ement and we need to better use our ex st ng and future regas f cat on capac t es. We w a so need a reinforced partnership with Norway, the acceleration of the Southern Gas Corridor and the promotion of a new gas hub in Southern Europe." Accord ng to Po and and the Un ted K ngdom, those measures have to be comp emented w th a stronger focus on nd genous resources [naturalgaseurope.com] » June 27 2014 - C mate change, carbon market. Fairtrade International and The Gold Standard Foundation have s gned an agreement to deve op a joint Gold Standard and Fairtrade carbon scheme to foster w der susta nab e deve opment and prov de greater access to the carbon market for smallholders and rural communities in developing countries. The co aborat on was born through a recogn t on of shared va ues and pr nc p es: Soc a va ues: mprovement of ve hoods, respect of human and abour r ghts, part c pat on and empowerment of oca commun t es; Env ronmenta va ues: protect on of b od vers ty, conservat on of natura resources and ecosystems, reduct on of greenhouse em ss ons, mprovement of c mate res ence [goldstandard.org] » June 26 2014 - C mate change, WMO. There is a 60% likelihood of an El Nino being fully established between June and August, increasing to 75-80% for the October to December period, accord ng to an E N no Update ssued by the Wor d Meteoro og ca Organ zat on (WMO). Based on adv ce from Nat ona Meteoro og ca and Hydro og ca Serv ces, many governments have a ready started prepar ng for the arr va of E N no, wh ch s assoc ated w th reg ona -sca e drought and f ood s tuat ons n d fferent parts of the wor d and has a warming influence on global average surface temperatures. E N no s character zed by unusua y warm ocean surface temperatures n the centra and eastern trop ca Pac f c, coup ed w th typ ca atmospher c c rcu at on patterns. It s a natura phenomenon w th a recurr ng nterva of 2-7 years and has a ma or mpact on the c mate around the wor d. The ast E N no was n 2009/2010. Trop ca Pac f c Ocean temperatures have recent y warmed to weak E N no thresho ds but atmospher c cond t ons (such as sea eve pressure, c oud ness and trade w nds) have rema ned neutra . Th s nd cates that E N no has not yet become fu y estab shed, as t essent a y depends on the nteract on between the ocean and the atmosphere. However, atmospher c patterns that are typ ca of a fu y deve oped E N no event on the bas n-w de sca e are st ke y to appear, accord ng to the WMO Update, wh ch s based on consensus from experts around the wor d. The trop ca Pac f c Ocean s expected to cont nue to warm dur ng the com ng months, peak ng dur ng the ast quarter of 2014. Its potent a ntens ty rema ns uncerta n, but a moderate strength event current y appears more ke y than a weak or strong one. Warming Effect. "Our understand ng of E N no and La N na has ncreased dramat ca y n recent years and th s know edge has enab ed us to deve op very successfu c mate serv ces for soc ety. Advance warning has given governments around the world time to make contingency plans for the impact of this year s expected El Nino on the agriculture, water management, health and other climate-sensitive sectors," [wmo.int] » June 26 2014 - O market. Pause before the storm. Futures pr ces for both crude and gaso ne were down yesterday. Unfortunate y, that bare y te s the rea story. So, en oy the resp te wh e t asts. Thanks to the grow ng Sunn nsurrect on and the rap d unrave ng of the Sh te government n Baghdad, you can bet that pr ces for both crude and gaso ne w be mak ng the head nes over the next two months. In fact, when t comes to o , some bankers are now open y quest on ng the ab ty of the market to meet g oba demand a year out. Now prices further out on the futures curve are rising much more quickly than anticipated. As the next-month rates (August 2014) fell in yesterday s trade, oil prices as far out as December 2018 began to spike. Here s why yesterday s drop n pr ces s ust the pause before the storm [moneymorning.com] » June 26 2014 - O , US, IEA. US shale boom is over, energy revolution needed to avert blackouts. G oba energy watchdog conf rms the party s over - owers US product on pro ect ons, demands urgent nvestment. In 2012, the Internat ona Energy Agency (IEA) forecast that the US wou d outpace Saud Arab a n o product on thanks to the sha e boom by 2020, becom ng a net exporter by 2030. The forecast was seen by many as dec s ve ev dence of the renewa of the o age, wh e nformed detractors were at best gnored, at worst r d cu ed. [...] But the IEA s atest assessment has proved the detractors r ght a a ong. The agency s Wor d Energy Investment Out ook re eased th s week says that US tight oil production - wh ch draws arge y from the Bakken n North Dakota and the Eag e Ford n Texas - will peak around 2020 before declining. The new ana ys s puts an end to the 100 year supp y myth w de y promu gated by ndustry, and moves c oser to the more scept ca assessment of a US t ght o peak w th n th s decade. The IEA report says: "... output from North America plateaus [from around 2020] and then falls back from the mid2020s onwards." The shortfa w make the US, and countr es n Europe ook ng to mport from Amer ca, ncreas ng y dependent on M dd e East supp es [theguardian.com] » June 26 2014 - O , US. - API urged po cymakers to cons der the proven environmental and economic benefits of America s oil and natural gas industry when we gh ng the risks claimed by opponents of U.S. energy production. "It s no co nc dence that U.S. carbon emissions have dropped to near 20-year lows, while U.S. shale gas production had quadrupled since 2008," sa d API Pres dent and CEO Jack Gerard. "Amer ca s o and natura gas ndustry has ed an energy rena ssance that s he p ng to grow the economy, create obs, and prov de env ronmenta benef ts. "Amer ca s now the wor d s ead ng producer of c ean-burn ng natura gas, demonstrat ng that econom c prosper ty and env ronmenta progress are not mutua y exc us ve. In fact, from 2000 to 2012, Amer ca s o and natura gas ndustry nvested more n zero- and ow-em ss ons techno og es than the federa government and near y as much as a other ndustr es comb ned. These research and deve opment efforts dr ve Amer ca s compet t veness and cou d produce techno og es that w change the energy andscape across markets and geography. But Amer ca s success as an energy superpower depends on an a -of-the-above strategy, where sc ence and free markets determ ne nvestments -- not po t cs and deo ogy." [pennenergy.com] » June 26 2014 - Germany, energy po cy, paper. The recent IZES paper on proposa s for Germany s future energy policy prov ded an overv ew of how the sw tch to reverse auct ons m ght ook based on exper ence n other countr es. Cra g Morr s says the outcome of the sw tch s obv ous. Does t match the German government s goa ? The study focuses on three countr es that have emp oyed reverse auct ons for renewab es: Brazil, wh ch drew nternat ona head nes for ts recent round of b ds that produced some of the owest pr ces for w nd power ever; and France and the Netherlands, wh ch IZES says have markets and goa s more s m ar to Germany s [energytransition.de] » June 26 2014 - C mate change, paper. A central question in climate policy is whether early investments in low-carbon technologies are a useful first step towards a more effective climate agreement in the future. We ntroduce a climate cooperation model with endogenous R&D investments where countries protect their international competitiveness via border carbon adjustments (BCA). BCA ra ses the scope for cooperat on and eads to a non-tr v a re at on between countr es pr or R&D nvestments and part c pat on n the coa t on. We f nd that ear y nvestments n R&D render free-r d ng more attract ve. Therefore, w th de ayed cooperat on on em ss on abatement and ex-ante R&D nvestments, the outcome s often character zed by h gh part c pat on but neff c ent y ow techno ogy nvestments and abatement [belfercenter.ksg.harvard.edu] » June 25 2014 - Ch na energy. China faces an arduous task in attempting to revolutionize how it produces and consumes energy, experts sa d at a sympos um n Be ng on Wednesday. As an emerg ng economy exper enc ng rap d growth, Ch na has to str ke a ba ance between sat sfy ng ts huge energy demand and safeguard ng the env ronment n order to make ts growth susta nab e, sa d Wu Yuetao, a researcher from government th nk tank the Ch na Center for Internat ona Econom c Exchanges. After a decade of ndustr a zat on and growth, Ch na s now the wor d s argest energy producer and consumer. However, prosperity based on overstretched natural resources has caused a worsening environment and a heavy burden to control pollution. If not contro ed, Ch na s energy demand w surge to 5.3 b on tonnes of coa equ va ent n 2020 and seven b on tonnes n 2030, Wu has ca cu ated. At the same t me, however, he urged that Ch na shou d not restra n ts econom c advance n the name of cutt ng energy consumpt on. He J ankun, d rector of the Low Carbon Energy Lab under Ts nghua Un vers ty, sa d there s an urgent need for China to reform its energy structure. Wh e energy requ rements are f at n deve oped countr es, they are n mass ve f ux n Ch na. Structura ad ustment there s ke chang ng the t res of a speed ng veh c e. Near y 70 percent of the energy consumed n Ch na comes from coa , a rat o much h gher than n deve oped countr es, wh ch use c eaner resources ke o and gas. Desp te great endeavors from the centra government to wean Ch na off ts re ance on coa , th s most pr mary energy source w cont nue to fue the country s econom c eng ne, sympos um de egates agreed. Ch na has the wor d s th rd- argest terr tory, r ch n coa but ack ng gas and o . In June, Ch nese Pres dent X J np ng ca ed for restructur ng of the country s energy sector to be stepped up n ght of chang ng dynam cs n the g oba energy market. Wh e acknow edg ng the cha enges, he prom sed to take steps to re n n rrat ona energy use and estab sh a d vers f ed system featur ng c eaner coa , as we as use of other fue s and new energy [...] Eye ng mprovement n Ch na s energy structure, Ts nghua s He pred cted that the proportion of non-fossil energy use will reach 15 percent in China, equivalent to 700 million tonnes of standard coal, or the combined annual energy demand of Britain and Germany, in 2020. Ch na shou d a so expand nternat ona energy cooperat on to ensure externa supp es, he added. In 2030, the rat o w ncrease to 20 to 25 percent and that of coa w fa be ow 50 percent [china.org.cn] » June 25 2014 - O , Iraq. Events n Iraq are head ne news everywhere, and once aga n, there s no ment on of the issue that underlies much of the violence: control of Iraqi oil. Instead, the med a s f ooded w th debate about, horror over, and extens ve ana ys s of a not-exact y-brand-new terror st threat, the Is am c State of Iraq and Syr a (ISIS). There are, n add t on, e aborate d scuss ons about the poss b ty of a c v war that threatens both a new round of ethn c c eans ng and the co apse of the embatt ed government of Pr me M n ster Nour a -Ma k . Underway are, n fact, "a ser es of urban revo ts aga nst the government," as M dd e Eastern expert Juan Co e has ca ed them. They are current y restr cted to Sunn areas of the country and have a d st nct y sectar an character, wh ch s why groups ke ISIS can thr ve and even take a eadersh p ro e n var ous oca es. These revo ts have, however, ne ther been created nor are they contro ed by ISIS and ts severa thousand f ghters. They a so nvo ve former Baath sts and Saddam Husse n oya sts, tr ba m t as, and many others. And at east n nc p ent form they may not, n the end, be restr cted to Sunn areas. As the New York T mes reported ast week, the oil industry is "worried that the unrest could spread" to the southern Shiadominated city of Basra, where "Iraq s main oil fields and export facilities are clustered." [oilprice.com] » June 25 2014 - Gas, Iran. Iran will have the chance to export gas to Europe, Persian Gulf states and Iraq following the completion of three gas trunk-lines, an off c a w th the Nat ona Iran an Gas Company (NIGC) sa d. Hassan Montazer Torbat sa d Iran Gas Trunkine (IGAT)-6, IGAT-7 and IGAT-9 w fac tate gas exports to Europe and Pers an Gu f. "IGAT-7 and IGAT-9 w supp y gas to west of Iran and a so fac tate exports to Iraq, Turkey and Europe," he sa d. Torbat sa d NIGC s expand ng nfrastructure wh e focus ng on more act ve presence n wor d markets. "To that effect, a p pe ne def ned for the future w supp y domest c needs bes des serv ng exports ob ect ves," he sa d, add ng that new p pe nes w boost Iran s gas trade. "IGAT-7 w fac tate exports to Pers an Gu f countr es," [shana.ir] » June 25 2014 - C mate change. Natural capital accounting and climate change. Governments and bus nesses are beg nn ng to account for natura cap ta , but must co aborate to promote susta nab ty, combat c mate change and mprove dec s on-mak ng [nature.com] » June 25 2014 - O , Opec. The price of OPEC basket of twe ve crudes stood at 109.62 dollars a barrel on Tuesday, compared w th $110.30 the prev ous day, accord ng to OPEC Secretar at ca cu at ons. The new OPEC Reference Basket of Crudes (ORB) s made up of the fo ow ng: Saharan B end (A ger a), G rasso (Ango a), Or ente (Ecuador), Iran Heavy (Is am c Repub c of Iran), Basra L ght (Iraq), Kuwa t Export (Kuwa t), Es S der (L bya), Bonny L ght (N ger a), Qatar Mar ne (Qatar), Arab L ght (Saud Arab a), Murban (UAE) and Merey (Venezue a) [opec.org] » June 25 2014 - O , Cyprus. Recent y h t by the f nanc a cr s s due to ts banks exposure to Greek debt, Cyprus is implementing serious efforts to develop its oil and gas sector. Is the s and so e y dependent on ts offshore r ches to overcome ts money prob ems? W t succeed n f nd ng suff c ent amounts of hydrocarbon to ncent v se ma or o and gas compan es, nvestors and ne ghbour ng countr es to part c pate n ts path towards energy product on? Does t have the r ght organs, too s and work forces to ead and d rect the process? Is Cyprus dependent on the he p ng hand of ts Eastern Med terranean ne ghbours to become a net natura gas exporter? [naturalgaseurope.com] » June 24 2014 - Iran, Gas reserves. Iran s Petro eum M n ster B an Namdar Zanganeh sa d new oil and gas reserves are likely to be discovered in north, northeast and west of the country. "New hor zons for o and gas reservo rs have been found n Go estan, Khorasan Razav , North Khorasan and border reg ons ke Qasr-e Sh r n," [...] exp orat on operat ons have not reached a po nt to be announced off c a y "because exp orat on we s are needed to be dr ed n these reg ons." [...] no new field has been discovered in Iran in recent years. In its latest annual report, British Petroleum (BP) announced that Iran s gas reserves have grown by 200 billion cubic meters (bcm). The report announced in view of this growth, Iran s natural gas reserves rank first in the world. Iran has ma nta ned th s rank for the second consecut ve year. The report puts Iran s gas reserves at 33.8 trillion cubic meters (tcm) by the end of 2013. The wor d s proven gas reserves amounted to 185.7 tcm n 2013, wh ch w ast for another 55 years, t sa d. BP re eased ts f rst annua report n 1951 and put the wor d s proven gas reserves at 185.3 tcm n ts 2012 report [platts.com] » June 24 2014 - O market. ICE August Brent settled 69 cents lower at $114.12/barrel Monday, d pp ng on weak European Purchas ng Managers Index data, but w th the front-month contract holding near a nine-month high on continued instability in Iraq. August Brent reached an ntraday h gh of $115.66/b, near Thursday s fresh n ne-month h gh of $115.71/b. NYMEX August crude settled 66 cents lower at $106.17/b. In products, NYMEX Ju y ULSD sett ed 1.86 cents ower at $3.0326/ga and Ju y RBOB ended down 2.01 cents at $3.1076/ga [platts.com] » June 24 2014 - Green house gas (GHG) m t gat on po cy, Japan, paper. In 2013, in the aftermath of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster, the government of Japan put forth a revised target to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 3.8 percent from 2005 levels by 2020. Th s paper ana yzes th s target and f nds that Japan can ke y meet t by cont nu ng e ectr c ty-sav ng efforts and ensur ng mp ementat on of ex st ng m t gat on po c es. An overview of these policies and a comparison of the target to Japan s earlier 2020 mitigation targets are also presented. The paper conc udes w th cons derat ons for mprov ng Japan s current target, as we as future target-sett ng processes. [wri.org] » June 24 2014 - C mate change, Austra a, paper. Strong international action to reduce emissions is in every country s interest, including Australia s. Th s act on w reduce the r sks and ke y mpacts of c mate change. This research paper identifies key priorities for international co-operation on climate change that will encourage greater national emissions reductions. The nternat ona commun ty s now negot at ng a post-2020 framework for g oba c mate act on. The key parts of the post-2020 framework are p anned to be agreed n Par s at the end of 2015. The best measure of the success of the Par s meet ng w be the extent to wh ch t encourages and nsp res stronger nat ona act on to reduce em ss ons through t me. Priorities for an effective post-2020 framework include: Cont nued comm tment to a co ect ve goa that m ts g oba warm ng to 2C or be ow A ma or em tt ng countr es putt ng forward nat ona y determ ned targets and nformat on that a ows for c ear compar son w th others efforts. Agreement on a common framework for track ng em ss ons and progress; Greater c ar ty and transparency for the nternat ona trade of em ss ons un ts; Regu ar rev ews of co ect ve and nd v dua efforts to reduce em ss ons, wh ch can enhance transparency and promote greater effort. The paper does not make recommendat ons to government [climatechangeauthority.gov.au] » June 24 2014 - O , Iraq. Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday promised "intense and sustained" U.S. support for Iraq, but sa d the d v ded country wou d on y surv ve f ts eaders took urgent steps to br ng t together. Hours before Kerry arr ved n Baghdad, Sunn tr bes who have o ned a m tant takeover of northern Iraq se zed the on y ega cross ng po nt w th Jordan, secur ty sources sa d, eav ng troops w th no presence a ong the ent re western front er wh ch nc udes some of the M dd e East s most mportant trade routes [reuters.com] » June 23 2014 - Watch ve, IEA s Energy Techno ogy Perspect ves 2014 (ETP 2014), Cs s. The CSIS Energy and National Security Program s p eased to host D d er Houss n, D rector of the D rectorate of Susta nab e Energy Po cy and Techno ogy at the IEA, to present the IEA s Energy Technology Perspectives 2014 (ETP 2014). Start ng from the prem se that e ectr c ty w be an ncreas ng y mportant vector n energy systems of the future, ETP 2014 takes a deep d ve nto act ons needed to support de poyment of susta nab e opt ons for generat on, d str but on and end-use consumpt on. In add t on to mode ng the g oba out ook to 2050 under d fferent scenar os for more than 500 techno ogy opt ons, ETP 2014 exp ores the poss b ty of push ng the m ts n s x key areas: So ar Power, Natura Gas n Low-Carbon E ectr c ty Systems, E-mob ty, E ectr c ty Storage, Attract ng F nance for Low-Carbon Generat on, and Power Generat on n Ind a. Wednesday, un 25, 2014 | 10:00 am - 11:15 am [csis.org] » June 23 2014 - Gas, South Stream p pe ne, EU. Austria will formally sign up as a participant in the South Stream gas pipeline during and upcoming visit to the country by Russian President Vladimir Putin on June 24, Russ an gas s p anned to flow to the Austrian hub of Baumgarten commencing in January 2018. On Tuesday, Gerhard Ro ss, CEO of Austr a s OMV, had ca ed on the European Un on to speed up the mp ementat on of the South Stream pro ect. In Apr , Gazprom and OMV s gned a memorandum of understand ng to bu d a spur of the South Stream gas p pe ne to Austr a [naturalgaseurope.com] » June 23 2014 - O market, Iraq. Iraq will be foremost in investors minds in the coming week as oil price risk has returned to markets, comp cat ng the task for centra banks whose po c es are beg nn ng to d verge for the f rst t me s nce the g oba f nanc a cr s s. Oil prices neared nine-month highs late last week, touching $115 a barrel, and the rap d advance of m tants n Iraq, the second- argest OPEC producer, s destab s ng o markets. That has mp cat ons for nf at on n the Un ted States and Europe, as we as As a s export-or ented econom es that are arge net mporters of o . Investors w be watch ng a range of data, from German and Japanese consumer pr ces to f rst-quarter U.S. GDP, to see how the Federa Reserve, the European Centra Bank (ECB), the Bank of Eng and and the Bank of Japan respond [reuters.com] » June 23 2014 - Gas, Russ a/Ukra ne. Russian gas is being transited via Ukraine in contracted amounts, around 205 m on cub c meters of gas had been pumped through the country over the past day, spokesman for Russ an energy g ant Gazprom Serge Kupr yanov to d ITAR-TASS on Monday. Russ an da y gas trans t supp es have made around 185 m on cub c meters over the ast week. So, daily gas transit amounts went up 10% [itar-tass.com] » June 23 2014 - O , Ch na. Ch nese oil firm Addax Petroleum has opened a training center in Gabon s commercial capital of Port Gentil to benef t Gabonese youths who w sh to work n a petro eum company [news.xinhuanet.com] » June 23 2014 - Coa , Ch na. China s largest coal producer Shenhua Group is trying to persuade traders and utilities to buy more coal in a bid to reduce inventories at ports as relatively high stocks at utilities and robust hydropower production continue to weigh on the market, market sources sa d Monday. A manager at one arge ut ty sa d t has sent severa vesse s to Huanghua port to he p ease the g ut after rece v ng Shenhua s request. A source at another power p ant n southern Ch na sa d t had rece ved a s m ar request from Shenhua a few days ago, and noted there were current y four vacant oad ng berths ava ab e at Huanghua port. Coa stocks at Huanghua port tota ed 2.21 m on mt June 18, up a sharp 68.2% from the end of Apr when Shenhua ra sed pr ces Yuan 5/mt. Q nhuangdao port s nventory h t 7.15 m on mt ast Fr day, the h ghest s nce March 10. R s ng temperatures n recent weeks has boosted demand for coa -f red e ectr c ty but th s has not been enough to st mu ate buy ng nterest from coasta ut t es as hydropower output and ut ty stocks are re at ve y h gh [platts.com] » June 23 2014 - Nuc ear, Iran. Accepting Additional Protocol by Iran is conditional, spokesman for the Atom c Energy Organ zat on of Iran (AEOI) Behrouz Kama vand sa d on Monday [...] If a nuc ear ssues are reso ved and sanct ons fted, then Iran w be ready to accept the Add t ona Protoco under some cond t ons n order to remove G5+1 concerns, Kama vand added [irna.ir] » June 23 2014 - C mate change, Unep annua report. There can no longer be any doubt that climate change is the major, overriding environmental issue of our time. It s a grow ng cr s s that s a ready affect ng our ab ty to support v rtua y every e ement of human we be ng and susta nab e deve opment, from econom c growth to food secur ty. Sh ft ng weather patterns, for examp e, threaten food product on through ncreased npred ctab ty of ra nfa ; r s ng sea eve s contam nate coasta freshwater reserves and ncrease the r sk of f ood ng; and extreme weather events, pred cted to become more frequent and severe, can cause devastat on. UNEP works to m t gate and adapt to c mate change by ass st ng governments and bus nesses to reduce em ss ons, and by he p ng nat ons and commun t es most ke y to be affected deve op ways to become more res ent to chang ng cond t ons [unep.org] » June 23 2014 - o market, US. U.S. oil production will beat output from the Middle East for the rest of the decade. And wh e that g ves the Un ted States some everage on the nternat ona stage, at east one prom nent g oba ana yst th nks it s wrong to assume oil could be used as a foreign policy tool. The U.S. Energy Informat on Adm n strat on (EIA) sa d domest c o product on for the week end ng June 13 averaged 8.47 million barrels per day, up 17,000 bpd from the prev ous week and 18 percent higher year-on-year. The r se n product on has fue ed the debate over what to do about eg s at on enacted n the 1970s that restr cts crude o exports. Cr t cs say the ban wou d ead to h gher pr ces at home, spec f ca y at the gaso ne pump. A January report from the Center for a New Amer can Secur ty, however, sa d the econom c connect on that wou d come from o exports cou d man fest tse f as "coerc ve po t ca nf uence" n fore gn affa rs. [...] The Internat ona Energy Agency (IEA) sa d t expects the United States to be the world s leading oil producer by next year, passing Russia and Saudi Arabia. The Un ted States s a so on ts way to energy se f-suff c ency, wh ch wou d make t ess vu nerab e to o shocks ke the one that prompted the 1970s export ban. But that dominance will be brief, and presumably so too would be any perceived geopolitical leverage. U.S. oil production should peak in the next decade and fall from the No. 1 spot at the beginning of the 2030s. [...] the dynam cs of the g oba energy market are ndeed chang ng. Ch na s tak ng the ead n terms of energy consumpt on at the same t me the M dd e East s fad ng as a ead supp er. Markets, however, are becom ng more nterconnected and the relationship between the supplier and the consumer is becoming more and more dependent [oilprice.com] » June 21 2014 - Energy out ook. BP statistical Review of World Energy 2014. Ten years ago, the energy wor d ooked rather d fferent. Much of what we took for granted has changed. It s a ways a good f rst step to ook back at where you came from before assess ng today. What have been some of the major changes over the past decade? Ten years ago, the deve op ng wor d, c ass f ed here as non-OECD econom es, had started to embark on a per od of rap d econom c growth (the term BRICs was co ned n 2001). From 2001 onward, th s showed up as an "energy gap" g oba energy demand growth became dom nated by the non-OECD from the turn of the m enn um; n 2008, they overtook the OECD. China, rightly or wrongly, came to symbolize this ascent, overtaking the EU in 2007, the US in 2010 and the whole of North America last year. Many wou d have found th s hard to be eve ten years ago [bp.com] » June 21 2014 - C mate change, post-Kyoto agreement. Countdown to Paris: Q&A With UN Climate Change Official Halldor Thorgeirsson. The wor d s nat ons are now w th n 500 days of gather ng n Par s to hammer out the deta s of the world s first global agreement designed to confront climate change. But de egates at the Un ted Nat ons c mate negot at on process have yet to come to a consensus on what form the endof-2015 Par s agreement w take or what top cs t w cover. Most de egates say the work on the first formal draft of the text is still months away. But there are some reasons for optimism. Though negot at ng sess ons at the ust-comp eted Bonn C mate Change ta ks saw few breakthroughs, some de egates reported a cooperat ve atmosphere that cou d ay the groundwork for future progress [bna.com] » June 21 2014 - Sha e gas, frack ng. Russian intelligence agencies are covertly funding and working with European environmental groups to campaign against fracking and maintain EU dependence on Russian gas, the head of Nato has c a med. Answer ng quest ons after a speech n London, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Nato secretary-genera , sa d mprov ng European energy secur ty was of the "utmost mportance" and accused Moscow of "b ackma " n ts dea ngs w th Europe [ft.com] » June 20 2014 - C mate change adaptat on des gn, mon tor ng and eva uat on . SEA Change and UKCIP present second Evaluation Review, which focuses on climate change adaptation M&E trends originating from a selection of international and donor agency portfolio evaluations. The G oba Env ronment Fac ty (GEF) dec ared that "climate change is the defining development challenge of the 21st century" (GEF 2012: v). There has been a grow ng recogn t on that c mate change w ncreas ng y comprom se the ves and ve hoods of m ons of peop e around the wor d, and s one of the factors cha eng ng the rea sat on of the M enn um Deve opment Goa s and the Post-2015 Deve opment Agenda. In t a y, c mate change responses tended to focus on m t gat on act v t es or on understand ng d rect mpacts. CCA M&E s a rap d y-evo v ng f e d, and there has been a pro ferat on of gu de nes and too k ts n recent years. As investments in CCA increase, donors and development agencies are seeking to assess the effectiveness and appropriateness of the CCA activities they fund. Th s nc udes a des re to ga n a broader p cture of progress across an organ sat on or portfo o, often spann ng mu t p e programmes, countr es and sectors. Th s Eva uat on Rev ew, based on pub shed portfo o eva uat ons of severa nternat ona and donor agenc es, ref ects on these h gher eve eva uat ons n order to an out ne of trends n CCA des gn, mon tor ng and eva uat on (DME) [seachangecop.org] » June 20 2014 - Renewab e energy, Ita y. Renzi Tilts at the Windmills. Apparent y the Ita an government has an uneasy re at onsh p w th pr vate cap ta . P azza Co onna recent y announced the government s f rst pr vat zat ons n s x years, to se off up to �12 b on n assets, n order to pay down part of the pub c debt. So far, so good. Yet tt e more than one month ago, the government of new Pr me M n ster Matteo Renz a so tab ed a proposa effect ve y target ng nst tut ona equ ty nvestors to f nance e ectr c ty-pr ce cuts. The proposa wou d retroact ve y cut feed- n tar ffs for renewab e energy p ants by up to 20%. These government-set tar ffs funct on as f xed-pr ce contracts for renewab e-energy producers. In Ita y, the owners of renewab e-energy p ants are a d verse m x: nternat ona and domest c pens on funds, pr vate equ ty funds, g oba energy nvestment f rms-many backed by sovere gn wea th funds and other nst tut ona nvestors. The proposal to retroactively cut their returns comes on top of previous governments efforts to penalize owners of renewable energy plants, via a raft of new taxes and charges that have reduced investors returns roughly by half since 2011. Now the Renzi government is doubling down. Though the feed-in tariffs are a popular punchingbag, average wholesale power prices in Italy have already declined to �48 per megawatt-hour in 2014, from �76 in 2008. That reduct on has been dr ven n part by the construct on of new renewab e-energy power p ants. But for some reason these reduct ons have not been passed on to consumers. Over the past five years, investors have poured more than �50 billion into Italian renewable energy, building some 17 gigawatts of solar-power capacity and six gigawatts of wind capacity. Renewables accounted for 34% of Italian power generation in 2012, up from 20% in 2008-the biggest jump among the major European economies over that time. As w th a ong-term nvestments, a c ear ega framework was key to attract ng the funds for Ita an renewab es. Now that the money s spent and the p ants operat ng, Mr. Renz wants to tear up the contracts and se ect ve y w pe out equ ty nvestors, though renewab e costs are on y a sma part of Ita y s energy b [wsj.com] » June 19 2014 - Iraq, o . ISIS and the Long-Term Threat to Iraqi Oil. Is am st m tants haven t touched Iraq o product on or exports yet, but they threaten Iraq s a - mportant future prospects. The re ent ess march of Is am st m tants south through Iraq s tak ng a to on the country s o nfrastructure, forc ng the closure of Iraq s largest oil refinery and spark ng fears of an attack on Baghdad tse f. But w th Iraq s o output, f not ts nat ona ntegr ty, apparent y st ntact, global oil markets are treading water after pushing crude prices up to nine-month highs late last week. The rea prob em posed by the offens ve un eashed by the Is am c State of Iraq and a -Sham (ISIS) s not what happens to Iraq o product on th s week, but whether OPEC s second-biggest producer can meet outsized production-growth expectations for the rest of the decade. If t can t, energy ana ysts say, the wor d s nexorab e th rst for o cou d soon co de w th m ted growth n supp y, ead ng to h gher pr ces and ower econom c growth n the Un ted States and around the wor d [foreignpolicy.com] » June 19 2014 - Energy eff c ency, report. A new report from the Institute for Industrial Productivity and IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has demonstrated the huge potential for cutting energy use through the use of waste heat recovery (WHR) in cement production. The report, Waste Heat Recovery for the Cement Sector: Market and Supp er Ana ys s, ana yzes the current status of WHR n deve op ng countr es and nvest gates the success factors n countr es where t has become w despread, w th a deta ed focus on 12 countr es, nc ud ng Braz , Ind a, Pak stan, South Afr ca, Turkey and Ch na [ifc.org] » June 19 2014 - Iran, nuc ear. Emily Landau, Ephraim Asculai, and Shimon Stein, writing in The National Interest, argue for the necessity of clarifying Iran s past military nuclear activities as part of any f na dea . Concerns over those past act v t es, they wr te, are the reason for negot at ons n the f rst p ace. Iran must e uc date ts past act ons n order for the P5+1, and for Iran tse f, to be sat sf ed w th a nuc ear dea [iranmatters.belfercenter.org] » June 19 2014 - Canada, tar sands. So, Canada s federa government has f na y approved construction of the proposed Enbridge pipeline that is intended to carry bitumen from Alberta s tar sands to Kitimat, and thence by ocean to China. If we do not go ahead, the Pr me M n ster warns us, Canada s economy w be n grave danger. "No country s go ng to take act ons that are go ng to de berate y destroy obs and growth n the r country," he dec ared a week ago, n a o nt statement w th the open y c mate deny ng Pr me M n ster of Austra a, Tony Abbott. But what if none of this is true? What if there were two possible directions that Canada s future economy could take, not just one? What if there was another future built on clean technology, renewable energy, sustainable transportation and zero-carbon buildings, in which Canada could prosper without the tar sands and the unwanted pipelines, and without all the fracking, the oil-polluted waters, the exploding trains, the waves of pub c oppos t on and the ega cha enges from F rst Nat ons? [bcsea.org] » June 18 2014 - Stato 2014 energy perspect ve report. The CSIS Energy and National Security Program s p eased to host E r k W�rness, Ch ef Econom st at Statoil, to present the company s new y re eased 2014 Energy Perspect ves report. W th an out ook to 2040, the report descr bes the ong-term macroeconom c and market out ook w th pred ct ons nc ud ng a peak in oil demand and CO2 emissions around 2030, strong growth in new forms of renewable energy, and a global average energy demand growth of 1.2%. Th s year s report nc udes two a ternat ve scenar os: a ow carbon scenar o and an ncreased geopo t ca conf ct scenar o. Sarah Lad s aw, D rector and Sen or Fe ow w th the CSIS Energy and Nat ona Secur ty Program, w moderate [csis.org] » June 18 2014 - Renewab e energy, IRENA web nar. Web nar on Vocational Training in the Renewable Energy Sector: Shar ng of Best Pract ces and Lessons Learned. The rap d dep oyment of renewab e energy techno og es can pose numerous cha enges for energy re ated stakeho ders when oca techn c ans ack the necessary sk s to nsta and ma nta n systems. Qua ty vocat ona tra n ng s needed n order to ensure that techn c ans adhere to protect on and safety gu de nes and ut ze best pract ces n the des gn and nsta at on of renewab e energy systems. Th s web nar w ntroduce the Vocat ona Tra n ng and Educat on for C ean Energy (VOTEC) programme, ed by Arizona State University w th the support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the so ar nsta er cert f cat on tra n ng be ng carr ed out by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). Date: 15th Ju y, T me: 9:00 am GST [irena.org] » June 18 2014 - Russ a-Ukra ne, EU. The European Union s top negotiator in the gas price row between Russia and Ukraine is working to bring the two sides together again before mid-July, but sa d a weekend of b oodshed n Ukra ne had made the task much harder, Reuters reported ate Tuesday. Russ a s gas supp y monopo y Gazprom turned off gas supp es to Ukra ne on Monday after the atest round of ta ks between the European Comm ss on, K ev and Moscow broke down n the ear y hours of Monday. The ta ks are bound up w th the worst cr s s between Russ a and Ukra ne s nce the Sov et Un on co apsed - a cr s s that has brought Western sanct ons on Moscow, Cr mea s access on to Russ a and Co d War-sty e sabre-ratt ng a ong the borders. European Energy Comm ss oner Gunther Oett nger to d Reuters further progress would take time and gave h mse f the summer months, when gas in storage is plentiful and demand is low, to find a solution [en.itar-tass.com] » June 18 2014 - O market. ICE August Brent settled 51 cents higher at $113.45/barrel Tuesday on continued support from growing violence and unrest in Iraq, although the upside was limited as oil continues to flow from the country s oil-rich south. August Brent rema ns near a recent n ne-month h gh of $114.69/b, reached June 13, but was conf ned to a t ghter range of $112.16-$113.80/b on Tuesday. NYMEX Ju y crude sett ed 54 cents ower at $106.36/b. The contract has pu ed back from a n ne-month h gh of $107.68/b reached on June 13. In products, NYMEX Ju y ULSD sett ed 2.01 cents h gher at $3.0180/ga and Ju y RBOB ended 1.93 cents h gher at $3.0911/ga . Pr ces pu ed back from h ghs, tak ng so ace n expectat ons that product on and exports n Iraq s southern reg on w rema n unaffected by the m tant offense [platts.com] » June 18 2014 - C mate change, report. The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) has re eased a new report examining options for building both flexibility and ambition into the new international climate change agreement due next year n Par s. The report, Bu d ng F ex b ty and Amb t on nto a 2015 C mate Agreement, exp ores a new "hybrid" approach emerg ng n the Un ted Nat ons c mate negot at ons that wou d blend top-down and bottom-up elements to ach eve both broad part c pat on and strong act on. Not ng that part es have a ready agreed on a centra bottom-up e ement - w th the ca ast year n Warsaw for " ntended nat ona y determ ned contr but ons" - the paper out nes a range of potent a top-down e ements that cou d he p ensure that part es contr but ons are amb t ous and strengthen over t me. These nc ude a ong-term goa as a benchmark for eva uat ng countr es efforts, report ng and rev ew procedures to promote transparency and accountab ty, and prov s ons for updat ng or n t at ng the next round of nat ona contr but ons. In so do ng, t a so cons ders cross-cutt ng ssues such as t m ng, the overa structure of the agreement, the d fferent at on of countr es ob gat ons, and ways to make the 2015 agreement dynam c and, n turn, durab e. [c2es.org] » June 17 2014 - US, c mate f nance. Obama Climate Change: President Announces $1 Billion Climate Resilience Fund To Help Communities Prepare For Natural Disasters. Pres dent Obama s c mate change proposa goes beyond the standard federa a d that f ows to commun t es c obbered by f ood, drought, tornadoes or hurr canes. Instead of wa t ng for catastrophe to h t, the Obama adm n strat on says t w do e out near y $1 b on n federa a d to push states and c t es to prepare ahead of t me for the mpact of c mate change. In a commencement address at the Un vers ty of Ca forn a at Irv ne, Obama warned that, in some parts of the United States, weather-related disasters "are going to get harsher and they�re going to get costlier." Climate change "is no longer a distant threat, but has moved firmly into the present, " he sa d n h s remarks, quot ng a recent federa assessment on c mate effects [ibtimes.com] » June 17 2014 - Norway has reported a preliminary 14% drop in average daily production of oil, natural gas liquids (NGL) and condensate in May compared to the prev ous month, accord ng to the country�s adm n strat ve body [energyvoice.com] » June 17 2014 - Natura gas, Russ a-Ukra ne. Russia halted natural gas deliveries to Ukraine on Monday, spurn ng Ukra ne s offer to pay some of ts mu t -b on do ar gas debt and demand ng upfront payments for future supp es. The dec s on, com ng am d deep tens ons over eastern Ukra ne, provoked strong words from both s des but does not immediately affect the crucial flow of Russian gas to Europe. Ukra ne has enough reserves to ast unt December, accord ng to the head of ts state gas company Naftogaz. St , the Russian move could disrupt Europe s long-term energy supplies f the ssue s not reso ved, ana ysts sa d. Prev ous gas d sputes eft Ukra ne and some Ba kan nat ons sh ver ng for near y two weeks n the dead of w nter. The gas conf ct s part of a w der d spute over whether Ukra ne a gns tse f w th Russ a or w th the 28-nat on European Un on and comes am d a cr s s n re at ons fo ow ng Russ a s annexat on of Ukra ne s Cr mean Pen nsu a n March. [pennenergy.com] » June 17 2014 - o market. The price of OPEC basket of twe ve crudes stood at 109.09 dollars a barrel on Monday, compared w th $109.31 the prev ous Fr day, accord ng to OPEC Secretar at ca cu at ons. The new OPEC Reference Basket of Crudes (ORB) s made up of the fo ow ng: Saharan B end (A ger a), G rasso (Ango a), Or ente (Ecuador), Iran Heavy (Is am c Repub c of Iran), Basra L ght (Iraq), Kuwa t Export (Kuwa t), Es S der (L bya), Bonny L ght (N ger a), Qatar Mar ne (Qatar), Arab L ght (Saud Arab a), Murban (UAE) and Merey (Venezue a) [opec.org] » June 17 2014 - o market. Japan Petroleum Exploration Co, or Japex, has shipped 1.5 million barrels of crude from the Gharraf oil field in southern Iraq as its second equity sale, a company off c a sa d Tuesday. The med um grade crude from the Gharraf f e d was b ended and exported as Basrah L ght, the source sa d. Japex s ma den cargo from the Gharraf f e d, compr s ng 1.56 m on barre s, was exported on February 21, he added. Data from a sh pp ng source showed that VLCC Georg os oaded 2.03 m on barre s of Basrah L ght and departed the Basrah O Term na n southern Iraq at 6:24 pm (1524 GMT) on June 12. A oad ng program for Basrah crude obta ned by P atts showed that Japex was set to oad 1.5 m on barre s nto the VLCC Georg os on June 3, a ong w th BP oad ng 500,000 barre s on the vesse the same day. But de ays to schedu ed oad ngs at Basrah are common, ndustry sources have sa d. The VLCC s current y off the coast of Oman and s bound for A n Sukhna n Egypt around June 25, accord ng to P atts vesse track ng software cF ow. A n Sukhna s the southern term na for the 320 km Suez-Med terranean, or Sumed, p pe ne, wh ch runs from A n Sukhna on the Gu f of Suez to offshore S d Ker r, A exandr a on the Med terranean Sea. By us ng the Sumed p pe ne, the VLCC can d scharge part of ts cargo, pass through the Suez Cana and then p ck up the cargo and trave to the Med terranean. Th s avo ds trave ng around the Cape of Good Hope, wh ch wou d add another 6,000 m es to trans t. Basrah Light exports currently stand at around 2.5 million b/d [platts.com] » June 17 2014 - C mate change. Climate change-induced sea level rise in the world s 52 small island nations - est mated to be up to four t mes the g oba average - cont nues to be the most press ng threat to the r env ronment and soc o-econom c deve opment w th annual losses at the trillions of dollars due to increased vulnerability. An mmed ate sh ft n po c es and nvestment towards renewab e energy and green econom c growth s requ red to avo d exacerbat ng these mpacts, says a new report by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) [thinktosustain.com] » June 17 2014 - C mate change d p omacy. Un ted Nat ons Inst tute for Tra n ng and Research (UNITAR) new on-line course on Climate Change Diplomacy: Negot at ng Effect ve y under the UNFCCC that w take p ace from 22 September to 16 November 2014. Mu t atera D p omacy Programme, Un ted Nat ons Inst tute for Tra n ng and Research (UNITAR) [unitar.org] » June 17 2014 - US. Saud Arab a, Opec. Saudi Arabia Under Pressure To Plan For Iraq Oil Disruption. [...] Wh e the potent a use of force most ke y cons st ng of a rstr kes n some form - s what made head nes, Obama a so h nted at the fact that h s adm n strat on was work ng beh nd the scenes to p an for a possible major disruption in Iraqi oil output, wh ch accounts for some 3.5 percent of g oba supp y. "One of our goa s shou d be to make sure that n cooperation with other countries in the region, not on y are we creat ng some sort of backstop n terms of what s happen ng ns de of Iraq, but f there do end up be ng d srupt ons ns de of Iraq, that some of the other producers in the Gulf are able to pick up the slack," Obama sa d.vEssent a y, "other producers in the Gulf" really means Saudi Arabia, the on y nat on w th s gn f cant spare capac ty � .e. dormant o capac ty that can be ramped up at a moment s not ce. Co nc denta y, OPEC met ast week - before ISIS began s conquer ng dr ve across Iraq � and dec ded to leave its oil production quota unchanged. Even before the shock ng y qu ck deter orat on of Iraq secur ty, g oba o product on was a ready com ng dangerous y c ose to ust meet ng demand (at current pr ces). In order to avo d a pr ce surge ater th s year, Saud Arab a was a ready go ng to have to ncrease product on [oilprice.com] » June 17 2014 - US GHG em ss ons. Last week s act on by the Obama administration to propose the direct regulation of GHG emissions from U.S. power plants w thout the approva of Congress exemp f es th s d v s on of powers, ead ng to the confusing situation of the U.S. government simultaneously opposing and proposing climate change regulation. Mov ng beyond the system of government that has a owed th s apparent contrad ct on, et s take a pract ca ook at what was actua y announced ast week by the USEPA: 1) Th s s but the start of a ong ru emak ng process. Last week s announcement was of a proposed - and as yet ncomp ete � "ru e". It st has severa stages to comp ete before the regu at on s mp emented and enforced. 2) Abso ute targets are va uab e, but m nd the base year. E ectr c ty generat on accounts for about 38% of tota U.S. CO2 em ss ons (or 32% of tota GHG em ss ons). The advert sed env ronmenta effect of the proposed ru e s to reduce CO2 em ss ons from the e ectr c power sector by 30% be ow 2005 eve s [ghginstitute.org] » June 16 2014 - Sha e gas, EU. Look ng at incremental LNG capacity in the next few years, there s " oads and oads" of capac ty com ng on ne, accord ng to Trevor S korsk , Head of Natura Gas, Coa and Carbon Research, Energy Aspects, who spoke about "Shale as a Source of Import" at F ame n Amsterdam, the Nether ands. He exp a ned, "Th s s go ng to be the b g story of the gas markets n the next coup e of years - not really a 2014 story, but maybe a 2016 story." [naturalgaseurope.com] » June 16 2014 - O , Iran. Iran s Petro eum M n stry stops developing two phases of Jofair oil field due to high operation costs and low production potential. An econom c feas b ty report by the Department for Conso dated P ann ng of Nat ona Iran an O Company (NIOC) has found that deve opment of the ndependent f e d wou d not be cost-effect ve. NIOC was comm ss oned the development of Jofair field n 2009 under a 510-million-dollar buy-back deal for the production of 25,000 b/d. The f e d started ear y product on n February 2011 w th a da y output of 2,750 barre s. As more we s were dr ed, t was found that development of this field is not an economic project. So far, more than two m on barre s of crude o have been recovered from th s f e d [shana.ir] » June 16 2014 - C mate change, semant cs of assessments. 1990. The year M Van n broke our hearts and Edward Sc ssorhands warmed them. N rvana had not yet re eased the r ep c sophomore a bum Neverm nd that subsequent y changed my fe forever, and the Intergovernmenta Pane on C mate Change (IPCC) re eased the very f rst Assessment Report on Climate Change. The report does conta n warn ngs about effects of c mate change n ts "Summary for Policymakers" sect on (wh ch s great, because how many po cymakers rea y read the who e report?), but when the document s read more thorough y, some of the language weakens the urgency for climate change action. For examp e, the "Summary for Po cymakers" states w th conf dence that greenhouse gases "wou d requ re mmed ate reduct ons n em ss ons from human act v t es of 60% to stab se the r concentrat ons at today�s eve s." However, the sect on on mpacts to the energy sector g ves an aston sh ng y contrad ctory statement. Accord ng to th s chapter, "a onger ce free season n the Arct c may fac tate sh pp ng to o and gas fac t es . . . and ess severe co d weather cond t ons m ght resu t n ower costs for exp orat on and dr ng." [...] I don t th nk the IPCC was soft on c mate change n 1990, but some of the anguage n th s document, and even n the most recent 2014 report, s strange y pass ve. It turns out there may be some truth to the susp c on that these reports are "watered down" to present a less pressing need for climate mitigation and better represent interests of countries and industries reliant on fossil fuels. One of the authors of the 2014 Assessment has come forward and sa d d rect y that rev s on to the "Summary for Po cymakers" sect on by wor d governments may, n fact, be "broken." The author, Dr. Robert N. Stav ns, re eased a etter on h s b og n Apr deta ng h s d sappo ntment w th the governmenta rev ew process and the resu t ng f na draft of the report. Stav ns d scussed the �Summary for Po cymakers� approva process n h s etter say ng [...] the resulting document should be probably called the summary by policy makers, rater than the summary for policy makers [yourenergyblog.com, Jessica Kennedy] » June 16 2014 - O market, Iraq. The speed w th wh ch the s tuat on n Iraq has deter orated has taken the market by surpr se [...] Iraq despite its troubles remains a key member of OPEC. F na y, f you ook at a map of Iraq o f e ds, the areas now he d by the nsurgents wou d troub e most geopo t ca commentators as they cover qu te a few hydrocarbon prospect on zones. Add t a together and what s happen ng n Iraq, shou d t cont nue to deter orate, has the potent a of adding at least $10 per barrel to the current price levels, and that s ust a conservat ve est mate. If Iraq gets r pped apart a ong ethn c nes, a pro ect ons wou d be r ght out of the w ndow and you can near doub e that prem um to $20 and an unpred ctab e bu run. That tens ons were h gh was pub c know edge, that Baghdad wou d ose ts gr p n such a dramat c fash on shou d spook most. There s one but vex ng quest on on a qu te a few ana ysts� m nds � s th s the end of un f ed Iraq? [oilholicssynonymous.com] » June 16 2014 - Green economy. To support countr es transition towards an inclusive, resource and energy efficient, green economy International Training Centre of the International Labour Organisation (ITC-ILO) w host the first global Academy on the Green Economy from 6 to 17 October 2014 n Tur n, Ita y, organ zed n the framework of the Partnersh p for Act on on Green Economy [uncclearn.org] » June 16 2014 - c mate change, CDM. The Nat ona Counc on C mate Change and C ean Deve opment Mechan sm (CNCCMD) of the Dominican Republic has announced that the country will invest a further 1 million USD from the national budget in climate change training for teachers in 2014-2016 [uncclearn.org] » June 15 2014 - natura gas, Ch na-Russ a dea . [...] Moscow and Beijing agreed a US$400 billion deal for Russian gas giant Gazprom to supply China with 38 billion cubic metres of gas annually over 30 years, [...] Both s des see th s as a ma or fore gn po cy tr umph. But there are reasons to wonder who the real winner is. Rumours have t that there s st no agreement on the price of gas, making construction of the pipelines a risky - and costly - business for Russia. The chosen opt on of a p pe ne to the east, end ng n V ad vostok, s favoured by Be ng. Moscow wou d have preferred to have restarted a sta ed p pe ne pro ect from A ta n western S ber a wh ch wou d take natura gas to the northwest of Ch na. Much of the nfrastructure s n p ace and gas cou d have started f ow ng re at ve y soon. However, northwest Ch na s sparse y popu ated and the gas demand s ess than n the east of Ch na. The eastern p pe ne opt on s a d fferent matter. The northeastern part of Ch na has a much arger pro ected need for gas. The main part of the deal is the construction of a mammoth new pipeline, the Power of Siberia . It will stretch 4,000 kilometres, nk ng the Chayand nskoye and Kovykt nskoye gas f e ds n eastern S ber a w th Khabarovsk and w th V ad vostok on the Pac f c coast. Spurs w be drawn to Ch na at B agoveshchensk and Da nerechensk, and an LNG term na w be bu t at V ad vostok. The total cost has been estimated at US$77 billion, of which Gazprom will cover US$55 billion and China the rest. China will provide a pre-payment of US$25 billion towards construction. As for the pr ce of the gas, Russia demanded a price in line with what it charges consumers in Europe which, at present, is around US$380 per thousand cubic metres. China has offered a price based on production costs in eastern Siberia. The two have, at times, been US$100 apart. Even among those who be eve that agreement on gas pr ce was reached, there s broad consensus that Russ a has been forced to reduce ts pr ce to maybe US$350 or US$360, where t w f nd t d ff cu t to break even. Even when gas s pro ected to beg n f ow ng, n 2018, t w be some t me unt Russ a der ves any f nanc a ga n from the dea . It s true that Moscow w f na y be ab e to get mov ng on deve op ng cr t ca nfrastructure n eastern S ber a, but g ven that the f sca future for Russ a ooks shaky, there w be tt e to no re ef from the gas dea . Be ng has emerged the w nner [worldreview.info] » June 15 2014 - c mate change, US LNG. One of the ra y ng cr es n favor of quefy ng and export ng U.S. natura gas has been to he p reduce greenhouse gases n other countr es, by crowd ng out coa n As a and Europe. Yet tucked nto an Energy Department report on LNG exports s a d fferent v ew: That U.S. exports of LNG to China could end up being worse from a greenhouse gas perspective than if China simply built a new power plant and burned its own coal supplies. The report a so says that the c mate benef ts of export ng LNG to other countr es are modest. The report s t t ed "L fe Cyc e Greenhouse Gas Perspect ve on Export ng L quef ed Natura Gas from the Un ted States." It says the benef ts of c eaner, more eff c ent combust on of natura gas are arge y offset by methane eakage n U.S. product on and p pe nes and by methane eaks and energy used n the process of quefy ng and transport ng the LNG [washingtonpost.com] » June 14 2014 - Iran, geopo t cs, o . Iran s Pres dent Hassan Rouhan sa d on Saturday the country s oil production has increased as talks are under way with world powers over Tehran s nuclear program. "As negot at ons go on w th the P5+1 group, Iran s o product on capac ty has ncreased and th s ssue has noth ng to do w th the [Western] sanct ons," Rouhan to d a press conference n Tehran. The pres dent sa d Iran is now ready to attract 200 billion dollars in investment, add ng that Iran s o sector en oys great potent a s for such nvestment. Rouhan a so sa d that Iran wou d no onger face tough sanct ons even f no agreement s reached w th the s x powers. "Iran w cont nue enr chment... and the sanct ons have to be fted," he sa d. [...] Iran s Petro eum M n ster B an Namdar Zanganeh sa d recent y that the country p ans to increase crude oil production by 700,000 b/d. "The Petro eum M n stry s f rst program s to ncrease crude o and gas condensate [product on] capac ty. To that effect, crude o product on shou d ncrease by 700,000 b/d," the m n ster to d awmakers. Zanganeh sa d Iran s oil production will reach 5.7 mb/d in three years, up 2.5 mb/d from now [shana.ir] » June 13 2014 - Energy, geopo t cs, Cs s report. New Energy, New Geopolitics: background report 1,2,3. Th s report eva uates the energy and geopo t ca sh fts that have ar sen from the product on of sha e gas and ght t ght o n the Un ted States. It beg ns by assess ng how much the unconvent ona energy trend has a ready mpacted energy, geopo t cs, and nat ona secur ty. The report then pos ts severa poss b e energy futures that cou d emerge from the unconvent ona s revo ut on. F na y, t offers v ews on the ma or geostrateg c quest on: how w the Un ted States seek to ut ze th s, so far, domest c resource trend, and g ven the range of potent a future energy outcomes, what m ght the geopo t ca and nat ona secur ty mp cat ons [csis.org] » June 13 2014 - natura gas, Trans adr at c p pe ne (TAP), Ita y. Environmental Effects of the TAP Pipeline. Ita y s probab y the most d ff cu t p ace on Earth to bu d new ndustr a nfrastructures, at east udg ng from the troub es encountered by any proposed energy pro ect over the ast severa decades. The Trans Adr at c P pe ne (TAP), the gas p pe ne expected to br ng gas from the Casp an Sea to Ita y, has ended up n the same trap, and s now strugg ng to f nd a way out. In Ita y a most a new produc ng p ants or nfrastructures are ke y to face some oppos t on, and th s s even more so for pro ects nvo v ng energy. Th ngs are espec a y d ff cu t n some areas, notab y Southern reg ons ke Apu a, where TAP shou d come ashore. In order to get an dea of the h gh y comp ex env ronment faced by compan es, t s he pfu to beg n w th a br ef summary of the engthy and tortuous perm ss ons process [naturalgaseurope.com] » June 13 2014 - Unburnab e carbon. Over the past year, the concepts of unburnable carbon , stranded assets and a carbon bubble have been promoted by a number of groups, ga n ng the attent on of nvestors, academ cs and the med a. Th s fact sheet exp ores some of the assumpt ons nvo ved n these concepts and puts them nto the w der perspect ve of the energy system, recogn z ng the mportance that o and gas br ng to modern v ng standards, econom c growth and soc eta advancement. It a so demonstrates how o and gas compan es acknow edge the r sks posed by c mate change and how they act ve y manage these r sks [ipieca.org] » June 13 2014 - c mate change po c es, paper. Part es agreed n Warsaw to "initiate or intensify preparation of their intended nationally determined contributions" so that they can be subm tted we n advance of the UNFCCC conference. Intended Nat ona y Determ ned Contr but ons (INDCs) put forward by countr es w form a key nput to the negot at ons ead ng towards the 2015 Par s c mate agreement. Ecofys has delivered a paper for GIZ at the UNFCCC Bonn intersessional conference n June 2014 to nform Part es understand ng of the INDCs concept. The paper d scusses the techn ca and po cy-re ated aspects of prepar ng, consu t ng, and commun cat ng these contr but ons. It focuses on the quest on of what a contr but on cou d nc ude and how th s content can be determ ned. As such, t can serve as a start ng po nt for countr es to e aborate on the r INDCs [ecofys.com] » June 13 2014 - o . Brent climbs toward $114, hits 9-month top on Iraq crisis. Brent crude c mbed to a n ne-month h gh near $114 a barre on Fr day, as supp y d srupt on fears took centre stage after the Un ted States threatened m tary act on n Iraq aga nst Sunn Is am st m tants who are push ng on towards Baghdad. The had sts extended the r ghtn ng advance to towns on y about an hour s dr ve from Baghdad wh e trucks carry ng Sh te vo unteers n un form rumb ed towards the front nes to defend the c ty, stok ng concerns of pro onged unrest and b oodbath. Brent rose 85 cents to $113.87 a barre by 0654 GMT, ts oft est s nce September ast year. It ended up w th ga ns of more than $3 on Thursday. U.S. crude touched an ntraday h gh of $107.68, a so a n ne-month top, and was up 78 cents at $107.31, extend ng the prev ous sess on s $2.13 ga n. Both benchmarks are set to ga n a most 5 percent th s week, the b ggest week y r se s nce Ju y 2013 for Brent and s nce December for U.S. crude. [reuters.com] » June 13 2014 - o . Iraq security concerns push Oman oil price at DME more than US$1. Duba Mercant e Exchange (DME) on Thursday saw a s gn f cant upt ck n the pr ce of ts f agsh p Oman crude o futures contract (DME Oman) contract w th the pr ce cross ng US$108 per barrel, an ncrease of more than US$1 on the prev ous day s sett ement pr ce. DME sa d the s gn f cant ump n pr ces of the DME Oman contract s be ng dr ven by sent ment re ated to esca at ng tens ons n Iraq and the current nterna m tary turbu ence. In Oman, news of trop ca storm Nanauk, wh ch s expected to h t the coast of Oman on 15th June, has a so ed to ncreased pr ces for DME Oman crude o [wam.ae] » June 12 2014 - o , Opec, Iran. Iran put OPEC on notice of its plans to raise output swiftly with the help of foreign investors immediately after any lifting of sanctions imposed over its nuclear programme. O M n ster B an Zanganeh sa d Iran cou d ncrease o exports by 500,000 barrels per day immediately after any lifting of sanctions. "Very qu ck y we can ncrease by ha f a m on and after a coup e of months we can ncrease t to 700,000 barre s per day," he to d reporters ahead of OPEC s Wednesday meet ng. He sa d Iran cou d pump 4 m on bpd n ess than three months after any ft ng of restr ct ons. Zanganeh sa d he p anned to meet w th some fore gn o compan es wh e n V enna but dec ned to name them. He sa d Tehran wou d offer o f e ds, pro ects and ts f na nvestment contract to fore gn o compan es n November n London, pushed back from an or g na schedu ng of the event for Apr [uk.reuters.com] » June 12 2014 - So ar photovo ta c. With nearly 40 gigawatts (GW) of newly-installed capacity worldwide, solar photovoltaic (PV) installations saw another record-year in 2013. At the end of ast year, the wor d s cumu at ve nsta ed PV capac ty was approach ng 140 GW, an amount capab e of produc ng at east 160 TWh of e ectr c ty every year. Th s energy vo ume, wh ch s equ va ent to the e ectr c ty produced by 32 arge coa power p ants, s suff c ent to cover the annua power supp y needs of more than 45 m on European househo ds. For the f rst t me n more than a decade, Europe lost its leadership to Asia last year, though w th a h gh and stab e eve of near y 11 GW connected to the gr d. PV markets have become g oba n 2013 and such trend shou d cont nue and further accentuate n the com ng years. Indeed, EPIA forecasts cont nued growth n the next years n a number of markets around the wor d, n part cu ar Ch na and South-East As a n genera , and a stab sat on towards a so d eve of around 10 GW a year n Europe. PV, as any other energy bus ness, rema ns po cy-dr ven. A ser es of retrospect ve measures were mp emented n the ast years n var ous European countr es, ead ng to the market decrease observed n 2013. Susta nab e, pred ctab e and dynam c framework cond t ons and po c es are needed, n Europe and g oba y, to prov de enough v s b ty and certa nty to nvestors. [...] new report "Global Market Outlook for Photovoltaics 2014-2018" [epia.org] » June 12 2014 - Oil markets are finally rattling after militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant took over a series of key Iraqi cities Tuesday and Wednesday, nc ud ng the country s second argest, and reported y surrounded Iraq s biggest oil refinery. The nsurgent dr ve poses little immediate threat to oil production or exports from OPEC s second-largest producer, which explains why oil prices haven t exploded. But Iraq s d sarray, coup ed w th a ser es of stubborn crude-supply outages in Libya, Sudan, Nigeria, and ongoing sanctions on Iranian exports, portends a summer of high oil prices with potentially dire effects on the global economy. Depend ng on Iraq s ab ty to ra y ts own secur ty forces and successfu y f ght the group, the upr s ng cou d a so upend Baghdad s p ans to ncrease o product on n other parts of the country and assert contro over exports n the sem -autonomous northern reg on of Kurd stan. A that becomes huge y mportant when g oba o markets are ook ng at growth n Iraq product on as the great hope to keep the wor d fu y supp ed [foreignpolicy.com] » June 12 2014 - Natura gas. Dr ven by boom ng demand, the "Golden Age" of natural gas that is now firmly established in North America will expand to China over the next five years, the Internat ona Energy Agency (IEA) sa d n ts 2014 Medium-Term Gas Market Report. The pro ected near-doub ng of Ch nese gas demand through 2019 compensates for a s ght s owdown n growth n many other areas of the the wor d, the report sa d. The annua report, wh ch g ves a deta ed ana ys s and f ve-year pro ect ons of natura gas demand, supp y and trade deve opments, sees global demand rising by 2.2 percent per year by the end of the forecast per od, compared w th the 2.4 percent rate pro ected n ast year s out ook. Liquefied natural gas (LNG) will meet much of this demand, w th new p pe nes a so p ay ng a ro e. In a sh ft away from the trad t ona dom nance of state-owned supp ers, pr vate-sector operators n Austra a, Canada and the Un ted States are tak ng the ead n the expans on of the LNG trade, wh ch s expected to grow by 40% to reach 450 bcm by 2019. Ha f of a new LNG exports w or g nate from Austra a, wh e North Amer ca w account for around 8% of the g oba LNG trade by 2019 [pennenergy.com] » June 12 2014 - C mate change, paper. Huge opportun t es ex st to mitigate climate change at the city and subnational level but a range of barriers prevent these opportunities from be ng fu y rea sed. Rather than s mp y mp ement ng stand-a one oca act ons or down-sca ng nat ona strateg es, a range of effect ve so ut ons now ex st to acce erate m t gat on v a ntegrated nat ona and subnat ona act on. In th s paper prepared for the LEDS-GP, Ecofys highlights some of the key opportunities, barriers and solutions, and encourages nat ona governments to cons der how, through mp ement ng more ntegrated approaches, they cou d better engage and support the r c t es and subnat ona government counterparts to un ock and acce erate act on on c mate [ecofys.com] » June 11 2014 - Macroeconom c mpacts of the ow carbon trans t on, report. A new report by EY (Ernst&Young) compares Europe s macroeconomic prospects under decarbonisation with those under business as usual. Synthes s ng ev dence from the European Comm ss on and other experts, "Macroeconom c Impacts of the Low Carbon Trans t on" seeks to prov de EU po cy-makers w th a we -structured fact base to draw on, and conc udes that decarbonisation will be a powerful tool both to reduce Europe s import dependency and to drive its economic recovery [europeanclimate.org] » June 11 2014 - o . The price of OPEC basket of twe ve crudes stood at 105.89 dollars a barrel on Tuesday, compared w th $105.72 the prev ous day, accord ng to OPEC Secretar at ca cu at ons. The new OPEC Reference Basket of Crudes (ORB) s made up of the fo ow ng: Saharan B end (A ger a), G rasso (Ango a), Or ente (Ecuador), Iran Heavy (Is am c Repub c of Iran), Basra L ght (Iraq), Kuwa t Export (Kuwa t), Es S der (L bya), Bonny L ght (N ger a), Qatar Mar ne (Qatar), Arab L ght (Saud Arab a), Murban (UAE) and Merey (Venezue a) [opec.org] » June 11 2014 - Renewab e energy and energy eff c ency, po c es and ncent ves. Clean Energy Solutions Center has re eased a new fact sheet, Developing an Online Database of National and Sub-national Clean Energy Policies. The document h gh ghts the ma or po cy, research, and techn ca top cs to be cons dered when creat ng a c ean energy po cy database and webs te s m ar to the U.S. Database of State Incent ves for Renewab es and Eff c ency (DSIRE) and the Ind an Renewab e Energy and Energy Eff c ency Po cy Database (IREEED). As nat ona and subnat ona governments enact policies and incentives to promote renewable energy and energy efficiency, t can be d ff cu t for consumers, bus nesses and po cymakers to determ ne wh ch po c es and ncent ves app y to a c ean energy pro ect. On ne databases ke DSIRE and IREEED prov de a s ng e ocat on for the pub c to access th s nformat on and prov de ns ght on a country s c ean energy po cy [nrel.gov] » June 11 2014 - US energy po cy. Roundtable discussion on the evolution of the US s energy policy, part cu ar y as t re ates to the new energy rea ty and the reconc ng of econom c, energy secur ty, fore gn po cy and env ronmenta ob ect ves. The prolific growth in the development of U.S. shale gas and tight oil resources has dramatically altered the energy landscape. Th s growth coup ed w th a new awareness of the need to address climate change and promote economic growth while managing geopolitical and technological change has ushered n a future of both cha enge and opportun ty. At the same t me, even as we cons der prudent po c es go ng forward, we are confronted by eg s at on and regu at ons conce ved at a d fferent t me and under vast y d fferent c rcumstances. Wednesday, un 11, 2014 | 10:00 AM - 12:30 PM, Watch L ve [csis.org] » June 11 2014 - carbon market. European companies are likely to hoard their surplus carbon permits this year even if carbon prices more than double, accord ng to a survey by Thomson Reuters Po nt Carbon [pointcarbon.com] » June 10 2014 - c mate change. The vast majority of scientists and researchers in the United States and throughout the world agree that manmade emissions are likely exacerbating climate change. Desp te U.S. news art c es to the contrary, s nce 2007 no sc ent f c body has d sagreed w th th s pos t on. Therefore, t may be t me to ask: What percentage of Americans need to believe that climate change is occurring for policymakers to take action? Here s a random samp ng of some June 2014 head nes, presumab y done n response to the Un ted States�s Env ronmenta Protect on Agency�s (EPA) June 2, 2014 proposa to regu ate ut t es� greenhouse gas em ss ons: New York T mes: "Is G oba Warm ng Rea ? Most Amer cans Say Yes." (June 1, 2014); Wash ngton Post/ABC News: "Broad Concern about G oba Warm ng Boosts Support for New EPA Regu at ons" (June 2, 2014); P ttsburgh Post-Gazette: "Pennsy van a voters favor EPA greenhouse gas curbs, po shows." (June 5, 2014). Based on these headlines, it would seem clear that the majority of Americans believe global warming is real and support regulation of greenhouse gas emissions. But let s take a longer-term perspective to try and better understand what Americans really think [cmuenergy.blogspot.it] » June 10 2014 - Ukraine and Russia failed to reach an agreement on natural gas deliveries during overnight negotiations hosted by the European Un on as OAO Gazprom ns sted on rece v ng a debt payment before a dead ne today. Ta ks may resume today at 9 p.m. centra European t me or tomorrow morn ng, EU Energy Comm ss oner Guenther Oett nger to d reporters n Brusse s after the meet ng, wh ch asted more than seven hours. The EU, re ant on Russ an gas p ped through Ukra ne for about 15 percent of ts supp es, s try ng to broker a dea to avert a cutoff. Gazprom w not de ay today s dead ne, under wh ch Ukra ne must make prepayments for gas supp es, spokesman Serge Kupr yanov sa d by phone. "A part es are engaged to avo d any wrong deve opment," Oett nger sa d. "We have some open quest ons and some d fferent pos t ons, but we agreed to cont nue negot at ons." Gazprom, the Russ an state gas exporter, and NAK Naftogaz Ukra ny, ts Ukra n an counterpart, rema n at oggerheads over debt for past supp es and future pr ces. Fo ow ng a recent payment, Ukra ne owes $4.5 b on for gas supp es, accord ng to Gazprom. K ev d sputes the s ze of ts debt [bloomberg.com] » June 10 2014 - c mate change. "Youth in action on climate change: inspirations from around the world" now a so ava ab e n Arab c and Russ an. The atest f agsh p pub cat on by the Un ted Nat ons Jo nt Framework In t at ve on Ch dren, Youth and C mate Change n Arab c and Russ an. Down oad t n one of the s x off c a UN anguages [...] The pub cat on was prepared w th the generous f nanc a support from the European Un on and the Swed sh Internat ona Deve opment Cooperat on Agency [unfccc.int] » June 10 2014 - Ch na, c mate change. Asia-Pacific countries must act fast on climate change. In Apr th s year, two wor d records were broken or equa ed w th tt e fanfare: the g oba concentrat on of carbon d ox de n the atmosphere, the ma n dr ver of c mate change, was above 400 parts per m on (ppm) for an ent re month for the f rst t me n recorded h story, and t was the o nt hottest Apr on record, ty ng w th 2010. These m estones prov de further ev dence that human- nduced c mate change s happen ng and acce erat ng. The March report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change noted that global warming will hit Asia the hardest, w th f ood ng, fam ne and r s ng sea eve s putt ng hundreds of m ons at r sk. W th As a account ng for a grow ng share of greenhouse gas em ss ons, t s c ear that the g oba batt e aga nst c mate change may be won or ost n the reg on. Th s s why the reg on s eaders need to act fast. The peop e of As a and the Pac f c do not need to ook at the record books or wa t for the atest g oba pane s to ssue a report to know someth ng profound s happen ng. The Asia Pacific region accounted for 91 percent of the world s total deaths and 49 percent of the world s total damage due to natural disasters in the last century. Most at r sk are poor peop e v ng n the ow- y ng r ver de tas of Bang adesh, Ind a, V etnam, and Ch na as we as the sma s and states of the Pac f c and Ind an Ocean. The economic costs of climate change are being borne by the people and countries of the Asia Pacific region. In 2011, weather disasters cost the region 1 billion U.S. dollars in damages. One s ng e event, Cyc one Evan, resu ted n a 0.5 percent contract on n 2013 of the economy of Samoa, a country that w be host ng a g oba conference focuss ng on the vu nerab ty of Sma Is and Deve op ng States n September. A recent report by Standard and Poor s, the f nanc a rat ng agency, sa d that c mate change w a so mpact the cred tworth ness of countr es such as Cambod a, V etnam and Bang adesh [china.org.cn] » June 10 2014 - o market, Ch na trade. Oil prices gained Monday on robust Chinese trade figures. China s exports jumped 7 percent year on year in May following a 0.9-percent increase in April and sharp declines in March and February, while imports fell 1.6 percent in May, China s customs data showed on Sunday. In the Un ted States, nonfarm payro emp oyment ncreased 217, 000 n May, the fourth consecut ve month of ob ga ns above 200,000. The unemp oyment rate stayed unchanged at 6.3 percent, the Labor Department sa d Fr day. Moreover, the Japanese economy expanded at an annua zed rate of 6.7 percent dur ng the f rst quarter of th s year n nf at on- ad usted terms, up from an n t a read ng of 5.9 percent re eased n May, the Japanese government sa d Monday. China, the United States and Japan are the world s biggest energy users and any signs of improvement in these economies lifted oil demand expectations. Oil prices were also supported by concerns that accelerating tension in Libya will disrupt supplies. L ght, sweet crude for Ju y de very moved up 1.75 U.S. do ars to sett e at 104.41 do ars a barre on the New York Mercant e Exchange, wh e Brent crude for Ju y de very ga ned 1.38 do ars to c ose at 109.99 do ars a barre [news.xinhuanet.com] » June 10 2014 - energy p ann ng and c mate change m t gat on. LEAP 2014: Faster, More Powerfu , Bu t for Interact on. The newest vers on of SEI (Stockholm Environment Institute) s Long-range Energy Alternatives Planning system nc udes a new nteract ve scenar o exp orer, ndustr a strength opt m zat on mode ng capab t es, an enhanced and s mp f ed user nterface, and dramat c performance mprovements [...] a ma or new vers on of LEAP, SEI s software too for energy p ann ng and c mate change m t gat on assessment. LEAP 2014 makes t eas er to share and d scuss mode ng resu ts w th non-techn ca aud ences, w th mproved charts and resu ts tab es, and a new Scenar o Exp orer that ets you exp ore the mp cat ons of d fferent po cy cho ces, us ng "s der bars" d rect y connected to key parameters n your under y ng LEAP mode s [energycommunity.org] » June 10 2014 - renewab e energy markets, web nar. The C ean Energy So ut ons Center, n partnersh p w th E3 Ana yt cs, s host ng a no-cost, web nar-based tra n ng on the future of renewable energy feed-in tariffs. Over the ast few years, many commentators have argued that after hav ng he ped k ck-start many of the wor d s ead ng renewab e energy markets, feed- n tar ffs (FITs) are now on the dec ne around the wor d. The r reputed success at creat ng Transparency, Longev ty, and Certa nty (TLC), n Deutsche Bank s memorab e phrase, has been severe y underm ned by the exper ence of ur sd ct ons such as Spa n, where sp ra ng costs and nadequate contro s on market growth have ed to a ma or boom fo owed by a ma or bust. Even n the r core markets such as Germany, FITs seem to be losing ground as concerns over electricity costs and the desire of regulators to expose renewable energy technologies to price signals now dominate the discussion [cleanenergysolutions.org] » June 9 2014 - o . OPEC ministers say they will almost certainly leave their oil-production ceiling unchanged when the group meets this week. What rea y matters for markets s whether Saud Arab a w respond to g oba supp y shortfa s by pump ng a record amount of crude. Just s x months ago, energy ana ysts pred cted output from the Organ zat on of Petro eum Export ng Countr es wou d c mb too h gh and Saud Arab a needed to cut to make room for other supp ers. They changed the r m nds after product on from L bya, Iran and Iraq fa ed to rebound as ant c pated, and ndustr a zed nat ons stockp es fe to the owest for the t me of year s nce 2008. Saudi Arabia may need to pump a record 11 million barrels a day by December to cover the other member nations, says Energy Aspects Ltd., a consultant [bloomberg.com] » June 9 2014 - energy. The BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2014 w be pub shed on Monday 16 June. Th s year the rev ew s be ng aunched at the Wor d Petro eum Congress n Moscow and n BP s headquarters n London. [...] How much energy did the world use in 2013? Where was the most energy produced? Which country s oil production had the biggest increase in its history? Who exported the most energy? The Stat st ca Rev ew prov des an ob ect ve g oba overv ew of energy product on, consumpt on, trade, reserves and pr ces. Through the rev ew, nteract ve too s, support ng mater a s, and our webcasts, we w un ock the story from the data, spark ng a frank and va uab e d scuss on about g oba energy econom cs. Th s year the report w be aunched n Moscow at the Wor d Petro eum Congress on Monday, 16 June and then presented (fo owed by a quest on and answer sess on) n London on Tuesday, 17 June. Because of the d fferent t me-zones nvo ved, we are offer ng ve coverage of the Moscow aunch as we as the London presentat on. We hope you can o n one of our webcasts, wherever you are. Deta s of how to reg ster are g ven be ow [bp.com] » June 9 2014 - photovo ta cs. Solar panels made in China have a higher overall carbon footprint and are likely to use substantially more energy during manufacturing than those made in Europe, sa d a new study from Northwestern University and the U.S. Department of Energy s Argonne National Laboratory. The report compared energy and greenhouse gas em ss ons that go nto the manufactur ng process of so ar pane s n Europe and Ch na [...] The team performed a type of systemat c eva uat on ca ed life cycle analysis to come up w th these hard data. L fe cyc e ana ys s ta es up a the energy used to make a product-energy to m ne raw mater a s, fue to transport the mater a s and products, e ectr c ty to power the process ng factory, and so forth. Th s prov des a more accurate p cture of the overa energy consumed and produced and the env ronmenta mpact of mak ng and us ng a so ar pane . Assum ng that a so ar pane s made of s con-by far the most common so ar pane mater a -and s nsta ed n sunny southern Europe, a so ar pane made n Ch na wou d take about 20 to 30 percent onger to produce enough energy to cance out the energy used to make t. The carbon footpr nt s about tw ce as h gh [anl.gov] » June 9 2014 - gas. Facing increasing criticism from European Union, Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski has ordered to a halt to the construction of the Bulgarian section of South Stream Gas Pipeline. "I have ordered a work to be stopped. We w dec de on further deve opments fo ow ng consu tat ons w th Brusse s," Mr. Oresharsk sa d after a meet ng w th U.S. senators, quoted by Agence France Presse. South Stream P pe ne pro ect strong y backed by Gazprom, Russ a s state-owned natura gas exporter. The pipeline project has planned to bypass Ukraine for European gas delivery, as a back-up route for shipment. Last Tuesday, European Comm ss on asked Bu gar a to suspend ts work on the p pe ne, am d susp c ons that contracts for the pro ect have been awarded n v o at on of the b oc s aws. The 2,380-k ometre p pe ne w be operat ona at ate 2015, through the f rst of the four para e nes of 15.75 Bcm/year capac ty each. Gazprom expects to bu d the second and th rd nes by the end of 2016. A fourth ne s schedu ed to fo ow by the end of 2017. The pipeline will travel under the Black Sea and through Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary and Slovenia before delivering supplies to Italy, Greece and Austria. Gazprom est mates that the 925 k ometer subsea sect on w cost 10 b on euros at 2010 pr ces [naturalgaseurope.com] » June 9 2014 - o . Eni signs strategic agreements for Perla super-giant field in Venezuela. The M n ster of Petro eum and M nes of Venezue a and Pres dent of PDVSA, Rafae Ram�rez, En s CEO, C aud o Desca z , and Repso s Pres dent, Anton o Brufau, s gned strateg c agreements concern ng the exp o tat on of the Per a f e d, one of the argest wor dw de d scover es of the ast decade. The f rst agreement s a Memorandum of Understand ng for the creat on of a new company (m xed enterpr se) wh ch w deve op and produce Per a s condensate reserves. The new company w be o nt y run by CVP (PDVSA s aff ate) w th a 60% part c pat on, En w th 20% and Repso w th 20%. Current y the condensate reserves are property of the Repub c of Venezue a. The second agreement s a Term Sheet wh ch estab shes the key e ements for up to $1 b on nvestment structure to f nance PDVSA�s (CVP) share n the Per a deve opment. En and Repso w contr bute w th up to $500 m on each. Both agreements are sub ect to f na contracts to be s gned and to the approva of oca author t es. The Per a f e d, ocated n the Card�n IV b ock n the Gu f of Venezue a, 50 k ometers from the shore n a water depth of 60 meters, was d scovered n 2009. The current est mate of gas n p ace s approx mate y 17 Tr on cub c feet (Tcf), or 3.1 b on barre s of o equ va ent [eni.com] » June 9 2014 - c mate change, report. "Land Use in a Future Climate Agreement." Th s report s n support of the ADP negot at ons on a post2020 agreement and focuses spec f ca y on the role of emissions and removals from land use. It s part of a ser es of opt on reports funded by the US Department of State but s not n support of, or ref ect ng, US Government pos t ons and s the so e work of an ndependent author team. The authors are experts n the area of and use, drawn from severa d fferent reg ons. Much ke the Norway-sponsored opt ons assessment reports n recent years, th s effort s ntended to he p nform d scuss ons n the UNFCCC. Th s report was deve oped by the author team w th nput from an nperson consu tat on among and use experts nvo ved n the UNFCCC that was convened n Puerto Va arta, Mex co on 17 March, 2014 and from an on ne consu tat on by a d verse set of expert rev ewers. The report w be presented dur ng an unoff c a s de event on 10 June 2014 n Bonn, Germany. Th s event s ntended to spark a d scuss on among and use and ADP negot ators; c v soc ety and nd genous peop es representat ves, and other nterested stakeho ders on the var ous opt ons for nc ud ng and use n a future agreement [merid.org] » June 9 2014 - energy markets. Though there s a coup underway n L bya and the geopo t ca cr s s over Ukra ne cont nues to ntens fy, the drama of the week focuses on the fate of coa and new env ronmenta ru es that w have a ast ng mpact on energy markets. Since the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced its new plans for curbing carbon emissions from power plants earlier this week, there has been a flurry of speculation over who the winners and losers will be and the significance of this for energy markets. In what s be ng cast essent a y as a redraw ng of the US energy map, the EPA has proposed to cut power plant emissions by 30% from 2005 levels by 2030. The losers, on the face of it, will be coal-dependent companies, while natural gas, renewables and nuclear energy generators would conceivably gain by default. Coa -f red p ants are current y the argest source of e ectr c ty n the US, and the argest po uters. Accord ng to FRB Cap ta Markets, the EPA s new Clean Power Plan will cut coal consumption in the power sector by 267 to 285 million tons until 2030. The Env ronmenta Defense Fund s re o c ng. From ts perspect ve, the EPA s new ru es f na y open the door to nvestment n renewab e energy. The new p an "w g ve entrepreneurs, corporat ons, and venture cap ta sts the market s gna they need to go fu steam ahead w th ow-carbon nnovat ons. It may be one of the largest market opportunities in history to drive the development and implementation of clean energy on a national level." But determining the effect on markets is not as easy as pointing to the obvious winners and losers because each state will roll out its own regulations, which gives us a multitude of smaller pictures that have yet to coalesce into the bigger picture. What has to happen now s that regu ators n each state w have to dec de how to meet the EPA�s requ rements, and how they are go ng to pay for t�not to ment on who s go ng to pay for t [oilprice.com] » June 9 2014 - C mate change, paper. Carbon Majors Funding Loss and Damage. The c mate change a ready be ng exper enced s the resu t of the em ss ons that have been re eased nto the atmosphere s nce the start of the Industr a Revo ut on. The Carbon Ma ors report re eased n November 2013 estab shed that 63 percent of carbon em ss ons n the atmosphere have come from the coa , o , and gas extracted and cement manufactured by on y 90 ent t es � the �Carbon Ma ors�, wh ch nc ude Chevron, ExxonMob , Saud Aramco, BP, Gazprom, and She . These ent t es have made mass ve prof ts wh e b ons of peop e n poor commun t es are a ready suffer ng from oss and damage caused by c mate change. Th s d scuss on paper out nes the case for the Carbon Ma ors to prov de fund ng v a the Warsaw Internat ona Mechan sm for Loss and Damage for poor commun t es a over the wor d [boell.de] » June 06 2014 - C mate and energy. In Apr 2014, the Annex B countr es of the Kyoto Protoco pub shed the number of transact ons of Kyoto un ts that had taken p ace by the end of 2013 as we as the GHG em ss ons of the Annex B countr es n 2012. This report summarises how each country achieved their emission reduction targets during the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol. EU15 countr es transferred 989 m on t-CO2 of Ass gned Amount Un ts (AAUs) and 32 m on t-CO2 of Remova Un ts (RMUs) as we as acqu r ng 348 m on t-CO2 of Em ss on Reduct on un ts (ERUs), 670 m on t-CO2 of Cert f ed Em ss on Reduct ons (CERs) and 79 m on t-CO2 of RMUs. By us ng these un ts, the EU ach eved a reduct on of 12.2% from the base year. The Econom es n Trans t on (EIT) countr es transferred 1,741 m on t-CO2 of AAUs and ERUs n tota , wh e they acqu red 9,257 m on t-CO2 of CERs. As a resu t, the EIT countr es st have a surp us a owance of 9,257 t-CO2. Japan ach eved a 8.4% em ss ons reduct on from the base year us ng GHG remova s by s nks, AAUs from the Czech Repub c and Ukra ne, as we as pr mary CERs. Because Japan had an n t a ass gned amount that was ess than the country s GHG em ss ons over f ve years from 2008 to 2012, t was necessary to use a arge amount of Kyoto un ts to ach eve Japan s target. The f ve-year GHG em ss ons from Annex B countr es of the Kyoto Protoco came to 9.3 b on t-CO2 (22% reduct on from the 1990 eve ). When the CERs and RMUs are counted, the GHG em ss ons are ca cu ated at 8.9 b on t-CO2 (26% reduct on from 1990 the eve ). For the next step, it will be necessary to conduct research into what extent the Kyoto Mechanism could contribute to substantial GHG emission reductions in consideration of external factors, such as economic recession and structural changes to energy supplies [iges.or.jp] » June 06 2014 - Nuc ear. Argentina s Atucha 2 has achieved a sustained chain reaction. The 745 MWe pressur zed heavy water reactor (PHWR) ach eved f rst cr t ca ty yesterday at 9.02am, the M n stry of Federa P ann ng reported. M n ster of p ann ng Ju o de V do was n the un t s contro room to w tness the m estone be ng met, together w th pres dent of Nuc eoe ectr ca Argent na SA (NASA) Jose Lu s Antunez. The ssuance of a cence by the Autor dad Regu ator a Nuc ear a ow ng nuc ear operat ons to beg n at the un t was announced on 29 May. On the same day, de V do ceremon a y aunched the process to f the reactor w th borated heavy water. The neutron-absorb ng boron has s nce been gradua y extracted from the heavy water a ow ng the contro ed nuc ear cha n react on to occur. Gr d connect on s expected soon, after wh ch tests w be conducted at d fferent power eve s to ver fy the performance of the systems to reach commerc a operat on [world-nuclear-news.org] » June 06 2014 - Norwegian oil giant Statoil insists it is sticking to its 2016 cost-cutting plans and has no public cost-saving target for 2020. The assurance came after after news agency B oomberg reported that the f rm p anned to cut costs to generate an extra �3b on a year by 2020. Stato commun cat ons ch ef Jann k L ndbaek sa d: "Th s (report) s based on nterna work ng documents." He added the documents seen by B oomberg were genu ne but dated back to before Stato �s cap ta markets day, on February 7, when the f rm pub shed new f nanc a targets. In that presentat on, Stato sa d t wou d cut costs w ththe a m of sav ng an annua �773m on from 2016 w thout re eas ng a 2020 target. The f rm dec ned to say f the ear y p ans for cost sav ngs by 2020 had been d scarded n favour of the 2016 target that was pub shed, or f the 2020 f gures represent nterna p ann ng [energyvoice.com] » June 06 2014 - C mate change. The United States is warming fastest at two of its corners, in the Northeast and the Southwest, an ana ys s of federa temperature records shows, AP reported. Northeastern states - ed by Maine and Vermont - have gotten the hottest in the last 30 years in annual temperature, gaining 2.5 degrees Fahrenheit (1.4 degrees Celsius) on average. But Southwestern states have heated up the most n the hottest months: The average New Mexico summer is 3.4 degrees Fahrenheit (1.8 degrees Celsius) warmer now than in 1984; in Texas, the summer days are 2.8 degrees Fahrenheit (1.5 degrees Celsius) hotter. The cont guous Un ted States annua average temperature has warmed by 1.2 degrees Fahrenhe t (0.7 degrees Ce s us) s nce 1984. But that doesn t rea y te you how hot t s gotten for most Amer cans. While man-made greenhouse gases warm the world as a whole, weather is supremely local. Some areas have gotten hotter than others because of atmospher c factors and randomness, c mate sc ent sts say [spa.gov.sa] » June 06 2014 - O . Oil futures settled mixed Thursday as easing geopolitical tensions regarding Ukraine and Russia undercut sentiment over the European Central Bank s move to lower interest rates. NYMEX Ju y crude sett ed 16 cents lower at $102.48/barrel; ICE Ju y Brent sett ed 39 cents higher at $108.79/b. In products, NYMEX Ju y ULSD sett ed 3.16 cents h gher at $2.8797/ga and Ju y RBOB ended 2.11 cents h gher at $2.9563/ga . The ECB cut ts key ref nanc ng nterest rate by 10 bas s po nts to 0.15%, the f rst t me the centra bank had owered the rate s nce a 25 bas s-po nt cut to 0.50% ast November [platts.com] » June 06 2014 - C mate f nance, paper. How can climate finance be better measured, reported and verified (MRV)? Var ous nternat ona efforts are current y underway to tack e the comp ex cha enge of MRV of c mate f nance, wh ch s h gh y re evant for two key reasons: on a po t ca eve , t s cons dered to be an mportant e ement for strengthen ng transpar-ency, accountab ty and trust between deve oped- and deve op ngcountry Part es n the c mate negot at on process and s part cu ar y nked to the extent to wh ch deve oped-country Part es have comp ed w th the r nternat ona comm tment to mob se USD 100 b on per year by 2020. On a pract ca eve , MRV of c mate f nance can he p to strengthen the eff c ency and effect veness of f nanc a sources by trac ng the sca e, reg ona /sectora d str but on and use of pub c and pr vate support. From a techn ca po nt of v ew, however, MRV of c mate f nance s exceed ng y comp ex. A new y pub shed GIZ paper a ms at st mu at ng the current debate by prov d ng an update on MRV of c mate f nance at UNFCCC, OECD and EU eve . Furthermore, t generates recommendat ons and po nters for future work and perspect ves on MRV of c mate f nance. [giz.de] » June 05 2014 - Trans adr at c p pe ne. TAP continues pre-qualification of potential suppliers, issues contract notice for construction of compressor stations in Greece and Albania. Trans Adr at c P pe ne (TAP) s cont nu ng ts pre-qua f cat on of potent a supp ers for the construct on of the 870km- ong h gh pressure natura gas p pe ne w th ts assoc ated nfrastructure across Greece, A ban a, and Adr at c Sea w th andfa n Southern Ita y. This week TAP has issued its third contract notice in the Official Journal of the EU�the EU Gazette. Two compressor stat ons w be necessary to transport 10 bcm of natura gas per year a ong the ent re p pe ne route from east to west. The scope for th s contract w nc ude the Eng neer ng, Procurement and Construct on of one compressor stat on n A ban a near F er (w th f sca meter ng, and one f ow meter ng stat on n A ban a n B sht), and one compressor stat on n Greece near K po (w th f sca meter ng). [...] Construct on of the compressor stat ons s p anned to start n 2016 and t w take approx mate y 2 years to comp ete. The compressor stat ons w be bu t n accordance w th the nternat ona ndustry standards on hea th and safety, ocated at a s gn f cant d stance away from h gh y popu ated areas, caus ng m n mum mpact on the env ronment and oca commun t es. TAP has deve oped a set of measures to m t gate any mpacts as descr bed n ts Env ronmenta and Soc a Impact Assessments (ESIA n A ban a and ESIA n Greece). The current pre-qua f cat on s the th rd one, fo ow ng contract not ces on construct on of A ban an roads and br dges and onshore p pe ne construct on serv ces n Greece and A ban a. The next contract not ces to be ssued by TAP n the com ng weeks w be the pre-qua f cat on of compan es supp y ng Turbo Compressors and Large D ameter Va ves. [...] TAP w transport natura gas from the g ant Shah Den z II f e d n Azerba an to Europe. The approx mate y 870 km ong p pe ne w connect w th the Trans Anato an P pe ne (TANAP) near the Turk sh-Greek border at K po , cross Greece and A ban a and the Adr at c Sea, before com ng ashore n Southern Ita y [trans-adriatic-pipeline.com] » June 05 2014 - China, the world s biggest emitter of climate-changing greenhouse gases, will set an absolute cap on its CO2 emissions from 2016, a top government adv ser sa d on Tuesday. The target w be wr tten nto Ch na s next f ve-year p an, wh ch comes nto force n 2016, He J ankun, cha rman of Ch na s Adv sory Comm ttee on C mate Change, to d a conference n Be ng. "The government w use two ways to contro CO2 em ss ons n the next f ve-year p an, by ntens ty and an abso ute cap," he sa d. The move w be the f rst t me Ch na puts abso ute m ts on ts CO2 em ss ons, wh ch have soared 50 percent s nce 2005. He s statement comes the day after the United States, the world s second-biggest emitter, for the first time announced plans to rein in carbon emissions from its power sector, a move the Obama adm n strat on hopes can n ect amb t on nto s ow-mov ng nternat ona c mate ta ks [uk.reuters.com] » June 05 2014 - Oapec. Member states of the Organisations of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries, OAPEC, have announced that 34 new oil and 10 new natural gas discoveries made in 2013, accord ng to a report that was re eased by the organ sat on on Wednesday. The Kuwa t News Agency, KUNA, quoted OAPEC s month y report as say ng that the most prom nent o d scovery was made n Hassi Messaoud, an eastern region of Algeria, estimated at 1.3 billion barrels. Wh e an est mated 71 billion cubic meters of natural gas, discovered in the Al-Shimal field in Qatar, was named the h gh ght natura gas d scovery. The report a so revea ed that OAPEC member states began work on severa key pro ects n 2013, nc ud ng the Karan offshore pro ect n Saud Arab a, wh ch s set to produce 4.2 m on cub c metres of gas per day, and another heavy crude o pro ect at the Man fa ref nery, a so n Saud , wh ch s expected to produce an est mated ha f a m on barre s per day. The Manifa project will reach a daily production capacity of 900,000 barrels of oil and approximately 65,000 barrels of condensate, in addition to 2.55 million cubic metres of gas [wam.ae] » June 05 2014 - EU gas. Europe is very much concerned about diversifying its gas supply sources after the Ukraine crisis. However, we have to be rea st c. East Mediterranean cannot represent a solution to European gas problem both time wise and volume wise. T me w se because t wou d be too opt m st c to expect gas exports from the reg on to Europe before 2020. Vo ume w se because Eastmed cou d export max mum 8 to 10 bcm per year from the d scovered f e ds n Israe and Cyprus, assum ng a exports w target the markets n Europe. Now, whether th s 10 bcm s a remedy for Europe s gas headache s another quest on. The answer s, aga n, no. Gazprom exported 137 bcm of gas to Europe in 2013. Gazprom s long term contracts with European buyers indicate that this level should more or less be maintained at least another 10 years. So, Eastmed gas export potent a of 10 bcm to Europe s ess than 10% of ex st ng Gazprom contracts w th European buyers. What Eastmed gas can do however is to help Europe diversify its supply sources and routes. And that can happen on y n the next decade [naturalgaseurope.com] » June 05 2014 - Opec. The price of OPEC basket of twelve crudes stood at 105.56 dollars a barrel on Wednesday, compared w th $105.14 the prev ous day, accord ng to OPEC Secretar at ca cu at ons. The new OPEC Reference Basket of Crudes (ORB) s made up of the fo ow ng: Saharan B end (A ger a), G rasso (Ango a), Or ente (Ecuador), Iran Heavy (Is am c Repub c of Iran), Basra L ght (Iraq), Kuwa t Export (Kuwa t), Es S der (L bya), Bonny L ght (N ger a), Qatar Mar ne (Qatar), Arab L ght (Saud Arab a), Murban (UAE) and Merey (Venezue a) [opec.org] » June 05 2014 - IEA, Internat ona Energy Agency. Meeting the world s growing need for energy will require more than $48 trillion in investment over the period to 2035, accord ng to a spec a report on nvestment re eased June 3 by the Internat ona Energy Agency (IEA) as part of ts Wor d Energy Out ook (WEO) ser es. The report says that today s annua nvestment n energy supp y of $1.6 tr on needs to r se stead y over the com ng decades toward $2 tr on. Annua spend ng on energy eff c ency, measured aga nst a 2012 base ne, needs to r se from $130 b on today to more than $550 b on by 2035. "The re ab ty and susta nab ty of our future energy system depends on nvestment," sa d IEA Execut ve D rector Mar a van der Hoeven. "But th s won t mater a ze un ess there are cred b e po cy frameworks n p ace, as we as stab e access to ongterm sources of f nance. Ne ther of these cond t ons shou d be taken for granted. There s a real risk of shortfalls, w th knock-on effects on reg ona or g oba energy secur ty, as we as the risk that investments are misdirected because environmental impacts are not properly reflected in prices." New y comp ed data show how annua nvestment n new fuel and electricity supply has more than doubled in real terms since 2000, with investment in renewable source of energy quadrupling over the same period, thanks to support ve government po c es. Investment in renewables in the European Union has been higher than investment in natural gas production in the US. Renewab es, together w th b ofue s and nuc ear power, now account for around 15% of annua nvestment f ows, w th a s m ar share a so go ng to the power transm ss on and d str but on network. But a large majority of today s investment spending, well over $1 trillion, is related to fossil fuels, whether extract ng them, transport ng them to consumers, ref n ng crude o nto o products, or bu d ng coa and gas-f red power p ants [ogfj.com] » June 05 2014 - c mate change. UN Climate Change Conference Bonn 2014: Ma or event on pub c awareness, pub c part c pat on and access to nformat on k ck ng-off on 5 June. The 2nd Dialogue on Article 6 of the UNFCCC prov des a forum to governments and stakeho ders to share exper ences, exchange deas, good pract ces and essons earned regard ng raising public awareness and fostering public participation in, and public access to information on, climate change policy-making and action. The D a ogue w be organ zed n three two-hour sess ons focus ng on pub c part c pat on on 5 June (11:00-13:00), pub c awareness on 8 June (11:00-13:00) and pub c access to nformat on on 11 June (11:0013:00) [theguardian.com] » June 04 2014 - Peak o . Former BP geologist: peak oil is here and it will break economies . Industry expert warns of gr m future of recess on dr ven resource wars at Un vers ty Co ege London ecture. A former Br t sh Petro eum (BP) geo og st has warned that the age of cheap o s ong gone, br ng ng w th t the danger of "cont nuous recess on" and ncreased r sk of conf ct and hunger. At a ecture on Geohazards ear er th s month as part of the postgraduate Natura Hazards for Insurers course at Un vers ty Co ege London (UCL), Dr. R chard G. M er, who worked for BP from 1985 before ret r ng n 2008, sa d that official data from the International Energy Agency (IEA), US Energy Information Administration (EIA), International Monetary Fund (IMF), among other sources, showed that conventional oil had most likely peaked around 2008. Dr. M er cr t qued the off c a ndustry ne that g oba reserves w ast 53 years at current rates of consumpt on, po nt ng out that "peak ng s the resu t of dec n ng product on rates, not dec n ng reserves." Desp te new d scover es and ncreas ng re ance on unconvent ona o and gas, 37 countr es are a ready post-peak, and g oba o product on s dec n ng at about 4.1% per year, or 3.5 m on barre s a day (b/d) per year [theguardian.com] » June 04 2014 - Iran. "We have the capacity to produce more than 4 mb/d, but we are running the country by selling 1mb/d because our use of these resources should be appropriate so that we would take maximum benefit," Mohammad Baqer Nobakht sa d. He sa d that Iran has defeated sanct ons mposed n recent years aga nst the country. Iran s petro eum m n ster sa d recent y the country has brought ts crude o exports to 1.5 mb/d. "Current y, Iran s export ng on average 1.5 m on bpd of o ," B an Namdar Zanganeh sa d n Moscow. He sa d member states of the Organ zat on of the Petro eum Export ng Countr es (OPEC) wou d make room for Iran s o product on, add ng, "I th nk they w do t, I am sure they w do t. They have to d me d rect y face-to-face that they w go a ong w th us and make room for Iran ans." Wor d o g ants, nc ud ng Roya Dutch She , Br t sh Petro eum (BP), Ma ays a s Petronas, Spa n s Repso , Russ a s second argest o producer Luko , France s Tota and Ita y s En , have shown nterest n return ng to Iran fo ow ng the part a sanct ons re ef [shana.ir] » June 04 2014 - GDF Suez SA (GSZ), France s largest natural gas company, plans to renegotiate a supply contract with OAO Gazprom next year as Europe moves away from nk ng the pr ce of the fue to o . The Par s-based company s "constant y" renegot at ng ts contracts w th supp ers, Jean-Franco s C re , v ce cha rman of GDF Suez, sa d n London. The ta ks w th Gazprom, fo ow ng an accord ast year, s "someth ng for 2015," he sa d. "Th s year we have few negot at ons to be done, but next year there w be more," C re sa d yesterday n an nterv ew at the Eure ectr c conference. "There s no other so ut on than to progress ve y sw tch to a market-based approach for our ong-term contracts." European gas buyers t ed to ong-term contracts w th supp ers nc ud ng Russ a s Gazprom and Norway s Stato ASA have sought a link to regional spot rates rather than crude as the two prices diverged when the 2008 crisis curbed demand and made gas available at hubs cheaper. That pushed compan es from EON SE to En SpA to seek rev ews of ong-term contracts through ta ks or arb trat on as they ncurred osses buy ng gas at h gher o - nked pr ces and se ng t to customers at ower market rates [bloomberg.com] » June 04 2014 - US. Amer ca p ans to cut power plant carbon emissions by 30% on 2005 figures by 2030, accord ng to gu de nes re eased yesterday by the Env ronmenta Protect on Agency. The NEI sa d there was "no chance" of meet ng the goa s w thout nuc ear [world-nuclearnews.org] » June 04 2014 - Ca for papers. New approaches for transitions to low fossil carbon societies: Promot ng opportun t es for effect ve deve opment, d ffus on and mp ementat on of techno og es, po c es and strateg es. Ed tors: Masach ka Suzuk (Soph a Un vers ty); Nor ch ka Kan e (Tokyo Inst tute of Techno ogy/ UNU-IAS); Masah ko Iguch (Tokyo Inst tute of Techno ogy/ UNU-IAS). Subm ss on Dead ne of Extended Abstracts: Ju y 15th 2014. The visions for and structure of the new international low fossil carbon technology governance are crucial for the success of future global climate governance structures, policies and procedures. W th the estab shment of the C mate Techno ogy Center and Network (CTCN) n 2010 adopted n the Cancun and Durban agreements at the Un ted Nat ons Framework Convent on on C mate Change (UNFCCC), the pre m nary nst tut ona and f nanc a arch tecture to promote deve opment, d ffus on and mp ementat on of ow foss carbon techno og es are be ng mp emented (UNFCCC, 2011). Th s Ca for Papers (CfPs) for a Spec a Vo ume (SV) of the Journa of C eaner Product on (JCLP) focuses upon both nternat ona and domest c nst tut ons des gned to fac tate mproved ow foss carbon techno ogy governance. In part cu ar, th s CfPs ed tor a team nv tes papers from academ cs, po t ca eaders, f nanc a , market ng, ndustr a and NGO eaders to subm t papers, wh ch focus upon governance approaches des gned to facilitate the rapid and effective transition to post-fossil carbon societies. Top cs nc ude, but are not m ted to, the fo ow ng: Internat ona Techno ogy Promot ona Inst tut ons; Internat ona F nanc a Inst tut ons; Actor Conf gurat ons; Pr vate Sector Invo vement; Techno ogy Innovat on; Prom s ng Innovat on Techno og es and Too s; Loca Techno og es; Off-gr d Techno og es for Remote Areas; Soc a Cond t ons for Adopt ng Techno og es; Barr ers to Effect ve D ffus on of Low Foss Carbon Techno og es, nc ud ng techno og ca barr ers, f nanc a /econom c barr ers and nst tut ona barr ers; Opportun t es for Effect ve D ffus on of Low Foss Carbon Techno og es; Necessary Mon tor ng Schemes and Mechan sms for the Trans t on to Low Foss Carbon Techno og es [Journal of Cleaner Production] » June 03 2014 - c mate change. In response to release of a new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standard to limit carbon pollution from existing power plants, 128 compan es and 49 nvestors, manag ng $800 b on n assets, sent letters of support to the Obama Administration, and to Senate and House majority and minority leaders. The etters were coord nated by the nonprof t susta nab ty advocacy organ zat on, Ceres. "As businesses concerned about the immediate and long-term implications of climate change, we, the unders gned strongly support the principles behind the draft Carbon Pollution Standard for ex st ng power p ants re eased today," says the company etter. "The Env ronmenta Protect on Agency�s (EPA) proposed Carbon Po ut on Standard for ex st ng power p ants represents a cr t ca step n mov ng our country towards a c ean energy economy." [ceres.org] » June 03 2014 - o . Oil futures settled lower Monday, weighed down by increased exports from Iraq and Libya and mixed global economic data. NYMEX Ju y crude sett ed down 24 cents to $102.47/barrel and ICE July Brent sett ed 58 cents ower to $108.83/b. In products, NYMEX Ju y ULSD sett ed 1.09 cents ower at $2.8773/ga and Ju y RBOB was down 2.2 cents at $2.9499/ga . The front-month Brent-WTI spread settled at $6.36/b, down from $6.70/b Fr day. The spread has been most y conf ned to a $6-$7/b range for the past two weeks [platts.com] » June 03 2014 - c mate change. IPCC Task Force on Nat ona Greenhouse Gas Inventor es, s de event dur ng the 40th Sess on of Subs d ary Bod es of the UNFCCC n Bonn. Thursday, 5 June 2014, 13:15-14:45: Evolution of IPCC Inventory Guidelines and their potential contribution to future climate actions. Tak ng the evo ut on of the IPCC Inventory Gu de nes so far nto cons derat on, th s event w d scuss how they cou d further contr bute to enhancement of c mate act ons n the future n response to emerg ng needs [unfccc.int] » June 03 2014 - EU. A proposed mechanism to help the European Union s carbon market ad ust to future econom c changes w be ab e to absorb any shocks from an increase in energy efficiency, a sen or European Comm ss on off c a sa d on Monday [pointcarbon.com] » June 02 2014 - US. The hurricane tracking process s your tr gger for know ng when to act vate your emergency action plan. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) webs te features a track ng map show ng coasta areas under a Hurr cane Watch (48 hours before andfa ) or Hurr cane Warn ng (36 hours before andfa ). It a so prov des a f ve-day forecast of the hurr cane s path. Zurich s Windstorm, Weather and Natural Disaster Safety website, nks to add t ona preparedness resources [zurichna.com] » June 02 2014 - sha egas. Natura Gas Europe had the p easure to speak w th Zhenbo Hou, co-author of the work ng paper The development implications of the fracking revolution. The report released by the UK think-thank Overseas Development Institute (ODI) present the ripple effect of shale gas developments. US and China stand to win the most. Russia, the Middle East and OPEC are presented as the main losers of decreased energy dependence of North Amer ca and Ch na. In th s nterv ew, we try to understand the repercuss ons a so on A ger a and Europe. Accord ng to Hou, "shale gas development has considerable potential in Europe, but regulatory and technological hurdles needs to be crossed within the EU first." [naturalgaseurope.com] » June 02 2014 - o markets. U.S. crude oil futures rose on Monday after encouraging factory activity data from major buyer China, recoup ng some osses from prof t tak ng n the prev ous sess on. Fundamenta s: U.S. crude futures for Ju y de very rose 32 cents to $103.03 a barre by 0013 GMT, after f n sh ng 87 cents ower on Fr day; Ch na s factory act v ty expanded at the fastest pace n f ve months n May due to new orders, off c a data showed on Sunday, re nforc ng v ews that the wor d s second- argest economy s rega n ng momentum n the second quarter fo ow ng Be ng s targeted measures to bo ster growth; Iraq threatened on Sunday to take ega act on aga nst any buyer of o exported v a a new p pe ne from the autonomous Kurd stan reg on to Turkey, wh e the dest nat on of the f rst cargo was st unc ear; OPEC s o output has r sen to a three-month h gh n May, a Reuters survey found on Fr day, as ncreased supp es from Ango a and a further ga n n exports from southern Iraq outwe ghed worsen ng unrest n L bya; Money managers ra sed the r net ong U.S. crude futures and opt ons pos t ons n the week to May 27, the U.S. Commod ty Futures Trad ng Comm ss on sa d on Fr day; Brent crude o pr ces are expected to drop sharp y n the second ha f of th s year as amp e supp y and tep d demand offset worr es over po t ca r sks, a Reuters po of ana ysts showed on Fr day [in.reuters.com] » June 02 2014 - The F fth Assessment Report from the Intergovernmenta Pane on C mate Change s the most comprehens ve and re evant ana ys s of our chang ng c mate. It prov des the sc ent f c fact base that w be used around the wor d to formu ate c mate po c es n the com ng years. [...] Many emerging climate change risks are concentrated in urban areas. Urban areas ho d more than ha f the wor d s popu at on and most of ts bu t assets and econom c act v t es. They a so house a arge proport on of the popu at on and econom c act v t es most at r sk from c mate change. Climate change impacts on cities are increasing. Key ssues nc ude r s ng temperatures, heat stress, water secur ty and po ut on, sea- eve r se and storm surges, extreme weather events, heavy ra nfa and strong w nds, n and f ood ng, food secur ty, and ocean ac d f cat on. The world s urban population is forecast almost to double by 2050, increasing the number of people and assets exposed to climate change risks. Rap d urban sat on n ow- and m dd e ncome countr es has a ready ncreased the number of h gh y vu nerab e urban commun t es v ng n nforma sett ements, many of wh ch are at h gh r sk from extreme weather events. Steps that build resilience and enable sustainable development in urban areas can accelerate successful climate change adaptation globally. Adaptat on opt ons ex st n areas such as water, food, energy and transport. The greatest potential for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions may lie in rapidly developing cities in industrialising countries. C ty-based sectors w th potent a for m t gat on nc ude bu d ngs, energy, transport, and ndustry. However, many rap d y deve op ng c t es ack the f nanc a , techno og ca , nst tut ona and governance capac ty requ red for effect ve m t gat on [cisl.cam.ac.uk] » May 30 2014 - new pub cat on. The Energy Community and the Energy Charter Treaty: Special Legal Regimes, their Systemic Relationship to the EU, and their Dispute Settlement Arrangements. The European Un on (EU) s for ts most part dependent on the wor d outs de ts borders for a steady and secure energy supp y. The EU borders, or s c ose to, areas r ch n energy-re ated natura resource endowments - such as Russ a, the Casp an Sea, the M dd e East and North Afr ca reg ons, and Norway - from where the bu k of energy mports nto the EU are sourced. The co apse of the Sov et Un on and of the bureaucrat c reg mes n Centra and Eastern Europe - wh ch prec p tated the open ng up of those econom es to g oba zat on and ts attendant processes - has ncreas ng y made the r energy-re ated natura resource endowments ava ab e on g oba markets. Deve oped, yet energy-poor, Western econom es - many of wh ch have ga van zed beh nd the EU - saw opportun t es to enhance the r energy secur ty through those econom es on the br nk of co apse. To that end, the EU has sought to entang e those energy-r ch (or otherw se energys gn f cant states, e.g., regard ng energy trans t) areas nto mu t atera reg mes - such as those based on the Energy Charter Treaty and the Energy Commun ty. Wh e both these spec a reg mes count among the r numbers severa part es that are not EU member states, they are not neutra n the r onto ogy, g ven that these reg mes, s nce the r ncept on, are nherent y nked to the energy nterests of EU econom es. The present paper presents an ana ys s of these reg mes, and the r system c re at onsh p to the EU, a ong w th a spec a focus on the r d spute sett ement arrangements. Furthermore, we refer to certa n aspects of the meta-normat ve framework at the nternat ona aw eve that may be app cab e to normat ve conf cts that often ar se n p ura st c nternat ona aw sett ngs [Oil, Gas & Energy Law Journal, Vol. 12, Issue 2, pp. 1-42, 2014] » May 30 2014 - c mate change. Understand ng Land Use n the UNFCCC. Greenhouse gas emissions and removals from land use are critical to combat climate change. Due to techn ca character st cs, dec s ons under the UNFCCC re ated to the sector have deve oped d fferent y. It has come to be seen as an arcane and comp ex sub ect, mpenetrab e to the average person and even to sk ed negot ators. The ob ect ve of the Guide Understanding Land Use and Forestry in the UNFCCC s to change th s percept on and ncrease the techn ca understand ng of how em ss ons and remova s from the and sector�referred to as and use, and use change and forestry (LULUCF) or agr cu ture, forests and other and use (AFOLU)-are treated under the UNFCCC [climateandlandusealliance.org] » May 30 2014 - Wash ngton, DC. The G7 recent y met n Rome to d scuss the challenges of energy security following Russia s invasion of the Crimean peninsula, and reaff rmed ts comm tment to pursu ng co ect ve energy secur ty. "Energy shou d not be used as a means of po t ca coerc on nor as a threat to secur ty," the seven countr es stated, ca ng for the development of competitive energy markets, an increase in alternative energy production, and additional investment in research to reduce reliance on Russian energy. The p an ca s for so ut ons over the short, m dd e and ong terms, nc ud ng emergency re ef measures dur ng the com ng w nter. For sma er eastern European countr es, however, the threats oom arger than for the r western counterparts. The Baltic countries are almost entirely dependent on Russia for their energy supply, and are vulnerable in a way that larger countries with more diversified energy supplies and more established economies are not. "The energy dom nance, or the monopo y, of Russ a s a ways a danger," Latv an Pr me M n ster La mdota Strau uma to d A Jazeera. "We know from a techno og ca po nt of v ew our energy ssues have to be so ved. We can t do t tomorrow or overn ght. F nd ng a new energy supp y hasn t been our top pr or ty before. But t has become apparent that we have to so ve the prob em before 2017." Strau uma s pr or ty s the construction of a pipeline in Latvia that would connect the Baltic countries with the western grid, through Germany and Poland. She s a so ca ng for the construct on of a quef ed natura gas term na arge enough to store supp es through the summer, and supp y the Ba t cs and Po and throughout the w nter. W th 52 percent of ts andmass forested, Latv a a so uses b omass, wood-ch p and pe et-based heat ng systems [aljazeera.com] » May 30 2014 - SA. South Afr ca en oys some of the best sunsh ne n the wor d a year round and ts e ectr c ty s among the most expens ve on the p anet. The country s ofty so ar amb t ons therefore come as tt e surpr se: Forty-two percent of South Africa s newly-installed energy capacity should be renewable by 2030. Its so ar power generat on s expected to reach 1,050 MW by 2015 n contrast w th ust 25 MW n 2012. The country s a so expected to have nsta ed over four m on so ar pane s and have the capac ty to set up 1.6 m on more by the same date. South Africa s solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity should also reach 8.4 GW by 2030. As a result South Africa is the most attractive emerging country for solar energy, accord ng to a report re eased n January by nte gence f rm IHS. It ach eved a score of 66 out of 100 n IHS s Emerg ng Markets Attract veness Index for the f na quarter n 2013, b az ng ahead of ts r va s by 17 po nts [renewableenergyworld.com] » May 30 2014 - EU energy secur ty strategy. On Wednesday 28 May EU energy comm ss oner Gunther Oett nger presented the European Comm ss on s new "European Energy Security Strategy" to ourna sts n Brusse s. Hast y put together n the two months s nce heads of state and government ordered t at the r March summ t, t s nonethe ess a comprehens ve 24page document comp ete w th a 200-page back-up report. It w go d rect y to heads of state and government at the r next summ t on 26-27 June, to be d scussed n tandem w th the 2030 climate and energy proposals. Energy Post sums up the take-home messages: Energy eff c ency s the f rst ne of defence; The EU shou d carry out gas secur ty �stress tests� ahead of next w nter; Brusse s may ook nto regu at ng gas storage as a strateg c resource; Desp te heavy Russ an dependence, o s not a secur ty of supp y concern; There are 33 pr or ty nfrastructure pro ects cr t ca for EU secur ty of supp y; Member states shou d a m for 15% e ectr c ty nterconnect on capac ty by 2030; New nuc ear power p ants shou d not be fu y dependent on Russ an fue ; Jo nt gas buy ng n t at ves or mechan sms cou d he p EU secur ty of supp y; The EU nterna energy market and compet t on ru es must preva ; Renewab es are a great a ternat ve to mports [energypost.eu] » May 30 2014 - web nar, 4 June 2014-2:00 p.m. CEST|8:00 a.m. EDT. The C ean Energy So ut ons Center, n partnersh p w th the Renewab e Energy Po cy Network for the 21st Century (REN21), s host ng a no-cost, web nar for the launch of REN21 s flagship report, Renewables 2014 Global Status Report. D scover where the greatest number of add t ons to e ectr c generat ng capac ty occurred n 2013 and who the new eaders n renewab e energy dep oyment are. Investment eve s and po cy deve opments w a so be d scussed [register] » May 30 2014 - CSIS watch ve, Jun 5. The Energy Situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan and the TAPI Pipeline. For near y three decades, the ava ab ty of secure energy supp es n Afghan stan was s gn f cant y d srupted by conf ct. Pak stan�s energy sector s n cr s s, w th endem c oad shedd ng and governance, eff c ency, and compet t veness prob ems. Reg ona y, there are s gn f cant opportun t es and cha enges fac ng cross-border energy trad ng throughout Centra and South As a. The As an Deve opment Bank (ADB) has p ayed a key ro e n address ng energy ssues n the Afghan stan/Pak stan reg on, he p ng to br ng e ectr c ty to the Afghan peop e and support ng reforms and nvestments n Pak stan�s power and energy nfrastructure sector. ADB s comm tted to hav ng a ong-term presence and mpact n the reg on beyond the post-trans t on per od n Afghan stan and the energy sector s the argest component of ts overa portfo o. ADB s a so engaged n severa reg ona energy pro ects, w th benef ts for Afghan stan and Pak stan beyond so e y the area of energy. P ease o n us for presentat ons and d scuss on of ADB s act v t es n the reg on, nc ud ng the TAPI (Turkmen stan-Afghan stan-Pak stan-Ind a) p pe ne [csis.org] » May 30 2014 - Ch na. A though ser ous obstac es rema n, China is finally making progress on tapping its vast shale gas reserves, wh ch ho d the prom se of a new source of c ean energy for the coa smoke-choked country. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, China holds the world s largest reserves of technically recoverable shale gas in the world, 1,115 trillion cubic feet. That s about 68 percent more than what the U.S. ho ds. But t has thus far been unab e to un ock those reserves for a coup e of reasons. F rst, t has taken t me for Ch nese o and gas compan es to acqu re sha e dr ng expert se. And second, China s shale is geologically different than whats found in the U.S., wh ch means Ch na can t eas y use ex st ng techno ogy. Desp te th s, a new report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance finds that China may actually hit its 2015 shale gas production target, wh ch the centra government has mandated. Researchers ana yzed the resu ts of we data from the Fu ng b ock n the S chuan Bas n, state-owned f rm S nopec s mak ng substant a progress, and the nat ona target of 6.5 b on cub c meters per year (480 m on cub c feet per day) by 2015 cou d be w th n reach [oilprice.com] » May 30 2014 - Braz . Large Brazilian food companies, ook ng to avo d env ronmenta -based restr ct ons from fore gn buyers, have o ned organ zat ons act ve n c mate programs to deve op tools to better measure greenhouse gases emitted by themselves and their suppliers [pointcarbon.com] » May 29 2014 - US. Frack ng Sucks Money From W nd Wh e Ch na Ec pses U.S. U.S. President Barack Obama says natural gas can be a bridge from coal to a cleaner energy future. Investors are showing it s more likely a bridge to nowhere. The country s embrace of natura gas means ess ove for w nd and so ar. New investments in renewable energy sources declined 5 percent in North America last year to $56 billion, the lowest since 2010, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. By comparison, North American oil and gas companies spent $168.2 billion on exploration and production last year, more than double 2009, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Frack ng -- the process of b ast ng water, sand and chem ca s nto m es-deep sha e rock to extract fue s - has he ped push U.S. natura gas product on to new h ghs n each of the past seven years, accord ng to the Energy Informat on Adm n strat on. It s a so more expens ve than trad t ona dr ng and contr butes to g oba warm ng, accord ng to the U.S. Env ronmenta Protect on Agency. Renewab es, wh ch are gett ng cheaper, have ost support even as the Un ted Nat ons warns that t me s runn ng out to stem c mate change and Ch na forges ahead w th susta nab e power [bloomberg.com] » May 29 2014 - carbon market. "Is the European Union in fighting formation on the Paris 2015 front?" Ver f ed CO2 em ss ons: n 2013, em ss ons of EU ETS stat onary nsta at ons, est mated to 1,895 MtCO2, have decreased by at east 3% n compar son of 2012; State a ds for 2020 c mate targets: the EU Comm ss on has adopted new gu de nes on pub c support for pro ects n the f e d of env ronmenta protect on and energy that notab y promote a gradua move to marketbased support for renewab e energy; Carbon eakage: the EU Comm ss on has sent ts draft proposa for a 2015-2019 carbon eakage st to the EU C mate Change Comm ttee and has aunched a pub c consu tat on on poss b e post-2020 carbon eakage prov s ons [cdcclimat.com, Tendances Carbone no91] » May 29 2014 - Austra a. EnergyQuest s May Quarter y report. The Australian LNG sector will need to rapidly trim its costs n order to part c pate n the next round of g oba LNG deve opments. L st ng Russ a as the most recent compet tor to emerge, the report says that Austra a s LNG speed has often come at the expense of good pro ect execut on w th consequent a h gher costs - open ng up opportun t es for lower cost competitors such as Russia, which recently signed a massive pipeline gas deal with China [gastoday.com.au] » May 29 2014 - Iran-Japan. Iran Water and Power Resources Deve opment Co (IWPC) and Japan s Internat ona Center for Water Hazards and R sk Management (ICHARM) s gned a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on technical cooperation and research. Not ng the s gn ng of the accord, Mohammad Reza Rezazadeh, manag ng d rector of IWPC, sa d the company s focused on development of hydroelectric power plants in the country along with design and construction of large dams and water transfer plans as it seeks to develop clean energies, management of research, exports of engineering and technical services. He sa d, Power M n stry has tasked IWPC w th rr gat on and dra nage pro ects. Accord ng to Rezazadeh, ow eve of ra n across the country has made ntegrated management of water resources necessary. Rezazadeh sa d the company s a so bu d ng m cro and sma power p ants on the agenda, add ng the government does not ntend to nvest d rect y n bu d ng sma s zed power p ants and tr es to absorb pr vate sector s cap ta n the sector. Accord ng to Rezazadeh hydroe ectr c power p ants account for generat ng 14.14 percent of the tota e ectr c ty be ng produced n the country add ng hydroe ectr c power p ants cou d generate 30 thousand megawatts of electricity across the country even though the nsta ed capac ty stands ust at 10 thousand megawatts now [shana.ir] » May 29 2014 - c mate change. For the first time, monthly concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere topped 400 parts per million (ppm) in April throughout the northern hemisphere. Th s thresho d s of symbo c and sc ent f c s gn f cance and re nforces ev dence that the burn ng of foss fue s and other human act v t es are respons b e for the cont nu ng ncrease n heat-trapp ng greenhouse gases warm ng our p anet. A the northern hemisphere monitoring stations forming the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Global Atmosphere Watch network reported record atmospher c CO2 concentrat ons dur ng the seasona max mum. Th s occurs ear y n the northern hem sphere spr ng before vegetat on growth absorbs CO2. Wh st the spr ng max mum va ues n the northern hem sphere have a ready crossed the 400 ppm eve , the g oba annua average CO2 concentrat on s set to cross th s thresho d n 2015 or 2016. "Th s shou d serve as yet another wakeup ca about the constant y r s ng eve s of greenhouse gases wh ch are dr v ng c mate change. If we are to preserve our p anet for future generat ons, we need urgent act on to curb new em ss ons of these heat trapp ng gases," sa d WMO Secretary-Genera M che Jarraud. "Time is running out." CO2 rema ns n the atmosphere for hundreds of years. Its fespan n the oceans s even onger. It s the s ng e most mportant greenhouse gas em tted by human act v t es. It was respons b e for 85% of the ncrease n rad at ve forc ng - the warm ng effect on our c mate - over the decade 2002-2012. Between 1990 and 2013 there was a 34% increase in radiative forcing because of greenhouse gases, accord ng to the atest f gures from the U.S. Nat ona Ocean c and Atmospher c Adm n strat on (NOAA) [wmo.int] » May 28 2014 - C mate change. Capturing provenance of global change information. G oba change nformat on demands access to data sources and we -documented provenance to prov de the ev dence needed to bu d conf dence n sc ent f c conc us ons and dec s on mak ng. A new generat on of web techno ogy, the Semant c Web, prov des too s for that purpose [nature.com] » May 28 2014 - US, so ar opt on. With the drastic reduction in solar energy cost (99% drop over 25 years), and the ever-increasing cost of electricity from my local power company, M ke�s p tch s start ng to make more sense to me. So I engaged n some good o d-fash oned research about the so ar opt on to f nd out for myse f ust how feas b e th s dec s on wou d be for my home, and I have d scovered some nterest ng facts. Solar can be a good option under certain circumstances. So ar energy makes the most sense n areas that 1) get a ot of sun, 2) have a h gh cost per kWh, and 3) offer oca energy rebates. Hawa f ts a of these cr ter a very we , and has the h ghest concentrat on of res dent a so ar pane s as a resu t. States ke Ca forn a, Ar zona, Texas, F or da, Lou s ana, Co orado, and others are a so good ocat ons where so ar can prov de s zab e sav ngs [forbes.com] » May 28 2014 - Nord stream. MMT (Sweden) w perform two surveys this summer in the Baltic Sea for Nord Stream AG. The campa gn w assess the mpact of the two parallel Nord Stream gas trunklines on near-seabed currents n the F nn sh sect on through observat on of potent a oca zed scour and sed mentat on. To determ ne seabed sed ment features, obstruct ons and sed ment character st cs the company w use a remote y operated TV-mounted s de scan sonar system. The company w then conduct a camera-based study of benth c fauna on hard sea bottom south of the Sandka an Natura area, a ong a 5-km (3.1-m ) ong transect start ng from the p pe ne and head ng north toward the Natura area. MMT w use the survey and ROV vesse IceBeam for the ass gnment [offshore-mag.com] » May 28 2014 - Congo. Loading volumes for Repub c of Congo s two main crude oil grades - D eno and N Kossa -- are set to rise in July to a total of 7.42 million barrels from 6.47 m on barre s n June, accord ng to cop es of pre m nary oad ng schedu es seen by P atts Wednesday. The average daily loading rate will rise to 239,355 b/d n Ju y from 215,667 b/d n June. D eno, the country s f agsh p grade, s set to oad s x 920,000barre cargoes n Ju y, the same as for June. N Kossa oad ngs are schedu ed to doub e, w th two 950,000-barre cargoes to be exported n Ju y compared w th on y one 950,000-barre export n June. D eno, a heavy med um-sweet crude grade w th an API grav ty of 28.1, s su tab e for d rect burn ng n power generat on, accord ng to the webs te of Tota , wh ch operates the D eno term na . D eno s a very popu ar grade among Ch nese ref ners, espec a y Un pec and S nochem. N Kossa, a ght sweet grade a so oaded by Tota from the D eno term na , has a grav ty of 39.93 API and a su fur content of 0.06%, accord ng to the company [platts.com] » May 28 2014 - Russ a-Ch na. The Achilles Heel of the Russian-Chinese Gas Deal Pund ts have been qu ck to abe ast week s mammoth gas dea between Russ a and Ch na as "h stor c." That may be true. But the fact s there are a number of important elements in the $400 billion agreement that have yet to be decided. For one, Moscow and Be ng have a fundamenta y d fferent v ew of what the de very p pe ne shou d ook ke. China wants two pipelines, while Russia is interested in a single line that China would have to share with South Korea and Japan. The ssue, as w th everyth ng e se that s st up n the a r, revo ves around cost and revenues. The pipeline is going to cost at least $22 billion to build. But if Gazprom has to run two satellite lines just for China, it will cut into already strained profit margins. Meanwh e, f add t ona contracts w th Korea and Japan requ re separate p pe nes, another set of ma or cap ta expend tures wou d emerge. Even f the p pe nes are funded w th prepayments on de ver es (wh ch amounts to an advanced cred t), that wou d s mp y ock Gazprom nto spec fy ng a f xed pr ce up front for the n t a mu t -year cons gnments. Th s s a b g prob em, espec a y where the pr ce has yet to be f na zed [oilandenergyinvestor.com] » May 28 2014 - EU, nte gent energy. The successfu GBE FACTORY award ng of German compan es took p ace at the BMW Werk n Le pz g, on Apr 29th, 2014 dur ng the event "Economy and sustainability: energy models for the industry", n wh ch the pro ect GBE Factory was presented (Ita an Chamber of Commerce for Germany), together w th the newest trends n e ectromob ty (BMW) and the deve opment of the REs n the ndustry (Veneto Innovaz one). E ght of the th rteen compan es who have nvested n RES and became themse ves a GBE FACTORY have been awarded w th the spec a pro ect p ates n accordance to the r ach evements n the product on of renewab e energy for the r own operat ve needs [gbefactory.eu] » May 28 2014 - Balkans energy geopolitics: South Stream or South dream? In t a Ba kan enthus asm for Russ a s South Stream gas p pe ne and the chance for the reg on to be at the energy crossroads for Europe has faded. But energy remains at the centre of a geopolitical battleground involving Europe and Russian President Vladimir Putin s ambitions to rebuild a wider Russia. There s no s gn h s amb t on w end n Cr mea [geopolitical-info.com] » May 28 2014 - Saud Arab a, report. A Saudi Arabian Defense Doctrine Mapping the expanded force structure the Kingdom needs to lead the Arab world, stabilize the region, and meet its global responsibilities. Far from be ng a frag e state, Saud Arab a has n recent years conso dated ts p ace as Arab eader, reg ona stab zer, and cr t ca bu wark aga nst terror sm and a nuc ear Iran. The K ngdom s grow ng secur ty respons b t es requ re rap d and substant a m tary nvestments. Nawaf Oba d, v s t ng fe ow at the Be fer Center, out nes a comprehens ve Saud Arab an Defense Doctr ne and exp a ns why the K ngdom of Saud Arab a (KSA) s ke y to double down on defense and national security capabilities in the next five years [belfercenter.ksg.harvard.edu] » May 28 2014 - Susta nab e deve opment. The Sc ent f c and Techn ca Adv sory Pane (STAP) re eased today ts report to the GEF 5th Assembly that out nes spec f c recommendat ons for the GEF n advancing environmentally sustainable development n GEF-6. The three key messages of th s STAP Report to the Assemb y are: Environmental degradation must be tackled in a more integrated and holistic way, address ng nd v dua foca area concerns n ways that y e d mu t p e benef ts, enhance ecosystem serv ces, and mprove governance systems w th n and across nat ona boundar es; Sustainable development should be at the core of GEF interventions, enab ng mproved human we be ng, hea th, ve hoods and soc a equ ty at the same t me as env ronmenta protect on. The GEF should continue to be catalytic and innovative while actively seeking to effect permanent and transformational change. Th s w requ re effect ve y everag ng the best sc ent f c know edge from the des gn of pro ects through mp ementat on and eva uat on, as we as earn ng from the exper ences of past ntervent ons through successfu know edge management. The report a so h gh ghts STAP s numerous accomp shments n GEF-5 (2010 � 2014) dur ng a per od of s gn f cant ntens f cat on of the Adv sory Pane s ro es and respons b t es. Recommendat ons are made for how STAP can cont nue to support the GEF Partnersh p s fundamenta mandate as the on y g oba agency fund ng ntegrated g oba env ronmenta benef ts n concert w th the emerg ng susta nab e deve opment agenda. STAP a so recent y pub shed three add t ona adv sory reports. The adv sory report on "Ma nstream ng B od vers ty n Pract ce" offers an extens ve ana ys s of the mean ng and h story of b od vers ty ma nstream ng, nc ud ng an ana ys s of ma nstream ng at the GEF, wh ch supported a tota of 327 b od vers ty ma nstream ng pro �ects, tota ng US$ 1.6 b on n GEF fund ng and US$ 5.2 b on n co-f nanc ng from 2004 to 2014. The report a so d scusses key determ nants of effect ve b od vers ty ma nstream ng and offers conc us ons of what has been earned over the past decade and how to use th s nformat on to mprove pro ect des gn and mp ementat on to max m ze g oba env ronmenta benef ts. A second adv sory document on "Assess ng the Effects of Terrestr a Protected Areas on Human We be ng" reports on the conduct and resu ts of a systemat c rev ew of ev dence of the mpacts on human we -be ng ar s ng from the estab shment or ma ntenance of terrestr a PAs. Beg nn ng w th near y 19,000 art c es, experts narrow the r focus to c ose y exam ne 79 quant tat ve stud es and 34 qua tat ve stud es n deta and prov de ns ghts nto the ma n sources of tens on ar s ng from PAs and factors contr but ng to successfu mp ementat on. F na y, a STAP pub shed a report on "The Political Economy of Regionalism" wh ch prov des the context and ana yt ca too s needed to understand contemporary reg ona sm and reg ona organ zat ons from a g oba and po t ca economy perspect ve. It reports on the resu ts of an extens ve desk-study of the GEF Internat ona Waters portfo o to assess each pro ect s re at on to reg ona cooperat on processes and v ce versa [stapgef.org] » May 27 2014 - EU. Europe s utilities should embrace role in ICT and smart infrastructure. As trad t ona supp ers face the r se of renewab e energyAd by Med aP ayerp us, ut t es shou d ook to bu d expert se n Informat on Commun cat on Techno ogy so ut ons. The value of Europe s top 20 utilities has halved in the past six years and their credit ratings have been downgraded, despite a recent upward trend. The s tuat on s most stark n Germany where the ut t es, the trad t ona supp ers of power arge y through the r foss -fue ed p ants, were caught out by the surpr se phase out of nuc ear power, the sharp decrease n the cost of so ar and the r se of renewab e generat on capac ty. Ear er th s month, Germany generated two thirds of its power from wind and solar. German ut ty CEO, Peter Ter um, recent y dec ared the s tuat on the "worst structural crisis in the history of energy supply" [theguardian.com] » May 27 2014 - Green Climate Fund Board Takes Major Step Towards Initial Resource Mobilization. The Board successfu y reached agreement on essent a requ rements for the Fund to move towards commenc ng ts n t a resource mob zat on, among them, a resu ts management framework, the n t a proposa approva process, the gu d ng framework and procedures for accred t ng ent t es, and the Fund s f nanc a r sk management and nvestment frameworks [gcfund.org] » May 27 2014 - IPIECA, the Internat ona Mar t me Organ zat on (IMO) and the Ch na Mar t me Safety Adm n strat on (MSA) have off c a y aunched a Global Initiative (GI) Programme for China wh ch w work to improve and sustain the capability of the People s Republic of China to prepare for and respond to oil spill incidents and to enhance ndustry-government co-operat on. IPIECA attended the f rst Techn ca Consu tat ve Group (TCG) meet ng of the GI Ch na n Yanta from 11-13 May 2014. Dur ng the meet ng the terms of reference for the forma estab shment of the TCG were rev ewed and the b enn a Imp ementat on P an of the Programme for 2014 and 2015 was approved. The next step s an Internat ona O Sp Response Techn ca Sem nar schedu ed to take p ace from 2-3 September 2014 n Yanta , Ch na [ipieca.org] » May 27 2014 - Irena, UAE. W th many econom es fac ng s ow growth prospects, po cy makers ncreas ng y see chances for greater income, improved trade balances, industrial development and job creation through renewable energy deployment. However, deta ed ev dence on these effects rema ns m ted. The Soc o-econom c Benef ts of So ar and W nd Energy, an econValue report from the Internat ona Renewab e Energy Agency (IRENA), sheds ght on the va ue-creat on potent a of so ar and w nd power, n part cu ar, as a cruc a f rst step for cont nu ng research and ana ys s. Produced n cooperat on w th the C ean Energy M n ster a , the report presents a conceptua framework for ana ys ng macroeconom c, d str but ona , energy-re ated and other effects of arge-sca e renewab e energy dep oyment [irena.org] » May 27 2014 - CEE. The countries of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) have an opportun ty to transform Europe s current energy order. As seen through the Amer can exper ence, the deve opment of untapped energy resources from shale gas in Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Ukraine s poss b e through hydrau c fractur ng, a so known as frack ng. As a reg on heav y dependent on Russ an o and gas mports, the creat on of greater energy secur ty has ong been a ma or po cy goa for the European Un on (EU) and ts nd v dua Member States. Yet m s nformat on about environmental and public health risks from hydraulic fracturing s shap ng the European po cy debate and dec s onmak ng on whether or not frack ng w p ay a ma or ro e n the reg on s energy d vers f cat on strategy. Wh e the governments of Bu gar a and the Czech Repub c have a ready mposed bans on frack ng, energy compan es act ve n Po and, Roman a and Ukra ne have confronted pub c protests aga nst sha e exp orat on act v t es over the ast year. Th s "fear of frack ng" has not on y become a s gn f cant roadb ock toward CEE energy ndependence, but t has stym ed mmense opportun t es for growth n manufactur ng and emp oyment across Europe. The deve opment of domest c sha e resources cou d p ay a cr t ca ro e n strengthen ng CEE s energy strategy and advanc ng the EU�s goa of stok ng econom c compet t veness [naturalgaseurope.com] » May 27 2014 - Opec. The price of OPEC basket of twe ve crudes stood at 106.73 dollars a barrel on Monday, compared w th $106.92 the prev ous Fr day, accord ng to OPEC Secretar at ca cu at ons. The new OPEC Reference Basket of Crudes (ORB) s made up of the fo ow ng: Saharan B end (A ger a), G rasso (Ango a), Or ente (Ecuador), Iran Heavy (Is am c Repub c of Iran), Basra L ght (Iraq), Kuwa t Export (Kuwa t), Es S der (L bya), Bonny L ght (N ger a), Qatar Mar ne (Qatar), Arab L ght (Saud Arab a), Murban (UAE) and Merey (Venezue a) [opec.org] » May 27 2014 - Russ a. Ukraine may repay at least $2.5 billion of its $3.5 billion debt for Gazprom gas supplies, Russ a s Energy M n ster A exander Novak sa d ate Monday fo ow ng the second round of the tr atera ta ks between Moscow, K ev and the EU. "The tota payment may amount to $2.5 b on," Novak sa d, add ng that th s sum w cover part of a b for gas supp ed from November 2013 t Apr , and part of a b for May supp es. Ukra n an energy company Naftogaz may pay $2 b on to Gazprom on Thursday and may transfer the second, $500 m on tranche on June 7, EU Comm ss oner for Energy Gunther Oett nger sa d. Off c a s of Russ a and Ukra ne and representat ves of the compan es are to cons der the resu ts of the negot at ons and agree unt the end of Wednesday, Oett nger sa d [itar-tass.com] » May 27 2014 - Ch na. China Oilfield Services Limited (COSL) comp eted the first phase of oil drilling and exploration off Zhongjian Island of the country s Xisha Islands on Tuesday, the company sa d n a statement. Accord ng to a p an made by ts c ent, the exp orat on operat on has moved to another s te for ts second phase work, the COSL sa d. The company sa d t has acqu red re ated geo og ca data dur ng the f rst phase of exp orat on. The operat on, carr ed out by the HYSY981 dr ng p atform managed by COSL, started on May 2 and s expected to be comp eted by m d-August. The waters for the f rst phase were 17 naut ca m es from Zhong an Is and, comp ete y w th n Ch na s terr tor a waters, wh e they are as far as 130-150 naut ca m es (241-278 km) from V etnam s coast ne. However, V etnam had carr ed out ntens ve d srupt ons of Ch nese company s norma o dr ng s nce May 2. The company s a subs d ary of the Ch na Nat ona Offshore O Corporat on, the country s argest offshore o and gas producer [xinhuanet.com] » May 27 2014 - Iran. A deputy head of Iran s Department of the Env ronment has a d the b ame on three Central Asian countries for causing pollution through their oil and gas production activities. Parv n Farshch sa d Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan account for the bu k of oil and gas pollution in the Caspian Sea due to the r exp orat on, extract on and transfer act v t es. "Iran s share of the Casp an Sea po ut on s ma n y due to agr cu ture wastes and wastewaters," she sa d. Farshch sa d ndustr a po ut on s threaten ng the Casp an Sea env ronment. "Th s po ut on f ows nto the Casp an Sea most y from Russ a due to w despread ndustr a act v t es around Vo ga R ver", she sa d. Farshch sa d 60 percent of Casp an o po ut on comes from coasta areas. "A arge number of o d o we s n Azerba an and Kazakhstan are no onger econom ca and they have been abandoned," she sa d [shana.ir] » May 26 2014 - US. Where are Natural Gas prices headed? [...] the "sha e gas" phenomenon has had such a dramat c mpact on North Amer can Natura Gas pr ces. At the beg nn ng of the 21st century Natura Gas pr ces were about $4.00/M on BTU and thereafter they rose rap d y to $8$10/M on BTU n the years 2005-2007. The econom c cr s s that started n the fa of 2008 co nc ded w th ncreas ng product on due to the success of sha e gas deve opment wh ch trans ated nto a very rap d dec ne n Natura Gas pr ces to ust over $2.00/M on BTU n 2012. S nce then pr ces have recovered somewhat to about $4/M on BTU. The ow pr ces s nce 2008 have resu ted n a very pred ctab e dec ne n the number of dr ng r gs exp or ng for new natura gas reserves. [pennenergy.com] » May 26 2014 - C mate change. More frequent and intense climate extremes are expected as the climate changes; th s, comb ned w th chang ng patterns of exposure and vu nerab ty, s creat ng new geographic distributions of risk that need to be addressed exp c t y through pub c po cy. D saster r sk assessments are produced and promoted on the bas s that they prov de the nformat on, ana ys s and know edge needed to make sound cho ces and nvestments that reduce the human mpact of env ronmenta hazards. A new paper by Em y W k nson of Overseas Deve opment Inst tute and CDKN, and A onso Brenes of the Lat n Amer can Facu ty of Soc a Sc ences (FLACSO), R sk- nformed dec s on-mak ng: An agenda for mprov ng r sk assessments under HFA2, ana yses research conducted n Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), w th add t ona mater a from CDKN s exper ence n Ghana, India and Pakistan [cdkn.org] » May 26 2014 - EU. Statoil ASA, the b ggest se er of gas to Europe after Russ a s OAO Gazprom, sa d the continent s stability in fuel supplies has improved in the last decade, even as tensions over Ukraine have raised concerns over disruptions. "From an energy-secur ty perspect ve, the s tuat on s actua y better than t used to be n the ast decade," Stato s ch ef f nanc a off cer Torgr m Re tan sa d n an nterv ew w th B oomberg TV today. "The European market has deve oped s gn f cant y over the ast decade. It s now a qu d market, w th mu t p e sources." Russ a, wh ch supp es about 30 percent of the European Un on s gas consumpt on, has threatened to cut off supp es to Ukra ne un ess the east-European country, r dden by a conf ct between the centra government and pro-Russ an separat sts, starts to prepay gas sh pments after accumu at ng $3.5 b on n unpa d b s. More than ha f of Europe s Russ an gas s sh pped through Sov et-era p pe nes through Ukra ne [energyvoice.com] » May 26 2014 - Ca cu ate Your Waste-to-Energy Project On ne: IRR on pro ect equ ty; IRR on nvestor shares; Payback per od on equ ty (ROI); Net Cashf ow; Net cashf ow for nvestor; Net cash ow for oca deve oper; NPV for oca deve oper [wteinternational.com] » May 26 2014 - Brent crude fell below $110 a barrel on Monday, d pp ng further from ast week s two-and-a-ha f month h gh as worries over Ukraine eased slightly after its presidential election. Res stance eve s for Brent and U.S. crude, or West Texas Intermed ate (WTI), on techn ca charts are a so keep ng a d on ga ns. Market act v ty s expected to be m ted as the U.S. and UK markets are c osed for ho days. Ju y Brent crude was at $109.94 a barre , down 60 cents, by 0719 GMT. U.S. crude futures for Ju y de very edged down 34 cents to $104.01 a barre , after sett ng on Fr day at the h ghest s nce Apr 21. Brent rose br ef y past a res stance eve at $110.65 ast week wh e WTI has traded near ts res stance of $105, sa d R c Spooner, ch ef ana yst at CMC Markets n Sydney [...] F ght ng n Ukra ne and product on cuts n L bya and South Sudan pushed Brent up to a 2-1/2-month h gh ast week. On Sunday, a dec s ve w n for b ona re Petro Poroshenko n Ukra ne s pres dent a e ect on ra sed hopes of po t ca stab ty n Ukra ne - a ma n gas supp y route to Europe from Russ a - a though a fraught m ss on to que pro-Russ an rebe s and steer the frag e nat on c oser to the West awa t h m. [...] L bya s E Sharara and E Fee o f e ds rema n shut, a spokesman for state-run Nat ona O Corp (NOC) sa d on Sunday, a most two weeks after the government sa d protests at the western f e ds had ended. OPEC product on s ke y to dec ne th s year desp te an add t on of 400,000 bpd of new capac ty ed by Iraq and Saud Arab a, Morgan Stan ey ana ysts sa d. "D srupt ons n L bya are ke y to pers st and we see tt e hope for a mater a ncrease n Iran an o exports dur ng 2014," they sa d. Stato sa d on Fr day that t has resumed some product on at the Snorre B p atform n the North Sea. Sabre-ratt ng between Iraq and Kurd stan over o exports a so he ghtened tens ons n the reg on. Iraq f ed for arb trat on aga nst Turkey on Fr day to stop exports of o from Kurd stan after European markets bought the f rst oad of o p ped from the autonomous reg on. Kurd stan sa d th s was a "ho ow threat" that w fa [www.reuters.com] » May 26 2014 - UK. The Department of Energy and Climate Change has pub shed a further report by the British Geological Survey on shale gas resources in Great Britain. The new report assesses the resources of the Jurassic shales of the Weald. The new Wea d report fo ows a report pub shed ast year on the Bow and-Hodder sha es of northern Eng and. These reports est mate the oil and gas resources of the format ons stud ed, (the o or gas n the ground) - these are not reserves. For the Wea d area, the BGS conc udes there s unlikely to be any shale gas potential, but a reasonab e centra est mate for shale oil is 4.4bn barrels in the ground - again these are not reserves. A further DECC/BGS report, on the M d and Va ey of Scot and, s n preparat on [www.gov.uk] » May 26 2014 - Argent na. Argentine oil production fell 0.4% in March compared with the year-ago period, while natural gas output rose 0.5% over the same period, an ndustry report showed Fr day. Crude product on dec ned to an average of 533,651 b/d n March from 535,639 b/d n March 2013, and was down 0.8% compared w th 537,758 b/d n February, the Argent ne O and Gas Inst tute, or IAPG, sa d w thout spec fy ng reasons for the changes. The dec ne came even as state-run YPF, wh ch produces 39% of the nat on s crude, was ab e to ncrease product on 11% to 217,361 b/d n March compared w th 196,479 b/d n the year-ear er per od, the report showed. YPF has been stepp ng up exp orat on, dr ng and r g dep oyment s nce com ng under state contro n 2012 w th the goa of turn ng around a decade- ong 6% annua drop n o and gas product on. YPF has sa d t a ms to ncrease crude product on 5% and gas 16% n 2014 compared w th 2013. Even so, Argent na s overa o product on has dropped 37% from a record 847,000 b/d n 1998 on years of weak exp orat on, m ted f nds and matur ng reserves, accord ng to ana ysts. Th s has ed the country to reduce heavy crude exports and start mport ng ght crude supp es to meet domest c demand. Argent na now exports 10-15% of ts heavy crude product on, down from 40% n 1997 and 1998 [www.platts.com] » May 26 2014 - Statoil aims for offshore windfarm that requires no subsidy. O g ant Stato w use ts Peterhead offshore w ndfarm p ans to search for a green energy f rst - turb nes that can surv ve w thout government subs d es. The Buchan Deep scheme, part of the Norweg an f rm s Hyw nd n t at ve, wou d feature f ve f oat ng turb nes about 13 naut ca m es from the port. The p ans were unve ed to oca s ast week - and ast n ght pro ect boss Torge r Nakken sa d t cou d have far-reach ng mp cat ons for the w nd market. The structures are be ng deve oped for deep water areas, away from the s ght - and oppos t on - of those v ng on the coast. And for the f rst t me they cou d operate w thout any pub c money, another bone of content on w th the pub c [energyvoice.com] » May 26 2014 - Carbon expo. Co ogne, Germany, 28-30 May. The world s climate policy and market leaders convene to explore new horizons.Carbon markets are emerg ng around the wor d, open ng new opportun t es for bus ness, f nanc a nst tut ons and governments to ead n the trans t on to c ean energy. W th new sc ent f c f nd ngs underscor ng the urgent need for act on, po t ca eaders are exp or ng a new, more v brant ro e for market-based po c es to g ve bus ness ncent ves to adopt arge-sca e so ut ons. Em ss ons markets are at the heart of c mate po c es � at state, nat ona and nternat ona eve s. Bus ness and f nanc a nst tut ons a over the wor d are stepp ng forward to make these markets work � and to make c ean energy nvestments prof tab e. Carbon expo br ngs a of the po cy and market p ayers together under one roof for an act onpacked agenda that exp ores every new market, every new po cy trend and a host of nnovat ve f nanc a strateg es. C mate change s the wor d s greatest env ronmenta cha enge. Carbon expo s about the power of bus ness, f nance and government to come together to meet the cha enge: focused on so ut ons � nsp red to nnovate � and ook ng to partner [carbonexpo.com] » May 24 2014 - Russ a-Ch na. Russ a and Ch na f na zed a truly massive gas deal dur ng Russ an Pres dent V ad m r Put n s v s t to Shangha th s week, and wh e the agreement s a b atera one, ts effects will be felt as far away as Texas and Louisiana. The f nanc a deta s rema n murky - Gazprom s CEO A ekse M er ca ed them a "commerc a secret" � but the tota va ue of the contract s est mated at $400 b on. Russ a agreed to de ver 38 b on cub c meters (bcm) of natura gas to Ch na each year beg nn ng n 2018, the equ va ent of one-quarter of China s current annual consumption. The dea spans 30 years and so d f es what has often been a tense re at onsh p between Moscow and Be ng. Russ an med a s ca ng t the "gas deal of the century." Even f Russ a had to make arge concess ons to Ch na on the f na pr ce, the dea g ves t access to one of the world s largest energy markets and diversifies its customer base away from a Europe ook ng for other supp ers. Ch na, meanwh e, has ga ned a secure supp y of natura gas for decades. But the geopo t ca ram f cat ons don t stop there. A dea of such a monumenta s ze will undoubtedly ripple through energy markets. For examp e, Ch na has ong been seen as a mass ve consumer of liquefied natural gas (LNG) - gas that s turned to qu d form and transported by super-ch ed conta ner sh ps. The dea w th Russ a cou d curb qu te a b t of that pro ected demand; the 38 bcm that w f ow to Ch na v a p pe nes w supp y a tenth of Ch na s annua gas consumpt on by 2020 [oilprice.com] » May 24 2014 - En . Ita y s Eni managed to get a reduction in supply prices from Gazprom, as part of the attempt to renegot ate th rd-party ongterm gas contracts. The agreement has been s gned by Gazprom CEO A exey M er and En CEO C aud o Desca z on Fr day. The agreement nvo ves a reduct on n supp y pr ces and an mportant change n the pr ce ndexat on to fu y a gn t w th the market. In add t on, n 2014 En s ab ty to recover gas pre-pa d under "take or pay" c auses w be s gn f cant y enhanced, reads a note re eased by En . En ho ds a 15% stake n South Stream Transport, a o nt pro ect company focused on the construct on of South Stream s offshore sect on. The pro ect reg stered some ach evements n the ast hours [naturalgaseurope.com] » May 23 2014 - UK. Communities affected by "fracking" will be offered an average of �800,000 in additional compensation in an effort to stave off opposition in Conservative heartlands, accord ng to reports. Pr me M n ster Dav d Cameron, an av d supporter of hydrau c fractur ng for sha e gas, w make the announcement as a survey s pub shed show ng the extent of sha e gas reserves n the south of Eng and. The government w hope the extra money que s cr t c sm of p ans to reform trespass aws to a ow the frack ng ndustry to grow to g ve Br ta n an a ternat ve source of energy. The compensat on w be offered a ongs de one-off �100,000 payments n areas w th frack ng s tes and a 1% share of prof ts made. The announcement w come as the British Geological Survey (BGS) publishes a long-awaited study into the extent of shale gas reserves in the south of England. It s expected to show reserves n Kent, Sussex, Surrey and Hampsh re, a areas where the Conservat ves en oy support [energyvoice.com] » May 23 2014 - OPEC. The price of OPEC basket of twe ve crudes stood at 107.00 dollars a barrel on Thursday, compared w th $106.82 the prev ous day, accord ng to OPEC Secretar at ca cu at ons. The new OPEC Reference Basket of Crudes (ORB) s made up of the fo ow ng: Saharan B end (A ger a), G rasso (Ango a), Or ente (Ecuador), Iran Heavy (Is am c Repub c of Iran), Basra L ght (Iraq), Kuwa t Export (Kuwa t), Es S der (L bya), Bonny L ght (N ger a), Qatar Mar ne (Qatar), Arab L ght (Saud Arab a), Murban (UAE) and Merey (Venezue a) [opec.org] » May 23 2014 - UAE. The Department of O Affa rs n the Government of Duba has announced that t had notified its customers that the official price of Dubai crude oil loading in August, w be 10 cents less than the average daily settlement price of the Oman Crude Oil Financial Contract in Dubai Mercantile Exchange contracts traded over the next month. D rector Genera of the Department Abdu ah Abdu Kar m to d WAM that the department sets the pr ce of Duba crude o n the markets n para e w th Oman o pr ces, wh ch re nforces the transparency of pr c ng process comm tment and sett ng a fa r va ue of crude o n the M dd e East. The off c a month y pr ce of Duba crude o - w th the trans t on to the pr c ng of futures contracts - s determ ned n advance, for a d fferent a pr ce s p aced before three months, "M-3", wh e the off c a f na month y pr ce s determ ned at the end of the second month, "M-2". DME Oman crude o s cons dered as a benchmark for pr c ng crude o by the countr es that produce t, and t g ves them a d fferent a pr ce that ref ects the qua ty of the product [wam.ae, emirates news agency] » May 23 2014 - US, Paper. A State Tax Approach to Regulating Greenhouse Gases Under the Clean Air Act. The econom c terature supports the case that an emissions excise tax is one of the most cost- effective approaches to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The Un ted States Env ronmenta Protect on Agency (EPA) has begun the process of regu at ng GHG em ss ons under sect on 111(d) of the Clean Air Act. Under th s prov s on, EPA ssues an em ss on gu de ne for states based on the agency�s assessment of the best system of em ss on reduct on (BSER) for a part cu ar type of stat onary a r po ut on source. States then deve op comp ance p ans that nc ude standards of performance for po ut on sources that ref ect the BSER and are cons stent w th the em ss on gu de ne. The states subm t these comp ance p ans to EPA for approva . Th s paper wa ks through the ega framework to show that EPA can a ow states to adopt a tax on carbon d ox de (CO2) or other GHGs as a standard of performance. We a so show that EPA can encourage th s approach by prov d ng the states w th mode tax eve s and comp ance schedu es n ts em ss on gu de ne. We conc ude that a state- eve carbon tax s a v ab e ega mechan sm for cutt ng greenhouse gas em ss ons from power p ants and other stat onary sources under the C ean A r Act [Stanford Law School, S.D. Eisenberg, M. Wara] » May 23 2014 - Un ted States. Anticipated Federal Regulation Of Methane Emissions From Oil And Gas Production. Methane em ss ons from the o and gas sector w be d rect y regu ated by 2016 under a p an announced by the Obama adm n strat on n March 2014. W th methane s c mate change mpact est mated to be more than 20 t mes greater than carbon d ox de over a 100-year per od, the methane strategy s the atest step n the Obama adm n strat on s C mate Act on P an to cut greenhouse gas em ss ons n the range of 17 percent be ow 2005 eve s by 2020. More recent y, on Apr 15, 2014, EPA released five whitepapers regarding potentially significant sources of emissions: compressors; em ss ons from comp et ons and ongo ng product on of hydrau ca y fractured we s; eaks from gas product on, process ng, transm ss on, and storage; and pneumat c dev ces. These papers now undergo ng peer rev ew w ke y serve as the foundat on for EPA regu at on as the papers dent fy contr but ons from the sources and ava ab e contro s. Desp te EPA est mates, the rate and volume of methane emissions from the oil and gas sector are hotly disputed. In September 2013, the Un vers ty of Texas- n partnersh p w th the Env ronmenta Defense Fund and part c pat ng energy compan es-found that tota methane em ss ons from natura gas product on from a sources were comparab e to EPA est mates, but the methane em ss ons from we comp et on f owback are 97 percent ower than EPA est mates from Apr 2013. At the same t me, methane em ss ons from pneumat c equ pment and storage eaks were s gn f cant y h gher than EPA est mates. In contrast, researchers from Stanford and Harvard pub shed a February 2014 art c e n Sc ence [Methane Leaks from North Amer can Natura Gas Systems] f nd ng that methane s eak ng from o and natura gas dr ng s tes and p pe nes at rates 50 percent h gher than EPA est mates [mondaq.com] » May 22 2014 - Petrobras confirms Santos basin presalt discovery. In t a y announced as a d scovery n February 2013, Braz s Petro eo Bras e ro SA (Petrobras) has conf rmed that ts 1-SPS-98 (1-BRSA-1063-SPS) we , the f rst to be dr ed on B ock BM-S-50 offshore Braz , has tested carbonate reservo rs w th good permeab ty. The b ock, nforma y known as Sag tar o, s n Braz s u tradeepwater Santos bas n presa t reg on 194 km offshore Sao Pau o n 1,871 m of water. It has reached tota depth of 7,110 m, the company sa d. From a start ng po nt of 6,144 m, the company detected 159 m of presa t reservo rs bear ng 32� API grav ty o . Petrobras ho ds a 60% nterest n the we w th partners BG E&P Bras and Repso S nopec Bras , each w th 20% nterest [ogj.com] » May 22 2014 - Fossil fuel subsidies cost governments in emerging markets more than $500 billion every year and are a major contributor to climate change, accord ng to the International Energy Agency (IEA) and International Monetary Fund (IMF). The b ggest subs d es are concentrated n the M dd e East, North Afr ca, As a and parts of Lat n Amer ca, accord ng to the IEA s Fossil Fuel Subsidy Database. Moreover energy-export ng countr es accounted for three quarters of a consumpt on subs d es n 2012, accord ng to the IEA and OPEC members account for more than ha f the wor d s subs d es. Subs d es account for 82 percent of the cost of e ectr c ty and fue n Venezue a, 80 percent n L bya, 79 percent n Saud Arab a, 74 percent n Iran, and 56 percent n Iraq and A ger a. By contrast, the average rate of subs dy s ust 18 percent n Ind a and 3 percent n Ch na. In cash terms the wor d s b ggest subs d es are n Iran, Saud Arab a and Russ a, a of wh ch are ma or o producers. Subs d es cost these three countr es a comb ned tota of $180 b on per year n 2012 [zawya.com] » May 22 2014 - C mate change. Attitudes on Energy Policy Changing at Glacial Speeds. Last week, Char e Rose presented th s summary of a report wh ch a d out how the melting of the Western Antarctic Ice Sheet s "beyond the po nt of no return," rem nd ng us of the gr m consequences: the s ow but s gn f cant r se n the earth s sea eve s [2greenenergy.com] » May 22 2014 - Offshore w nd. Offshore wind farms are increasingly extending their vertical and horizontal reach, but are sh pbu ders adapt ng the r vesse s capac t es and capab t es to accommodate these changes? As offshore w nd farms move nto deeper, harsher ocat ons and further beyond the 20:20 rad us (20m water depth and 20 km from the shore), foundat ons and w nd turb nes are becom ng h gher and heav er. The 600 MW Dutch Gem n offshore w nd farm, for examp e, w be bu t 85km from Gron ngen, north of the Nether ands, n an area w th water depths between 28 and 36 metres. The pro ect w use 150 S emens w nd turb nes, each w th a capac ty of 4 MW, and a 130-meter rotor we gh ng approx mate y 100 tons. W th product on due to start n 2017, Gem n s gned a EUR 1.3bn EPC contract w th Van Oord for the comp ete supp y and nsta at on of the foundat ons and e ectr ca nfrastructure. Van Oord, n turn, w be dep oy ng Aeo us - an offshore W nd Farm Insta at on Vesse (WFIV) that w be ready by m d-2014, and wh ch has been purposefu y f tted w th a crane capab e of ho st ng 900 tonnes at 30 metre rad us. The we ght of pro ect components, however, s not the on y cha enge to f nd ng the correct or opt ma vesse s ze [windenergyupdate.com] » May 22 2014 - Canada. New safety regulations for Canadian pipelines. The Canad an Federa Government has re eased a new set of measures to further enhance p pe ne company ab ty and accountab ty around sp response. Federa M n ster of Natura Resources Greg R ckford was o ned by the M n ster of Transport L sa Ra tt to unve the new measures, wh ch deve op the proposa announced n June, 2013. Canada�s then M n ster of Natura Resources, Joe O ver, sa d at that t me that eg s at on shou d be expanded to ensure that Canada�s reg me for onshore o and gas p pe nes cont nues to be seen as wor d c ass. The new measures nc ude [pipelinesinternational.com] » May 22 2014 - Iran. China has provided the necessary credit for the construction of two new petrochemical projects in Iran. Saba an and Sadaf petrochem ca p ants are be ng f nanced by Ch nese banks. Ch na has a ready funded four petrochem ca pro ects. Abbas Sher -Moqaddam, manager of Nat ona Petrochem ca Company, recent y sa d that Bushehr, Lordegan, Hangam and Gachsaran petrochem ca p ants have been f nanced by Ch na. Iran s Pres dent Hassan Rouhan s current y n Shangha to attend a ma or summ t of As an countr es. Petro eum M n ster B an Namdar Zanganeh s accompany ng the pres dent. Iran an and Ch nese off c a s are expected to d scuss energy cooperat on on the s de nes of th s summ t [shana.ir] » May 22 2014 - Ch na, Ch na Nat ona Petro eum Corporat on. CNPC and Gazprom sign purchase and sales contract on gas supply via the eastern route pipeline. On May 21, n the presence of Ch nese Pres dent X J np ng and Russ an Pres dent V ad m r Put n, a memorandum on the eastern route cooperat on pro ect was s gned by Wu X nx ong, Deputy D rector of Nat ona Deve opment and Reform Comm ss on and D rector of Nat ona Energy Adm n strat on, and Russ an Energy M n ster A exander Novak. In add t on, CNPC Cha rman Zhou J p ng and Cha rman of the Gazprom Management Comm ttee A exey M er s gned a purchase and sa es contract on gas supp y v a the eastern route p pe ne. Under the 30year contract, Gazprom will start transmitting gas to China via the eastern route from 2018, with gas delivery gradually increasing to 38 billion cubic meters per annum. The ma or gas sources are the Kovyktinskoye Gas Field in the Irkutsk Region and the Chayandinskoye Gas Field in Yakutia. Gazprom w be respons b e for gas f e d deve opment and construct on of the gas process ng p ants and p pe ne sect ons n Russ a, whereas CNPC w be n charge of the construct on of p pe ne sect ons, gas storages and other support ng fac t es n Ch na. The S noRuss an gas cooperat on w br ng strong mpetus for the soc oeconom c deve opment and o and gas deve opment n the Far East n Russ a. The mported gas w ma n y supp y Ch na s Northeast, Be ng-T an n-Hebe , and the Yangtze R ver De ta reg ons, he p ng meet ncreas ng c ean energy demand, mprove a r qua ty, opt m ze energy ut zat on structure, d vers fy energy mports, and dr ve the deve opment of re evant ndustr es a ong the p pe ne [cnpc.com.cn] » May 22 2014 - Paper, "Booming Synergies in Sino-Russian Natural Gas Partnership". A centra debate n the study of energy geopo t cs concerns the re at ve mportance of the S no-Russ an energy a ance and the ack of the ong awa ted dea n natura gas. The dead ock n natura gas s a the more puzz ng when contrasted to the two countr es� f our sh ng t es n o . I exp ore these deve opments by compar ng the outcomes of the two dea s and h gh ght ng the d st nct veness of o trade v s-�-v s gas trade. I subsequent y descr be the nterp ay of d fferent domest c, reg ona and nternat ona po cy changes current y tak ng p ace, wh ch may pave the way for a breakthrough n the two countr es� gas ta ks n 2014. I then turn to two scenar os, one opt m st c and the other pess m st c, to h gh ght the ncreas ng y b nd ng forces and some res dua fau t- nes n the re at onsh p. I conc ude by assess ng the mp cat ons that the two countr es� ncreased energy synerg es m ght have for the broader wor d [belfercenter.ksg.harvard.edu] » May 21 2014 - Plans for Russian-Chinese cooperation, also in the gas sphere, is a clear signal to the West that Russia has a real alternative to it, sa d Andrey Kokosh n, the dean of the Facu ty of Wor d Po t cs of the Moscow State Un vers ty and a former secretary of the Russ an Federat on Secur ty Counc [itar-tass.com] » May 21 2014 - Russia and China signed the biggest contract in the entire history of Gazprom. A exey M er, Cha rman of the Company s Management Comm ttee and Zhou J p ng, Cha rman of Ch na Nat ona Petro eum Corporat on (CNPC) s gned today a contract to supp y p pe ne gas from Russ a to Ch na v a the eastern route. The part es s gned the document n the presence of Russ an Pres dent V ad m r Put n and Ch nese Pres dent X J np ng n Shangha . The 30-year contract st pu ates that 38 b on cub c meters of Russ an gas w be annua y supp ed to Ch na. The mutua y benef c a contract conta ns such ma or prov s ons as the pr ce formu a nked to o pr ces and the take-or-pay c ause [gazprom.com] » May 21 2014 - Oil majors face new dilemma - production growth vs cost control: A western ma ors see product on dec ne n Q1; Tota s ashes costs at new Ango a pro ect; Chevron eyes cost opt m zat on at UK s Rosebank; Ga p CEO ca s for cont nued cost d sc p ne. There was a t me when the wor d s o ma ors wou d pr or t ze product on growth over ust about anyth ng e se. You were noth ng f you weren t ncreas ng your output - ana ysts cou d not h de the r d sappo ntment when compan es fa ed to ra se product on, or n a worst-case scenar o, even suffered an output dec ne. Th s s st the case to some extent. BG Group s str ng of m ssed product on growth targets may have contr buted th s month to CEO Chr s F n ayson os ng h s ob [platts.com] » May 21 2014 - Gold Standard Policy Brief: Suppressed demand - A new climate finance approach to avoid carbon lock-in and deliver clean development to the world s poorest communities. W th support of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), The Go d Standard recent y comp eted a three-year programme of work to he p poorer nat ons access c mate f nance. The a m was to ower transact on costs, fac tate nvestment and make a rea , and ast ng, d fference to the oca commun t es n wh ch pro ects are deve oped. D fferences such as access to energy, c ean water and educat on, ob creat on, and hea th mprovements through c eaner methods of cook ng and c eaner a r. A key de verab e was to def ne how po cy shou d support these efforts. Th s po cy br ef, "Suppressed demand: A new c mate f nance approach to avo d carbon ock- n and de ver c ean deve opment to the wor d s poorest commun t es" summar ses The Go d Standard s pos t on on how env ronmenta f nance can go further to reach those who need t most. The co ect ve work ustrates what can be ach eved w th the r ght po cy frameworks and support. It proves the best pract ce approaches tack e c mate change, poverty and deve opment as one nterconnected prob em. And t shows how c mate f nance, app ed ho st ca y, can make a mean ngfu d fference n peop e s ves [gold standard] » May 21 2014 - The price of OPEC basket of twe ve crudes stood at 106.18 dollars a barrel on Tuesday, compared w th $106.43 the prev ous day, accord ng to OPEC Secretar at ca cu at ons. The new OPEC Reference Basket of Crudes (ORB) s made up of the fo ow ng: Saharan B end (A ger a), G rasso (Ango a), Or ente (Ecuador), Iran Heavy (Is am c Repub c of Iran), Basra L ght (Iraq), Kuwa t Export (Kuwa t), Es S der (L bya), Bonny L ght (N ger a), Qatar Mar ne (Qatar), Arab L ght (Saud Arab a), Murban (UAE) and Merey (Venezue a) [opec.org] » May 21 2014 - EU.The European Comm ss on s open to bringing forward a proposed 2021 start date for the ntroduct on of controls to slash the huge oversupply of permits weighing on the EU Emissions Trading System, the Comm ss on s top c mate off c a sa d [pointcarbon.com] » May 21 2014 - A new summary tab e from FIELD g ves an overview of examples of legally binding form for the 2015 climate agreement. Some opt ons cou d be comb ned w th each other and/or w th opt ons that are not ega y b nd ng [field.org.uk] » May 20 2014 - UK. Drop in Public Support for Shale Gas in UK. Env ronmenta ssues are ncreas ng y concern ng UK pub c, wh ch rema ns skept ca about commun ty payments, accord ng to the Un vers ty of Nott ngham po about pub c att tudes. The May 2014 survey conf rms that the turn aga nst frack ng for sha e gas n the UK has deepened. The prospect of the contam nat on of dr nk ng water has been a key ssue h gh ghted by protestors, and the negat ve rat ng for sha e gas on water contam nat on, wh ch ncreased after the Ba combe protests, has been ma nta ned, reads the report Pub c Percept on of Sha e Gas Extract on n the UK. In the report re eased on Monday, researchers sa d that the pub c support for sha e gas n the UK has fa en be ow 50% for the f rst t me. The Un vers ty of Nott ngham survey started n March 2012 [naturalgaseurope.com] » May 20 2014 - The CO2GeoNet Open Forum, an opportun ty for stakeho ders and ma or p ayers n the CCS arena and wider energy - climate debate to meet and nteract d rect y w th Europe s argest group of researchers on CO2 geological storage. In Europe, CO2 storage s mov ng forward and 2014 - 2015 s an mportant t me when many cr t ca dec s ons about the future of CCS n Europe w be made. The sc ent f c commun ty has much to d scuss: dur ng the CO2GeoNet Open Forum recent research advances w be presented to a w de aud ence n an es y understandab e way for non-spec a sts, n order to prov de a sound bas s for d scuss ng key ssues and documents regard ng the mp ementat on of CO2 geo og ca storage n Europe. San Servo o Is and, Ven ce, 20-22 May 2014 [co2geonet.com] » May 20 2014 - EU. The European Climate Service Partnership (ECSP) off c a y aunched. ECSP has been set up to: 1) encourage membersh p from a w de range of act ve c mate serv ce actors; 2) ensure c mate serv ce n Europe are o ned up and ensure Europe has coord nated nternat ona reach through the C mate Serv ce Partnersh p ed by IRI; 3) forum for d scuss on, promote co aborat on; 4) use d fferent d sc p nes and cu tures; 5) create and share know edge and resources [cmcc.it] » May 20 2014 - N ger a. UK-listed independent producer Afren Tuesday sa d t p anned to beg n further development drilling at its Nigerian offshore Ebok, Okwok and Okoro oil fields n the th rd quarter n a b d to bo ster o reserves and product on. "Insta at on of the Centra Fau t B ock extens on p atform has started on Ebok and s expected to be comp eted by the end of Q2 2014, w th deve opment dr ng p anned for Q3 2014 target ng add t ona reservo rs," Afren sa d n a statement on ts f rst-quarter operat ons. "The F e d Deve opment P ans for the Okoro and Okwok were approved by the N ger an author t es...p atform nsta at on to be comp eted n Q2 2014 pr or to deve opment dr ng p anned for Q3 2014," the company added. Afren sa d in March that it expects gross oil production to rise to 62,000 b/d in 2014 w th the add t ona output from the three f e ds and from onshore O M n ng Lease 26, wh ch Afren and ts o nt-venture partners bought from She n 2012 [platts.com] » May 20 2014 - UAE. Emerging global themes have significant local consequences for the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, and the reg on s econom es w be further supported by strong structura growth and ncreased government spend ng on nfrastructure and soc a sectors, experts say [...] One of the ma or g oba themes, accord ng to the expert, s the performance of the US do ar, wh ch s expected to strengthen, part cu ar y aga nst emerg ng market currenc es. As most GCC currenc es are pegged to the US do ar, they stand to benef t from the strengthen ng US do ar n the short to med um term. Oil is less vulnerable to a slowdown in Emerging Markets (and China in particular) relative to other commodities, but the sha e energy story s a game changer, sa d the expert add ng that turn ng to Emerg ng Markets, nvestors shou d take a se ect ve approach as many countr es face some structura cha enges [wam.ae] » May 20 2014 - EU. Eustream plays down Russia gas policy change s influence on Europe. If Russ a chooses to stop the gas f ow to Ukra ne as of June 1, as announced, the move s not ke y to affect too much the trans t of gas nbound for Europe, sa d S ovak gas d str butor Eustream board of d rectors cha r Tomas Marecek. "It s probab e that gas f ow for Ukra ne s to be stopped, but I, for one, don t be eve they wou d shut down trans t to Europe, too," Marecek sa d at a press conference on Monday. "Even f the catastroph c scenar o occurred, I don t be eve that the shutdown wou d ast for more than a few weeks. Europe, a so due to the fact that t a ready exper enced a s m ar cr s s back n January 2009, s much better prepared for such an emergency," he c a med. S nce 2009, Europe has bu t new reservo rs, keeps a arger vo ume of gas n reserve and a so the gas nfrastructure s s gn f cant y better prepared for potent a nterrupt ons - by the reverse f ow from west to the east, says Marecek [xinhuanet.com] » May 20 2014 - Austra a. The Ultimate Guide to Safety in the Australian Gas Industry. Safety n the Gas Industry s a free resource that has been deve oped to ensure you know a the atest about standards, safety equ pment, recommended PPE, and case stud es for Austra a s gas ndustry. The Austra an gas ndustry has a proud safety record; however steps are constant y be ng taken to mprove the standards, know edge, and accred tat on n both onshore and offshore ndustr es. In ury rates n the Austra an gas ndustry have n fact reduced, desp te a r se n ndustry act v ty and hours worked over recent years - onshore act v ty has ncreased s gn f cant y, part cu ar y n eastern Austra a to supp y the needs of the LNG tra ns off the coast of Queens and, and offshore pro ects n Queens and, the Northern Terr tory and Western Austra a cont nue to ga n momentum. It s mportant, now more than ever, to be v g ant about safety pract ces, standards and regu at on, and to earn about m stakes made n the past, and essons earned. Th s gu de s des gned for use by compan es operat ng n Austra a s natura gas ndustry who are seek ng more nformat on about safety n the ndustry [pointcarbon.com] » May 20 2014 - Royal Dutch Shell has dismissed the possibility that its proven oil or gas reserves will become unusable as a result of climate change regulation, say ng foss fue s w p ay a key ro e n g oba energy to 2050 and beyond. [pointcarbon.com] » May 19 2014 - EU. Large scale renewable energy storage using underground hydrogen storage, outcome of a European techno-economic analysis and cases studies: HyUnder Final Project Conference. The f na conference of the HyUnder pro ect w take p ace dur ng the "European Susta nab e Energy Week" n Bruxelles on June 26th 2014. The HyUnder Consort um ana ysed over the ast 24 months the opportun ty of stor ng n Europe arge amounts of nterm ttent renewab e energ es through underground hydrogen storage n d fferent env ronments. The ob ect ve of the pro ect was to assess the feas b ty and bus ness cases for storage of renewab e e ectr c ty by means of hydrogen underground storage. The Consort um eva uated six case studies in France, Germany, Romania, Spain, The Netherlands and United Kingdom. The pro ect carr ed out an extens ve ana ys s of geo ogy for and potent a of hydrogen underground storage, be ow- and aboveground techno ogy requ rements, a benchmark ng aga nst compet ng storage techno og es and a country spec f c sect on. The s x nd v dua case stud es prov ded mportant ns ghts on opportun t es to everage synerg es between hydrogen as a storage med um and severa potent a app cat ons nc ud ng ndustry uses, ree ectr f cat on, power-to-gas and zero-em ss on mob ty [eusew.eu] » May 19 2014 - UK. Shale explorer Cuadrilla will seek planning approval this month for an exploration well in northern England, a "milestone" in its efforts to bring the technology to the UK. The f rm w app y to dr , hydrau ca y fracture and test the f ow of natura gas at as many as four exp orat on we s at ts Preston New Road s te, w th a dec s on by Lancash re County Counc expected w th n 16 weeks, the company sa d n a statement. It w app y a few weeks ater for ts Roseacre Wood s te, t added. The Bow and sha e bas n may ho d as much as 1,300tr on cub c feet of gas, the Br t sh Geo og ca Survey says. That�s enough to meet demand for a most 50 years at an extract on rate s m ar to US f e ds, experts c a m [energyvoice.com] » May 19 2014 - Russ a. Be ng hosted a working meeting between A exey M er, Cha rman of the Gazprom Management Comm ttee and Zhou J p ng, Cha rman of China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC). The part es addressed the cruc a ssues of the bilateral cooperation pr or to the oncom ng off c a v s t of Russ an Pres dent V ad m r Put n to Ch na [gazprom.com] » May 19 2014 - Iran. South Pars Platform Ready for Installation. Abouzar 100 p atform s now ready to go to Bandar Abbas to oad the p atform, Iran s Offshore Eng neer ng and Construct on Company (IOEC) has sa d. The p atform for Phase 15 has been constructed by Iran s Offshore Industr es Company. It we ghs 3,700 tons. Iran an eng neers have for the f rst t me erected 45,000 tons of meta structures, nsta ed 2,500 k ometers of e ectr c ty cab e and a d 2,000 k ometers of nstrument cab es on 160 ha of and. Bas c, deta ed and comp ementary eng neer ng has been hand ed by Iran an eng neers. Phases 15&16 of South Pars are a med at produc ng 1mcm/d of natura gas, 1,000 b/d of gas condensate, 50 m on tons a year of quef ed petro eum gas and one m on tons a year of ethane [shana.ir] » May 19 2014 - Germany. Comp a nts about the h gh costs of the Energiewende are m sgu ded. The primary reason German users pay high electricity prices is not the government s support scheme for renewable energy. It s rather the fact that energy supp ers are not pass ng on to consumers the arge drop n who esa e pr ces that resu ts from the rap d y expand ng w nd and so ar generat on capac ty. Th s s ev dent from an ana ys s of German pr ces. A s m ar s tuat on ex sts n many other European countr es. Unfortunate y the atest Energ ewende reforms n t ated by the German government do not address th s prob em [energypost.eu] » May 19 2014 - Ch na. Brazil oil, gas market welcomes Chinese investment: energy off c a . Braz we comes Ch nese nvestment n o and gas exp orat on, wh ch offers ga nfu bus ness opportun t es and a favorab e regu atory env ronment, a sen or Braz an energy off c a sa d. "A compan es nterested n nvest ng n Braz are we come and mportant for the country s deve opment. There are current y 39 oca and 38 fore gn compan es operat ng n Braz s o and gas market," sa d Magda Chambr ard, d rector-genera of Braz s Nat ona Petro eum Agency (ANP). "That shows how dynam c the Braz an market s, as t offers a trustworthy regu atory env ronment and good bus ness opportun t es for both Braz an and fore gn compan es," she to d X nhua n an nterv ew. Chambr ard h gh ghted October s b dd ng on the L bra o f e d, n wh ch Braz for the f rst t me auct oned exp orat on r ghts to an offshore pre-sa t reserve. The multinational five-firm consortium that won the right to explore the Libra field includes Chinese companies CNOOC and CNPC, as we as Braz s own state o g ant Petrobras, France s Tota and Ang o-Dutch She . Petrobras s the operator of the bus ness, as requ red by aw n Braz an pre-sa t exp orat on. [xinhuanet.com] » May 19 2014 - Iraq. New Energy Policies are Needed to Promote Renewable Energy in Iraq. Renewab e energy s p ay ng an expand ng ro e n sat sfy ng tota energy demand g oba y. However, n Iraq the ro e of renewab e energy s very modest. Ex st ng energy po c es n Iraq d scourage adopt ng renewab e energy. New Renewab e Energy po c es n Iraq are requ red to promote Renewab e Energy. Th s w br ng apprec ab e env ronmenta and econom c advantages. It s a so to be noted that Iraq s character zed by h gh number of sunsh ne hours most of the year that make so ar energy a very attract ve and econom c form of renewab e energy. [stiiraqdev.wordpress.com] » May 19 2014 - Two hundred years after the eruption of the Tambora volcano n Apr 1815, an event that changed g oba c mate, the Un vers ty of Bern and the Oeschger Centre for C mate Change Research OCCR organ ze the international conference Volcanoes, Climate, and Society . It w rev s t the event from d fferent sc ent f c perspect ves and exp ore how our ancestors managed the cr s s that fo owed the erupt on [oeschger.unibe.ch] » May 18 2014 - IEA. The IEA Oil Market Report for May raised ts g oba demand growth forecast for 2014 marg na y from the Apr ed t on, to 1.32 million barrels/day (mb/d), on h gher f rst-quarter data. The ncrease a so ref ected an upward ad ustment to base ne 2012 non-OECD demand, part cu ar y n Ind a, Ch na and Saud Arab a, wh ch added 0.1 mb/d to the h stor ca average as we as to 2014 tota demand, now pegged at 92.8 mb/d. After h tt ng f ve-month ows n March, OPEC crude o product on rebounded by 405 kb/d n Apr , to 29.90 mb/d, contr but ng to the 700 000 barre s per day (700 kb/d) month-on-month ncrease n g oba supp es, to 92.1 mb/d. G oba supp es were 820 kb/d h gher than n Apr 2013, w th non-OPEC year-on-year output growth of 1.8 mb/d more than offsett ng an OPEC crude o dec ne of 960 kb/d. The "ca on OPEC crude and stock change" for the second ha f of th s year was ra sed by 140 kb/d to 30.7 mb/d. G oba ref nery crude throughputs h t a seasona ow n Apr , est mated at 75.4 mb/d, on p ant ma ntenance and seasona y weak demand. Runs are set to rebound steep y unt August as turnarounds unw nd and demand ncreases. G oba throughputs are pro ected to average 76.2 mb/d n the current quarter, 0.4 mb/d ower than n the f rst quarter of th s year [iea.org] » May 17 2014 - The United States s cons der ng sanctions against Russia s energy industry n ts effort to re n n Moscow s ev dent des gns on Ukra ne. But ana ysts say s mp y persuad ng Western countr es to boycott Russ an o and gas a together wou dn t necessar y work because of Europe s reliance on Russian gas. Accord ng to Rob n West of the Center for Internat ona and Strateg c Stud es, a Wash ngton-based po cyresearch center, "Th s s tuat on ca s for a sca pe , not a meat ax," West to d the F nanc a T mes. "We need targeted asymmetr c sanct ons that hurt them more than they hurt us." Instead, Washington is considering banning exports of consulting services and equipment for new projects to Russian energy companies, who see the r future n qu f ed gas, sha e o and dr ng n the Arct c. Russ an Pres dent V ad m r Put n, once re uctant to accept Western nvo vement n h s country s most ucrat ve resource, recent y has become ncreas ng y open to mport ng fore gn techno og es, nc ud ng hydrau c fractur ng and other modern techn ques, to recover more o and gas from the ground. As a resu t, there are now severa pro ects nvo v ng such energy compan es as Roya Dutch She and Exxon Mob to he p Russ an compan es, nc ud ng governmentcontro ed Gazprom and Rosneft, deve op resources. W thout Western he p, these pro ects wou d fa ter, f not fa [oilprice.com] » May 16 2014 - Japan. After the goldrush: Japan s second solar boom. A f rst go d rush dr ven by generous subs d es ed to an uncontro ed boom n so ar power pro ects n Japan, of wh ch, however, on y a very sma percentage actua y got bu t. Now, however, the government has taken charge and ser ous deve opers are enter ng the market. The liberalisation of the Japanese retail market in 2016 is expected to give another boost to solar power, as consumers w ke y dr ve demand for renewab e energy. The Japanese government and the b g ut t es, however, are hedg ng the r bets: they are not prepared to et go off nuc ear power anyt me soon [energypost.eu] » May 16 2014 - Exxon. The Outlook for Energy: A View to 2040. The Out ook for Energy s ExxonMob s ong-term g oba v ew of energy demand and supp y. Its f nd ngs he p gu de ExxonMob s ong-term nvestments, and we share the Out ook to he p promote better understand ng of the ssues shap ng the wor d s energy future. Updated each year, th s ed t on covers the per od to 2040 [exxonmobil.com] » May 16 2014 - Diversifying supplies can ensure Europe s gas security. Each t me there s a fa -out between Russ a and Ukra ne, urgent ca s are made for the European Un on to free tse f from Russ an gas. The rea ty s that the EU s n a better state than t was 20 years ago, part y because t has succeeded n d vers fy ng ts gas supp es and part y because gas markets are undergo ng structura changes potent a y benef t ng buyers [geopolitical-info.com, Carole Nakhle] » May 16 2014 - BNF. Drought, hurricanes and rising seas are becoming more significant threats to the world s biggest companies and the risk is accelerating, accord ng to the Carbon Disclosure Project. Compan es p ann ng for var ous threats re ated to c mate change say they re grapp ng now w th about 45 percent of the potent a r sks, or w be w th n f ve years, accord ng to a report ssued today by the London-based nonprof t group. That s up from 2011, when members of the Standard and Poor s 500 Index expected 26 percent of the potent a r sks to affect them w th n f ve years. The resu ts show that climate change is having a measurable impact on business operations, and that many compan es expect t to ncrease costs or h nder sa es [bnef.com] » May 16 2014 - US. US rail traffic for petroleum and petroleum products tota ed 276,814 car oads so far th s year, up 6.8% from the same period a year ago, the Assoc at on of Amer can Ra roads sa d Thursday. The year-t--date f gure was the argest growth n sh pments for any product except gra ns, wh ch saw year-to-date sh pments ncrease 19%. For the week end ng Fr day, US petro eum and petro eum product ra traff c tota ed 14,589 ra cars, unchanged from the same week a year ago [platts] » May 16 2014 - Iran. Oil minister highlights importance of energy market security. Zanganeh made the remarks on the s de ne of the 14th Internat ona Energy Forum (IEF) current y underway n Moscow on Thursday. The po t ca ssues shou d not affect the energy market, he noted. The urge for secur ty s one of the ma n demands of the energy market, he added. The Iran an o m n ster further stressed that market shou d not be affected by po t cs [irna] » May 15 2014 - Is the U.S. a Rising Energy Superpower? Implications for Global Markets and Asia, the Middle East, Russia, and Europe. The CSIS Energy and National Security Program s p eased to host Fere dun Fesharak , Cha rman of FACTS G oba Energy, to d scuss the chang ng U.S. ro e n the energy andscape. The emergence of the U.S. as a grow ng o and gas producer has surpr sed the energy wor d. The backdrop of changes n supp y from other reg ons, pers stent supp y d srupt ons, grow ng demand for natura gas and o , ra ses the quest on of the future ro e of the U.S. n g oba markets and the mp cat ons for other ma or producers and consumers. Fr day, May 16, 2014 - 10:00 am-11:30 am [csis.org] » May 15 2014 - The 20th century was truly the century of oil whilst the 21st century would be the century of peak oil and the resulting oil wars. No other commod ty has been so nt mate y ntertw ned w th nat ona strateg es and g oba po t cs and power as o . The c ose connect on between o and conf ct der ves from three essent a features of o : (1) ts v ta mportance to the economy and m tary power of nat ons; (2) ts rregu ar geograph c d str but on; and (3) peak o . Conventional oil production peaked in 2006. As a resu t, the world could face an energy gap probably during the first two decades of the 21st century. Th s gap w have to be f ed w th unconvent ona and renewab e energy sources. However, t s very doubtfu as to whether these resources cou d br dge the energy gap n t me as to be ab e to create a susta nab e future energy supp y. There s no doubt that o s a ead ng cause of war. O fue s nternat ona conf ct through four d st nct mechan sms: (1) resource wars, n wh ch states try to acqu re o reserves by force; (2) the externa zat on of c v wars n o -produc ng nat ons (L bya as an examp e); (3) conf cts tr ggered by the prospect of o -market dom nat on such as the Un ted States war w th Iraq over Kuwa t n 1991; and (4) c ashes over contro of o trans t routes such as sh pp ng anes and p pe nes (c osure of the Stra t of Hormuz for examp e). Between1941 and 2014, at east ten wars have been fought over o , prom nent among them the 21st century s f rst o war, the nvas on of Iraq n 2003. At present, there are at east f ve ma or conf cts that cou d potent a y f are up over o and gas resources n the next three decades of the twenty-f rst century. The most dangerous among them are a war over Iran s nuc ear programme and a conf ct between Ch na and the Un ted States that has the potent a to esca ate to war over dw nd ng o resources or over Ta wan or over the d sputed Is ands n the South Ch na Sea c a med by both Ch na and Japan w th the US com ng to the defence of Japan. As in the 20th century, oil will continue in the 21st century to fuel the global struggles for political and economic primacy. Much b ood w cont nue to be sp ed n ts name. The f erce and somet mes v o ent quest for o and for the r ches and power t represents w sure y cont nue as ong as o ho ds a centra p ace n the g oba economy [rcem.eu] » May 15 2014 - Qatar s state oil company sa d Fr day t plans to spend $11 billion to redevelop one of its offshore oil fields, aiming to extend its lifespan and double its output, AP reported. O product on at the Bu Han ne o f e d re es on o der techno ogy and has been dec n ng n recent years. The f e d s ocated about 120 k ometers (75 m es) to the east of the OPEC nat on s coast ne. Qatar Petro eum sa d the pro ect nvo ves the dr ng of about 150 new we s through 2028 as we as new offshore product on fac t es and a gas qu ds process ng fac ty on and. The field has the capacity to produce about 45,000 barrels of oil per day, accord ng to the U.S. Energy Informat on Adm n strat on [saudi press agency, spa.gov.sa] » May 15 2014 - Kenya s first commercial oil discovery to generate approximately $10 billion. Desp te grow ng g oba nterest n Kenya s o and gas ndustry, ts f rst compet t ve cens ng round has been postponed to at east Q4 2014; however, th s de ay cou d serve as a ong-term benef t for the country�s economy, as we as ts o and gas ndustry, says an ana yst w th research and consu t ng f rm G oba Data. John S sa, G oba Data s Lead Ana yst cover ng Upstream O & Gas n the Sub-Saharan reg on, states that international interest in Kenya s oil and gas sector has intensified over the last 20 months, fo ow ng Tu ow O (Tu ow) and Afr ca O Corporat on s announcement of the country s f rst commerc a o d scovery n b ock 10BB/13T w th n the South Lok char Bas n. Accord ng to G oba Data, b ock 10BB/13T a one cou d generate approx mate y $10 b on n revenue over a 30-year product on per od, based on reg ona geo og ca character st cs and we test resu ts. Th s vo ume of cash f ow a one w cause Kenya s Gross Domest c Product, wh ch s current y at $40.7 b on, to grow at an average year y rate of 0.83% [pennenergy.com] » May 15 2014 - There is a gas race in Europe. Th s r va s the we reported US-Europe gas pr ce d fference, due to cheap US sha e gas and h gh European mported gas pr ces. In an attempt to compete aga nst the US European ndustry ust got handed a pr ce break n the form of ower support payments for the renewab e energy sector. However, European countr es a so compete aga nst each other over the pr ce of e ectr c ty, a race to the bottom, or rather Energy-cide: the destruction of sovereignty in the pursuit of lower energy prices. Th s pr ce war a so forces countr es to deve op strateg es to keep e ectr c ty pr ces ow. An examp e s Hungary s dea w th the Russ ans for a ow cost nuc ear power p ant. Th s nterEuropean energy pr ce war ho ds s gn f cant ong-term po t ca and econom c costs, wh ch can hobb e Europe s compet t veness and po t ca ndependence. The resu t of th s nter-European pr ce war s Russ a captures the Cr mean pr ze by understand ng how the game s p ayed. The mp EU f nanc a sanct ons to ho d Russ a n-check are framed as the EU pun sh ng Russ a. But th s s Europe, the un f ed EU act on mask the ntercountry pr ce wars rag ng between member states. In each reg on th s p ays out d fferent y, for those n the west of Europe (o d member states) t s the resu t of the h gh n t a cost of sh ft ng towards renewab e energy and the mpact on ndustry; for those n the east (new member states), t s re ance on Russ an gas and househo ders proport ona y h gh ut ty b s [naturalgaseurope.com] » May 15 2014 - Anger in Turkey over deadly mine disaster. Turkey s b ggest un on s about to stage a str ke am d mount ng anger over the country s worst m n ng acc dent, w th the to from the d saster r s ng to 282 and scores st trapped underground. Un ons were angry on Thursday over what they say are poor safety standards s nce the former y state-run fac t es were eased to pr vate compan es."Hundreds of our worker brothers n Soma have been eft to d e from the very start by be ng forced to work n bruta product on processes n order to ach eve max mum prof ts," a statement from the sa d, referr ng to the area n western Turkey where the d saster happened on Tuesday. Anger and gr ef bo ed over nto v o ent protests n severa parts of Turkey on Wednesday. Po ce f red tear gas and water cannon at thousands who were protest ng n Ankara s K z ay Square. S m ar protests were tak ng p ace n Istanbu s Taks m Square and n Soma. Recep Teyy p Erdogan, Turkey s pr me m n ster, sa d the acc dent wou d be " nvest gated thorough y". But protesters n the streets of Istanbu were chant ng "Government res gn" and re at ves of the m ners n Soma shouted that Erdogan was a "murderer!" and a "th ef!" [aljazeera.com] » May 15 2014 - Electricity will increasingly power the world s economies in the 21st century, r va ng o as the dom nant energy carr er, accord ng to a new report by the International Energy Agency. Act ve y manag ng th s transformat on s the on y way to ensure we meet g oba energy secur ty and c mate goa s econom ca y, the report says. The report, Energy Technology Perspectives (ETP 2014), offers a comprehens ve, ong-term ana ys s of trends n the energy sector and of the techno og es that are essent a to ach ev ng an affordable, secure and low-carbon energy system. ETP 2014 a so features the IEA s annua progress report on g oba efforts to eng neer a c ean-energy transformat on. It shows that wh e c ean energy techno ogy dep oyment n emerg ng econom es has ra ed over the past year - mak ng up for dec nes n the ndustr a sed wor d -- the overa p cture of progress rema ns b eak. Indeed, the level of progress described in the 2014 report is arguably less than what was documented in the IEA s previous tracking report. "E ectr c ty s go ng to p ay a def n ng ro e n the f rst ha f of th s century as the energy carr er that ncreas ng y powers econom c growth and deve opment. Wh e th s offers many opportun t es, t does not so ve a our prob ems; ndeed, t creates many new cha enges," sa d IEA Execut ve D rector Mar a van der Hoeven, who aunched the report dur ng the F fth C ean Energy M n ster a meet ng n Seou . "We must get t r ght, but we re on the wrong path at the moment," she added. "Growing use of coal globally is overshadowing progress in renewable energy deployment, and the emissions intensity of the electricity system has not changed in 20 years despite some progress in some regions. A radical change of course at the global level is long overdue." The spec f c theme of ETP 2014, Harness ng E ectr c ty s Potent a , ref ects the convergence of two trends: rap d y r s ng g oba e ectr c ty demand and the ev dent need for ncreased system ntegrat on. E ectr c ty s overa share of tota energy demand has rough y doub ed over the ast 40 years, but the bu k of power generat on today s hard y " ow-carbon". E ectr c ty product on uses 40% of pr mary energy and produces an equa share of energy-re ated CO2 em ss ons. However, cost-effect ve, pract ca so ut ons can ncrease eff c ency, moderate e ectr c ty demand and decarbon se a most a power generat on by 2050 [iea.org] » May 15 2014 - BP. Natura gas s becom ng an mportant part of the energy m x. BP has significant natural gas resources, and is increasing production in places like North America and North Africa [...] Through advanced seismic imaging technologies, BP s transform ng the ndustry n both speed and qua ty of and se sm c acqu s t on. Faster and more prec se - Independent Simultaneous Sources (ISS). W th Independent S mu taneous Sources or ISS techno ogy, a techn que des gned by BP geophys c sts, trucks can operate ndependent y of each other as any nterference between the r s gna s s removed ater by advanced process ng. Th s enab es them to cover much arger areas. Us ng ISS techno ogy BP set an ndustry record In Libya of over 18,000 vibration points, or 38km2, per day. That s ten t mes more shot po nts per day than convent ona and se sm c acqu s t on. Overa , ISS reduced the survey t me from f ve years to ust over a year. Th s means that we can acqu re h gh-qua ty 3D se sm c data for the same cost as mar ne se sm c, and make better and safer dec s ons about where to dr [bp.com] » May 15 2014 - Russ a. The implementation of the South Stream gas project in Serbia and Bulgaria is going according to plan, State Duma Speaker Serge Naryshk n has sa d. Answer ng a quest on f there s a r sk for putt ng pressure on these countr es, he sa d, "There are d fferent r sks n rea s ng such ma or nfrastructura pro ects as South Stream. Ev dent y, there s a r sk of pressure from our partner who th nks of a un po ar wor d system." [...] "As I know everyth ng s proceed ng accord ng to p an," "In Serb a the construct on s expected to be started n 2014. F rst gas w run n 2016. Serb a w ra se f rst revenues n 2016," he sa d. South Stream, wh ch w be o nt y bu t by Gazprom and ENI, w eventua y take 30 b on cub c metres of Russ an natura gas a year to southern Europe. Ana ysts have sa d that the pro ect w cost around 10 b on euro, or 15.82 b on U.S. do ars [itar-tass.com] » May 15 2014 - EU. The European Union will cut its carbon emissions in 2020 by a bigger margin than it has pledged it would under United Nation climate change treaties, a meet ng of the b oc s env ronment m n sters was to d on Wednesday [pointcarbon.com] » May 15 2014 - India cut its monthly Iranian crude imports by 42 percent in April from March, n a further s gn that As an o buyers are re n ng n an ear y-2014 spree that took Tehran s exports we past eve s a owed under an nter m dea w th the West. [...] India, Iran s top client after China, shipped in about 225,000 bpd of the republic s oil in April, the owest n four months, accord ng to tanker arr va data obta ned from trade sources and comp ed by Thomson Reuters O Ana yt cs [uk.reuters.com] » May 15 2014 - Kazakhstan. Tengizchevroil LLP that s deve op ng the Tengiz oil field has produced 6.8 million tons of oil n the Atyrau region n the first quarter of 2014, the company s press serv ce says. The Kazakh o g ant exports ts o v a var ous routes - to Novoross ysk v a CPC, Odessa, Taman, and Aktau, then Batum and Ku ev by ra road, accord ng to the press serv ce. In add t on, Teng zchevro has so d 326 thousand tons of liquefied gas and 1.7 billion cubic meters of dry gas over the sa d per od. [inform.kz] » May 14 2014 - IPIECA (The g oba o and gas ndustry assoc at on for env ronmenta and soc a ssues) has pub shed A Guide to Mercury Management in Petroleum Refining. Th s gu de prov des an overv ew of good pract ces and strateg es re ated to env ronmenta contro s, worker hea th and safety, process safety, product safety and waste management [ipieca.org] » May 14 2014 - US. Offshore facilities, New "risk-based" inspections are on the way [...] US regu ator BSEE s deve op ng a new approach to safety nspect ons wh ch, by us ng a more robust r sk ana ys s, cou d afford a " ghter touch" to h gh perform ng fac t es. The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) says t has engaged a nat ona aboratory to he p t develop a risk-analysis methodology that would allow it to focus inspections on offshore facilities that pose the greatest r sk to safety and the env ronment. BSEE d rector Br an Sa erno sa d that a though BSEE has begun to emp oy r sk cr ter a n some areas, r sk too s cou d be used "to a far greater extent". "The dea here s that not a compan es manage the r assets the same way, not a tra n the r peop e the same way, and not a adhere to safety pr nc p es and processes the same way," he to d an aud ence at the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston on 8 May [social.decomworld.com] » May 14 2014 - East European countries place bombshell under EU climate policy. EU member states shou d be free to make the r own dec s ons over whether to ncrease the r greenhouse gas em ss on reduct on comm tments for 2020 � rather than ett ng the EU ead, accord ng to a statement from seven Eastern European countr es. W th the r dec arat on the group puts a bombshe under the EU�s co ect ve efforts at the nternat ona c mate negot at ons [energypost.eu] » May 14 2014 - Some 97 out of 100 actively publishing climate scientists agree with the overwhelming evidence that humans are causing global warming. The cha enge for the media s how to accurate y ref ect that consensus. One way NOT to do it is to give equal time to climate science deniers. Unsurpr s ng y (yet trag ca y), that s the preferred strategy of most of the MSM. False balance lives at CNN, Reuters, Bloomberg, and even PBS. [...] Sad y, th s s no augh ng matter. False balance and media miscoverage have left the public with a serious misperception about the degree of scientific agreement on climate change: And as Skept ca Sc ence has noted, th s �consensus gap� matters: "Research has shown that peop e who are unaware of the expert consensus are ess ke y to accept the sc ence and ess ke y to support tak ng act on to address the prob em, so med a fa se ba ance can be nked d rect y to our nab ty to so ve the c mate prob em." [...] "The consensus gap" - The public think ... 55% of climate scientists agree on global global warming - In reality ... 97% of climate scientists agree on global global warming [oilprice.com] » May 14 2014 - Ch na-Turkmen stan. Ch nese Prem er L Keq ang met w th v s t ng Turkmen Pres dent Gurbangu y Berdymukhamedov here on Tuesday and the two s des p edged to boost cooperation on energy and other sectors. L sa d the two countr es are strateg c partners and that Ch na stands ready to make o nt efforts w th the Turkmen s de to cement the partnersh p n a sound and speedy way. Berdymukhamedov arr ved n Be ng on Sunday to pay a three-day state v s t to Ch na as a guest of Ch nese Pres dent X J np ng. On Monday, X and Berdymukhamedov s gned a str ng of dea s, nc ud ng an agreement of China-Turkmenistan cooperation, a o nt dec arat on on deve op ng and deepen ng the b atera strateg c partnersh p and deve opment p ans for 2014-2018. Dur ng Tuesday s meet ng, L sa d Ch na and Turkmen stan have bu t the longest natural gas pipeline in the world and he hopes the two s des w aunch the construction of new pipelines to ncrease trade [xinhuanet.com] » May 14 2014 - Eastern Africa - Forest Carbon Projects Study. Th s study ana yzes four forest carbon projects n Eastern Afr ca and a ms to better understand the cha enges and successes of such pro ects that combine climate change, biodiversity conservation and community development objectives [fcmcglobal.org] » May 14 2014 - China s campa gn aga nst po ut on and greenhouse gases s h tt ng ear y res stance n Guangdong prov nce, where more than 60 manufacturers are holding back from a carbon market aunched ast year, say ng the scheme s unfa r and too cost y. [pointcarbon.com] » May 13 2014 - G-7 Governments Say Russia-Ukraine Crisis Puts Renewables High on Agenda for Talks. Energy m n sters from the Group of Seven countr es sa d bolstering renewable energy production would be a central part of their recommendations at next month s G-7 summit n Brusse s [climate.bna.com] » May 13 2014 - The price of OPEC basket of twe ve crudes stood at 104.21 dollars a barrel on Monday, compared w th $104.46 the prev ous Fr day, accord ng to OPEC Secretar at ca cu at ons. The new OPEC Reference Basket of Crudes (ORB) s made up of the fo ow ng: Saharan B end (A ger a), G rasso (Ango a), Or ente (Ecuador), Iran Heavy (Is am c Repub c of Iran), Basra L ght (Iraq), Kuwa t Export (Kuwa t), Es S der (L bya), Bonny L ght (N ger a), Qatar Mar ne (Qatar), Arab L ght (Saud Arab a), Murban (UAE) and Merey (Venezue a). [opec.org] » May 13 2014 - Japan Petroleum Exploration p ans to start dr ng Japan s first horizontal shale exploration well at ts onshore Fukumezawa oil field in Akita prefecture n the northwest for about one month from May 22, a company off c a sa d Tuesday. Japex w dr the Fukumezawa SK-26D p ot we to a depth of around 1,330 meters and extend t hor zonta y to dr the Fukumezawa SK-26DH we about 2,300 meters by around ate June, Japex sa d. From the hor zonta we , Japex w conduct mu t -stage fractur ng n November-December w th an eye to report ng the data co ected after spr ng 2015, another company off c a has sa d. S nce the d scovery of convent ona crude o n 1964, more than 20 we s have been dr ed at the Fukumezawa f e d, accord ng to the company, dec n ng to comment on current product on. The Fukumezawa f e d s about 100 km north of the Ayukawa f e d, both y ng on the Onnagawa t ght format on. Japex s dr ng of the country s f rst hor zonta sha e exp orat on we w come after t sa d Apr 7 that the company started commerc a product on of sha e o at ts who y-owned onshore Ayukawa o and gas f e d ear er n the month n Ak ta prefecture. Japex dec ned to comment on any costs assoc ated w th ts sha e o act v t es n Japan [platts.com] » May 13 2014 - Transportat on. Behind Ford s sustainable design vision. At f rst g ance, Ford s heavy-duty F-150 p ckup truck and ts compact CMax So ar Energ concept car cou dn t appear more d fferent. Parked outs de an automot ve and ndustr a des gn event he d ast week n San Franc sco, a f am ng red 2015 F-150 - wh ch s set to h t the market ater th s year - ooks somewhat out of p ace n The C ty, as f t s ust stopp ng through on ts way to a b g construct on ob n the Centra Va ey. Ins de the event, nest ed nto a corner next to a stage featur ng a pane d scuss on that nc udes Ford s d rector of strateg c des gn, Freeman Thomas, the baby-b ue solar-electric concept car ooks much more at home. After a , San Francisco has among the most e ectr c veh c es of any c ty n the U.S., a ong w th a growing EV charging infrastructure. But accord ng to Thomas, both veh c es perfect y embody Ford s v s on for susta nab e automot ve des gn. "Eff c ent, ghtwe ght, aerodynam c, a of that," sa d Thomas dur ng the pane d scuss on. "As d fferent as those two veh c es are, they have very much the same goa n m nd - to be the best of the r c ass." Wh e peop e may not th nk susta nab ty when they see the new F-150, Thomas exp a ns that Ford mproved the aerodynam cs and e m nated 700 pounds of we ght compared to the 2014 F-150 by mak ng the new body out of m tary-grade a um num [greenbiz.com] » May 13 2014 - The U.S. Energy Information Administration sa d on Monday that the country s shale oil and gas production, wh ch has been a s gn f cant contr butor to ts tota energy output n recent years, is expected to soar thanks to a boost in rig efficiency. The federa agency re eased the new pro ect ons on ts webs te on Monday, say ng tota o product on of the s x ma or sha e p ays s expected to grow to 4.43 million barrels per day in June, an increase of 75,000 barrels per day over May. Total natural gas production of the s x reg ons s expected to grow to 39.3 billion cubic feet (1.11 billion cubic meters) per day in June, an increase of 480 million cubic feet (13.59 million cubic meters) per day over May, accord ng to the pro ect ons. The ncrease w be arge y attr buted to a boost n r g eff c ency as more sha e o and gas are pumped per r g. The Un ted States s home to more than ha f of the wor d s approx mate y 3,400 operat ng sha e r gs. The s x ma or sha e p ays account for 95 percent of the o product on growth and a of the natura gas growth n the Un ted States. They are the Eag e Ford n South Texas, the Perm an n West Texas and New Mex co, the Bakken n North Dakota and Montana, the Haynesv e n Lou s ana and East Texas, the Marce us n the Northeast, and the N obrara arge y n Co orado. The argest share of the o product on growth n June w occur n the Eag e Ford Sha e. The o f e d s expected to produce 1.4 m on barre s per day, an ncrease of 27,000 barre s over May s rate, accord ng to the agency [xinhuanet.com] » May 13 2014 - Russ a. Russia s gas giant Gazprom may use capacities of Europe�s underground gas storages (UGS) for additional guarantees of stable gas supplies to European consumers in winter period, Pres dent of the Russ an Gas Soc ety Pave Zava ny to d a news conference on Monday. Suspens on of gas supp es to Ukra ne cannot be ru ed out - envoy "Current y, on y ha f of the European UGSs are used n fu . Therefore, the r capac t es a ow oad ng add t ona y at ease 40-45 billion cubic meters of gas," he sa d. "In the case of nsuff c ent for trans t gas amounts n Ukra ne s UGSs, we have a poss b ty to oad gas nto UGS ocated n other states," Russ an Deputy Energy M n ster Anato y Yanovsky exp a ned, add ng, "We have the Yamal-Europe and Nord Stream gas pipelines. For nstance the Nord Stream makes t poss b e to ra se ts throughput capac ty by at east 15 b on cub c metres, wh ch s comparab e w th Ukra ne s UGSs." In the mean t me, the deputy m n ster po nted to the b ggest r sk of un nterrupted gas supp es to Bu gar a and Bosn a, wh ch have no a ternat ve of gas de ver es by-pass ng Ukra ne [itartass.com] » May 13 2014 - EU. Energy: Commission releases �750 million for infrastructure projects. The f rst ca for proposa s under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) to he p f nance key trans-European energy nfrastructure pro ects s open. A tota of �750 m on w be made ava ab e for f rst priority projects mainly in the gas and electricity sectors. These pro ects w address security of supply issues and help bring an end to the energy isolation of some Member States. They w a so contr bute to the comp et on of the EU-w de nterna energy market and to the ntegrat on of renewab es to the energy gr d. The EU fund ng w acce erate nvestment n m ss ng cross-border nks by everag ng the necessary pr vate and pub c fund ng. [...] Under the Connect ng Europe Fac ty a tota of �5.85 billion has been allocated to trans-European energy infrastructure for the period of 2014-2020. In order to app y for a grant, a pro ect has to be nc uded n the list of projects of common interest . The f rst st was adopted by the European Comm ss on n October 2013. It cons sts of some 250 key energy nfrastructure pro ects wh ch, when comp eted, wou d each ensure s gn f cant benef ts for at east two Member States; enhance security of supply, contribute to market integration and further competition as well as reduce CO2 emissions [europa.eu] » May 12 2014 - Iran. "Iran is ready to share its experience in manufacturing, technology, engineering and science to Iraq," Es haq Jahang r sa d n a meet ng w th the v s t ng Iraq deputy pr me m n ster, Nour Shav s, n Tehran on Monday. He sa d that Iran and Iraq are n pos t on to "comp ement each other s capac t es and capac t es n the econom c sectors." Shav s sa d h s v s t to Tehran s a med at boost ng econom c re at ons between the two ne ghbor ng countr es. He sa d that ncreas ng trade exchanges between Iran and Iraq requ res prec se p ann ng. Shav s sa d Iraq s current y benef t ng from the exper ence of Iran an manufactur ng compan es operat ng n Iraq. Iran is building a pipeline to carry natural gas to Iraq [shana.ir] » May 12 2014 - Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) has ssued ts second contract notice for a major Engineering Procurement Construction (EPC) contract n the Off c a Journa of the EU - the EU Gazette. The scope for th s contract w nc ude the Eng neer ng, Procurement and Construct on of the approx mate y 760 k ometres of 48 nch (1.2 metres) d ameter, cross-country onshore p pe ne n Greece and A ban a. The current prequa f cat on s the second, fo ow ng a contract not ce on construct on of A ban an roads and br dges ssued on 15 Apr 2014. In add t on to the p pe ne construct on, the contract w nc ude the construct on of 32 b ock va ve stat ons a ong the route. Construct on of the p pe ne s p anned to start in 2016 and w be sp t nto f ve ots - three n Greece and two n A ban a. TAP s h ghest e evat on w be 1,800 metres n A ban a and the p pe ne w on the way, cross many roads and r vers. Compan es nterested n be ng pre-qua f ed for the onshore p pe ne construct on contract need to request a pre-qua f cat on quest onna re from TAP no ater than 26.05.2014. On y a se ected number of compan es that have comp eted the pre-qua f cat on w be nv ted to part c pate n the tender ng stages of the TAP s procurement process for the onshore p pe ne construct on [transadriatic-pipeline.com] » May 12 2014 - EU & South Stream: Comprom se Un ke y. Europe s ndeed dependent on Russ a for ts energy supp es, but so s Russ a on Europe as ts ma n market, espec a y for natura gas. Th s co-dependence m ts the room for maneuver for each. In the med um-term Russ a may we regret threaten ng to use energy as a weapon n the strugg e over Ukra ne, as there are c ear s gns, that the European Un on s ncreas ng y determ ned to further d vers fy ts gas supp es, comp ete ts nterna energy market and e m nate Gazprom s monopo y pos t ons. [...] How much could the Southern Corridor change dependence on Russian gas supplies in CEE? It a depends on the t me frame [...] The 1 BCM that the Bu gar an state-owned company contracted and the ongo ng ta ks to bu d the nterconnect on between Greece and Bu gar a that w enab e access to LNG as we w mean that Bu gar a, one of the most vu nerab e of the CEE states w be n a much better pos t on by 2019-20 [...] "Down the road, f you ook c ose y at what the Azer s are do ng and what SOCAR s do ng and how prospect ve the other offshore Casp an f e ds are, then by the m dd e of the next decade Azerba an may have s gn f cant quant t es of natura gas com ng on ne for export, wh ch cou d tota up to 30-35 BCM." [...] there s the Kurd stan reg on of Iraq. "M ndfu of a the po t ca d ff cu t es that surround that reg on the KRG cou d a so add s gn f cant quant t es of supp y nto the Southern Gas Corr dor. Gas from the Eastern Med terranean gas cou d a so make t to the Corr dor." However, he says one key ssue of concern s the Trans Anato an P pe ne (TANAP). "It s unc ear whether n ts current form and ownersh p structure, t w t be an enab er or preventer of add t ona quant t es feed ng nto the Corr dor n add t on to Azer gas? "S nce Turkey s not a member of the Energy Commun ty, the EU acqu s s not app cab e. Th s means that 3rd party access ru es are not app cab e. SOCAR w be n a contro ng pos t on - they be ca ng the shots." It wou d certa n y make sense from a commerc a po nt of v ew to a ow for trans t of Kurd sh and/or East Med gas through TANAP a huge y expens ve undertak ng that cou d certa n y benef t from trans t fees. But po t cs cou d a ways comp cate th ngs. "Shah Deniz gas will not exactly be cheap either." The pr ce for Shah Den z gas w be around $400-410/TCM, wh ch s not s gn f cant y cheaper than Russ an gas - n fact t s more expens ve than some ex st ng contracts w th Russ a." So wh e the Corr dor cannot rep ace a gas com ng from Russ a even n an expanded form and t w be qu te expens ve, ts mportance s st mass ve. Its gas w n ect compet t on nto a European gas markets that w b unt Russ a s energy weapon." [naturalgaseurope.com] » May 12 2014 - Austra a. Australia s biggest coal mine project has been given the green light despite serious environmental concerns raised by experts appointed by the Commonwealth. The Queensland Government ast week approved Ind an company Adan s p an for a g ant m ne n the Galilee Basin west of Rockhampton. It wou d be the largest coal mine in the nation and one of the biggest in the world. The $16.5 billion project wou d be the argest coa m ne n the nat on and one of the b ggest n the wor d, cover ng 200 square k ometres and produc ng about 60 million tonnes of coal a year. The Federa Government must dec de on f na approva by ear y next month [abc.net.au] » May 12 2014 - Copenhagen: from a Cloudburst Management Plan to green climate adaptation. The c ty of Copenhagen has ust f n shed ts work on the C oudburst Management P an. The p an s an nnovat ve way to adapt urban open spaces ke streets and p aces to heavy storm water events and thereby prevent flooding. The "C oudburst Concret zat on Masterp an" was deve oped for e ght centra catchment areas n Copenhagen, encompass ng a tota area of 34 km�. A c oudburst too box of urban ntervent ons, such as c oudburst bou evards, c oudburst parks, c oudburst p azas, prov des the bas s for a dynam c and mu t funct ona system. Th s new generat on of b ue-green nfrastructures addresses essent a c ty serv ces such as mob ty, recreat on, safety and b od vers ty, creat ng a strateg c and feas b e approach to ensure ong-term res ence and econom c buoyancy [resilientcitiesblog.iclei.org] » May 12 2014 - Japan s current account surp us n f sca year of 2013 end ng n March, reached record 789.9 b on yen (7.75 b on U.S. do ars), the owest eve s nce comparab e data became ava ab e n f sca year of 1985, oca med a reported Monday. The surp us n the current account ba ance, one of the w dest gauges of nternat ona trade, was down 81.3 percent from a year ear er, the F nance M n stry sa d n a pre m nary report.For March a one, Japan ogged a surp us of 116.4 b on yen (1.14 b on do ars), down 90.9 percent from a year ear er. The yen s d versus the U.S. do ar by 20.8 percent s nce the beg nn ng of 2013. Though a fa ng yen usua y st mu ates exports by mak ng Japanese products cheaper abroad and boosts the va ue of overseas revenues n yen terms, but t dr ves up mport pr ces. In FY 2013, Japan s exports c mbed 12.2 percent to 69.80 tr on yen, but mports surged 19.6 percent to 80.67 tr on yen, ead ng to record 10.86 tr on yen n goods trade def c t. Soaring fossil fuel imports a so drove up the country s trade def c t am d the pro onged ha t of nuc ear power p ant. Last f sca year, Japan s imports of crude oil jumped 18.4 percent and liquefied natural gas increased 18.2 percent [xinhuanet.com] » May 10 2014 - Why is the Economics of Climate Change so Difficult and Controversial? by Prof Martin Weitzman at MCC (Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change) on Wednesday, May 28, 2014 from 12.00pm to 13.30pm, ecture ava ab e as a v deo stream on the MCC. Mart n L. We tzman s Professor of Econom cs at Harvard Un vers ty. Prev ous y he was a facu ty member at MIT and Ya e. He has been e ected as a fe ow of the Econometr c Soc ety and the Amer can Academy of Arts and Sc ences. He has pub shed w de y n many ead ng econom c ourna s and wr tten two books. We tzman s nterests n econom cs are broad and he has served as consu tant for severa we known organ zat ons. H s current research s focused on env ronmenta econom cs, nc ud ng c mate change, the econom cs of catastrophes, costbenef t ana ys s, ong-run d scount ng, green account ng, and compar son of a ternat ve nstruments for contro ng po ut on [mcc] » May 10 2014 - Should India Dive into the Shale Boom? The energy econom cs of the wor d s now at a crossroads, g v ng r se to a f ery debate among experts whether t w br ng about a momentous change n the wor d s strateg c ba ance. The Ukra ne cr s s has g ven an mpetus to t by threaten ng a cut n the supp y of Russ an o and gas to Europe; the West s now on the ookout for an a ternat ve source of energy. W th the Un ted States mak ng rap d progress n the area of sha e o and gas techno ogy, and severa arge-sca e sha e reserves be ng d scovered n Western Europe and Lat n Amer ca, dependence on hydrocarbon supp es from the M dd e East and the Pers an Gu f w decrease, wh ch w u t mate y ead to a apse n b g power nvo vement n the reg on. Th s has a come as a boon to Amer can compan es nvo ved n the exp o tat on of sha e resources, and they are eav ng no stone unturned n sweep ng away the mped ments to the r bus ness expans on [oilprice.com] » May 9 2014 - Siemens Energy has rece ved an order to deliver customized direct electrical heating (DEH) power supply systems for ten subsea flow lines, w th an opt on for two add t ona systems. Customer s BP Exp orat on L m ted and a the systems are to be dep oyed on BPoperated Shah Deniz gas field in the Azerbaijan sector of the Caspian Sea. De very of the equ pment s schedu ed for end of 2015 [pennenergy.com] » May 9 2014 - Carbon Supply Cost Curves. Evaluating financial risk to oil capital expenditures. Th s analysis ass sts nvestors to cont nue the r engagement w th compan es over carbon asset r sk. It ntroduces the concept of a carbon supp y cost curve to g oba o pro ects - h gh ght ng that many make ne ther f nanc a or carbon sense when stress-tested aga nst demand, pr ce and em ss ons scenar os. We ntend to fo ow up th s o sector overv ew w th more deta ed company-spec f c nformat on, mov ng on to ana yse g oba coa assets and then gas [carbontracker.org] » May 9 2014 - GIIGNL (Internat ona Group of LNG Importers), The LNG Industry 2013 report. In 2013, g oba LNG mports rema ned stab e compared to 2012. Total imports reached 236.9 Mt, a mere 0.3% ncrease over 2012. At the end of 2013, LNG represented about 10% of global gas demand. Three countr es (Israe , Ma ays a and S ngapore) o ned the ranks of LNG mporters and Ango a started export ng ts f rst cargoes n June. L tt e new supp y was added dur ng the year, as exports were curta ed by unp anned outages n severa export ng countr es. While European imports sharply declined, the market tightness was sustained by strong demand growth in China, South Korea and Latin America. Two ma or nter-bas n LNG f ows stand out: from the M dd e East to As a-Pac f c (74.9 Mt) and ntra As a-Pac f c (84.5 Mt). On the supp y s de, ncrementa vo umes from the M dd e East and from As a-Pac f c were offset by decreases n output from the At ant c Bas n. The M dd e East and As a-Pac f c both stepped up the r exports by respect ve y 3.4% and 3.0%, fo ow ng product on ncreases n Yemen, Ma ays a and Austra a. On the contrary, due to force ma eures n N ger a, feedstock ssues n Egypt and techn ca ssues n Norway, overa exports from the At ant c Bas n decreased by 9.2%. The Middle East remains the biggest exporting region with a 41.5% market share (98.3 Mt), followed by Asia-Pacific with 37.1% (87.9 Mt). In 2013, Qatar represented one-third of global gas supplies (33%), fo owed by Ma ays a (11%) and Austra a (10%) [giignl.org] » May 9 2014 - Cooperation between European countries has never been more important. In th s sense, the tranqu ty of the spr ng and the warm weather of the summer have to w tness stab e progress; they have to cement mutua support n order to minimize the effects on European energy security of the standoff over Ukraine. These are the messages of a report published by Poyry, wh ch a so warns of the p vota ro e p ayed by storage stocks. If storage stocks are reasonab y h gh, there s cooperat on between European states and other Russ an supp y routes are unaffected then Europe shou d be ab e to cope w th a 90 day d srupt on to Ukra n an trans t gas f ows, reads the report "The Ukraine Crisis - could gas supply disruptions affect Europe?". The consu t ng and eng neer ng company argued that governments have to carefu y fo ow the s tuat on, act ng now to avo d ear y consumpt on of stored gas before the beg nn ng of the w nter [naturalgaseurope.com] » May 9 2014 - V enna. The price of OPEC basket of twe ve crudes stood at 103.94 dollars a barrel on Thursday, compared w th $103.69 the prev ous day, accord ng to OPEC Secretar at ca cu at ons. The new OPEC Reference Basket of Crudes (ORB) s made up of the fo ow ng: Saharan B end (A ger a), G rasso (Ango a), Or ente (Ecuador), Iran Heavy (Is am c Repub c of Iran), Basra L ght (Iraq), Kuwa t Export (Kuwa t), Es S der (L bya), Bonny L ght (N ger a), Qatar Mar ne (Qatar), Arab L ght (Saud Arab a), Murban (UAE) and Merey (Venezue a) [opec.org] » May 9 2014 - UAE. U.A.E. Fore gn M n ster H.H. She kh Abdu ah b n Zayed A Nahyan has pra sed "the progressive ties between the U.A.E. and Algeria in political, economic, commercial and investment fields". She kh Abdu ah made the remarks today wh e address ng the f na sess on of the 12th U.A.E.-A ger a o nt comm ss on meet ng n A g ers, n presence of the A ger an M n ster of Fore gn Affa rs Ramtane Lamamra [...] She kh Abdu ah a so referred to the cooperat on between DP Wor d and the A ger an transport m n stry, the agreement between Cepsa, owned by IPIC, and Sonatrach to extend the RKF field development and production contract, which produces 18,000 bpd of crude [wam.ae] » May 9 2014 - Baku, Azerba an. More than 400 firms from 28 countries w come together n Azerba an s cap ta , Baku, for the 21st edition of the Caspian Oil and Gas Fair wh ch w be he d at the Expo Center n June. The organ zer of the event s Iteca Casp an. It s he d annua y under the patronage of Pres dent of the Azerba an I ham A yev and s off c a y supported by the M n stry of Industry and Energy of Azerba an and SOCAR. The Casp an Internat ona O & Gas Exh b t on w take p ace a ongs de the ad ourn ng conference wh ch w be he d on 4 - 5 June 2014 at the JW Marr ott Hote Absheron Baku. About 500 experts from 30 countr es are expected to take part n the event, AzerTAc reports [kazinform, international news agency] » May 9 2014 - UNEP GEAS. Themat c focus: Climate change. Loss and Damage: When adaptation is not enough. The negat ve consequences of c mate change are an ncreas ng y prom nent d scuss on po nt n g oba c mate change negot at ons. Th s top c has recent y r sen to g oba attent on w th the estab shment of the "Warsaw Internat ona Mechan sm for Loss and Damage assoc ated w th C mate Change Impacts". Mount ng sc ent f c ev dence suggests that desp te g oba m t gat on and adaptat on efforts, res dua osses and damages from c mate change are nev tab e. More nformat on s needed on future c mate change mpacts and on where the m ts of adaptat on e. Th s w a ow the creat on of po c es that he p avo d negat ve mpacts, where poss b e, and address res dua oss and damage when t occurs [unep.net] » May 9 2014 - Ch na. Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) 2014, the wor d s argest o trade show, conc uded Thursday n the U.S. c ty of Houston w th a record h gh attendance, nc ud ng a heavy Chinese presence. The annua conference, he d on May 5-8, attracted 108,300 attendees from 43 countr es, a 46-year h gh, to converge at Re ant Park to earn about the up-to-date techno og es n the deep-water dr ng ndustry. More than 100 Chinese companies attended this year s OTC to showcase the r advantages and earn from others not on y the atest techno og es but a so new ways of do ng bus ness. Every tr p to the conference has proved worthwh e as t brought mmense ndustry know edge and exper ence from the p atform, sa d Yang Yun, execut ve v ce pres dent of Offshore O Eng neer ng Co., an offshoot of the state-run Ch na Nat ona Offshore O Corporat on [xinhuanet.com] » May 9 2014 - The International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management, a fu y ndexed ourna and a ead ng per od ca focus ng on aspects of c mate change management invites contributions to a special issue on "Climate justice � a new narrative informing development and climate policy". Our chang ng c mat c c rcumstances pose a huge cha enge to ach ev ng susta nab e and equ tab e deve opment espec a y for the poorest and most vu nerab e sectors of soc ety and espec a y women. C mate change s underm n ng deve opment ga ns and s pro ected to have a s gn f cant mpact on the ves, ve hoods and r ghts of peop e and soc et es around the wor d. These mpacts w be greatest where peop e are poor and vu nerab e and w man fest themse ves as human exper ences, often accentuat ng poor hea th and we be ng, m grat on, energy poverty, gender nequa ty, and food and nutr t on nsecur ty. There s now a press ng and overwhe m ng need to dent fy and deve op the r ght po c es, strateg es and mechan sms to m n m se and manage these mpacts. A c mate ust ce approach to tack ng these cha enges cou d nform g oba th nk ng on effect ve responses to c mate change, by engag ng w th ssues of equ ty, ust ce and human r ghts as pr nc p es that encourage cooperat ve act on and un ock amb t on. L kew se a c mate ust ce approach can p ay a ro e n shap ng the post 2015 deve opment agenda and a trans t on to c mate compat b e deve opment. Th s spec a ed t on wou d he p to make th s case [...] Submission Guidelines: We nv te pract t oners and academ cs to subm t, n the f rst nstance, an abstract (max mum 200 words) ( n Eng sh) that you ntend to wr te for th s spec a ssue by 30th June 2014. Subm t your abstract to: [ [email protected]] » May 8 2014 - US. Oil Sands. Re d B ocks Repub can Amendments, Likely Killing Energy, Keystone Bills. Senate Ma or ty Leader Harry Re d (D-Nev.) procedura y b ocked Repub cans from offer ng amendments to an energy eff c ency b May 7, a move that ke y spe s defeat for the eg s at on and wou d prevent a vote on another b that wou d approve the Keystone p pe ne [bloomberg-bna] » May 8 2014 - EU. Despite Western sanctions against Moscow over Ukra ne, Gazprom CEO A exe M er and Austr an OMV ch ef Gerhard Ro ss s gned a Memorandum of Understanding ast week to bu d a sect on of the controvers a South Stream pipeline to Austria instead of Italy. Th s p pe ne, wh ch fo ows a s m ar route to the now-abandoned OMV- ed Nabucco West gas p pe ne, w on y have about ha f the capac ty of the n t a y ntended 63 bcm/year and w deliver Russian gas across the Black Sea to the Baumgarten gas hub in Austria via Bulgaria, Serbia and Hungary by 2017. In choos ng to bu d a sma er p pe ne - a South Stream "Lite", f you w - the pro ect s pr nc pa backer Gazprom has c ear y taken new market rea t es and ower EU gas demand expectat ons nto account. The pro ect s costs are est mated to drop by as much as USD 1 b on. It s nterest ng to note that the successfu Trans Adr at c P pe ne (TAP) pro ect, wh ch won approva ast year, ut zed a s m ar approach by promot ng ts commerc a mer ts over the much arger Nabucco p pe ne [energypost.eu] » May 8 2014 - The rising Brent complex against Dubai crude prices over the past few weeks could discourage Asian buyers from buying many West African crudes for June and July loading, market sources sa d Thursday. The Brent/Duba Exchange of Futures for Swaps (EFS) wh ch enab es ho ders of ICE Brent futures to exchange the r Brent futures pos t on for a forward-month Duba crude swap - has been ranging between $4.28/b to $4.47/b for June th s week, a most 50 cents more than what t was ast week, accord ng to sources. The June Brent/Duba Exchange of Futures for Swaps was assessed at p us $4.27/b Wednesday, P atts data showed. The EFS shows the pr ce d fference between Brent pr ces and Duba pr ces, wh ch for As an ref ners means a re at ve va ue for oca crudes - based on Duba - versus other grades pr ced off ICE Brent or Dated Brent, such as West Afr can crudes. The EFS spread started w den ng two weeks ago as Brent cont nued to garner support from the ongoing political crisis in Ukraine, w th Western powers Wednesday aunch ng a desperate ast-gasp dr ve for a d p omat c so ut on to stop Ukra ne s d ng nto c v war, as f ght ng spread c oser to the Russ an border. Sources sa d that w th the EFS at these eve s, crude pr ced on Brent was ess attract ve to As an ref ners [platts.com] » May 8 2014 - L ve Web nar. Citizen Engagement to Support Urban Climate Governance. Wednesday, May 14, 2014 - 9:00 am - 11:00 am U.S. EST. C mate change s a fundamenta threat to deve opment and the f ght aga nst poverty. The Wor d Bank Group (WBG) s concerned that w thout bo d act on now, the warm ng p anet threatens to put prosper ty out of reach of m ons and ro back decades of deve opment. By 2050 70% of the world s population will live in cities, mak ng them a natura p ace to focus efforts aga nst c mate change and poverty. C t es present a un que opportun ty to reach a arge percent of the popu at on w th c mate smart urban so ut ons. One aspect of the urban government response to c mate change that the WBGCC team s current y exp or ng, w th the support of the consu t ng f rm Po cy So ut ons, s stakeho der engagement. Our exper ence and research has shown that oca governments cannot mp ement an adequate response to c mate change w thout effect ve y engag ng econom c actors take act ons themse ves. Add t ona y, oca government s we p aced to advocate for the transformat ona changes needed, but are unab e to br ng about a on the r own. These two forms of stakeho der engagement go beyond trad t ona concepts of good governance. They can be further supported by new nformat on and commun cat ons techno ogy, an understand ng of behav ora change and nst tut ona nnovat on. [...] Th s web nar s another n the ser es of know edge shar ng events from our commun ty of pract ce (CoP) for Sca ng up C mate Act on n C t es [worldbankva] » May 8 2014 - The price of OPEC basket of twe ve crudes stood at 103.69 dollars a barrel on Wednesday, the same as the prev ous day, accord ng to OPEC Secretar at ca cu at ons. The new OPEC Reference Basket of Crudes (ORB) s made up of the fo ow ng: Saharan B end (A ger a), G rasso (Ango a), Or ente (Ecuador), Iran Heavy (Is am c Repub c of Iran), Basra L ght (Iraq), Kuwa t Export (Kuwa t), Es S der (L bya), Bonny L ght (N ger a), Qatar Mar ne (Qatar), Arab L ght (Saud Arab a), Murban (UAE) and Merey (Venezue a) [opec.org] » May 8 2014 - The transit of Russia s natural gas across the territory of Ukraine to Western Europe was down 7.64% in January-April 2014 aga nst the same per od of 2013 to 23.284 b on cub c meters, the press-serv ce of the Ukra n an p pe ne system operator company, Ukrtransgaz, sa d on Wednesday. Gas transit to the CIS countries in the same period was up by 15.64% to 1.121 billion cubic meters. The overa trans t of gas through Ukra ne n the f rst four months of th s year was 24.405 b on cub c meters, wh ch s 6.78% ess than n the same per od of 2013. Ukrtransgaz sa d Ukra ne n Apr rece ved 2.6 b on cub c meters of gas, 77% (1.2 b on cub c meters) more than n Apr 2013 [itar-tass.com] » May 8 2014 - Iran. China has agreed to finance construction of four petrochemical complexes in Iran, manag ng d rector of Nat ona Petrochem ca Company (NPC) Abbas Sher Moqqadam sa d. Speak ng to Shana on the s de nes of the 19th O Show, Sher Moqqadam sa d Ch na w prov de the necessary credit for building the petrochemical complexes including Boushehr, Lordegan, Hengam and Gachsaran petrochemical complexes. Accord ng NPC ch ef, Centra Bank of Iran (CBI) s nvo ved n mak ng preparat ons for open ng a cred t ne to fac tate payments as soon as poss b e. The 4-day O Show k cked off at Tehran Internat ona Permanent Fa rground on Tuesday and comes to an end on Fr day [shana.ir] » May 8 2014 - Asia s LNG challenges and its vision to compete economically. The strateg c v s on of creat ng an nterconnected gas-to-gas market and trad ng gas hubs n East As a s essent a to ower ng LNG costs for Asia s natural gas market - projected to become the secondlargest in the world by 2015. Ma or change s the on y way for As a to compete econom ca y aga nst the Un ted States where LNG pr ces are up to s x t mes cheaper [geopolitical-info.com] » May 8 2014 - Ch na. Chinese companies helping to transform Nigeria. Nigeria is a country of many firsts: It is Africa s foremost and largest oil producer, producing almost 2 million barrels of oil a day at its peak; It s Afr ca s most popu ous nat on, and now has become Afr ca s argest economy. It s a country that that has a so ed n techno ogy, be ng one of the f rst n Afr ca to aunch ts own commun cat ons sate te bu t n con unct on w th Ch na n the ast century. Ever s nce ate Ch nese Prem er Zhou En ha s ma den tr p to Afr ca ha f a century ago, Afr ca has become ncreas ng y mportant for Ch na s fore gn po cy and trade, and both s des have cont nuous y created mutua y benef c a and w n-w n prospects. Nowhere s th s more apparent than n N ger a where, Chinese companies are hard at work helping transform the country through infrastructure and social development and one of the countries to host the Chinese Premier on his Africa visit [xinhuanet.com] » May 8 2014 - "Could the Ukraine Crisis Spark a World War?". The rap d s de from aw essness to v o ence that has c a med the ves of more than s xty peop e n the Ukra n an c t es of Donetsk, S ovyansk, and Odessa n the past week sounds a arms that shou d be heard more c ear y n Western cap ta s. The strategy Wash ngton and the Europeans have chosen that focuses on the v a n zat on of Put n (much as he deserves t), ca s on h m to w thdraw support for the separat sts, and threatens further sanct ons f he does not s bound to fa . It w not stop the k ng. It w not prevent the de facto d smemberment of Ukra ne. It w not deter Put n from cont nu ng whatever ro e he and Russ a are p ay ng n th s process. And t fa s to address the r sk that what happens n Ukra ne does not end n Ukra ne [belfercenter.ksg.harvard.edu] » May 7 2014 - Israel s Tamar partners to sell $20 billion of gas to Europe via Egypt. Letter of ntent s gned w th Spa n s Un on Fenosa Gas for 15-year contract. The partners n Israe s Tamar natura gas f e d sa d on Tuesday they had s gned a etter of ntent w th Spa n s Un on Fenosa Gas to export up to 4.5 b on cub c meters of gas annua y over 15 years to the company s quef ed natura gas p ants n Egypt [haaretz.com] » May 7 2014 - EU. Chevron Corp. has commenced drilling its first shale gas exploration well in Romania. Ear er p ans to proceed w th exp orat on for the unconvent ona gas saw protests and the occupat on and b ockage of a dr ng s te that saw Chevron tw ce suspends ts p ans n Eastern Roman a. Exp oratory dr ng at the we s te near the v age of S stea, Pungest commune n Vas u County, s target ng a depth of approx mate y 4,000 metres. Chevron a so ho ds three sha e-gas exp orat on b ocks n the south-eastern reg on of Dobrogea, near the B ack Sea [naturalgaseurope.com] » May 7 2014 - The Clean Energy Solutions Center, n partnersh p w th the International Energy Agency (IEA), s host ng a no-cost, webinarbased training to discuss the 2014 edition of Energy Technology Perspectives (ETP 2014). Start ng from the prem se that e ectr c ty w be an ncreas ng y mportant component of energy systems of the future, ETP 2014 examines in depth what must be done to provide sustainable options for generation, distribution and end-use consumption. It offers a comprehens ve, long-term analysis of trends in the energy sector�and of the technologies that are essential to achieving an affordable, secure and low-carbon energy system. In add t on to mode ng the g oba out ook up to the year 2050 under d fferent scenar os, ETP 2014 ncorporates the IEA s annua progress report on g oba efforts to eng neer a c ean-energy transformat on. Moreover, ETP 2014 prov des ns ght on many key quest ons about the future energy system. Monday, May 12, 2014 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM CEST [gotomeeting.com] » May 7 2014 - GSE (Gas Storage Europe) announces new improvements of the storage transparency initiative - Naftogaz of Ukraine joins Gas Storage Inventory (AGSI+) - GSE s proud to nform that the GSE Transparency P atform (AGSI+) has been extended to include storage data for Naftogaz of Ukraine. W th the data from Naftogaz AGSI+ for the f rst t me expands ts coverage beyond EU 28. For Ukra ne n tota 13 storage fac t es represent ng a work ng gas vo ume of 32 BCM w be reported d saggregated on a week y bas s. The GSE AGSI+ p atform s access b e at: http://transparency.g e.eu [...] As on 05 May 2014 the GSE Aggregated Gas Storage Inventory has reported the total volume of gas in stock at around 50 BCM. Out of th s 41 BCM are stored n EU 28. The current storage eve s above recent years ma n y due to m d w nter and ower under y ng demand but s a so a resu t of the pos t ons taken by storage users [www.gie.eu.com] » May 7 2014 - US. Nat ona C mate Assessment. U.S. G oba Change Research Program. Climate change, once considered an issue for a distant future, has moved firmly into the present. [...] Amer cans are not c ng changes a around them. Summers are longer and hotter, and extended periods of unusual heat last longer than any living American has ever experienced. Winters are generally shorter and warmer. Rain comes in heavier downpours. Peop e are see ng changes n the ength and sever ty of seasona a erg es, the p ant var et es that thr ve n the r gardens, and the k nds of b rds they see n any part cu ar month n the r ne ghborhoods. [...] The National Climate Assessment assesses the science of climate change and its impacts across the United States, now and throughout this century. It documents c mate change re ated mpacts and responses for var ous sectors and reg ons, w th the goa of better nform ng pub c and pr vate dec s on-mak ng at a eve s. A team of more than 300 experts, gu ded by a 60-member Nat ona C mate Assessment and Deve opment Adv sory Comm ttee produced the fu report - the largest and most diverse team to produce a U.S. climate assessment. Stakeho ders nvo ved n the deve opment of the assessment nc uded dec s on-makers from the pub c and pr vate sectors, resource and env ronmenta managers, researchers, representat ves from bus nesses and non-governmenta organ zat ons, and the genera pub c. More than 70 workshops and sten ng sess ons were he d, and thousands of pub c and expert comments on the draft report prov ded add t ona nput to the process. The assessment draws from a large body of scientific peer-reviewed research, technical input reports, and other publicly available sources; a sources meet the standards of the Informat on Qua ty Act. The report was extens ve y rev ewed by the pub c and experts, nc ud ng a pane of the Nat ona Academy of Sc ences, the 13 Federa agenc es of the U.S. G oba Change Research Program, and the Federa Comm ttee on Env ronment, Natura Resources, and Susta nab ty [nca2014.globalchange.gov] » May 7 2014 - Russ a-Kazakh stan. Russ an and Kazakh oil exports via the Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC) have increased year on year by 31% to 3.477 million tonnes in April, CPC sa d on Monday. The amount carr ed from Kazakhstan s Casp an Sea o depos ts to Russ a s B ack Sea port of Novoross ysk rose to 12.926 m on tonnes from January to Apr - a 24.9%- ncrease from 10.348 m on tonnes a year ear er, CPC sa d. The shareho ders of CPC consort um are the Russ an Federat on (31%), represented by Russ an state-owned p pe ne monopo y Transneft, Kazkhstan (20.75%), represented by state-owned o and gas company KazMunayGas (19%), and Kazakhstan P pe ne Ventures LLC ( o nt venture of KazMunayGas and BP) (1.75%), Chevron Casp an P pe ne Consort um Company (15%), LUKARCO B.V. (12.5%), Mob Casp an P pe ne Company (7.5%), Rosneft-She Casp an Ventures L m ted (7.5%), BG Overseas Ho d ng L m ted (2%), En Internat ona N.A. N.V. (2%) and Oryx Casp an P pe ne LLC (1.75%) [itar-tass.com] » May 7 2014 - Ind a. Shares of Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL)(BPCL.NS) ga n 1.3 percent wh e Oil and Natural Gas Corp Ltd(ONGC.NS) s up 0.42 percent after Anadarko Petroleum Corp(APC.N) on Monday ra sed ts reserve est mates for a Mozambique asset where the two Indian energy companies own stakes. Anadarko rev sed the tota est mated recoverab e resources from ts Offshore Area 1 (Rovuma basin) to a range of 50 to 70-plus trillion cubic feet of natural gas from 45-70 plus tcf earlier. BPCL ho ds 10 percent n the Mozamb que asset, wh e ONGC ho ds 16 percent. ONGC V desh has 4 percent [reuters-india] » May 7 2014 - Focus on recent progress in reforming the role of forests and other land use in the EU climate policy framework. EU inclusion of LULUCF (Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry) in the climate policy framework still lags international developments, rema n ng at odds even w th the Un ted Nat ons Framework Convent on on C mate Change s (UNFCCC) Kyoto framework. Though the EU has made some mportant changes that ec pse even the UNFCCC framework- n part cu ar regard ng the nc us on of crop and and graz ng and management n mandatory EU- eve carbon account ng pract ces- n other respects the EU has far to go. As part of a strategy for fu f ng em ss on reduct on comm tments w th n the EU burden-shar ng agreement, Member states are not perm tted to trade e ther n domest ca y nor fore gn produced forestbased carbon cred ts. On the other hand, both the EU and the UNFCCC/Kyoto LULUCF frameworks rema n d stant from an dea zed mode that cou d fac tate ncreased c mate change m t gat on and a more eff c ent and ba anced use of forest-based resources. L m t ng the ncorporat on of forests n the c mate po cy framework has s gn f cant consequences for the cost and rap d ty of em ss on reduct ons. Forest potent a thus rema ns under-mob zed for c mate change m t gat on. In th s context, we draw part cu ar attent on to the fact that forest-based carbon sequestration�s potential contribution to negative emissions represents an important missed opportunity. In the context of ongo ng d scuss ons over the EU and UNFCCC s Post-Kyoto frameworks, we propose an a -encompass ng LULUCF carbon account ng mode ncorporat ng a prev ous y om tted carbon poo s and act v t es, thus we gh ng LULUCF remova s and em ss ons on a par w th em ss ons from other sectors ( ndustry, the energy sector, end-users). The successfu ntegrat on of LULUCF nto the EU c mate po cy and carbon-trad ng frameworks cou d doveta neat y w th emerg ng nternat ona c mate change m t gat on efforts [environmental science & policy] » May 7 2014 - As one of the wor d s ead ng energy compan es, Statoil has bu t a g oba o and gas product on portfo o and a reputat on for respons b e and techno ogy-dr ven resource deve opment n cha eng ng env ronments. The company s act ve n exc t ng energy resource areas of North America w th a focus on deep-water exploration and production, shale and tight rock hydrocarbons and heavy oil. A Conversat on w th He ge Lund, Pres dent and CEO, Stato , to d scuss deve opments n the energy andscape, CSIS Energy and Nat ona Secur ty Program [csis] » May 6 2014 - Un ted Arab Em rates. The Abu Dhab Nat ona O Company, ADNOC, has announced ts crude oil prices for last April. A company statement sa d that the pr ces are as fo ows: Murban US$107.95 per barrel, Lower Zakum $107.55, Umm Al Shaif $106.90, Das $106.90,and Upper Zakum $105.20 per barrel [wam.ae] » May 6 2014 - Plans to use a new enhanced oil recovery - or EOR - technology from day one of operat ons at the C a r R dge f e d west of Shet and, UK have won BP a ma or ndustry award. Unt now, emerg ng EOR techn ques have typ ca y been app ed to o der f e ds as the o product on rate fa s and recovery of o and gas becomes harder - and uneconom c. However when the first oil begins to flow from the Clair Ridge field in late 2016 BP will be employing a technology called LoSal� EOR to flood, or push, more oil from the reservoirs. Th s s expected to resu t n more than 40 million additional barrels be ng cost effect ve y recovered over the fet me of the f e d [pennenergy.com] » May 6 2014 - Germany. German Federal Budget 2014: Cutbacks Hit Climate Aid. On y n ate 2013, at the UN c mate conference n Warsaw, Germany s gned a reso ut on that spec f ca y ca ed on the ndustr a zed countr es to ensure a cont nuous r se n fund ng, espec a y pub c fund ng, over the com ng years. Apparent y, s nce then the German government has been th nk ng: So what? In fact, t s p ann ng the prec se oppos te. The draft of the 2014 federa budget, wh ch has ust passed ts f rst read ng n par ament, nc udes severe cuts to financial assistance for climate projects in the developing nations, with regard both to new pledges for bilateral climate projects and contributions to multilateral climate funds. The reduct on resu ts pr mar y from the d scont nuat on of budget author zat ons for b atera c mate pro ects w th n the Energy and C mate Fund (EKF), wh ch amounted to �480 m on n 2013. Budget author zat ons, a pecu ar ty of German budgetary eg s at on, a ow the federa government to make b atera comm tments to partner countr es for c mate pro ects ast ng mu t p e years. W thout these author zat ons for future fund ng, the vo ume of potent a comm tments for new pro ects fa s. The cuts are compensated on y part a y n var ous other po nts of the draft 2014 budget. Because the federa government does not pub sh the fu budget f gures, we can on y est mate the sca e of the p anned reduct ons. In the very best-case scenar o they w be at east �240 m on, but they cou d amount to as much as �440 m on. A deta ed ana ys s of the cuts ( n German) can be found [germanclimatefinance.de] » May 6 2014 - Japan. Despite shutdown of nuclear power plants, Japan is not expected to raise its thermal coal imports significantly over the next five-seven years, as ex st ng coa -f red power p ants are runn ng at h gh rates and new fac t es are st on the draw ng board, ana ysts and market sources sa d. The ncrease n Japanese steam coa mports over 2014-21 w be modest and Japanese power ut t es wou d not be ab e to rep cate the year-on-year ncreases seen n the f sca year ended March 2014, S ngapore-based ana yst w th Standard Chartered Bank, Serene L m, sa d Fr day. "Japan s a mature therma coa market. It s not poss b e for t to further ncrease coa mports at eve s we have seen n the prev ous f sca year. The coa demand growth th s year and the mmed ate succeed ng years w be very modest," L m sa d. For f sca year 2013-14 (Apr -March), Japan mported 111.52 m on mt of therma coa , up 5% year on year, atest data from Japan s M n stry of F nance showed [platts.com] » May 6 2014 - Iran plans to raise production from oil fields shared with neighbors by 1 mb/d over the coming four years, Petro eum M n ster B an Namdar Zanganeh sa d on Tuesday. "We have started our act v ty for a one-b on-barre ncrease n crude o product on capac ty from our o nt f e ds n the com ng four years. If th s ob ect ve s rea zed, Iran s petro eum ndustry w reg ster ts b ggest eve barga n ng ch p," Zanganeh sa d at the naugurat on of Tehran O and Gas Show. He sa d the p anned ncrease w create proper cond t ons for dr ers, manufacturers of we head and downho e equ pment and other serv ce prov ders [shana.ir] » May 6 2014 - London. Carbon Supply Cost Curves. Evaluating Financial Risk to Oil Capital Expenditures. [...] A new research ser es wh ch dent f es the h ghest carbon content h ghest pr ced assets w th potent a for future deve opment, mapp ng company exposure to these assets. Th s new report extends the not on of a carbon budget to market rea t es. [...] Where is the potential new oil production coming from? Who is going to supply it? At what price? Interact ng w th demand scenar os a ows nvestors and prov ders of cap ta to focus on the viability of the potential capital expenditures that are at risk. Markets w a ocate the carbon budget through econom cs where po cy constra nts are ref ected. Th s empowers nvestors to ask f the r cap ta s be ng managed we and whether t makessense to further deve op h gh cost � h gh carbon pro ects at somet mes great expense. For regu ators t ra ses the ssue of d sc osure � do nvestors have adequate nformat on about compan es ntent ons around the r cap ta expend tures and reasons for mak ng them? [...] The f rst of th s new generat on of ana yt ca research w be aunched on the 8th May (9.00 am � 12 pm) at Norton Rose Fulbright, in London [carbontracker.org] » May 6 2014 - New York C ty. Initiative to Reduce Electricity Demand and Improve Grid Reliability in New York City and Westchester County. Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the New York State Energy Research and Deve opment Author ty (NYSERDA) and Con Ed son are partner ng on a s gn f cant n t at ve to decrease e ectr c ty demand by as much as 125 megawatts (MW) n New York C ty by ncreas ng energy eff c ency, reduc ng demand dur ng peak e ectr c ty usage hours and app y ng comb ned heat and power (CHP) e ectr ca generat on systems at the s tes of e ectr c consumers n New York C ty and Westchester County. These efforts are n ne w th the Governor�s energy v s on to create a wor d-c ass energy system that s c eaner as we as more affordab e, re ab e, and res ent, wh e a so dr v ng econom c growth and opportun ty [governor.ny.gov] » May 6 2014 - Norway. Statoil, together w th ts PL532 partners, has made an oil and gas discovery in the Drivis prospect in the Barents Sea. Th s conc udes the 2013/2014 exp orat on program around the Johan Castberg f e d. We 7220/7-3 S, dr ed by the r g West Hercu es, has proven a 68-meter gross gas co umn n the St� format on and an 86-meter gross o co umn n the St� and Nordme a format ons. Stato est mates the tota vo umes n Dr v s to be n the range of 44-63 million barrels of recoverable oil equivalent, out of which 42-54 million barrels of oil. In May 2013, Stato aunched a targeted exp orat on campa gn around the Johan Castberg f e d n order to c ar fy add t ona o potent a n the area and make the deve opment pro ect more robust. The exp orat on campa gn compr sed f ve we s and has asted for 12 months. Dr v s was the ast we of th s dr ng campa gn n the Johan Castberg area [ogfj.com] » May 6 2014 - The United States may face a 70 percent increase in unhealthy summertime ozone levels by 2050 as the climate warms, accord ng to a government-funded study re eased on Monday. The study, pub shed n the U.S. Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres, found that warmer temperatures, h gher atmospher c eve s of methane, and other atmospher c changes re ated to a chang ng c mate spur chem ca react ons that ncrease overa eve s of ozone [xinhuanet.com] » May 6 2014 - The price of OPEC basket of twe ve crudes stood at 104.35 dollars a barrel on Monday, compared w th $104.25 the prev ous Fr day, accord ng to OPEC Secretar at ca cu at ons. The new OPEC Reference Basket of Crudes (ORB) s made up of the fo ow ng: Saharan B end (A ger a), G rasso (Ango a), Or ente (Ecuador), Iran Heavy (Is am c Repub c of Iran), Basra L ght (Iraq), Kuwa t Export (Kuwa t), Es S der (L bya), Bonny L ght (N ger a), Qatar Mar ne (Qatar), Arab L ght (Saud Arab a), Murban (UAE) and Merey (Venezue a) [opec.org] » May 6 2014 - Clean energy and renewable companies are not only driving change in the production of energy but also in its consumption. W th a grow ng g oba popu at on and ncreas ng per cap ta consumpt on of energy, f nd ng new ways to produce energy s of paramount mportance [goldmansachs.com] » May 5 2014 - Iraq exported 2.509 million b/d of crude in April, a from ts southern o term na s as the country s northern export p pe ne rema ned noperab e. Apr exports were 112,000 b/d more than the 2.397 b/d exported from the country n March, but st well below February s rate of 2.8 million b/d, which was the highest since 1979, ust before the Iraq-Iran war. The f gures are der ved from da y term na status reports, obta ned exc us ve y by P atts. The dec ne s nce February s pr mar y attr butab e to the suspens on s nce March 2 of exports through the IraqTurkey p pe ne due to a ma or sabotage attack n northern Iraq. Insurgent threats have prevented repa r crews from trave ng to the s te of the attacks and t rema ns unc ear when the damaged p pe ne w resume operat ons. Nonethe ess, Iraq set a new post-war record n Apr for exports through ts southern term na s, surpass ng the prev ous 2 m on b/d record estab shed n February 2013 [platts.com] » May 5 2014 - Climate change to intensify important African weather systems, Stanford sc ent sts say. C mate change cou d strengthen African easterly waves, wh ch cou d n turn have consequences for rainfall in the Sahel region of northern Africa, formation of Atlantic hurricanes and dust transport across the Atlantic Ocean [stanford.edu] » May 5 2014 - The Southern Corridor project, a mu t b on energy nfrastructure endeavor that nc udes the TANAP-TAP system of p pe nes, appears to be fac ng certa n ssues that could potentially derail the timeline of is construction and certainly cause anxiety amongst stakeholders. More spec f ca y, French supermajor Total SA is looking for an exit amidst contradicting reports with regards to the cause of the decision. Latest nformat on streamed by SOCAR VP Su eyman Gas mov conf rmed the corporat on s ook ng to buy Tota s 10% share n the Shah Den z consort um, wh ch s the bas c source of natura gas for the Southern Corr dor. Meanwh e nterest has a so been expressed by the Turk sh Botas, who a ong w th SOCAR s deve op ng TANAP. Tota has yet to make known the reasons for ts premature departure, however nterest ng po nts can be made by assess ng the s tuat on so far. W th regards to f nanc ng - s Tota expect ng ser ous de ays n a future returns on nvestment cap ta ? It shou d be noted that Tota s current y engaged n mu t p e ong-term, h gh-cost pro ects wor dw de. Wh e t owns a 40% stake n the Absheron gas reserve n Azerba an that t wants to deve op, ra s ng funds by se ng ts shares n Shah Den z may be a forced move n that sense [naturalgaseurope.com] » May 5 2014 - G oba y, t s est mated that cyber-attacks against oil and gas infrastructure will cost owners $1.87billion by 2018. In the US, 40% of a cyber-attacks on cr t ca nfrastructure n 2012 occurred aga nst the energy sector. The UK Government est mates that o and gas compan es n the UK a ready ose approx mate y �400m on every year as a resu t of cyber-attacks. These sober ng stat st cs are reported n the Willis Energy Market Review of 2014 wh ch chose cyber-attacks n the energy sector as ts spec a focus [energyvoice.com] » May 5 2014 - The price of oil climbed above $100 a barrel Monday as escalating tensions in Ukraine outweighed a fourth month of contraction in China s manufacturing, AP reported. Benchmark U.S. crude for June de very was up 34 cents to $100.10 a barre at 0725 GMT n e ectron c trad ng on the New York Mercant e Exchange. The contract rose 34 cents to sett e at $99.76 on Fr day. Brent crude, a benchmark for nternat ona var et es of o , ga ned 11 cents to on the ICE exchange n London. Ch na s factory act v ty contracted aga n ast month, accord ng to HSBC s purchas ng manager ndex, and the pace of the dec ne was more severe than a pre m nary vers on of the report nd cated. The PMI resu ts underscore the cont nu ng s owdown n the wor d s second b ggest economy, wh ch cou d mean ower energy demand [spa.gov.sa-saudi press agency] » May 5 2014 - US. The Ukraine Crisis and U.S. Security Strategy. A pane d scuss on on the mp cat ons of U.S. po cy regard ng Ukra ne and Russ a for U.S. strategy, cred b ty, and deterrence. Was Pres dent Obama r ght to take the use of m tary force off the tab e? Is an aggress ve Russ a suff c ent y accounted for n current strategy and defense posture? Has the Un ted States done too much or too tt e to reassure NATO and other a es and partners, nc ud ng n the As a-Pac f c reg on? Live: MAY 5, 2014 | 1:30 PM - 3:00 PM [csis.org] » May 5 2014 - Un ted Arab Em rates. The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) s advocat ng act on or ented- n t at ves to accelerate the deployment of renewable energy at the Abu Dhabi Ascent. The h gh- eve meet ng hosted by the UAE on May 4-5 s n preparat on for the September U.N. C mate Summ t n New York. IRENA s h gh ght ng ts Africa Clean Energy Corridor and SIDS - Lighthouses initiatives to the governments, nternat ona organ zat ons, and de egates from the pr vate sector and c v soc ety conven ng n Abu Dhab to earn about and shape spec f c stakeho der n t at ves that address c mate change [irena.org] » May 5 2014 - Russ a. Gazprom and OMV s gned a Memorandum of Intent to implement the South Stream project in Austria. The Memorandum ref ects the part es ntent ons to construct the Austr an sect on of the South Stream gas p pe ne w th the throughput capac ty of up to 32 billion cubic meters a year and the end po nt n Baumgarten. The gas p pe ne w run from the Black Sea coast in Bulgaria through Serbia and Hungary to Austria. It s p anned to obta n a the requ red construct on perm ts before the end of 2015. F rst gas supp es are schedu ed for 2017. The Austr an sect on w reach ts fu capac ty by January 2018 [gazprom.com] » May 5 2014 - Japan. Nearly half of the families that f ed from Fukushima Prefecture when the nuclear crisis began three years ago have been separated by housing problems, work requirements and children�s educational needs, according to a recent survey of the prefecture. A though mun c pa governments n the exc us on zone have undertaken s m ar stud es n the past, th s was the f rst to cover the who e prefecture, nc ud ng those forced to evacuate and those who eft of the r own vo t on. The prefectura government sent quest onna res to 62,812 fam es and rece ved rep es from 20,680. The resu ts of the survey were re eased Monday. Near y 49 percent of the househo ds that were ntact before the acc dent are no onger under the same roof, the survey sa d [japantimes.co.jp] » May 5 2014 - Iran, as a country that s capab e of prov d ng gas n huge quant t es, is interested in being present in the European energy market. G ven the critical situation in Ukraine, he re terated that Europe s w ng to d vers fy ts energy resources. Once the new phases of the South Pars project are operat ona , Iran w have extra gas to export [irna] » May 5 2014 - Iran is ready for a gas-for-goods deal with neighboring Turkmenistan, the Is am c repub c s O M n ster B an Namdar Zanganeh sa d here on Sunday. "Iran ntends to prepare the grounds for export ng goods to Turkmen stan n return for gas purchase from Turkmen stan," Zanganeh sa d n a meet ng w th the v s t ng Turkmen V ce Pres dent Kho a Muhammad Muhammadov. Zanganeh urged Iran an manufactur ng compan es to make the necessary arrangements for export ng more tems to Turkmen stan, accord ng to Press TV. Iran exports mach nery, construct on mater a s, sedans, buses, food stuff, agr cu tura and petrochem ca products, e ectr ca products and home app ances to Turkmen stan, and mports natura gas, e ectr c ty, text es and agr cu tura products from ts northern ne ghbor. Iran s a so ready to export natural gas and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) to Kuwait, Iran s Deputy M n ster of Industry, M ne and Trade Va o ah Afkham -Rad sa d Sunday [xinhuanet.com] » May 4 2014 - S tt ng n a new and of p enty, Amer cans rare y not ce d sturb ng energy trends e sewhere n the wor d. [...] t s mposs b e not to recogn ze there are serious energy shortages developing in other parts of the world. In fact, [...] th s "crisis curve" is now accelerating. Odd y enough, the latest danger signals are coming in from parts of the world normally thought of as net energy producers: The Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia. Now, there are new concerns that th s brew ng energy cr s s may we be the next ser ous step n an ongo ng "Arab Spr ng." And while countries like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates have largely been untouched by this sweeping regional political unrest, elsewhere matters are getting worse. Sudden y, energy has become a b gger tr gger po nt n a h gh y vo at e part of the wor d [oilandenergyinvestor.com] » May 4 2014 - EU. The European Un on ntends to diversify its gas imports and expand its Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) imports from 20152016 to nc ude mports from the Un ted States as the resu t of ts sha e gas revo ut on, wr tes Dr Frank Umbach. The German government w recons der rev v ng ts ong-p anned pro ect to bu d a LNG-term na at the North Sea port of Wilhelmshaven in Lower Saxony. Other EU countr es, such as L thuan a, Eston a, Croat a, Greece and Cyprus, had a ready p anned to bu d LNG term na s before the Russ a-Ukra ne conf ct started n February 2014. But the EU s new y-dec ared nterest n expand ng ts LNG mports comes at a t me when European and g oba LNG markets are undergo ng rap d and s gn f cant change. Europe has to compete for LNG w th h gher-va ued gas markets n As a. LNG pro ects are among the most expens ve energy pro ects wor dw de [worldreview.info] » May 3 2014 - Germany. For the f fth t me "Resilient Cities 2014 - Annual Global Forum on Urban Resilience and Adaptation� w be tak ng p ace from 29 to 31 May 2014 in Bonn, Germany. Res ent C t es s the g oba p atform for urban res ence and c mate change adaptat on, organ zed by ICLEI - Loca Governments for Susta nab ty and co-hosted by the Wor d Mayors Counc on C mate Change and the C ty of Bonn, Germany. Each year, Resilient Cities brings together 500 urban planners, mayors, international organization representatives, and researchers from all around the world to discuss urban resilience and adaptation. The program of 2014 focuses on a var ety of key top cs nc ud ng r sk data, adaptat on p ann ng, f nanc ng the res ent c ty, c ty-reg on food systems, and res ent nfrastructure. W th network ng and s de events, the congress offers the perfect opportun ty to connect w th res ence pract t oners and researchers, to bu d new partnersh ps and exchange deas and best pract ces. Add t ona y, Resilient Cities 2014 hosts the 4th Mayors Adaptation Forum, which enables close dialogue between local and global leaders. It cu m nates n the annua Bonn Dec arat on of Mayors, wh ch out nes key comm tments to act on agreed dur ng the congress. The 2014 forum will focus on urban adaptation and biodiversity, climate governance, Sustainable Development Goals and the Post2015 UN Development Agenda [resilient-cities.iclei.org] » May 3 2014 - Ind a, New De h , In an upward revision of natural gas prices by 7%, Indraprastha GasBSE 0.12 % L m ted (IGL), the so e c ty gas d str butor (CGD) n the nat ona cap ta reg on, increased the price of compressed natural gas (CNG) and piped natural gas (PNG). After decreas ng gas pr ces by 30% n February, when the government had announced un form a ocat on of gas to a CGDs, IGLBSE 0.12 % ncreased the CNG pr ce by Rs 2.95 per kg n De h and Rs 3.35 each n No da, Greater No da and Ghaz abad. "We are constra ned to rev se the reta pr ce of CNG and PNG ma n y due to the ncrease n the overa nput cost of natura gas [newsr.in] » May 3 2014 - EU. European authorities are stepp ng up efforts to promote energy integration desp te the mm nent shakeup due to the European e ect ons. "We want a uniform gas price in the European common market," EU Energy Comm ss oner Guenther Oett nger sa d at a news conference n Warsaw. Oett nger was n Po and to meet the Pr me M n ster Dona d Tusk, who many be eve to be a centra p ayer n European energy po c es. "The game of divide et impera (divide and rule), or a game of this type proposed by Moscow, cannot be and will not be accepted by EU member states," Oett nger exp a ned, as reported by Reuters. Poland heavily relies on Russia for its gas, w th 79.8% of the tota mports com ng from the powerfu ne ghbour [naturalgaseurope.com] » May 3 2014 - US. Oregon s own Public Technical University first in World to produce 100% of its own power with solar, geothermal energy. On Apr 18th a p atform of d gn tar es assemb ed to honor Oregon Inst tute of Techno ogy�s f rst- n-the-wor d accomp shment of produc ng a of ts campus energy needs us ng a comb nat on of so ar and geotherma renewab e energy sources. To commemorate the ach evement of be ng the first university globally to use this combination of clean energy sources to power 100% of the campus need, a co ect on of off c a s nc ud ng U.S. Senators Wyden and Merk ey, Oregon Senator Wh tsett, and F rst Lady Hayes spoke at a r bbon cutt ng ceremony where they had generous pra se for the pro ect. The campus has been ent re y heated by geotherma water for severa decades, and now the geotherma resource s be ng ut zed n a 1.75-megawatt comb ned heat and power p ant to prov de e ectr c ty. Add t ona y, a 2.0-megawatt so ar array was nsta ed on 9 acres of campus and and comm ss oned at the end of ast year, a ow ng Oregon Tech to generate a of ts own e ectr c ty and heat needed to run the campus [oit.edu] » May 2 2014 - Indonesia has str ven to ease mportat on of subs d zed fue , nc ud ng mp ement ng b o-fue energy and shifting the energy reliance from fossils fuel to abundant gas, and ramp up exports. Indones a s the wor d s argest exporter of pa m o , the wor d s th rd b ggest exporter of rubber and cocoa, and home to the wor d s second-b ggest copper m ne [xinhuanet.com] » May 2 2014 - How Scientists, Car Companies, And The Military Are Creating The Smartest Energy Solution On The Market. Back n February, Tesla Motors sent a shock wave through the energy technology world when it announced plans to build the globe s biggest battery factory. The sheer sca e of the proposed "gigafactory" s enormous. "[Tesla s] goal by 2020 is to be producing 500,000 cars - 500,000 battery packs - out of that gigafactory," sa d Steve LeV ne, a ourna st for Quartz who s wr t ng a book on batter es and the r potent a to transform energy as we know t. If Tes a h ts that target, t wou d tera y doub e g oba product on of th um- on batter es. For anyone concerned about climate change, this is big news. Mak ng every veh c e e ectr c wou d reduce carbon em ss ons by mov ng cars off a pure o d et and onto an e ectr c ty m x of coa , natura gas, and some renewab es. But we need to move that e ectr c ty m x fu y onto c ean energy as we - and do t fast - to avo d the worst mpacts of c mate change. That w requ re dea ng w th the nterm ttency of green energy sources ke w nd and so ar. E ectr c ty s re at ve y unusua n that we don t make t unt we use t - and f we don t use t r ght when t s made, we ose t. So fossil fuels like coal and natural gas have an advantage in that we control when we burn them. But the sun sh nes and the w nd b ows where and when they w , m t ng renewab es to a supp ementa energy source at best. To change that, we need to be ab e to store renewable electricity when it s made, and then release it when we need it [...] But Tes a s g gafactory a so revea s the b g hurd e st stand ng n the way of batter es: cost. As the s ze of a factory ncreases, the number of un ts of product t can produce - batter es n th s case - goes up faster than the tota costs of the equ pment and staff and everyth ng e se that makes the factory run. A bigger factory and more production will bring the cost per unit down, allowing Tesla to cut the prices it charges the consumer [thinkprogress.org] » May 2 2014 - Saipem has won a new offshore Engineering & Construction contract in Azerbaijan, for a total amount of approximately $1.8 billion. BP, on beha f of the Shah Den z consort um, has awarded to the Sa pem, Bos She f and Star Gu f consort um, a Transportation and Installation contract for the Stage 2 development of the Shah Deniz field. The f e d s ocated 90 k ometers offshore Azerba an, n water depths from 75 meters to 550 meters. The scope of work of the contract nc udes the transportat on and nsta at on of ackets, tops des and subsea product on systems and subsea structures, the ay ng of over 360 km p pe nes, d v ng support serv ces and the upgrade of the P pe ay Barge Israf Huse nov (PLBH), D ve Support Vesse Tof q Isma ov (DSV) and Derr ck Barge Azerba an (DBA) nsta at on vesse s. The pro ect w be comp eted by the end of 2017 [saipem] » May 2 2014 - Latin American countries must reform oil and gas industries. Rare y have po t cs and econom cs d verged qu te as dramat ca y as they have n the Lat n Amer can energy sector, wr tes Dr Noe Maurer. The past year has seen rad ca nst tut ona change - but the under y ng econom cs mean that changes n product on are ke y to ag by a decade. Let us start w th Mexico. The rad ca reforms passed under Pres dent Enr que Pena N eto d d three th ngs [...] Argentina has huge y prom s ng t ght (sha e) o depos ts n the Vaca Muerta and p enty of natura gas. But the government has a terr b e reputat on. The nat ona sat on of YPF, the o and gas producer, however, s not the ssue. Repso , YPF s Span sh owner, a owed reserves to fa faster than other hydrocarbon producers and pa d d v dends we n excess of earn ngs [...] Brazil comb nes the prob ems of Argent na and Mex co. The country has offshore o n the deep-water pre-sa t depos ts, but nvestors are caut ous of the requ rement that state-contro ed Petrobras operates a the f e ds [...] Colombia s the one spot where hydrocarbon product on w ncrease rap d y n the short term. Sk ed personne from Venezue a brought techno og es that a owed Co omb a to doub e ts output between 2007-2013 [...] F na y, there s Venezuela, wh ch s vu nerab e to a dec ne n the o pr ce. The o -r ch country requ res a pr ce of US$102 per barre to ba ance ts budget and US$106 do ars per barre to keep the current account n the b ack. Its economy s a ready fac ng a ba ance of payments and an nf at onary cr s s. Inf at on s runn ng above 50 per cent. In add t on, the spectacu ar fa ure of o company OGX cast doubt on the pace of deve opment [worldreview.info] » May 2 2014 - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon s to trave to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Italy to bu d momentum for a UN climate change summit slated for September and meet sen or off c a s of the two countr es, the deputy UN spokesman, Farhan Haq, sa d here Thursday. [...] "The Secretary-Genera s f rst stop w be Abu Dhab , where he w co-host the Abu Dhab Ascent, wh ch a ms to prepare for and bu d momentum ahead of h s C mate Summ t on 23 September n New York," he sa d, referr ng to the summ t to be he d at UN Headquarters. The twoday Abu Dhabi Ascent, wh ch beg ns on Sunday, w br ng together governments, the pr vate sector, c v soc ety and other partners to d scuss how to take concrete act on to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enhance resilience to climate change, he sa d. Wh e n the UAE s cap ta , the secretary-genera w ho d ta ks w th government off c a s and representat ves from a w de range of groups, such as bus ness, f nance and c v soc ety, he sa d. "The secretary-general will also visit the Shams Solar Power Plant." The secretary-genera w then trave to Ita y, where he w cha r n Rome the twice-yearly meeting of the UN System Chief Executives Board (CEB), Haq sa d, add ng that the meet ng w be hosted by the Internat ona Fund for Agr cu tura Deve opment, w th strong support from the c ty of Rome [xinhuanet.com] » May 2 2014 - The EU has made remarkable progress in improving its security of supply over the last decade and should not worry that Russia will cut off its gas supplies, says Professor Samue e Furfar n an nterv ew w th Energy Post Brusse s Correspondent Hughes Be n. A ong-t me sen or adv sor at the European Comm ss on, Professor Furfar , author of a brandnew provocat ve book n French - "V ve es energ es foss es!" � says the world has entered a new energy paradigm as a result of an abundance of energy. He s conv nced that Russ a w not turn off the gas tap f on y because t wants to be seen as re ab e potent a supp er to Ch na. Ukra ne, he says, can so ve ts energy prob em by bann ng corrupt on n the energy sector and mprov ng ts dep orab y poor energy eff c ency [energypost.eu] » May 2 2014 - The Joint Crediting Mechanism (JCM) secretar at between Indonesia and Japan cord a y nv tes a the stakeho ders to prov de the r comments on the fo ow ng proposed methodo og es: "Power Generation by Waste Heat Recovery in Cement Industry", and "Energy Saving by Introduction of High Efficiency Centrifugal Chiller [.mmechanisms.org] » May 1 2014 - Th s background paper e aborates on the ongo ng d scuss ons about the up-front or ex-ante information that Parties shall provide together with their nationally determined emission reduction contributions for the post-2020 climate agreement. Due to the fact that m t gat on contr but ons are determ ned nat ona y by each Party w thout any agreed types or e ements, these contributions are expected to comprise a whole spectrum of diverse types of targets. For that reason, up-front nformat on s necessary to make them transparent, comparab e and quant f ab e re ated to the progress needed to ach eve the 2 C ob ect ve. Add t ona y, t promotes mutua understand ng and trust among the Part es and t w po nt to the eve of amb t on mp ed by countr es proposed targets. Exp anat on of equ ty and fa rness cons derat ons shou d a so be addressed by up-front or ex-ante nformat on by countr es when sett ng the r contr but ons [oeko.de] » May 1 2014 - Addressing the risk of double counting emission reductions under the UNFCCC. Avo d ng doub e count ng of em ss on reduct ons s a key po cy concern to Part es to the Un ted Nat ons Framework Convent on on C mate Change (UNFCCC). Th s paper systemat ca y assesses how doub e count ng can occur and how t cou d be addressed [sei-international.org] » May 1 2014 - The BGR (Bundesansta t fur Geow ssenschaften und Rohstoffe, or Federa Inst tute for Geosc ences and Natura Resources), a Hannover-based German government nst tute, s renowned for the r annual reports of global non-renewable energy resources (fossil fuels and nuclear energy sources). [...] The f rst tab e s summar zed accord ng to un que un ts of each foss fue . The second tab e s accord ng to the same therma equ va ents. In a nutshe , at the beg nn ng of 2013, the world had approximately 73 years supply of fossil fuels that could be exploitable with contemporary technologies. (Accord ng to the BGR s g ossar es, Reserves = Proven vo umes of energy commod t es econom ca y exp o tab e at today s pr ces and us ng today s techno ogy; Resources = Proven amounts of energy resources wh ch cannot current y be exp o ted for techn ca and/or econom c reasons, as we as unproven but geo og ca y poss b e energy resources wh ch may be exp o tab e n future) [energy-ecology.blogspot.it] » May 1 2014 - Austra a. Industry calls for more information on NSW gas supply crisis. Ca s for ncreased nformat on about ava ab e gas supp y by New South Wa es Energy M n ster Anthony Roberts have been backed by ead ng Austra an gas transm ss on body the Austra an P pe ne Industry Assoc at on (APIA) [gastoday] » April 30 2014 - The European oil giant Royal Dutch Shell reported Wednesday a 45 percent decline in first-quarter earnings compared w th a year ear er, as product on fe sharp y and the company took a arge wr te-off n ts ref n ng bus ness. The company a so nd cated t was warily monitoring the impact of Western sanctions against Russia, where She has natura gas operat ons n partnersh p w th the Russ an energy g ant Gazprom. Descr b ng the standoff between the West and Russ a over Ukra ne as "a d ff cu t s tuat on," She s ch ef f nanc a off cer, S mon Henry, sa d: "I don�t th nk we sha be ump ng nto new nvestments n the short term" n Russ a. She , wh ch s based n the Dutch c ty of The Hague, sa d t earned $4.5 b on n the f rst quarter, compared w th $8.2 b on a year ear er. The argest earn ngs mpact came from $2.9 b on n wr tedowns, most y on the va ue of She s market ng and ref n ng un ts n Europe and As a. Exc ud ng those arge one-t me factors, earn ngs were $7.3 b on, down 3 percent from the same per od ast year. That was 48 percent h gher than ana ysts consensus forecast, accord ng to Peter Hutton, an ana yst at RBC Cap ta Markets n London, who ca ed the resu ts "encourag ng" n a note to c ents. She s share pr ce had r sen 4.5 percent n ear y afternoon trad ng n London [nytimes] » April 30 2014 - The Bakken field of North Dakota and Montana recently reached the milestone of 1 billion barrels of light, sweet crude oil produced. C t ng data from IHS, Cont nenta Resources reported the f nd ng, not ng that cumu at ve o product on reached the b on barre mark n the f rst quarter of 2014. "Th s m estone va dates the mmense potent a of the Bakken f e d and deve opment s ust beg nn ng," sa d Jack Stark, sen or v ce pres dent of exp orat on for Cont nenta Resources Inc. (NYSE: CLR), the argest producer, dr er, and easeho der n the Bakken f e d. "Two-thirds of this oil was produced in the last three years. Th s s someth ng our country can ce ebrate as the o and natura gas ndustry cont nues to create obs, grow our economy and secure Amer ca s energy future." [ogfj.com] » April 30 2014 - Kuwait s crude oil exports to Japan rose 10.5 percent in March from a year earlier to 9.85 million barrels, or 318,000 barrels per day (bpd), for the f rst ncrease n two months, government data showed Wednesday. As Japan s fourth-b ggest o prov der, Kuwait supplied 8.3 percent of the Asian nation s total crude imports, compared w th 6.9 percent n the same month of ast year, the Japanese Natura Resources and Energy Agency sa d n a pre m nary report. Accord ng to Kuwa t News Agency, KUNA, Japan s overa mports of crude o n March fe 8.1 percent year-on-year to 118.67 m on barre s (3.83 m on bpd) for the f rst drop n two months. Sh pments from the M dd e East accounted for 85.4 percent of the tota , up 4.5 percentage po nts from a year before. Saudi Arabia remains Japan s first oil supplier, w th mports from the k ngdom s ght y r s ng 1.4 percent from on the year to 1.19 m on bpd [wam, emirates news agency] » April 30 2014 - Recent events indicated that Poland and Norway could take advantage of the current standoff over Ukraine, while Italy could pay a moderate price for its reliance on Russian gas. The s x- egged dog reported ad usted operat ng prof t for �3.49 b on, down 6.8% from the f rst quarter 2013. At the same t me, net prof t reg stered an even starker dec ne, down 15.6% to �1.30 b on. But th s d d not have repercuss ons on share pr ces. The company ga ned a most 3% on Tuesday. "Eni delivered solid results in the first quarter 2014, despite a difficult market environment, thanks to a good performance in E&P and progress in the mid and downstream businesses, in particular with the renegotiation of the Statoil gas supply contract. The out ook for 2014 s n ne w th our expectat ons, benef t ng from the ramp-up of new pro ects and restructur ng act v t es n G&P, R&M and Chem ca s, n the context of cont nued vo at ty n L bya and weakness n European demand," Pao o Scaron , Ch ef Execut ve Off cer, commented [naturalgaseurope] » April 30 2014 - Iran. "During the past months, we have experienced a stunning increase in oil production and sale," Rouhan sa d n a pr me t me te ev sed speech. "O and gas are very mportant and we w take mportant steps th s year," sa d the pres dent. He added that four phases of the giant South Pars will come on-stream this year, adding 100 mcm/d to the country s production. Rouhan sa d Iran would no longer face gas shortage this year, add ng that the government wou d have no prob em w th the d str but on of o products. The pres dent a so sa d the government had no opt on but to ra se the pr ces of energy carr ers n ne w th the subs dy reform aw [shana.ir] » April 30 2014 - Russ a. The president of Russia s Rosneft oil company Igor Sechin considers his blacklisting among other officials over events in Ukraine as a high mark to the efficiency of his company s activity. "Whatever s excess ve s ns gn f cant, as French po t c an Char es Maur ce de Ta eyrand used to say n such cases," Sech n to d the Izvest a da y. "What are the mot ves the US author t es are gu ded by? We understand t th s way: the Amer can adm n strat on pa d attent on to Rosneft act v ty towards the reduct on of r sks connected w th one-s ded or entat on of our hydrocarbon exports at certa n reg ona markets. I qua fy the atest moves by Wash ngton as the h ghest marks to the eff c ency of our act v ty," [itar-tass.com] » April 30 2014 - Worldwatch Institute, video on State of the World 2014 (Governing for sustainability) Symposium. C t zens expect the r governments to ead on susta nab ty. But from arge y d sappo nt ng international conferences like Rio II to the U.S. s failure to pass meaningful climate legislation, governments progress has been lackluster. That s not to say eadersh p s absent; t ust often comes from the bottom up rather than the top down. Act on-on c mate, spec es oss, nequ ty, and other susta nab ty cr ses- s be ng dr ven by oca , peop e s, women s, and grassroots movements around the wor d [livestream.com] » April 30 2014 - In 2012, the combined global production of ethanol and biodiesel fell for the first time since 2000, down 0.4 percent from the f gure n 2011. G oba ethano product on dec ned s ght y for the second year n a row, to 83.1 b on ters, wh e b od ese output rose fract ona y, from 22.4 b on ters n 2011 to 22.5 b on ters n 2012. B od ese now accounts for over 20 percent of g oba b ofue product on, wr tes Tom Prugh n the Wor dwatch Inst tute s atest V ta S gns On ne trend. B ofue s are a subset of b o-energy, wh ch s energy der ved from b omass (p ant and an ma matter) and wh ch can range from manua y gathered fue wood and an ma dung to ndustr a y processed forms such as ethano and b od ese . B omass can be used d rect y for heat, turned nto b ogas to produce e ectr c ty, or processed nto qu d forms su tab e as a ternat ves or supp ements to foss fue s for transport [worldwatch.org] » April 30 2014 - Oil prices eased in Asian trade today on expectations of another increase in US crude stockpiles which would suggest weak demand in the world s biggest economy. New York s West Texas Intermed ate (WTI) for June de very dropped 88 cents to USD 100.40 n m d-morn ng trade, and Brent North Sea crude for June eased 35 cents to USD 108.63. Ana ysts expect data due today to show US crude stockp es rose by 2.2 m on barre s ast week, accord ng to a Wa Street Journa survey [.dnaindia.com] » April 30 2014 - Ita y. Saipem has been contracted by South Stream Transport B.V. to provide supporting works relating to the construction of the second line of the South Stream Offshore Pipeline for a total value of approximately �400 million. The ent re offshore South Stream pro ect cons sts of four para e gas p pe nes, across the B ack Sea from Russ a to Bu gar a, each 931 k ometers ong, to be a d at depths of up to 2,200 meters. Accord ng to th s contract Sa pem w perform add t ona support ng works, nc ud ng eng neer ng, coord nat on of storage yards, cab e cross ng preparat on, and connect ng the offshore p pe ne to the andfa sect ons through so ca ed "t e ns". The works re at ng to the construct on of the second ne w end by the end of 2016 [saipem] » April 30 2014 - Korea. As Kuwait seeks to diversify its oil-heavy economy, Korea is ready to help expedite the transition by fostering partnerships in low-carbon technologies and the serv ce and other know edge-based ndustr es, Seou s new envoy to the Gu f country sa d. Sh n Boo-nam, former ambassador for c mate change and green growth, s anchor ng h s hopes on Korea s knowhow n educat on, hea thcare and green techno og es, c t ng these as prom s ng areas for co aborat on. "Kuwait is striving to chart its path to (becoming) a low-carbon economy in line with the global trend and we d ke to share our exper ence wh e mprov ng our strateg es, wh ch w make a w n-w n partnersh p," [koreaherald.com] » April 30 2014 - The United States on Tuesday targeted companies from China and Dubai for allegedly helping Iran evade weapons and oil sanctions. In a s gna Wash ngton w keep pressure on Iran over its nuclear program, the U.S. Treasury Department sa d t was sanct on ng e ght Ch nese compan es for procur ng m ss e parts for Iran. The U.S. State Department sa d t was offer ng a reward of up to $5 m on for nformat on ead ng to the arrest and/or conv ct on of L Fangwe , who has been the target of U.S. sanct ons n the past for h s a eged ro e as a pr nc p e supp er to Iran s ba st c m ss e program. Treasury a so sa d t was target ng a f rm based n Duba and severa assoc ated nd v dua s for he p ng Iran evade U.S. sanct ons aga nst ts o ndustry [china.org] » April 30 2014 - A s gn f cant drop n g oba coa pr ces s the ma n reason for the current prob ems of Po sh coa m nes. The price of thermal coal has fallen by 13 percent over the past two years and coking coal - by 23 percent. The ndustry was add t ona y h t by m d w nter. Po and has hoarded 7 m on tonnes of coa stocks, wh e the energy ndustry has a so amassed vast nventor es of the commod ty. Trade un on sts descr be the s tuat on as dramat c and are ca ng for government ntervent on. The current coal price level of 76 U.S. dollars per tonne in European ports s po sed to rema n unchanged throughout the year, experts say [xinhuanet] » April 30 2014 - Austra a. The Victorian Government says it will hold public forums on unconventional onshore gas mining across the state from June. A State Government morator um on new coa seam gas exp orat on cences and the controvers a gas extract on process, frack ng, has been extended unt after the e ect on. The M n ster for Energy and Resources, Russe Northe, says the Government wants to engage w th the commun ty before dec d ng on whether to ft the morator um [abc.net] » April 30 2014 - The spread between WTI and Brent is tightening again. What s "the spread?" - It s the d fference n pr ce between what crude o futures cost on the NYMEX n New York (the West Texas Intermed ate rate) and the rate set n London (the Brent rate). As of th s morn ng, th s spread stood at 7.2% of the WTI rate (the more accurate way to reg ster ts mpact n the U.S. market). It had been as ow as 3.6% ear er th s month, after h tt ng doub e-d g t eve s for most of 2013, when n some cases the spread umped to over 20%. Both of these represent o that s sweeter (w th ess su fur content) than 80% of the o that s traded nternat ona y on a da y bas s. These futures contracts are the pr nc pa "paper barre " benchmarks aga nst wh ch the pr ces of the "wet barre s" (actua cons gnments of o ) are determ ned. As th s spread cont nues to narrow, t prom ses to create some d rect consequences for nvestors. The Battle Between WTI and Brent. Of course, t wasn t a ways th s way. Before August 2010, WTI wou d actua y cost more than Brent s nce t was a better qua ty of crude [oilandenergyinvestor.com] » April 29 2014 - Climate change a growing concern for companies expanding their footprint. Trad t ona y, the most mportant factors n choos ng a ocat on for a new factory or operat on have a ways been workforce supp y and econom c ncent ves. But a new cons derat on, climate change, is quickly moving up the ranks as a major factor for corporate decision-makers. Recent y, as c mate-re ated cr ses have h t c t es across the g obe, t s become ncreas ng y c ear that compan es need to cons der the f nanc a mpact of a pauc ty - or an excess - of water. Operat ona , strateg c and qua ty-of- fe ssues factor heav y n the dec s ons that g ant enterpr ses make about where to ocate the r much sought after cap ta pro ects. As the devastating environmental conditions associated with climate change � including water shortages, severe storms, natural disasters, rising seas and hotter climates � become more pressing, it s clear that these, too, will become key considerations for companies hoping to press their competitive advantages. As a resu t, these dec s ons w beg n to dramat ca y affect both trad t ona and emerg ng bus ness, transportat on, manufactur ng and trave hubs. And as w th anyth ng e se nvo v ng corporat ons, rea estate, obs and money, there w def n te y be w nners and osers [theguardian.com] » April 29 2014 - Months of bitter disputes between the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and Iraqi authorities over pumping oil from the region look to come to close. Turk sh Energy M n ster Taner Y d z conf rmed exports of Iraqi Kurdish oil could begin in May. Turkey has been stor ng the reserve at Ceyhan on the Med terranean coast pend ng a reso ut on n the b tter d spute. O has not f owed from Iraq to Turkey s nce the start of Apr . But the m n ster conf rmed the f ow of Iraq Kurd sh o to h s country v a a new p pe ne had resumed. Kurd stan stemmed ts o through the Iraq -contro ed p pe to Ceyhan more than a year ago over d sputed payments. They have s nce bu t the r own p pe trucked sma er quant t es over the border [energyvoice.com] » April 29 2014 - How Japan Plans to Build an Orbital Solar Farm. [...] Imag ne ook ng out over Tokyo Bay from h gh above and see ng a manmade s and n the harbor, 3 k ometers ong. A mass ve net s stretched over the s and and studded w th 5 b on t ny rect fy ng antennas, wh ch convert m crowave energy nto DC e ectr c ty. A so on the s and s a substat on that sends that e ectr c ty cours ng through a submar ne cab e to Tokyo, to he p keep the factor es of the Ke h n ndustr a zone humm ng and the neon ghts of Sh buya sh n ng br ght. But you can t even see the most nterest ng part. Severa giant solar collectors in geosynchronous orbit are beaming microwaves down to the island from 36 000 km above Earth. It s been the sub ect of many prev ous stud es and the stuff of sc -f for decades, but space-based so ar power cou d at ast become a rea ty�and w th n 25 years, accord ng to a proposal from researchers at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). The agency, wh ch eads the wor d n research on space-based so ar power systems, now has a technology road map that suggests a ser es of ground and orb ta demonstrat ons ead ng to the deve opment n the 2030s of a 1-gigawatt commercial system-about the same output as a typ ca nuc ear power p ant. [spectrum.ieee.org] » April 29 2014 - The return of tornado season with a vengeance has peop e ask ng aga n about a possible link to climate change. At the same t me, tanta z ng new pre m nary research f nds "some evidence to suggest that tornadoes are, in fact, getting stronger." [...] the ead sc ent st beh nd that research [thinkprogress.org] » April 29 2014 - The price of OPEC basket of twe ve crudes stood at 105.43 dollars a barrel on Monday, compared w th $105.37 the prev ous Fr day, accord ng to OPEC Secretar at ca cu at ons. The new OPEC Reference Basket of Crudes (ORB) s made up of the fo ow ng: Saharan B end (A ger a), G rasso (Ango a), Or ente (Ecuador), Iran Heavy (Is am c Repub c of Iran), Basra L ght (Iraq), Kuwa t Export (Kuwa t), Es S der (L bya), Bonny L ght (N ger a), Qatar Mar ne (Qatar), Arab L ght (Saud Arab a), Murban (UAE) and Merey (Venezue a) [opec] » April 29 2014 - Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak and European Union (EU) Commissioner for Energy Gunther Oettinger agreed to hold three-party talks over Russian natural gas supplies to Ukraine in early May, the Russ an Energy M n stry sa d Monday. The two off c a s agreed n a phone conversat on to ho d the ta ks on May 2 n the Po sh cap ta of Warsaw, the m n stry sa d n a statement. The Ukra n an author t es have yet to conf rm ts part c pat on n the meet ng a med to so ve the ast ng cr s s over K ev s debt for the Russ an gas supp es, accord ng to the m n stry. Ta ks schedu ed for ast Thursday n the S ovak an cap ta of Brat s ava between Ukra ne, Russ a, S ovak a and the European Comm ss on (EC) over the gas cr s s were ca ed off after Russ an and EC representat ves pu ed out [xinhuanet.com] » April 29 2014 - The government plans to support Ukraine and other Eastern European nations in the construction of next-generation coal-fired power plants that can generate power with less fuel, accord ng to nformed sources. Under the n t at ve, Japan wou d stand beh nd the nat ons efforts to use coa -abundant n Eastern Europe- nstead of natura gas, the supp y of wh ch makes them dependent on Russ a. The government s expected to announce the n t at ve at the meet ng of energy m n sters from Japan and other Group of Seven ndustr a zed nat ons to be held in Rome from May 5 [thejapannews.com] » April 29 2014 - Th s short film captures the key messages and debates emerg ng from the f rst Southern Africa Adaptation Colloquium, he d n November 2013 and co-convened by the Un vers ty of Cape Town s African Climate and Development Initiative (ACDI), the Cape Town Climate Change Think Tank (a partnersh p of the M stra Urban Futures programme), the Adaptation Network, SANBI, the National Implementing Entity for the Adaptation Fund, the National Research Foundation, and the Western Cape Government. The f m was produced to make ava ab e the d scuss ons to aud ences that weren t ab e to attend the Co oqu um - part cu ar y peop e work ng w th oca government n Afr can c t es - and to enab e the engagements and debates to be further bu t on and taken forward n future events. The f m addresses the fo ow ng quest ons: What is the adaptive challenge we are facing?; What are peop e and organ sat ons n southern Afr can do ng to face th s adapt ve cha enge - w th n government, the research commun ty, c v soc ety, the bus ness commun ty, and together?; Is th s enough? What next for climate adaptation in the region? [weadapt.org] » April 28 2014 - US. Significant retirements of nuclear and coal power plants in the United States could change the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted by the electric power sector. EIA s Annua Energy Out ook 2014 (AEO2014) features severa acce erated ret rements cases that represent cond t ons ead ng to add t ona coa and nuc ear p ant ret rements n order to exam ne the potent a energy market and em ss ons effects of the oss of th s capac ty. CO2 em ss ons are s gn f cant y reduced when compared to the Reference case n s de cases w th acce erated coa ret rements. CO2 em ss ons ncrease s ght y n the Acce erated Nuc ear Ret rements case. Natura gas and renewab es are the pr mary rep acements for ost capac ty n each scenar o. Coa (74%) and natura gas (24%) power p ants accounted for a most a of the CO2 em tted by the e ectr c power sector n 2012. Nuc ear power and renewab es do not em t CO2. The Acce erated Nuc ear Ret rements case pro ects CO2 em ss ons that are 4% h gher compared w th the Reference case n 2040. In th s s de case, natura gas-f red generat on s pro ected to be 13% h gher than n the Reference case. However, renewab es generat on n the Acce erated Nuc ear Ret rements case ncreases 5% re at ve to the Reference case, wh ch moderates the em ss ons mpact. Coa generat on does not d ffer s gn f cant y between the two cases [eia.gov] » April 28 2014 - The international oil business played down U.S. sanctions against the head of Russian energy giant Rosneft on Monday, with traders and global companies forecasting "business as usual". Igor Sech n h mse f responded to be ng pena zed for the Ukra ne po c es of h s fr end Pres dent V ad m r Put n w th sarcasm, ca ng t "an apprec at on of our eff c ency". The f rm wou d go on work ng w th fore gn partners. "So he cannot f y to dr nk w th U.S. energy execut ves," one sen or Russ an o trader shrugged after Rosneft shares ost 1.7 percent. "But otherw se bus ness w cont nue." Sanctions like the visa ban for the Rosneft CEO might, however, accelerate Russia s turn to business with China, the trader added: "So he changes from bourbon to Ts ngtao beer..." Sen or execut ves and traders at European energy compan es be eve the U.S. sanct ons do not app y to dea ng w th Rosneft tse f. Measures ast month aga nst the Russ an co-founder of o trader Gunvor d d not prevent dea ng w th the f rm tse f. One sen or trader for a European energy company said it was "business as usual" with Rosneft, wh e other ndustry sources sa d they had not been nstructed to stop dea ng w th Rosneft, wh ch exports more o than any other Russ an company. Rosneft became the largest publicly listed oil producer last year with a $55 billion acquisition of rival TNK-BP, though the Kremlin controls almost 70 percent of the shares [reuters.com] » April 28 2014 - There s a common fee ng that the ongoing Ukraine political crisis could negatively impact European energy supplies, and therefore worsen the post-2008 European econom c ma a se. This is somehow a false perception based on misinterpretations of recent trends in European energy markets, and s ead ng to m sca cu at ons of ex st ng and potent a r sks. Ukra ne certa n y p ays a centra ro e n trans t ng Russ an natura gas to Europe. In 2013, 86.1 billion cubic meters (bcm) or 52 percent of Russian gas sold to Europe and Turkey went through Ukraine s territory. K ev s a so an mportant c ent of Gazprom, purchas ng s gn f cant vo umes of Russ an gas. In 2013, the country has bought 27.7 b on cub c meters (bcm) of gas. The ssue of gas pr c ng and debt to Russ a s Gazprom has comp cated b atera energy re at ons between the two countr es. Th s fr ct on began years before the current po t ca cr s s. In 2009, there was a two-week ong nterrupt on of Russ an gas supp es, preceded by another supp y cr s s n 2006. Tens ons am dst the current po t ca cr s s and the nab ty of Ukra ne s nat ona gas company Naftogaz to pay ts b cou d ndeed potent a y ead to a temporary fu -sca e nterrupt on of gas supp es. But this is unlikely due to the complexity of economic links between Russia and Ukraine [naturalgaseurope] » April 28 2014 - There s consensus w th n the d scourse on climate finance that there s a key role for the public sector (and donor funds more specifically) in mobilising private investment in CCD. However, there has been m ted ana ys s about what spec f c ro e the pub c sector and pub c resources shou d p ay, part cu ar y n ght of recent f nd ngs on the mportance of domest c pr vate nvestment, and the current dom nat on of pub c nvestment n nternat ona f nance for CCD. This paper describes the findings from the very first application of a new methodology � in Uganda s energy sector - to support governments and deve opment partners that w sh to mob se pr vate f nance for c matecompat b e deve opment (CCD). App y ng th s methodo ogy nvo ves comp et ng three frameworks for any g ven country and sector (and subsectors) on: 1) re evant ncent ves, 2) sources of cap ta (current), and 3) nvestment trends (h stor c). P ot ng th s methodo ogy n Uganda s energy sector a owed us to make two d st nct sets of f nd ngs that are usefu for actors seek ng to mob se pr vate c mate f nance [odi.org.uk] » April 28 2014 - Dr. Matar A N yad , Under-Secretary of the U.A.E. Ministry of Energy, d scussed w th Hara d Wenger, Deputy Director of the Department of Regional Studies in the Department of Middle East and Asia at IMF, the country s policy in the diversification of energy sources and the most important efforts and initiatives taken in this area. Dur ng the meet ng, the two s des d scussed the U.A.E. raising oil productivity to 3.5 million barrels of crude by 2017 with plans to raise refining capacity to about 920,000 barrels per day by the end of the current year. A N yad a so d scussed rationalisation,energy efficiency and its importance in reducing consumption in the country without affecting economic growth, renewable energy projects in the U.A.E. and abroad, and their impact on the deployment of renewable energy applications in the region [wam, emirates news agency] » April 28 2014 - Equity and spectrum of mitigation commitments in the 2015 agreement. Norden report. To what extent and how can equ ty be operat ona zed n a spectrum of m t gat on comm tments? We approach th s quest on through academ c terature rev ew and ana ys s of Part es� subm ss ons and statements. We argue that a potent a y feas b e and construct ve way forward s a mutua recogn t on approach. Th s approach mp es that part es shou d accept a set or norms, and a range of nterpretat ons of these norms, as eg t mate. Part es shou d a so respect a pr nc p e of rec proc ty, wh ch means that any ( nterpretat on of a) pr nc p e of fa rness nvoked by onese f can eg t mate y be nvoked a so by others. We app y th s approach to the ssue of equ ty nd cators, and propose a non-coerc ve temp ate of nd cators approach, bu d ng on two cr t ca components: transparency and open, cr t ca rev ew of Part es� p edges and ust f cat ons thereof. [norden] » April 28 2014 - Designing new market based mechanisms, report. The 2015 agreement s approach ng fast and d scuss ons re ated to many of ts poss b e e ements are gett ng more and more focused. A new market-based mechan sm (NMM) and non-market-based approaches (NMA) mechan sms to enhance m t gat on act on and a framework for var ous approaches (FVA) to coord nate the d fferent mechan sms are be ng d scussed n the nternat ona c mate change negot at ons. However, deta ed ru es have not yet been agreed [climatepma] » April 28 2014 - Construct on of the Horgos metering station for Line C of the China-Central Asia gas pipelines has been comp eted and passed an appra sa by a qua ty nspect on watchdog. The stat on w be a hub connecting Line C and China s No.3 West-East gas pipeline. The stat on w be used to conduct meter ng, nspect on and sett ement of mported natura gas from centra As an countr es. The Line C pipeline starts from the border area between Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan and runs through Kazakhstan before reaching northwest China s Xinjiang with a length of 1,840 kilometers [xinhuanet.com] » April 28 2014 - The face of Australia s most northern city is changing. H gh rents, h gh-v s c oth ng and h gh-r se bu d ngs are now synonymous w th v ng n Darwin. It hasn t a ways been the case, though. Not so ong ago, th s now bust ng cap ta c ty was descr bed as a sma country town, on the edge of the coasta outback. But now, the strong demand for a cleaner source of energy in Asia is bringing great prosperity to the Northern Territory, through major liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects. LNG process ng p ants have become the preferred opt on for compan es want ng to se the r gas to customers who are ocated far from the actua gas f e d. By coo ng natura gas to be ow -160 degrees Ce s us nto a qu d from, process ng s gn f cant y reduces the vo ume requ red for transport [abc.net] » April 28 2014 - Dur ng the r three-day meet ng [ ast week], Japanese Pr me M n ster Sh nzo Abe aga n asked U.S. Pres dent Barack Obama to speed up exports of American natural gas to he p h s be eaguered and energy-poor economy. But the big energy revolution that could ride to Tokyo s rescue may not come on tankers from U.S. ports, but rather from deep underneath the sandy seabed off Japan s own shores. Methane hydrates, wh ch are chunky packets of ce that trap huge amounts of natura gas n the form of methane, are oom ng ever arger n Japan s p ans to meet ts needs for energy n the wake of the Fukush ma nuc ear d saster and skyrocket ng b s for mported fue . Other Asian countries facing an energy crunch, including South Korea, China, and India, are also hoping to tap into the apparently abundant reserves of methane hydrates, a so known as "f re ce." That cou d he p fue grow ng econom es - but t cou d a so fue further tens ons n reg ona seas that are a ready the stage for geopo t ca saber ratt ng and br nkmansh p over natura resources [foreignpolicy.com] » April 25 2014 - The price for the U.S. crude oil benchmark has moved closer to $102 per barrel n trad ng n part because of renewed concerns over Libya, once one of North Afr ca s top exporters. On concerns L bya has not yet broken rebe s gr p on o export term na s, West Texas Intermed ate was trad ng at $101.40 per barre , wh e the pr ce for Brent moved at $109.10. Though U.S. crude o eve s may prov de some re ef to market worr es, the protracted