Daily Archives: February 11, 2009

Kate Mackenzie

Raymond James analyst Bart Jaworski notes some signs that suggest uranium may be close to bottoming, after news that Lehman Brothers has sold 450,000 pounds of U3O8 with a floor price of $46 a pound compared to uranium’s current spot price of $47.

Uranium spot prices today are about $50 compared to a high of $140 in spring of 2007. Read more

Kate Mackenzie

After mounting speculation over the past few days, the FT is reporting that Rio Tinto will address its large debt with an injection from Chinalco.

The deal comes days after Jim Leng, chairman of UK steelmaker Corus, quit Rio’s board just a month after he joined as a director and was nominated to succeed the outgoing chairman, and The Australian says the deal could raise yet more challenges for Rio’s management and strategy. Read more

Kate Mackenzie

A blog we’ve never heard of raises the enticing idea that there might be more to Google’s PowerMeter software than the ‘Analyze, Save, and Share’ that it is touting. Could it be that Google is considering “crowdsourcing energy”, as more householders install solar cells and are able to put power into the grid.

Admittedly the project is from Google’s philanthropic arm, but the announcement about PowerMeter – software which “will show consumers their home energy information almost in real time” – came just a day or so after Amory B. Lovin’s guest post on Freakonomics advancing that big, centralised power stations have had their day. Lovin writes: Read more

Executives from the UK’s ‘Big Six’ energy suppliers on Wednesday faced a grilling from MPs on the House of Commons energy and climate change select committee. While not quite as dramatic as yesterday’s parliamentary inquiry appearance by UK banking chiefs, the MPs on the committee had plenty of tough questions for the energy companies, ranging from what could be done to stop the rise in fuel poverty to what was holding up the roll out of smart meters.

They asked why, when wholesale gas prices have been falling in the UK for months, only two energy suppliers have so far announced reductions in bills and few customers have yet felt any benefit. One MP accused the energy companies of “squirrelling away profits” and pointed to widespread public support for the idea of a windfall tax on energy company profits. Read more

Kate Mackenzie

Yale and George Mason University researchers have published a survey of 2,164 adult Americans which suggests great enthusiasm for saving energy. Some interesting points:

- Roughly half of respondents said they had already made energy-saving improvements to their home Read more

Kate Mackenzie

Much of the focus yesterday at CERAWeek in Houston was on maintaining investment even while today’s low oil prices make it unattractive. Shell and BP both made clear in their recent Q4 results that they planned to maintain investment levels, and BP chief Tony Hayward called on the rest of the industry to do the same, saying “The world economy will recover. The future is not cancelled.”

Jeroem van der Veer, quoted in the Houston ChronicleRead more

Kate Mackenzie

The “refiners’ diet” according to CERA – the CERA vs peak oilists’ debate (partly) explained (Platts)

Mercedes interested in testing the market for a natural gas car in US – (CNet) Read more

James Fontanella-Khan

- Crude rises as stimulus package may lead to fuel demand gain  (Bloomberg)

- ArcelorMittal sees weak first quarter, cuts dividend (ReutersRead more

James Fontanella-Khan

Energy news from the FT:

Gazprom to cut costs and production
Russian group plans to reduce foreign borrowing Read more