Daily Archives: February 12, 2009

Kate Mackenzie

Or, more to the point: will BP feel differently about Paul Skinner, chairman of Rio who is believed to be the frontrunner for the BHP chairmanship, after the Rio/Chinalco plan drew  criticism from investors and commentators?

Skinner explicitly supports the agreement for a $19.5bn injection from Chinalco. Last week he agreed to remain at Rio until mid-2009 after Corus Jim Leng quit as chairman-designate of Rio – because he did not support Chinalco plan but preferred a rights issue. So where does that leave Skinner’s BP prospects?

To recap:

February 3: No word from BP about its ongoing search for a chairman, is Paul Skinner still waiting by the phone?

February 6: Charles Goodyear, the former BHP Billiton chief executive who was seen as a possible successor to Peter Sutherland at BP, instead joined Singapore’s Temasek in a surprise move.

February 8: Jim Leng, chairman of steelmaker Corus, decides against becoming Rio chairman just a month after joining the miner’s board, after a split over strategy. He favoured a rights issue while Tom Albanese, Rio chief executive, instead preferred the cash injection from Chinalco agreed just a few days late.

Kate Mackenzie

Total managed to beat estimates in Q4, although profits were of course lower:

France’s biggest company by market value said underlying net profit — which strips out one-off items and unrealised gains or losses related to changes in the value of inventories — was 2.873 billion euros ($3.71 billion). (Reuters)

Despite falling oil prices, it said project investment this year would be about $18bn, compared to $19bn in 2008, echoing the line taken by BP and Shell that continued investment is essential to avoid a shortfall. “”A worst case scenario would be that crude prices rebound too fast before the crisis ends,” chief executive Christophe de Margerie was quoted in Reuters as saying.

He also defended the $500m bid for UTS, which UTS management have rejected.

Full statement, and more coming soon on FT.com

Update: Platts reported CEO Christophe de Margerie as saying Total projects “can benefit from a reduction in costs” and that there could be “a discrepancy in the timing of six months, maybe longer” on the Jubail project, where it is working with Saudi Aramco on a 400,000 b/d refinery.

Kate Mackenzie

Home wind turbines suffer another blow – as if George Monbiot wasn’t enough. CNet story, full study by Encraft: Warwick Wind Trials.

Home wind turbines #2: Despite this, a 22-year-old kid from Oklahoma has built his own wind generator, and shows how you can, too

High speed rail Why does spending on high speed rail make up only 0.3% of the US stimulus package, asks Environmental Capital? Gregor has strong views on this issue.

Mystery wind turbine damage – turns out it was NOT caused by UFOs

Iraq‘s oil industry fights to grease oil production skids

Contango’s cost to ETF investors – the message is worth repeating (see also FT Alphaville’s explanation)

Solar:Biggest deal ever‘ announced between Brightsource and Southern California Edison – more than 1,300 megawatts and expected to provide enough power for 845,000 home.

An out-and-out rumour that Buffett is eyeing Nexen

Algae: Can it save the world, again?

Ethanol, once seen as a saviour, is now struggling

- Shell unveils its own plans for Gladstone CSG-to-LNG plant (Platts)

- PetroChina’s biggest refinery increased fuel exports in January (Bloomberg)

- Japex drops in Tokyo on profit outlook and Nomura rating (Bloomberg)

- Indonesia sets 2009 domestic coal allocation (Reuters)

Energy news from the FT:

- Rio Tinto to get $19bn cash injection from China
Chinalco to take stakes in nine mining assets

- Lord Stern calls for embrace of green energy
Climate economist urges governments to increase spending

- China’s oil consumption set to stagnate
IEA forecasts slowest rate this decade

- WTI contract gets a damning verdict
Pricing benchmark criticised as “misleading”

- 50,000 offshore workers’ jobs in jeopardy
UK industry group warns jobs could be lost in two years

Energy Source is no longer updated but it remains open as an archive.

Insight into the financial, economic and policy aspects of energy and the environment.

Read our farewell note

About the blog


Mar »February 2009