Daily Archives: March 26, 2009

Ed Crooks

HSBC has an interesting research note out today on gas to liquid and coal to liquid fuels, lumping them together under the branding of “clean diesel”. (Which is accurate so long as you don’t worry about the horrendous CO2 emissions from CTL. GTL is actually a little better than conventional crude refining.)

The argument is that, although the immediate outlook is not so great, longer-term the “XTL” (where X=gas, coal or biomass) have a great future

Carola Hoyos

Today Verenex executives received a jolt of confidence that they will get what they hoped for: Libya to buy all of the company they founded in 2004, not just its Libyan assets.

After several hints, Shokri Ghanem, Libya’s oil minister, told Reuters his intentions to buy all Verenex shares, thus scuppering CNPC’s near C$500m offer for Verenex by exercising his pre-emption rights.

After opening its data rooms last autum, Verenex Energy in February said China National Petroleum Corp. had agreed to buy the company for Canadian $10 a share, a 28 per cent premium. Mr Ghanem is offering the same terms to knock China’s latest attempt to secure reliable future oil supplies.

Ed Crooks

On Energy Source:

PetroChina’s lessons for investors in China

What price North Sea assets?

And finally, a sad decline for a former energy secretary


The five-year oil price outlook: project delays, rising US taxation and low prices will cut oil supply, meaning sharply higher prices when demand recovers. So get ready for oil at $150 or more. “I think the historical cyclicality of the oil industry will disappear. In early 2008 I thought we had reached that point, but it appears that we had at least one more cycle ahead,” writes Robert Rapier (The Oil Drum)

Ed Crooks

One number leaps out from the PetroChina results released on Wednesday: the Rmb83bn (about $12bn) loss in its refining business. That loss, created when PetroChina was caught between the rock of soaring crude prices and the hard place of China’s regulated fuel market, meant that the group’s net income fell 22 per cent: the first annual decline for the company since 2001, in a year when Western competitors such as Exxon and BP were recording record profits. The figures are a vivid reminder of the difficulties of investing in China.

Ed Crooks

How much are North Sea oil and gas assets worth? Anything from $5 to $22 per barrel, according to the estimates flying around today in the wake of Premier Oil’s acquisition of Oilexco’s North Sea business.
With a new round of consolidation in the region now under way, and some analysts suggesting that half the companies now operating in the North Sea could disappear, the question is of more than academic interest.

Carola Hoyos

What a fall it has been for the former US energy secretary dogged by scandal that eventually forced him to pull out of the confirmation process to be Barak Obama’s commerce secretary. A story on the homepage of the New York Times reports he has been reduced to taking a soup handout from Michelle Obama (and he lied about his age).

Scroll to the final two paragraphs and click the homeless man’s name.


Energy news from elsewhere:

- Obama administration revives tax battle with oil industry (WSJ)

- PetroChina president sheds light on China’s fuel pricing rules (Reuters)

- US House budget panel to exclude cap-and-trade revenue from plan (Platts)

- Sellers appear resigned to wait for uranium price uplift (Platts)

- Head of Sempra/RBS commodities joint venture quits (Bloomberg)

- Total cutting Texas refinery output as demand weakens (Bloomberg)

- Oil heading for $57 a barrel after breaking ‘cloud’, Barclays says (Bloomberg)

Energy news from the FT:

- Australian regulator clears Chinalco stake in Rio
Deal still needs Canberra’s approval

- UK businesses warn on end of green tax break
Executives call for extending break for ‘combined heat and power’ plants

- ENRC to use $2bn for acquisitions
Kazakh miner to target global expansion

- Lex: PetroChina may be a fast-growing pretender, but don’t underestimate it yet

- View of the Day: Oil as an index for stocks

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