Daily Archives: April 29, 2009

Kate Mackenzie

Why, in these recession-bound times, are companies reluctant to invest in making their buildings more energy efficient? It is after all one way of reducing carbon emissions that is often described as having a ‘negative cost’ – in otherwords, it saves money.

The Peterson Institute has outlined a new report on building efficiency, how much it could cost and why it does not receive the investment it appears to deserve. Read more

By Izabella Kaminska

Shell follows BP in reporting significant declines in yearly profits, but a better-than-expected performance in the quarter:


* Royal Dutch Shell’s first quarter 2009 earnings, on a current cost of     supplies (CCS) basis, were $3.3 billion compared to $7.8 billion a year  ago. Basic CCS earnings per share decreased by 57% versus the same quarter  a year ago.

* Cash flow from operating activities for the first quarter 2009 was $7.6     billion. Net capital investment for the quarter was $6.9 billion. Total     cash returned to shareholders in the form of dividends was $2.4 billion.

* A first quarter 2009 dividend has been announced of $0.42 per share, an     increase of 5% over the US dollar dividend for the same period in 2008.

And the headline on the results from the financial press is that all things considered, both BP and Shell have put in a good run. Of course, the headline comparatives used by different media vary. Bloomberg, for example always opts to focus on the net income figure while Reuters leads with the industry’s preferred measure, profits adjusted for current cost of supply in Shell’s case. Read more

Kate Mackenzie

On Energy Source:

Climate talks: What China, India and Brazil want Contrary to some reports, big developing nations are willing to negotiate curbs Read more

Fiona Harvey

The Major Economies Forum on Energy Security and Climate Change took place in Washington DC on Monday and Tuesday of this week, at which 17 of the world’s biggest emitters, including many developing countries, tried to make progress on forging a successor to the Kyoto protocol, which the United Nations says must be complete by the end of this year.

Breakthroughs were not expected to come out of this forum, which is a rebranding of a Bush initiative, the Major Economies Meeting and takes place outside the auspices of the UN. The Major Economies Forum is expected to yield more substantive results at its next meeting in July. So what did come out of this week’s meeting? Read more

Kate Mackenzie

Updated: Yesterday BP reported net profits were down 62 per cent, and today it is Shell’s turn to count the cost of lower oil prices with its first quarter profits down 58 per cent year-on-year.

And Peter Voser, who will take over as chief executive in July, is less optimistic than some commentators about the oil price outlook, saying he did not expect it to rise significantly in the next 12 to 18 months. “It will take time for the economy to recover, and hence the oil and gas price will be affected by that,” he told journalists on a conference call. Read more

Fiona Harvey

A new report suggests that the Chinese economy could grow tenfold by 2050 while keeping the country’s greenhouse gas emissions within manageable limits.

The report, from the Tyndall Centre, found that through a programme of low-carbon investment, China could cause its emissions to peak in 2020. If that could be achieved, the world’s chances of keeping warming to 2°C – the limits of safety – would be greatly improved.

But getting to the point where China’s emissions growth can be reversed by 2020 will be extremely tough. It must start now, the researchers said. Read more

- BP’s 62% profit drop sets tone for big oil
Company promises more cost cuts to strengthen finances (FT)

- BP chief executive Tony Hayward tries to keep it simple
Downward press on costs is ongoing, but not at cost of growth (FT) Read more