Daily Archives: May 21, 2009

Kate Mackenzie

Congressional Quarterly says the US oil industry is increasing spending on political lobbying while others are pulling back: the sector spent $37.3m in the first three months of the year, which is 52 per cent higher than the average of each quarter in 2008 (year-on-year figures are not given).

With a new administration resolved to shake up the country’s energy landscape, it’s not surprising that oil lobbying spending is surging. Read more

Kate Mackenzie

If news of twittering Libor isn’t enough for one day, Shell plans to publish hurricane updates on Twitter, during the storm season, which begins in a fortnight. They only have 30 followers at the time of writing; but admittedly there’s not much to say on the subject yet. In fact, very little.

Most of the oil majors tend to be a little on the conservative side when it comes to social media, but Shell is after all the oil major that has dipped a toe in the water with blogging (it tends avoids the subject of Shell itself, but still) and allowed their chief executive to be harangued by George Monbiot on videoRead more

Kate Mackenzie

On Energy Source:

Voluntary carbon markets double in size, but ‘buyer beware’ still holds true
Fewer ‘carbon cowboys’ as more credits are verified Read more

The voluntary carbon offset market doubled in size between 2007 and 2008 to $750m, according to a report (PDF) from New Carbon Finance and Ecosystems Marketplace, confirms that 123 million tonnes of carbon credits were bought and sold last year around the world. This is more than double the 2007 figures, of 65 million tonnes, worth $331 million. The average price for voluntary offset credits rose 20% to $7.34/tCO2 equivalent.

This is good news, of sorts. But the voluntary market is by far the smallest part of the carbon markets; in contrast the EU emissions trading scheme was worth $95bn in 2008. And, as the FT has previously reported, the voluntary market is the least well regulated, with offsets of very variable quality being sold in the past. Read more

Kate Mackenzie

Sources have confirmed that Chinalco plans to restructure its proposed investment in Rio Tinto to overcome regulatory – and more, importantly, political – hurdles to the $19.5bn deal.

The Chinese miner is prepared to limit its investment to 15 per cent rather than 18 per cent. However: Read more

Nymex July West Texas Intermediate fell $1.48 to $60.56 a barrel after reaching a six-month high of $62.26 in the previous session.

ICE July Brent lost $1.33 at $59.26 a barrel.

Harry Tchilinguirian, senior oil analyst at BNP Paribas, said that it was “remarkable” that under current economic conditions and faced with high levels of crude oil inventories that oil prices had returned to $60 a barrel.

BNP noted that $60 a barrel was a level crossed in 2007 when the world economy was growing at around 5 per cent, spare production capacity in Opec countries had dwindled to just above 2m barrels a day and constraints in non-Opec supplies were emerging.

“With the exception of non Opec supply, none of those conditions apply this year, and yet we are at $60 a barrel.” Read more

Kate Mackenzie

Should information the only currency in the debate over climate change, or is savvy marketing and emotive language more important?

Yale University this week published a survey on beliefs and attitudes to climate change. Researchers ‘segmented’ the respondents, in much the same way as marketers segment their target markets. They divided them into six groups:

 Read more

- Barroso uses US to press China on green issues
European Commission president urges fresh concessions (FT)

- US backs United Arab Emirates nuclear bill
US to share nuclear technology (WSJ) Read more