Daily Archives: June 22, 2009

Kate Mackenzie

What motivates companies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other environmentally damaging activities, when it sometimes incurs an extra cost? Environmental groups often accuse companies of cynical ‘greenwashing’ in their environmental campaigns, and it’s true that large companies will go to some lengths to reduce accusations that they contribute to environmental damage, even if their responses don’t go much further than new marketing campaigns. However it’s increasingly also motivated by keeping shareholders happy, as well as the public.

‘Socially responsible investing’ has been around for years now, but shareholders seeking information about a company’s assessments of its impact on the environment are not always solely motivated by altruism: concerns about the bottom line impact are also growing. Read more

Ed Crooks

Reports that ExxonMobil is close to signing deals with three more customers for its PNG LNG project in Papua New Guinea mean that the project is now very likely to be approved in a final investment decision before the end of the year.

The deals, with two Japanese and one Taiwanese customers, if signed along with another planned contract with China, would account for the whole planned output of 6.3m tonnes per year from the project’s first two trains, as the liquefaction production lines are known. There is already talk of a third train.

PNG LNG is due on stream late 2013 to early 2014. By then, it could be joined by a second or third train at Woodside’s Pluto project on Australia’s north-west shelf. The first phase of Pluto is already well under way, and due on stream by the end of 2010. Read more

Kate Mackenzie

James Hamilton, economist/blogger and author of probably the most comprehensive study on how energy prices can precipitate economic downturns, posts this chart of consumer sentiment (solid line) against how many miles can be driven per dollar spent – ie, a rough approximation of the gasoline price (dotted line):

 Read more

Kate Mackenzie

Peak flow rates, not peak oil?

Interest grows in Ghana, and in small oil Read more

Kate Mackenzie

Count NYU economist Nouriel Roubini among those warning that oil could ruin chances of an economic recovery. Roubini, aka Dr Doom, said at a conference in Paris today:

“You see the worry of a double whammy, that by next year oil is towards a hundred (U.S. dollars per barrel), the budget deficits are not controlled … that could tip the global economy into another kind of relapse.” Read more

Oil slipped back below $70 a barrel as a firmer dollar lessened crude’s lustre for investors using other currencies.

A new wave of attacks on oil installations in Nigeria, Africa’s largest exporter, and continued political unrest in Iran failed to anchor prices. Read more

Kate Mackenzie

The US airline industry has written to Barack Obama arguing that the oil prices should be more heavily regulated:

“A repeat of last summer’s astronomical crude-oil prices will bring the nation’s economic recovery to a painful halt,” said Glenn Tilton, chairman of the Air Transport Association (ATA), in a June 11 letter to President Barack Obama. Tilton is also chief executive of United Airlines parent UAL Corp. Read more

Kate Mackenzie

UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown has little to be happy about these days and rising oil prices, it seems, are  also weighing hard. The Observer reported on Sunday that Brown asked top ministers at the Treasury and the Department of Business to draw up plans responding to both a high oil price and restrained bank lending.

It also has the UK government considering proposing a new role for the IMF in monitoring oil prices. Read more

- Xstrata in talks with Anglo American
Move could trigger another wave of mining consolidation (FT)

- Barroso races to avert energy supply crisis
Will aim to prevent Russian-Ukrainian gas dispute (FT) Read more