Daily Archives: June 23, 2009

Kate Mackenzie

The Congressional Budget Office’s new analysis of the cost of the Waxman-Markey bill has been widely welcomed by those who support the proposal, who are hoping it will damp down claims that it would cost thousands of dollars per year to most households.

In short, it estimates a net cost of $175 a year per household in 2020; the wealthiest two quintiles $245 and $340 per year, and the poorest quintile could even see a net saving from the the measures in the act.

However, estimating the effect of such a complex piece of legislation isn’t easy, and are several caveats: the study did not excluded several elements of the regime that are difficult to predict, such as how costs to government would be distributed and how subsidies for carbon capture and storage might be allocated. Read more

Carola Hoyos

There is clearly much enthusiasm about Iraq’s impending oil contract bidding round. After all, it marks the first time since nationalisation that international oil companies will be able to return to Iraq’s massive oil reserves. For Iraq, boosting the production of its oil – or at least making sure it does not decline – is the single most important thing the country can do to ensure its financial future. And so far, Iraq’s national oil company has shown that it can’t do it by itself.

But the bid opening ceremony in Baghdad on Monday and Tuesday is far from a guaranteed celebration.

On the Iraqi side, Hussain Shahristani – the oil minister, the architect of the bidding round and the host of the party – today got a grilling from party-pooper parliamentarians who believe – or at least, believe it is politically expedient to say – that handing off the development of Iraq’s most precious resources to foreigners automatically means the country and its people are getting a raw deal. Read more

Fiona Harvey

If you were looking for any further clues that the burgeoning green tech industry might be a little bit like the dotcom boom, look no further.

Remember First Tuesday, where dotcommers would gather hopefully to fascinate willing bankers and captivate venture capitalists? Read more

Kate Mackenzie

Some interesting lines out of the EU-Opec meeting in Vienna today, although the annual meeting is usually a relatively staid affair. The EU’s energy commissioner, Andris Piebalgs, says $70 oil is tolerable for the fragile world economy. He’s possibly the first western official to name a price:

From Reuters: Read more

Ed Crooks

Royal Dutch Shell has caused some excitement with reports of a “huge” gas discovery off the coast of Norway.

The truth is, the field may be pretty big, but even if the most optimistic estimates are right, it will not come close to the top of the list of the world’s biggest gas fields. Read more

Kate Mackenzie

On FT Energy Source:

The recovery bites back Read more

Kate Mackenzie

BP looks to be moving further away from its involvement in the biodiesel crop jatropha. Its joint venture into jatropha planting with D1 Oils, a UK company which has interests in a quarter of the world’s jatropha crops, is set to be diminished as the two companies failed to find new investors in the project.

The move will not come as a huge surprise to anyone who has followed BP’s recent moves in renewables. The two companies agreed to rein in the expansion plans of the D1-BP Fuel Crops planting joint venture earlier this year, and D1 sought an outside investor in the project. But today D1 told markets there was “an insufficient level of interest from potential investors”. Read more

Carola Hoyos

If ever there was a case study of the tribulations inherent in dealing with a national oil company run by a meddling government, Verenex’s experience with the National Oil Company of Libya (Noc) is it.

In a recent statement Verenex threatened arbitration, name-dropped the Canadian government as its ally and ‘vigorously denied’ allegations thrown at it by Libya.

The trouble began when CNPC, the Chinese state-owned oil company, decided to buy Verenex, a small Canadian oil company whose raisons d’etre are its oil exploration assets in Libya’s Ghadames basin. Read more

Kate Mackenzie

A Hong Kong-based company has made a $3.4bn acquisition of what is believed to be China’s biggest supplier of polysilicon for solar panels, and the key figure involved in the deal is counting on more government incentives for solar.

China has earmarked 350m RMB for green projects in its stimulus package, but details on exactly how much will go on truly green projects are difficult to pin down. China’s support for solar has so far been fairly limited; subsidies introduced in March only covered rooftop installations, and reports earlier this month of Chinese government introducing feed-in tariffs apparently only concerned one 10MW plantRead more

Kate Mackenzie

Doubts about a global economic recovery have pushed oil down, along with just about everything else.

As numerous commentators have pointed out, news from Iran and of more attacks on facilities in Nigeria failed to stop a slide in oil prices in the past week. Read more