On Energy Source this week:
- At last, some real green jobs
- Those Chinese resources deals? Expect more of that
- Nothing bullish in crude just now
- Tar sands and peak oil in 1930
- Russia’s change of heart towards foreign oil companies
- L’energy efficiency? Peut etre
- Those ‘mad scientist’ climate schemes might start looking more conventional
- Carbon capture and storage not so bad, says Harvard
- About those North Sea tax receipts
- Soon, Exxon won’t have that pesky disrepancy in its reserve figures
- Exxon and algae: Why not?
Note: Due to a publishing problem, this post and the previous one were delayed
The natural gas glut is not going anywhere. The gas-oil correlation has wilted, natural gas BTUs in the US cost about a third of oil BTUs, and the EIA estimates this week counted another rise in storage to 2.952 Tcf.
Stephen Schork pointed out that while the year-on-year surplus in the producing area had been narrowing and would continue to do so through August, last summer’s production was book-ended by shut-ins. If the storm activity that ended last season didn’t materialise, historical storage highs could be reached later this year:
The Gulf Coast is currently afloat on a cushion of gas, 1,043 Bcf. For instance, supplies are now 6% or 60 Bcf above the end-of-season (mid November) 5-year interpolated norm and within 3% of the all-time high, 1,073 Bcf. Injections need only average 16% of the 5-year average between now and November to hit this high.
Of all energy policy, anything affecting how much people pay to drive ranks among the most politically sensitive. Just ask Steven Chu, who admitted raising US petrol taxes was not politically feasible, despite his belief that such a move would reduce carbon emissions and energy dependency.
Despite this, politicians in both the UK and the US spoke have spoken this week about different approaches to raising revenue for roads and changing driving behaviours. While some innovative ideas were suggested, it also serves to underline just how what a difficult area this is. Never mind getting popular support for changing or reducing vehicle use; even getting drivers to pay for roads is difficult enough.
The BBC was this morning led with the MPs’ cross-party transport committee, which said the whole concept of environmental taxes had been “damaged” by the handling of a proposed rise in vehicle excise for the highest polluting cars.
Crude oil prices rose on Friday while gold held above the $950 mark and concerns about supply problems continued to support sugar prices as commodity markets headed for a strong finish to the trading week.
In energy markets, Nymex September West Texas Intermediate rose 5 cents to $67.22 a barrel. Weak US demand conditions, apparent in the weekly inventories data that were released on Wednesday, weighed on WTI, which traded at a substantial discount of more than $2.20 to Brent.
Those debates about technological advances and resources go a long, long way back. From the News from 1930 blog:
22 July, 1930:
Pennsylvania oil producers agree to cut oil production 30%. “This makes strange reading for very old-timers recall that as far back as 50 years or more ago the majority believed the oil reserves of Western Pennsylvania would be exhausted in a few years.”
Meanwhile, a month earlier, in Canada:
Canadian government announces a program to develop the Alberta tar sands. Applicants must have the rights to a promising process for mining the oil sands. After receiving a permit experimental work must begin within 60 days and at least $15,000 must be spent within the first year.
India widens climate rift with west
A split between rich and poor nations ahead of climate talks (FT)
India’s lack of rain drives up sugar prices
Global sugar market is on course for a supply deficit (FT)
Shell remains committed to Nigeria despite challenges
Oil giant is not about to be forced out (Platts)
Ecuador signs contract to export oil to China
Andean country to receive $1bn advance (Reuters)
ONGC net tops estimates on lower discount to refiners
India’s biggest energy explorer profits hit $1bn (Bloomberg)