Daily Archives: August 3, 2009

Kate Mackenzie

Has the IEA dramatically changed its oil production forecasts?

Nissan’s Leaf and the cash-for-clunkers effect

Behind the nuclear resurgence

Another source of woe for oil majors

Increase your energy efficiency: Wear a safari suit

Further reading:

Shell’s plans to build floating natural gas plants (The Times)

A study exonnerating speculators (SeekingAlpha)

Aramco hands out seismic bounty: new oil and gas exploration contracts (UpstreamOnline)

Security fears raised over smart meters (Technology Review)

So far it’s quiet for US hurricane season… (Scarce Whales)

Iran woos China for oil, gas cash (The National)

Kate Mackenzie

‘Warning: Oil supplies are running out fast‘ ran The Independent’s front page today. The story cites an interview with IEA chief economist Fatih Birol about a looming ‘catastrophic energy crunch’.

Much of the interview covers fairly familiar ground. Birol has warned about the fall in investment in future supply since the IEA’s 2008 World Energy Outlook in November, although the agency toned down its concerns down in June’s medium-term outlook. The estimates for the rate of production decline were also discussed last November.

The main new line is:

“…Dr Birol said that the public and many governments appeared to be oblivious to the fact that the oil on which modern civilisation depends is running out far faster than previously predicted and that global production is likely to peak in about 10 years – at least a decade earlier than most governments had estimated.

So, is the IEA now saying global production will peak well before 2030? This would be quite a turnround.

Kate Mackenzie

Italy’s utility Enel and Electricité de France  have formally announced their joint venture to look at building four new nuclear plants in Italy, more than two decades after the country voted against new nuclear power:

The new venture, known as Sviluppo Nucleare Italia, will be based in Rome and follows the signing of an agreement between the heads of government of the two countries in February to restart nuclear power production in Italy.

Fulvio Conti, Enel’s chief executive, said the venture “lays the ground for a concrete comeback of the nuclear [industry] in Italy”.

Kate Mackenzie

Are Nissan’s new electric car and Ford’s figures on how the “cash-for-clunkers” scheme has affected its US sales signs of the changing car market?

Nissan showed off its new mass-market electric car, the Leaf, in Yokohama with much fanfare (that picture on the left has Carlos Ghosn, the head of the Renault-Nissan alliance, in the drivers’ seat and former Japanese prime minister Junichiro Koizumi beside him).

But capturing the audience it seeks is mainly about price, which the company has firmly in its sights:

Nissan has not set a price for the Leaf but said on Sunday its cost would be “competitive” with “well-equipped” petrol-powered cars in the same class. The price will not include the battery, however, which drivers will lease separately from the carmaker.

For pure electric cars, batteries are a major cost – Ghosn stressed that the Leaf will cost the same to buy and run as an equivalent petrol-fuelled car, but the company is planning to achieve this in part by leasing out the $10,000 batteries.

James Fontanella-Khan

Oil trades near one-month high on speculation demand to recover
Oil may rise to $80 a barrel by the end of the year (Bloomberg)

India rejects emissions cuts for a decade
New Delhi stays tough ahead of global talks (FT)

Cash squeeze hits oil industry
Italian oil company becomes first to cut its dividend (FT)

Bitter cost of replacing oil reserves
Oil majors have struggled to replace crude-oil and natural-gas reserves (WSJ)

China plans to keep current fuel-pricing system, government says
Fuel pricing mechanism has helped ensure supplies (Bloomberg)

New Suncor likely to pump up investor attention
Canada’s top oil firm expected to be a must-have stock (Reuters)

Wind industry body deals Vestas blow
Industry’s own association admits plant should be closed (FT)

China and India probe Himalayan glaciers
Glaciers are crucial to both countries’ water supply (FT)

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