Daily Archives: August 25, 2009

Carola Hoyos

On FT Energy Source:

The farewell to the UK’s dirty power plants comes at a price

US refiners to be hit hard by climate change bill

International energy companies plan for global shale play


Further reading:

Oil prices to average $73 a barrel in 2010 (Reuters)

Venture admits defeat in battle to ward off Centrica (FT)

Daewoo-led group to invest $5.6bn in Myanmar gas (Reuters)

Iraq offers service contracts for 10 groups of oil and gas fields (DJ via WSJ)

China outshines US in solar (NYT)

Carola Hoyos

Many of the UK’s eight old, dirty power plants that signed their death warrant last year by opting out of the EU’s Large Combustion Plant Directive may not survive until their expiry date of 2015, say analysts at Inenco.

The plants (Grain, Ironbridge, Kingsnorth, Didcot, Fawley, Littlebrook, Tilbury and Cockenzie) were all given a maximum of 20,000 hours of life in return for their escaping the expensive facelifts that are making other plants less polluting. The idea was that this amount would let the ‘opt-out’ group live another seven years. But four of them have already used up 6000-8000 of their hours, suggestion they may find eternal rest far sooner. There was a flurry of stories on possible shortages last summer.

The concerns, coupled with price spikes in the wholesale electricity market, arose when the ‘opt out’ plants were doing double time to fill in the supply gap left by those power plants being taken offline while they were busy being upgraded into environmentally friendlier versions of themselves. Unforeseen outages added to the problems.

Since then the story has not been less hot because supply has been steady and the economic downturn has eaten away demand. But it would be a mistake to get complacent now.

Sheila McNulty

A new study by EnSys Energy on the impact of the Waxman-Markey bill on US refiners underlines how hard it is going to be to reduce global warming. That is not the point of the study. The study by the global consulting firm homed in on the fact that investment in US refining capacity could plummet if the bill becomes law because the cost of doing business could soar:

Production at US refineries would drop while production at refineries in countries that do not limit their own greenhouse gas emissions would rise. The impact on global refinery greenhouse gas emissions would be minor as reductions in US emissions mostly would be offset by increases in emissions in other countries.

Not to mention that more emissions would be incurred in importing the foreign-refined products into the US. According to the EnSys study, which was commissioned by the American Petroleum Institute, the industry’s national trade organization, the US would need to increase its imports of petroleum fuels in order to meet as much as nearly one-fifth of US refined product demand in 2030 if the House climate bill becomes law – double what imports would otherwise have been.

James Fontanella-Khan

Asia hits back on climate change
India and China say West has ‘talked but not done much’ (FT)

US refining may drop by a quarter on climate bill, API says
Climate bill may cause greater dependence on fuel imports (Bloomberg)

Iraq showcases oil fields for next slate of auctions
Country hopes to attract international companies (WSJ)

‘Peak Oil’ is a waste of energy
Theory of geological scarcity closer to myth (NYT)

Centrica secures control of Venture
Utility group takes 58.7 per cent share (FT)

Petrofac rides out falling oil prices
Turnover comes from engineering and construction to oil industry (FT)

Nippon Oil, Iraq agree on Nassiriya oil field
Biggest stumbling block on financing cleared (Reuters)

Crude oil and gas prices take divergent paths
Prices jumped to widest since early 1990 (FT)

Dutch Vopak bulks up ethanol storage as imports fall
Eight new tanks commissioned at Rotterdam port (Argus)

Climate activists target London institutions
Protesters set for week-long annual “Climate Camp” in London (FT)

Fear of CFTC regulations forces changes
Impending limits on energy trading sends tremors (FT)

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