A PS to the approval for the giant Gorgon gas field in Australia on Wednesday: the decision was made by Peter Garrett, the country’s environment minister, who will be better known to readers of a certain age as the (former) lead singer of Midnight Oil.
Even as a minister, Mr Garrett cuts an imposing figure; as a rock star, he was extraordinary (you can get a sense of him on YouTube.)
Gazprom’s profits were battered by plunging gas sales to the European Union and Ukraine in the first three months of the year, it has reported in its latest results under international accounting standards.
A 62 per cent drop in profits to Rbs110bn (about $3.5bn, at today’s exchange rate), reflects steep falls in gas export volumes, which were down 31 per cent to the EU, and 61 per cent to the former Soviet Union countries, including Ukraine. The economic downturn, which has hit demand for gas, particularly from industrial users, in Europe and around the world, was part of the reason; supply disruptions caused by the interruption of flows to Ukraine during the pricing dispute in January were another.
However, there were also some more positive signs in the figures.
Koreans plan gas pipeline to China
Burma coast to be linked to Yunnan (FT)
China racing ahead of US in the drive to go solar
Chinese companies have already pushed down price of solar panels (NYT)
Cost of green homes proves punitive
Future of green building in Britain hampered by recession (FT)
Australia approves $42bn Gorgon LNG project
Environmental approval for project on island nature reserve (Reuters)
Buy foreign gas ETFs over US funds, Jefferies says
Investors of natural gas can avoid premiums on US competitors (Bloomberg)
Record oil-gas price ratio may be set to narrow
History suggests price gap will eventually narrow, analysts say (Bloomberg)
NZ Oil and Gas takes 40% stake in permit
Stake in Albacore, area in resource-rich region of Taranaki (Reuters)
Cairn bullish despite slide in revenue as oil prices fall
Production falls 15% in first half (FT)
Brazil’s Petrobras courts ethanol producer Brenco
Talks to consider potential “synergies” in biofuels production (Argus)
Aggreko points at power shift
Generator rental group sees increasing demand from developing world (FT)
Tesoro sees fuel demand languishing until job growth resumes
US needs to return to work before it returns to pumps (Bloomberg)