Daily Archives: September 7, 2009

Kate Mackenzie

Japan’s incoming government has pledged to stand by its target of reducing emissions 25 per cent from 1990 levels, by 2020, despite opposition from business groups.

Japan tends to argue that, because it is already very energy efficient, it should not have to sign up to such big emissions cuts as some of its developed-world peers. The previous government’s target of 15 per cent reduction from 2005 levels – or, 8 per cent reduction on 1990 levels – by 2020 drew much criticism from environmental groups.

So a speech today by Yukio Hatoyama, the incoming prime minister, promising to stick by the party’s manifesto goal of a 25 per cent reduction, represents a big change. But how will it be received by the rest of the world?

Fiona Harvey

Climate change is happening faster than was expected, and it is happening all over the world – in rich as well as poor countries.

That was the message from the third World Climate Conference, held in Geneva last week, according to Jane Lubchenco, administrator of the US’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The conference, focusing on global warming science and climate prediction, was hosted by the World Meteorological Organisation.

Kate Mackenzie

On FT Energy Source:

Simmons vs Yergin, Lynch et al on Peak Oil

Markets: Analysts expect an Opec rollover

Van Jones resigns, and not over green jobs

Sovereign wealth funds get into physical oil

France to get a carbon tax – maybe

Further reading:

Oil pressure – getting the oil out, explained (The Oil Drum)

Are climate change funds the next big thing? (Guardian)

New CFTC report hits the street: money managers’ positions not that different to commercial players (Houston Chronicle)

Oil experts banished from Venezuela gives Colombia’s industry a boost (LA Times)

Natural gas lobby’s efforts on Waxman-Markey hit a roadblock as coal+CCS remains in favour (NY Times)

Watch that natural gas contango (SeekingAlpha)

Medvedev puts foot down on further changes to Gazprom’s Ukraine contract (UpstreamOnline)

Kate Mackenzie

Matt Simmons, author of Twilight in the Desert and founder of an investment bank focused on energy, has taken aim at the various anti-peak-oil stories written around oil’s anniversary.

He singles out Daniel Yergin’s Foreign Policy article, Michael Lynch’s very hotly-debated oped in the New York Times, a study from Rice University on the role of speculation in oil markets, and an article by Ed Morse in Foreign Affairs.

Simmons characterises their arguments for the assured supply of oil as collectively boiling down to about four points: oil demand is not going anywhere; oil markets are liquid and transparent and therefore help keep prices low; oil reserves are known to be massive; and new technology will help extract them further. 

Nymex October West Texas Intermediate rose 68 cents to $68.70 a barrel, recovering from last week’s fall when crude prices dropped 6.5 per cent.

ICE October Brent added $1.04 at $67.86 a barrel.

Opec ministers meet in in Vienna this week to decide on production quotas for the oil producers group. Analysts said they expected further calls for better compliance with existing quotas but no change in the cartel’s overall output.

Kate Mackenzie

Van Jones, the White House ‘green jobs csar’, resigned on Saturday after a campaign spearheaded by Fox News presenter Glenn Beck.

Notably, this campaign wasn’t about green jobs. Its main focus was Jones’ alleged radical leanings, which mostly concerned making derogatory comments about the Republicans, and claims he was a 9/11 ‘truther’, believing high-level officials knew about the September 11 attacks.

Kate Mackenzie

Another day, another financial player expanding its interest in physical energy assets.

Barclays Capital is planning to expand its investments in natural resources, including mining companies and oil fields, by teaming up with sovereign wealth funds.

Barclays has already been investing in these sorts of assets itself, putting in about $1bn over the past four years, but it would be the first time the Barclays’ resources unit has opened to outside investors. The FT’s Javier Blas reports that BarCap is in advanced talks with South Korea’s Natural Resources Fund about investing another $400m.

James Fontanella-Khan

Saudis wield influence with oil expansion
Most of the world is cutting back on oil investments (FT)

Shell plans further reductions in jobs
Group to brace for an acceleration of its restructuring plans (WSJ)

Opec to hold quota after oil reaches $75 Saudi target
Reducing shipments beyond record cutbacks last year would endanger recovery (Bloomberg)

Investors guessing as Xstrata plans move
Lonmin could receive a renewed bid from (FT)

Judge in Chevron case agrees to step aside
The recusal is a significant victory for Chevron (WSJ)

Conoco wants Venezuela’s stake in Texas refinery
Dispute over damages from drop in crude oil shipments (Reuters)

Gold drops, ending four-day dain
Investors sell as price nears $1,000 (Bloomberg)

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