Daily Archives: September 17, 2009

Ed Crooks

Construction work at the new Olkiluoto reactor in Finland, being built by Areva of France, continues apace, as some spectacular photos show.

The pictures are a sign that anyone hoping that the reactor will be such a huge commercial disaster that it will deter all other investment in nuclear power is likely to be disappointed.

The Olkiluoto OL3 project has been dogged by problems, most recently the dispute between Areva and TVO, the Finnish electricity company that will own and run the reactor.

As Areva put it in its results statement at the end of last month:

Areva has sent the client documents detailing the methods of execution for the final phases of the project that are in accordance with standard industry practices for the construction of turnkey power plants. Areva will only commence the final phases of the construction when TVO has agreed upon the proposals that have been made or issued contract amendments that provide for the requested modifications, both in terms of costs and time lines.

That did not mean that work was coming to a halt immediately, but it faced the prospect of an indefinite delay.

Kate Mackenzie

China and Venezuela: Resources tie-ups continue

Speculation adjudication

Back to petroleum for BP with Indian wind sale

Further reading:

California’s cost reductions costs are underestimated (Robert Stavins/Harvard)

Oilwatch monthly for September (The Oil Drum)

The US oil royalty programme ends after various scandals (NY Times)

How very deep geothermal drilling could work (New Energy and Fuel)

Obama and EU ‘clash’ over climate change (Telegraph)

Interest grows in algae-based biofuel (LA Times)

Kate Mackenzie

Is China about to leap into a big Venezuelan oil deal?  On past experience, it doesn’t sound at all unlikely – and if it is true, it would be further confirmation that energy security is trumping political risk in the scramble to tie up energy resources.

Venezuela’s president Hugo Chavez says he is about to do a $16bn deal that will boost the country’s oil production by hundreds of thousands of barrels per day.

Uncertainty, however, abounds.

Kate Mackenzie

The CFTC, the US commodities market regulator, has been signalling its intent to impose tighter regulation on energy commodities markets for a few months now. Back in July, after initial hearings on whether to impose limits on the number of energy commodity positions that certain traders can hold, CFTC chairman Gary Gensler said there was no longer a question of whether to set position limits – only a question of who should set them, who should be exempted, and at what level they should be set.

But not everyone agrees that speculators are to blame for soaring energy prices. CME, which owns the world’s biggest commodities exchange Nymex, published its response yesterday.

While CME says it will support more extensive position limits, it believes the exchanges themselves should administer them. In a paper released yesterday, it came out with some sharp criticism that “attempting to increase confidence that speculators are not unduly influencing prices by means of imposing hard limits solely on exchange-traded energy commodities will be a wasted effort — and, in fact, damaging to the futures market.”

James Fontanella-Khan

Finance groups demand tough climate targets
Call on rich nations cut emissions by between 25-40% by 2020 (FT)

National smog standards to be reviewed by US
EPA to reconsider standards set under the Bush administration (Bloomberg)

Carbon trade rise lifts Climate Exchange
Trading volumes nearly doubled in the first half (FT)

Chavez seeks to boost oil production with China deal
China to invest $16bn, as part of a strategy to reduce US dependence (Bloomberg)

China CNPC to start deepwater exploration after 2015
exploration in the South China Sea already carried out (Reuters)

BP gets out of Indian wind
Confirms decision to focus on US operations (FT)

Greenpeace ends protest at Shell oil sands mine
Mine operating at normal production (Reuters)

Outlook dark as UK Coal tries to get out of hole
As miners and pit workers know, there are no guarantees in the fossil fuel (FT)

Shenyang aims to clean up its image
One of China’s most polluted cities is planning a big green project (FT)

Andarko and Tullow betting big on Venus
Despite its low odds, Venus has become big (FT)

Regal Petroleum to double second half production
Rapid drilling of two new deep wells in Ukraine (FT)

Alkane Energy on track
On track to reach 50MW of installed capacity (FT)

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