Daily Archives: September 21, 2009

Sheila McNulty

President Barack Obama could take a few cues from The Terminator. While Obama campaigned on a platform to clean up America’s carbon emissions, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is actually doing just that while Obama stands along the sidelines and hopes Congress will come up with something meaningful.

Schwarzenegger last week signed an executive order directing the California Air Resources Board to adopt regulations increasing California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard  to 33 per cent by 2020. That means California will use renewable energy sources for a third of its energy consumption by 2020.

Kate Mackenzie

On FT Energy Source:

Emissions fall in 2008: And not just because of the recession

Corporate greening takes off

Verenex goes  native in Libya for a cut-price

Fears grow over storage and product overhang

Further reading:

Report: Future bright for solar thermal (NY Times)

How the propane trading ‘smoking gun’ was snuffed out (Houston Chronicle)

Dragon Oil pushes for Enoc to ‘put up or shut up’ (UpstreamOnline)

Trafigura offers £1,000 each to toxic dumping victims (Guardian)

China’s hydropower to double by 2020, says state media (AFP)

About that $72bn subsidy to the fossil fuel industry (R-squared)

Kate Mackenzie

Rumblings about the vast volumes of crude oil and its derived products in storage are only getting louder.

The IEA stressed its concernsabout inventories of crude oil building up in its latest monthly oil market report. At its last quote meeting, Opec made clear it is worried about the build-up causing downward pressure on prices by declining to make a noise about improving compliance.

Now, Bloomberg reports, the spread between put and call options on prices falling from their current levels are at a record high, showing traders are piling in to guard against (or, profit from) a drop in oil prices in December:

The gap between prices of options betting on a decline and those that would profit from a rise in oil widened to a record 10 percentage points, according to five years of data compiled by Banc of America Securities-Merrill Lynch.

Kate Mackenzie

Are businesses getting more concerned about climate change – and if so, why?

Last week a group of financial sector companies with $13,000bn under management called for rich countries to commit to reducing their emissions by 25 to 40 per cent, based on 1990 levels, at Copenhagen in December.

Today, the Carbon Disclosure Project released its annual report based on surveys of the world’s biggest companies. Despite the recession, the proportion the top 500 companies responding to the survey rose from 77 per cent to 82 per cent this year.  The report ranked Bayer, BASF, HSBC, Wal-Mart and Chevron most highly for disclosure of their carbon emissions and climate change strategies. Next year it will incorporate action taken by companies to reduce their emissions into its rankings.

Carola Hoyos

Verenex, the small Canadian oil exploration company that had a good measure of success in Libya, has agreed to be bought by the Libyans for a price of $7.09 per share. That’s quite a bit less than the $10 a share CNPC, the Chinese state oil company, had offered back in February.

It was the best of a bad situation for the energy group. Here is Verenex in its own words:

The Verenex Board of Directors, after consulting with its financial and legal advisors, has unanimously determined that the proposed transaction represents the best alternative reasonably available to Verenex and its shareholders and, in light of such available alternatives, is in the best interests of Verenex and the Verenex shareholders.

It’s not fair. But at least Verenex gets something, and gets out of a limbo the company has been in since the Libyans insisted on exercising their pre-emptive rights. Some close to the deal said the contract never stated that Libya had the right to intervene.

Kate Mackenzie

Are recent government efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions finally beginning to bear fruit? According to a report published in the Financial Times on Monday, yes.

This comes despite the large contribution to cuts that will have come from the recession this year.

Exactly how much overall emissions fell won’t be known until the agency’s report is released in early October, but according to the FT the IEA will report an unprecedented and “significant” decline.

It’s not the first report showing emissions have fallen because of the recession – for example, European Union emissions are thought to have fallen 1.3 per cent last year for the same reason.

But the IEA says one quarter of last year’s worldwide reduction is due to government regulations – an ‘unprecedented’ proportion, according to IEA chief economist Fatih Birol.

And the governments that contributed most to that 25 per cent or so? Step forward European Union with its ambition carbon reductions targets; the US, with car efficiency standards, and China with its efficiency targets.

Recession results in steep fall in emissions
IEA study cites cuts in industrial output (FT)

China expected to lead on climate change by 2020
Finding contrasts with widely held view of China (FT)

Lex: Oil production and Ukrainian gas

Report says Reliance Industries mulling Lyondell bid
Indian TV says Reliance may pay $3.25bn cash (Reuters)

Libya SWF to buy Canadian oil producer Verenex
Follows collapse of deal struck with China (Reuters)

Yukos files suit against Rosneft
Claims company secretly controls over Gunvor (FT)

Aquamarine reaches £10m fund-raising target
Money raised from investors in UK and Ireland (FT)

Babcock to buy nuclear clean-up arm for £50m
Industry jockeys for position ahead of decommissioning (FT)

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