Daily Archives: October 19, 2009

Kate Mackenzie

The latest issue of Foreign Policy magazine has run a couple of letters responding to its cover story last month on oil by Daniel Yergin of CERA. In case you missed it, Yergin argued, on the eve of the 150th anniversary of oil first being drilled, that despite a rapidly shifting outlook there was adequate oil supply for decades to come.

Matt Simmons, who is just as prominent an advocate for peak oil, actually wrote his own response a week later, but FP has continued the debate on its letters page. Simmons writes: Read more

Kate Mackenzie

On FT Energy Source:

Piling into Australia’s natural gas Read more

Carola Hoyos

When Eni last week clinched the deal to develop the Zubair field in Iraq two clear camps emerged: One that believed the oil company and its partners had finally caved to Iraq’s financial terms and another that believed Iraq had sweetened its terms enough so that Eni, which had refused to accept a deal at the June auction, was willing to come on board.

The critical headline figure of $2 a barrel – the sum Iraq is willing to pay for every extra barrel Eni is able to pump once Zubair reaches the production plateau of a little more than 1bn barrels a day compared to today’s 200,000 barrels a day – remains. That has given Hussein Sharistani the ability to argue he won the battle of wills. Publicly, the oil companies are not entirely unhappy about giving him the victory lap. That is because they feel far safer – physically and financially – starting work in Iraq with a politically strong Sharistani and a country that largely welcomes them. Entering a country that doesn’t want you there increases the risks of kidnappings, sabotage and unpleasant changes to the tax rate.

Privately, oil executives say Iraq sweetened other fiscal terms that brought the entire project’s economics to about half way between the minimum Eni was willing to bid and the maximum $2 Baghdad was willing to pay during the June auction, in which every western oil company except BP walked away complaining about Iraq’s unrealistic terms. Read more

Kate Mackenzie

Here’s something for the world leaders attending the Major Economies Forum today in London to think about. US and UK voters, to be specific, don’t care much about responsibility for historical emissions, according to a survey by Harris Interactive commissioned by the FT.

Only a minority of respondents in those countries believe that developed countries should help developing countries meet the cost of reducing their greenhouse gas emissions. And there is strong support across all the countries surveyed for the view that China should make the most emissions cuts, thanks to its recently-attained status as the biggest emitter:

Check the wording of that first question, though – it’s rather stark and makes no mentioned of historical emissions. But as the second table above shows, making that point in the question only seems to hold sway with mainland Europeans, who are a lot more supportive of rich countries contributing to the cost of poorer countries than Britons or Americans.

There’s also a large number of apparently undecided respondents on these questions, which was evident in  many of the answers to other questions in the survey (more on those below).

Reaching agreement at Copenhagen requires participation from developing countries, who after all are going to contribute most of the growth in greenhouse gas emissions for decades to come. Those developing countries don’t see why they should have to pay for a low-carbon development when the developed world grew rich while consuming cheap fossil fuel with abandon. This, as Fiona Harvey alludes in the FT, is why some developed world leaders have been keen to praise China’s efforts to reduce emissions in recent months. Read more

Kate Mackenzie

How worried will Europe be by the alliance between Gazprom and Nigeria’s Oando?

Russia’s gas monopoly has been courting Nigeria for some time now, making offers to invest in the African country’s sizable gas reserves – which are not only under-exploited as an energy source, but often wasted through flaring around oil production facilities. Read more

Kate Mackenzie

Chevron has found more gas off the coast of Western Australia, which it says could be the starting point for an expansion of the planned $40bn Gorgon LNG project.

FT’s Elizabeth Fry writes: Read more

James Fontanella-Khan

Gazprom in tie-up with Nigerian company
Move advances Russians interests in energy-rich West Africa (FT)

Industry urged to embrace action on climate
Peter Huntsman tells the FT that controls are needed (FT)

US enlists oil to sway China’s stance on Tehran
Obama encouraging Arab states to boost oil exports to Beijing (WSJ)

Public backing for deep China emission cuts
FT poll says westerners want China to cut emissions (FT)

Energy firms deeply split on bill to battle climate change
Energy producers are battling each other over policy decisions (NYT) Read more