Monthly Archives: December 2009

Kate Mackenzie

Energy Source will be taking a break for the next few days, and returning with more energy news and analysis on January 4. If you haven’t already, you can sign up for our daily email (free registration required) to be reminded when we’re back on air.

Thanks to all who’ve read, commented and emailed us during our first year. It’s been fun. Read more

Kate Mackenzie

We’ve compiled a list of some of the biggest energy issues from 2009, and the ideas that will be tested in 2010. You can add suggestions of anything that should be on the list, either via the comments or by emailing us.

1. What role will China’s consumption, foreign acquisitions, inventories, and domestic production play in the energy future?

2. Is the $70 crude price floor here to stay?

3. Did oil prices help cause the recession – and might they threaten the recovery?

4. When will oil inventories draw down?

5. Shale gas investment boom – will it pay off, or will low prices persist? Read more

Kate Mackenzie

There are easily more than 100 ‘big questions’ for climate change and clean technology in 2010, but here’s a few, based on some of this year’s big themes:

1. Will a binding post-Copenhagen agreement ever be struck – and between whom?

2. How will low-carbon investment fare in the fallout from Copenhagen?

3. How will carbon offset projects fare after Copenhagen?

4. How quickly and effectively will the ‘quick start’ financing promised to developing countries be deployed? Read more

Kate Mackenzie

“Nopenhagen, fiascopenhagen, slowpenhagen, COP out, flop COP, bad COP, the great disappointment” – a few labels thrown around by one market analyst over the conclusion of the Copenhagen climate change conference.

In fact, few seem happy with the outcome, apart from China and India. Now the recriminations have begun in earnest, and though the US and Barack Obama were initially criticised, much of the blame since has focused on China. China has hit back at the criticism, particularly at comments by UK environment minister Ed Miliband, saying it is another example of developed countries shirking their own obligations (though the UK incidentally has set rather stringent targets).

But the attacks on China are continuing. Mark Lynas, an environmental activist and author who advises the Maldives government on climate change, wrote a blistering account of some of the final hours of Copenhagen in today’s Guardian, accusing China of wrecking the deal. In it, he describes horrified reactions from Angela Merkel and Kevin Rudd as China vetoed emissions commitments – even from developed countries, which were widely believed to have agreed to an 80 per cent reduction by 2050.  Read more

The Opec oil cartel has repeated it through the year: as a contribution to the global economy recovery, it was supporting moderate oil prices.

Saudi Arabia put numbers on the cartel’s words, describing the $70-$80 a barrel range as “excellent”.

For sure, Opec’s aim of $70-$80 a barrel – the group avoid talking about a target – has helped the global economy, particularly of poor oil importing countries.

But there are signs that the oil cartel is not as altruistic at it appears at first glance. Opec appears to be as concerned about the global economy as to drive consumers away from oil. Read more

Kate Mackenzie

Beijing rejects UK Copenhagen criticisms (FT)

BASIC climate change alliance crumbling already (FT)

How China wrecked the climate deal (Guardian)

Opec indicates $70 – $80 oil price target (FT)

Nations may miss Copenhagen’s Jan 31 deadline, Orteo says (Bloomberg) [More...]

Batista’s OGX finds up to 2bn barrels of oil in Brazil (Bloomberg)

Solar power boost for US rental outfits (FT)

Gazprom gives Ukraine more time to pay (FT)

Russia welcomes end to gas dispute (FT)

BP faces probe by US, Alaska officials over oil spill (Bloomberg)

Saudi Arabia approves record budget (FT)

CNPC gets exclusive operating rights to China-Burma oil pipeline (Xinhua)

Devon divests $1.3bn of GoM assets (Rigzone)

Macarthur in coal consolidation deals (FT)

Energy, financials, may lead rebound in takeovers, survey shows (Bloomberg)
 Read more

Kate Mackenzie

On FT Energy Source:

- Opec production quotas maintained

- Telling it like it isn’t

- Uncool carbon markets

- The solar company, the short-seller, and the $9 taxi fare

- Iraq readies for quota allocation fight

- Copenhagen and Shell Nigerian sell-off reports in Spot news

- Angola keeps on pumpin’

- Pressure builds in BP’s US operations

- Shell’s South Africa move highlights gas potential

Further reading:

- Good riddance to Copenhagen

- What hath Copenhagen wrought?

- Neither earth-shattering, nor a failure

- Glass-half-full department

- Anything but oil

- US refining faces an uncertain future

- Desert vistas versus solar power

- Shale gas and fracking environmentalists
 Read more

Kate Mackenzie

As expected, Opec has agreed to maintain production levels, although secretary general Abdullah el-Badri told reporters he wants to see compliance back at 75-80 per cent, rather than the levels of around 60 per cent seen recently.  Read more

Kate Mackenzie

The Opec press conference from the meeting in Luanda is still revving up, but a couple of interesting snippets form the opening address by José Maria Botelho de Vasconcelos, Angola’s oil minister and the president of this meeting:  Read more

Kate Mackenzie

Opinions are divided over whether the rather empty deal coming out of last week’s climate change meeting is a good or a bad thing for US climate change legislation.

Some say that progress on the matter of monitoring China’s emissions intensity targets will help reassure moderate Democrats that a cap-and-trade bill won’t hurt American manufacturing. Others say the failure of the meeting to come up with binding emissions targets will make Congress less likely to pass it.

But one thing everyone is agreed on is that the process that brought about last week’s agreement has to change. The UN itself has said that it will look at how to streamline future negotiations, after a small number of countries known to include Venezuela, Bolivia and Sudan (Cuba and Nicaragua have also been mentioned) prevented the accord brokered by China, the US, Brazil, India and South Africa from being formally approved at the UN meeting. Read more