Daily Archives: December 1, 2009

Carola Hoyos

Cash is tight at Eni, which had to cut its dividend earlier this year and has just signed up for two projects, one in Uganda and one in Iraq, that could cost it close to $20bn over the next decade.

So, like many other oil companies, Eni is “optimising its portfolio” by selling its less profitable assets.

But in Eni’s case, these do not simply include unsophisticated refineries (pretty much the deadest wood in any portfolio given current profit margins and new demands from environmental policies as well as heavier, more sour crude streams).

Eni is selling assets that are somewhat more appealing, at least aesthetically.

Kate Mackenzie

On FT Energy Source:

Oil fundamentals are still hard to spot

LNG arbitrage in action

BP Alaska spill should be tip off to regulators

Will Australians support a climate sceptic?

Pirates and the Antarctica puzzle in Spot news

Further reading:

- ‘Canada is turning itself into a corrupt petro-state‘ (Guardian)

- Assessing China’s carbon-cutting proposals (CFR)

- It remains to be seen whether new climate commissioner Connie Hildegard will have much clout in the EU (EU Observer)

- Euratom, the EU’s nuclear safety and financing authority, is unreformed since its formation in 1957 (EU Energy Policy Blog)

- World’s first osmotic power station prototype goes onstream in Norway (New Scientist)

- An upbeat perspective on peak oil (Treehugger)

- Climategate: Is peer review in need of change? (Master Resource)

Kate Mackenzie

Analysts at the Centre for Global Energy Studies have, like so many before them, tried to figure out why oil prices have risen to such heights this year, despite lacklustre demand leaving all that oil sitting in storage – some of it at sea – not to mention the dreadful refining margins and consequent shut-ins.

As they write:

Many suspect that expectations in the futures market have placed a premium on crude oil that the US refining sector is finding difficult to pass on to its customers. Meanwhile, reports that Shell has chartered four new tankers, in all likelihood to store crude or products, support the view that oil is also a financial asset and that cash-and-carry oil hedges are an attractive option these days because of the contangoed nature of the forward curve.

As they write, oil futures closely followed equity markets in taking a tumble after news of the Dubai debt standstill emerged. That’s before we even get into the dollar.

By Izabella Kaminska

Here’s a fine example of liquefied natural gas (LNG) arbitrage at work.

While hugely weak fundamentals are doing this to Henry Hub Natgas front-month futures prices :

Henry Hub natgas futures - FT

Kate Mackenzie

A leadership showdown among Australia’s parliamentary opposition, prompted by divisions over an emissions trading scheme, has resulted in a very narrow (42 – 41) win for a man known for his scepticism on climate change.

The move surprised many because Tony Abbott, dubbed the ‘mad monk’ by newspapers and websites for his socially conservative views, hasn’t polled well recently compared with the man he succeeded, Malcolm Turnbull, or against fellow leadership contender Joe Hockey. Both have more moderate views on climate change than Abbott and would have allowed the representatives from the Liberal-National coalition to make a “conscience vote” on an ETS, instead of demanding they vote along party lines as is the norm in Australian politics. 

Kate Mackenzie

Antarctic shielded by ozone hole – scientists
Climate puzzle solved (FT)

Climate sceptic clinches Australian opposition leadership
Cap and trade bill unlikely to pass before Copenhagen (FT)

BP facing fresh scrutiny after Alaska spill
‘Slow’ leak likely to raise regulators’ ire (FT)

Coal demand rebounding from downturn – US mining execs
‘Cautiously optimistic’ although generation still falling (Reuters)

Spain turns down air conditioning to save power
Minimum and maximum temperatures for public buildings (The Times)

Energy Source is no longer updated but it remains open as an archive.

Insight into the financial, economic and policy aspects of energy and the environment.

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