On FT Energy Source this week:
- China’s fears about imported oil
- Himalayan glaciers: Not quite another climategate
- The world’s top 280 energy projects
- The real problems with climate science
- Digging deeper into the CFTC’s position limits
- Oil sands get a boost from majors
- Europe losing its climate cool
- A grim future for refining
Investors pressure Shell over oil sands
On FT Energy Source:
- Coal and the railways
- How much of a climate bill?
- Healing the climate rift between the poor and the poorer
- A mixed week for Tullow
- The warmest decade, and Total and Statoil quit Venezuelan plans, in Energy headlines
- The excesses of today’s quest for crude, in books
- ‘Opec has no room to expand output’
- Oilwatch monthly: January 2010
- Bill Gates thinks big on energy
- CO2 as a green fuel feedstock
- Most American have no clue about the gasoline tax
- ‘Jobs’ versus ‘Climate change’ in the concern stakes
- Exxon has little to fear from Congress
- The meaning of Massachusetts
It’s hard not to be pessimistic about the likelihood of the US Congress committing to a cap on carbon emissions, and consequently pricing carbon. The win by Republican Scott Brown in the late Edward Kennedy’s Senate seat has raised a great deal of speculation and no doubt made many representatives up for re-election this year more nervous about supporting either cap and trade or a carbon tax.
The weird thing is, most Americans believe climate change is real, and that something should be done about it. For more striking evidence of that, look at this presentation by (unlikely as it sounds) conservative pollster Frank Luntz for the Environmental Defense Fund (H/T TNR). Actual sceptics only make up 18 per cent; believers in anthropogenic global warming are 52 per cent. Support for cap and trade is not too shabby either, at 49 per cent.
It hasn’t been a good year for US railway operators. This week, Union Pacific reported that fourth quarter net income fell 17 per cent while BNSF’s fell 12.8 per cent, and CSX’s full year earnings were 16 per cent lower.
Railways are bound up with other aspects of energy use: as some commentators pointed out when the Berkshire Hathaway bid for BNSF was announced, it was at least partly a bet that future demand for coal and its associated transport would remain strong.
Although they benefited from high oil costs and booming trade for most of the past decade, Lex believes those days are over:
Some categories like automobiles, which saw traffic rise 50 per cent recently versus a year ago on restocking, are skewing the sense of recovery though. Other categories like coal, the bread-and-butter of most railroads, will remain depressed for some time.
Speculation has been rife about what might be on the agenda at a meeting this Sunday between leaders from China, India, South Africa and Brazil, where the four emerging giants will discuss their stance on international climate agreements. The meeting reportedly has no set agenda, so there have been guesses at what might be discussed, such as insistence on deeper cuts from developed countries, and advice has been handed out by NGOs to the participants.
India’s Economic Times suggests that transfer of funds from the wealthier developing economies to their poorer and smaller brethren, after signs of factions and anti-China sentiment emerged within the G-77 group of developing nations at Copenhagen:
Tullow Oil has something to be cheerful about, despite a setback in its plan to buy Heritage Oil’s Ugandan assets yesterday. The company has found more good fortune off Ghana’s coast, with the Tweneboa-2 exploratory well yielding a potentially significant find – a combined hydrocarbon column, 6km from the existing Tweneboa-1 well. The 32m of net pay comprised 15m of gas-condensate and 17m of oil.
The potential hydrocarbons beneath west Africa’s seas have been been among the biggest discoveries of the past few years. To refresh your memory, here’s a handy image of wells drilled so far off the Ghanaian and Cote d’Ivorean costs:
Image via Bernstein Research, who are a little excited about the find, dismissing concerns about the high proportion of natural gas condensates:
Indeed, with a liquids component approaching 60% or more and a new net pay of 32m from the originally announced 21m, added to deeper potential which will be tested during 2010, it is clear this is a materially higher value discovery than previously assumed in the market.
Ghana’s Tweneboa proved as major oil-gas field (Oil & Gas Journal)
The questions surrounding Tullow vs Eni in Uganda (FT Energy Source, 19/01/10)
A numbers game: The west African oil frontier (FT Energy Source, 16/09/09)