Monthly Archives: April 2010

Kate Mackenzie

How does public opinion about climate science affect investment in low carbon equities? HSBC has charted low-carbon equities’ performance relative to world markets since the IPCC’s landmark fourth assessment, published during 2007:
HSBC chart of Global Climate Change Index and MSCI World Index rebased from early 2007.

They point out that the HSBC Global Climate Change Index only fell 18.2 per cent from the launch of the IPCC’s fourth assessment report in 2007 until the hacked CRU emails were published in November 2009, while the MSCI World Index fell 22.8 per cent in the same period.

But since the CRU email incident, the Climate Change Index only rose 2.1 per cent compared to 4.8 per cent for the MSCI World Index.

Kate Mackenzie

Anyone hoping the EIA’s revision to its natural gas production survey methodology would be bullish for prices – or bearish for the future of shale gas – was very likely disappointed:

Kate Mackenzie

Carbon capture and sequestration is nothing if not controversial. The cost, effectiveness and the public reaction to extracting CO2 from coal- or gas-fired plants and storing it underground are still hotly debated, and likely will continue to be until a commercial-scale power generation CCS project is fully up and running.

Two Texas-based engineers last year pointed out what they see as an unavoidable technical flaw in the whole proposition: the pure limitations of how much CO2 can be stored. Their work has drawn strong criticism from four geologists.

Sheila McNulty

EPA/FTFrom New Orleans: The oil already has brought a sickening odour here – a two hour drive from the Gulf. Louisiana’s governor, Bobby Jindal, declared a state of emergency on Thursday is seeking federal assistance for small businesses and the commercial and recreational fishing industries affected by the spill. He also has asked permission to call up the Louisiana National Guard to call up 6,000 help respond to the spill.

BP late on Thursday announced it was stepping up its efforts to address leak, including a significant expansion of onshore preparations. The leak is expected to reach Louisiana’s coastline within hours.  President Obama, meanwhile, declared the event “of national significance” in order to free up resources from around the country to stop the slick.

Sheila McNulty

NEW ORLEANS: The BP/Transocean disaster is already being felt by the wider deepwater oil industry, with the Obama administration ordering immediate inspections of all deepwater drilling rigs and platforms in the Gulf of Mexico to determine if risks of any further spills are on the horizon.

The rigs are to be examined first, with the blowout preventor stacks a particular focus. Authorities want to know whether equipment tests have been done and the records are there to prove it. In addition, Washington wants to ensure operators are performing emergency well control exercises.

Given the scale of production in the Gulf, and the high tech equipment deep out and under the ocean, this will be a time consuming process. There are 30 drilling rigs operating in the deepwater Gulf and 47 deepwater production facilities.

Kate Mackenzie

- Lindsay Graham: Why I might filibuster my own climate bill

- Energy risk ranks no.3 for corporate worries

- Carbon capture and storage economic costs, revisited

- Spain pricks solar bubble as Greek crisis looms

- Oil-rich Venezuela‘s economic crisis

- Curious $7.6bn swansong for Eon chief

- Offshore oil safety awards cancelled

- Assessing gasoline demand

- Oil shale ‘not ready for prime time

Kate Mackenzie

Essar Energy cuts asking price for IPO - FT

ExxonMobil profits up 38% in first quarter - FT

Greater Sunrise blocked by East Timor - FT

Massachusetts judge throws out Cape Wind suit - Argus

China, EU set up climate mechanism - China Daily

Chinese council predicts tight coal supply to end-2010 - Argus

Kate Mackenzie

Obama steps up fight to contain oil spill - FT

Oil disaster spills into political arena - FT

Exxon warns on impact of BP spill - FT

Gulf oil spill may have far-reaching political impact - The Hill

Spill ‘spreading faster than expected’ – UpstreamOnline/Wires

Oil spill’s blow to BP’s image may eclipse out-of-pocket costs - NY Times

Video: Coast Guard burns oil spill – Houston Chronicle

Background:

Oil spills - Scienceclarified.com

Tech talk: Oil rigs and oil ships - Heading Out/The Oil Drum

Oil and offshore gas technology – Chris Nelder

Carola Hoyos

One of the most important jobs on an oil rig is that of ballast control operator. It is an arguably tedious task in good times. But in bad times, it becomes an extremely challenging exercise of keeping hundreds of men alive and tens of thousands of tonnes of steel, worth hundreds of millions of dollars, upright.

In December 2005, I had the chance the step into a simulator at Transocean’s training centre in Aberdeen, Scotland. The facility trains offshore workers heading to the rough, cold, medium-depth waters of the North Sea, rather than those working on the deep water rigs in the hurricane-prone Gulf of Mexico. On ultra deep water rigs, such as Transocean’s Deepwater Horizon, which exploded last week in the Gulf of Mexico, the ballast control operator’s job is done by dynamic positioning operators. There are other differences too, not least because the training I got was five years ago. But the scenarios I was put through ran the gamut, from Gulf Coast hurricanes to floating icebergs in Arctic waters.

The trip came shortly after Hurricane Katrina whipped through the rigs and platforms of the Gulf of Mexico and highlights the dangers and pressures of the life and death decisions made on a rig in trouble.

Kate Mackenzie

The head of Saudi Aramco, Khalid al-Falih, made a rather dramatic statement in a speech last week. The nation, the world’s biggest net oil exporter*, would have to divert a large chunk of its production capacity away from global markets and towards its own domestic needs,

Al-Khalil said Saudi Arabia would have to take some 3m barrels per day of oil off the global market by 2028, if the country does not become more energy efficient.

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