Highlights from FT Energy Source this week:
- BP’s oil spill fight plagued by methane hydrate, a deep water hazard
- Deepwater videos: oil gushing into sea and the thwarted cofferdam containment attempt
- Our ‘man on the oil rig’ explains (almost) all
- Q&A: Mark Jacobson on 100% renewable energy supply
- The EIA maintains its focus on ‘above ground’ oil supply issues
- Oil spill congressional hearings: Senate and House
- Europe’s coal irony and China’s coal conundrum
- The IEA defends oil speculators
- Not such a good year for solar
- Get ready for more US shale oil
- Venezuelan gas rig sinks, Chavez tweets
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s chief has spoken frankly about the human failings that led to the publication of the inaccurate Himalayan glaciers claim, during a review of the organisation — but also defended the body’s underlying methods, and its use of non-peer-reviewed reports.
Rajendra Pachauri told the first meeting of the Interacademy Council’s IPCC review that the publication of the claim was a human error, and that the organisation must listen and learn.
However he added:
“Even if the glaciers don’t melt by 2035, this is what’s happening to glaciers all over the world. We know the decreases in glaciers have already contributed 28 per cent to rising sea levels since 1993.”
Carbon capture and storage is one of the most divisive of low-carbon technologies. Its supporters argue that carbon capture and storage will be essential because there is no chance that fossil fuels will be completely eradicated by 2050, particularly in developing countries, but critics have pointed to its costs, effectiveness and questions around geological storage.
FT Energy Source spoke with Nick Otter, chief executive of the Global CCS Institute about the technical uncertainties, the role of government and industry, and the place for CCS alongside renewables, energy efficiency and other low-carbon technologies.
There are new questions over the real rate at which oil is escaping from the BP-operated Macondo well into the Gulf of Mexico since the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded last month.
A few days after the accident, the US Coast Guard said there appeared to be no oil leaking from the well. A subsequent estimate of 1,000 barrels per day was revised last week to 5,000.
NPR’s science correspondent Richard Harris spoke to two scientists who both concluded the rate was likely to be much higher than the official estimate of 5,000, while the New York Times also quotes another scientist and an oil industry consultant who believe the same thing.
- Obama ‘angry about the oil spill’
- The paradox of deepwater
- The mystery caused by missing rig data
- The secret oil fix that might save the Gulf
- Energy’s costs finally meet the eyes
It’s been a topic for debate whether voters are going to be more inclined to support a climate bill, or to oppose offshore drilling, in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon accident. While environmental groups believe it will be a big fillip on both fronts, some commentators are not so sure.
And judging by a few polls that have been published this week, the public view of both climate change and the need for offshore oil drilling is almost as complex as that of Congress.
For example, a survey carried out by Obama’s campaign pollster found on May 4 – 5 that 39 per cent of people were more likely to support climate legislation in the wake of the oil spill.