Monthly Archives: September 2010

Kiran Stacey

The energy industry continues to pore over the shake-up to BP’s safety division, which was announced yesterday, just two days before Bob Dudley takes over as chief executive.

Several, including our energy editor Sylvia Pfeifer, point out Dudley’s focus on safety is hardly revolutionary – Tony Hayward made very similar noises when he took over. Over at Fuel Fix, however, they point to a happier precedent – Exxon’s largely successful attempts to improve its record following the Exxon-Valdez accident.

FT Energy Source

- M&A deals soar as shale gas fever hits – FT

- Cheap gas limiting coal demand in the East – Argus

- BP’s safety plan takes a page from Exxon’s playbook – Fuel Fix

- Sinochem struggles to mount Potash bid – FT

- ABB pays $58mfine over bribery claims – FT

- Cuba drilling plans raise Gulf fears – New York Times

- Fresh blow to Vedanta’s green credentials – FT

- Companies demand £4bn for Green Bank – Reuters

- Thinking small on wind power – NY Times Green blog

- Australian regulator looks to pursue petrol retailers – Bloomberg

- Gas bills could jump by £80, warns Ofgem – The Telegraph

Our apologies, but there will be no podcast this week.

Kiran Stacey

Want £100,000? All you have to do is come up with a way of getting engineers and equipment out to the wind farms of the future.

Except it’s not quite as simple as that. While wind farms today are located typically less than 20km from the shore, the next generation of farms could be as far out as 300km, where waves can reach three metres high.

In conditions such as those, transporting workers and equipment out to the farms themselves is pretty difficult, and we’re not just talking about the seasickness that traditionally accompanies such trips.

Kiran Stacey

There is something of a clean up (if you’ll forgive the pun) going on at BP.

Yesterday the company sold $3.5bn worth of bonds, with demand high and the 5-year tranche being priced at a respectable (if sector-lagging) 195 bps over US Treasuries. The renewed confidence from the credit markets has helped the cost of default protection on its debt fall to 191bps from a high of 614bps in June.

Then today, Robert Dudley made his first personnel change before becoming CEO on Friday, putting Mark Bly, the UK head of safety, in charge of a new souped-up safety and risk division, and announcing plans to split the exploration business into three. The company said that change would lead to the departure of Andy Inglis, the head of exploration, by the end of the year.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Chinese President Hu Jintao toastDmitry Medvedev, the president of Russia, is in China this week for talks aimed at cementing a new partnership between the world’s biggest energy producer and consumer.

But China, despite its hunger for new oil and gas supplies, is playing hard to get.

“Russia is ready to meet China’s full demand for gas,” Igor Sechin, the powerful Russian deputy prime minister, told reporters in Beijing on Monday.

FT Energy Source

- Shell plans rapid North American growth – FT

- BP raises $3.5bn in bond sales – FT

- Obama under fire for underestimating oil spill – The Guardian

- BP repairs Russian relations – New York Times

- Germany to wean itself off fossil fuels – FT

- Democrats block debate on greenhouse gas bill – Argus

- Schwarzenegger slams climate law repeal – NY Times Green Blog

- Lawmakers urge Obama to challenge China on clean energy – Reuters

- Are wind power and ethanol really green? – Master Resource

- Energy efficiency does not decrease consumption – Breakthrough Institute

Sylvia Pfeifer

It’s a return to business as usual for BP. The UK oil group is raising $3.5bn in its first bond sale since the Deepwater Horizon accident in the Gulf of Mexico on April. The company’s last significant sale was last August when it raised $2bn.

The sale comes just days before Bob Dudley takes over as chief executive of the UK oil group. He faces a daunting in-tray, including cleaning up the oil spill, repairing the company’s reputation in the US, setting out a new strategy for BP and ensuring it does not fall victim to rivals like Exxon.

Among Mr Dudley’s most difficult internal challenges will be tackling “Fortress E&P”, the company’s powerful exploration and production division which is regarded internally as a semi-autonomous unit.

Sheila McNulty

The James A Baker III Institute for Public Policy released a major study yesterday on the consequences of an emerging US carbon management policy. There are lots of strands in the report to be picked over. The one I found most interesting was that electric cars hold greater promise than establishing a national Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) in reducing carbon emissions and lowering US oil imports. This is from the report:

The single most effective way to reduce US oil demand and foreign imports would be an aggressive campaign to launch electric vehicles into the automotive fleet. In fact, mandating that 30 per cent of all vehicles be electric by 2050 would both reduce US oil use by 2.5m barrels a day beyond the 3m barrels-per-day savings already expected from new corporate average fuel efficiency standards, and also cut emissions by 7 per cent, while the proposed national renewable porfolio standard would cut them by only 4 per cent over the same time.

This finding underlines the potential for the US to make good use of its natural gas boom to supply this growth in electricity usage.

FT Energy Source

- EDF reconsiders Constellation agreement – FT

- Offshore wind farm costs ‘rising sharply’ – The Times (£)

- GE moves into China wind turbine market – FT

- Scotland to get 100 per cent green energy by 2025 – Reuters

- Conoco to reassess $30bn Alaska project – FT

- Shell increases trade with Iran – The Guardian

- Panel wants BP fines to pay for Gulf restoration – NY Times

- US drilling moratorium to end ‘by December’ – Upstream Online

- Russia and China open pipeline as energy ties grow – Argus

- Eni, Mitsubishi to bid for Iraqi gas field rights – Bloomberg

- Camco joins forces with Malaysian government’s investment arm – The Telegraph

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