This has been a busy week for US natural gas. It started off with the US signing an agreement to help India exploit its shale gas resources during President Barack Obama’s visit to that country. The agreement mirrored one the US had signed with China some time back to also help that country make the most of its shale.
These are both striking agreements because they demonstrate that other countries see tremendous potential in natural gas. And yet the US government has failed to appreciate the expertise and experience that launched the global shale gas scramble is in its own backyard. The US gas boom has generated so much capacity in America that prices have collapsed.
Opec today raised its predicted level of oil demand for 2011 from 86.83m barrels per day to 86.95mbpd, or an increase of 120,000 barrels.
This would imply its current forecast is that demand growth will be 1.2mbpd higher than this year.
Interestingly, this comes out a few days after the IEA released its World Energy Outlook, showing its predictions have gone in the opposite direction. According to calculations by JCB Energy Markets, the IEA has “slashed 7.5mbpd out of its 2030 world oil demand forecast”.
An intriguing story by Sky’s (and the FT’s) Mark Kleinman this morning, who is following the UK prime minister in China.
Mark reports that Shell is planning to list its shares on the Shanghai stock exchange, and has even appointed China International Capital Corp to help it do so.
The European Court of Justice has ruled that it is illegal for the Portuguese government to hold shares with special rights in Energias de Portugal.
The shares gave the government the right to veto amendments to EDP’s articles of association and object to the election of directors. Its stake was also exempt from the 5 per cent ceiling on the voting rights of other shareholders.
Nikki Tait has the story from Brussels:
The European Court of Justice said on Thursday, in a case brought to the court by the European Commission, that the shares – which give the Portuguese government special rights compared with other shareholders – were a “restriction on free movement of capital” and so incompatible with EU law.