Monthly Archives: November 2010

Kiran Stacey

This morning, Ofgem announced it would probe pricing by the big six UK energy companies, amid concerns that profit margins are soaring, with the customer losing out.

Today, the head of UK energy policy at one of those big six, Eon, has urged the company’s rivals to change their business models entirely. Answering Energy Source readers’ questions (posed before the Ofgem investigation was announced), Sara Vaughan said:

Energy companies are going to have to change. Traditionally, energy was all about building big central power stations and working out how best to get that power into people’s homes through a one-way transmission and distribution system.

While those centralised power stations are still going to be part of the future, it’s also clear that things are going to change substantially, with more emphasis placed on relationships with customers, who can take responsibility for their own energy usage for the first time.

FT Energy Source

- Regulator to probe pricing by UK energy firms – BBC

- Pemex looks to boost Gulf production with new contracts – FT

- Section of Gulf closed to shrimpers as tar balls found – Guardian

- Colombia to sell 9.9% of Ecopetrol – FT

- RWE Dea announces significant gas discovery in Egypt – WSJ (£)

- Oil tops $85as cold snap lifts energy demand – FT

- Asian interest in Canadian oil sands continues – Argus

- NYK Line eyes deep-sea oil drilling market – FT

- Bharat studying options to boost oil refining capacity – Bloomberg

- China’s reactor plans power up uranium – FT

- Regal shares leap following takeover talk – FT

- EU plans 2013 ban on disputed HFC carbon offsets – Reuters

- World is growing warmer, but pace slows – FT

Kiran Stacey

Ditlev Engel - Photo courtesy of Vestas

Ditlev Engel - Photo courtesy of Vestas

Many thanks for all your questions for Sara Vaughan, Eon UK’s head of regulation and energy policy. Her answers will appear on this site on Friday.

Next week, the executive facing a grilling by Energy Source readers will be Ditlev Engel, chief executive of Vestas, the world’s biggest maker of wind turbines.

This is your chance to ask Engel about Vestas’ role in building Thanet, the world’s largest offshore wind farm, or perhaps about why the company is cutting 3,000 jobs when governments across Europe are stating their commitment to wind power.

Email all your questions to by this Friday, November 26th.

David Blair

How much does Opec matter? This might appear a strange question to ask of the 12 countries who jointly possess about 80 per cent of the world’s known oil reserves, but the recent volatility of the oil market suggests the club may count for less than you might think.

Since the beginning of this month, oil prices have risen from about $83 per barrel to $89 before falling back down to $82. These swings had little to do with the availability of oil on the physical market and everything to do with speculative trading on the paper market, influenced by factors like the decline of the dollar and the Irish debt crisis. Opec has been little more than a bystander during this month’s rollercoaster ride.

Kiran Stacey

Just as world leaders prepare to board their chartered planes for Cancun, they are faced with the reality of what muddled government policy means for green investment.

I blogged yesterday on a survey by VB Research and Taylor Wessing about the green funding gap. The full report was released today, and contained within it were some hard facts and figures to back up what the executives were saying.

FT Energy Source

- First wind cancels initial public offering – FT

- Clean energy funding slumps – FT

- Gas crunch looms in China – Argus

- Where is gas used next in China? Trucks and trawlers – Reuters

- China to get tougher in energy saving, say officials – China Daily

- Quito takes over Petrobras fields – FT

- BP made risky decisions before spill, says panel – Reuters

- Groups bid for UK petrol chains – FT

- UK parliament launches inquiry into shale gas – No Hot Air

- UN: Greenhouse gases highest since pre-industrial times – The Guardian/Reuters

- Massive solar project proposed in Illinois – Argus

- Fashion guru plans sunny new look for solar farms – The Times (£)

Botswana was once a darling of investors on the African continent. Long loved for its placidity and its diamonds, the world’s largest producer of the gem is now on the map of resource-hungry Brics for another resource: coal.

India’s JSW Energy on Wednesday agreed to acquire Canadian mining company CIC Energy for US$414m (C$422 mn), adding Botswana – where CIC is developing a major coal field, as its second African coal asset. The 43 per cent premium JSW is prepared to pay, according to Wednesday’s proposed offer of C$7.42 per share, reveals how the growing appetite of Indian energy consumption is reaching far corners of the world.

Sylvia Pfeifer

BP marked a return to the deep water today – in Africa.

Seven months after its accident in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico, the UK oil group announced it has made a significant discovery in the deepwater West Nile Delta area in Egypt.

The Hodoa discovery – Hodoa means ‘horseshoe’ – is located in the West Mediterranean Deepwater, some 80km northwest of Alexandria. The WMDW-7 well was drilled to a depth of 6350m and is the first Oligocene Deep Water discovery in the West Nile Delta area.

Kiran Stacey

There have already been some noises off between the UK government and the green energy industry over the green investment bank, the government’s proposed investment vehicle for funding clean energy projects. Apart from anything, many in the sector simply don’t think the £1bn promised by Chris Huhne, the energy secretary, is enough.

But another faultline opened up today at a briefing attended by both Sam Laidlaw, the chief executive of Centrica (pictured), and Huhne himself. Specifically, the pair seemed to be at odds over whether the green investment bank could be used to fund energy efficiency initiatives.

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