General Electric is paying $1.3bn for British pipeline-builder Wellstream, in a move to increase its exposure to Brazil’s oil industry. GE’s oil and gas arm already works alongside Brazil’s state-controlled giant Petrobras, the company that provides much of Wellstream’s revenues; now it can access Wellstream’s know-how and contracts, for a price moderately below what Wellstream was demanding.
The full FT story is here. But for investors, the deal holds three important lessons.
Many thanks for all your questions for Peter Voser, Shell’s chief executive. His answers will appear on this site on Friday, December 17th.
Next week, the person in the hotseat will be Chris Huhne, the UK energy secretary. The government will shortly begin consultations on how it should reform the electricity market. This is your chance to ask him about anything electricity-related: from whether and how the UK can reach its emissions and renewables targets, to the role of nuclear power and whether it can thrive without government subsidy, to how customers can get the fairest deal possible.
Email all your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org by the end of Friday, December 17th.
Against expectations, the Cancun climate change conference came up with a deal. Not a full, comprehensive deal. Not a legally binding treaty. Not a perfect deal. But a compromise that represents real progress compared with the entrenched positions that negotiators have held for more than a decade.
Some of the hardest decisions have been put off until next year. The future of the Kyoto protocol is a totemic issue for developing countries, and it was put aside as too hard to sort out this year. The question of what legal form any new agreement should take has also been left hanging. And while a “green fund” was ushered in with much fanfare, there is still no agreement on how exactly the $100bn a year it will require should be raised.
But those who leapt to attack the Cancun deal as soon as the chairman’s gavel had been brought down should be ignored. They would have said that anyway – they always do. By the yardstick of those perfectionists who work in NGOs, all climate change talks, like all political careers, end in failure.