Daily Archives: February 10, 2011

Kiran Stacey

One of the major issues facing renewables developers in the UK, especially those of onshore wind farms, is fighting through local planning problems. The British public (to generalise) has never been overly keen on the sight of mammoth wind turbines cluttering the green and pleasant land.

Previously, the answer to this has been national policy statements, which set out the national need for new energy infrastructure, so bypassing one test carried out by local planning authorities.

But the problem has never been that local authorities weren’t convinced by the need for nuclear plants or wind farms, but that local opposition was too strong.

PetroChinaThere is no respite in China’s hunt for energy assets. A month after taking a stake in a British refinery, PetroChina  is paying $5.4bn to buy into  a large Canadian gas field project owned by Calgary-based Encana.

The state-controlled company is taking a 50 per cent in a transaction that dwarfs the two  recent deals totalling $1.3bn by rival CNOOC with US-based Chesapeake Energy for American gas projects. In 2010, Chinese oil groups spent $24bn on foreign acquisitions. Given the flying start to 2011, it could be even more this year.

As Bernard Simon reports from Toronto on ft.com, the focus of these deals is so-called unconventional gas – gas locked into shale and/or coal, which requires new technologies for its development. As well as buying foreign energy reserves, Chinese companies want to acquired know-how for possible use in China, where there are reported to be big reserves of unconventional gas.

FT Energy Source

- FBI probes Chinese cyber attacks on oil groups – FT

- US group sets oil talks with China – Reuters

- Petrochina in $5.4bn Canada gas buy – FT

- KNOC plans to spend $4bn on oil assets – Bloomberg

- BP’s Rosneft deal put to TNK-BP directors – The Telegraph

- Acquisition of Spanish utility boosts Suez – FT

- British windfarms blow Vestas towards 25% profit rise – The Guardian

- UK grants Eon Humber wind farm permission – Argus

- SSE seeks EU backing for pilot carbon capture plant – The Times (£)

- Statoil trims its production targets – FT

- Republicans take EPA chief to task – NY Times

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