Daily Archives: April 7, 2011

A strong earthquake of magnitude 7.1 shook the northeast of Japan late on Thursday, and a tsunami warning was issued for the coast already devastated by last month’s massive 9.0 quake and the tsunami that crippled a nuclear power plant.

Tokyo Electric Power, operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear station, said initial checks on the plant had shown no new problems. Injections of coolant water into its overheated reactors, and of nitrogen gas into one unit were proceeding normally, and levels of contaminated-water in service tunnels under the plant were unchanged, it said. No workers at the plant were hurt.

Nuclear safety authorities said another nuclear power plant further to the north, Onagawa nuclear station in Miyagi, had lost external power from two of its three electricity lines, but all its safety systems were working on the remaining line. The plant, like all other nuclear stations along Japan’s northeast coast, has been off line since the country’s massive March 11 earthquake and tsunami, and its uranium fuel has been cooled to safe levels.

With oil firmly over $120 this week, Beijing responded by raising motor fuel prices on Thursday, the second time it has done so in a year.

More significant than the rises, however, is their restraint. The threat of inflation is such that Beijing has kept motor fuels much cheaper than the basket of international crude oils it uses as its reference.

Prices are up roughly 5 per cent at filling stations across the country. That means the cost of taking a truck-load of vegetables from southern China to Beijing has increased by Rmb326 ($50); and your average Beijing taxi driver is paying Rmb13 ($2) extra a day for his fuel, according to calculations by oil analyst He Wei of Bocom International.

FT Energy Source

- Gaddafi forces attack eastern oilfields – FT

- Rising oil prices a risk for developing Asia – Argus

- Oil rise has not hit recovery, says Iraq – FT

- Oil speculators must be reined in – Leah McGrath Goodman, FT

- Woodside may buy back $9bn Shell stake – Bloomberg

- BP wants different scheme for assessing spill fines – Argus

- BP unites Christians against high pay, poor safety – The Telegraph

- Subsea 7 wins $1bn Petrobras contract – WSJ

- Japan uses nitrogen in bid to prevent blasts – FT

- Why is Fukushima so gassy? – NY Times Green blog

- Tepco finds no time to rest easy – FT

- Hitachi expects earnings hit from quake – WSJ

- Battle at site dubbed ‘most dangerous’ reignites – FT

- German Greens surge on anti-nuclear fervour – FT

- Siemens reconsiders its nuclear ambitions – FT

- UN climate talks risk backsliding on Cancun outcome – Reuters

- US cleantech investment highest since 2008 – The Guardian

- Biofuels battle past bumps in the road – WSJ

- UK government’s own solar project scrapped – The Guardian

- GE plans to build biggest solar panel plant in US – NY Times

- Vallar poised to raise Bumi resources stake – FT

- Reliance executive is killed in India – WSJ

- Delhi delays Cairn-Vedanta deal – FT

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