Daily Archives: April 19, 2011

Kiran Stacey

Oil production at the Sarir and Misla oilfields could restart within weeks, the Libyan National Transition Council has said.

The facilities above the wells had been shelled by Gaddafi loyalists, which brought production to a halt. But rebels are confident they could soon have oil flowing again down the pipeline to Tobruk, which they say has not been damaged. This would bring back an estimated 300,000 b/d of production, which could help the constrained oil markets.

The news, which was broken by Petroleum Economist, does not appear to have made a dent in the oil price though, which has bounced back after a shaky start this morning. That may be because the rebels have made similar predictions before, telling the FT in early March that production could restart in two weeks.

Kiran Stacey

The group of UK solar companies behind the campaign against the reduction of the subsidies for larger projects has asked the courts to quash the government’s review altogether.

Greg Barker, energy minister, announced in March that the government intended to cut the level of public subsidy for large solar farms after a brief review of feed-in tariffs.

The companies have filed a claim in the High Court for judicial review against Chris Huhne, energy secretary, and hope they can get the energy department to start all over again on the process of deciding which projects get which subsidies.

The groups have included four arguments in their case:

  • The energy department previously indicated that the review would take place in 2012, with changes being implemented in 2013.
  • There was a suggestion that an early review could take place based on a certain “trigger point”, but that trigger point was never set.
  • There is no evidence of the “excessive deployment” of large-scale solar power about which the energy department warns.
  • Large-scale solar is more cost effective, and so reducing subsidies at the larger end to balance the cost to the consumer doesn’t make sense.

FT Energy Source

Sheila McNulty

An oil rig in the Gulf of MexicoWhat a difference a year makes. Or does it?

Activity in the Gulf of Mexico remains slow following the Macondo disaster – but it is moving again. And despite all the talk about how the US risked driving away the industry by tightening up processes and procedures, just about everyone is still here.

Seahawk Drilling was forced into bankruptcy and Plains Exploration & Production is moving to exit the deepwater, but, for the most part, it is the same people, working for the same companies (BP was even among the first companies to get permission to resume drilling in the deepwater), using the same technology. Even the much maligned blowout preventer that got jammed and failed in the Macondo disaster is still here as the last line of defence.

And the gulf coast economy has remained pretty resilient. Michael Hecht, chief executive of the Greater New Orleans economic development agency, said the local economy received a boost from BP’s spill response effort that gave work to fishermen and tour boat workers who had lost jobs with the spill. That false economy is only now ending in some places, leaving the real economic cost still to be seen.

FT Energy Source

- North African unrest weighs on Halliburton – FT

- Gulf disaster spares Halliburton – WSJ

- Memos expose link between oil firms and Iraq invasion – The Independent

- Tullow sues Heritage over Uganda tax bill – FT

- BP comeback is sidetracked in Arctic – WSJ

- Desire to abandon Falklands well – FT

- Desire plunges after sixth oil well comes up dry – The Telegraph

- Brazil’s OGX hit by reserve estimate – WSJ

- Fuel subsidies drag on emerging economies – FT

- Sinopec halts fuel exports on shortage – Bloomberg

- Sinopec said to seek $3.8bn in loans – Bloomberg

- Japan bars officials from utility jobs – FT

- Aveva ‘unaffected’ by Japanese crisis – The Telegraph

- The nuclear industry’s trillion dollar question – Reuters

- Questions raised on purchases of Tepco shares – NY Times

- US greenhouse gases drop to 15-year low – FT

- US offers loan aid for world’s biggest solar plant – Reuters

- California steps out on bold green venture – FT

- Budget fight hurts US climate effort – NY Times

- Obama’s green credentials tarnished – FT

- UK’s first local power station looks for investment – The Guardian

- Cornell gas study stirs heated debate – NY Times Green blog

- Big guns vie to tap Azeri gas riches – FT

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