Several years ago, analysts covering the oil industry were raising alarm bells about how the major oil groups would be making money in the decades to come. With conventional oilfields maturing and no sign of the shale gas revolution at that point, there was pressure from shareholders for them to get into renewables. The majors responded by delving into projects to extract biofuels from chicken fat and soybeans. But that phase is over.
The major oil groups found salvation in unconventional oil and gas production. By unconventional, I mean new ways of getting to oil and gas. In conventional production, drilling a hole into the ground is enough to get oil and gas to flow to the surface. And over the years, as that flow slowed, the industry turned to technology to help the fuel along, for example, by pumping in water and carbon dioxide. But it did not seem that alone was going to produce enough to sustain the majors decades down the road.
UK electricity reform, Australian carbon pricing, Macarthur Coal
In this week’s podcast: We talk to former speaker of the California state assembly and founder of G24 Innovations, Bob Hertzberg, about the UK’s white paper on reforming the electricity market; we look at Australian prime minister, Julia Gillard’s announcement on carbon pricing; and, we discuss the possible takeover of mining company Macarthur Coal by US-based Peabody Energy.
Presented by David Blair with Pilita Clark and William MacNamara.
Produced by LJ Filotrani
A device that uses the odour of smelly feet to trap mosquitoes is to get a boost in funding in the fight against malaria.
Scientists have known for some time that human odour attracts mosquitoes, but researchers from Tanzania’s Ifakara Health Institute have found that the smell of human feet can attract four times as many mosquitoes as ordinary human scent.
After the dot.com crash and the credit crunch, investors are being warned of the potential consequences of a ‘carbon bubble’.
Stock markets are sitting on vast reserves of fossil fuels that cannot be burnt if the world is to stick to climate change targets, according to research issued by the Carbon Tracker initiative.
Developing countries invested more in renewable energy than their developed counterparts for the first time last year, according to a report commissioned by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).
When the Republic of South Sudan becomes the world’s newest state on Saturday, the new government in Juba will begin to assess how it can establish an independent export route for its vast oil reserves.
India seems to hold the upper-hand over Iran in a dispute over payments for crude oil shipments that has been rumbling for over six months.
Iran supplies India with 12-14 per cent of its total imports, making it India’s second biggest provider after Saudi Arabia. But a payments dispute has left India owing debts estimated at anywhere between $2-6 billion. In effect, this means India has been importing Iranian oil on credit since December 2010.