Wikileaks has an impeccable sense of timing. As Hilary Clinton meets counterparts from Arctic nations in Greenland to talk about oil, the whistle blowing website publishes a raft of cables showing just how much international tension the country’s natural resources have provoked.
The cables make for fascinating reading, and tell a tale of US perceptions of Russian paranoia and aggression in the territory. They claim:
The warnings may finally be coming true. Four months after the OECD warned that the soaring oil price could damage the economic recovery in developed nations (since when Brent has advanced another 19 per cent), the IEA has noticed that global oil demand has begun to flatline.
In its March Oil Market Report, it notes the first month of near-zero growth since the summer of 2009, which was just as the recovery was getting under way.
Part of the decline in demand is because of the Japanese refinery capacity which was knocked out by the earthquake and tsunami.
Last month, Vestas launched its new 7MW offshore wind turbine to great fanfare. At the top of London’s South Bank Centre, accompanied by a flashy video and models of the turbine for every attendee, we were told that this was the future of offshore wind power.
This was an obvious pitch to developers hoping to build under the upcoming third round of leasing of the UK’s seabed for offshore wind farms. The only problem was that the company hadn’t got very far with it – no prototype had been built and no location had been set for its manufacture.
A global backlash against nuclear power in the wake of the Fukushima crisis would lead to higher prices, less energy security and higher carbon emissions, according to Fatih Birol, chief economist at the International Energy Agency.
Birol was speaking as part of the FT’s weekly energy podcast, and told us that if countries around the world scaled back their nuclear ambitions, it would be highly damaging.
The UK has decided to put forward 12 projects for consideration by the European Investment Bank for its New Entrants Reserve, the €4.5bn pot to spend on CCS and “innovative renewable projects”.
There are seven CCS projects and five renewable ones.
The UK government has a big decision to make next week: whether to endorse the proposals by the Committee on Climate Change to set stringent emissions reductions targets for 2030.
The so-called “fourth carbon budget” (the other three have already been made policy) sets out that the UK should cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 60 per cent on 1990 levels by 2030.
Chris Huhne (pictured on the left), the energy secretary, is broadly in favour, having put tackling climate change at the heart of his department’s agenda. But he is facing resistance from an unexpected source: his Lib Dem cabinet colleague Vince Cable (on the right).
Newsflash from Reuters:
15:15 06May11 RTRS-BP PLC <BP.L> – ARBITRAL PANEL PERMITS CONDITIONAL COMPLETION OF BP-ROSNEFT SHARE SWAP
15:16 06May11 RTRS-BP PLC <BP.L> – ASSIGNMENT OF ARCTIC OPPORTUNITY TO TNK-BP
15:16 06May11 RTRS-BP PLC <BP.L> – THE ORDER ALSO PERMITS THE PROPOSED SHARE SWAP BETWEEN BP AND ROSNEFT TO PROCEED
BP shares are now on the up following early morning falls.
More on this to follow from our energy editor Sylvia Pfeifer.
Thursday’s dramatic drop in the price of oil and other commodities has left markets reeling.
The rout has continued on Friday morning, and at the time of writing, Brent is down at around $105 a barrel, from about $125 on Monday.
But with no obvious trigger for the sell-off, traders and analysts are offering varying interpretations as to why it is happening, and, especially, why now.
Amid the increasingly rancorous debate on voting reform in the UK, one of the most vociferous figures in the campaign for the alternative vote system has been the Energy Secretary Chris Huhne, architect of the electricity market reform package.
His clashes with his “no” voting Conservative cabinet colleagues has reached such intensity that some commentators are speculating about whether he could be ready to quit the government altogether.
Iraqi officials are preparing to cut the country’s oil output targets from 12m b/d to somewhere between 6.5m and 7m b/d, according to The Times.
The paper reports that ministers in Nouri al-Maliki’s regime argue that such a glut of supply could depress prices, and would outstrip demand. But experts have been warning for a long time that the country could never meet its initial targets anyway.