Gas

Pakistan is being urged to cut its energy subsidies in order to resolve supply problems that have led to chronic electricity shortages. But the debate on reducing energy spending touches upon a more fundamental failing of the Pakistani state: a near total inability to get the population to pay either tax or energy bills.

Theoretically, maintaining artificially low prices for electricity should see the proportion of paid bills rise. But PEPCO, the national power company, has seen collected revenue fall over the past year. Read more

BP, solar, De Beers, Centrica

In this week’s podcast: Interim results from BP fail to please investors; solar power – how economic is it? We ask CEO of Canadian Solar, Dr Shawn Qu; diamond company De Beers gets a new chief executive; and, Centrica – what should we expect from its results? Read more

Energy subsidies in Pakistan are contributing to “severe supply problems” according to a report from the country’s Petroleum Institute.

Power consumption has grown by 80% over the last 15 years, but a failure to keep up with demand has led to crippling electricity shortfalls. Read more

Turkmenistan has started to sell gas to China through the world’s longest natural gas pipeline as it continues to develop an international export market for its vast energy reserves. Read more

Israel may be considering its energy options after a pipeline bringing gas from Egypt suffered four attacks in the space of five months.

This link provides Israel with 40 per cent of its gas and the most recent explosion, which took place at a monitoring station near the Egyptian town of Al-Arish, was the second incident in as many weeks. Read more

Sheila McNulty

Jim Mulva, chief executive of ConocoPhillips, has been in a hurry to establish his legacy. In the beginning, it was going to be as the head of one of the world’s biggest international oil and gas companies. And he got there, boosting Conoco into 5th place, in terms of production. But then the economic downturn hit, and the weaknesses in his grow-through-acquisition strategy were exposed. Conoco was forced to slash capital spending, lay off staff and sell billions of dollars in assets.
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Pakistan is to become a key buyer of Iranian natural gas at a time when relations with Washington are at their most strained in recent years.

Work on extending the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline will begin in the next six months and is set to be complete by 2014, according to Asim Hussain, the Pakistani natural resources minister. Some 1,100 km of the 2,700 km pipeline has already been completed on the Iranian side of the border, stretching from the South Pars field to the frontier with Pakistan. Read more

Sheila McNulty

The weekend oil spill by ExxonMobil into Yellowstone River gives environmentalits more ammunition in their long-running battle against granting the oil industry increased access to US oil resources.

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Sheila McNulty

Alaska’s decision to host the largest oil and gas lease sale of any US state this year is good news for the oil and gas industry, which has been pressing for more access. And while the resulting exploration and production certainly will be good for the overall economy – creating jobs and boosting activity – it is a pity that it is not against a backdrop of better news on the environmental front.

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Sheila McNulty

The issue of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has taken on a life of its own. But with so much misinformation circulating, it is hard for the general public to know whether it is a good thing or a bad thing. The truth is – as with any polarizing issue – somewhere in the middle Read more