Politics

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

Libyan oil production will take years, not months, to return to full capacity once a political solution to the conflict is found, according to Barclays Capital.

“The reincorporation of Libyan oil into the world market increasingly seems a distant possibility” according to the study, which warns of a lasting political vacuum after the potential fall of the Gaddafi regime. 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

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

Chevron, the US energy company, will carry out oil exploration off the Liberian coast later this year, giving the west African country the possible chance to join its neighbours as an oil-producing nation. Read more

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. Read more

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. Read more

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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