Politics

Energy news from the FT:

- Gazprom to cut costs and production
Russian group plans to reduce foreign borrowing

- Court of Appeal attacks British Gas
Utility companies could face a deluge of lawsuits

- Eon to cut costs after charges of €3.3bn
Utilities are being hit by the economic crisis

- Power generators suffer shock to the system
Industrial companies cut back on electricity consumption

- De Beers cuts production as it loses its sparkle
Diamond demand hits rough spot

‘Resource nationalism’ on the wane, says BG

South Africa’s gold miners face an ever-deeper problem

Gas, more than oil, is the canary in US coal mine

Installed windpower by country – guess who is top?

After the strike threat, it’s back to the future for US refiners

New nano material the key to cutting solar cell prices

DARPA funding for algae-based jet fuel

Three conditions needed for a surge in Iraqi oil

A large array PV system paid for in today’s dollars could be quite the asset in 2020

Climate change and giant snakes

Rio Tinto in asset sale talks with Chinalco

Survey sparks EU probe into power market

Carbon price fall bad for green investment

Tide on the rise for wave generation

Editorial: By leaving markets, food importers make things worse

In the FT and FT.com this morning:

- Investor fury over Xstrata cash call

- Rio Tinto to sell assets to Vale for $1.6bn

- Shell’s fourth-quarter profits tumble

- Centrica looks to US in quest for further acquisitions

- Europe could spark off US energy deals

- Eaga increases interim dividend

WTI lower than Brent: With all the storage available at Cushing, WTI more accurately reflects what is going on in the world of crude (The Barrel/Platts)

Stimulus: The new administration neglects public transport at its peril (Gregor)

Stimulus: Several key Democratic senators are calling for more energy spending in the stimulus bill – mostly on oil security grounds (Platts)

Bush administration preparing a directive to ‘better clarify’ its claim to Arctic territory. (WSJ). Ironically, notes Environmental Capital, melting ice makes access to the region easier

- Oil companies’ shares rise after Fed lowers rates to near zero (AP/Forbes)

- Russia may cut oil production by 400,000 barrels a day: Kuwait’s oil minister (Bloomberg)

- Tom Vilsack, tipped to be the next US agriculture secretary, need to act quickly on bills related to farm subsidies and lower crop prices, commodities analysts said (Bloomberg)

- Ken Salazar, set to head the US interior department, can expect to face big drilling issues (WSJ)

- Ecuador’s prosecutor general removed himself from a case against two Chevron attorneys (CNN)

- Australian court blocks Xstrata mine expansion (Reuters)

- Saudi Arabia called for the biggest production cut in the history of the Opec oil cartel in an effort to counter collapsing oil prices

- General Electric delivered a sober outlook for 2009, leaving little doubt profits would fall

- Obama’s appointment of Steven Chu as US energy secretary has been welcomed by scientists and climate change campaigners

- Italian police arrested three Total employees in a corruption probe involving an oil concession

- Heat rises in Russia-Ukraine gas talks for the fourth consecutive year

- Buffett could bow out of the battle for Constellation Energy after his utility group said it would not try to outbid EDF

- Iraq signs $3bn power deal with GE to more than double its electricity generation capacity

- Falling oil price threatens bid to diversify Gulf economies

- Aluminium prices sank to a five-year low amid falling demand fear

- UK business ‘woefully served’ by power groups

President-elect Obama focuses on alternative energy with pick for energy secretary

Electricite de France said to be close to buying half of Constellation, trumping Buffett reports Bloomberg

UK: Nick Butler of Cambridge Judge Business School writes in the Comment pages of today’s FT that the low price of oil should force energy ministers to consider new rules that would stabilise the market

UK: ExxonMobil will invest $1bn to expand capacity of three of its refineries

UK: Oil companies storing at least 50m barrels of oil in supertankers