Monthly Archives: March 2014

The Fantasy of European Gas Independence

Indigenous and North African supplies of gas to Europe declined by 50 million tonnes per annum over the last decade and are likely to decline by a similar amount in the next.

Imports of LNG from the USA and development of indigenous shale gas may compensate for some of the decline in legacy supply, but it is difficult to imagine that these new sources can begin to substitute for Russian imports of 140 million tonnes per annum. Continue reading

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Blowout week 13

UK energy policy in disarray: UK has among cheapest gas and electric in Europe; Government to investigate big 6 utilities for malpractice; Scottish and Southern Energy freeze prices until 2015 but axes renewables investment; politicians from all sides line up to take the credit. Continue reading

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USA gas independence – looking for export markets

There are multiple benefits for the USA from exporting shale gas, among them the creation of employment, the reduction of the US energy import trade deficit, securing the mid term future of the shale industry by driving gas prices up and undermining the gas dependency of Europe on Russia. Continue reading

Posted in Energy | Tagged , , , , | 17 Comments

Libya – energy, population and economy

Europe has only 4 contiguous suppliers of imported gas and oil. Russia to the East is by far the most important and to the South, Algeria, Egypt and Libya. Britain and France bombed Libya into submission in 2011. The outcome to date is likely not what was planned. Continue reading

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Blowout week 12

European leaders are lost in a fantasy land when it comes to understanding the continent’s energy security. Iraq and Libya descend further into chaos. Osborne sticks the knife into North Sea drilling. Continue reading

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Post-peak Algeria?

Algerian exports of oil and gas, mainly to Europe, peaked in 2005 and have since fallen by 24% / 628,000 barrels oil equivalent per day. Those countries thinking of switching supplies from Russia had best not look to Algeria, N Africa’s biggest gas producer and exporter. Continue reading

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France Wakes Up to the Fragile Case For Nuclear Power

because any rapid retirement of the existing 58 or 60 nuclear power plants would create a fantastic spending need for replacing them, far above 300 billion euros. The French response is classic: kicking the can down the road by raising NPP “safe operating lifetimes” from 30 to 40 years, and then possibly to 50 years or more. Continue reading

Posted in Energy, Political commentary | Tagged , , , , | 27 Comments

Putin’s Energy Stranglehold On Europe

To date, projected new east-west oil pipelines serving the EU states are almost absent. One reason is that Europe’s oil demand, like its gas demand is on a downward track that all analysts agree “has no light at the tunnel’s end”. Continue reading

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Russian Power

In 2012 Russia produced the equivalent of 26 million barrels oil per day spread between oil, natural gas, coal, nuclear and hydro electric power [1]. Just under 50% of that energy was exported, approximately 12.2 million barrels oil equivalent per day, mainly to western Europe and former Soviet republics Continue reading

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Blowout week 11

The bonfire of insanity: The Mail reports on clearing forests in the USA to fuel Green electricity production at Drax power station in the UK. Economy: The high cost of subsidising renewables and the high cost of helping industry pay its power bills. Continue reading

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Egypt – energy, population and economy

Decline in oil and gas exports and increasing cost of food imports resulted in Egypt’s trade deficit with the rest of the world growing to £12 billion in 2012 [2]. Debt : GDP stands at a manageable 81% but Egypt can ill afford to allow this to grow indefinitely [3]. Egypt needs a plan to boost exports and to use its energy resources to produce higher value GDP. Continue reading

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Blackout Britain?

At present, understanding the blackout risk in Britain boils down to understanding the security of future gas supplies and that is not a simple task. We seem set to become increasingly reliant upon Russia for gas supplies that also provides our electricity security. Continue reading

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Blowout week 10

20 stories from around the world focussing on utilities, renewables, shale and Ukraine. Continue reading

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Blowout week 9

Ukraine, utilities, climate change and OPEC are all in a bumper edition of blowout with 28 stories from around the world. Continue reading

Posted in Blowout | Tagged , , , , | 23 Comments

Ukraine: Russia holds all the aces

Ukraine is also of major strategic importance to Europe since several gas pipelines cross the country transporting Russian gas to Europe. Europe is also heavily dependent upon oil and coal imports from Russia. And so, when Americans talk of sanctions on Russia they had better come up with a plan B for European energy supplies at the same time. Continue reading

Posted in Energy, Political commentary | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments