Russia goes her own way: Sanctions busting deal with Iran; Lukoil brings on 120,000 bpd in Iraq; raises gas price for Ukraine; attacks petro $ system?
UK: Gas prices plunge; vast submarine coal resources in focus; coal mines to close; Big Brother tightens grip on BBC; offshore wind gets £460 million; onshore wind under pressure.
Scientists have discovered huge coal deposits under the North Sea that could power Britain for centuries.
Data from North Sea oil and gas exploration has been used to build a picture of the large coal deposits.
“We think there are between three trillion and 23 trillion tonnes of coal buried under the North Sea,” Dermot Roddy, former professor of energy at Newcastle University, told the Sunday Times.
26 more stories below the fold.
World: Old Math Casts Doubt on Accuracy of Oil Reserve Estimates
Things could turn out more pessimistic than people project,” said Lee. “The long-term production of some of those oil-rich wells may be overstated.
Iran and Russia have made progress towards an oil-for-goods deal sources said would be worth up to $20 billion, which would enable Tehran to boost vital energy exports in defiance of Western sanctions, people familiar with the negotiations told Reuters.
Russia raised the gas price for Ukraine on Thursday for the second time this week, almost doubling it in three days and piling pressure on a neighbour on the brink of bankruptcy in the crisis over Crimea.
Brazilian state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA suffered another setback in its effort to boost oil output last month when Italian contractor Saipem SpA dropped a 2.3 km steel pipe into the Atlantic Ocean.
On March 16, the rigging used to wrangle the pipe into position on a floating oil platform failed, and the high-grade, metal-alloy tubes plunged about 1,800 meters (5,900 feet) to the seabed, a total, crumpled loss.
Last week, a new record was set on the main Texas grid, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), reaching over 10,000 MW of wind. This was the most ever for a U.S. power system, the equivalent of powering more than five million average Texas homes. In two previously unreported records, wind energy supplied a record 39.7 percent of total ERCOT electricity demand this past Monday, March 31, and two weeks ago the Southwest Power Pool region just to the north of Texas set a new wind record with 7,202 MW of wind production.
U.K. natural gas had the worst weekly loss in more than four years as warmer-than-usual weather hit most of northern and central Europe, helping reduce demand for the fuel used in heating.
According to official statistics from Eurobserv’ER, 23.4 percent of the electricity in the European Union came from renewable energy sources in 2012. The total output for 2012 has been estimated at 763.5 TW. This represents an important increase from 2011, when these energy sources brought “only” 20.4 percent of total electricity.
Regarding gross final energy consumption, renewables brought 14 percent of the total in 2012, up from 12.9 percent in 2011.
The chief executive of engineering giant, Amec, has become the latest business leader to urge voters to reject Alex Salmond’s dreams of an independent Scotland.
Samir Brikho said a Yes vote in the referendum in September would create uncertainty for business at a time when the North Sea required “billions of pounds” of investment to maximise oil and gas production from its fields and also faced similar costs to dismantle rigs coming to the end of their lives.
Work on a revolutionary new energy project to produce gas from coal locked in seams under the seabed off the coast of the north east of England could begin within months.
When future generations come to look back on the alarm over global warming that seized the world towards the end of the 20th century, much will puzzle them as to how such a scare could have arisen. They will wonder why there was such a panic over a 0.4 per cent rise in global temperatures between 1975 and 1998, when similar rises between 1860 and 1880 and 1910 and 1940 had given no cause for concern.
Shetland’s tourism sector is rather niche. It’s for people who like going a long way off the beaten track, and don’t mind uncertain weather or the risk of being fogbound.
There’s another problem this year. Shetland’s very busy. I’ve just been there, and a hotel room costs much the same as a rather more modern room in central London.
The closure of two UK Coal collieries would be “disastrous” for energy security and energy prices in the UK, according to the chief executive of Eggborough.
Neil O’Hara said that if the government is not able to rescue UK Coal, which announced the closure of the Kellingley Colliery in Yorkshire and Thoresby Colliery in Nottinghamshire in the next 18 months, the UK’s energy security and current prices would be “potentially threatened”.
UK Coal is likely to close two of the last three deep mines in Britain as it battles to stave off insolvency.
The UK’s largest coal producer is consulting on plans to shut Kellingley in Yorkshire, and Thoresby in Nottinghamshire, affecting a total of 1,300 workers.
David Cameron is considering whether to go into the general election promising new restrictions on onshore windfarms as influential Tories launch an attempt to rid the countryside of turbines, a senior source close to the prime minister said.
The BBC has to adopt “clear editorial guidelines” for its reporting on the issue of climate change, MPs have said.
The Science and Technology Committee said the organisation played a “central” role in informing the public.
But some editors were “poor” at determining viewers’ and listeners’ level of expertise and sometimes pitted lobbyists against “top scientists” as if their views had “equal weight”.
The Russian energy company, Gazprom has raised the price it charges Ukraine for gas by more than a third.
The company’s chief executive Alexei Miller says the change was because Kiev has failed to pay its bills.
He said its current debt to Russia stood at just over $1.7bn (£1.02bn).
Britain could save 1 billion pounds ($1.7 billion) a year in electricity costs by 2020 by doubling its interconnector capacity with Europe, network operator National Grid said on Monday.
Its report came days after an outcry over soaring bills prompted a review of competition in Britain’s electricity sector and as politicians have focussed on how to keep a lid on costs for consumers.
Offshore wind has been given a boost with news of investment worth £461m in two projects aimed at generating power for hundreds of thousands of homes.
The Green Investment Bank said it was buying a 50pc stake in the Westermost Rough wind farm off the coast of East Yorkshire and a 10pc stake in the Gwynt y Mor project off the coast of North Wales.
Two wind farm projects off the coasts of north Wales and Yorkshire have received more than £460m in investment.
The Green Investment Bank is buying a 10% stake in Gwynt y Mor near Llandudno in Conwy and a 50% stake in Westermost Rough five miles offshore from Hull.
Trading standards is warning consumers to be wary of building companies and contractors who cold-call them and offer a ‘Green Deal’ (or similar scheme) to improve their home energy efficiency.
The Green Deal is a Scottish Government initiative aimed at making the country more energy efficient and allows individuals to pay for energy improvements using the savings from their bills to finance them.
My selection of stories posted by Luis de Sousa At The Edge of Time. Luis’ focus this week is on Iraq and Ukraine.
OAO Lukoil (LKOH) will start pumping crude from Iraq’s second-largest oilfield tomorrow as the nation boosts output to levels last seen more than three decades ago.
Russia’s biggest publicly traded oil producer will start producing 120,000 barrels a day at West Qurna-2 in the south. The field is expected to eventually yield 1.2 million barrels daily, or about a third of the nation’s current output.
The new Ukraine government in Kiev, currently led by interim Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk, continues to tell its people that the only path forward for the country is to submit to the demands of the international financial powers—specifically the International Monetary Fund—by meeting their demands to implement draconian cuts to social funding, pensions, and otherwise “liberalizing” the economy in exchange for billions of dollars in bailout loans.
The existence of “petrodollars” is one of the pillars of America’s economic might because it creates a significant external demand for American currency, allowing the US to accumulate enormous debts without defaulting. If a Japanese buyer want to buy a barrel of Saudi oil, he has to pay in dollars even if no American oil company ever touches the said barrel. Dollar has held a dominant position in global trading for such a long time that even Gazprom’s natural gas contracts for Europe are priced and paid for in US dollars. Until recently, a significant part of EU-China trade had been priced in dollars.
Another of the world’s leading solar PV manufacturing giants has underlined the potential for yet more substantial falls in the manufacturing cost of solar modules, even as the cost of fossil fuels – and gas in particular – surges in the opposite direction.