Germany: Energiewende kaput?
Big oil in trouble: Shell production down, profits down 45%; Exxon Mobil production down, profits down 4%; BP production and profits down. Russia, production down.
Ukraine / Russia: Ukraine raises domestic gas prices by 50%; Russia tightens the screws; chunk of Russia’s military industrial complex in E Ukraine.
“The truth is that in all fields we under-estimated the complexity of the Energiewende.”
“The complete exemption from paying feed-in tariffs is a model that is wonderful for you as a business model, but is one that is a problem for everyone else.”
25 stories this week in an action packed Blowout.
He said: “Scotland’s vast natural resources and human talent make it one of the lynchpins of the European Union. We have a key role to play in providing energy security for Europe.
Whether to allow more exports of U.S. oil and natural gas has become a matter of political debate in Washington. But to economists, the answer is clear: The nation would benefit.
[Editor: The US is a small net importer of natural gas and remains a vey large importer of crude oil 😉 ]
The Dallas-based utility’s bankruptcy yesterday ended the biggest leveraged buyout on record and will wipe out most of the $8.3 billion of equity that investors led by three of the world’s largest private-equity firms sank into the company.
New retail rates of natural gas for households are coming into force in Ukraine as of May 1. The hike exceeds 50 percent.
Ukraine’s interim government says it will raise gas prices for domestic consumers by 50% in an effort to secure an International Monetary Fund (IMF) aid package. An official at Ukraine’s Naftogaz state energy company said the price rise would take effect on 1 May, and further rises would be scheduled until 2018.
UK shale gas exploration company Cuadrilla has been given the green light to test oil extraction in Balcombe, the West Sussex village that saw major anti-fracking protests last summer. At a planning committee meeting that had to be adjourned at one point due to people disrupting it, West Sussex county council approved the company’s application to undertake tests to see how fast oil would flow at a site on the outskirts of the village.
[Editor: Cuadrilla’s Balcombe well is a conventional oil well where no fracking has ever been planned.]
Rice Energy Inc. (RICE), a natural gas producer with risky credit, raised $900 million in three days this month, $150 million more than it originally sought. Not bad for the Canonsburg, Pennsylvania-based company’s first bond issue after going public in January. Especially since it has lost money three years in a row, has drilled fewer than 50 wells — most named after superheroes and monster trucks — and said it will spend $4.09 for every $1 it earns in 2014.
Researchers have long contended that power from ocean waves could make a major contribution as a renewable energy source. But a host of challenges, including the difficulty of designing a device to capture the energy of waves, have stymied efforts to generate electricity from the sea.
The European oil giant Royal Dutch Shell reported Wednesday a 45 percent decline in first-quarter earnings compared with a year earlier, as production fell sharply and the company took a large write-off in its refining business.
Exxon Mobil said Thursday that its net income fell 4 percent in the fourth quarter as it produced less oil and natural gas and posted weaker refining results.
BP plc (ADR) (BP) reported its financial results for the first quarter of its fiscal 2014 (1QFY14; ended March 31, 2014) before the opening bell today. The company reported declining profits and missed analysts’ estimates for revenues, with earnings falling in line.
Russian oil output, the world’s largest, slipped by 0.2 percent to 10.54 million barrels per day in April, declining for the fourth month in a row as production from new fields failed to offset a slowdown from mature deposits.
In my last Barrel post, I threw down the gauntlet to those casually predicting a collapse in oil prices, as such a collapse would effectively kill the oil business at the major oil companies. We will know, I wrote, that such forecasters are serious when they declare the international oil companies (IOCs) “to be the walking dead.”
A fault at a substation was the cause of a power outage which affected more than 200,000 properties across the north of Scotland last week.
The direction of oil prices is once again a hot topic. In a recent Barron’s article, Ed Morse, Citigroup’s head of global commodity research, forecasts a collapse in global oil prices to $75 /b over the next three to five years. By contrast, Chevron has announced that it is budgeting with $110/b oil for 2017, with the company’s CEO John Watson stating, “There is a new reality in our business… $100/bbl is becoming the new $20/bbl in our business… costs have caught up to revenues for many classes of projects.” And for good measure, he adds, “If $100 is the new $20, consumers will pay more for oil.”
As temperatures plunged to 16 below zero in Chicago in early January and set record lows across the eastern U.S., electrical system managers implored the public to turn off stoves, dryers and even lights or risk blackouts. A fifth of all power-generating capacity in a grid serving 60 million people went suddenly offline, as coal piles froze, sensitive electrical equipment went haywire and utility operators had trouble finding enough natural gas to keep power plants running.
Much of Aberdeen city centre and areas to the north of the city have been affected by a power cut. A statement from Scottish Hydro said the AB24 and AB16 postcode areas were without electricity this morning. By 14:30, the company said all of the properties affected had power restored to them. In total, 1200 customers are thought to have been affected.
A fabrication yard in Easter Ross could play a part in the construction of an offshore wind farm in the Moray Firth.
Centrica faces losing its “A”-grade credit rating for the first time as political pressure takes its toll on the embattled utility. Moody’s has placed the British Gas owner on review for downgrade, in a move that illustrates how political intervention in the energy sector risks pushing up the cost of doing business for Britain’s biggest energy supplier.
Tens of thousands of vulnerable gas and electricity customers could be going without power for up to three months, despite promises from the big six companies that no one will knowingly be cut off. The Labour party argues that an unacceptable “disconnection by the back door” has taken hold because many on prepayment meters are not receiving early help from suppliers.
My selection of stories posted by Luis de Sousa At The Edge of Time. Luis’ focus remains on Russia / Ukraine and Iraq.
Russian state-controlled energy giant Gazprom has ratcheted up the pressure on Ukraine, issuing a May 7 ultimatum to settle $3.5bn unpaid debts or start paying in advance for its gas.
However, it turns out that there is something else that makes the Ukraine’s East especially important – for Russia. Back when the Ukraine split from the Soviet Union, it took some 30% of the country’s industry with it – inter alia a big chunk of its defense industry.
BAGHDAD — Snipers line the rooftops across Falluja, waiting for a chance to shoot at government soldiers, should they try to invade. Homes have been wired to explode, too, just in case the government rushes the city. And roads have been studded with countless steel-plated bombs, of the type that killed so many American soldiers here.
That means oil producers need to flare any gas produced alongside oil output. Burning off the stuff because there simply isn’t a way to get it to market. But this month two regional governments have said that gas flaring needs to stop.