Blowout week 21

The main energy news this week is the signing of a deal to build a gas export pipeline from Russia to China. The European baby rabbits remain caught in the headlights rabbiting on about wind, solar and CCS while their decades long reliable gas supplier turns and faces East. European Parliamentary elections held this week will hopefully send a strong message to the current crop of unelected incumbents. Russia is also stirring the mix in Iran with news of a deal to deliver nuclear reactors to that country.

European gas heads East: Russia’s gas king taunts crumbling Europe over China pipeline coup

Gazprom’s chairman has describing Europe’s energy shortage as “scary” and ridiculed the EU’s push for wind and solar power as a shambles

South Stream steams ahead: All Preparations for First Two Offshore Pipelines in Place

The progress of the Offshore Project is testimony to the good cooperation between our European and Russian Shareholders. Likewise, I believe South Stream can also serve to foster cooperation on a bigger scale, as the pipeline will create mutual benefits and provide secure energy supplies to Bulgaria and Europe as a whole.

Antarctica’s glaciers in action: CryoSat finds sharp increase in Antarcticas ice losses

Three years of observations from ESA’s CryoSat satellite show that the Antarctic ice sheet is now losing 159 billion tonnes of ice each year – twice as much as when it was last surveyed.

Climate change axed in Oz: Climate Change Research Axed in Australia

The fallout from the new government’s budget is still being seen in Australia, but it is already obvious that climate change is a loser when it comes to funding. Prime Minister Tony Abbott has long been skeptical of global warming and the science behind it, but with his new-found legislative power it seems as though he is looking at making that viewpoint into law.

Scottish blackout question: MSP questions role of ‘over-reliance’ on wind farms in Highlands power black-out

MSP Alex Johnstone (Conservative, North East Scotland) has this week tabled question for answer in the Scottish parliament on causes of last month’s power black-out which cut off electricity to 200,000 homes in the Highlands and Islands.

European gas heads East: Vladimir Putin faces giving ground in China to seal gas deal

Long-coveted prize would allow Russia to switch sales from Europe to the Far East and transform the Eurasian gas market

Money in wind: The Difficulty of Making Money from Wind Generated Electricity

Although he has not recently described Scotland as “the Saudi Arabia of renewables”, First Minister Alex Salmond and other supporters of his wind energy policies are still claiming that it is possible for us to make money selling renewable energy to the rest of the world, as Saudi Arabia does with its oil.


The German Ministry of Environment has falsified the conclusions of a UN climate change report in the German-language version released last week, in an attempt to hide the fact that the country’s ‘green policies’ are useless.

Will Holland opt for hydro?: Solar panels key to energy demands

Installing state-of-the-art solar panels on 250,000 roofs could meet one-sixth of Scotland’s electricity demands, according to researchers.

European gas heads East: ‘West forgot to lock back door, pushed Russia into gas deal with China’

While the West imposes sanctions on Russia, Russia is making a deal with China as each has something to offer the other, David Kuo, CEO of the Motley Fool Singapore financial website, told RT.

European gas heads East: ‘Double-headed eagle looks in both directions’: Russia has enough gas for both East and West – PM Medvedev

As Moscow and Beijing finalize a historic deal that may be worth some $456 billion in Russian gas over the next 30 years, Russia keeps looking both East and West, and is not forgetting about its European customers, PM Dmitry Medvedev told Bloomberg TV.

Lets burn more coal to limit climate change: UK carbon capture plants must get go-ahead within year, say MPs

The UK’s first carbon capture and storage (CCS) plants must be fast-tracked and get the go-ahead within a year, according to a report from MPs. It describes the technology, which traps the carbon dioxide from fossil fuel burning and buries it, as “vital to limit climate change”.

Rumours of fire denied: Angola LNG shut due to technical problems, restart time unknown

Angola’s new liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant has been forced to shut down production due to unspecified technical problems, a spokesman said on Friday, but he denied a report of an explosion at the plant.

Electric cars too cheap: Fiat Chrysler CEO: Please don’t buy Fiat 500e electric car

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne has a request for potential buyers of the automaker’s Fiat 500e electric car: Don’t buy it. He’s tired of losing money.
Speaking at a conference in Washington on Wednesday, Marchionne said Tesla Motors Inc was the only company making money on electric cars and that was because of the higher price point for its Model S sedan.

Monterey in the dumps: U.S. officials cut estimate of recoverable Monterey Shale oil by 96%

Federal energy authorities have slashed by 96% the estimated amount of recoverable oil buried in California’s vast Monterey Shale deposits, deflating its potential as a national “black gold mine” of petroleum.

Climate meltdown in USA: U.S. Climate Report Predicts Growing Problems for Energy Sector

More frequent and intense weather events—from hurricanes to wildfires to sweltering summers—can be attributed to climate change and are affecting energy production and power delivery in the United States, according to a new government report.

Vattenfall leads way on CCS: Vattenfall Ditches Carbon Capture and Storage Research

Vattenfall, one of Europe’s largest energy producers, announced this week that it will discontinue its research and development activities in carbon capture and storage (CCS) for coal-fired power plants.

Gas prices tumble: UK gas prices slump to fresh lows

Prices on the UK’s wholesale gas market tumbled further over the week as warm spring weather dampened already weak demand, sending gas for prompt delivery to levels not seen since 2010.

My selection of stories posted by Luis de Sousa At The Edge of Time. Luis has a great selection of stories this week focussing on oil supply shortages, Libyan turmoil, blackouts and Russia flexing nuclear muscles in Iran,

IEA to call OPEC: Energy agency predicts oil shortage unless supply boosted

Industrialised countries could be facing the prospect of an oil supply squeeze and higher prices later this year unless production is lifted, according to a report just released by the International Energy Agency.

1 million bpd more required: IEA looks to OPEC to boost oil production as output growth elsewhere slows

The International Energy Agency believes OPEC will need to raise its production by nearly 1 million b/d in the third quarter to meet rising global demand and to make up for slowing supply growth from non-OPEC producers.
That would mean the group would be producing nearly 31 million b/d within a few months.
Can it be done?

Libya in turmoil: Offensive in Libya by former Gadhafi general aimed at breaking Islamist control

A former general in Moammar Gadhafi’s army who defected to the United States nearly three decades ago has launched an unexpected offensive against Islamist militias in Libya _ a development that appears to have broken the stalemate that has left the militias in charge in much of the country.

US plans Libya evacuation: Fearing militia control of Libya’s airports, U.S. moves troops to Sicily in case evacuation needed

Alarmed by developments in Libya, the United States this week moved 200 troops to a base in Sicily so that they could respond more quickly if the U.S. needs to evacuate its embassy in Tripoli, two administration officials have told McClatchy.

Libyan oil still off  line: Libya’s major western oilfields remain closed

Libya’s major western oilfields remain closed 10 days after the government said protesters blocking pipeline flows had agreed to leave, while total oil output edged higher, a spokesman for National Oil Corp said on Wednesday.

Only the small 30,000-barrels-per-day (bpd) Wafa field was producing normally in the west, NOC spokesman Mohammed El Harari said.

Blackouts in Egypt: Egypt Sets Clocks Forward Amid Crippling Energy Crisis

As of midnight, the Egyptian government reinstated daylight saving time “as a way to help reduce electricity consumption.” The practice was formally abolished three years ago, but the recent decision to bring it back has been met with confusion. And yet, with blackouts lasting over an hour now becoming a daily occurrence, Egypt’s energy crisis is impossible to ignore.

Blackouts in India: Punjab stares at blackouts over lack of coal supply

Punjab is heading for a major power crisis as 10 out of 14 units of its three major thermal power plants have been shut down following short supply of coal. Power generation in Bathinda’s Guru Nanak Dev thermal plant, Guru Hargobind thermal plant in Lehra Mohabbat and Guru Gobind Singh thermal plant in Roopnagar has almost come to a standstill as only four units of these plants are working.

Nukes to Iran: Russia May Sign Agreement to Build 8 Reactors in Iran

Moscow may sign an intergovernmental agreement with Teheran this year to build eight new reactors for nuclear power plants in Iran, a source close to the negotiations told journalists Thursday.
Two reactors could be built at the Bushehr Power Plant and six reactors at other sites, the source said, adding that the talks were in their final stage.

€3billion of wind power: Europe’s renewable energy market boosted by €3bn wind farm deal

A €3bn deal for what is expected to be one of the world’s biggest offshore wind farms has boosted Europe’s battered renewable energy market after more than a year of sagging investment.

The last week on Master Resource:

Climate propaganda heats up: Joe Romm: Climate ‘Disinformers’ Now Holocaust Deniers (inside the shouting phase of denial)

When faced with a powerful, threatening argument to a troubled paradigm, those in denial will first ignore. If this does not work, they will ridicule. And it this does not work, they will shout and even use hateful talk.

Essential tax planning: Tax Farming Seminar for Renewable Energy

The energy industry conference group EUCI is hosting a two-day event next month in San Diego, “In-Depth Tax Planning for Renewable Energy Projects.” The complex topic with specially designed software and technical experts is advertised as follows:
Maximizing the benefits of tax incentives is vital in any renewable energy transaction, and whether a project “pencils out” generally turns on the efficient use of these incentives. How soon investors can get their desired return and exit the project, and how much a project developer receives and when, depend greatly on how the tax incentives are handled.

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9 Responses to Blowout week 21

  1. Glen Mcmillian says:

    The people of Western Europe have a couple of real world choices to make.

    They can put the pedal to the metal on renewables, conservation, and efficiency; or they can start building new nukes as fast as they can pour concrete.

    Given political realities the best bet would be to go flat out on both renewals and nukes and hope for enough capacity to get built to stretch future coal, gas, and oil supplies far enough to keep living a modern lifestyle for another generation or two.

    The problems involving the cost of wind and solar power and dealing with the intermittent nature of them are trivial in comparison to the problem of not having gas and (eventually coal and oil also ) available at prices that will make todays prices seem like giveaways.

    It is not so much a question of how much renewables and nukes cost as it is how much it will cost to be without them.

    There are many ways that both consumers and industry can adapt to intermittent power supplies.

    If Western Europe continues to rely on imports the day will come when a lull in wind power that lasts a week will a bargain compared to a whole winter when the gas doen’t arrive due to a political crisis or actual war.

    WE -meaning Western Europe and the US acting together politically and militarily – used to be able to control international trade in energy by means soft and hard. We still have some relatively soft means available such as sanctions but they are getting to be less effective year after year.

    And the days we can play world cop and or bully because we are the big dogs militarily are over. Nobody whatsoever is going to attack either Russia or China or quarantine their ships or bully smaller countries into not doing business with them from here on out.

    The Russians will buy as much oil from Iran as they please and add it to what they sell on world markets and the world will like it. They will build new nukes when and where they please if it pleases them to do so and as it goes with the Russians so will it go with the Chinese.

    We might be able to slow them down a little for a little while longer but that is about it.Both countries are nuclear powers favorably geographically located to do as they please.

    The simple truth of the matter is that both Russia and China are pretty much invincible in military terms these days. Nobody has a conventional military establishment even remotely capable of securing even a beachhead in either country and both countries are well supplied with nukes of the sort that most definitely do explode in spectacular fashion and the means of delivering them.

    The world need Russian oil and gas and Chinese capital a hell of a lot worse than it needs Uncle Sam’s dollar denominated banking and insurance system.

    When Iran buys a tanker and loads it with Iranian oil and starts it towards China does anybody think the American navy is going to sink it or even prevent it from leaving port?

    India may need us more than she needs Iranian oil for now but China is a different place now than it was a couple of decades ago.

    There is no real reason China should want dollars except to buy things with those dollars. There isn’t much available for sale in the US that cannot be bought in other countries these days and China is getting to the point that she can traded directly for whatever she wants with who ever wants to sell it.Chinese consumer goods of the sort sold in American retail stores are generally junk.

    But the Chinese build good industrial machinery and they can trade a crane or a truck to Brazil for soybeans and beef without either country needing Uncle Sam’s long nose stuck into the deal.

    For that matter the Brazilians may be satisfied with Chinese appliances and hand tools.We seem to be satisfied with them well enough in the US that I can hardly find any manufactured domestically any more.

    We are headed into a new phase of history.

    There may be as many as four or five centers of power in the next few decades or as few as three- Russia, China, and the US Western Europe alliance. India and Brazil could become power centers in their own right especially if they are able to forge strong military and economic ties with smaller countries not aligned with the BIG THREE.

    I don’t personally see Russia and China getting but so close. Business is one thing. Intimacy is another.

    • Willem Post says:


      Your comment is well thought out. The Russia-China-East-Asia-India axis is being established. In that context, the EU becomes just another player, albeit, with high overhead, and costly, less competitive ways of doing things.

      The EU Brussels crowd has been living in la la land with its various expensive “integration” and expansion policies, including immigration and RE policies, grossly overreaching into the Russian sphere of influence, as if the EU is not dependent on gas and oil from Europe, letting the dysfunctional Kiev kleptocracy affect EU actions to ultimate EU (and US) disadvantage.

      Replacing half or all of Russian gas (in 2013: 162.7 bcm to Europe + 28 bcm to Ukraine = 190.7 bcm) with EXPENSIVE LNG, over a period of about 10 to 15 years, at a cost of at least $150 billion, would be a disaster for its near-zero-growth economy, as would be build-outs of expensive RE.

      Here is two articles that may be of interest.

  2. Willem Post says:

    the above should read…………”gas and oil from Russia, ……..

  3. Syndroma says:

    “Soviet Union” to be restored.

    Work is underway to renovate and refuel the Arktika class nuclear icebreaker “Soviet Union”. It was commissioned in 1989 but was out of fuel since 2008.

    Last November, Russia laid down a new multipurpose icebreaker of a brand new class LK-60. It is expected to be commissioned in 2018. Contracts for the construction of another two are planned to be signed later this year. But the economic activity in the Arctic is rapidly increasing every year, with the booming shipping traffic and projects like Yamal-LNG. The current fleet of icebreakers is not enough to service all of the requests. Restoration of “Soviet Union” is a stopgap measure until the new icebreakers will come online.

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