Iraq: Disintegrating? Semi-autonomous Kurdistan begins oil exports via Turkey; Baghdad threatens legal action against Turkey and economic sanctions on the Kurds; fighting spreads among well armed groups to Baghdad.
Oil: Libya production up to 650,000 bpd but fighting continues; megaprojects megabills cause IOCs headache
Renewables: EU abandons renewables targets post 2020 but keeps CO2 reduction targets; Germany continues to fret, cuts subsidies and introduces taxes; UK power prices to rise more
Weather: Winter storms continue to batter Canada and NE USA.
25 stories from last week below the fold.
Researchers have completed the most detailed study yet of how much tidal power could be generated by turbines placed in the Pentland Firth, between mainland Scotland and Orkney, and estimate 1.9 gigawatts (GW) could be available. [EM says Scotland consumes ~5.5 GW peak demand]
One piece of the jigsaw puzzle is missing to complete the deflation landscape across the West: a slide in oil prices. This is becoming more likely each month.
Turmoil across the Middle East and parts of Africa has choked supply over the past two years, keeping Brent crude near $110 a barrel despite a broader commodity slump.
Ministers and their EU colleagues are on the cusp of a decision which could undermine our energy security, push up the cost of power and weaken efforts to tackle climate change.
The US east coast has been hit by the second major winter storm of the year, with up to 12in (30cm) of snow, strong winds and bitter cold forecast.
Even before the first flakes had fallen, US government offices in Washington DC and schools in several states were closed pre-emptively.
Germany risks undermining its industrial base if it fails to undertake radical reform of existing incentives for the country’s renewable energy sector, its new economy minister said on Tuesday.
The UK is committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% by 2050, relative to 1990 levels. For this to happen, we need to transform the UK economy while ensuring secure, low carbon energy supplies to 2050.
A two-wave winter storm is expected to bring as much as 40cm (16in) of snow to Canada’s Atlantic provinces.
All of Nova Scotia and parts of Newfoundland were under blizzard warnings on Wednesday, as the second part of the storm struck.
A new study from North Carolina State University indicates that even a sharp increase in the use of electric drive passenger vehicles (EDVs) by 2050 would not significantly reduce emissions of high-profile air pollutants carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide or nitrogen oxides.
Energy bills will rise by more than £200 over the rest of this decade, driven by costs of government green policies, unless consumers use less gas and electricity, supplier npower has warned.
Germany’s new energy minister has outlined cuts in subsidies to producers of renewable energy as the country wrestles with soaring costs from its nuclear power exit, according to a document obtained by AFP Sunday.
Merkel’s Cabinet backed proposals to charge operators of new clean-energy plants 70 percent of the so-called EEG-Umlage, a fee paid by power consumers that they’re currently exempt from, according to an economy ministry document. That would translate into 4.4 euro cents (6 cents) a kilowatt-hour.
China’s banking regulator ordered its regional offices to increase scrutiny of credit risks in the coal-mining industry, said two people with knowledge of the matter, signaling government concern about possible defaults.
The Scottish Government has given the green light for a new 20-turbine wind farm and the construction of a biomass plant.
Harvard scientists say they have developed a flow-battery that stores energy using a naturally occurring organic molecule — specifically a type of quinone nearly identical to one found in rhubarb — instead of metal materials.
David Cameron should axe green taxes rather than “overstating” the potential of fracking if he wants cheaper energy to attract businesses to the UK, leading manufacturers have warned.
On climate change, Britain is leading in Europe. Wednesday’s proposal by the European commission for a binding 40% greenhouse gas reduction target by 2030 is a significant step forward. The commission has accepted our core argument that the EU’s domestic emissions reduction target must be ambitious so we can influence countries like the US and China, ahead of 2015’s critical global climate talks.
UK GOVERNMENT figures show confident strides taken by the Scottish renewable energy sector mean green power could provide more of the country’s electricity than any other source within the next few years.
It all sounded so good back then, in 2007. The EU, with the economy steaming ahead and in a search of a new raison d’etre following the “success” of the euro, agreed a series of very ambitious measures to fight climate change – a 20 per cent overall emissions cut and detailed targets for renewable energy and biofuels. What could possibly go wrong?
My selection of stories posted by Luis de Sousa At The Edge of Time. Luis leads with the headline “Iraq disintegrating”
Iraq is reported to be preparing legal action against the Ankara government over Kurdish exports of allegedly “smuggled” oil via a new pipeline to Turkey and has also vowed to punish foreign companies.
Haider al-Abadi, the head of the Iraqi parliament’s treasury committee, told Reuters that unless the northern Kurdistan region pays oil export revenue to the national treasury in Baghdad this year, the projected 2014 budget will collapse.
If the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) once again refuses to pay the oil revenue owed then the only available option left to Baghdad would be to halt all state spending, which amounts to about 17% of the whole country, in the region.
Islamic militants controlling a mainly Sunni area west of Baghdad are so well-armed that they could occupy the capital, a top Iraqi official warned Monday, a frank and bleak assessment of the challenge posed in routing the insurgents as a new wave of bombings killed at least 31 people.
Fighting in Iraq’s Anbar province has caused the “largest” displacement of people within the country since clashes in 2006-2008. Over 140,000 people have fled the region as a result, according to a new UN report.
Libyan war planes attacked targets in the restive south on Saturday after gunmen stormed an air force base and the government ordered in ground troops following days of skirmishes between rival tribesmen and militias.
We may be seeing the first boost in Libyan oil production in 10 months, which the markets are eyeing hungrily, but don’t jump the gun on this one—Libya’s oil is still being held hostage to a chaotic power struggle.
Libya tripled its light crude oil supplies to around 650,000 barrels a day over the past three weeks, but while the government remains publicly optimistic that its closed eastern ports held by rebels will be reopened this month, there is little evidence to sustain that.
Giant oil and gas extraction projects will be giving oil industry executives headaches to match for the years ahead as delays, cost overruns and increasing risks call for new strategies to manage them.