The large gap between domestic US natural gas prices and LNG prices in European and Asian markets that underlies the rationale for US LNG exports has raised the question: when US gas is sold abroad, who captures that spread? The difference between low prices paid for gas produced in the US – currently trading at… Keep reading →
The Shams 1 concentrated solar power plant was inaugurated earlier this week in the Western Region of Abu Dhabi, UAE. At 100 megawatts, Shams 1 is currently the largest operational CSP plant in the world. The project is noteworthy because it is a major step forward for renewable energy technology, and CSP in particular, but also because it was developed in an Opec country. Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company, partnered with French oil major Total and Spain’s energy infrastructure company Abengoa. Breaking Energy attended the proceedings, along with several other international journalists, as Masdar’s guest. Masdar is a subsidiary of Mubadala, a UAE government-owned investment vehicle.
“With the addition of Shams 1, Masdar’s renewable energy portfolio accounts for almost 68 percent of the Gulf’s renewable energy capacity and nearly 10 percent of the world’s installed CSP capacity”, according to the company. Keep reading →
The long-running dispute between Iraq’s central government in Baghdad and Kurdistan Regional Government leaders in Erbil entered a new phase when the Iraqi Parliament last week passed a 2013 budget that allocated a fraction of the money requested by the KRG. A bulk of this funding is used to pay oil companies operating in the semi-autonomous region.
“In a blatant stiff-arm to the Kurds, the budget allocates just $646 million to cost recovery for Kurdistan Regional Government oil contractors — a figure that covers only around two months’ worth of the crude that Erbil was slated to provide this year,” Michael Knights said in a Policy Alert from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a think tank. The KRG reportedly requested $3.5 billion. Keep Reading →
It appears increasingly likely that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez will not return to power following his latest cancer treatment in December and analysts are considering the implications of a post-Chavez regime for one of the largest crude oil producers in the world.
Venezuela holds some of the world’s largest oil reserves and is the second largest Opec oil exporter to the US. Oil revenue accounts for a bulk of the government’s income and has largely been used to fund Chavez’s wide-ranging social programs. But the country’s oil industry – which is essentially state-owned company PDVSA – has been struggling with declining production rates at mature fields, along with other problems. Keep reading →
Canada’s oil sands industry has taken a major leap toward greening their operations and their image. The 12 largest producers – accounting for 80% of oil sands production – have come together to form Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance, which has committed to accelerating the pace of environmental improvement, COSIA CEO Dan Wicklum told Breaking Energy recently.
Numerous environmental oversight organizations sprung up organically over time to ensure oil companies were honoring their commitment to the environment. While these ad hoc sustainability initiatives made positive strides, the public wanted more. As a result, COSIA was formed and the chief executives of each member company signed a charter on March 1st committing them to specific activities and behavior. Keep reading →
Foreign companies continue to take a strong interest in US shale assets, with French oil firm Total’s $2.32 billion payout for a 25% share of a Utica Shale play in Ohio owned by Chesapeake Energy a recent highlight.
Some of the acreage for the new joint venture, which underlies all or most of ten counties in the latest region targeted by firms for both natural gas and oil or natural gas liquids was provided by Houston-based Enervest. The deal, announced December 31, 2011, covers 619,000 acres that Chesapeake says is in the “liquids-rich area of the Utica Shale,” and underlies all or a portion of ten counties in the Eastern part of the state. Keep reading →
A spate of bankruptcies in US solar manufacturers is not a sign of imminent industry collapse, but the inevitable result of competition in a new and evolving market, according to industry representatives.
Solar manufacturer Solyndra announced its intention to file for bankruptcy on the final day of August, following bankruptcy filings by Evergreen Solar on August 15 and SpectraWatt on August 19. The three firms’ failures prompted a flurry of commentary about the challenges facing US solar manufacturing, and prospects for the sector’s survival. Keep reading →