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Latest Energy News | World News

  • Six OPEC Members, Plus Russia, Now Open to Emergency Meeting

    Published: 04 February 2016

    Oil prices have whipsawed back and forth over the past two weeks, largely due to the rise and fall of expectations that OPEC might call an emergency meeting. Comments from several Russian oil executives and government officials sent oil prices surging at the end of January. Then prices retraced their gains when officials from OPEC dismissed the stories as just rumors. Nothing had changed, OPEC officials argued, even though some people in Russia were hinting at a meeting. But the rumors persist. The latest fuel to the rumor fire is the fact that now six OPEC member states have said…

  • Unrest In Moldova After Shady Energy Deals

    Published: 04 February 2016

    The anti-government protests in Moldova are not just about political power; they are also driven in part by a desire for greater transparency. One source of protesters’ ire is electricity or, specifically, the tangled system under which electrical power is generated and distributed in the country. It is one thing that power prices have increased by about 37 percent since last November, Moldovans grumble. But it is quite another when no one — not even government officials — can state who actually owns the company that provides most of the power for this country of 3.6 million. Moldova gets up…

  • Plastics Industry Latest Victim Of Low Oil Prices

    Published: 03 February 2016

    Energy companies aren’t the only victims of the persistent plunge in oil prices. Now the plastics industry is beginning to take a hit. South Korea’s biggest chemical company, LG Chem, is abandoning plans to build a $4.2 billion plastics complex in Kazakhstan, citing rising costs for such a facility and the low cost of oil. Nearly five years ago, LG Chem had agreed to build the plastics complex near Atyrau in western Kazakhstan in a 50-50 joint venture with Kazakhstan Petrochemical Industries (KPI). The state-owned KazMunaiGas Exploration Production owns 51 percent of KPI, and the privately owned Kazakh company SAT…

  • UK Gas Providers Slashing Prices

    Published: 03 February 2016

    Half of Britain’s “big six” energy suppliers are now offering, or plan to offer, discounts of at least 5 percent to their retail customers amid a drop in the wholesale price of gas, but consumer advocates and even some government agencies say the rate cuts aren’t nearly enough. E.ON cut retail gas prices by 5.1 percent effective Feb. 1, and SSE says its customers will pay 5.3 percent less effective March 29. On Tuesday, ScottishPower one-upped the competition by announcing it will cut retail gas rates by 5.4 percent beginning March 15. ScottishPower said the discount will save its customers…

  • Shell Needs To Divest Assets In Order To Afford BG Deal

    Published: 02 February 2016

    Royal Dutch Shell is selling even more assets as it tries to cope with the persistent fall in the price of oil and its controversially expensive merger with BG group, approved last week by the shareholders of both companies. In a statement Monday in London, the Anglo-Dutch oil giant said it plans to sell its 51 percent stake in the Shell Refining Co. (SRC) to Malaysian Hengyuan International Limited for $66.3 million. This is in addition to Shell’s sale of its marketing operations in Denmark and Norway, its liquid petroleum gas business in France and one-third of its shares in…

  • Dominion Continues Coal To Gas Switch With $4.4 Billion Deal

    Published: 02 February 2016

    Dominion Resources Inc., the power utility based in Richmond, Va., is the latest U.S. utility to expand its operations, reaching out West by offering to buy the gas company Questar Corp. of Salt Lake City, Utah, for about $4.4 billion in cash. Dominion announced the offer on Monday, the same day it reported a 15 percent decline in operating profit during the fourth quarter of 2015, due primarily to weaker demand for gas because of a mild autumn in its current operating locale on the U.S. East Coast. Eventually, though, Dominion says it believes the value of its acquisition of…

  • OPEC’s Serious Decline Forecast For U.S. Shale Is Exaggerated

    Published: 01 February 2016

    OPEC is betting that its price war to reclaim market share, mostly from drillers in North America, will force reduced investment in the region this year, “rebalancing” prices that have fallen dramatically over the past 19 months. But the latest news on American output and consumption is sending mixed messages. OPEC’s latest Monthly Oil Market Report, released Jan. 18, forecasts greater demand for its own oil in 2016 as competitors, hamstrung by low prices, continue to cut back severely on capital expenditures for production, reducing the oil glut caused by the group’s competitors. “It will … be the year when…

  • Japan Reboots Third Nuclear Reactor, LNG Import Forecasts Lowered

    Published: 01 February 2016

    Japan has taken another step toward making nuclear power a key part of its energy profile, but some say that step, while small in terms of generating electricity, could be a major threat to public safety. On Friday, Kansai Electric Power Co. restarted the No. 3 reactor at the Takahama nuclear plant in Fukui prefecture about 90 miles northeast of Kyoto. The next day it reached criticality, meaning it had achieved enough mass to sustain a chain reaction. Commercial operations are expected to resume in late February. Japan shut down its 43 nuclear reactors after the huge offshore earthquake and…

  • These Oilfield Service Giants Are Feeling The Squeeze

    Published: 29 January 2016

    The 19-month-old dive in the price of oil has left few options for oilfield services companies, which provide energy companies with the nuts and bolts they need to be productive. The choice for companies such as the Houston-based giants Schlumberger and Halliburton is stark: Either refuse to offer customers further discounts on expertise and equipment, which could lose them critical business, or offer even greater discounts and lose revenue. The average global price of oil has plunged from more than $110 per barrel in the summer of 2014 to around $30 per barrel today, a decline of more than 60…

  • Solar Industry Gets A Victory In California

    Published: 29 January 2016

    The solar power industry is welcoming California’s decision to continue its program of allowing homes and businesses with rooftop solar panels to sell excess energy back to their local utilities at the full retail rate. The only hitch: These customers face new fees to join the state’s electricity grid and as much as $10 each month to stay in the program.The California Public Utilities Commission, in a three-to-two vote on Thursday, approved the new and renewed guidelines for what’s called “net metering,” which will continue providing incentives for home and business owners to install rooftop solar panels, which will mean…

Martin tiller