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Latest Energy News | World News

  • Libyan Oil Production Down 30% Following Rocket Attack

    Published: 18 September 2014

    Libya’s decision to shut down its most productive oil field after a rocket attack on a related refinery has cut the North African nation’s output by nearly 30 percent and helped boost sagging global oil prices.Mansur Abdallah, the director of oil shipments at the damaged refinery, told Bloomberg News that the Sharara field had been producing about 250,000 barrels of oil per day before the Sept. 15 attack. Libya had been producing about 870,000 barrels of oil per day before that, according to National Oil Corp. spokesman Mohamed Elharari.The refinery is in Zawiya, on Libya’s coast along the Bay of…

  • New Commercial Nuclear Battery Being Developed

    Published: 18 September 2014

    There are so many ideas for improving the efficiency and longevity of batteries, why shouldn’t someone come up with a water-based nuclear battery that also includes ingredients used in sunscreens? And why not have it provide electricity instead of nuclear power?Strange as it sounds, someone has done just that. Scientists at the University of Missouri (MU) have created a battery that can be used to supply electrical energy to automobiles and possibly more esoteric applications such as space flight.The technology is called “betavoltaics,” and it’s not really new. Jae W. Kwon, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering and…

  • Iowa Researcher Uses 3-D Printing To Understand What Lies Beneath

    Published: 17 September 2014

    An assistant professor at Iowa State University is using 3-D printing to teach students about geology. In the process, he’s been developing a way to understand and even predict how materials trapped in rock – such as oil and gas – can be extracted.When Franek Hasiuk had a job in the oil and gas industry, he used two-dimensional CAT scans to study the pores in limestone in an effort to understand how fluid flows through them.Related: Can New Technology Help The Oil Sands Industry Clean Up Its Act?When he came to Iowa State in 2012 to teach geological and atmospheric…

  • Tackling Climate Change Seen as Boon to Economic Growth

    Published: 17 September 2014

    A new report says economies could expand if their governments reduce toxic emissions in cities and reduce the amount of energy and land used in industrial production.A study by the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate found that governments will spend some $90 trillion to improve their urban infrastructure by 2030, an investment that will yield equalizing dividends, including more than $3 trillion from improvements in mass transportation.Related: The World’s 10 Most Energy-Efficient CitiesThe report also says that recovering just 12 percent of land that has deteriorated from decades of industrial use could raise farmers’ income by as much as…

  • Carbon Capture Plant Runs Into Cost, Legal Obstacles

    Published: 16 September 2014

    Thirteen years ago, the administration of President George W. Bush announced plans for the first emission-free coal plant, showing that America could be a leader in reducing greenhouse gas pollution from fossil fuels.At the time, Spencer Abraham, Bush’s energy secretary, called the FutureGen project “one of the boldest steps our nation takes toward a pollution-free future.”The plan is to retrofit an aging coal-fired plant outside of the town of Meredosia, Ill., to capture its carbon dioxide and pipe it below ground for permanent storage. But changes in its design and cost overruns may mean the project will never be realized.The…

  • Hyper-cold Electrons Could Mean Drastic Energy Savings

    Published: 15 September 2014

    Scientists in Texas have found a method of cooling electrons to nearly absolute zero, and they’ve done it at room temperature. Their discovery could lead to electronic devices that need only about one-tenth as much energy as they do today, thereby dramatically reducing the size and weight of batteries.“We are the first to effectively cool electrons at room temperature,” said Seong Jin Koh, an associate professor at the Materials Science and Engineering Department at the University of Texas (UT) at Arlington. “Researchers have done electron cooling before, but only when the entire device is immersed into an extremely cold cooling…

  • Negative Outlook In Q4 For Crude And Refined Product Prices

    Published: 15 September 2014

    In a recent post we looked at the state of the crude oil market, how demand has been weak as a result of refinery maintenance closures in Europe and lower domestic consumption in China. Even though China is buying more crude, it has increased exports of refined oil products depressing prices in the Asian market and hurting regional refinery utilization rates.A Crude SituationThe solution would be for crude oil producers to limit output, but with OPEC only controlling a third of world supply and no appetite among any of its member nations to reduce revenue streams, it seems voluntary reductions…

  • Future Of Azerbaijan Uncertain In Light Of Situations In Iraq And Iran

    Published: 12 September 2014

    The unraveling of Iraq may have some interesting, even alarming implications for the Caspian Basin state of Azerbaijan. Unlike other Arab states in turmoil, including Libya and Syria, Iraq has a religious and cultural profile that somewhat mimics Azerbaijan’s. For one, both countries have Shia Islamic majorities with large Sunni minorities. In addition, both have lengthy experience with coercive, top-down secularism. In Iraq, Saddam Hussein’s Baath Party promoted secularism during the three-and-a-half decades it held power in the country. In Azerbaijan, the secular tradition dates back to the Bolsheviks’ arrival in power in the 1920s and extends to the present day. There…

  • Controlling Crystal Growth Can Lead To Cheap, Efficient Solar Energy

    Published: 11 September 2014

    Among solar energy researchers, there’s nothing new about “perovskites” -- crystals that absorb both visible and infrared light and convert sunlight into electricity.They’ve been around since 2009. But though they’re inexpensive to produce, scientists have been unable to manufacture uniform crystals that will provide consistent performance in commercial applications.Perovskites can be manufactured – printed, actually – at much lower temperatures than are needed for conventional silicon films, which makes them cost efficient.Timothy Kelly, a chemist at Canada’s University of Saskatchewan, tells the MIT Technology Review that they already can convert 17.9 percent of solar energy into electricity, nearly as good…

  • Australian PM Finalizes Nuclear Deal With India

    Published: 11 September 2014

    “I do want Australia to be an energy superpower in the years ahead. We have large reserves of uranium. We have massive reserves of coal. We have extensive reserves of gas. We are the world’s second largest thermal coal exporter. India has an absolutely impeccable non-proliferation record……..it (India) has been a model international citizen. India threatens no one.”These quotes by Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott while speaking to journalists during his recently-concluded India visit clearly showed where his Liberal-National coalition government was headed in the coming years, but this story is as much about India as Australia.Over the weekend, Indian…