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  • This Week in Energy: LNG: All Boom, No Bust

    As liquefied natural gas (LNG) gains significant traction with big oil and gas companies—spurred most recently by events in Ukraine even if this isn’t a logical driver—export approvals are coming online at a seemingly faster pace, and deal-making is in full throttle. Big oil is latching on to LNG because as a liquid it’s easier to store and ship, and safer too, and demand is at an all-time high and fetching nice prices particularly on the Asian market.This week alone has brought a number of significant developments, from Shell’s supply deal with Kuwait to another export license approval in Canada…

  • Putin is Losing Eastern European Energy Gamble

    Russian President Vladimir Putin said he doesn't think the European community can do without the natural gas it gets from energy monopoly Gazprom.  With a Russian economy starting to decline, however, it may be Gazprom that's too strongly interconnected to the European market to break free.The narrative over European energy security reaches at least back to 2006 when Gazprom first cut gas supplies through Ukraine. The fallout from the latest disruption in 2009 put opposition darling and former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko in prison, but now the tables have turned for a Ukraine tilting more strongly toward the European Union.Last…

  • Oil & Gas Industry and Locals Battle Over Fracking in Colorado

    The battle for the future of oil and gas drilling in the United States is playing out in Colorado as both the industry and environmental groups step up efforts to beat back the other side. Both sides have claimed successes as public policy seesaws back and forth.Colorado boasts vast oil and gas resources. The Niobrara shale is thought to have nearly 2 billion barrels of oil. Just as places like the Bakken and Eagle Ford have boomed because of improved drilling technology over the last half decade or so, the Niobrara in Colorado has the industry rushing in. From 2007…

  • An OPEC Nation Ships Its First Oil in 9 Months

    Further to my note yesterday, there seems to a lot of focus recently on one particular commodity: oil.Producers within the energy world and beyond have been desperately seeking crude exposure. Largely because this one of the few commodities whose price has held up globally.The last few months have strengthened oil's unstoppable image. At the start of the year, it looked like prices might break down--with WTI having fallen from $110 to near $90. But a recent bounce has taken it decidedly back above $100. Signalling that the party is still continuing.But it's worth bearing in mind that the oil market…

  • Israel and Egypt: A Natural [Gas] Match

    Israel’s newfound natural gas wealth is moving the country from energy importer to potential exporter, altering the energy balance of the region in the process. Even more interesting is that Israel’s most promising export market just slipped from energy exporter to importer—that country is Egypt. Israel has historically been a natural gas importer, but recent offshore discoveries will likely change that. Concentrated in the Tamar (estimated 10 trillion cubic feet) and Leviathan (estimated 19 trillion cubic feet) fields, Israel’s Mediterranean natural gas holdings could make the country a significant natural gas exporter. This could be good news for Egypt, which…

  • 300mpg Diesel-Electric Hybrid Unveiled by Volkswagen

    The star of this week’s Qatar motor show will undoubtedly be Volkswagen’s “one-liter car,” the diesel hybrid XL1, which is able to achieve more than 300 mpg. The $60,000 XL1 is powered by an 800cc, two-cylinder turbodiesel powerplant (half a BlueMotion engine), producing 47bhp, supported by a 27bhp electric motor hat fuelled by lithium-ion batteries. The batteries can be charged from a domestic plug, allowing the car to travel 22 miles solely on electric power.  Over the past decade governments worldwide have been pressing the automotive industry for better gas mileage, better fuel economy in vehicles, and other sources of energy.…

  • Private Sector Driving U.S. Wind Market Forward

    The onshore wind energy sector is booming in the United States, where there's enough of the renewable resource on hand to meet the annual demands for 15 million homes.  It may take one of the biggest retailers in the world, however, to usher in the necessary change in energy consumption. The American Wind Energy Association said wind energy in the United States accounted for more than 4 percent of all the electricity generated in the country last year and the trend was on pace to continue.  America, the AWEA said, is increasingly powered by wind. Now Swedish home-furnishing company IKEA says it's…

  • Are Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles Dead On Arrival?

    The national vision by politicians, economists, industrialists and environmentalists to transition to hydrogen economy by 2030 seems deadlocked, with hydrogen fuel cells projected to represent a $3 billion market of about 5.9 GW by 2030, according to Lux Research, Figure 1.(1)The dream of fuel cell vehicles powered by hydrogen from zero-carbon sources such as renewable power or nuclear energy comes from estimates that the cost of avoided carbon dioxide would be more than $600 a metric ton – ten times higher than most other technologies under investigation.Yet today, there are only two fuel-cell vehicles (FCEV) available in the U.S. market…

  • Why Angola may be the next OPEC Darling

    French energy company Total said it was sinking $16 billion into oil projects off the coast of Angola. The French major is following the bread crumbs offshore Angola and now the country aims to re-establish itself as a major oil player by courting investors to onshore fields. Total said it made a final investment decision to develop the deepwater Kaombo project off the coast of Angola. High costs had delayed the decision, though Total now says it could produce as much as 230,000 barrels of oil per day once operations begin in 2017. "Angola remains a priority country for Total" Yves-Louis Darricarrere,…

  • Is Natural Gas No Better than Coal?

    A new study by scientists from Purdue and Cornell suggests that the methane emissions from shale gas could be much higher than previously thought. The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, looked at fugitive methane emissions in Pennsylvania by flying an airplane over drilling sites and collecting samples. What they found was a bit unnerving. “It is particularly noteworthy that large emissions were measured for wells in the drilling phase — in some cases 100 to 1,000 times greater than the inventory estimates,” said Purdue chemistry professor Paul Shepson. “This indicates that there are processes…