• 4 hours PDVSA Booted From Caribbean Terminal Over Unpaid Bills
  • 6 hours Russia Warns Ukraine Against Recovering Oil Off The Coast Of Crimea
  • 8 hours Syrian Rebels Relinquish Control Of Major Gas Field
  • 9 hours Schlumberger Warns Of Moderating Investment In North America
  • 10 hours Oil Prices Set For Weekly Loss As Profit Taking Trumps Mideast Tensions
  • 11 hours Energy Regulators Look To Guard Grid From Cyberattacks
  • 12 hours Mexico Says OPEC Has Not Approached It For Deal Extension
  • 14 hours New Video Game Targets Oil Infrastructure
  • 15 hours Shell Restarts Bonny Light Exports
  • 17 hours Russia’s Rosneft To Take Majority In Kurdish Oil Pipeline
  • 23 hours Iraq Struggles To Replace Damaged Kirkuk Equipment As Output Falls
  • 1 day British Utility Companies Brace For Major Reforms
  • 1 day Montenegro A ‘Sweet Spot’ Of Untapped Oil, Gas In The Adriatic
  • 1 day Rosneft CEO: Rising U.S. Shale A Downside Risk To Oil Prices
  • 1 day Brazil Could Invite More Bids For Unsold Pre-Salt Oil Blocks
  • 1 day OPEC/Non-OPEC Seek Consensus On Deal Before Nov Summit
  • 2 days London Stock Exchange Boss Defends Push To Win Aramco IPO
  • 2 days Rosneft Signs $400M Deal With Kurdistan
  • 2 days Kinder Morgan Warns About Trans Mountain Delays
  • 2 days India, China, U.S., Complain Of Venezuelan Crude Oil Quality Issues
  • 2 days Kurdish Kirkuk-Ceyhan Crude Oil Flows Plunge To 225,000 Bpd
  • 2 days Russia, Saudis Team Up To Boost Fracking Tech
  • 3 days Conflicting News Spurs Doubt On Aramco IPO
  • 3 days Exxon Starts Production At New Refinery In Texas
  • 3 days Iraq Asks BP To Redevelop Kirkuk Oil Fields
  • 3 days Oil Prices Rise After U.S. API Reports Strong Crude Inventory Draw
  • 3 days Oil Gains Spur Growth In Canada’s Oil Cities
  • 3 days China To Take 5% Of Rosneft’s Output In New Deal
  • 3 days UAE Oil Giant Seeks Partnership For Possible IPO
  • 4 days Planting Trees Could Cut Emissions As Much As Quitting Oil
  • 4 days VW Fails To Secure Critical Commodity For EVs
  • 4 days Enbridge Pipeline Expansion Finally Approved
  • 4 days Iraqi Forces Seize Control Of North Oil Co Fields In Kirkuk
  • 4 days OPEC Oil Deal Compliance Falls To 86%
  • 4 days U.S. Oil Production To Increase in November As Rig Count Falls
  • 4 days Gazprom Neft Unhappy With OPEC-Russia Production Cut Deal
  • 4 days Disputed Venezuelan Vote Could Lead To More Sanctions, Clashes
  • 5 days EU Urges U.S. Congress To Protect Iran Nuclear Deal
  • 5 days Oil Rig Explosion In Louisiana Leaves 7 Injured, 1 Still Missing
  • 5 days Aramco Says No Plans To Shelve IPO
Daniel J. Graeber

Daniel J. Graeber

Daniel Graeber is a writer and political analyst based in Michigan. His work on matters related to the geopolitical aspects of the global energy sector,…

More Info

IEA Says Coal is Still the Fuel of Choice

IEA Says Coal is Still the Fuel of Choice

Two years ago, Saudi Arabia started mulling the prospects of shale natural gas as it faced the possibility of running short on energy supplies. The largest oil exporter in the world said it's now ready to replicate the shale gas success in the United States and use its own unconventional reserves to keep the lights on. The shale boom in the United States has turned the global energy market on its head. The director of the International Energy Agency said, however, coal was still the fuel of choice.

The United States is on pace to pass Russia as the leading natural gas producer in the world. In theory at least, it could rival Riyadh in terms of oil production. The production gains from the United States are thanks in part to the much-ballyhooed shale boom under way in the country. The U.S. Energy Department said last week it expected natural gas production to rise 1.7 percent from their 2012 level to 70.4 billion cubic feet per day next year. U.S. oil production should rise by more than 30 percent during that same time to 8.5 million bpd in 2014.

Related article: A Billion-Ton Coal Miner You’ve Never Heard Of

That increase forced oil giant Saudi Arabia to stand up and take notice, not only because higher U.S. production means less consumption of foreign energy resources but also because of what it can possibly do at home. Saudi Aramco President Khalid al-Falih told the World Energy Congress in South Korea this week the race was on to replicate the U.S. success with shale.  Riyadh estimates it holds at least 600 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and is ready to commit some of that to feed its power plants. Though the Middle East and North America are leading in terms of oil and gas production, it's consumption that's driving the global market for energy. And what's fueling that, the IEA said, is coal.

"Coal is emerging as the fuel of choice because of its relative abundance and affordability in the region," IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven said.

Despite the shale bonanza, the IEA said coal is the fastest-growing source of energy in the world and is the primary source of fuel for electricity, accounting for 40 percent of the world's needs. The share of natural gas for power falls from 44 percent to 28 percent by 2035, leaving space for coal to make up nearly half of the Asian market's energy demand. Energy consulting group Wood Mackenzie said China alone should account for more than 60 percent of that growth. China can't source enough of its own natural gas and LNG imports are too expensive, leaving Beijing with no other option than coal.

Related article: Coal Use Falling, Proof of Progress to Low-Carbon Future

Europe is relying less on coal power and the U.S. Energy Department said coal production is plummeting. Production from the once-mighty coal state of Kentucky is at its lowest level in more than 85 years. Globally, however, the scenario is much different. The IEA said it can't discount the global environmental consequences of coal but because it's 30 percent cheaper than natural gas, at least in Asian markets, it reigns supreme. The IEA said coal use "has never stopped increasing" and, despite the trends in shale, it looks like it never will.

By. Daniel J. Graeber of Oilprice.com




Back to homepage


Leave a comment

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News