The Insider’s weekly run-down of critical figures and happenings from around the energy world.
$1.35 billion. Amount that major base metal mining firm GlencoreXstrata is paying to acquire African oil producer Caracal Energy.
The miner announced the acquisition this week, which will raise its stake in onshore fields in the central African nation of Chad to 85%. An interesting comment on the state of commodities markets—especially given the company has been exiting assets on the metals mining side of late.
19.3%. Increase in coal consumption from major Japanese power utilities during the fiscal year 2013/14.
Data from the country’s Federation of Electric Power Companies showed that Japan’s regional power generators used almost 10 million tonnes more coal during the most recent fiscal year, as compared to the previous period. A significant increase—from a nation most observers had written off as moving away from coal.
The trend appears set to continue, with Japanese firms looking to diversify away from expensive oil and natural gas. If so, this could be one more force lending unexpected strength to the global coal market.
3. Number of “brownfield allowances” granted this month by the U.K. government to North Sea operator Canadian Natural Resources.
The company is one of the pioneers in benefitting from this new regulatory tool—which allows producers to claim tax credits on capital outlays for revamping older oil and gas fields.
The regime is designed to breathe new life into the mature North Sea petroleum province. And it appears to be making headway—with Canadian Natural having already drilled 6 new production wells, 4 injector wells and completed two upgrades of existing wells under the brownfield program.
We’ll see what the eventual effect is on production. If successful, this could signal a significant opportunity in the making for field re-developers here.