Friday, August 27, 2010

ODAC Newsletter - Aug 27

Cairn Energy Plc fell in London trading after its first well off Greenland found natural gas rather than crude oil.

An exploration well encountered gas in thin sands in the Baffin Bay basin, the company said in a statement in London today. The find is "indicative of an active hydrocarbon system" and the well hasn't yet reached target depth, it said...

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Danes block Greenpeace vessel in ArcticAlan Jones, PA, The Independent, 23 Aug 2010View original article

A Danish warship today confronted a Greenpeace ship which is on a mission to target "dangerous" deep sea oil drilling sites, the environmental group claimed.

The incident happened in the freezing seas off Greenland as the protest ship Esperanza approached one of the world's most controversial oil drilling projects operated by the British company Cairn Energy, said Greenpeace...

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BP frozen out of Arctic oil drilling raceTerry Macalister in Nuuk, The Guardian, 25 Aug 2010View original article

BP has been forced to abandon hopes of drilling in the Arctic, currently the centre of a new oil rush, owing to its tarnished reputation after the Gulf of Mexico spill.

The company confirmed tonight that it was no longer trying to win an exploration licence in Greenland, despite earlier reports of its interest. "We are not participating in the bid round," said a spokesman at BP's London headquarters, who declined to discuss its reasons for the reverse...

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Oil companies warned on North Sea accidents Roland Gribben, Telegraph, 24 Aug 2010View original article

North Sea oil and gas companies have been taken to task about their safety record after a sharp increase in accidents to workers and oil and gas leaks from offshore installations.

Steve Walker, head of the Health and Safety Executive's (HSE) offshore division, has bluntly told companies that their health and safety record covering 27,000 workers is "simply not good enough."

He said: "The industry has shown it can do better and it must do in future."...

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U.S. spill panel question drilling policyAyesha Rascoe, Reuters, 26 Aug 2010View original article

The BP oil spill was a massive "failure" in government oversight and administrations should be forced to consult with experts in the field before making expansive drilling policy, top officials of the White House's oil spill commission said on Wednesday.

Commission Co-chairman Bob Graham, a former U.S. Senator from Florida, said regulators and offshore drillers were aware of the possibility of a major well blowout, such as the one that caused the BP spill, but ignored the risks...

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Oil spill: safety valve was wrongly plumbed on rig, says BP executiveThe Daily Telegraph, 25 Aug 2010View original article

Harry Thierens, BP's vice president for drilling and completions, told a US political hearing that the blowout preventer was connected to a test pipe, rather than the correct one.

"It would mean that the pipe rams could not be closed," Mr Thierens said in evidence to a federal panel on Wednesday. "I was frankly astonished that this could have happened."...

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Job Losses Over Drilling Ban Fail to MaterializeJohn M. Broder and Clifford Krauss, New York Times, 24 Aug 2010View original article

When the Obama administration called a halt to virtually all deepwater drilling activity in the Gulf of Mexico after the Deepwater Horizon blowout and fire in April, oil executives, economists and local officials complained that the six-month moratorium would cost thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in lost revenue.

Oil supply firms went to court to have the moratorium overturned, calling it illegal and warning that it would exacerbate the nation's economic woes, lead to oil shortages and cause an exodus of drilling rigs from the gulf to other fields around the world. Two federal courts agreed...

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BP Oil Spill Has Little Impact on Global DrillingClifford Krauss, New York Times, 25 Aug 2010View original article

As John Broder and I report in Wednesday's Times, the economic impact of the Obama administration's moratorium on new deepwater drilling since the BP accident has been far less than many people predicted.

A negative impact has been even harder to find in other countries despite the fact that companies around the world use much the same equipment under similar industry protocols. Large offshore accidents in Mexican, British and Australian waters since the late 1970s barely slowed deepwater development, and history may well be repeating itself...

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Peak oil alarm revealed by secret official talksTerry Macalister and Lionel Badal, The Guardian, 22 Aug 2010View original article

Speculation that government ministers are far more concerned about a future supply crunch than they have admitted has been fuelled by the revelation that they are canvassing views from industry and the scientific community about "peak oil".

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) is also refusing to hand over policy documents about "peak oil" — the point at which oil production reaches its maximum and then declines — under the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act, despite releasing others in which it admits "secrecy around the topic is probably not good"...

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Crude Oil Heads for Third Weekly Decline on Slowing Economy Grant Smith and Christian Schmollinger, Bloomberg, 27 Aug 2010View original article

Crude oil fell, heading for its third weekly decline as a slowdown in U.S. manufacturing added to concerns that the economic recovery is faltering.

Prices have lost 0.5 percent this week following gains in U.S. crude inventories. The U.S. economy probably slowed in the second quarter even more than initially estimated as companies reined in inventories and the trade deficit widened, economists said before a report today...

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Dozens Killed in Wave of Attacks Across IraqStephen Farrell and Anthony Shadid, New York Times, 25 Aug 2010View original article

Insurgents launched what seemed to be a coordinated wave of attacks on police forces across Iraq on Wednesday, intensifying their onslaught as the American military prepares to switch from combat operations to a training and assistance role at the end of the month.

Security members gathered at the site of a bomb attack in Basra, Iraq, on Wednesday.
In northern Baghdad's Qahira district, a car bomb killed 15 people and wounded more than 50 in an assault on a police station, according to an official at Iraq's Interior Ministry. The blast flattened the building and other houses nearby, spread rubble in the street and shattered glass more than half a mile away, according to reporters who visited the scene...

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US mounts global push for shale gasShaun Tandon, AFP, 25 Aug 2010View original article

The United States has offered to help major economies such as China and India develop shale gas, a rapidly growing sector in North America which US officials bill as a clean alternative.

Twenty nations held two days of talks in Washington in first-of-a-kind shale gas talks initiated by the United States, where some forecast that shale -- a miniscule presence a decade ago -- could dominate the gas market by 2030...

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Natural-Gas Futures Premium Is at Narrowest in Seven Years: Energy MarketsMoming Zhou,, 25 Aug 2010View original article

Natural gas for January delivery is trading at the smallest premium to September futures in seven years as traders speculate that economic growth will slow.

January futures, covering the period when North American heating demand typically peaks, were 69.6 cents higher today than gas for September delivery. That compares with an average spread of $1.58 over the past 10 years. The difference is the narrowest for the day since the summer of 2003, when stockpiles indicated ample winter inventories...

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Nabucco pipeline confirms feeder lines to Iraq, GeorgiaEurActiv, 23 Aug 2010View original article

The Nabucco pipeline project has taken another step forward by ordering engineering work for two feeder lines from Turkey to Iraq and Georgia. However, a third planned feeder line from Turkey to Iran has been put on the back-burner due to political considerations, the consortium announced.

At a recent Steering Committee meeting in Ankara, Nabucco shareholders agreed to modify the feeder line concept, a press release says. Due to the current political situation, they decided to put on hold the third feeder line to the Turkish-Iran border...

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Merkel Rebuffs E.ON, RWE on Nuclear Tax, Demands AlternativesTony Czuczka and Brian Parkin, Bloomberg, 23 Aug 2010View original article

Chancellor Angela Merkel challenged German atomic-power plant operators E.ON AG and RWE AG to come up with alternatives to a planned tax on nuclear fuel that they oppose, sharpening her conflict with utilities and industry.

Merkel, in her first television interview since returning from summer vacation, refused to budge on the tax on utility profits announced in June, saying the government needs the 2.3 billion euros ($2.9 billion) in annual revenue...

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Safety regulator tells nuclear reactor makers to redouble efforts Rowena Mason, Telegraph, 26 Aug 2010View original article

It is increasingly unlikely that the UK's first nuclear reactors will get full regulatory approval by mid-2011, according to the Health and Safety Executive.

Areva, the French atomic specialist, and Westinghouse, its Japanese rival, had been hoping to gain full permission for their designs by next June, after a lengthy and meticulous assessment process...

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Russian atomic agency looks to diversifyBernard Simon in Toronto and Isabel Gorst in Moscow, Financial Times, 25 Aug 2010View original article

Rosatom plans to use its proposed majority stake in Canada's Uranium One as the starting point for global diversification, according to Sergei Kiriyenko, the Russian atomic agency's chief executive.

"The acquisition of Uranium One is not the end of the line for us in developing our uranium strategy", Mr Kiriyenko told the Financial Times on Tuesday...

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West jittery as Iran completes its first nuclear reactorJonathan Owen, The Independent, 22 Aug 2010View original article

Iran's ambitions to become a nuclear superpower edged closer to realisation yesterday, with the opening of the country's first energy-producing nuclear reactor.

The long-awaited project, dogged by opposition from the US since plans were first drawn up in the 1970s, is now complete...

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Sunny outlook for solar panelsFiona Harvey and Luke Sampson, Financial Times, 25 Aug 2010View original article

A record number of homeowners installed solar panels this month, in a sign of Britons' enthusiasm for domestic renewable energy generation.

But some householders are in danger of signing up for solar panel deals for which they will gain only a limited benefit, experts warned on Tuesday...

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British Gas introduces solar PV panel schemeRenewable Energy Focus, 22 Aug 2010View original article

The utility firm takes advantage of the UK Government's recent feed-in-tariff (FITs) to encourage people to generate their own low-carbon energy including solar photovoltaic (PV) panels.

British Gas is the latest company in a host of firms offering to install electricity-generating systems on homes in order to take advantage of a UK Government scheme that will pay the owners of solar PV panels for the electricity they generate...

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Biden says country on track to double renewable energy capacityReuters, 26 Aug 2010View original article

Government stimulus spending has put the country on track to double renewable energy production capacity by 2012 and halve solar power costs by 2015, Vice President Joseph Biden said on Tuesday.

President Barack Obama's stimulus spending poured $814 billion into the U.S. economy, including more than $100 billion for science, technology and innovation projects...

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£70m tidal power scheme goes on display in AngleseyBBC Online, 23 Aug 2010View original article

Plans to harness tidal power off the coast of Anglesey are going on public display.

Marine Current Turbines and RWE npower renewables hope to generate a fifth of the island's electricity needs from the £70m project...

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Straw theft is omen for the future of foodGarry White and Rowena Mason, Telegraph, 22 Aug 2010View original article

Mining giant BHP Billiton has made its bid for Canadian group PotashCorp of Saskatchewan because it sees a bright future for agricultural commodities. It looks like a very sensible move — providing the price is right.

Demand for potash will increase as the global population grows — and prices are likely to move higher. This means grain prices are likely to rise too.

This is bad news for farmers — and ultimately consumers — because it means the price of rearing animals is probably going to rise because of increasing feed costs. But it's not just feed prices that are going up and squeezing farmers' margins — the price of straw and hay is also heading higher...

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Putin ponders climate change in Arctic RussiaDarya Korsunskaya, Reuters, 23 Aug 2010View original article

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin traveled beyond the Arctic Circle on Monday to look into evidence for climate change after a record heatwave ravaged central Russia this summer.

Putin, who has in the past displayed a light-hearted approach to global warming by joking Russians would have to buy fewer fur coats, flew to a scientific research station in the Samoilovsky island at the delta of Siberia's Lena River...

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ASPO-USA 2010 Peak Oil ConferenceASPO-USAView original article

The ASPO-USA Peak Oil Conference, October 7-9, 2010 in Washington, DC, is the world's premier event focused on peak oil challenges and solutions. It is produced by the nonprofit Association For The Study Of Peak Oil & Gas - USA (ASPO-USA). The format includes keynotes, plenary sessions, concurrent educational tracks, networking receptions, and exhibits. The conference is supported by more than 30 publications, websites and partnering associations. ODAC newsletter subscribers can receive a $50 discount off the Peak Aware Package registration option by inserting the code mediapartner when prompted on the eRegistration page linked from

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Pulaski carport taps into solar power for TVA, autosODAC Newsletter - July 30

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