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Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Today's ENERGY News - 14 June 2016

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Addressing Climate Change Could Be More Costly Than Thought

Wind Turbines For all of the discussion around the dangers of climate change, one issue is often forgotten – the cost of fixing the problem. Cutting carbon emissions enough to halt changes to the Earth’s atmosphere is likely to prove extraordinarily costly. So much so that the process is going to put a huge financial burden on many nations and keep billions mired in poverty. That’s the conclusion of M.J. Kelly, a leading engineering professor and scientist with Cambridge University in a recently published study . Dr. Kelly also sees the Paris Climate Accord as irrelevant from a climate change perspective, with the quest to reduce carbon emissions being at best costly, and very likely quixotic. Kelly sees carbon cuts as having a devastating effect on modern life around the world. Kelly’s views, while not shared by many other scientists, are based on a cost perspective rather than a […]

IMF: Canada Needs Fiscal Support to Counteract Low Oil Prices

The International Monetary Fund said on Monday that Canada is coping well with lower oil prices and weaker growth, but needs to pursue a fiscal and monetary policy mix that supports near-term output. In a statement following its annual policy review with Canada, the IMF cautioned the full macroeconomic and financial effects of the oil shock have yet to fully play out in Canada, which saw real gross domestic product growth halve to 1.2 percent in 2015. The Fund said its board of directors welcomed Canada’s “pro-growth” budget and noted that additional fiscal support should be considered if conditions worsen. “Growth is expected to rebound in 2016, supported by exchange rate depreciation and accommodative monetary and fiscal policies, but uncertainty about oil prices, challenges in sustaining the global recovery, and elevated domestic vulnerabilities suggest risks to the outlook are tilted to the downside,” the […]

Venezuela Oil Production Drops Sharply in May

Venezuela registered its biggest monthly oil-production decline in a decade in May, according to data released Monday by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, signaling further trouble for a country already enduring severe economic hardship. The decline of 120,000 barrels a day, to 2.37 million barrels a day, underscores the inability of state energy company PetrĂ³leos de Venezuela SA to maintain oil-industry investments, as the region’s largest petroleum exporter suffers from a debilitating cash crunch, widespread food shortages and civil unrest. “This is very surprising,” said Francisco Monaldi, a Latin American energy policy fellow at Rice University in Houston, who closely tracks Venezuela’s oil industry. “If you want to point to the biggest problem, it is cash flow, which for PdVSA now looks worse than we had imagined.” Venezuela, which relies on oil […] 

 IEA’s Oil Market Report

  • Crude oil prices rallied to a 2016 high above $51/bbl in June, stoked by continuing outages in Nigeria and Canada as well as a steady decline in US oil production. May marked the third straight month of average price rises in Brent and WTI futures.
  • Outages in OPEC and non-OPEC countries cut global oil supply by nearly 0.8 mb/d in May. At 95.4 mb/d, output stood 590 kb/d below a year earlier – the first significant drop since early 2013. Non-OPEC supply growth is expected to return in 2017 at a modest 0.2 mb/d, after declining by 0.9 mb/d in 2016.
  • OPEC crude output fell by 110 kb/d in May to 32.61 mb/d as big losses in Nigeria due to oil sector sabotage more than offset higher Middle East output. Iran has clearly emerged as OPEC’s fastest source of supply growth this year, with an anticipated gain of 700 kb/d.
  • Global oil demand in 1Q16 has been revised upwards to 1.6 mb/d and for 2016 growth will now be 1.3 mb/d. In 2017 we will see the same rate of growth and global demand will reach 97.4 mb/d. Non-OECD nations will provide most of the expected gains in both years. The growth rate is slightly above the previous trend, mostly due to relatively low crude oil prices.
  • Commercial inventories in the OECD increased from March levels by 14.4 mb to stand at 3 065 mb by end-April, an impressive 222 mb above one year earlier. As the US driving season kicks off, OECD gasoline stocks stand above average levels and last year in absolute and days of forward demand terms. There is a similar picture in China.
  • Refinery runs in 2Q16 are suffering from deepening outages. Throughput is nearly flat year-on-year, as refiners finally catch up with maintenance postponed from 2015. The seasonal ramp-up to 3Q16 is expected to be the largest on record, surging by about 2.3 mb/d quarter-on-quarter.

U.S. coal production lowest since the 1980s

The amount of coal produced in the United States is the lowest it’s been since the early 1980s as overall demand falters, the government said. “Coal production has declined because of increasingly challenging market conditions for coal producers,” a report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration said. Industrial and utility sectors are drawing more heavily on natural gas, while exports in the form of liquefied natural gas are drawing on domestic supplies. The EIA’s analysis finds that, through 2040, total U.S. production from shale gas and tight oil more than doubles to 29 trillion cubic feet, accounting for about 69 percent of total output of natural gas in the country. Generating electricity accounts for nearly all of […]

Will Renewables Ever Replace Fossils?

The readers of “The Doomstead Diner” are very skeptical about the possibility of a rapid transition to a 100% renewable powered world. 54% of them say that it is impossible. A few weeks ago, I posted on “Cassandra’s legacy” the result of an informal survey among experts in renewable energy. I asked about the chances of a transition to a world that would be completely powered by renewable energy, and about the chances of being able to attain that before climate change becomes a true catastrophe. Out of some 70 respondents, the large majority was of the opinion that a fast 100% renewable transition is possible and that can be attained without the need of heroic efforts. I must confess that I found that result surprisingly optimistic, probably because I tend to frequent rather doomerish circles (and note the name of my blog !). Indeed, the people who read […]


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