Deputy Energy Editor, EMEA
Barbara's Feed
Sep 18, 2012

EU politicians vote for tough oil, gas anti-corruption law

BRUSSELS, Sept 18 (Reuters) – European Union legislators
have voted for a draft anti-corruption law, echoing rigorous
U.S. rules to make oil, gas and mining firms declare payments
they make in resource-rich nations.

Pressure has mounted on the EU to take a tough line after
the U.S. regulator in August set demanding rules for U.S.-listed
firms.

Sep 17, 2012

EU Commission to cap food-based biofuels in major shift

BRUSSELS/NICOSIA (Reuters) – The European Commission announced a major shift in biofuel policy on Monday, saying it plans to limit crop-based biofuels to 5 percent of transport fuel, after campaigners said existing rules take food out of people’s mouths.

Record high global grain prices have intensified calls for changes in EU and U.S. biofuel policies, criticized for snatching away land that should be used for food.

Sep 15, 2012

EU gasoline surplus not shrinking fast enough-draft

BRUSSELS, Sept 15 (Reuters) – EU refineries are not
investing fast enough to shift the balance to diesel production
as the U.S. appetite to mop up surplus gasoline starts to wane,
a draft Commission document seen by Reuters said.

The European Union’s refining sector has struggled against
dwindling profit margins and a structural imbalance, which
requires it to import products to meet growing diesel demand,
while exporting unwanted gasoline.

Sep 15, 2012

Enforcing single EU energy market is a priority-draft

BRUSSELS, Sept 15 (Reuters) – The EU’s executive “as a
matter of priority” is enforcing its single energy market laws
it says in a draft text, seen by Reuters, that states its
determination to create a barrier-free market-place, which has
angered dominant gas supplier Russia.

Early this month, the European Commission announced it had
opened an investigation into suspected anti-competitive market
practices by Russia’s Gazprom.

Aug 3, 2012

Europe’s plan to control Azeri gas supply in jeopardy

LONDON/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Europe’s plan to secure and control a supply of Azeri natural gas, backed by legal agreements, is in jeopardy as Azerbaijan joins forces with Turkey to own and operate the main export pipeline.

By creating a so-called Southern Corridor to bring in large volumes of central Asian gas, the European Commission hopes to reduce dependence on Russian gas and avoid supply disruptions caused by disputes between Russia and Ukraine over gas deliveries via Ukrainian territory.

Jul 29, 2012

German energy U-turn powers EU Saharan dream

BRUSSELS/FRANKFURT, July 29 (Reuters) – Germany’s decision
to abandon nuclear energy and dwindling domestic subsidies for
renewables have stoked a dazzlingly ambitious plan to expand
Europe’s energy market into North Africa, with an array of giant
solar and wind plants glinting in the desert sun.

Desertec, a German consortium set up in 2009, envisages
Europe will import up to a fifth of its electricity from solar
and wind parks in North Africa and the Middle East by 2050.

Jul 26, 2012

U.S. ups the pressure on European Union in airline row

WASHINGTON/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Washington will ratchet up the pressure next week to find a global solution to a bitter row over an EU law that makes airlines that use European airports pay for carbon emissions.

In the U.S. Senate, the powerful commerce committee will hold a vote on Tuesday on a bipartisan bill that would make it illegal to comply with the EU law.

Jul 26, 2012

EU may criminalise commodities price distortion

BRUSSELS, July 26 (Reuters) – Manipulating international
commodity benchmarks such as Brent crude oil would be a
criminal offence, punishable by jail, under a set of reforms the
EU Commission has proposed in response to the rigging of a major
interest reference rate.

The Commission, the EU’s executive arm, announced on
Wednesday plans to tighten supervision of financial benchmarks
after a scandal involving interbank lending rate Libor, used to
set prices for trillions of dollars of financial products.

Jul 25, 2012

EU Commission presents plan to boost carbon market

BRUSSELS, July 25 (Reuters) – The European Commission
presented keenly-awaited plans to bolster the Emissions Trading
Scheme (ETS) by reducing a massive burden of surplus allowances
and urged member states to hurry them through by the year-end.

The proposals are the latest in a series of efforts to fix a
market designed to be the mainstay of the EU’s climate policy.

Jul 25, 2012

EU Commission to announce carbon market rescue plan

BRUSSELS, July 25 (Reuters) – The European Commission will
outline a keenly-awaited plan on Wednesday to bolster the
Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) by reducing a massive burden of
surplus allowances.

It is the latest of a string of efforts to fix a market,
which is designed to be the mainstay of the EU’s climate policy,
but in the past has been undermined by a series of scams and now
is flooded with oversupply because of recession.