LONDON, Aug 12 (Reuters) – From modest beginnings in the
Barnett shale beneath the city of Fort Worth, unnoticed by most
energy analysts, horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing
spread across North America and transformed all aspects of the
energy landscape in under 10 years.
Now the most important question for energy analysts is what
technology will revolutionize the system next.
LONDON, Aug 7 (Reuters) – Bakken crude is no more dangerous
than other light sweet crudes and poses no greater risk when
transported by rail, according to a report prepared for the
North Dakota Petroleum Council (NDPC), which represents oil
producers and shippers in the state.
The NDPC report, written by engineering consultants Turner,
Mason and Company, and based on laboratory tests conducted by
the international inspection firm SGS, counters charges that
Bakken is unusually dangerous and pushes back against assertions
by U.S. government regulators that the oil is so uniquely
dangerous that it requires special safety measures.
LONDON, Aug 5 (Reuters) – By extracting a $13 million
penalty and imposing tough restrictions on future oil trading by
Arcadia and others, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading
Commission (CFTC) this week sent a powerful signal that laws
against market manipulation still have teeth.
The case challenges a now famous view expressed in 1991 by
commodities lawyer Jerry Markham that manipulation of commodity
futures prices had become an unprosecutable crime.
(“Manipulation of commodity futures prices: the unprosecutable
LONDON, Aug 4 (Reuters) – EU sanctions on Russia’s oil
sector will not seriously hamper the development of new oil
resources in either the short or the long term, though they
leave open the possibility of further escalation if relations
with Russia deteriorate in future.
Taken as a whole, the restrictions announced on July 31 are
best viewed as a piece of “sanctions theatre” designed to show
the public and Washington that the EU is doing something in
response to the downing of the Malaysian airliner over eastern
Ukraine while keeping the costs to EU energy firms as low as
LONDON, July 31 (Reuters) – Supporters of natural gas
promote it as a clean “bridge fuel” between the coal-and-oil
dominated energy system of the present and the zero-emissions
system of the future based on renewables and nuclear power.
Burning gas rather than coal in a power plant produces
roughly half the carbon dioxide emissions and sharply reduces
airborne pollution from mercury and other heavy metals.
LONDON, July 30 (Reuters) – U.S. and European companies
dominate the global market in oil exploration and production,
especially projects requiring complex engineering and reservoir
management, but they will face increasing competition from China
over the next decade.
Western majors like Exxon, BP, Chevron, Shell, Total,
Statoil and ENI currently lead the international oil industry.
The only serious rivals from outside the OECD are Petronas
(Malaysia), Petrobras (Brazil) as well as CNPC and Sinopec
LONDON, July 29 (Reuters) – Somewhere in an office at the
Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) in Washington, D.C., a
mid-ranking government official is sitting down with a stack of
Coming up with a workable definition of “distillation” has
become urgent as U.S. companies seek permission to export
condensate, which has been stabilised and minimally distilled to
remove the most volatile components.
LONDON, July 28 (Reuters) – “The world of energy may have
changed forever,” according to Professor James Hamilton of the
University of California. “Hundred dollar oil is here to stay.”
Hamilton, who is one of the most respected economists
writing about oil, made his bold prediction in a paper on “The
Changing Face of World Oil Markets”, published on July 20.
LONDON, July 25 (Reuters) – The probability of a solar storm
striking Earth in the next decade with enough force to do
serious damage to electricity networks could be as high as 12
percent, according to solar scientists.
One such storm erupted from the surface of the Sun two years
ago, on July 23, 2012. If it had been directed at this planet,
it would have produced the worst geomagnetic storm in more than
four centuries and caused extensive power problems.
LONDON, July 22 (Reuters) – Shale plays are ideal for oil
and gas companies that need to limit risk in countries with a
history of political and economic instability and poor respect
for private property.
The ability to manage political risk, coupled with a world
class resource, explains why international oil firms are showing
strong interest in the shale resources of Argentina’s Neuquen
basin, despite the country’s record of political and economic
unrest, serial default, and expropriation of foreign property.