LONDON, Jan 15 (Reuters) – For a decade, the oil industry
has worried about rising resource nationalism in producing
countries. Host governments have imposed tougher terms, demanded
bigger exploration bonuses and extracted a higher share of
revenues, in some cases expropriating foreign oil companies when
they failed to develop new fields fast enough.
Now the wheel may be turning as the prospect of big new oil
and gas finds from shale and in deepwater trigger a competition
among potential host countries to attract investment.
LONDON, Jan 11 (Reuters) – Fracking and a global surge in
offshore exploration pose the biggest challenge to Saudi
Arabia’s oil policy since the 1980s.
For Saudi policymakers, the question will be how to maintain
market share and export revenues amid a host of competing
supplies from shale and other unconventional deposits, offshore
fields in Latin America and Africa, the Arctic, and rivals
within OPEC such as Iraq and Iran.
LONDON, Jan 11 (Reuters) – There has been no official announcement but Saudi
Arabia’s effective target for oil prices appears to have risen from $100 to $110
per barrel, based on recent changes in the kingdom’s production levels.
In theory, the kingdom remains committed to an informal target of $100 for
Brent first announced in a CNN interview given by Oil Minister Ali Naimi in
January 2012. “Our wish and hope is that we can stabilise this oil price and
keep it at a level around $100,” Naimi said.
LONDON, Jan 10 (Reuters) – In a silent revolution, the U.S.
power distribution system is undergoing the biggest shake-up
since Samuel Insull built the modern electricity industry a
In the old model, supply passively followed demand, and
large amounts of expensive generation and transmission capacity
were kept idle much of the year to be available to meet demand
at peak times. In its place now, the grid is changing gradually
to a more market-based system, in which both supply and demand
are expected to adjust to make the most efficient use of
generation and transmission assets.
LONDON, Jan 9 (Reuters) – The Obama administration has
presided over a record increase in federal spending on
programmes designed to boost energy supply and reduce
Net outlays linked to energy supply programmes peaked at
almost $13 billion in fiscal 2012. In addition, the federal
government spent a record $9.4 billion on conservation measures
LONDON, Jan 8 (Reuters) – While other states struggle with
how best to regulate horizontal drilling and hydraulic
fracturing, or wonder whether to permit the practice at all,
Kansas is actively courting fracking firms in the hope of
repeating North Dakota’s oil boom.
Interest centres on the Mississippian Lime Play (MLP), a
porous limestone formation found under parts of southern and
western Kansas as well as across the boundary in northern
LONDON, Jan 7 (Reuters) – Besides the enormous oil resources
contained in the Bakken Shale, North Dakota is one of the
biggest potential producers of wind power in the United States.
North Dakota already has almost 1,500 megawatts (MW) of
wind-generating capacity installed, with another 200 MW under
construction, according to the American Wind Energy Association.
In 2011, wind provided almost 15 percent of the state’s
LONDON, Jan 4 (Reuters) – Clean Line Energy Partners has
taken the first steps towards developing a long-distance
transmission network to bring abundant wind power from the U.S.
Great Plains to customers in the Tennessee Valley and the rest
of the Southeast.
On Dec. 21, the U.S. Department of Energy announced it would
prepare an environmental impact statement for the Plains and
Eastern Clean Line Transmission Project – the most advanced of
four projects Clean Line is developing to take wind power from
the plains toward the coasts. ().
LONDON, Jan 2 (Reuters) – California has some of the most
stringent environmental regulations in the United States, so it
might seem an unlikely place to welcome fracking. On Dec. 18,
however, the state Department of Conservation published draft
rules that could lead to widespread hydraulic fracturing for oil
The state is known for tough gasoline standards, an
ambitious cap-and-trade scheme to cut carbon emissions and
strong interest in developing renewable resources such as wind,
solar and geothermal as well as stringent energy efficiency
requirements for everything from new buildings to refrigerators.
LONDON, Dec 21 (Reuters) – Marketing production is more
associated with technology and entertainment than grubby
industrial raw materials like oil. But marketing is set to
become more important as the oil market moves into surplus and
struggles with an increasingly diverse range of crudes.
Crude marketers need to convince refiners their oil is worth
paying a premium for and to undertake expensive investments to
be able to process it.