LONDON, May 1 (Reuters) – The Williston Basin underneath
North Dakota, Montana and South Dakota contains twice as much
crude and three times more gas than previously thought,
according to an updated assessment published by the U.S.
Geological Survey (USGS) on Tuesday.
USGS assesses that at least 7 billion barrels of oil, and
6.4 billion cubic feet of natural gas, could ultimately be
recovered from the two formations, with at least a 50 percent
LONDON (Reuters) – Water and energy are inextricably linked.
Power plants are the largest users of water in the United States, while substantial amounts of energy are needed to supply fresh water to homes, farms and factories and treat waste water prior to safe disposal.
Rising water consumption for hydraulic fracturing and production of biofuels, coupled with severe droughts in Texas in 2011 and across more than 60 percent of the continental United States in 2012, have propelled that link up the policymakers’ agenda.
LONDON, April 30 (Reuters) – Water and energy are
Power plants are the largest users of water in the United
States, while substantial amounts of energy are needed to supply
fresh water to homes, farms and factories and treat waste water
prior to safe disposal.
Rising water consumption for hydraulic fracturing and
production of biofuels, coupled with severe droughts in Texas in
2011 and across more than 60 percent of the continental United
States in 2012, have propelled that link up the policymakers’
LONDON, April 29 (Reuters) – The village of Balcombe in West
Sussex, with fewer than 2,000 residents, is set to test whether
Britain’s politicians, media and public can strike a sensible
balance between climate change and energy security, local
concerns and national priorities.
Balcombe has become a rallying point for a broad alliance of
environmentalists and community groups opposed to the
introduction of hydraulic fracturing for shale gas in Britain,
as Guy Chazan explains in a thoughtful article in Monday’s
Financial Times (“Sussex village of Balcombe is focal point of
fracking opposition” April 29).
LONDON, April 18 (Reuters) – Forcing coal and gas-fired
power plants to ramp up and down more frequently to compensate
for the growing number of wind farms connected to the power grid
will reduce their efficiency and increase maintenance costs.
The adoption of renewable energy laws and renewable
portfolio standards (RPS), requiring power purchasers to give
priority to clean generation from intermittent sources such as
wind, will require fossil fuel generators to operate more
flexibly, according to a recent study funded by the U.S.
Department of Energy.
LONDON, April 17 (Reuters) – Converting the world’s roofs
from dark colours to reflective white would cancel the warming
effect of 1 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide each year for the
lifetime of the roof, according to former California Energy
Commissioner Arthur Rosenfeld.
The reduction in warming would be equivalent to taking half
the world’s cars off the road for 20 years, Rosenfeld wrote in a
recent commentary for the International Energy Agency (“White
roofs cool the world efficiency” April 3).
LONDON, April 15 (Reuters) – The status of commodities as a
distinct asset class is under threat following another lousy
start to the year for investors.
Total returns on the two major commodity indices, the
Standard and Poor’s Goldman Sachs Commodity Index
and the Dow Jones-UBS Commodity Index, show losses of
4.4 percent and 3.7 percent respectively so far this year, while
an investment in the S&P 500 equity index is up 12
percent, including dividends.
LONDON, April 12 (Reuters) – Saudi officials should welcome
the recent decline in oil prices, which takes benchmark Brent
close to the level of $100 per barrel that everyone from the
kingdom’s oil minister down has said is “reasonable” for both
consumers and producers.
For more than a year, Saudi officials have sought to anchor
market expectations by reiterating the $100 figure, though the
kingdom has often appeared more comfortable with prices around
$110, and adjusted production and exports accordingly.
LONDON, April 12 (Reuters) – The recent rise in U.S. natural
gas prices, if sustained, will provide an opportunity to
identify the threshold that drillers need to cover their
marginal costs, the closest thing to conducting a controlled
experiment possible in real-time markets.
Concerns about peaking oil and gas production are over, but
the question about peak prices is still very much alive. The
shale revolution has ensured there will be sufficient oil and
gas but left unanswered the more important question about what
price will be needed to make sure they are available.
LONDON, April 11 (Reuters) – Exponential growth in shale oil
production must slow because output from fractured wells
declines much more rapidly than conventional ones, and because
the most productive areas have been drilled first, according to
Shale production has been likened to Lewis Carroll’s Red
Queen Race, in which more and more new wells will need to be
drilled just to offset rapidly declining output from existing
holes, according to one analyst at The Oil Drum (“Is shale oil
production from Bakken headed for a run with the Red Queen?” Sep