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.
LONDON, Dec 20 (Reuters) – Chevron’s partnership agreement
with YPF to drill 100 unconventional oil wells in Argentina’s
Vaca Muerta (“dead cow”) shale formation confirms that
exploration and production activity is accelerating in the
country, despite the standoff with Repsol after Argentina
nationalised YPF earlier this year.
Most analysts predicted the nationalisation would deter
further foreign investment in Argentina’s oil and gas industry,
leaving the country’s vast unconventional hydrocarbon resources
stuck in the ground.
LONDON, Dec 19 (Reuters) – Gas producers urgently need to
find a way to turn abundant and low-value gas supplies into more
valuable transport fuels like gasoline, diesel and jet.
The fracking revolution has so far had a bigger impact on
gas than oil. Soaring production has depressed the price of dry
gas, and condensates like propane and butane, even as the price
of crude oil remains close to record levels (on an annual
LONDON, Dec 14 (Reuters) – Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
could be in line for a windfall now that her government is
prepared to start granting licences to frack for shale gas
In her capacity as the Duke of Lancaster, the Queen owns
more than 50,000 acres and subsurface rights to tens of
thousands more across northern England, the part of the country
that has drawn the most interest from companies hunting for
shale gas. Fracking firms will have to pay to put wells on her
property or to drill through the subsurface mineral layers that