Senior Market Analyst, Commodities and Energy
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Jun 6, 2014

China’s Nine Dash Line and the Law of the Sea: Kemp

LONDON, June 6 (Reuters) – Territorial disputes over tiny
islands and reefs in the South China Sea are poisoning relations
between China and its neighbours in Southeast Asia.

“In recent months, China has undertaken destabilising,
unilateral actions asserting its claims in the South China Sea,”
U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told an audience in Singapore
last month.

Jun 4, 2014

U.S. EPA goes (relatively) easy on coal: Kemp

LONDON, June 4 (Reuters) – Despite the heated war of words
between supporters of the coal industry and environmentalists,
the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan is relatively
generous to coal interests.

By carefully selecting the baseline against which emission
reductions will be measured and giving states a long period to
come into compliance, the proposed rule is much less radical
than it appears.

Jun 2, 2014

U.S. refiners struggle with too much light crude: Kemp

LONDON, June 2 (Reuters) – Most of the extra oil produced in
the United States in the next two years will be light crudes and
condensates that domestic refineries will struggle to process –
intensifying pressure for at least a partial relaxation of the
country’s export ban.

U.S. oil production is set to increase by another 2 million
barrels per day in 2014-15. More than 60 percent of the forecast
growth will consist of light oils with a specific gravity of 40
degrees API or higher, according to the U.S. Energy Information
Administration (“U.S. crude oil production forecast: analysis of
crude types”, May 29).

May 21, 2014

For polluted China, gas is a matter of life or death: Kemp

LONDON, May 21 (Reuters) – “If I work in your Beijing, I
would shorten my life at least five years,” Premier Zhu Rongji,
a career politician from Shanghai, quipped in 1999, referring to
the notorious air pollution in China’s northern capital.

Research has confirmed life expectancy in northern China is
5.5 years shorter than in the south owing to the worse air
pollution, and the shocking difference stems from a
well-intentioned government policy to keep the residents of
northern China warm in winter.

May 19, 2014

Russia and China ready for deal on energy: Kemp

LONDON, May 19 (Reuters) – “China is our reliable friend,”
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday in an interview
ahead of a conference in Shanghai. “To expand cooperation with
China is undoubtedly Russia’s diplomatic priority.”

Most evaluations of the bilateral relationship begin by
reciting the historical border disputes, rift between Mao Zedong
and Nikita Khrushchev, opening to China by Richard Nixon, and
the perennial problem of reaching an agreement on gas pricing.

May 16, 2014

Money to burn: OPEC’s wasteful energy subsidies: Kemp

LONDON, May 16 (Reuters) – Fossil fuel subsidies cost
governments in emerging markets more than $500 billion every
year and are a major contributor to climate change, according to
the International Energy Agency (IEA) and International Monetary
Fund (IMF).

The biggest subsidies are concentrated in the Middle East,
North Africa, Asia and parts of Latin America, according to the
IEA’s Fossil Fuel Subsidy Database (

May 14, 2014

U.S. coal falls victim to stagnating electricity demand: Kemp

LONDON, May 14 (Reuters) – U.S. electricity consumption has
remained flat for the last six years, the first such prolonged
pause in growth, as recession and improvements in efficiency
have bitten deeply into demand.

Homes, schools, offices and factories consumed a total of
3,831 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity in 2013, basically
unchanged from the 3,816 billion in 2006, and well down from the
record 3,890 billion in 2007, according to the Energy
Information Administration (EIA) (Chart 1).

May 12, 2014

Frack the future: Britain’s onshore oil, gas quest is on: Kemp

LONDON, May 12 (Reuters) – They were crazy dreamers who
dared to believe that oil and gas could be produced from beneath
England’s rolling green hills.

Small companies such as Alkane, Egdon,
Cuadrilla, Dart, Island Gas, Newton and Star
bid for and won Petroleum Exploration and Development Licences
(PEDLs) in Britain’s 13th onshore licensing round held back in

May 9, 2014

Oklahoma earthquakes linked to oil and gas production: Kemp

LONDON, May 9 (Reuters) – Central Oklahoma faces a
significantly increased risk of a damaging earthquake, and the
threat is probably related to oil and gas extraction, the U.S.
Geological Survey warned on Monday.

“As a result of the increased number of small and moderate
shocks, the likelihood of future, damaging earthquakes has
increased for central and north-central Oklahoma,” USGS said.

May 8, 2014

Dire strait, why Asia must prepare for an oil shock: Kemp

LONDON, May 8 (Reuters) – Asia is more at risk from any
disruption to Middle East oil supplies than Europe or the United
States but is less prepared to deal with such a scenario,
according to a new report from Britain’s Royal Institute of
International Affairs.

The Chatham House study provides a wealth of detail on the
physical flow of oil from the Middle East to Asia and the threat
of an interruption.

    • About John

      "John joined Reuters in 2008 as one of its first financial columnists, specialising in commodities and energy. While his main focus is on oil markets, he has written broadly on the emergence of commodities as an asset class, regulatory issues and macroeconomic themes. Before joining Reuters, John spent seven years as a senior analyst for Sempra Commodities (now part of JP Morgan) covering base metals and crude oil. Previously, he worked as an analyst on world trade, banking and financial regulation for consultancy Oxford Analytica."
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