LONDON (Reuters) – The race to succeed Mervyn King at the helm of the Bank of England when his second five-year term ends in June 2013 is now well underway, with contenders jockeying for position, though the UK government insists the formal search will not start until the autumn.
The field is thought to include five economists and policymakers, plus a couple of long-shots from the banking world, according to a race guide published by the Financial Times (“MPs look to monitor the next bank governor” April 20) and a recent survey by FT columnist Samuel Brittan (“The BoE needs neither a bureaucrat nor a dictator” April 26).
Economists and media commentators have lined up to question the accuracy of estimates published by Britain’s Office for National Statistics (ONS), showing gross domestic product shrank 0.2 percent in the first quarter, tipping the economy back into recession.
“The figure is disappointing and paints an unduly pessimistic picture of the state of the economy,” according to David Kern, chief economist at the British Chambers of Commerce. “Many commentators will question the accuracy of the data . Business surveys have shown a more positive picture, and we believe these give a more accurate indication of the underlying trends,” Kern said.
LONDON (Reuters) – National governments increasingly see themselves locked in a “race” to support the development and deployment of clean energy technology to cut emissions and capture a competitive advantage by offering a range of financial incentives to support the commercialization of innovative technologies.
“When it comes to the clean energy race, America faces a simple choice: compete or accept defeat,” U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu told Congress in November 2011. “In the coming decades, the clean energy sector is expected to grow by hundreds of billions of dollars. We are in a fierce global race to capture this market.”
LONDON, April 23 (Reuters) – New estimates for undiscovered
world oil and gas resources underline the growing operational
and political challenges facing the industry as the exploration
frontier moves into much more difficult countries and
environments in Africa, Latin America and the Arctic.
Undiscovered but technically recoverable conventional oil
reserves are put at 565 billion barrels, according to a
comprehensive estimate published by the U.S. Geological Survey
(USGS) on April 18.
LONDON, , Feb 20 (Reuters) – Hydraulic fracturing has
already transformed the North American gas industry, and has the
potential to revolutionise gas production and eventually oil
So far the approach has been based on brute force: employing
ever-increasing amounts of horsepower, fracking fluid and sand
to wring natural gas and oil from previously inaccessible tight
rock formations in a manner that is wasteful, expensive and
maximises the environmental impact.
DUBAI, April 17 (Reuters) – Recent government reports have
concluded hydraulic fracturing and other fluid injection
activities associated with oil and gas production were
responsible for a series of small tremors in northern England
last year, and they have also been blamed for a six-fold
increase in the number of tremors in the midcontinent of the
United States since 2001.
But the uptick in seismic activity is unlikely to stop the
spread of fracking. The tremors are small and no worse than
those traditionally associated with mining for coal, salt and
other minerals. They pose little or no threat to structures or
LONDON, April 13 (Reuters) – Observers have drawn parallels
between recent criticism of price-reporting agencies (PRAs) in
the oil market and the current investigation into the
manipulation of Libor rates by contributing banks. But the
comparison is wrong and betrays confusion about the role of the
PRAs and why it might or might not need to be reformed.
In a thoughtful article in the Financial Times on Friday,
Gillian Tett urged price reporters and regulators to heed the
lessons from the Libor scandal. “By acting now … the
International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO)
seems to hope that it can stave off any truly big scandal,” she
LONDON, April 12 (Reuters) – Premiums for nearby Brent
futures contracts have fallen sharply since the start
of the week in a sign the market is no longer worried about
serious supply shortfalls over the summer.
The premium for Brent delivered in May rather than June has
fallen from 60 cents per barrel on April 5 to just over 10 cents
in recent trading. It is the lowest premium since late January.
LONDON (Reuters) – Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg promised on Wednesday energy suppliers will have to inform customers at least once a year of the cheapest power and gas tariffs available in a bid to stimulate competition and push down prices.
It is another indication of the chaotic state of Britain’s energy policy. Both government and energy suppliers are desperately trying to shift blame for rising utility bills, which have added to the financial strain on millions of households, and caused the government to miss its target of eliminating fuel poverty by a wide margin.
LONDON, April 5 (Reuters) – Smart meters are the most
visible part of the power industry’s attempt to upgrade the
electricity network to cope with rising consumption and the
integration of renewable sources of generation such as wind and
The U.S. federal government is spending hundreds of millions
of dollars to support the roll out of smart meters that will
enable more variable power pricing linked to time of use (TOU)
or peak demand to encourage ordinary households and small
businesses to limit their electricity use when demand is
greatest and help manage pressure on the grid.