Wojciech's Feed
Aug 25, 2010

E.ON Ruhrgas sees years-long European gas glut

STAVANGER, Norway, Aug 25 (Reuters) – Germany’s leading gas
buyer E.ON Ruhrgas (EONGn.DE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said it expected European gas
markets to stay oversupplied in the medium to long term and it
was in talks to renegotiate long-term contracts with suppliers.

“We said the medium to long term, which means not something
that we are likely to see in three to five years,” Chief
Executive Klaus Schafer said on being asked when Europe’s gas
glut would end.

Aug 24, 2010

Norway insists Statoil keeps renewables focus

STAVANGER, Norway, Aug 24 (Reuters) – Norway’s centre-left
government told its majority-owned oil major Statoil (STL.OL: Quote, Profile, Research) on
Tuesday to remain in renewable energy projects despite concerns
by the company over their profitability.

Statoil’s chief executive has said that renewable energy
must become profitable to attract investment, and that within
three to four years it may consider whether it makes sense for
an oil company to branch out of renewables. [ID:nLDE67M0QZ]

Jul 29, 2010

Analysis: BP spill seeps into Norway’s Arctic drilling debate

OSLO (Reuters) – Norway’s decades-old political consensus on offshore drilling is under attack in the wake of the BP oil spill, just as it covets new riches in the Arctic.

The powerful oil industry says it needs to tap resources off the Arctic archipelagoes of Lofoten and Vesteraalen and in a huge, recently demarcated Barents Sea border region with Russia to continue Norway’s oil boom amid dwindling North Sea output.

Jul 29, 2010

BP spill seeps into Norway’s Arctic drilling debate

OSLO, July 29 (Reuters) – Norway’s decades-old political consensus on offshore drilling is under attack in the wake of the BP oil spill, just as it covets new riches in the Arctic.

The powerful oil industry says it needs to tap resources off the Arctic archipelagoes of Lofoten and Vesteraalen and in a huge, recently demarcated Barents Sea border region with Russia to continue Norway’s oil boom amid dwindling North Sea output.

But, emboldened by the Gulf of Mexico well blowout, Norwegian environmentalists seek to grab the upper hand in a battle they feel they have long been loosing.

So far Oslo’s energy policy has not been affected much by the spill, but the drilling lobby is nervous.

Norway is still Europe’s No. 2 energy supplier but its oil exports, at 2.13 million barrels per day in 2009, are 31 percent below its 2001 peak. Natural gas sales are rising.

Energy Minister Terje Riis-Johansen said this month that he was personally against opening the Lofotens archipelago.

The government is expected to take up a position on opening the region to oil activities in early 2011.

"Perhaps the Norwegian authorities will wait at least a few years with awarding licenses in previously unexplored Arctic areas, not to provoke the environmentalists and the population in general," said Bjoern Brochman, director of gas market analysis at Point Carbon, a Thomson Reuters company.

Statoil also reluctantly agreed that the U.S. spill has made it more difficult to open the Lofotens. [ID:nLDE6561WT]

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For an oil vs environment factbox, click on: [ID:nLDE66Q1RQ]

For a graphic, click on: here

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GREEN OFFENSIVE

Environmentalists warn that the oil industry is taking on more and more risk in the Arctic. It takes longer for oil to dissolve in freezing Arctic waters, while winter darkness and limited port facilities would hamper cleanup efforts.

The seas off the Lofotens have unique cold water reefs and are the spawning grounds of the world’s largest cod stock.

In the latest salvo, an eco group this week asked safety authorities to reject drilling requests by Statoil (STL.OL: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Italy’s ENI (ENI.MI: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) in a developed area of the Barents Sea, taking the fight to a region previously cleared for exploration.

"After such a catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico, it’s sensible to press the brake in these vulnerable areas," said Lars Haltbrekken, head of Friends of the Earth Norway.

On the other side, the head of Norway’s influential LO union and ally of the Labour party in government said that failure to open up the Lofotens and other prospective Arctic areas would have a profound impact on Norwegian society.

"Not doing the (Lofoten) study would mean breaking with the political tradition that has turned Norway into the welfare state that it is today," Roar Flaathen told the daily VG.

The country’s oil industry said a BP-type oil spill is highly unlikely offshore Norway because of tougher safety rules.

But even as Norway remains one of the least polluted oil and gas producing regions in the world, the risks of offshore drilling, especially in deep waters, have now been fully exposed to an environmentally-sensitive Norwegian electorate.

"(The U.S. spill) was a reality check, an awakening for Norwegians that accidents happen and that production in deepwater is dangerous," said Point Carbon’s Brochman.

Norway’s energy policy remains friendly for industry, however, with the latest offshore licensing round announced in June including all 12 previously envisaged deepwater blocks.

The total number of blocks on offer was cut by just six to 94 following the spill, while Oslo’s halt on drilling in new deepwater areas is seen as largly symbolic. [ID:nLDE65M0VK]



Jul 27, 2010

Norsk Hydro sees weaker H2 amid oversupply

OSLO, July 27 (Reuters) – Norwegian aluminium producer Norsk
Hydro (NHY.OL: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said the aluminium market may have hit its 2010
peak already in the second quarter and stuck to its forecast for
12 percent growth in its upstream and downstream markets.

Hydro posted above-forecast April-June core earnings and
said global aluminium markets remain oversupplied even as demand
picks up along with a moderate recovery in economic growth.

Jul 21, 2010

Emerging mkts, smartphones fuel Nordic telco growth

OSLO/STOCKHOLM, July 21 (Reuters) – Nordic telecoms operators capitalised on growth in emerging markets and increased use of smartphones by their tech-savvy customers in the second quarter, helping to justify pricey shares.

Results from Norwegian group Telenor (TEL.OL: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Swedish peer Tele2 (TEL2b.ST: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) on Wednesday and a report from TeliaSonera (TLSN.ST: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) earlier this week showed growing data traffic and exposure to Asia and Russia offset a decline in traditional fixed-line business and tough domestic competition.

Jul 21, 2010

Telenor nudges up 2010 revenue view, slims capex

OSLO (Reuters) – Norwegian telecoms company Telenor ASA(TEL.OL: Quote, Profile, Research) nudged up its 2010 revenue growth forecast on recovering Asian economies and strong demand for mobile data in the Nordics, while slimming its capital expenditure plans.

Telenor achieved 13 percent year-on-year organic revenue growth in Asia in the second quarter due to a pick up in client spending as the region’s economies improved, as well as more usage of high-end smartphones in Thailand and Malaysia.

Jul 20, 2010

Renovables, REC post firm H1 results, upbeat on 2010

MADRID/OSLO (Reuters) – Iberdrola Renovables and Renewable Energy Corp kicked off Europe’s green energy reporting season on Tuesday with sharp upticks in first-half earnings and upbeat 2010 forecasts, but neither gave a forecast for 2011.

Spain’s Renovables, the world’s largest generator of wind power, reiterated its forecast to grow its core earnings by 20 percent in 2010, while Norway’s REC, which makes solar power equipment, forecast growth in the second half, thanks to higher demand.

Jul 20, 2010

REC Q2 beats view on German demand

OSLO (Reuters) – Renewable Energy Corp posted above-forecast quarterly core earnings and expects a strong 2010 as customers in key markets look to lock in waning solar panel subsidies, lifting its shares to a three-month high.

REC said it remained “cautious” on 2011 as a result of the planned cuts in feed-in tariffs in Germany and Italy, although returns for customers from new solar panels should remain sufficiently high to drive demand.

Jul 20, 2010

REC cautious on 2011 after Q2 beats view

OSLO (Reuters) – Renewable Energy Corp on Tuesday posted above-forecast second-quarter results and said it expected core earnings to rise throughout 2010 but saw risks to demand and prices around the turn of the year as subsidies wane.

The first big solar group to publish second-quarter results, Norway’s REC said the key German market was holding up well in the third quarter even after subsidy schemes have been reduced.