Monday 9/13 - "High Natural Gas Prices Today Will Send U.S. Production Soaring Next Year" by Irina Slav

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The U.S. Shale Industry Desperately Needs To Drill

By Alex Kimani - Oct 13, 2021, 6:00 PM CDT

  • Drilled but uncompleted wells in the U.S. shale patch hit November 2017 levels in July of this year, suggesting the industry desperately needs to start drilling 
  • While U.S. shale companies have been eager to please investors by cutting costs and returning money to shareholders, these companies now need to drill to maintain production
  • If oil prices remain near the $80 mark then most shale companies should have the capability to increase drilling and continue to deliver returns for shareholders

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The Facts Behind Saudi Arabia’s Outrageous Oil Claims

By Simon Watkins - Oct 13, 2021, 7:00 PM CDT

  • Last week, Saudi Aramco’s chief executive officer, Amin Nasser, said that the company expects to boost its oil production capacity to 13 million barrels per day (bpd) by 2027.
  • The EIA defines spare capacity very specifically as production that can be brought online within 30 days and sustained for at least 90 days.
  • Saudi Arabia stated for decades that it had a spare capacity of between 2.0 and 2.5 million bpd.
  • Saudi Arabia pumped an average of 8.162 million barrels per day of crude oil. Not 10 million, 11 million, 12 million, 13 million, or any other figure that it suits the Saudis to dream up: 8.162 million barrels per day. 

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Norway To Continue Developing Oil Industry Under New Government

By Tsvetana Paraskova - Oct 13, 2021, 2:30 PM CDT

Western Europe’s largest oil and gas producer, Norway, will continue to develop its oil and gas industry, the incoming minority coalition government said in its platform on Wednesday.    

Technologies to reduce emissions and fight climate change will take center stage in the new government’s policies, but the development of Norwegian energy resources will also be pursued to ensure a fair and gradual energy transition, the Labour Party and the rural Centre Party said in a joint policy statement after agreeing to form a coalition government.

The Labour Party won the elections in Norway last month, beating the outgoing Conservatives, but it failed to secure a majority in Parliament, so it formed a coalition with the Centre Party.


Labour’s Jonas Gahr Stoere, who will be the next prime minister, said ahead of the elections in September: “I believe that calling time on our oil and gas industry is the wrong industrial policy and the wrong climate policy.”

Norway will continue to grant permits for oil and gas exploration on the Norwegian shelf and will keep the current system of oil auctions, the incoming government says. Over the next four years—during the term in office of the government—most of the exploration activity will take place in mature areas of the shelf.

The government will also work with the oil and gas industry to ensure that emissions from the Norwegian shelf will be cut by 50 percent by 2030 and to net-zero by 2050, the incoming government said.

“We are pleased that the new government will continue the main oil and gas policies of the previous government,” Anniken Hauglie, Director General of the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association, said today, commenting on the incoming government’s platform.

Access to acreage and more permits is the single most important instrument the government has to ensure not only revenues from the oil and gas industry, but also to fund the energy transition, Hauglie said. 

By Tsvetana Paraskova for

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Beijing To Allow Free Market Forces To Dictate Coal Power Prices

By ZeroHedge - Oct 13, 2021, 11:30 AM CDT

Beijing said on Tuesday it would allow price fluctuations of power derived from coal-fired plants to improve the country's power market as shortfalls in power generation have sparked an energy crisis

According to a notice from National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), electricity prices generated by coal-fired plants will be permitted to rise and fall by 20%. That compares with the prior upside limit of 10% and the lower limit of 15%. The reform would take effect from Oct. 15

NDRC requested provincial governments to require industrial and commercial users to purchase power at market prices. The agency added liberalization of the power market would help prevent price manipulation and monopolistic practices.


Power plants in the country have struggled to meet post-pandemic demand, and record-high coal costs have rendered many power operations uneconomical. NDRC said by allowing market forces to dictate power prices in a range of 20% will increase power generation by making loss-making generators profitable and bring online generators that were once deemed uneconomical. 

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Major Mexican Refinery Has Been Shut For Weeks And The Media Only Just Found Out

By Julianne Geiger - Oct 13, 2021, 9:00 AM CDT

One of Mexico’s largest oil refineries has been shuttered for weeks—only we are just now finding out about it.

And oil products are now building up at the site.

Mexico’s Tula oil refinery has been closed since late September, Reuters sources close to operations reported on Tuesday, as teachers protesting delayed salary and pension payments went on strike and blocked roads that the refinery uses to transport the refinery’s product—including fuel for Mexico City—away from the facility.


Tula, located 90 kilometers from Mexico City, has a capacity of 315,000 bpd, and is Mexico’s second-largest refinery by capacity. But Tula (along with Mexico’s other refineries) produces only about half of that, on average.

The strike has caused inventories at the refinery to build up, and those inventories have now reached full capacity, the Reuters sources said.

Tula was one of the refineries earmarked by Pemex for an increase in production. Pemex said in May that it was set to invest $2.6 billion into the refinery to help decrease its reliance on foreign imports of fuel. The plan was supposed to be complete sometime in 2023.

Tula, along with several other Mexico refineries, are thought to produce significantly less than their nameplate capacity.

Ultimately, President Manuel Lopex Obrador’s plan is to stop all gasoline imports by 2024.

But analysts were skeptical that the amount of investment would accomplish its goal.

Work on the Tula refinery was set to resume in October as fresh capital became available, BN Americas reported in August.

Tula is ranked as the fourth most sulfur dioxide polluting refinery in the world.

By Julianne Geiger for

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Putin Blasts Accusations Russia Is Weaponizing Natural Gas As "Politically Motivated Blather" 

Tyler Durden's Photo
by Tyler Durden
Wednesday, Oct 13, 2021 - 11:05 PM

In Wednesday remarks aimed at Western press, President Vladimir Putin shot down accusations that Russia weaponizing its supplies of natural gas in order to pressure German regulators to quickly approve switching on the taps for the recently completed Nord Stream 2 pipeline. 

He dismissed recent reports accusing the Kremlin of withholding gas supplies to Europe as "politically motivated blather with nothing to support it". The statements were given to CNBC in Moscow as part of the annual Russian Energy Week major industry event, with Putin bluntly saying in response, "We are not using any weapons." 

The Russian leader added that "Even during the hardest parts of the Cold War Russia regularly has fulfilled its contractual obligations and supplies gas to Europe," according to the US news network's translation.

Last week as Nord Stream 2 critics led by US officials alleged that the Russia-to-Germany pipeline will essentially hold Europe's energy needs hostage to Russian geopolitical whims, Putin instead pointed to Europe's ongoing energy market "hysteria" and crisis as being fundamentally a result of the 'green transition' coupled with corresponding low investment in the extraction industries.

In the Wednesday remarks he re-emphasized that there's "nothing to support it [the idea] that we use energy as a kind of weapon," but instead the reality is that Russia is busy "expanding its supplies to Europe." In support of this statement he alluded to state-run Gazprom actually increasing its natural gas flow to Europe by 15% over the first nine months of this year. He added that Russia stands ready to increase its supply if that's what Europe needs and asks for.

"Higher gas prices in Europe are a consequence of a deficit of energy and not vice versa and that’s why we should not deal in blame shifting, this is what our partners are trying to do," Putin said during the panel conversation. He again invoked Europe's green agenda as playing a big part in its energy costs soaring just ahead of winter:

"You see the problem does not consist in us, it consists in the European side, because, first, we know that the wind farms did not work during summer because of the weather, everyone knows that. Moreover, the Europeans did not pump enough gas into their underground gas facilities... and the supplies to Europe have decreased from other regions of the world."

On oil, elsewhere in the conversation he noted that OPEC+ "is doing everything to ensure that the oil market is completely stabilized. We do not allow sharp price spikes and it is not in our interests."

"The market has stabilized, but we have not yet reached the pre- crisis production level of 11 million barrels a day. And our position is to increase production in accordance with the growing needs of the market," the Russian president said.

And then there was this exchange during the panel conversation:

When asked whether oil could reach $100 a barrel, Putin said it’s "quite possible"...

"We do not seek to restrain production in such a way that prices skyrocket, as it happens in the gas market. We favor smooth and balanced movement."

Gazprom too has been on the defensive in the face of the widespread natural gas restriction accusations coming out of Europe, particularly after last week gas supplies through Belarus to the EU were cut by 70%, according to the company's data. And supplies via Poland too were slashed: "The new figures come after supplies via the Yamal pipeline, which runs from Russia via Belarus to Poland, fell by half last week," EU Observer wrote.


"Analysts, such as US investment bank Goldman Sachs, have said the Yamal cuts could lead to higher gas prices in winter," the report added. 

But Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov recently fired back that Gazprom has fulfilled its current obligations to the maximum extent possible under existing contracts: "Nothing can be delivered beyond the contracts. How? For free? It is a matter of negotiating with Gazprom," he said.

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6 hours ago, Tom Nolan said:

The U.S. Shale Industry Desperately Needs To Drill

By Alex Kimani - Oct 13, 2021, 6:00 PM CDT

  • Drilled but uncompleted wells in the U.S. shale patch hit November 2017 levels in July of this year, suggesting the industry desperately needs to start drilling 
  • While U.S. shale companies have been eager to please investors by cutting costs and returning money to shareholders, these companies now need to drill to maintain production
  • If oil prices remain near the $80 mark then most shale companies should have the capability to increase drilling and continue to deliver returns for shareholders

Have you looked at the actual charts? Plenty of DUCTs left along with increased drilling and increased counts of completed wells. In the US we continue to be FF independent. Not only that but millions of barrels are imported and exported every day that have little to do with US production. Seems you should know that if you follow oil. The EIA has charts with history. Primary Vision Network on YouTube puts information every week. Try to keep up please. 

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The Wall Street Journal

Gas Shortage Prompts Power Plants to Switch to Oil, Boosting Demand

IEA expects energy crunch to lift oil demand above pre-pandemic levels next year

Updated Oct. 14, 2021 8:00 am ET

Soaring natural-gas and coal prices are pressuring power-generation companies and manufacturers to switch to using oil, a trend that could add half a million barrels a day to global demand, the International Energy Agency said Thursday.

In its monthly market report, the IEA increased its global oil-demand forecasts for this year and the next by 170,000 and 210,000 barrels a day, respectively, but added that the cumulative effect of the energy crisis could be as large as 500,000 barrels a day from September through next year’s first quarter.

That increase means that the IEA, which acts as the energy watchdog for the wealthy nations of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, expects the world’s thirst for crude next year to exceed pre-pandemic levels at 99.6 million barrels a day.

Oil prices added to early gains on Thursday following the release of the IEA’s report, with Brent crude rising 1.2% to $84.16 a barrel in early trading. U.S. crude futures climbed 1.1% to $81.35 a barrel, on course to close at fresh seven-year highs. Both benchmarks have increased more than 60% this year, accelerating in recent months due in part to tight supply elsewhere in the energy market.

“An acute shortage of natural gas, [liquefied natural gas] and coal supplies stemming from the gathering global economic recovery has sparked a precipitous run-up in prices for energy supplies and is triggering a massive switch to oil products and direct crude use for power generation,” the Paris-based organization said in its report, adding that power-generation plants, fertilizer producers, manufacturing operations and refineries are all affected.

The shortage of relatively low-carbon but expensive natural gas—analysts say the commodity is two to three times more expensive than the equivalent amount of oil—and the trend of switching to more emissions-intensive fuels such as crude products comes weeks before leaders from around the world descend on Glasgow for United Nations-led climate negotiations.

Analysts say the IEA’s forecast of an extra 500,000 barrels a day in demand from the energy crisis may be conservative.

“We have never had a situation like this where oil is extremely cheap [versus gas] so we just don’t have empirical evidence” for how much oil demand may increase, said Bjarne Schieldrop, chief commodities analyst at SEB Markets. “It could very well be more than a million barrels,” he added.

Relatively weak natural-gas inventories for the time of year and low wind levels in Europe have coincided with the post-pandemic economic recovery, coal shortages in China and the possibility of a cold Northern Hemisphere winter to send fossil-fuel prices soaring. Benchmark European gas prices have leapt 184% in the past three months.

IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said Wednesday that extreme weather events—such as Hurricane Ida in the Gulf of Mexico, droughts stymieing hydroelectric power in China and Brazil, and widespread flooding—have also contributed to the energy crunch. He added that supply choke points, including pandemic-delayed maintenance work, meant that natural-gas outages are currently 40% higher than average.

As a result, analysts have already observed a rise in the trend known as gas-to-oil switching, whereby power plants that run on oil are fired up or ones that can be converted to run on crude products are being switched over. Goldman Sachs cited this in raising its oil-price forecasts late last month, while energy consulting firm Rystad Energy said it expects the Asian power sector to use 400,000 more barrels a day of oil than it previously did in the next six months.In its report, the IEA observed a similar trend, citing provisional data showing “unseasonably high demand for fuel oil, crude and middle distillates for power plants” across China, Japan, Germany, France and Brazil.

Even so, supply from oil-producing nations remains constrained. The IEA trimmed its supply forecasts for this year and next for countries outside of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, citing outages from Hurricane Ida and maintenance-related outages in Canada and Norway.

Meanwhile, despite increased production from OPEC+, the IEA said the alliance would produce 700,000 barrels a day fewer than the world’s appetite for its crude in the fourth quarter of 2021, but added that if the producer group continues to unwind its production curbs then it may shift back to supplying more than needed in 2022.

Long-term reports in recent weeks from OPEC and the IEA have shone a spotlight on the cartel’s influence over the global energy system. While the IEA said on Wednesday that clean-energy spending must triple to avoid further power-market turbulence, OPEC’s report said that developing-world population growth and wealthier nations’ aversion to fossil fuels leaves the cartel well-positioned to profit from selling oil for decades to come.

Write to David Hodari at

Edited by Tom Nolan

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The Daily Beast

Putin Says American Reporter Is Too ‘Beautiful’ to Understand His Very Clever Point

Thu, October 14, 2021, 7:11 AM·3 min read

President Vladimir Putin appeared to be channeling the stereotype of Russia’s uneducated working classes this week when he mocked and patronized an experienced American business journalist. Unleashing his inner gopnik during an on-stage interview, he claimed she must be too “beautiful” to understand his complex argument.

The exchange took place Wednesday at a Russian Energy Week panel in Moscow moderated by CNBC journalist Hadley Gamble. The reporter had pressed Putin on reports of Russia withholding gas supplies to Europe to drive up prices, and after the Russian leader dismissed the claim, she asked how Moscow could convince its European partners that it’s a reliable gas supplier in light of such reports.

“A beautiful woman, pretty. I tell her one thing, and she says something completely different. As if she didn’t hear what I said,” Putin said, turning to the male members of the audience.

His chauvinistic joke came as Kremlin-owned media outlets covering Undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland’s visit to Russia went into overdrive to mock her as just a token female in government, lamenting the “advancement of femininity” in the West.

Russia Throws Tantrum Over ‘Crazy’ American Women in Government

Clearly those out-dated sentiments are not so alien to Putin himself.

“I will repeat it for you once again,” Putin said, before insisting that Moscow has actually increased its gas supplies to Europe and that there is “nothing to support [the idea] that we use energy as a kind of weapon.”

“Did I really say something so hard to understand?” he asked.

He went on to lash out at European leaders for suggesting Moscow could be using energy as a weapon, calling them “out of their minds” for voicing such “complete nonsense.”

And while he called it “politically motivated blather” to suggest the Kremlin might take advantage of soaring gas prices to get German regulators to approve the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, he said such an approval would “significantly relieve tensions on the energy market.”

He later noted that it was “entirely possible” gas prices could soon reach $100 a barrel.

In a separate interview with Gamble on the sidelines of the event, Putin appeared to react defensively to a question about whether he’s given any thought to potential successors.

“I prefer not to answer such questions, this is my traditional response,” said Putin, 69. He went on to note that “the situation allows me to run for another 6 years but I haven’t taken a decision in this regard.”

According to a Kremlin transcript, the interview concluded with him taking a jab at “the citizen” who many saw as his single biggest political rival until he was thrown behind bars in a politically motivated case.

“What about Mr. [Alexei] Navalny?” Gamble asked the Russian president. “Are you interested in improving his quality of life?”

“The citizen that you’ve mentioned is now in prison,” he said.

Acknowledging that conditions in Russian prisons are “not the best,” Putin said “he’s not alone.”

“There are other people who also violated Russian laws, and we don’t intend to put them in any exclusive conditions, including those who use political activity as a cover.”

Read more at The Daily Beast.

Edited by Tom Nolan

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France's Le Pen says she will take down wind turbines if elected

PARIS (Reuters) - French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen said on Thursday she would end all subsidies for renewable energy and take down France's wind turbines if she is elected next year.

Le Pen, who will be the candidate of the Rassemblement National party in the April vote, made it to the second round of the 2017 election, and is expected to do so again, although some recent polls have shown that right-wing talk-show star Eric Zemmour could best her if he decides to run.

"Wind and solar, these energies are not renewable, they are intermittent. If I am elected, I will put a stop to all construction of new wind parks and I will launch a big project to dismantle them," she said on RTL radio.

She added that she would scrap the subsidies for wind and solar, which she said added up to six or seven billion euros per year.

Environment Minister Barbara Pompili dismissed Le Pen's statement on Twitter. "Dismantling France's wind turbines would deprive us of at least eight percent of our electricity production ... Mme. Le Pen would cause blackouts," Pompili wrote.

Le Pen also said that she would support for France's nuclear industry by allowing the construction of several new reactors, fund a major upgrade of France's existing fleet and back the construction of small modular reactors as proposed by President Emmanuel Macron.

In a 2030 roadmap for the French economy presented this week, Macron proposed billions of euros of support for electric vehicles, the nuclear industry and green hydrogen - produced with nuclear - but made little mention of renewable energy.

France produces about 75% of its power in nuclear plants, which means its electricity output has among the lowest carbon emissions per capita of any developed country. However, it lags far behind Germany and other European nations in wind and solar investment.

There is an active anti-wind movement, which is supported by the far right and centre right, notably by Xavier Bertrand, the leading conservative contender in the presidential vote.

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Yahoo News

England receives climate change warning: 'Adapt or die'

A dire report released Wednesday by the United Kingdom’s Environment Agency warns that the ravages of climate change have already begun and will force the country to quickly adapt. 

“It is adapt or die,” Emma Howard Boyd, the head of the agency, said in a statement. “While mitigation might save the planet, it is adaptation, preparing for climate shocks, that will save millions of lives.”

Rising global temperatures due to greenhouse gas emissions are already triggering more severe drought and deadly flash flooding, the report says, and would result in sea level rise in coming decades that will threaten cities like London. 

By the 2050s, the report states, sea level will rise by as much as 9 inches in London. Three decades later it will have risen by nearly 18 inches there, resulting in widespread, regular flooding. (Be AFRAID - Have FEAR so we can control you.)--Tom Nolan

Titled “Living Better With a Changing Climate,” the report, mandated by the British government, focuses on how the country will need to adapt to the impacts of global warming. With global carbon emissions continuing to reach new highs, the report does not downplay its grim findings or understate the importance of the forthcoming U.N. Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland. 

“Limiting carbon emissions is the most effective way to combat climate change, but while mitigation might save the planet, it is adaptation, preparing for climate shocks, that will save millions of lives,” the report states. “Choosing one over the other on the basis of a simple either/or calculation is like telling a bird it only needs one wing to fly, yet adaptation is in danger of being grievously undercooked at COP26.”

The overwhelming consensus among climate scientists is that the Glasgow conference represents the last best chance for securing commitments from world governments to try to keep global temperature rise from crossing the 1.5 degrees Celsius threshold. 

“Unfortunately, global land temperatures have already risen by about 1.1°C, and further increase is inevitable due to the carbon emissions of the past. Temperatures will soon be teetering on the edge of +1.5°C, which is the most optimistic international goal, with +2°C in sight,” the Environment Agency report states, adding, “As we look ahead to the COP26 summit in Glasgow later this year, we can be sure that this is the last chance to keep global temperature rise close to 1.5°C or even 2°C.”

On our current emissions trajectory, the world is on course to hit 3°C, the report states. Since carbon atoms remain in the atmosphere for roughly 100 years, humankind is baking in temperature rise for decades to come, whatever steps world leaders at Glasgow may agree to enact. With those facts in mind, the report urges England to begin planning how to adapt to a climate change future. 

“The Environment Agency is calling for much stronger focus on adaptation from everyone, starting now,” it states. “We want to ensure no group is left behind by climate change in line with the government’s leveling up commitments. Adaptation is still in the country’s gift but time is desperately short.”

Living better with a changing climate
Report to Ministers under the Climate Change Act

Edited by Tom Nolan

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On 10/12/2021 at 5:09 AM, Tom Nolan said:

Russia's Energy Influence In Europe Is Growing

By Haley Zaremba - Oct 11, 2021, 2:00 PM CDT

  • As the European energy crunch has intensified, Russia has not increased its supply to meet the region’s demand, in a move that many experts have interpreted as a form of “energy blackmail.”
  • Increasing reliance on Moscow is not only a geopolitical danger -- the increase of demand for fossil fuels also poses a serious threat to climate goals. 


Energy crunch? complete nonsens. Russia increased the supply since January by 17%.

Turkey got about 140%, Romania around 300% 

Spain used a complete wrong calculation Method based on a daily Market value for Gas.

180 days weighted average as example would be a good start.

There is no blackmail. If you have a contract you get your Oil and Gas and all others are not Gazproms problem. Europe consists 90+% on import by Oil and Gas. They can ask Algeria, Saudi Arabia and a few other Countries but they are not cheaper at all?

Edited by Starschy

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The Global Concrete Industry Is Aiming To Achieve Net-Zero By 2050

By City A.M - Oct 16, 2021, 2:00 PM CDT

  • Some of the top cement and concrete manufacturers have pledged a new 25 percent reduction in CO2 emissions by 2030.
  • The industry has wider plans to achieve net-zero in concrete manufacturing by 2050.
  • The GCCA has published a detailed roadmap with actions between now and 2030 that could prevent almost 5 billion tonnes of carbon from entering the atmosphere.

Forty global cement and concrete manufacturers have pledged a new 25 percent reduction in CO2 emissions by 2030.

The Global Cement and Concrete Association (GCCA) is aiming to accelerate the long-term shift to greener concrete, as part of the industry’s wider plans to achieve net-zero in concrete manufacturing by 2050

Concrete is the world’s most used human-made material. Approximately 14 billion cubic metres cubed are produced every year for use in key constructions such as roads, bridges, tunnels, home-building, hydropower installations, and flood defenses.

However, the production of cement – the key ingredient in concrete – accounts for around seven percent of global CO2 emissions.

The association has published a detailed roadmap with actions between now and 2030 that it believes will prevent almost 5 billion tonnes of carbon from entering the atmosphere compared to a business-as-usual scenario. This is equivalent to the CO2 emissions of almost 15 billion flights from Paris to New York.

It will look to significantly reduce the amount of CO2-intensive clinker in cement, fossil fuel use in manufacturing, and boost innovation in products, process efficiency, and breakthrough technologies including carbon capture.

GCCA members account for 80 percent of the global cement industry volume outside of China. The association also includes several large Chinese manufacturers.

Thomas Guillot, GCCA chief executive, praised global co-operation in the new plans. He also called on governments worldwide to play their part through public procurement reforms, carbon pricing policy, and support for the development of carbon capture technologies.

By City AM

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Will Natural Gas Survive A Net-Zero World?

By Haley Zaremba - Oct 16, 2021, 10:00 AM CDT

  • Natural gas is a staple for many utilities worldwide
  • Methane emissions in natural gas production are often going underreported
  • Natural gas will be used for decades to come, but eventually renewable energies will replace most of it

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Gazprom May Boost Production Capacity For Long-Term Gas Deals

By Tsvetana Paraskova - Oct 15, 2021, 11:30 AM CDT

Russia’s gas giant Gazprom could increase production capacity if it sees higher demand for volumes under long-term supply contracts from Europe, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said on Friday.

Speaking about Gazprom’s production facilities and deliveries to Europe in September, Novak told Russian news outlet Business FM that production capacity can’t just be magically raised.

“Of course, if Russia’s European partners increase orders and if the volumes in long-term contracts grow, I think that Gazprom will surely develop its production capacity,” Novak told Business FM in an interview on the sidelines of the Russian Energy Week.


Europe’s energy crisis is the result of very low gas inventories and policy mistakes, not low supply from Russia, said Novak, joining other Russian officials including President Vladimir Putin, who mocked on Thursday the suggestion that Russia was using gas as an economic weapon.

In the interview with Business FM, Novak also dismissed suggestions that Russia has been withholding supply to Europe to force the EU into accepting that the controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline is and will be needed.

Some analysts and Members of the European Parliament have suggested that Russia has been deliberately withholding gas supply to the European market in recent weeks, exacerbating the gas crisis and pushing prices higher, possibly with the ultimate goal of pushing the European Union into admitting that it needs Nord Stream 2 to avoid a more severe crisis when the winter comes.

More than 40 members of the European Parliament from all political groups have reportedly urged the European Commission to launch an investigation into Gazprom over alleged market manipulation that could have contributed to the record-high natural gas prices in Europe. 

The European Commission is looking into complaints from some European Union (EU) member states that Russia isn’t sending more gas on top of the long-term contracted volumes, European Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson told Reuters last week.

The European Commission presented on Wednesday a toolbox for a coordinated approach to protect those most at risk in the immediate term, including by investigating “possible anti-competitive behaviour in the energy market.”

By Tsvetana Paraskova for

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Germany’s Incoming Govt Agrees To Phase Out Coal Eight Years Ahead of Schedule

By Tsvetana Paraskova - Oct 15, 2021, 1:30 PM CDT

The coalition that will form the government to succeed Germany’s Angela Merkel has agreed to phase out coal by 2030, eight years than currently planned, Reuters reported on Friday.

The center-left Social Democrats, the Greens, and the liberal Free Democrats have agreed on a plan for Germany to exit coal by the end of this decade, according to a draft agreement on major policy points for the next ruling coalition that Reuters has seen.

The Social Democrats, SPD, narrowly beat Merkel’s CDU/CSU conservative coalition at the September 26 general election. The Social Democrats said they would explore a coalition with the Greens and the Free Democrats, rather than renew a broad alliance with the coalition led by Merkel until now.

On Friday, the leaders of the three parties willing to form a coalition government said they would recommend the beginning of formal talks, after weeks of “exploratory talks.”

It is no surprise that a coalition involving the Greens would want a swift coal exit, but the timing of the decision to push forward the coal phase-out by eight years coincides with the major power and energy crisis in Europe, including in Germany.

Industrial power prices in Europe’s biggest economy hit a new record on Thursday, while grid operators said they would slash by nearly 43 percent a power surcharge initially designed to support renewables in order to help alleviate consumers’ pain amid the galloping energy prices.

The coal exit for Germany could be more difficult than in other European economies, because the country plans to phase out nuclear power generation by the end of 2022.

Lignite and hard coal accounted for around 26 percent of Germany’s power generation in the first half of 2021, according to data from the German Association of Energy and Water Industries, BDEW.

The closure of all nuclear reactors in Germany by 2022 means that Germany might need to retain half of its coal-fired power generation until 2030 to offset the nuclear phase-out, German officials said before the pandemic.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for

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China Seeks Long-Term U.S. LNG Supply Amid Energy Crisis

By Tsvetana Paraskova - Oct 15, 2021, 3:30 PM CDT

Several Chinese energy giants have intensified discussions with U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporters to secure long-term supply deals in light of record spot prices in Asia, rising demand, and the specter of power shortages, Reuters reported on Friday, quoting industry sources.

China and many other energy importers in Asia are scrambling to procure gas and coal supplies ahead of the winter amid a global energy crunch. The higher demand after the pandemic and the muted supply response have sent China’s coal futures and Asia’s LNG spot prices to record highs in recent days.

Threatened with power outages, China is now looking to secure long-term U.S. LNG supplies, despite the tense bilateral relations and the trade spat.

Long-term deals would also protect buyers from spikes in spot LNG prices, which the market is seeing these days.

According to Reuters’ sources, at least five major Chinese energy firms, including China National Offshore Oil Company (CNOOC) and Sinopec, are in advanced discussions for long-term LNG deliveries with American suppliers including Cheniere Energy and Venture Global.

The talks between the Chinese and U.S. firms have intensified since the spot Asian LNG price hit $15 per million British thermal units (mmBtu) in August, setting a record for that time of the year.

Spot prices have more than doubled since then as Asian buyers rush to stock up on gas ahead of the winter heating season.

Last week, Asian LNG prices exceeded the psychological threshold of $50/mmBtu. The $56.326/mmBtu price of the Platts benchmark Japan Korea Marker (JKM) for November was an all-time high at which a cargo of LNG traded in the Asian market.

This week, the average spot price of LNG for November delivery into Northeast Asia was at around $38.50/mmBtu, industry sources told Reuters on Friday. The average price for the week was $1.50/mmBtu higher compared to last week, amid firm demand from China.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for

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Coal Generation In UK Jumps As Wind Speed Drops

By Charles Kennedy - Oct 15, 2021, 5:30 PM CDT

Coal met some 3 percent of the UK’s electricity demand on Friday morning, reaching its highest level of Britain’s power generation in one month, amid lower wind speeds this week and an outage at a gas-powered plant, Bloomberg reports.

The last time the UK generated 3 percent of its electricity from coal was in early September when low wind generation reduced renewable power supply and triggered the massive spikes in UK wholesale electricity prices.

Utility Uniper fired up its coal-powered plant in Ratcliffe early on Friday, while the gas-fired plant in Pembroke, Wales, operated by RWE, suffered an unplanned outage.

Over the past week, gas has consistently accounted for the largest share of the UK’s electricity generation, according to data from National Grid ESO. For example, on Wednesday, gas produced 44.8 percent of Britain’s electricity, more than wind with 19.2 percent and nuclear with 12.6 percent.

Surging natural gas prices and warm and still weather in September forced the UK to fire up an old coal plant that was on standby in order to meet its electricity demand.

The UK has pledged to phase out coal-fired power generation by October 2024.

UK power company Drax could have its last two coal-fired plants in the country operating beyond the 2022 deadline it had set for closure if the UK government asks it to keep them operational amid the energy crisis in the country and the whole of Europe.

“If the government wants us to rethink our plans, we need to talk to them in the next few months,” Drax’s chief executive Will Gardiner told the Financial Times at the end of September.

Last week, the UK government committed to decarbonizing the country’s electricity system by 2035.

“While gas generation continues to play a critical role in keeping the UK electricity system secure and stable, the development of clean energy technologies means it will be used less frequently in the future,” the UK government said.

Last year, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that the United Kingdom would aim to become a global leader in offshore wind energy, powering every home in the country with wind by 2030.

By Charles Kennedy for

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Peak Meat, EVs, and Solar: The World in 2030

By Irina Slav - Oct 18, 2021, 10:00 AM CDT

According to Principles for Responsible Investment, the next five years will see “sweeping” changes to government policies in the energy, transport, and food sectors

A surge in electric vehicle adoption, peak meat consumption, and a substantial increase in wind and solar power generation will be among the distinguishing features of 2030, according to a new report from a UN-backed body.

According to Principles for Responsible Investment, the next five years will see “sweeping” changes to government policies in the energy, transport, and food sectors that would lead to peak meat consumption by 2030, and greater carbon dioxide emission absorption by the soil as land use patterns change, Reuters reports, citing the report.

All this would bring the world on track to keep global temperatures rising by no more than 2 degrees Celsius from pre-industrial era levels. The more ambitious target of keeping temperatures rising by no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius from pre-industrial times would require more political action, the report also said.

BlackRock believes climate risk is investment risk and assessing climate risk on the path to net zero requires credible scenarios outlining not only what is possible but what is likely,” said the head of ESG Investment, Global Fixed Income at BlackRock, Ashley Schulten.

BlackRock is among the strategic partners of the Inevitable Policy Response, the climate forecast division of the Principles for Responsible Investment.

“The detailed policy forecasts in this work help the market conceptualize the key changes that could occur in energy and land systems across the world if the forecasted climate policy acceleration occurs,” Schulten also said, as quoted by Reuters.

The 1.5-degree scenario will be a lot more difficult to achieve, according to the authors of the report. It would require the almost complete global phase-out of internal combustion engine vehicles by 2040, the end of coal by 2035, and 100-percent clean power generation by 2045.

Even the “Forecast Policy Scenario” that the authors see as most likely will be challenging in light of current energy demand and supply trends.

By Irina Slav for


Edited by Tom Nolan

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