Outgoing US President Barack Obama has permanently banned offshore oil and gas drilling in the "vast majority" of US-owned northern waters. Mr Obama designated areas in the Arctic and Atlantic oceans as "indefinitely off limits" to future leasing. The move is widely seen as an attempt to protect the region before Mr Obama leaves office in January. Supporters of president-elect Donald Trump could find it difficult to reverse the decision. Canada also committed to a similar measure in its own Arctic waters, in a joint announcement with Washington. The White House said the decision was for "a strong, sustainable and viable Arctic economy and ecosystem." It cited native cultural needs, wildlife concerns, and the "vulnerability" of the region to oil spills as some of the reasons for the ban. But while Canada will review the move every five years, the White House insists Mr Obama's declaration is permanent. The decision relies on a 1953 law which allows the president to ban leasing of offshore resources indefinitely.
The silicon solar cells that currently dominate the world market suffer from three fundamental limitations. A promising new way of making high-efficiency solar cells, using perovskites instead of silicon, could address all three at once and supercharge the production of electricity from sunlight. The first major limitation of silicon photovoltaic (PV) cells is that they are made from a material that is rarely found in nature in the pure, elemental form needed. While there is no shortage of silicon in the form of silicon dioxide (beach sand), it takes tremendous amounts of energy to get rid of the oxygen attached to it. Typically, manufacturers melt silicon dioxide at 1500 to 2000 degrees Celsius in an electrode arc furnace. The energy needed to run such furnaces sets a fundamental lower limit on the production cost of silicon PV cells and also adds to the emissions of greenhouse gases from their manufacture. Perovskites (a wide-ranging class of materials in which organic molecules, made mostly of carbon and hydrogen, bind with a metal such as lead and a halogen such as chlorine in a three-dimensional crystal lattice) can be made much more cheaply and with fewer emissions. Manufacturers can mix up batches of liquid solutions and then deposit the perovskites as thin films on surfaces of virtually any shape, no furnace needed. The film itself weighs very little.
OCT-2016. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA) the oil glut in global oil markets will last for longer than previously thought, persisting into late 2017 as demand growth slumps and supply proves resilient. “Demand growth is slowing and supply is rising,” adds the IEA, “Consequently, stocks of oil in OECD countries (members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) are swelling to levels never seen before.” The combination of faltering demand and increased OPEC output pushed oil inventories in developed nations to a record in July, at 3.1 billion barrels. Harry Tchilinguirian, head of commodity markets at BNP Paribas in London, considers that “OPEC’s long game got a little longer, implying the need for oil prices to remain lower for longer to spur the necessary adjustments in supply”. Also with regard to OPEC Olivier Jacob, managing director of the consulting company Petromatrix GmbH in Zug, Switzerland, says that the organization is “trapped” since “Non-OPEC supply has been able to adjust better than expected to the lower oil prices.”
Very informative charts help illustrate the extent to which the Permian basin is outstripping its rivals in terms of investor interest and deal flow. Confidence is not only illustrated in merger and acquisitions activity but also in how much companies are currently willing to invest in their own future. Capital expenditure plans are lower and less bullish than a year before, but operators are still displaying a greater level of confidence in being able to fund robust capex spends.
The U.S. Senate has approved a wide-ranging energy bill that could "bring us one step closer to being an energy superpower" according to the Chairwoman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. The bill would promote a variety of energy´s
The Wolfcamp shale in the Midland Basin portion of Texas' Permian Basin province contains an estimated mean of 20 billion barrels of oil, 16 trillion cubic feet of associated natural gas, and 1.6 billion barrels of natural gas liquids, according to an assessment by the U.S. Geological Survey. This estimate is for continuous (unconventional) oil, and consists of undiscovered, technically recoverable resources. The estimate of continuous oil in the Midland Basin Wolfcamp shale assessment is nearly three times larger than that of the 2013 USGS Bakken-Three Forks resource assessment, making this the largest estimated continuous oil accumulation that USGS has assessed in the United States to date. "The fact that this is the largest assessment of continuous oil we have ever done just goes to show that, even in areas that have produced billions of barrels of oil, there is still the potential to find billions more," said Walter Guidroz, program coordinator for the USGS Energy Resources Program. "Changes in technology and industry practices can have significant effects on what resources are technically recoverable, and that's why we continue to perform resource assessments throughout the United States and the world."
World Energy Outlook 2016 sees broad transformations in the global energy landscape
As a result of major transformations in the global energy system that take place over the next
decades, renewables and natural gas are the big winners in the race to meet energy demand
growth until 2040, according to the latest edition of the World Energy Outlook, the
International Energy Agency’s flagship publication.
A detailed analysis of the pledges made for the Paris Agreement on climate change finds that
the era of fossil fuels appears far from over and underscores the challenge of reaching more
ambitious climate goals. Still, government policies, as well as cost reductions across the
energy sector, enable a doubling of both renewables – subject of a special focus in this year’s
Outlook – and of improvements in energy efficiency over the next 25 years. Natural gas
continues to expand its role while the shares of coal and oil fall back.
"When it comes to reducing the greenhouse gas emissions, the electricity sector gets much of the attention, considering that it is responsible for 29% of those releases. But the transportation sector makes up 26% of them. If that is going to change, the electric car will have to make significant inroads. Is that possible? As for those stats, that’s the US Environmental Protection Agency speaking, which also says that industry is responsible for 21% of greenhouse gas emissions while commercial and residential users comprise 12%. Meantime, the agricultural sector makes up 9%. The electricity sector is having success because of the switch from coal-to-gas. And industry is committed to such reductions because that is what their customers want, forcing them to track their releases and find new ways to cut them. One method that companies could use to have an impact is to buy into the electric car. While the automotive sector has been a slow mover, things could change if industry gets involved.
President Trump has issued an executive order to dismantle the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan. The “Energy Independence” order lifts a moratorium on federal coal leasing, triggers a review of methane and hydraulic fracturing restrictions, and eliminates use of the Environmental Protection Agency’s “social cost of carbon” in policymaking. From a climate action perspective, there is widespread agreement that the order is bad news for U.S. emissions. Interestingly, 62 percent of Trump voters support taxing and/or regulating pollution causing global warming, and nearly three-quarters think the U.S. should use more renewable energy in future.
India's fuel markets could be a lucrative prize for the world's oil majors as they seek outlets for their gasoline and diesel. India posted the fastest oil demand growth in the world in the first quarter of 2016 and is replacing China as the driver of growth globally, the International Energy Agency said in its latest report.