The 3 Week Diet System

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Gasoline prices climb in California and the nation.

Costs at the pump are getting closer to record levels. The state's average over the last week for a gallon of regular gasoline is up 4.4 cents to $4.205. The U.S. has seen a 5.3-cent rise to $3.844.

By Ronald D. White, Los Angeles Times

April 19, 2011

The relentless rise in retail gasoline prices continued over the last week, the U.S. Energy Department said, with some analysts predicting that fuel prices could test record highs.

In California, the average price for a gallon of regular gasoline climbed 4.4 cents to $4.205. That was $1.115 a gallon higher than a year earlier, but still considerably short of the record $4.588 set in June 2008, according to the Energy Department's weekly survey of fuel retailers, which was released Monday.

The national average climbed 5.3 cents to $3.844 a gallon. That was up 98.4 cents from the year-earlier price. The record high was $4.114 in July 2008.

Pump prices are close enough to record levels to make some analysts edgy about the possibility of new high marks.

"A lot of people are saying that it feels like we're back in 2008. But this is different," said Phil Flynn, an analyst at PFGBest Research. "Now, we see oil doesn't have to be near the high mark of $147 or $148 a barrel for gasoline to be closing in on a new record, and we're going to come close to new records."

In six states, gasoline prices are averaging more than $4 a gallon, according to a daily fuel price survey for AAA compiled by the Oil Price Information Service and Wright Express. They are Hawaii ($4.484), California ($4.203), Alaska ($4.179), Illinois ($4.073), Connecticut ($4.068) and New York ($4.018).

Oil futures fell Monday on concerns that high prices could hurt the economic rebound around the world and dampen demand for petroleum. The U.S. benchmark futures contract, West Texas Intermediate crude, fell $2.54, or 2.3%, to $107.12 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. In London, Brent crude lost $1.84 to $121.61 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange.

Speaking in Kuwait, Saudi Oil Minister Ali Ibrahim Naimi said that the global economic recovery "remains patchy; in many countries unemployment remains at unacceptable levels." Kuwait Oil Minister Sheik Ahmed Fahd al Ahmed al Sabah said: "At these high price levels, spending on oil imports could represent a significant economic burden."

The London-based Center for Global Energy Studies said in a report that OPEC has failed to replace all the oil lost from Libya in the continuing fight between rebels and supporters of longtime Libyan leader Moammar Kadafi "leaving supplies down by 1 million barrels a day." The Center said that oil producers were risking a repeat of the spike in oil prices in 2008, which helped worsen the global recession.


Offshore wind turbines with much larger blades could cut the cost of generating offshore wind energy by 30%

april 19, 2011

There is huge potential for offshore wind farm to reduce carbon emissions. Offshore wind energy could be competitive with onshore wind power by 2020.

Offshore wind turbines with much larger blades could cut the cost of generating offshore wind power by 30%, resulting in cheaper electricity, according to a study published by the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI).

“There is huge potential for offshore wind farm to reduce carbon emissions and create economic prosperity, as well as increasing energy security of supply,” the ETI said.

To achieve this, wind turbine technology should be specifically developed for the offshore environment, rather than adapting onshore wind turbines for use at sea – which is current practice, the ETI claimed. The study, released today, found that offshore wind farm could be competitive with onshore wind power by 2020 if specific technologies were developed, including bigger blades and locating wind farms further out to sea where the strongest winds blow.

The ETI’s conclusions echo a study published earlier this month by European Wind Energy Association which found that developing 20 MW turbines with rotor diameters of around 200 metres could be a solution for expanding Europe’s offshore wind capacity, leading to greater quantities of offshore wind power at lower costs than today’s turbines.


Italy Shelving Nuclear Means Fiat to Keep Paying Most for Power in Europe

By Alessandra Migliaccio - Apr 18, 2011 6:01 PM GMT-0500

Italy’s decision to shelve an 18 billion euro ($26 billion) reactor-building program after Japan’s nuclear crisis means companies from Fiat SpA (F) to Parmalat SpA (PLT) will keep paying Europe’s highest power prices.

Italy, the only major world economy without atomic power, had planned to build its first four reactors by 2020. The government ordered a one-year moratorium after radiation leaked from Fukushima, jeopardizing Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s goal of curbing dependence on energy imports.

Fiat and Parmalat, Italy’s biggest carmaker and dairy producer, will probably continue to pay more for energy. Italian companies paid twice as much for power in 2010 as their French counterparts, 40 percent more than in the U.K. and 27 percent more than German rivals, according to Eurostat, the region’s official provider of statistics.

“With everything blocked and no near-term solutions, prices will stay high,” said Edoardo Liuni an analyst at in Rome. “Unfortunately, Italian companies will continue to pay the price for immobility.”

Fiat highlighted rising energy costs among factors that could potentially have a “material adverse” effect on earnings in its 2010 annual report. The carmaker said it’s continually working to find more energy-efficient production processes to reduce costs.
Overturned Ban

Berlusconi’s centre-right coalition government in 2008 overturned a ban on nuclear energy imposed following the 1986 Chernobyl disaster. Enel SpA (ENEL), the country’s biggest utility, and Electricite de France SA drew up plans to build new reactors to supply 25 percent of the country’s energy needs. That would have implied an installed nuclear base of 8 gigawatts, according to UBS AG. Given the events in Japan, the government may lose a planned referendum in June.

“It’s a pity, people were slowly coming round to nuclear since we have it all around our borders and now we’re back into paranoia,” said Giuseppe Zollino, a nuclear engineer and professor of energy economics at the University of Padua in northern Italy. “The maddening thing is there is no plan, just to keep paying more for energy.”

Other European countries have put their nuclear plans on hold following the accident at Japan’s Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant arising from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. Germany halted 25 percent of its nuclear capacity and may close its oldest plants for good. Switzerland deferred plans for new reactors and the U.K. said it may delay its program.
‘No-Win Scenario’

Europe has become more hesitant about nuclear energy at a time when countries face difficulties in reducing any of the factors that drive up power prices, said Tatjana Eifrig, an energy analyst at Banca Finnat Euramerica in Rome.

“It’s a no-win scenario for energy buyers,” said Eifrig. “You can’t cut taxes at a time of budget problems, renewables involve large investments, and substituting nuclear with traditional fuels tends to increase prices and forces companies to pay emissions permits.”

Parmalat declined to comment on the impact of energy prices on its operations, as did Fiat.

Italy’s nuclear blueprint formed the center of an energy strategy aimed at reducing its dependence on fossil fuels from 80 percent to 50 percent.

Italy currently gets 60 percent of its electricity from gas, mainly from Algeria and Russia, according to data from grid operator Terna SpA. The country obtains 12 percent of its electricity from coal, 8 percent from oil and 20 percent from hydroelectric and other renewable sources.
Increase Share

By 2020, Italy had planned to produce 50 percent of its electricity from fossil fuels and the remaining 50 percent equally divided between nuclear and renewable energy, Environment Minister Stefania Prestigiacomo said last year.

Enel Green Power SpA (EGPW), the renewable-energy arm of Enel which listed in Milan last year, surged to a record 2.048 euros earlier this month on speculation the halt in Italy’s nuclear plans would spur greater investment.

“I don’t believe nuclear lowers electricity costs because modern plants, which is what Italy would be building, have huge initial costs that companies recover through bills later on,” said Salvatore Barbera, a nuclear physicist and head of Greenpeace Italy’s anti-nuclear campaign. “Renewable energy which is becoming less expensive as we develop it makes much more sense, is safe, and provides more jobs.”
Clean Energy Incentives

While the Italian government has announced plans to reduce clean energy incentives, they currently remain the highest in continental Europe for onshore wind, biomass, and hydro, and among the highest for offshore wind and solar energy, according to Brussels-based research firm Europe’s Energy Portal.

Italian utilities pay 30 euro cents a kilowatt-hour for onshore wind power, more than triple the equivalent rates in France and Germany. They also pay three times French and German rates for biomass and triple French rates for hydropower.

Yet renewable energy remains a limited part of the country’s energy mix and doesn’t produce enough to supply power for large industries. That means countries like Italy will have to find ways to use traditional energy in more efficient ways.

“Near-term policies are likely to favor gas and energy efficiency and to a lesser extent coal,” according to an April 4 report by UBS. “Undersupply will put upward pressure on energy prices.”


U.K. Coal Slumps Most Since July After Reporting Third Loss

By Amanda Jordan - Apr 19, 2011 11:45 AM GMT-0500

U.K. Coal Plc, Britain’s biggest producer of the fuel, fell the most in nine months in London trading after reporting a third full-year loss in a row.

U.K. Coal slumped 11 percent, the most since July 19, to 34.5 pence at the 4:30 p.m. close of trade. The stock led declines in the 624-company FTSE All-Share Index. (ASX)

The net loss for the year ended Dec. 25 came to 125.1 million pounds, compared with a year-earlier loss of 127.5 million pounds, Doncaster, England-based U.K. Coal said today in a statement.

“The board is in the course of a strategic recovery review to tackle the deep-rooted problems in U.K. Coal,” Chairman Jonson Cox said in the statement. “Success for U.K. Coal will need difficult changes.”


India in talks with Indonesia, Kuwait for LNG supply

19 Apr, 2011, 08.06AM IST,ET Bureau

NEW DELHI: India is in talks with Indonesia, Kuwait and Brunei for long-term import of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to feed its rapidly growing energy demand, which has attracted global energy giants such as BP .

"Oil ministers of Kuwait, Brunei and Indonesia have given positive indications for supplying LNG to an Indian delegation in separate bilateral meetings in Kuwait," a petroleum ministry spokesman said. An Indian delegation, led by minister of state for petroleum & natural gas RPN Singh, was in the oil-rich Middle East nation to attend the 4th Asian energy ministerial round table on sustainable growth and energy interdependence on Monday.

At the bilateral meeting with Indonesian oil minister Darwin Zahedy Saleh, Singh asked for 5 million tonnes of annual LNG supply from Indonesia. "The supply can start from 2012 when the requisite LNG handling infrastructure would be ready," the spokesman said. Singh also expressed India's interest to replicate Indonesia's success in converting kerosene users to LPG that would save the environment besides curbing menace of adulteration of kerosene with diesel due to huge price difference, he said.

India expressed its keenness to import LNG from Brunei, for which state-run Gail is willing to invest in the country's upstream sector, he said. Singh has invited strategic investment from oil and gasrich Kuwait in petrochemicals projects promoted by state-run companies at Dahej and Mangalore, while talking to country's oil minister Sheikh Ahmad Al-Abdullah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah on the sidelines of the ministerial roundtable.

He asked Kuwait, India's fourth biggest crude oil supplier, to increase the quantum. Saudi Arabia is India's largest crude oil supplier followed by Iran and Iraq. "The minister urged the Kuwaiti side to increase crude oil supplies in the coming years in view of the significant increase in the country's refining capacity, with the Bhatinda, Bina and Paradip refineries expected to be commissioned by March 2012," he said.

Country's crude oil demand will soot up by 30 million tonnes after the three refineries are commissioned and running at their name-plate capacities.


Iran sees further rise in oil prices by end 2011

By Farhad Pouladi (AFP) – 10 hours ago

TEHRAN — Iran, which chairs the oil producers' cartel OPEC, said on Tuesday it expects global crude prices to further rise by the end of 2011 while the secretary-general urged wealthy G8 countries to cut fuel taxes.

"The price of oil depends on two things. First, the fundamentals, including supply and demand and then the political, psychological and unforseen elements. Based on these factors, oil prices should increase again by end of the year," Iran's representative to OPEC, Mohammad Ali Khatibi, told reporters in Tehran.

He said oil demand in 2001 will be high, between 1.3 million barrels per day to 1.6 mbpd.

"What is certain is that we will see a rise in demand," he said.

On Monday, the secretary general of OPEC, Abdullah El-Badri had expressed concern over the high price of oil but added the market had adequate supplies of the commodity.

"We see that there is a 15-20 dollar premium risk at this time," Badri told reporters in Kuwait.

On Tuesday, he was in Tehran for the 50th anniversary of the founding of OPEC, and reiterated that the market was adequately supplied with crude oil.

He said there was "no shortage" of oil in the market. "OPEC has said repeatedly there is no shortage of oil anywhere in the world and stocks are high," El-Badri told reporters.

"OPEC has done its part to ensure that the market is adequately supplied with crude and it will be useful in this challenging time if consuming countries, who impose high taxes on oil, revise it temporarily because we are in an exceptional circumstance that needs exceptional solution."

"We ask the governments of the G8, which have more taxes and are making more money from taxes than the producing nations from selling ... we urge them to reduce the taxes," El-Badri said.

"I think the market is comfortable and we (OPEC) already have 4.5 million barrels per day that we can send to market ... (there is) no shortage in market and stocks are high," he added.

El-Badri said that crude prices will remain above 100 dollars per barrel for the rest of the year when asked if prices would fall below that level.

Oil fell in Asian trade Tuesday after a bearish Standard and Poor's report on the United States, but geopolitical risks in the Arab world will continue to drive prices higher, analysts said.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in May dipped 27 cents to 106.85 dollars a barrel, while Brent North Sea crude for June eased 35 cents to 121.26 dollars in the afternoon.


Urging Clean-Energy Investment, Obama Cites High Gas Prices

By Rebecca Kaplan
Tuesday, April 19, 2011 | 12:27 p.m.

President Obama is trying to ward off the inevitable political backlash that accompanies high gasoline prices by turning pain at the pump into an argument for clean-energy investment.

Speaking from Northern Virginia Community College in Annandale on Tuesday, Obama told an audience of students and faculty that continuing to spend money on developing and implementing clean-energy technology is the only way to bring down gas prices in the long run--something he presented as a feasible goal.

“Folks are out there dealing with gas that's 4 bucks a gallon,” Obama said. “Now whenever this happens, just like clockwork, you see politicians going in front of the cameras, and they say they have a three-point plan for 2-buck-a-gallon gas. The truth is, the only real solution to helping families at the pump in the medium and long term is clean energy. That's how we'll save families money. That's how we'll reduce our dependence on foreign oil.”

foreign oil, which is what causes price fluctuations--not an actual shortage in supply, he said. “The truth is that it’s a world commodity, and when world prices spike up like this, there aren’t a lot of short-term solutions. We have a medium- and long-term solution. One solution is to make sure we’re increasing production of U.S. oil.”

For some politicians, that means offshore drilling. For Obama, it means developing more-efficient biofuels, creating more demand for electric cars so that prices drop, and finding better, cheaper methods for extracting resources like natural gas.

“There’s not going to be a single silver bullet,” Obama said. “All of them are going to require investment.” He argued for government to lead the way in financing, as it did in developing the Internet, GPS, and bar codes, projects that are too costly for one company to shoulder alone.

The evolving oil argument is vintage Obama: tackle a problem when it’s at its worst and hope to avoid the fallout. He’s calling on politicians--and asking help from citizens--to deal with the problem of high gas prices instead of forgetting about it once they fall back to $2 a gallon.

He tried to remind the crowd that he still feels their pain.

“I’ll admit to you, it's been a while since I filled up at the pump,” Obama joked. “Secret Service doesn’t let me get out, and they don’t let me drive anymore. But it wasn’t that long ago that I did have to fill up my gas tank, and I know that if you got a limited budget, and you just watch that hard-earned money going away to oil companies that will once again probably make record profits this quarter, it’s pretty frustrating.”


Monday, April 18, 2011

S Africa's Richards Bay Coal Terminal prepares for railway shutdown

Johannesburg (Platts)--18Apr2011/533 am EDT/933 GMT

Workers at South Africa's Richards Bay Coal Terminal will spend the next month building up stockpiles in an attempt to keep the wheels turning at the world's largest single coal terminal throughout a long railway shutdown.

The national freight carrier, Transnet, confirmed to Platts it is shutting down the 600 km coal line, which runs from the heart of the Mpumalanga coalfield to the coast, for maintenance from May 23 to June 11.

The line, which is already struggling to ship enough coal for export, is closed regularly for routine repairs.

Zama Luthuli, a spokeswoman for RBCT, said the terminal needed to build stockpiles of more than 4 million mt to have a chance of working through the shutdown.

Luthuli said: "We are preparing for this; we usually try to build up our stocks so we can keep going during the shutdown."

Sandile Simelane, a spokesman for Transnet, said railway workers were planning to repair everything from the track to network signals.

Simelane said: "This is a planned shutdown. We have to do the maintenance work, we need to replenish the railway, and otherwise we could be plagued by derailments. This is a planned shutdown and it should have given RBCT and mining companies enough time to plan around it."

RBCT shipped 5.36 million mt of coal during March and 4.57 million mt in February.

--Chris Bishop,


Race on for Kazakh uranium

 Apr 19, 2011

By Roman Muzalevsky

As global nuclear energy demand grows, countries possessing uranium reserves are poised to reap enormous economic and political dividends from production and export of this resource. Yet, the gains may come with costs as global rivalry accelerates among major powers, concurrently enhancing environmental, health, and proliferation risks of global and regional proportions.

This struggle also concerns Kazakhstan, possessing some of the world's largest uranium deposits, increasingly facing competition

from Russia, Japan, and China, as it aims to become a major global supplier of nuclear fuel and reactors.

A report by Nomura International forecasts a deficit of uranium ore within five years, noting that China, India, Russia, and South Korea will drive the global uranium demand growth in the future. There are 53 nuclear power plants being built around the world, with around 500 more planned by 2030. Australia, Kazakhstan, and Canada, now supplying 60% of all uranium, are the world's major sources and producers of this commodity. Kazakhstan in particular is viewed as a crucial supplier to help meet the surging global uranium demand.

Its estimated uranium resources, the second-largest in the world, constitute 19% of global reserves. In 2009, Kazakhstan became the world's largest producer of uranium, outperforming Canada and Australia. It has pushed for uranium deals with powers as diverse as Japan, India, China, US, South Korea, Canada, France, and Russia. It now aims to expand its uranium production to 30,000 tonnes by 2018 from the 18,000 tonnes planned to be produced in 2010. There are 21 uranium deposits being developed in the country today. Kazakhstan wants to produce domestic nuclear power and become a major supplier of nuclear fuel and reactors.

Kazakhstan is interested in profiting from its energy exports to diverse suppliers and strengthening its geopolitical position vis-a-vis its two large neighbors - Russia and China. A rapidly emerging China is a prospective partner for Kazakhstan, wary of Moscow's economic interests and strategic imperatives to retain its great power status in the post-Soviet space.

Russia is the world's third- and fourth-largest source and producer of uranium, respectively. However, it confronts major production difficulties due to geographic conditions, pushing it to seek uranium deals with countries such as Australia and Kazakhstan. Russia needs to produce about 20,000 tonnes of uranium annually to meet its nuclear power needs by 2025.

In 2007, it produced 3,413 tonnes of uranium. After the launch of a joint Russian-Kazakh venture in Kazakhstan, Russia's uranium production climbed to 3,527 tons. In 2006, the two countries agreed to launch three nuclear joint ventures worth US$10 billion to develop, enrich, and build nuclear reactors, including with a view to construct nuclear power stations in Kazakhstan and other countries.

Kazakhstan relies on Russia, which enjoys 45% of the global uranium enrichment capacity, for uranium enrichment. However, Mukhtar Dzhakishev, the former executive of the Kazakh nuclear state company Kazatomprom, cautions against Kazakhstan's overall cooperation with Russia.

Kazakhstan has tried to avoid this by collaborating with Japan and China. Technologically strong Japan is expected to generate 41% of its electricity production from nuclear energy by 2017. It runs 55 nuclear power reactors, planning to construct 11 more in the future. This offers lucrative prospects for Kazakhstan as it wants to obtain a 40% share of Japan's uranium market. Companies such as Marubeni, Tokyo Electric Power, Chubu Electric Power, and Tohoku Electric Power have already contracted with Kazatomprom to develop Kharasan-1 and Kharasan-2 uranium deposits in Kazakhstan, aiming to produce 160,000 tonnes of uranium by 2050. Kazatomprom and Japan's Sumitomo Shoji and Kepko also develop the Zapadny Munkuduk uranium deposit in the country. Kazatomprom also has a 10% share of the Japanese-owned Westinghouse Electric, one of the world's largest suppliers of nuclear power reactors. Astana and Tokyo are currently exploring the possibility of building a nuclear power station in Kazakhstan.

Kazakh-Chinese cooperation is especially notable. China, as a leading global nuclear power developer is already the largest buyer of Kazakh uranium. In 2007, Kazatomprom and China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group agreed to produce nuclear fuel. In April 2009, China and Kazakhstan created the Semizbay-U enterprise at Irkol, planning to produce 750 tonnes of uranium annually. Deputy head of State Energy Management of China, Tian Zhiming, commented on Beijing's appetite for nuclear energy: "The PRC will become the world's largest consumers of uranium by 2030, overtaking the US. It is a question of time."

In 2011, the two sides agreed on the supply of 55,000 tonnes of uranium over the next 10 years. "Nineteen nuclear complexes will be built in China and 25 more are being planned. This is a huge potential market. In the long term, Kazakhstan can supply up to 40% of nuclear fuel. This is tens of billions of dollars in profit," stated Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev.

In this light, security risks associated with a struggle by major powers over access to Kazakh uranium resources are not inconceivable, making it imperative for Kazakhstan not to overplay its external balancing strategy as it seeks to consolidate its sovereignty and maintain an economic modernization drive.

Kazakhstan must address domestic risks. Its ambitions to supply nuclear power and fuel at home and abroad already raise environmental, health, and proliferation concerns given the lack of a professional cadre and environmental and safety standards. Many people still suffer from more than 450 nuclear weapons tests conducted in the country during the Soviet era.

Nuclear incidents in Japan after the recent tsunami and potential Russian-Kazakh plans to build a nuclear power plant in Aktau are already generating an anti-nuclear backlash in the country. Many fear that widespread corruption and the country's location in an unstable region increases the risk that Kazakhstan might possibly become a major proliferator.

Mitigating these risks is a major challenge for Kazakhstan and others as the world confronts the surge in nuclear energy demand and the struggle over the precious uranium resources.


Chinese Q1 gas imports more than double - NDRC.

Monday, 18 Apr 2011

China imports of natural gas more than doubled in the first quarter compared with a year earlier as the world biggest energy consumer expanded use of the cleaner burning fuel.

The Beijing based National Development and Reform Commission said in a statement that gas purchases reached 6.3 billion cubic meters in the first three months, comprising 3.1 billion cubic meters of piped supplies from Central Asia and 3.2 billion cubic meters of liquefied natural gas.

The NDRC said China wants to triple the use of natural gas to about 10% of its energy consumption by 2020 as it cuts reliance on more-polluting coal. Imports met 19% of the nation natural gas demand in the first quarter up by 7.6 percentage points from a year earlier.

The NDRC said apparent gas demand, or net imports plus production and excluding inventories jumped 21% in the first quarter from a year earlier to 33.3 billion cubic meters.


India Aims to Conquer Solar Power Market by 2022

By Cameron Chai
India is gearing to become one of the top solar markets in the world. The Indian Government, through its Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission, is looking forward to achieving 20 GW of solar power generation by the year 2022.

The government has allocated huge amounts of money to enable solar power to become a main source of power generation.

The Indian government, by granting incentives and by taking the lead in the production of cost-effective quality solar products including system components other than the solar PV modules, is planning to make India a solar power hub. The execution of Special Incentive Package (SIP) policy by the Indian government is aimed to encourage the setting up of photovoltaic production plants and the domestic production of silicon material. The government is taking steps to encourage the SME segment to support the manufacture of a range of components required for solar power systems.

The IREDA (Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency) supports the solar power generation in India by granting soft low-interest loans for solar power expansion, for introduction of advanced technologies and for use as working capital.


Published Date: 18/4/2011

Qatar’s Japan LNG deal to lift UK prices

Latest Update: Monday18/4/2011April, 2011,

Wholesale British gas prices are likely to rise tomorrow after top liquefied natural gas exporter Qatar agreed to send more than 60 extra cargoes to Japan, but price increases in the world’s benchmark gas market should be dampened by plentiful supply.
The deal by Qatar, the world’s top LNG producer, to sell Japan an extra 4mn tonnes of the fuel over the next 12 months means there will be less gas coming to Europe than was likely before Japan’s nuclear crisis.
British gas prices surged in the week after the March 11 quake and tsunami that wrecked one of Japan’s biggest nuclear power plants on concern that large volumes of LNG might be diverted to Japan, already the world’s top importer.
A flurry of LNG ships arrived in Britain in the weeks after the quake but the number heading to the UK has shrunk over the last week.
Prices in the benchmark UK NBP market have fallen from their post-quake highs on expectations Qatari LNG supplies will remain plentiful. Qatar has started up two huge new production facilities, known as trains, in the last six months, swelling its LNG capacity to 77mn tonnes per year.
But Saturday’s confirmation that more than half the output of one of those new trains will head for Japan rather than Europe is likely to push prices higher again this week.
“The news will add to the bullish end to the week, which saw the Winter 2011 contract firm 1.8% from the open on the back of stronger oil and general profit taking after a relatively soft week,” Nick Campbell, a UK gas market analyst at consultants Inenco, said.
“This could see a ‘short squeeze’ where some participants buy the contract in order to push the market higher on what is, at first glance, relatively bullish news. If, however, we analyse the data in greater detail, (Qatar) was still seeking buyers for its new trains and therefore had spare capacity to sell to the Japanese.”
The new trains, each able to produce 7.8mn tonnes a year of LNG were ordered before the unconventional gas production boom priced most LNG out of the US market, should ensure Europe remains well supplied.
“Qatar could have offered almost any amount, given the amount it now has available. It was more a question of what the Japanese needed,” independent consultant Andrew Flower said.
Flower expected Japan to need around 6mn tonnes a year more LNG as a result of the loss of its nuclear power capacity but believed it would source some from other suppliers.
“They (Qatar) will probably still send more to Europe compared to what they sent in 2010, because they have more to send. But it will be less than it would have been without the Japanese crisis.”
Any UK gas price rises that may come in response to lower-than-expected LNG supply are also likely to hit a ceiling of oil-indexed European gas supply contracts prices.
Unlike Britain, where wholesale gas prices are largely dictated by supply and demand, most European gas is delivered under long-term contracts linked to the price of oil.
Surging oil prices over the last year have made those supplies, mainly from Russia, much more expensive, prompting European buyers to import record amounts of gas from Britain through a pipeline link with Belgium.
If the gap between British and oil-indexed gas prices closes, traders will likely switch to selling gas to the UK, keeping a cap on prices, Campbell said.
Moreover, coal may recover some of its advantage against gas in the winter. At current market prices, coal is likely to be the power generation fuel of choice next winter, as it was the usual case until UK winter gas prices were lower than usual due to heavy LNG imports.


Libyan officials hail Qatar efforts in marketing oil

Monday, 18 Apr 2011

The Peninsula reported that Qatar's efforts to market Libyan oil is humanitarian and free of narrow political or religious intentions which alleviates Libyan suffering at this difficult time.

The officials said that the Libyan people appreciated Qatar's efforts to attract international intention toward the Libyan issue.

Mr Khalid Osman the broadcaster of Libyan channel Al Hurra to a local Arabic daily at the sidelines of the first meeting of the Political Contact Group for Libya said that the Qatari humanitarian initiative empowers the rebels to go ahead in their fight against Gaddafi's totalitarian regime.

Mr Jumana Balaami of Libyan opposition said that we welcomed Qatari aid aimed at defending our people and evacuates stranded refugees in Libyan-Egyptian boarders while the rest of the world was remaining silent and indifferent toward the slaughter of civilians.


Saudi Arabia’s Gasoline Imports More Than Triple in February

Saudi Arabia’s Gasoline Imports More Than Triple in February

By Wael Mahdi - Apr 17, 2011 8:34 AM GMT-0500

Saudi Arabia’s imports of gasoline and jet fuel more than tripled in February from the previous
month as domestic output declined, official data showed.

Saudi Arabia, holder of the world’s largest proven oil reserves, imported 65,000 barrels a day of gasoline and aviation fuel in the month, compared with imports of 19,000 barrels a day in January, according to data posted on the website of the Joint Organization Data Initiative.

Gasoline production at Saudi refineries fell to 365,000 barrels a day in February, down 59,000 barrels a day from January’s level, the data showed. The data initiative is overseen by the Riaydh-based International Energy Forum, a gathering of energy ministers from 86 producing and consuming countries.


Indian wind turbine giant vows to invest more in China

Indian wind turbine giant vows to invest more in China

Monday, April 18, 2011 3:47 AM

BEIJING, Apr. 18, 2011 (Xinhua News Agency) -- Suzlon, the world's fourth largest wind turbine maker, has determined to stay and increase investment in the Chinese market, according to a statement published Monday in the Economic Information Daily newspaper in Beijing.

The statement from Suzlon Energy (Tianjin) Limited is a response to market rumors that Suzlon, based in India, will sell its manufacturing facility in Tianjin and retreat from China.

"China, the largest and fastest growing wind power market in the world, has always been a crucial link in our global portfolio. No matter what the consideration, we will not withdraw from this strategically important market," the statement said.

"More than that, we will intensify investment in China in the future. In the course of exploring the Chinese market, we will cultivate our facilities in China as an important base for global export and R&D," said the statement.

According to the China Wind Energy (OOTC:CWEY) Association (CWEA), Suzlon was the 15largest provider of wind turbines in the country in 2010. However, in 2009, Suzlon was the 9th largest.

In recent years, the Chinese wind turbine manufacturing sector has seen intense competition. More wind turbine manufacturers have taken root in China, and prices for their wind turbines have dropped dramatically from 6,200 yuan (about 939 U.S. dollars) per kilowatt in 2008 to 3,700 yuan (about 560 U.S. dollars) per kilowatt in early 2011.

This has left little room for turbine manufacturers to lower production costs, industry experts say. Upgrading the technologies currently being used might be a solution, but it will be hard to realize in the short term, according to experts in the sector.

Intensified competition and higher demands for quality and quantity will lead to a reshuffling of the Chinese wind turbine manufacturing industry, leaving only a small number of companies with sufficient capital and technological strength, industry experts say.

He Yaozu, CEO of Suzlon Energy (Tianjin) Limited, said "If we want to maintain our position as a leading wind turbine maker in the world, we must take root in China, a market which accounts for one half of the world's total share." ' By the end of 2010, Suzlon's wind turbines accounted for 1.8 percent of the Chinese market in terms of cumulative installed capacity. However, their market share is less than one tenth of that of Sinovel, China's largest wind turbine manufacturer.

The smaller market share is partly attributed to Suzlon's slow response to changing Chinese market demands, which favor larger turbines with variable-frequency and direct-drive technologies. Suzlon has instead focused on producing smaller constant-speed turbines.

"On the whole, I am confident of our future performance in China," said He.

He said his company will localize its supply chain in order to lower production costs, and supply more value-added services to clients, such as helping Chinese wind farm operators "go global" by utilizing Suzlon's overseas business and marketing networks.

"Chinese wind power companies are weak overseas. We may help (Chinese wind farm operators) 'cross the river.' They may hold all the stakes in the overseas wind farms, or set up joint ventures with us in constructing overseas wind farms. We may withdraw after the wind farms operate for three to four years," said He.

He said that in return, Chinese wind farm operators will be expected to buy more Suzlon turbines.

Suzlon's grasp on China's market might be small, but in other countries, it has the upper hand. Suzlon is a leading wind turbine supplier in Australia, South Africa, Brazil, India and the United States.

The only international player in the Chinese market until 2007, Suzlon Energy (Tianjin) Limited's facility manufactures a wide variety of wind turbine components, including rotor blades, control systems and generators.

At present, the Chinese market accounts for approximately 10 percent of Suzlon's total business. Previously, the company expected China to account for one third of its business before 2015.

Shi Pengfei, vice president of CWEA, said "It seems that foreign companies have no intention to abandon the Chinese market. They are looking for new approaches to expand their business in China. Setting up joint ventures is a new way. Siemens (NYSE:SI) and Shanghai Electric, and GE (NYSE:GE) and Harbin Electric (NASDAQ:HRBN) are good examples in this regard."

Shi said "Foreign wind turbine makers need to demonstrate their competitiveness and make good use of Chinese manufacturing advantages to lower their production costs. Joint ventures are a feasible choice."


Korea and US to Conduct Joint Study on Nuclear Fuel Reprocessing

Korea and US to Conduct Joint Study on Nuclear Fuel Reprocessing

Tuesday, April 19, 2011,

Korea and the US have reportedly agreed to conduct a joint study on safe ways to store spent nuclear fuel, including pyroprocessing.
The decision comes from the officials' meeting held in New Mexico last week where the two nations concurred that a long-term, safe and sustainable storage system is necessary to cope with the growing amount of spent fuel.
Seoul and Washington are set to carry out two years of preliminary research on fuel storage that is economically viable and does not hinder the world's non-proliferation efforts till 2012.
The project seems well-deserved as Korea currently has 10,000 tons of highly radioactive waste held in temporary storage areas expected to reach full capacity around 2016.
Pyroprocessing, an electrorefining technique, stores processed plutonium with other elements making it difficult to develop nuclear weapons from plutonium used.


China Coal Prices Rise to Four-Month High on Railway Repairs

China Coal Prices Rise to Four-Month High on Railway Repairs

By Bloomberg News - Apr 17, 2011 11:38 PM GMT-0500

The price of power-station coal at Qinhuangdao, a Chinese benchmark, rose to a four-month high after railway maintenance cut supplies to the northern seaport.

Coal with an energy value of 5,500 kilocalories per kilogram gained 1.3 percent to 785 yuan ($120) to 800 yuan a metric ton as of today compared with a week earlier, according to data from the China Coal Transport and Distribution Association. That’s the highest since Dec. 13.

Daqin railway, linking Datong city in the northern coal- producing province of Shanxi to Qinhuangdao port, started a one- month overhaul this month, the official Xinhua News Agency said on April 5. Stockpiles at the port, which ships half of China’s seaborne coal, fell 7.8 percent to 5.9 million tons from a week earlier, according to the association’s data.

“The main reason for the inventory drop and price increase is because of the maintenance at Daqin,” David Fang, a director at the association, said by telephone in Beijing. “Also, power plants in the south are relying more on domestic coal supplies because imports have fallen.”

Coal prices at Newcastle port, an Asian benchmark, have surged as bad weather crimped output in Australia, Colombia and Indonesia, making imports less attractive to Chinese buyers. Cargoes from the New South Wales port to southern China were at a premium of more than $10 a ton to shipments from Qinhuangdao, Huang Teng, general manager at Beijing LT Consultant Ltd., a coal consultant, said on April 12.

China, the world’s biggest coal producer and consumer, may cut net coal imports this year because of higher global prices, Xia Xing, director of planning at the National Energy Administration’s coal department, said this month.

Russia and Ukraine fail to make progress on natural gas negotiations

Russia and Ukraine fail to make progress on natural gas negotiations

Monday, 18 Apr 2011 

Ukrainian Journal reported that Russia and Ukraine on Tuesday failed to make progress in talks over natural gas prices and gas transit and plan to continue the negotiations through June 7.

As per report, the development is an economic setback for Ukraine as growing natural gas prices have been putting rising pressure its the economy, threatening to slow down growth.

Mr Igor Shuvalov Russia first deputy prime minister said “I have to say that not in every issue we have managed to reach mutually acceptable decisions or even agree on approaches. But we have received an instruction from both prime ministers to work out this issue by June 7.”



Oil Declines in New York After Saudi Arabia Says Market Is `Oversupplied'

Oil Declines in New York After Saudi Arabia Says Market Is `Oversupplied'

By Ben Sharples and Christian Schmollinger - Apr 18, 2011 2:35 AM GMT-0500

Oil declined for the first time in four days in New York after Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest exporter, said the global market has adequate crude supplies.

Futures slipped as much as 1 percent after Saudi Arabia’s Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said yesterday the “market is oversupplied.” Crude fell 2.8 percent last week on speculation price gains spurred by conflicts in the Middle East will curb economic expansion. The world economy is being hurt by “very high” oil prices, said Nobuo Tanaka, the International Energy Agency’s executive director.

“You don’t see a major supplier of crude make comments like that unless there’s a genuine feeling to get prices lower,” Jonathan Barratt, managing director of Commodity Broking Services Pty in Sydney, said by telephone.

Crude oil for May delivery slid as much as $1.04 to $108.62 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract was at $108.67 at 3:31 p.m. Singapore time. The more actively traded June future decreased $1.06, or 1 percent, to $109.16.

Brent crude oil for June settlement dropped 70 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $122.75 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. Front-month Brent futures fell 2.5 percent last week to settle at $123.45.

Saudi Arabia, the biggest oil exporter, has said it will make up for any crude production lost as a result of conflict in Libya, which erupted in mid-February. Saudi Arabia sold 2 million barrels of new blends of oil it has developed to help replace Libyan barrels withheld from the market, “and there is plenty left,” al-Naimi said as he arrived in Kuwait for a conference.
Saudi Supplies

Unrest in Libya, Africa’s third-biggest producer, is the bloodiest in a wave of uprisings that has toppled leaders in Egypt and Tunisia and spread to Algeria, Bahrain, Iran, Oman, Syria and Yemen. Libya’s crude production, which averaged 1.6 million barrels a day last year, shrank to 390,000 barrels a day in March, according to a Bloomberg News survey of producers, analysts and companies.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad told his newly appointed cabinet that plans to lift the country’s 48-year-old state of emergency must be completed next week while in Libya rebels said they expected to receive heavy weapons in their battle to overthrow Muammar Qaddafi.

Global crude supplies are shrinking while prices are rising because of many factors including “uncertainties,” the IEA’s Tanaka said in Kuwait yesterday.

Japan’s demand for crude oil will decrease as economic growth slows after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, the nation’s Vice Minister of International Affairs Hideichi Okada said in Kuwait.
Nigeria Elections

In Nigeria, Africa’s biggest crude producer, Goodluck Jonathan is close to re-election as president. Jonathan, who comes from the oil-rich, southern Niger Delta region, extended his lead in counting and is close to meeting the constitutional requirement to win a quarter of votes in two-thirds of states.

Jonathan had 19.2 million votes and 21 states compared with 9.1 million votes and eight states for his closest rival, Muhammadu Buhari, from the north, according to results released by the Independent National Electoral Commission. Jonathan’s ruling People’s Democratic Party won Abuja, the capital. Nuhu Ribadu of the Action Congress of Nigeria had 1.9 million votes and one state.

Nigeria pumped 1.9 million barrels a day in March, according to Bloomberg estimates.
Hedge Funds

Hedge funds and other large speculators reduced their bullish bets on crude oil for the first time in four weeks amid signs the oil market had risen too fast.

Net-long positions in oil declined by 23,718 futures and options combined, or 7.8 percent, to 281,579, in the seven days ended April 12, according to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s weekly Commitments of Traders report.


Obama’s Fake Energy Policy

Obama’s Fake Energy Policy

April 18, 2011 4:00 A.M
Flex fuel is the solution to our reliance on foreign oil. 

Last week, President Obama announced his “bold, new” goal to reduce America’s oil imports by one-third by 2025. While many critics have rightly objected that the administration offered no program of action to actually achieve that goal, there is a bigger problem. The goal itself is inadequate.

Obama wants to reduce oil imports by 33 percent in 14 years. But oil prices have risen by 44 percent in the past 14 fortnights, and 900 percent in the past twelve years. In 1999, Americans paid $90 billion for all their oil, less than 5 percent of what they paid in federal taxes. At current prices of $108 per barrel, Americans this year will pay over $800 billion for oil, an amount equal to 33 percent of all federal tax revenues, with two thirds of the take going to fill the coffers of foreign regimes. If current trends continue, there is every prospect that oil prices will more than triple by Obama’s 2025 target date, leaving us paying more for oil than we pay to the federal government.




Battle for Bahrain – Iran Casts Shadow over Reform in Bahrain Posted Apr 18 2011 16:34 CEST

 Battle for Bahrain – Iran Casts Shadow over Reform in Bahrain Posted Apr 18 2011 16:34 CEST
On April 11, President Obama dispatched his national security advisor, Tom Donilon, on a three-day trip to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). During the trip, the United States will likely discuss the crises in Egypt, Libya, Yemen, and Syria, as well as the situation in Bahrain, where last month both Saudi Arabia and the UAE acted against U.S. wishes by sending forces to support the government of King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa. The Gulf leaders will focus on the growing threat posed by Iran. The issue is straining an otherwise excellent regional security relationship.
Bahrain’s State of Emergency
The timing of the visit places a highly unflattering spotlight on the leadership in Bahrain, where a month ago authorities declared a state of emergency after weeks of rioting by members of the majority Shiite Muslim community, whose protests targeted the lack of economic opportunities and political freedoms under the Sunni…

Petrobras’ Guilherme Estrella Wins Dewhurst Awar

Petrobras’ Guilherme Estrella Wins Dewhurst Awar

Date: Monday, April 18, 2011

Release--WPC Dewhurst Award goes to Guilherme Estrella
The World Petroleum Council (WPC) proudly announced that Guilherme De Oliveira Estrella, the Chief Exploration and Production Officer and Member of the Executive Board of Brazil’s Petrobras will be the recipient of the WPC’s prestigious Dewhurst Award in 2011. Presented to Estrella during the 20th World Petroleum Congress in Doha, Qatar, in December this year, the Award is named after Thomas Dewhurst, who organized the first World Petroleum Congress in 1933. Celebrating scientific and technological excellence in the petroleum industry, the Award is a tribute to him and to the person asked to deliver the Dewhurst Lecture.

Having led the pre-salt discoveries in the deep waters off the coast of Brazil, Guilherme Estrella joins a prestigious group of past recipients who have been respected leaders in the industry and demonstrated unusually high achievements over many years. Like his predecessors, such as the previous recipient, HE Ali Al Naimi, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Estrella will be giving the Dewhurst Lecture, one of the highlights of the event, at the close of the world’s largest oil and gas congress on the 8th December.

The President of the World Petroleum Council, Dr Randy Gossen, met Mr Estrella in Rio de Janeiro earlier this year and personally informed him about the decision. “At a time when the world is saying we are running out of oil and gas comes an innovator who is not restricted by the views of others but leads the way in finding new reserves and pursuing unconventional oil resources. Having Guilherme Estrella, an outstanding geologist and visionary oil finder, as our distinguished Dewurst lecturer could not be more appropriate.”

Dr Renato Bertani, Vice President of the World Petroleum Council also has great praise for his former colleague at Petrobras: "Estrella, as his colleagues and friends call him, dedicated a lifetime to the petroleum industry in Brazil and abroad. His approach to petroleum exploration was always based on rigorous application of geoscience principles, innovation and, above all, team work. Estrella is a firm believer, and practitioner, that oil is found first in people’s minds. And the huge pre-salt oil discoveries offshore Brazil demonstrate that he is right.”


Energy: news headlines for Monday 18th April 2011

Energy: news headlines for Monday 18th April 2011

  • AFP – Secretary general of OPEC Abdullah El-Badri said on Monday that oil producers are “concerned” at high crude prices and added that markets are adequately supplied.
  • AP – Oil prices fell to near $109 a barrel Monday in Asia as gasoline jumped to average $4 a gallon in six U.S. states, raising fears higher fuel costs will undermine crude demand.
  • AP – Add New York to the growing list of states where gas prices are topping $4 per gallon.
  • AP – Human rights lawyers say authorities in the United Arab Emirates have detained a fourth activist for advocating democratic reforms in the oil-rich Gulf nation.
  • ContributorNetwork – COMMENTARY | I have the misfortune to live in Connecticut, one of the five states with gas prices currently over $4 a gallon. Nationwide the average price is $3.81 a gallon. Hawaii, Alaska, California and Illinois are the other states with gas over $4. Luckily for me, the closest gas station to my home is actually in Massachusetts, where the gas is currently around $3.79 a gallon.
  • ContributorNetwork – A year ago Wednesday, the U.S. was hit with what was to be the worst oil spill in American history. On April 20, 2010, at about 10 p.m. CDT, British Petroleum’s (BP) Deepwater Horizon drilling rig located in the Gulf of Mexico off of Louisiana exploded and began gushing crude oil into the Gulf’s warm waters and continued to do so until it was capped on July 15 and officially sealed on Sept. 19. Over the span of the spill it poured up to 4.9 million barrels into the water, making it the second worst oil spill in the world and the worst in U.S. history.
  • AFP – The oil cartel OPEC forecast on Saturday negative growth in Japan this year after the March 11 earthquake disaster, but IMF economists said all depends on the restoration of power supplies.
  • AFP – Another Emirati rights activist has been arrested, bringing to four the number jailed in the oil-rich Gulf state in the past month, a group of Gulf intellectuals said on Saturday.
  • AP – A Qatari state-controlled gas producer said Saturday it has agreed to send Japan more than 60 extra tanker shipments of liquefied natural gas to help power the Asian nation in the wake of its tsunami disaster.
  • Reuters – Oil rose on Friday, with Brent crude surging past $123 a barrel, as improving U.S. consumer confidence and industrial production eased concerns about rising fuel costs.
  • Investor’s Business Daily – Federal regulators on March 18 gave the nod to Houston-based ATP Oil & Gas (NASDAQ:ATPG – News) to restart work put on hold by the offshore drilling moratorium imposed after last year’s Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
  • AP – Oil prices climbed again on Friday on positive economic news. Gas pump prices now average $4 or more in at least five states.
  • Reuters – Hundreds of Saudi Shi’ites protested in the oil-producing east for a second day on Friday, calling for the release of prisoners held without trial and political and religious rights, activists said.
  • AP – Here are the five most expensive and the five least expensive metro areas for retail gasoline prices in the lower-48 states.
  • Reuters – U.S. consumer sentiment rose more than expected in April as worries about the impact of higher oil prices on economic growth eased slightly, a survey released on Friday showed.
  • Reuters – U.S. consumer sentiment rose more than expected in April as worries about the impact of higher oil prices on economic growth eased slightly, a survey released on Friday showed.
  • Reuters – When a BP oil rig exploded and sank in the Gulf of Mexico last April, killing 11 workers, authorities first reported that no crude was leaking into the ocean.
  • ContributorNetwork – COMMENTARY | Fracturing shale rock to release the natural gas inside, called “fracking,” is either a great method for extracting new energy from existing resources or an ecological disaster that endangers our drinking water. Or both.
  • AP – A spike in the cost of gasoline pushed wholesale prices higher in March, a trend that could limit consumer spending in the coming months.
  • Reuters – The recent surge in oil prices is no prelude to broader price increases that would force the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates, top Fed officials said on Thursday in what appears to be the predominant view at the central bank.

EEX commissioned to hold primary market auction in 2012

EEX commissioned to hold primary market auction in 2012

Leipzig, 18 April 2011

The European Energy Exchange AG ( EEX) will continue to hold the auctions for the EU emission allowances (EUA) issued by Germany in 2012. An extension contract was signed by EEX and the Federal Ministry of the Environment last Friday. Thus, the Ministry has used the option to extend the contractual relationship with EEX for the auctions in the year 2010 and 2011 by another year.

The European Energy Exchange AG ( EEX) will continue to hold the auctions for the EU emission allowances (EUA) issued by Germany in 2012. An extension contract was signed by EEX and the Federal Ministry of the Environment last Friday. Thus, the Ministry has used the option to extend the contractual relationship with EEX for the auctions in the year 2010 and 2011 by another year.
“We are pleased about the confidence placed in us and are looking forward to the further co-operation“, says Dr. Christoph Mura, Member of the Executive Board of EEX AG. “This early extension of the term of the contract confirms the quality of our auction platform. Moreover, we also see this as a recommendation with regard to the primary market auctions at a national and European level aimed at for the time after 2012.“
Since January 2010, EEX has carried out the German EUA Primary Market Auction on the Spot and Derivatives Market on a weekly basis. Every year, approximately 40 million EU emission allowances are auctioned-off on behalf of the Federal Ministry of the Environment which corresponds to 10 percent of the total quantity allocated in Germany.
Secure trading and settlement solutions take the highest priority for EEX. For this reason, the exchange continuously reviews its processes and implements adjustments in close co-ordination with the trading participants and the Federal Ministry of the Environment as well as the German Emissions Trading Authority (DEHSt). This e.g. includes the establishment of the separate settlement of European emission allowances (EUA) for transactions from the Primary Market Auction and from the Secondary Market, which was introduced on 1 March 2011.

Solar Topps Rolls Out New Zero-Money-Down Commercial Solar Lease Program for Arizona Public Service Co. (APS), Tucson Electric Power (TEP) and Salt River Project (SRP) Customers in 30 Markets Across Arizona

Solar Topps Rolls Out New Zero-Money-Down Commercial Solar Lease Program for Arizona Public Service Co. (APS), Tucson Electric Power (TEP) and Salt River Project (SRP) Customers in 30 Markets Across Arizona

Press Release Source: Solar Topps LLC On Monday April 18, 2011, 9:00 am

PHOENIX, AZ--(Marketwire - 04/18/11) - Solar Topps LLC (, a leading residential and commercial solar design and integration company based in Tempe, Ariz., announced that the Company is now marketing its new $0 money down commercial solar lease program to 30 cities and towns throughout Arizona. The commercial solar lease program is a perfect fit for a wide variety of small businesses that are looking for ways to save money on their electric bills. The commercial solar lease program is targeting a wide variety of vertical business segments such as airports, auto repair shops, banks, car dealerships, car washes, churches, convenience stores, customs brokers, dairies, dentists, doctor offices, design centers, farms, feed stores, franchises, freight forwarding, grocery stores, health spas, hospitals, hotels, manufacturing plants, model homes, ranches, retail outlets, real estate offices, warehouses, strip center shopping malls and large parking lot owners that need solar power arrays and shaded solar parking covers.
Any small business that has 2,500 sq. ft. or more of clear roof surface and that pays $500 or more a month on electricity is the perfect candidate for a zero-cost solar power system that will reduce or eliminate their electric bill.
The Arizona Zero-Money-Down Commercial Lease allows any small business to install a 30-kilowatt (or larger) solar power array worth $127,500 with absolutely no out-of-pocket costs. The system is guaranteed to produce approximately $6,000 per year of free clean solar electricity for a minimum lease term of 20 years. Each month the customer saves $500 by producing their own solar electricity. A $300 lease payment covers the cost of the system; leaving $200 per month of extra cash flow for the customer.
Solar panels also help buildings save money by making the building envelope more energy efficient due to the shade that the solar panels produce. This provides 6% to 8% of additional savings by reducing electricity consumption. The commercial solar lease also provides a guaranteed 50% rate reduction on future electric prices, which means that if rates go up 10%, Solar Topps will provide a 5% rate reduction.
If your company would like to install an Arizona Zero-Money-Down solar power system that is guaranteed to knock $2,400 or more off your electric bill every year for the next 20 years, please contact Virgil Heusinkveld at (480) 940-1201 ext. 105 to setup a free site analysis and quote.
"For APS, TEP and SRP customers that want to save money, Solar Topps' commercial solar lease agreements are the most affordable solar finance option in Arizona," said Neal Uppal, Solar Topp's President. "At first our solar lease agreement is hard to believe because of the price, but once we provide the technical specifications of the products used and the customer's CPA has had a chance to conduct a thorough financial analysis, our solar proposal success rate is around ninety percent because we make it a very easy for customers to say 'yes' to 'go solar.' We simply offer our customers a deal that the competition cannot beat. A great deal that shrinks their carbon footprint, reduces their electricity bill by hundreds of dollars each month and costs them nothing to install is hard to refuse."
"Our satisfied customers and city code inspectors love our solar power installations because we use only the highest quality, best-of-breed solar components from SunWize Technologies including Sharp, Sanyo, and Trina solar photovoltaic (PV) panels that have a zero loss PTC rating (PV USA Test Conditions) and Power-One Aurora dual-channel maximum power point tracking (MPPT) photovoltaic inverters, which deliver the highest efficiency power rating possible and allow us to offer the most precise solar power production guarantees in the solar industry," Uppal added. "Unlike many of our competitor's customers that may lose 3-5% of their power production because they use -3/+3% rated solar modules, most of our solar power arrays actually deliver more solar power than promised in the solar engineering design."
Zero Power Loss Sharp, Sanyo, and Trina Solar PanelsSolar Topps works with SunWize Technologies to carry Sharp, Sanyo and Trina solar panels that have a zero power loss PTC rating. Solar Topps only uses solar panels that are -0/+3 or higher, which means they will produce their exact energy rating or up to 3% more solar power than expected with no minus rated power. The solar power production is precise and guaranteed. Many solar installation companies use solar panels that have a variance of -3/+3 meaning the name plate rating could fall short of expectations by 3% and mismatches are possible.
Power-One Aurora 96.8% Efficient Dual-Channel MPPT Power InvertersSolar Topps works with SunWise Technologies to carry Power-One Aurora solar power inverters that have the highest efficiency rating of 96.8%. Solar Topps installs Dual-Channel Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) photovoltaic string inverters so that solar panel strings can have two different orientations such as panels mounted on south, east or west facing rooftops. MPPT is the automatic adjustment of the electrical load to achieve the greatest possible solar power energy harvest during moment-to-moment variations of light level, shading, temperature, and photovoltaic module characteristics. These solar power inverters also offer the widest input voltage range that makes it possible to install shorter or longer solar panel strings as needed; delivers transformerless operation; and provides a NEMA-4 rated enclosure that protects against the harshest outdoor weather conditions.
Expert Sun Shade and Sun Power Analysis In addition to the best components in the business, Solar Topps installations are required to have a computerized Sun Shade and Digital Sun Power analysis to make sure that all of the solar components are installed at maximum power production tilt angles and an accurate south polar orientation. Solar Topps uses a digital solar power meter to check the thermal window efficiency measuring UV, BTU, and solar power reception for every single PV panel in the solar array to make sure that it is producing 100% or more of the name plate energy rating.
Using the best solar panels and photovoltaic inverters available and double checking the entire balance of system's performance is what makes Solar Topps unique. No one else in town guarantees their solar arrays power production like Solar Topps does.
Solar Lease Reseller ProgramSolar Topps is currently adding business partners to its Commercial Solar Lease Reseller program. Solar Topps will install a solar power array for any Solar Lease Reseller at around $4.00 per watt or less before rebates for most applications. It is up to Solar Lease Resellers to decide how much margin to they want build into their winning sales proposals.
Solar Lease Resellers interested in reselling Solar Topp's commercial solar leases should contact Neal Uppal, Solar Topp's President, directly at (480) 940-1201 ext. 102
Solar Lease Resellers are responsible for developing business leads and closing solar lease contracts with airports, auto repair shops, banks, car dealerships, car washes, churches, convenience stores, customs brokers, dairies, dentists, doctor offices, design centers, farms, feed stores, franchises, freight forwarding, grocery stores, health spas, hospitals, hotels, manufacturing plants, model homes, ranches, retail outlets, real estate offices, warehouses, strip center shopping malls and large parking lot owners that need solar power arrays and shaded solar parking covers.
About Solar Topps LLCSolar Topps LLC is a leading residential and commercial solar design and integration company based in Tempe, Ariz. The Company performs solar installations as a licensed contractor in Arizona (AZ ROC #264968 K-11 and #270389 KB-1), California, Florida and Ontario, Canada. The Company is recognized by the solar industry and city code inspectors for its superior customer service and for installing solar PV arrays that consistently outperform their design specifications at a price point that cannot be matched by the competition. Installing zero loss PTC rated solar panels and dual MPPT solar inverters and cross checking every single panel's performance with a digital solar power meter to measure its solar power production, Solar Topps is the only solar integration company in Arizona that guarantees its solar power production output. At an installed price point of $4.00 per watt or lower on large projects, most customers enjoy a 3-5 year payback period. Please visit the Company's website at to learn more about their quality solar power installations and the most affordable commercial solar lease program in Arizona.

Rebels ward off Qaddafi’s forces from Ajdabiya | oil outlook 18 Apri

Rebels ward off Qaddafi’s forces from Ajdabiya | oil outlook 18 Apri

April 18, 2011
By Lior

Oil prices finished the week with moderate rises, however during the week they didn’t do much. The turmoil in the Middle East continues to escalate mainly in Libya, how this will affect the oil market for this week?
Let’s examine the main news for today, April 18th that might affect the crude oil markets:
Crude oil price during April
During April, up to April 15th, WTI crude oil price crawled up as it moderately inclined by 2.0%, and Brent oil rose by 4.6%.  During last week, however crude oil prices didn’t do much as they have finished the week in a similar price level they have started the week.

The Australian dollar continues to show a strong correlation between its daily percent changes andBrent and WTI oil prices daily percent changes. The correlation is stronger between WTI and AUD/USD than Brent oil, however since the U.S. only imports a fraction of its oil from Australia, this put into question if this correlation has any merit or might indicate of another interfering variable that connects the two series together.

Libyan conflict – update

The recent news from Libya is that the rebels have managed to ward off Qaddafi’s forces from the city of Ajdabiya, in the central region of Libya.
In the mean time, Qaddafi’s forces keeps on bombing Misrata, which is the main rebel held city, in the western part of Libya.
NATO also continues its air assault on Qaddafi’s aircraft missiles sites near Libya’s capital Tripoli.
Libya’s oil production, which was set at 1.6 million barrels per day, fell by over 70% since the riots had begun in February 2011. During March, OPEC oil supply fell by 0.89 mbl/d to reach 29.2 mbl/d, which is roughly 0.6% of the global oil production; on the other hand, the oil production of non-OPEC countries rose by 0.2 mb/d to 53.3 mbl/d.
Germany seized $6 billion Libyan funds
According to the Spiegel , Germany has recently seized Libyan funds worth of over six billion USD. Germany representatives said that the UN could use these funds to assist the Libyan people in humanity assistance.