The 3 Week Diet System

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Six European energy companies seek U.N. help for carbon pricing system -FT

May 31:


May 31 Europe's six largest oil and gas companies, including Royal Dutch Shell and Britain's BP Plc, have united together in seeking help from the United Nations to stop global warming, the Financial Times reported on Sunday.
The companies asked for direct talks with the United Nations and governments on creating a global carbon pricing system ahead of U.N. climate talks in Paris in December. (on.ft.com/1eKkOaA)
"We owe it to future generations to seek realistic, workable solutions to the challenge of providing more energy while tackling climate change," the FT quoted the companies' chief executives as saying in a letter to the newspaper explaining their plan.
The group of six companies, which include France's Total SA , Norway's Statoil, Italy's Eni and Britain's BG Group, argue that avoiding the use of coal to generate electricity would help reduce carbon emissions, the newspaper said.
The business daily said the companies' chief executives had written on Friday to the U.N.'s top climate official, Christiana Figueres, asking for direct meetings with the U.N. and willing governments to discuss an international carbon scheme.
"We have important areas of interest in and contributions to make to creating and implementing a workable approach to carbon pricing," the newspaper quoted the chief executives as saying.
The companies said that to encourage climate-friendly investments, governments should launch carbon pricing measures, such as the EU's emission trading system, the newspaper said.
The paper said ExxonMobil and Chevron, the two largest U.S. oil producers, last week had opted out of joining any European initiative to forge a common position on global warming.
Reuters reported last week that around 200 governments are set to sign a global deal at the U.N. meeting in Paris in six months.
The governments will meet at a conference in Paris from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11 to agree on a deal to slow global warming.
Royal Dutch Shell, Britain's BP Plc and BG group could not be reached immediately for comments outside regular business hours. France's Total, Italy's Eni and Norway's Statoil could not be reached immediately either.
The United Nations could not be reached immediately outside regular business hours. (Reporting by Rishika Sadam in Bengaluru; Editing by Sandra Maler)


Source:  http://uk.reuters.com/article/2015/05/31/europe-carbon-un-idUKL1N0YM0KI20150531?rpc=401

Z Energy to buy Chevron's New Zealand network

May 31:

Chevron's network includes 147 Caltex branded service stations and another 73 Caltex diesel fuel filling stops for trucks.
Chevron's network includes 147 Caltex branded service stations and another 73 Caltex diesel fuel filling stops for trucks. Robert Peet
Z Energy is poised to buy Chevron's New Zealand service station network for about $NZ800 million.
The deal includes a $NZ150 million capital raising with the help of Goldman Sachs.
Chevron's network includes 147 Caltex-branded service stations and another 73 Caltex diesel fuel filling stops for trucks.
Since Chevron sold its 50 per cent stake in ASX-listed Caltex Australia it has been seen as a seller of assets in Australia and New Zealand. Last week it sold its 11 per cent share of The New Zealand Refining Company.
Street Talk reported last week that Z Energy was a logical buyer of the Chevron assets if they were put up for sale.
The oil giant is part-way through a $US15 billion ($19 billion) asset sell-off, driven by its Californian head office and expected to continue through to the end of 2017.
Exxon Mobil's Mobil has about 190 service stations in New Zealand, while BP has about 210. The Chevron exit may spur Mobil and BP to also consider sales.
Z Energy, along with international majors Chevron, BP and Exxon Mobil dominate the market.
The dual-listed Z Energy has indicated it would be interested in acquiring more service stations if they came to market, while fund managers say there is significant upside on offer from a service station mop-up.
Its shares were placed in a trading halt on Monday morning.


Source:  http://www.afr.com/street-talk/z-energy-to-buy-chevrons-new-zealand-network-20150601-ghds1w

How Long Can OPEC Maintain Its Current Strategy?

May 31:

he six-month clock is up. OPEC is convening this week in Vienna, as it does every six months, to discuss and decide on how the group will coordinate.
The November 2014 meeting was one of the most widely covered in years. After leaving its collective output quota unchanged for several consecutive meetings in a row, much of the world watched for a major policy change. The glut of oil had led to a crash in prices, falling from well over $100 per barrel, down to the $70 range. As it had in the past, surely the cartel would pull the production lever downwards, switching off a million barrels per day or so in order to stop the bleeding?
That decision never came. In a move that shocked the oil markets, and enraged many of OPEC’s own members, production levels were not touched. Saudi Arabia looked into the history books and realized what happened the last time they cut production during a glut. In the 1980’s, prices did not recover, and Saudi Arabia merely lost market share and revenues.
Related: Top 4 Oil Companies For Dividend Investors
Not eager to make the same mistake, this time they went full speed ahead, fighting for every piece of the market it could capture. Saudi Arabia has even boosted production by 700,000 barrels per day since then, increasing output to 10.3 million barrels per day as of April 2015.
As it quickly became clear, Saudi Arabia hoped to force out higher-cost producers (i.e. US shale) and maintain market share, allowing prices to eventually adjust upwards on the backs of others.
So what should we expect from OPEC’s upcoming meeting on June 5? More of the same. Having made the decision to fight it out, there is almost no reason to back off now. US shale producers have hung on longer than many anticipated. OPEC has inflicted a lot of damage across the US shale patch, but it hasn’t yet struck the deathblow that it had wanted.
Related: Could The New Silk Road End Old Geopolitical Tensions?
Rig counts have fallen by 1,000 (more than 50 percent) since October 2014, production has largely come to halt (although not really declined), and fewer wells are being drilled. Importantly, a few smaller companies have gone bankrupt, and others are struggling under mountains of debt. That portends a larger adjustment in the months ahead, but for now, the market is in limbo.
OPEC’s strategy could still work, but will need more time. That points to a stay-the-course approach heading into the June meeting and beyond.
Still, it is not clear how long OPEC members can hold out. Many are not as well endowed as Saudi Arabia, nor do they have the massive rainy day fund that Riyadh does. Several members – most notably Venezuela and Iran – loudly called for a cut in output last time around. Their arguments didn’t win over Saudi Arabia in November, and they won’t again in June, but at some point the pressure could mount.
The Wall Street Journal reported in May that OPEC is starting to come to grips with the possibility that oil prices could remain below $100 per barrel well into the next decade, a troubling prospect for oil-producing countries that had become used to the super profits associated with three-digit oil prices, and many have budgets that only breakeven in that range.
Related: A New Giant Among Oil Traders
An internal OPEC report sees oil prices at $76 per barrel in 2025. And that is the group’s most optimistic scenario. It also considers the possibility that oil drops below $50 per barrel in the 2020s. $100 oil does not figure into the group’s considerations.
OPEC disputed that it put together such a pessimistic outlook, but if the WSJ report is correct, the implications would be profound.
The WSJ believes that OPEC, under this scenario, would consider returning to production limits in order to prop up prices. If prices stayed low, the group probably would not be able to produce flat out and wait out US shale for a decade. Internal pressure would be too great.
For the June meeting, however, the Saudi strategy should carry the day. November’s meeting could be a lot more interesting though. If prices don’t recover, and US shale is not making big cut backs, the grumbling within OPEC could grow louder.


Source:  http://oilprice.com/Energy/Oil-Prices/How-Long-Can-OPEC-Maintain-Its-Current-Strategy.html

Shell to market premium gasoline Monday

May 31:



A new, more expensive grade of premium-plus gasoline that goes on sale at Shell stations nationwide Monday could signal a new round of competition as oil companies add new features to their fuels.
Shell's claims include longer engine life and greater efficiency, key targets as fuel economy and emissions standards rise.
No independent analysis is available of Shell's claims for the fuel, Shell V-Power Nitro+. However, two independent fuel and engine experts say new additives to gasoline could reduce engine wear and improve efficiency.
"Nitro+ adds protection against wear and corrosion to the detergents our gasoline already contains," said Shell researcher Ed Nelson. "Fuel comes in contact with moving metal parts in pumps, cylinder rings and injectors. Nitro+ reduces wear" by adhering to those parts. It also keeps water in gasoline from adhering to the metal parts to reduce corrosion.
Shell demonstrated reduced wear and corrosion with standard industry lab tests, Nelson said. The fuel also has more detergent properties to prevent waste buildup in the engine. There's no need to use premium unless your vehicle's manufacturer recommends or requires it. Check your owner's manual or the label inside the fuel door if you're not sure.​
t's best when a company provides data to substantiate claims for a new product, of course, but Shell's claims look plausible until there's independent evidence to support or disprove them, independent experts say.
"Shell is taking their premium fuel and moving it up," GM fuel specialist Bill Studzinski said. "Reducing wear can help maintain optimal performance through the vehicle's life," which will be increasingly important as tougher fuel economy and emissions standards come into play.
Lower internal friction could make vehicles more efficient, said Harold Schock, mechanical engineering professor and director of the energy and automotive research lab at Michigan State University.
"Half the friction in an engine comes from the cylinders and piston rings," Schock said. "Reformulated fuel could make a difference" there and in high-pressure fuel injection systems.
Shell isn't saying how much more V-Power Nitro+ will cost compared to other grades. Other grades of Shell gasoline will have lower amounts of the new chemicals. Shell hasn't made any claims about their impact on engine wear and corrosion, or said anything about price changes for its regular and mid-grade gasolines. There's no change to any of the fuels' octane level.
Shell hired hyper-miler and blogger Wayne Gerdes to drive a Dodge Charger modified to run Nitro+ on one side of its V-6 engine and competitive premium gasolines on the other. Gerdes will drive 5,000 miles on a winding cross-country route that will hook up with a convoy of celebrity drivers in BMW M4s in New York City Tuesday before setting off for Los Angeles.

Source:www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2015/05/31/shell-gas-premium/28254983/?

Europe furious after Russia bans 89 officials from entering country over sanctions

May 31:

Russia has imposed an entry ban on 89 European politicians and military leaders, a move that has angered Europe and worsened its standoff with the West over Moscow's role in the Ukraine conflict.
The list, compiled by the Russian foreign ministry and handed to a European Union delegation in Moscow last week, includes outspoken critics of Russia as well as military and intelligence officials.
Since Russia annexed Crimea in March 2014, the EU has imposed economic sanctions, visa bans and asset freezes on scores of Russian and Ukrainian citizens and organisations.
A spokeswoman for EU foreign affairs said Russia had denied entry to a number of EU politicians, based on their inclusion on the previously confidential "stop list".
"We consider this measure as totally arbitrary and unjustified," she said.
The Russian Foreign Ministry did not comment

Source: http://www.scmp.com/news/world/article/1814098/russia-bans-89-eu-officials-entering-country-over-sanctions?
 :

Iran to take chair in 6th OPEC oil market meeting

May 31:


Photo: Iran to take chair in 6th OPEC oil market meeting / Oil&Gas
Baku, Azerbaijan, May 31
By Fatih Karimov – Trend:
Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh will chair the oil market stability meeting at the Sixth OPEC International Seminar.
The seminar, June 3-4, will be held with the theme ‘Petroleum - an engine for global development’, in Vienna, Iran’s IRNA news agency reported on May 31.
The event will discuss the global energy outlook, oil market stability, production capacity and investment, technology and the environment, and prospects for the world economy.
OPEC will meet on June 5. At its last meeting in November, OPEC, led by Saudi Arabia, decided against cutting output to defend its market share, resisting calls by some members such as Iran and Venezuela to reduce production to shore up prices.
Iran wants other OPEC members to make way for a rise in its exports if it succeeds in reaching a final deal with six world powers over its nuclear program. A deadline for agreement on the nuclear issue falls on June 30.



Source,:en.trend.az/business/energy/2400785.html?

Our refineries must be upgraded to produce cleaner fuel ... Who will pay?

May 31:



A 2017 target for South Africa adopting Euro 5 fuel standards is already dead in the water, while there seems to be little progress on how to fund the multibillion-rand investments needed to produce this quality of fuel at South Africa’s six refineries.
One obvious problem is that it is still not close to being clear how much the transition would even cost. An old guesstimate of R40 billion to upgrade the refineries was still being thrown around this week.
By now, it is almost a decade out of date, apart from having been very uncertain to begin with.
The industry, represented by the SA Petroleum Industry Association (Sapia), wants the cost factored into the fuel price before there is even a real estimate of how much money will be needed.
In Parliament this week, the industry’s insistence on full cost recovery was described as “holding government policy to ransom” in order to score subsidies.
Rod Crompton, the head of petroleum at the National Energy Regulator of SA (Nersa), criticised Chevron in particular for trying to stop a new fuel terminal in Cape Town from being built by Burgan Cape Terminals.
Crompton told the parliamentary portfolio committee on energy that the oil company simply wanted to shore up its bargaining power against the government on the cost recovery issue – by limiting the availability of imported clean fuels.
Chevron claims the Burgan terminal is just a way for fuel traders to win the South African market away from locally produced fuels.
In her budget speech last month, Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson also seemed to be taking a dig at the industry, saying that “the cleaner fuels initiative should not be used to entrench positions of some of the companies that operate in the sector to the exclusion of new entrants”.
There is a task team involving Sapia and the department that is meant to iron out these issues in the near future.
The refinery upgrades no one knows how to fund are part of South Africa’s Clean Fuels 2 (CF2) programme.
Clean Fuels 1 (CF1) was the 2006 switch to unleaded petrol and diesel content at the current Euro 2 level.
The cost of CF1 had been estimated at R10 billion by Sapia, although the costs varied widely from refinery to refinery.
At the time, the second phase was supposed to take place in 2010, which got extended to 2017 with a plan to jump straight from Euro 2 fuel quality to Euro 5 quality.
That target has not been formally jettisoned, but is virtually impossible by now and the industry expects an announcement about the target date soon.
Since the previous policy announcements, Euro 6 has been introduced, worsening South Africa’s lag behind cutting edge fuel standards.
A 2011 discussion document from the department of energy took a defensive stance on how to fund the upgrades. It suggested that the actual investment needed at each refinery be established – and that government should be wary of oil companies trying to inflate the bill.
Avhapfani Tshifularo, executive director of Sapia, says that recovering the upgrade costs would probably require a 20c fuel levy on every litre of petrol and diesel over about 10 years – assuming that the R40 billion figure is in the ball park.
This has been the going estimate for at least six years and is based on an industry consultant’s work from 2006 and 2007.
The number Sapia’s consultants came up with then was $3.7 billion, which came to R30 billion at the exchange rates then and translates to R40 billion now.
Tshifularo admits that the figure is “quite dated”, but insists that it is good enough to plan around.
The government had been suspicious of the number from the get go, saying back in 2011 that it was a “broad brush” estimate based on opaque assumptions and probably completely inaccurate.
The industry’s consultants judged the cost estimate to be only “40% accurate”.
Tshifularo says it could be R30 billion or R50 billion, but says it is safe to assume it would still be in that range.
According to the refineries, the principles of who should pay have to be agreed before anyone gets into the nitty gritty of what it will actually cost.
“The number will have to be confirmed after the principles,” said Tshifularo.
The presumably massive investment required “has no return on investment”, he said. “It is investment to comply with legislation.”
According to him, Sapia and the government have not even started talking about what the cost recovery mechanism might be, although he says it won’t be a direct transfer from government.
It has always been understood that it would be an element in the fuel price structure, he told City Press.
The government might be swayed to subsidise the process in other ways like tax incentives in the form of accelerated depreciation on the new upgrades. This would cut the refineries’ tax bill for a few years.
How we got here
The consequence of falling too far behind the rest of the world in fuel quality is not just pollution. As the petrol and diesel we use becomes illegal elsewhere, South Africa risks becoming a “dumping ground for their inferior fuels and consequently old technology vehicles”, said the government’s 2011 discussion document on South Africa’s Clean Fuels 2 programme.
Each new generation of fuels reduces the sulphur content of diesel and other pollutants.
The use of lead in petrol has been more or less universally stamped out, according to the UN, but the progress on getting sulphur out of diesel is far less impressive.
In most of South America, the sulphur content of diesel is still not at Euro 2, the standard South Africa adopted in 2006.
Falling behind on fuel quality limits the availability of new vehicle technology, says Stuart Rayner, fuel and emissions chair for the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers.
“Our parent companies resist allowing these vehicles into the South African market when the fuel is not readily available,” Rayner, who works for Ford, told City Press.
The latest generation of diesel engines can’t run on South African fuel without modification.
This has knock-on effects for the local manufacturing industry as well. If the local market is closed to a model of car, that reduces the case for manufacturing it here.
It also ultimately turns environmental taxes on carbon into a pure penalty because no one is really able to buy and use the cleanest available vehicles.

Source: http://www.fin24.com/Companies/Industrial/Our-refineries-must-be-upgraded-to-produce-cleaner-fuel-Who-will-pay-20150531?

2015 is shaping up to be an awful year for the coal industry

May 31:

virginia coal miners workers employees


2015 is shaping up to be a fateful year for the coal industry.
After coal prices tumbled from their highs in 2011, the industry hit a rough patch. Years of buildup in mining capacity hit the markets at the same time, sending prices crashing. By the beginning of 2014, things were looking pretty grim. But optimists hoped it would be merely temporary; a supply glut that would ease once demand picked up.
However, demand has not been nearly as strong as expected. The US has been moving away from coal for a few years now, with cheap natural gas, more renewables, and energy efficiency.
China’s economic growth slowed a bit, but its efforts at reining air pollution have gone a long way at reducing coal demand. In fact, China may have already hit a peak in its coal consumption, which would be a shocking development considering the country was aiming to hit its peak no later than 2020.
With the world’s largest coal consumers trying to rid themselves of the dirty fuel, it appears that there is little room to maneuver for coal producers. The industry is in structural decline, and 2015 may be the year in which it all starts to fall apart.
China continues to ratchet down its coal use, achieving an 8 percent reduction in consumption between January and April of this year, over the same period in 2014.
In the US, 2015 will also be a dark one for coal. An estimated 13 gigawatts of coal-fired power plants are expected to be shuttered by December, as strict pollution controls kick in. The Mercury Air Toxic Standards (MATS) required plants to upgrade pollution controls.
For some, the costs of upgrading don’t make sense, so the only alternative is to shut down. Environmental groups like the Sierra Club have fast-tracked this dynamic, assaulting coal plant owners with legal challenges, a story nicely laid out in a Politico article by Michael Grunwald.
In many places across the US, renewable energy is now a cheaper option than coal. The pace of retirement will only accelerate in the coming years – pending regulations on carbon emissions would slash the number of coal plants by one-third by 2025.
To be sure, a lot of those plants are older, smaller, and are not run at full capacity, but they make up a huge loss for the coal industry. Fewer power plants burning coal means less demand for coal from miners.
But it gets worse. Not only is coal starting to lose the economic argument, but it is losing the moral one as well. In early May the Church of England announced that it would divest its assets from coal. And on May 27, the divestment campaign claimed an even larger victory in Norway.
Representing the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund – over $890 billion in assets – the Norwegian government came to an agreement to divest its holdings from coal companies. Having already announced that it would pull out from pure-play coal operators, the latest agreement would go farther. The agreement would block investment in any company that operates in multiple sectors, but receives more than 30 percent of its revenues from coal or in utilities that generate more than 30 percent of their electricity from coal.
With much of the world quickly shifting away from coal, there are few avenues for coal mining companies to turn to. The US market was already shrinking, but with customers in Asia no longer hungry for coal, the clock is beginning to run out. Bankruptcies are starting to hit the US coal industry. Patriot Coal just filed for bankruptcy for the second time. Arch Coal, which accounts for 13 percent of the US coal supply, is reportedly in restructuring talks over its debt. And due to its share price falling well below $1 per share, Arch received notice from the New York Stock Exchange that it may be delisted.
More announcements like that one are almost certainly in the works. The coal industry has had a painful few years, but 2015 could be its worst yet


Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/2015-is-shaping-up-to-be-an-awful-year-for-the-coal-industry-2015-5?

Indian Oil shifts focus to expanding natural gas business

May 31:

petorl-1.jpg
IOC’s expansion move aims to cut its dependence on coal and oil
Indian Oil Corp (IOC), the country's biggest refiner, is expanding its natural gas business as the south Asian nation, the world's third-largest carbon emitter, aims to cut its dependence on coal and oil.
Thirteen of the world's 20 dirtiest cities are in India, with New Delhi taking top spot, a report by the World Health Organisation said last year.
As part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "Clean India Mission", the country last year launched an air quality index to help citizens understand complex pollution data and its implications for their health.
"Gas is certainly seen as the fuel of future with so much emphasis on environment ... we would like to play an active role in terms of providing customers with the choice of the fuel they want," B. Ashok, IOC chairman, told a news conference.
IOC is the country's biggest fuel retailer, meeting 46.7 per cent of India's fuel demand through its 24,400 fuel stations.
India, the world's fourth-biggest oil consumer, is expanding its gas import infrastructure to increase usage of the cleaner fuel and raise its share in the country's overall energy mix from the current 8 per cent.
IOC already supplies compressed natural gas (CNG), widely used in urban public transit, through its 160 stations, Ashok said, adding the facility would be installed in fuel pumps in cities that need to use gas for public transport.
"Probably we will make sure to have provisions for CNG sales at our new retail outlets," he said. IOC aims to add about 1,000 fuel stations in the current fiscal year.
It recently made its first purchase of spot liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Excelerate Energy for delivery in June. It already markets some of the gas imported at Petronet LNG's Dahej terminal in western India.
IOC has signed a deal to buy 3 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) of gas from the planned 5-mtpa Dhamra LNG plant in the country's east coast, he said.
It has also signed a deal with Japan's Mitsubishi Corp to buy 0.7 mtpa of LNG from the Cameron LNG plant in Louisiana under a 20-year deal, with supplies beginning in early 2018 for IOC's planned 5 mtpa Ennore plant in eastern India.
IOC will also lift 1.2 mtpa LNG for 20 years from Petronas' British Columbia project in which it has a 10 percent stake. Deliveries under this deal are expected to begin in 2020.

Source: http://www.asianage.com/business/indian-oil-shifts-focus-expanding-natural-gas-business-771?

Volvo Ocean Race: Team Vestas Wind Return To The Water In Portugal

May 31:

Volvo Ocean Race: Team Vestas Wind Return To The Water In Portugal
#VOR - Team Vestas Wind have passed their biggest test yet in their quest to rejoin the Volvo Ocean Race in time for the eighth leg from Lisbon to Lorient.
As Jonno Turner writes for the official VOR website, crowds lined the waterfront at the Lisbon Race Village yesterday (Saturday 30 May) to see the team take their rebuilt yacht on the water for the first time since running aground in the Indian Ocean last November.
“It’s a massive hurdle to have overcome. It’s something we don’t have to think back to anymore, it’s about enjoying the future," said shore manager Neil Cox.
And what that future holds is shaking up what's been a highly competitive six-boat race since the start of the year. Here's looking forward to Irish journalist Brian Carlin's onboard reports

Source: http://afloat.ie/sail/events/volvo-ocean-race/item/28867-volvo-ocean-race-team-vestas-wind-return-to-the-water-in-portugal?

Petrol, Diesel Up 10 Sen/Litre

May 31:

KUALA LUMPUR, May 31 (Bernama) -- The retail price of RON95 and RON97 petrol and diesel will be increased by 10 sen per litre with effect from midnight tonight, Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Seri Hasan Malek announced Sunday.

The new price of RON95 is RM2.05/litre, RON97 (RM2.35.litre) and diesel (RM2.05/litre).

"The price will take effect from 12.01 am on June 1," he said when contacted by Bernama.

Source: http://www.bernama.com/bernama/v8/ge/newsgeneral.php?id=1139839

Iran developing oil fields regardless of sanctions

May 31:

Tehran, May 31, IRNA – Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zangeneh has hailed Iran's “growing oil industry” and said the Islamic Republic is developing its oil fields regardless of whether the unfair economic sanctions imposed by the West are lifted or not.

“Currently, the (Iranian) oil fields are developing with reliance on the domestic capacity and (efforts) to provide the conditions for foreign investment,” Zangeneh told the Tasnim News Agency.

“It is unfair to say that Iran's oil industry has come to a standstill in anticipation of the removal of the sanctions,” he noted.

The Iranian oil minister said although the removal of the “unfair” sanctions is welcomed, the development of oil fields has not slowed down for the hope of the termination of anti-Iran sanctions.

He further emphasized that numerous foreign companies are looking forward to a change in international conditions to actively participate in Iran’s oil market.

While talks between Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany) for a comprehensive deal on Tehran's peaceful nuclear program are near the final stages, more foreign companies are impatient to seize the opportunity of investing in Iran's lucrative market as soon as the sanctions are terminated.

Source: http://www.irna.ir/en/News/81629270/?

India douses century-old coal fires as PM Modi seeks output boost

May 30:


Prime Minister Narendra Modi is determined to move more than 100,000 people living near coalfields in eastern India to new homes, making it easier to douse underground fires that have burned for a century and mine huge reserves of premium coal.
Reviving output from India's nationalised coal sector has been one of Modi's most tangible achievements during his first year in office, one that he hopes will secure continuous power to all and eat into an annual coal import bill of $15 billion.
The burning deposits of Jharia, in Jharkhand state, are particularly prized because they are the only source of top quality steelmaking coal in the country. India spends $4 billion a year on importing that grade alone.
Modi travelled to Jharkhand in February and urged the chief minister to speed up work on putting out the fires and shifting the people living there.
ADVERTISING
"The fact that the prime minister is directly involved shows that the government is very serious about it," Coal Secretary Anil Swarup said in New Delhi. "It's a huge task but the good news is that we have started moving in the right direction."
For some of the thousands living in run-down settlements around the coal deposits, the urgency is clear.
Shakili Devi, 60, has lost count of the number of huts she inhabited over the years that caved in because of intense heat and shifting ground around her.
Reuters
Reuters
"We're scared, but what can we do?," she asked, her shack standing next to a crack in the ground leaking hot gas. "We can only wait for the government to find us a new home."
Until then, Devi and others like her are stuck. Many families are squatters who rely on casual work from contractors working the mines and on free water pumped to the settlements.
BACKFILLING AND BOOTLEGGERS
The glowing coals and rising smoke date back to 1916, a quarter of a century after private firms began to mine the field. India nationalised most coal assets in the 1970s.
According to experts, those firms failed to backfill mines after digging, exposing them to the open air and allowing fires to start by spontaneous combustion.
Bootleggers who used abandoned mine areas made things worse, because some failed to put out fires they lit to run the stills.
Bharat Coking Coal Ltd (BCCL), the Coal India unit which controls the Jharia field, estimates fires have already devoured about 37 million tonnes of coal and blocked access to 2 billion tonnes more, theoretically worth $220 billion.
BCCL accounts for about 7 percent of Coal India's output and has projected growth of 54 percent to 53 million tonnes in five years, according to a company document seen by Reuters.
Its success will help decide how close Coal India gets to its ambitious target of output of 1 billion tonnes by 2019/20.
Previous attempts to control the fires by sealing the surface, trenching and pumping in inert gases had limited success and were blamed for driving BCCL close to bankruptcy.
After 2008, the company tried instead to dig deeper and wider to remove burning coal. Though more effective, this method has been criticised for scarring the landscape.
The coal that heats up to 800 degrees Celsius is then cooled by water overground and the stones are deposited around the mines, creating heaps that take almost two years to cool off.
The new method has helped cut the burning area to 2.2 square km in April 2014 from over 9 square km six years ago, according to satellite analysis by the state-run National Remote Sensing Centre.
"We are keeping our fingers crossed, but the fire could again get out of control," said Swarup.
WHERE IS MY HOUSE?
Part-time tutor Arjun Ram, whose father retired from BCCL, lives in a settlement near a hill radiating intense heat.
Three years ago the Jharia Rehabilitation and Development Authority (JRDA) identified Ram as one of about 50,000 people who should be moved but has yet to provide him a home. The number of people looking for a house has doubled since.
JRDA managing director Kripa Nand Jha said the delay in building new quarters was partly due to "confusion" over compensation to be paid under a 2013 land acquisition act.
He said both the central and state governments, run by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), have agreed to buy land at four times market prices instead of the going rate as in the past. There is also a proposal to pay up to seven times in urgent cases and offer jobs to some.
Over recent months, about 1,000 families have moved to two-bedroom flats away from the mines and hundreds of acres of land have been bought for more houses, Jha said. Costs are likely to jump from an estimate of $1 billion.
But to some, progress seems a long way off.
"If this is what my fate is, I will die here," said Ram to nods of agreement from the people pouring out on to the street as darkness fell.
Reuters

Source: http://www.firstpost.com/business/india-douses-century-old-coal-fires-pm-modi-seeks-output-boost-2271648.html

Hanwha to build 1.5GW solar plant in Jincheon

May 30:



The nation's leading solar cell maker Hanwha Q Cells Korea will build a 1.5 gigawatt (GW) solar cell plant in Jincheon, while recently merged Hanwha Q Cells will double production of its current 250 megawatt (MW) modules at its plant in Eumseong, North Chungcheong Province, Hanwha Group said Sunday.

The company will invest 350 billion won in the solar cell plant, which will be completed within this year; and 10 billion won in the solar module plant, scheduled to be completed in September.

The group said that the expansion was aimed at meeting increasing demand for cells and modules in the downstream solar energy market as well as preparing for additional orders following a recent large-scale order it received from the United States.

Hanwah Q Cells closed a deal with U.S. power company NextEra Energy in April to supply 1.5 GW modules from the fourth quarter until the end of 2016.

"By having new facilities we have ensured a stable supply NextEra Energy. And it also means we are prepared for the solar energy era," a company official said.

Also, the new plants are expected to play a pivotal role in a Hanwha-driven project to build solar power hub in South Chungcheong Province. 

The group forecast the two plants will hire an additional 950 people in the region, contributing to the revitalization of the sagging local economy


Source: http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/biz/2015/05/123_179913.html

Gas pipeline in Sinai bombed - police sources

May 30:

A fire is seen on a gas pipeline in the Massaeed area west of the Mediterranean coastal town of al-Arish, North of Sinai, February 5, 2012. REUTERS/Stringer
CAIRO, Mar 31 (Aswat Masriya) - A natural gas pipeline in the area west of al-Arish city in Sinai was bombed in the early hours of Sunday, police sources said.
Eyewitness said they saw fire rising several meters into the sky. 
The bombing is a repetition of what has become a common occurrence since the January 2011 uprising which toppled former president Hosni Mubarak.
This is the 29th time the pipeline has been bombed since, police sources told Aswat Masriya. 
They added that explosion was the result of an explosive device placed by unknown assailants beneath the pipeline, which fed houses and the Arish steam station. 
Gas supply to the pipeline was cut off to prevent the fire from spreading or having an impact on other pipelines.

Source: http://en.aswatmasriya.com/news/view.aspx?id=1ab81134-c3be-41b4-9138-a7948e0cdaed

LNG to be available for 18 to 20 days in a month

May 31:

Sunday, May 31, 2015 - Lahore—All Pakistan CNG Association (APCNGA) Central Chairman, Ghayas Abdullah Piracha has said that Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) will be available at CNG stations for almost 18 to 20 days in a month. Talking to media here Saturday, he said that according to the schedule issued by the government, the LNG would be available at CNG stations till June 6 while the next schedule of LNG availability would be issued in next month.

To a question regarding closed CNG stations in the city, he said that stations’ owners have finalized all arrangements to ensure the supply of LNG to motorists but the stations’ reopening process was delayed as the government’s teams have not visited the stations yet to install gas meters. He said that reopening of CNG stations by the federal government would revive the waning CNG industry worth Rs 450 billion, which could also help stabilize the country’s economy.

Ghayas said that with the use of LNG by the CNG sector, about two billion liters of petrol could be saved annually; adding that price of LNG was fixed at Rs 57 per liter as it was still very much cheaper fuel than petrol. He said that reopening would help thousands of people to get jobs while millions would benefit from affordable transportation and it would also improve environment and reduce inflation in the country.

The APCNGA leader thanked Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi for his special support enabling the CNG stations owners to reopen their stations after 7-month in Punjab. He hoped that all issues would be settle down with mutual cooperation.


Source:  http://pakobserver.net/detailnews.asp?id=265188

Saturday, May 30, 2015

OPEC under siege as ISIS threatens world's oil lifeline

May 30:

(London Telegraph) Thick black smoke rising from the Baiji oil refinery could be seen as a dirty smudge on the horizon as far away as Baghdad after fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) set fire to the enormous processing plant just over 100 miles north of the capital last week.
The decision to torch the refinery, which once produced around a third of Iraq’s domestic fuel supplies, was made as the insurgents prepared to pull out of Baiji, which they captured last June in a victory that sent shock waves across world oil markets.
A year on from the start of the siege and a shaky alliance of the Middle East’s major Arab powers, with the limited support of the reluctant US government, has failed to contain the expansion of Isil.

Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2015/05/opec-under-siege-as-isis-threatens-worlds-oil-lifeline/#h5HLCpAd4OZuBVi3.99


Source: http://www.wnd.com/2015/05/opec-under-siege-as-isis-threatens-worlds-oil-lifeline/?

Ahmedabad airport plans to go on solar power mode

May 31:

Mahesh Trivedi / 31 May 2015

The AAI will, besides solar panels, also put in LED lights, solar-powered street lights, and five-star rating energy appliances and conduct periodic energy audits. 


Ahmedabad — Even as the Airports Authority of India (AAI) has again extended the deadline for private players for submitting bids for control of Ahmedabad and three other airports, it has decided to install solar panels on the roof of both domestic and international terminals at Ahmedabad airport.
In line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s thrust on solar power, the AAI will, besides solar panels, also put in LED lights, solar-powered street lights, and five-star rating energy appliances and conduct periodic energy audits. “The measures will bring down operational expenses and save on power costs in a bid to save six per cent energy this year,” said a senior AAI official.
Indeed, the government-run airports operator will initiate energy-saving campaigns at a few airports in the country, including Ahmedabad, which consumes 25,500 megawatt a year, costing around Rs210 million. Lights on runway have already been replaced with LED lights for energy saving, and soon, solar panels will be installed on the top of roofs of both the terminals. The capacity of these solar panels will be of 700KW which will be used to fulfill the needs of lighting.

The AAI also runs maintenance programme to save electricity by shutting down lesser-needed air-conditioners at international terminal during the day when there is least flight movement.


Source: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/biz/inside.asp?xfile=/data/internationbusiness/2015/May/internationbusiness_May77.xml&section=internationbusiness

Gasoline prices rise in Kazakhstan

May 30:

AI-92 gasoline prices caps in Kazakhstan have risen to 108 tenge per liter,Tengrinews reports. The corresponding document was published by the Ministry of Energy of Kazakhstan.
This is 9 tenge more expensive than the previously set cap of 99 tenge. The current order is dated May 19, 2015 and is effective in accordance with the law of Kazakhstan “On state regulation of production and turnover of certain types of petroleum products” that allows the Kazakh government to set price caps on retail prices of petroleum products in Kazakhstan.
Including VAT, the prices were set as follows: diesel fuel - 99 tenge per liter, AI-80 - 89 tenge per liter, AI-92/93 - 108 tenge per liter. The prices of AI-80 gasoline and diesel fuel remained unchanged.
The previous state order dating 10 February 2015 was followed by expert predictions of a further decrease in the gasoline prices. Prior to that, the price of AI-92 was 109 tenge, and even earlier - 115 tenge per liter.
According to the head of the Oil Development Department of the Ministry of Energy Kuandyk Kalmurzin, the prices on gasoline rose because of the rise in the global oil prices.
"The reason is simple: the legislation sets forth the formula known to any interested person. (…) It is all tied to the world oil prices," he said at a press conference in Astana.
"If the global prices go down and fall below $60 per barrel, then, based on the formula, the gasoline prices will be lowered, too. There is no danger in that, we only welcome the fact that we live in the legal field and act according to the laws of the Republic of Kazakhstan," he said.
At the same time, the ministry stressed that the new caps did not meant that retail prices had to immediately go up to 108 tenge. "This does not mean that the state forces everyone to set the price to 108 tenge. (…) But one has no right to exceed the level of 108 tenge per liter," he said.
Reporting by Renat Tashkinbayev, writing by Dinara Urazova, editing by Tatyana Kuzmina

Source: http://en.tengrinews.kz/markets/Gasoline-prices-rise-in-Kazakhstan-260500/?

Thursday, May 28, 2015

GE to test electrical conversion system for Paimpol- Bréhat tidal power project

May 28:

GE Power Conversion is preparing to install an electrical conversion system for the Paimpol- Bréhat tidal power project of the coast of Brittany, France.
Scheduled to be commissioned by the end of this year, the Electricité de France (EDF)-led Paimpol-Bréhat tidal energy project will feature two OpenHydro-built 16m turbines to produce electricity by exploiting predictable power of ocean tides. The turbines will be connected to a common subsea converter.

The generated low voltage alternating current will be converted to HVDC using GE's MV3000 modules to provide 1MW of electricity, which will be transferred to onshore substation and feed into the electricity grid.

GE is responsible for the construction the onshore station and subsea converter with an option to be connected to two additional turbines.

GE Power Conversion project director Frédéric Navarro said: "While 1MW power output transmitted over 16km distance seems modest, GE's engineering design for this project sets the foundation for future applications with higher power and longer distance transmission."

Source: http://www.energy-business-review.com/news/ge-to-test-electrical-conversion-system-for-paimpol--brhat-tidal-power-project-280915-4588164?