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What Bitcoin And Solar Have In Common
by Zainab Calcuttawala
20 Jul 2017 at 2:57pm
Bitcoins do not magically appear out of nowhere. Each one is ?mined? in a blockchain process that eats enough electricity to power an American household for 1.57 days. This process is what gives the coins their value. The work involved in the creation of the smart contracts gives cryptocurrencies the authority to be used to buy items ? a privilege ordinarily left to governments and treasuries. If bitcoins are the currency of the future, its miners must consume electricity that does not overthrow the global carbon budget. This?

Is Big Oil Betting On The Wrong Horse?
by Tsvetana Paraskova
20 Jul 2017 at 1:24pm
Many oil majors have steered their strategies and investments into natural gas, aiming to seize the projected global gas demand growth as the world shifts away from coal-fired power generation. Oil and gas supermajors are pitching natural gas as the ?bridge fuel? between coal and renewables, with the value proposition that even if it?s a fossil fuel, natural gas burns cleaner than coal and allows for stable power supply until storage solutions paves the way for renewables to become less intermittent. However, the cost of?

Natural Gas Prices Up Slighting After Lower Than Expected Storage Build
by Tsvetana Paraskova
20 Jul 2017 at 12:36pm
Working gas in underground storage in the Lower 48 states increased by 28 billion cubic feet (Bcf) in the week to July 14, the EIA said on Thursday, but the build was less than analysts had expected, sending natural gas prices higher. At 12:54pm on Thursday, natural gas futures for delivery in August were up 0.59 percent at US$3.084/MMBtu. Analysts had expected a build of 32 billion Bcf. As of July 14, working gas in storage was 2,973 Bcf, the EIA has estimated. At the end of last week, stocks were 299 Bcf less than this time last year and?

South Korea To Ease Oil Terminal Rules In Bid To Become Trading Hub
by Tsvetana Paraskova
20 Jul 2017 at 12:31pm
South Korea is set to ease restrictions for international oil traders to blend fuels at the country?s oil storage terminals in its attempt to become a trading hub in Northeast Asia, which could potentially pose a challenge to the established oil hub in Singapore. Earlier this year, the government passed legislation that would allow international oil trading companies to blend fuels as per client specifications at the oil storage terminals. So far fuel blending at the terminals was only allowed for domestic refiners. Even though the South?

The Abrupt Demise Of Dutch Gas
by Viktor Katona
20 Jul 2017 at 12:19pm
The largest and oldest-producing gas field in Western Europe, the Groningen field, is on the verge of being shut down. If that happens, it will entail the tumbling of Netherlands' indigenous gas production, making it a net gas importer. This is a bitter pill to swallow for producers in the Netherlands, EU?s leading gas producer up to now, given that the Dutch led the world in the 1970s in natural gas exports volumes (the ramp-up in exports was so massive that the Dutch government implemented export caps to put some freeze on it). For Dutch?

Aramco May Have To Buy Out $1 Billion Refinery Partner
by Irina Slav
20 Jul 2017 at 12:06pm
Saudi Aramco may have to buy out its 30-percent partner in Saudi Aramco Base Oil Co, Jadwa Investment Co., as the latter is seeking to exit the venture, sources close to the matter told Bloomberg. Alternatively, the state Saudi oil company might try to find another partner for the refining business. Jadwa Investment is a Riyadh-based private equity company, and its interest in the refining business, commonly known as Luberef, could be worth about US$1 billion, the sources said. The company bought the 30 percent in the refinery operator from Exxon?

BP Reportedly Approached Potential Buyers Of Some North Sea Assets
by Tsvetana Paraskova
20 Jul 2017 at 11:05am
BP has contacted possible buyers of oil and gas assets that it holds in the North Sea, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter, but BP told the Journal that it stays committed to the UK North Sea. ?At the minute, there?s been initial conversations,? one of the people told the Journal, while some of the sources said that conversations did not exclude any BP asset in the North Sea. Possible buyers include private equity firms, the Journal?s sources said. BP said that it remained?

Why Oil Prices Can?t Gain Traction
by Ag Metal Miner
20 Jul 2017 at 10:59am
Despite U.S. oil stocks falling 7.6 million barrels, the biggest drop since September, a recent Financial Times article reports, quoting U.S. Energy Information Administration data, thatthe oil price is struggling to get back to $48 per barrel, let alone the heady heights above $50 it achieved in May. U.S. refineries are running flat out to meet summer demand, drawing down on U.S. stocks ? but still, the price is not responding. Meanwhile U.S. exports are booming. Rather than being constrained by OPEC cuts, global production is rising.?

U.S. Fines Exxon For Violating Russia Sanctions Under Tillerson
by Tsvetana Paraskova
20 Jul 2017 at 9:31am
The U.S. Department of the Treasury said on Thursday that it is imposing a US$2-million civil monetary penalty against ExxonMobil and some of its subsidiaries for having breached Ukraine-related sanctions on Russia in May 2014. ?Between on or about May 14, 2014 and on or about May 23, 2014, ExxonMobil violated 589.201 of the Ukraine-Related Sanctions Regulations when the presidents of its U.S. subsidiaries dealt in services of an individual whose property and interests in property were blocked, namely, by signing eight legal?

New Solar Tech Produces 50% More Energy Than Silicon Cells
20 Jul 2017 at 8:34am
Researchers have created a concentrating photovoltaic (CPV) system with embedded microtracking that is capable of producing 50 percent more energy per day than the standard silicon solar cells. ?Solar cells used to be expensive, but now they?re getting really cheap,? says Chris Giebink, an assistant professor of electrical engineering at Penn State. ?As a result, the solar cell is no longer the dominant cost of the energy it produces. The majority of the cost increasingly lies in everything else?the inverter, installation?

Brazil Seeks To Lure Oil Investors With Lower Royalties
by Irina Slav
20 Jul 2017 at 8:29am
Brazil?s oil industry regulator ANP has released the model contract for the next round of oil bids, seeking to motivate bidders with lower royalties and the removal of local content as a required part of the bid. The latter was a big problem for oil companies, but for the local government, it was a way to ensure that oil investments benefit local employment prospects. Now, local content requirements will come into play after an offer is approved and will be more flexible than before. For onshore blocks, for example, the local content requirement?

Settling The Ukrainian Gas War
by Viktor Katona
20 Jul 2017 at 7:35am
The conflict between Ukraine and Russia has taken on many facets, of which the energy-related ones are seemingly the easiest ones to solve. As Kiev and Moscow are exploring the limits of arbitration, it seems that all the necessary prerequisites and conditions for a potential settlement are present. It has to be said that such a dispute adjustment faces numerous obstacles, with political headwinds dominating not only the two nations? energy discourse, but also its coverage in the media. If one is to avoid the temptation to have recourse to?

Investments In Nigerian Oil Played Part In Becker?s Bankruptcy
by Irina Slav
20 Jul 2017 at 7:11am
Unsuccessful investments in the Nigerian oil industry may have had a part to play in tennis legend Boris Becker?s recent bankruptcy, according to documents from the sports whistleblowing website Football Leaks, cited by German magazine Der Spiegel. The Telegraph quotes Spiegel as reporting that at one point in time, Becker considered a single investment of over US$10 million in the Nigerian oil industry. However, Spiegel does not say whether the investment was indeed made and if yes, whether it was successful. Other documents, however, including?

How To Profit From Canada?s $22 Billion Marijuana Boom
by Charles Kennedy
19 Jul 2017 at 4:51pm
Colorado was the first U.S. state to set up a booming legal marijuana industry a few years ago, inspiring other states to follow suit. Bit by bit, the dominoes are starting to fall and marijuana is slowly becoming more available across the country. However, the federal government is once again hostile to marijuana ? with Attorney General Jeff Sessions a particularly fierce opponent of legalization ? raising questions about what comes next. But America?s northern neighbor does not have that problem. The Canadian government is moving?

Indian Cabinet Backs Plan To Create State Oil Giant
by Zainab Calcuttawala
19 Jul 2017 at 3:32pm
State refiner Hindustan Petroleum Corp. will be allowed to sell a $4.6 billion stake of itself to India?s largest fossil fuel explorer and producer, according to a new report by Bloomberg. Crude price volatility in the past three years has seriously hurt the bottom lines of Indian oil firms, which have not been able to compete with multinationals such as Total and Royal Dutch Shell due to scale issues. Oil and National Gas Corp. (ONGC) is expanding its upstream and downstream capacities to become an international fossil fuel player by mitigating?

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