• Nigeria depends on oil for more than 90 percent of its export revenue and more than 80% of its government revenue. According to government figures, this year attacks on oil installations have reduced the nation’s output to about 1.7 million barrels a day, from about 2.6 million in 2005. Some experts believe the actual figure is much lower. (9/19, #4)
  • Nigerian militants announced they will extend a cease-fire by one month, holding off on attacks on oil installations and kidnapping foreigners, but warned that the government must address the group’s grievances. (9/17, #10)
  • In Azerbaijan, the consortium led by BP that operates the Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli block in the Caspian Sea, produced 1.01 million b/d in the first eight months of the year, up 8.0% over last year. (9/18, #5)
  • Colombia’s crude oil production likely will rise to 700,000 b/d by the end of the year, the CEO of state-controlled oil company Ecopetrol said Monday. As of July, crude oil output rose to an average 657,000 b/d from 588,000 b/d one year earlier. (9/15, #11)
  • Libya plans to invest 12.1 billion dinars ($9.92 billion) in the development of 24 wells in fields it calls “technically, financially, and economically proven.” The investment will be undertaken by Libya’s state-owned National Oil Corp (NOC), its subsidiaries, and current foreign partners. (9/17, #8)
  • Venezuela’s PDVSa and the Consorcio Nacional Petrolero, a joint venture of five Russian oil companies, signed an agreement to develop the Junin 6 heavy crude block. The companies expect to produce 400,000 to 450,000 barrels per day. (9/14, #9)
  • Venezuelan President Chavez said China will invest $16 billion to boost oil production in the country, as part of a strategy to reduce dependence on the US and strengthen oil ties with other nations. (9/17, #11)
  • The good news is that BP just found a massive new oil field in the Gulf of Mexico. Tapping the Tiber (will be) a phenomenal technological feat. So what’s the bad news? That BP had to go to such extreme lengths to find new oil shows how difficult it is to replace fields being sucked dry. (9/14, #16)
  • Total said their oilfield decline rate now is projected at 5 percent a year, faster than a previous estimate made in February of 4 percent. However, they expect new production coming on stream next year to fill the gap. Spending plans for this year are $18 billion. (9/16, #18)v 
  • The Mexican government has proposed hiking income and consumption taxes in 2010 to offset lower revenues from crude exports as output from Mexico’s state-run oil industry is expected to remain weak. (9/16, #10)
  • Russia’s near 50 percent oil production increase since the year 2000 took a lot of heavy lifting. And it’s concerning that this very fast growth rate has now topped out…North American production is in decline. As the price of oil went from $31.08 in 2003 to the 2008 average of $99.67, North American crude oil production lost over a million b/d. (9/14, #4)
  • BHP Billington remains uncertain about short-term demand for commodities because of the lingering impact of the global financial crisis. But it is in no doubt about the longer term, predicting looming global shortages in energy and copper as the industrialization and urbanization of China and India pick up pace. (9/17, #11)
  • The rising cost of gasoline pushed overall US consumer prices higher in August even as prices for most other goods and services remained in check, the government reported on Wednesday. (9/17, #15)
  • When oil was trading at around $40 a barrel last December, Russia embarked on a charm offensive towards OPEC. It pledged to go along with the cartel’s plans to cut oil production with a view to shoring up prices. Less than a year later, Russia has instead supplanted Saudi Arabia as the world’s top oil exporter and is selling all the oil it can to take advantage of prices at $70 a barrel. OPEC members understandably aren’t amused. (9/15, #23)
  • The four interrelated draft bills aimed at modernizing Iraq’s oil sector will likely continue their three-year limbo until after the January national elections, when a new government is formed and a new Parliament seated. (9/16, #7)
  • Pakistani police say they thwarted an attack on an oil terminal in the southern city of Karachi and are investigating whether it was carried out by Taliban militants. (9/15, #6)
  • Repsol, the Spanish oil company that announced one of the world’s largest natural-gas discoveries in Venezuela last week, said the field will take as many as five years to be developed. The find is apparently twice as large as previously expected. (9/15, #10)
  • Europe faces the risk of another gas crisis this winter, a senior International Energy Agency official said, adding however that the danger should not be exaggerated.(9/17, #19)
  • Total SA’s Victoria, considered Norway’s biggest undeveloped natural gas find, may hold less fuel than originally estimated, possibly delaying development of areas in the Norwegian Sea, the Petroleum Directorate said. (9/17, #20)
  • PetroChina may double natural gas supplies to Beijing in six years as the Chinese capital city increases use of the fuel to cut pollution and boost energy efficiency. (9/16, #12)
  • Depressed natural gas prices could stymie new wind farms and bolster efforts to expand the use of the fuel – at least until policymakers mandate a wider role for renewable energy sources in power generation. (9/16, #20)
  • The Gorgon liquefied natural gas project in Western Australia state will come with a US $37.1 billion price tag, operator Chevron Corp. said after its partners Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell signed off on the development as expected. Initial work will begin immediately and the team aims to ship first gas by 2014. LNG sales to China, India and Japan in its first 20 years are projected at $258 billion. (9/15, #15, #16)
  • The US natural gas drilling rig count has gained in eight of the last nine weeks but is still down sharply since peaking above 1,600 in September last year, standing at 884 rigs, or 56 percent, below the same week last year. (9/19, #10)
  • The total adverse economic impact on Texas alone from the Obama administration’s proposed oil and gas changes would be about $20 billion over the next 4 years, a study by the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers said. (9/15, #21)
  • Global banks are engaged in a hiring boom for commodity traders as they add staff to benefit from surging metals and energy prices, offering $1 million packages for top employees. (9/14, #3)
  • Japan Airlines is prepared to undergo its largest-ever downsizing, cutting up to 6,800 jobs and many of its routes. (9/15, #19)
  • IHS Global Insight projects Chrysler’s September sales will fall 30 percent from September 2008, compared with a 19 percent slide industry wide. Meanwhile, Toyota, which also has low inventories, is expected to see US sales drop 15%. (9/15, #22)
  • Today’s solar cells lose much of the energy in light to heat. Now researchers at Cornell University have made a photovoltaic cell out of a single carbon nanotube that can take advantage of more of the energy in light than conventional photovoltaics. (9/15, #26)
  • Iraq’s parliament held an initial discussion yesterday of a bill that would impose a 35 percent income tax on foreign oil and gas firms working in Iraq. (9/14, #5)
  • The Chinese government’s investment arm is in talks on taking a minority stake in Virginia-based power-plant developer AES Corp. (9/14, #11)
  • China’s economy will be able to achieve the 8 percent GDP growth this year as set by the central government, although there are still difficulties ahead, a senior economist said Saturday. (9/19, #6)
  • A new study, “Estimating US Government Subsidies to Energy Sources: 2002-2008”, found that fossil fuels benefited from approximately $72 billion over the seven-year period, while subsidies for renewable fuels totaled $29 billion. More than half the subsidies for renewables—$16.8 billion—are attributable to corn-based ethanol (9/19, #11) [Editor’s note: no mention of subsidies per mmBtu supplied, which might be useful.]
  • Just before the start of the Frankfurt Auto Show, Toyota announced that after three years of secretly testing Priuses with lithium-ion batteries, it has reached the conclusion that it remained to be convinced that they made sense in terms of durability and cost, both inter-related. (9/17, #24)
  • Company costs and consumer gas and electric prices will increase if Congress imposes higher capital and margin requirements on hedging as part of legislation meant to rein in over-the-counter derivatives, industry leaders said. (9/18, #8)
  • Algae for fuel can be harvested at greater yields than many other potential biofuel crops. Algae is being eyed because it can thrive in difficult environments such as salty or polluted water or in the desert, freeing up valuable agricultural spacer. Algae-generated oil currently costs $20 – $30 a gallon to produce, with some estimates soaring to $60. Conventional gasoline costs less than $5 a gallon. (9/18, #14)
  • Offshore wind may provide as much as 17 percent of European Union electricity demand by 2030, surging from almost nothing now as the bloc promotes renewable energy, an industry group said. (9/21, #18)
  • A final proposal for new US fuel economy standards was unveiled in a joint announcement by the Department of Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency. The regulation requires all passenger cars and light trucks sold in the United States to get an overall average of 35.5 miles per gallon by model year 2016. (9/16, #13)