• In Russia, Anatoly Dmitrievsky, director of the Institute of Oil and Gas Problems (Russian Academy of Sciences), said $280 billion of investment into the development of global oil reserves has been postponed due to the global financial crisis. More than a year ago, Leonid Fedun, vice president of Lukoil, said that Russia would never produce as much oil as in 2007 – almost 10million b/d– and would be able to maintain a production level of 8.5-9 million b/d for the next 20 years only given billions of investment in exploration. (8/29, #12) Russia still plans to invest up to $1.9 trillion in its energy sector by 2030 in a drive to boost stagnating oil and gas output, government sources said Wednesday. (8/26, #17)
  • A pipeline set to join China’s energy demand with Russia’s oil supply will spur production and spark refinery construction and could greatly reduce Beijing’s need for crude from elsewhere. (8/25, #6)
  • The Nigerian government says oil production has risen to 1.7 million b/d from 1.2 million following an improvement in security in the oil-producing Niger Delta region. That’s still down from a peak of about 2.5 million b/d during second half of 2005. The government credits an amnesty program for less violence and more production. (8/27, #4)
  • The MEND, the main armed group in Nigeria’s oil region, said it suspended peace talks with the government and may resume attacks on oil infrastructure on September 15th. The group is opting out of an amnesty program because the government expects disarmament without the real issues being addressed. (8/25, #10)
  • Brazil’s government is set to unveil a sweeping reform of regulations covering the oil and natural gas industries, likely sparking a political fight that will reverberate for generations. The regulatory framework will delineate how recently discovered offshore oil deposits—subsalt fields such as the multi-billion-barrel Tupi—should be developed, who will develop them and who will reap the rewards. Some proposals could leave foreign oil companies with a small share of the ultra-deepwater treasure.(8/29, #4)
  • In Libya, initial enthusiasm that accompanied its first rounds of oil licensing — held soon after international sanctions were lifted in 2004 — has worn off, a casualty of arbitrary laws, draconian contractual terms and Byzantine bureaucracy. Libya has the largest proven oil reserves of any African country, with 43.7 billion barrels (BP data). (8/28, #5)
  • In Uganda, the energy ministry said petroleum resources in the Lake Albertine Graben are about two billion barrels. Only 30% of exploration activities in the oil-potential area of western Uganda have been completed, with 32 of 34 wells hitting oil and gas. Ministry speculates that proved reserves might eventually reach 6 billion barrels. (8/28, #6)
  • The question of American “energy independence” clearly rankles officials in Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest exporter of crude oil, who seem increasingly puzzled by the energy policy of the United States, the world’s biggest oil consumer. (8/26, #4)
  • Iran has discovered a very large in-situ oil reserve of over 8.8 billion barrels in Soussangerd oilfield, Khuzestan province, Oil Minister Gholam-Hossein Nozari announced on Monday. (8/25, #3) But Iran may struggle to put its latest oil field discovery into production due to lack of technology, tougher sanctions. (8/26, #6)
  • In Ecuador, an environmental damages suit filed against the former Texaco is expected to result in a ruling later this year or early in 2010 that will cost Chevron billion-dollar damages. (8/26, #9)
  • Clarification from the IEA about peak oil: their WEO 2008 said in chapter 11 (p. 249) that global conventional oil production will peak around 2020. A recent article incorrectly made it sound that total oil production (including unconventional oil etc.) is going to peak at that time. Taking into consideration gains from unconventional oil, oil peak will be later than 2020, more like around 2030. Also, oil peak can be delayed by improving energy efficiency, therefore consuming less oil and consequently producing less oil. (8/28, #14)
  • Calgary-based Enbridge Inc. faces new legal hurdles for its $3.3-billion Alberta Clipper oil sands pipeline as U.S. environmental groups prepare to launch a legal challenge to the State Department’s permit to proceed. (8/27, #13)
  • Australia approved Chevron’s A$50 billion liquefied natural gas venture on a remote island, adding stricter conditions to quell environmental concerns about the nation’s biggest resources project. Chevron has said the Gorgon project off the northwest shelf may produce its first LNG in 2014. (8/26, #11)
  • The total estimated volume of shale gas in British Columbia is as much as 1,000 trillion cubic feet — enough to supply all of North America for 40 years, although the volume of gas that can be economically extracted is likely to be substantially lower. (8/24, #20)
  • China is to boost its economic ties to the Burmese military government with a $5.6 billion gas project in the Bay of Bengal, to be built by a South Korean and Indian consortium. (8/26, #11)
  • Crude oil has become so expensive compared with natural gas that the record price ratio between them probably won’t last, analysts say. The ratio between them closed at a record 26.4-to-1 last week. The ratio has more than tripled this year amid a 67 percent increase in crude prices, while gas prices have fallen 48 percent. (8/26, #3)
  • In US shale gas plays, efficiency improvements of at least an order of magnitude are needed because field costs will not stay at the levels to which they have dropped since late 2008. Companies must find ways to cut the drilling time of a typical shale well to 7 days from 28. (8/28, #11)
  • A move to regulate hydraulic fracturing by the federal government is the “biggest threat our industry has ever seen in Washington,” Bruce Vincent, vice-chairman of the Independent Petroleum Association of America, said Aug. 26. (8/27, #12)
  • US drilling activity continued to climb, with 14 more rotary rigs returning to work for a total 999 this week, still well below the 2,031 units that were drilling in the same period a year ago, Baker Hughes reported. 699 are drilling for gas, 286 for oil, 14 misc. (8/29, #11)
  • Climate change legislation: 41 percent of Americans in this ABC News/Washington Post poll think proposed changes being developed by Congress and the Obama administration will raise their energy costs. Yet enough of them back those changes to give the effort 57% support among all Americans–higher than support for health care reform, 45%. Support for fossil fuel plants is down, support for nuclear power is up (though with a strong not-in-my-back-yard component) and hopes are reasonably high that a new US energy policy will create jobs and help address global warming. (8/29, #8)
  • China’s top legislature approved a resolution to actively deal with climate change, ahead of an international conference in December in Copenhagen, Denmark. (8/27, #6)
  • Cash for Clunkers program: the average fuel economy of the vehicles traded in was 15.8 mpg and the average fuel economy of vehicles purchased is 24.9 mpg: a 58% improvement. Cars purchased under the program are, on average, 19% above the average fuel economy of all new cars currently available. (8/27, #9)
  • The US Energy Department will award $300 million to a clean cities program to help communities buy alternative fuel vehicles. It will also establish about 500 fueling and recharging stations for the vehicles. (8/27, #10)
  • A 400 billion euro ($774 billion) plan to power Europe with Sahara sunlight is gaining momentum, even as critics see high risks in a large corporate project using young technology in north African countries with weak rule of law…Desertec would need 20 or more efficient, direct-current cables each costing up to $1 billion to transmit electricity to Europe beneath the Mediterranean. (8/26, #16)
  • Chevron Corp is building a solar plant to create the steam that boosts production at an aging California oilfield, a project the company aims to replicate elsewhere. (8/24, #21)