• China boosted crude oil production by 2.3 percent in 2008 while natural-gas output gained 12 percent even as the economy expanded at the slowest pace in seven years. (1/22, #12)
  • Colombia‘s 2008 average crude oil output totaled 588,000 barrels a day, up from 531,000 barrels a day in 2007 as high prices in the first half of the year pushed companies to increase production.  The last time crude production was higher was in 2001, when output for the year hit an average of 604,000 barrels a day.  (1/20, #13)
  • Argentina‘s oil production fell for the seventh straight year in 2008, declining by 1.8% to 230 million barrels. (1/24, #6)
  • With crude dropping below $40 a barrel from a high of around $150 over the summer, oil and gas companies in Texas are cutting back on drilling.  The layoffs are beginning and the boom of the past few years appears to be drawing to a close. (1/22, #15)
  • Persian Gulf oil producers are delaying some of their projects in energy and other sectors to take advantage of a steady decline in construction costs as a result of the global economic crisis. Although state-owned oil companies in the six-nation Gulf Co-operation Council have sufficient cash to fund planned capacity expansions and new hydrocarbon ventures, some of their projects could also be delayed because it will be more difficult for contractors to obtain credit to finance their work. (1/19, #8)
  • Schlumberger announced it would cut as many as 5,000 jobs globally, and warned that the same supply issues that helped send prices for a barrel of oil close to $150 over the summer are still in place. (1/24, #1)
  • Global production of total liquid fuels averaged 86.65 million b/d during 2008 according to the IEA. In 2007 an average of 85.41 million b/d was produced. (1/24, #13) (Editor’s note: we believe it likely that global liquid fuels production will have hit its all-time high during 2008, thanks to a combination of geologic limits, reduced demand and supply destruction associated with low oil prices.)
  • The US EIA’s newly released electric power report for 2007 said net natural gas-fired power generation increased 9.8% from 2006 levels as the gas market’s share of the overall power supply picture rose to 21.6%. (1/23, #3)
  • The governor of Nigeria’s central bank, Chukwuma Soludo, says U.S. President Barack Obama’s plan to reduce dependency on oil imports is a threat to the Nigerian economy. Nigeria is Africa’s largest crude producer and the fifth biggest source of U.S. oil imports. (1/23. #7)
  • Squeezed by low oil prices, OPEC member Ecuador will slash spending on its key oil sector while it seeks foreign investment, President Correa said last week. (1/23, #8)
  • Oil prices won’t rise higher than $100 US a barrel for “a couple of years,” according to Daniel Yergin, chairman of Cambridge Energy Research Associates Inc. (1/23, #11)
  • A proposal issued in the final days of the Bush administration to expand offshore drilling in previously banned areas will move forward under the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama. The preliminary plan would authorize 31 energy exploration lease sales between 2010 and 2015 for tracts along the East coast and off the coasts of Alaska and California. (1/23, #16)
  • Solar power is growing much faster than official institutions and the general public thinks. Long dismissed as a peripheral contributor to the world’s energy matrix, technologies harnessing the sun’s energy are now benefitting from billions of dollars of investment, which has rapidly increased their efficiency and cut their costs. (1/23, #20)
  • Petrobras, Brazil’s government-controlled oil company, said state loans will help finance a $28.6 billion spending plan this year aimed at developing the Americas’ largest discovery in three decades. The investment is part of a $174.4 billion strategy for 2009 through 2013 that the Rio de Janeiro-based company unveiled Friday. The proposal is a 56 percent increase from the previous five-year plan. (1/24, #5)
  • The US Federal Highway Administration reported vehicle miles driven were down 5.3% in November from a year ago. (1/24, #1)
  • Russia‘s crude production in 2008 declined 0.7% vs. 2007, to 9.8 mln bbl/d, the Federal Statistics Service said on Friday. (1/24, #12)
  • A Russian oil consortium created to run oil projects in Venezuela will also cooperate with Cuba‘s state-run oil company Cubapetroleo, a memorandum signed between the two companies stated on Friday. (1/24, #7)
  • Gazprom said today its hydrocarbon reserves on Russia’s Arctic shelf look set to increase by 5.6 billion tonnes (41.1 billion barrels) of equivalent between this year and 2020. (1/23, #18)
  • Bolivian President Morales signed a decree today nationalizing Empresa Petrolera Chaco SA “in its entirety,” according to remarks he made today that were broadcast on Bolivian state television.  Chaco was 60% owned by a BP holding company. (1/24, #9)
  • Prospects for a pipeline to ship abundant North Slope natural gas reserves to U.S. markets are dim due to free-falling energy prices, the overall economic collapse and the surprising emergence of unconventional energy alternatives such as shale gas. (1/24, #9d)
  • Chinese spending on the construction of intercity rail lines, the highest priority in the stimulus plan, is to double this year to $88 billion. Spending was $44 billion last year and just $12 billion as recently as 2004. (1/23, #9)
  • A major share of the Obama administration’s stimulus plan dealing with transportation is drawing fire for focusing too much on building new highways and not enough on regular maintenance projects and public transport. (1/24, #9a)
  • A Democratic effort to include more than $50 billion in energy-project spending in a U.S. economic stimulus package advanced rapidly through Congress as companies jockeyed to reshape the plan to their own advantage. (1/23, #10)
  • US Senate Finance Committee Democrats on Friday released a package of tax incentives and cuts that would provide billions of dollars more for energy efficiency, renewable energy and transmission projects than was included in a corresponding package approved Thursday by the US House Ways and Means Committee. (1/24, #9b)
  • International oil companies say they had not been contacted by Libya over any possible plans to increase Tripoli’s control over its oil industry, via nationalization.  IOCs reacted with skepticism over the idea. (1/22, #7)
  • China‘s economy slowed sharply in the fourth quarter and Japan’s central bank said it would slide into two years of deflation as Asia’s largest economies buckled under the strain of the global financial crisis. (1/22, #10)
  • Japan‘s industrial power sales fell the most in more than three decades, plummeting 13 percent in December from a year earlier, as automakers such as Toyota Motor Co. and steel companies shut plants and scale back output. (1/21, #10)
  • Liquefied natural gas cargoes from the Atlantic area to Asia may halve and prices may fall this year on the global recession. (1/22, #13)
  • One-third of the US corn harvest was dedicated to creating ethanol, which makes up just 4.5 percent of our gasoline supply but only offsets roughly 2 percent of our oil consumption. The University of Texas at Austin found that producing corn ethanol consumes 28 gallons of water per mile traveled. (1/22, #19)
  • The crude-oil market needs more speculators to help stabilize prices six months after the traders were blamed for pushing the commodity up to a record $147.27 a barrel, Deutsche Bank said in a report. A lack of liquidity is distorting prices, particularly for near-term delivery. (1/21, #4)
  • Russian gas reached the European Union on Tuesday for the first time in almost two weeks, marking the end to a dispute that left most of Eastern Europe without supplies during a bitterly cold spell. (1/21, #17)
  • Nouriel Roubini, the New York University professor who predicted last year’s economic and stock market meltdowns, said oil prices will trade between $30 and $40 a barrel this year. (1/20, #6)
  • Goldman Sachs Group Inc. commodity analyst Jeffrey Currie said he expects a “swift and violent rebound” in energy prices in the second half of the year.  Oil prices may have reached their lowest point already, after falling to $32.40 in mid-December, and are expected to rise to $65 by the end of this year, the analyst said. (1/20, #7)
  • Dubai will invest most of the $16 billion planned in an infrastructure deal with Nigeria to develop oil and natural-gas drilling projects and the dilapidated power sector in the West African country, an official with Nigeria’s state petroleum company said Monday. (1/20, #10)
  • Canada has offered financial support for a C$16.2 billion ($13 billion) Arctic gas pipeline, the country’s environment minister said last week, aiming to revive a struggling proposal to tap vast northern reserves with industry conditions worsening. (1/20, #16)
  • A new wave of mergers is likely to sweep through the oil industry as cash-rich companies such as ExxonMobil eye smaller rivals – possibly even Shell – after the collapse in the price of crude.  Analysts think many firms have made themselves vulnerable to takeover because they took on major new commitments when the oil price was at its summer high of $147 a barrel, compared with the current level of under $40. (1/19, #6)
  • A US-Israeli exploration group said it has discovered large natural gas deposits in the eastern Mediterranean with the potential to meet Israel’s gas needs for well over a decade. (1/19, #9)