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UK energy vulnerability exposed

Forties outage

UK oil and gas prices spiked yesterday following the closure of the Forties Pipeline System, which delivers 40 percent of North Sea oil and gas to the mainland.  To add insult to injury, an explosion at a gas facility in Baumgarten an der March, east of Vienna has disrupted a …

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The greenwash is beginning to peel


The amount of electricity we will be able to generate from wind power is going to be a lot less than we bargained for; and ironically, climate change is to blame.  That’s the conclusion of new research published in Nature Geoscience. Wind strength in the northern hemisphere depends upon the …

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Arctic oil decline

Arctic oil

The rocks beneath the Arctic may be awash with oil, but it seems that few energy companies are in a hurry to extract it.  In Alaska, attempts by the Trump administration to revitalise the Arctic oil industry seem to have fallen flat.  According to VOA News: “Seven bids were received, …

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The bad smell of UK shale gas


The embryonic, and probably unprofitable, UK shale gas industry faces yet another obstacle according to Robin Grayson, a geologist and member of the Petroleum Exploration Society of Great Britain. Grayson, reported in the Blackpool Gazette, claims that any shale gas recovered from the Bowland shale formation will contain a high …

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Technologies ‘green energy’ won’t be powering

Bitcoin mine

Hidden in the small print of any credible plan to run the global economy on renewable energy will be at least one of three big assumptions: The economy of the future will be far more energy-efficient than it is today. That is, we will be using a lot less energy …

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Riding the oil price rollercoaster

Oil price rollercoaster

Major oil price volatility has occurred on three occasions in the last century – the 1920s, the 1970s and today.  Those periods resulted in severe economic disruption and the collapse of political consensus.  There is a simple reason for this – price volatility makes capital investment difficult.  There is simply …

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Robbing Peter to pay Paul

North Sea decomissioning

Among the various announcements in tomorrow’s UK Budget is likely to be an apparently innocuous change to the North Sea tax regime.  The BBC carried the story in about as bland a manner as possible: “The oil industry has asked the Chancellor to consider a tax break which they claimed …

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Too much tobacco at the cancer summit

German Lignite coal

The arrival of President Trump’s official delegation to last week’s COP23 conference in Bonn was – in the immortal words of Billy Connolly – “as welcome as a fart in a spacesuit.”  The presence of Holly Krutka, an executive from Peabody Energy (the biggest coal miner in the USA) among …

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Weasel words on fracking protest costs

Fracking police costs

The cost of policing the anti-fracking demonstrations at Kirby Misperton in North Yorkshire rose dramatically in October according to the latest information from Julia Mulligan, Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire. In the period up to 31 August, prior to Third Energy starting work, policing had cost just £80,238.  This …

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Green boom coming to an end

Green Energy profits

A dramatic fall in the cost of green energy technology has eaten into the profitability of green energy companies.  According to By Anna Hirtenstein at Bloomberg Businessweek: “Green technology such as solar panels and wind turbines are increasingly mass-produced, so basic supply-and-demand economics dictate that they get cheaper. There’s also …

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