unconventionals

The new outlook for oil: prepare for a bumpy ride in 2017

oil-glut-slider

After two and a half years of opening up the taps (or rather: not closing them) OPEC has changed course in what is looking to be a gamechanger for the oil market. Market sentiment has shifted and the oil price has gone up. But that doesn’t mean we can go back to the status quo ante, writes geophysicist (ex-Shell) Jilles van den Beukel. Some things have changed permanently. Saudi Arabia’s position within OPEC has weakened, Iran’s has strengthened. … [Read more...]

Donald Trump’s carbon-obsessed energy policy and the planetary nightmare to come 

Rex Tillerson and Vladimir Putin

Despite apparent contradictions, the main thrust of Donald Trump’s energy policy approach is very clear, writes author and energy expert Michael Klare: he aims to abolish all regulations that stand in the way of unrestrained fossil fuel extraction. Even if this spells doom for segments of the fossil fuel industry that will get hurt by low prices – not to mention the planet. Courtesy Tomdispatch.com. … [Read more...]

Time to give the chop to fracking: Fraxit now!

First US shale gas arrives at Ineos plant in Scotland September 2016

On Tuesday the US Environmental Protection Agency released a definitive study concluding that hydraulic fracturing can impact drinking water at each stage in the shale gas production process. Do we really want to see 16,000 or more shale gas wells drilled in the British countryside carrying the same and other risks, ask professors Peter Strachan and Alex Russell?  They assess the case for fracking in the UK against six "stress tests" and conclude … [Read more...]

The OPEC deal: a recipe for volatility

OPEC deal is announced

Last week’s OPEC deal takes place in a very different context than earlier deals from the 1990s, writes Geoffrey Styles, Managing Director of independent US-based consultancy GSW Strategy Group. US shale producers are looking to fill supply gaps, inventories are higher than ever, and alternatives to oil in transport are emerging. If that’s not a recipe for volatility, Styles wonders, then what is? Original post. … [Read more...]

Fracking: ‘Gang plank to climate chaos’ or ‘necessary part of decarbonisation’?

Ineos video: Leading the UK shale gas revolution

Fracking is a threat to the climate and the environment in the UK, says Professor Peter Strachan of Robert Gordon University. No, the climate benefits of domestically produced shale gas outweigh the risks, argues Stephen Tindale, co-founder of consultancy Climate Answers. The two men held a fascinating debate at the Houses of Parliament in London on 29 November hosted by the All-Parliamentary Group on Unconventional Oil and Gas. Ruth Hayhurst of … [Read more...]

US energy Independence Day dawns

Barry Worthington

The most significant US energy policy update in a decade, the Energy Policy Modernization Act 2016, will be introduced into the new Congress in January 2017. With provisions for accelerated permitting for oil and gas drilling, construction of export LNG terminals, as well as energy efficiency standards and grid-integration of renewables, the outlook for US energy security is bright, according to Barry Worthington, Executive Director of the US … [Read more...]