1) Clashes over oil price at Davos
As oil prices hit $48 per barrel and the supply glut worsens, according to Bloomberg, the bosses of Eni and Total were warning of the potential effects of the low oil price, saying that low investment could drive the prices as high as $200 per barrel in the future – but OPEC and Saudia Arabia are holding firm in their lack of intervention in the market – Reuters reports.
OPEC said the oil price would rebound instead of falling further to $20 per barrel, Bloomberg reports.
Iraq’s oil minister said that oil prices had reached the bottom, the Daily Mail reports.
The IMF said that the drop in the oil price was permanent.
BP’s boss Bob Dudley told the BBC oil prices could remain low for three years.
Meanwhile, there is conflicting advice over the potential performance of energy stocks. Business Insider reports of a rush to buy energy stocks, according to Merrill Lynch. But Investment Week says investors have ‘become unnerved’ by the declining oil price and writes five reasons not to ditch them.
2) China energy policy pledged – and risked by oil price
Xinhua reports that Chinese Premier Li Keqiang pledged at Davos on Wednesday to reduce the proportion of fossil fuel in China’s total energy mix and increase energy consumption from clean technology by 20% by 2030.
Also at Davos, China’s central bank chief said cheaper oil and gas prices will give momentum to the country’s economic growth and employment, but may create an unwelcome disincentive for switching to cleaner, renewable energy sources, according to Reuters.
3) UK fracking licences recommended for refusal in Lancashire
The recommendation by council planners to councillors that fracking at two sites in Lancashire be refused yesterday continued to be reported, a petition with over a quarter of a million signatures urging the prime minister to rethink his “all out” support for fracking has been handed in by environmental campaigners, PA reports.
4) Coal glut continues
The global oversupply of coal set to continue as Chinese demand slows and production cuts in Australia and Indonesia slow according to two market reports covered by Bloomberg.
The decline of the ruble giving is Russian coal a boost, Oilprice.com reports, however.
In related news, Scientific American writes on statistics that show coal use declining in the US but growing internationally.
In other news
Ecotricity promises 6.1% gas tariff cut for all customers in May, the Guardian reports.
Npower has officially been ranked the worst energy company in the UK by consumer group Which?, with Scottish Power coming in second, The Telegraph reports.
PV Magazine has covered a report on Grid flexibility to integrate renewables in Europe.
The NYT reports on Russia pressing ahead with plans for a gas pipeline to Turkey.