West_Texas_Pumpjack
Wikimedia

Top stories

1) IEA: Oil prices will recover, but OPEC foresees decline in US shale. 

The International Energy Agency has said in its Midterm Oil Market report that oil prices LCOc1 – which went from $115/barrel to $45 from June 2014 to January 2015 – would stabilise, and the US oil ‘party’ is likely to continue, despite the pause, until 2020. They hold that the oil price decline is unlikely to last much longer.

OPEC, however, revises up oil demand but forsees a decline in US shale.

In US shale drilling, “re-fracking” is being considered, to combat falling prices. The technique – which didn’t exist when the wells were first drilled, costs $2m to the original $8m frack, and may be considered for about 50,000 wells across the country. Jobs are drying up due to the decline, and a company in India that supplies guar gum used to extract oil and gas in fracking is also feeling the stress – reports Bloomberg.

The IEA is also predicting a slowdown in oil consumption as emerging economies such as China “green their growth”. The country has just started tests on its new China-Myanmar (Burma) oil pipeline.

And the BBC asks in a new three-part series, “When did planet Earth become Planet Oil?”

2) COP21 negotiations start in Geneva

A crucial time for the COP21 climate talks – this week is when the negotiations start in Geneva. Representatives from over 190 countries are meeting to tackle climate change, kicking off a “marathon” of talks which will culminate in Paris at the end of the year. The EU is planning to exert “maximum pressure” to extract pledges by June from major economies to cut greenhouse gases.

Fittingly, a dramatic drop in European energy consumption has been recorded – energy efficiency is said to be responsible for the 20-year low, down by more than 9% from its 2006 peak. Economic slowdown is also considered a factor.

3) Solar projects around the world

A massive solar farm with enough power for 160,000 homes has opened in California.

An Israeli company is to build a 20-hour-per-day solar plant, reports Reuters.

And in India, Adani – infamous for its coal project in Queensland Australia which would run ships over the Great Barrier Reef – is setting up the country’s largest 10,000MW solar plant in Rajasthan.

Other news

Rich nations spent $15 billion on exports of coal plant and other coal technology in defiance of pledge to end fossil fuel subsidies, reports Reuters.

Forum for the Future predicts an “Asian Century” foregrounding sustainability issues.

The Hinkley Point final investment deal has been delayed until October.

The central US is set to suffer more from floods due to climate change.

New CCS technology is being tested in Iceland – which involved turning CO2 into rock.