1) Chevron gives up on shale in Romania, US rig count drops, oil price stabilises
Chevron Corp said it will give up shale gas exploration plans in Romania, after an assessment showed it doesn’t compete favourably with “other investment opportunities,” reports Euractiv.
The news comes as Anna Driver and Terry Wade at Reuters note US shale oil producers are throttling back so quickly on drilling that U.S. crude output could fall within months.
The fall in the number of new drilling rigs hasn’t been as fast as the oil market expected, however, keeping crude prices roughly where they are though the ongoing refinery strike in the US has made crude products – things like petrol – more expensive, reports Reuters’ Barani Krishnan.
Analysis: The chaos and confusion in energy markets has led to fears over future investment in the North Sea. The FT’s NIck Butler says the government should set up a North Sea Investment Fund to keep the oil flowing.
2) Milliband wades in on climate, climate sceptic scientist funded by fossil fuel industry
His move comes as an investigation revealed that a leading scientist known for questioning the current consensus on climate change was funded by the fossil fuel industry.
Justin Gillis and John Schwartz at the New York times reported documents showing he accepted more than $1.2 million in money from the fossil-fuel industry over the last decade while failing to disclose that conflict of interest in most of his scientific papers.
The documents show that Dr. Soon, in correspondence with his corporate funders, described many of his scientific papers as “deliverables”.
In other news
– The UK’s energy market regulator has been criticised by MPs for failing to keep energy network costs down, thus contributing to higher gas and electricity bills for consumers, reports Tanya Powley in the FT.
– Chinese demand fuelled a boom for manufacturers of solar panels and wind turbines, reports Pilita Clark and Lucy Hornby for the FT.
– The New York Times editorial board focuses on India’s smog and it’s contribution to climate change. Noting the fact that the country has the world’s highest death rate from chronic respiratory diseases, which kill an estimated 1.5 million Indians every year.
– US major Duke Energy Corp has agreed to pay a fine of about $102 million for environmental violations related to a power plant’s coal ash spill into a North Carolina river last year and the company’s management of coal ash basins in the state reports Anupam Chatergee from Bangalore.
– The Obama administration proposed new rules for Arctic oil drilling on Friday in an attempt to avoid repeating Shell’s disastrous foray into extreme waters, reports Suzanne Goldenberg for The Guardian.
– Scientists and engineers in Scandinavia reveal new plans to harness the huge potential of waves to produce commercially viable renewable energy reports Paul Brown for the Climate News Network.