North Sea oil rigs

Top 3 stories

1) Oil price & divestment: Profit warnings for fossil fuel sector amidst BP takeover fears as divestment gains royal blessing

It’s April and the oil price which is pretty flat today after rising slowly the past months, is still below $70 bucks, this wasn’t really meant to happen.

As a result the BBC reports that accountants Ernst and Young predict a bunch of UK listed companies may face profit warnings in the first three months of the year – despite the sunnier global economy.

That’s because the UK stock exchange is packed full of fossil fuel and extractive giants like BP and Shell which, The Guardian’s Terry Macalister reports could face a 60% fall in Q1 profits.

Even Centrica, which is mostly into gas not oil, has felt the chill. Well, actually the cold weather usually suits it’s profit margin but it hasn’t done enough to make up for lower oil and gas prices – according to Naomi Rovnik and Claer Barrett in the FT.

All of which leads some to think that BP may be up for sale, something the FT claims the UK government would not welcome.

It also seems an opportune time to claim the moral high ground by selling off your old oil stocks with the FT’s Pilita Clark noting Prince Charles is leading the way.

2) China energy: China turns to nuclear, solar, cars and trees to beat climate, smog – new reports

China is set to add nuclear plants at a record pace this – Bloomberg reports – as it seeks to cut coal burning. Nuclear expansion is limited in China because the plants need to be by the coast leading the National Energy Agency (NEA) to consider allowing plants inland.

The NEA also recently reported that China connected 5.04GW of solar in the first quarter of this year, that’s nearly as much as the US installed in the entirety of 2014 -the Motley Fool notes.

On the demand side China Daily reports from the Shanghai auto show where – it claims – 103 plugin and hybrid models were on display appealing to the country’s new regulations which may mean only clean cars can enter cities at certain times.

Finally Quartz reports that “China is building the great wall of trees to fight climate change and the encroaching Gobi desert”, according to a study by an Australian university.

3) Climate change: Arctic nations agree to tackle climate, report into ‘integrity’ of surface temperature records

Reuter’s reports from Nunavit where the eight Arctic Council nations pledged on Friday to do more to combat climate change that is shrinking the vast frigid region despite ongoing tension between some nations and Russia.

The meeting comes as Kyla Mandel reports for Vice that the low oil price has left the Nunavit administration with around $30m with some legislators lobbying for the money to be put into renewable energy.

And finally the arctic may not be melting at all – apparently. Ben Tufft at the Indy reports that the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) is launching an inquiry into the integrity of global surface temperature records.

In other news 

Asia coal: Coal mine breach floods villages in Indonesian Borneo (local sources)

Fossil lobbying: Documents reveal Shell lobbied to undermine EU renewables targets

Energy politics: US to launch blitz of gas exports eyeing global dominance

Greenifying: GDF Suez renames itself Engie in renewables push