Top stories

1) Oil wars: Emboldened OPEC looks to increase output

OPEC thinks it’s weathered the oil price crisis, and looks set to test that theory when it meets this Friday.

The FT reports that OPEC – which is already producing 1m more barrels of oil a day than it intended to – may lift its output target, with demand expected to pick up in the second half of the year.

Another FT piece says the Saudis leading OPEC won’t want prices rising too high too fast otherwise it will undermine its effort to bully high-cost production – namely shale – and seize its market share.

Christopher Helman from Forbes agrees, saying jacking up production would be the smart move.

2) Oil wars: The second US shale gas revolution is arriving

As congress appears to increasingly support lifting the country’s oil export ban, the US shale sector is making plans to take on Qatar over liquefied natural gas (LNG).

The BBC reports that, though it currently exports next to no LNG, the US can become the world’s third largest supplier by the end of the decade.


This is just one part of the global energy domination plan the success of shale in the US has inspired, with BP CEO Bob Dudley telling CNBC that fracking may mean the US can supersede Saudi Arabia as the world’s major swing oil producer.

Bloomberg claims that the shale war waged by OPEC – which has seen US frackers become more efficient in the face of existential threat – is actually hurting traditional oil companies most of all.

New ambitious drilling projects pitched by the big oil heavy-hitters are unlikely to prove profitable with a low oil price, even one that is higher than it was a few months ago. $100 a barrel doesn’t look like it will return.

Meanwhile Gazprom is looking to start fracking its Bazhenov shale reserves within three years, despite US sanctions limiting the provision of the appropriate extraction technologies, reports Bloomberg.

3) Asia: Japan makes climate pledge but discovered to be world’s biggest coal financier

Yesterday Japan PM Shinzo Abe said his country will cut carbon emissions 26% from 2013 levels by 2030, reports RTCC.Using the usual 1990-benchmark, the target only represents a 17% reduction

This modest pledge, which will leave Japan trailing most developed nations, means that G7 countries have together pledged to cut 19% emissions by 2025 which isn’t enough to stay below 2 degrees, according to the Climate Action Network.

Meanwhile it’s been found that Japan and China spending more financing overseas coal projects more than any other country, IBTimes reports.


The report arrives as RTCC is covers China’s massive coal investments in Pakistan; it looks set to spend more than $45 billion on energy and infrastructure over the next six years.

Both Japan and China are counting on nuclear to serve their climate targets, thoughBloomberg thinks the former’s 22% projection is “overly optimistic”.

China on the other hand has kick-started its nuclear energy initiative, making plans to break ground on 8 new nuclear power units this year, according to CCTV.

In other news

India: Heatwave killing 2,300 people becomes 5th most deadly in history as ministers blame the extreme weather on climate change.

Arctic: Sierra Club and other environmental groups are suing Shell over Arctic drilling plans.

US election: Republican candidates articulate anti-environmental agenda, with Scott Walker saying he’d “gut the EPA” and Rick Santorum telling the Pope to stay out of the climate change debate.

Canada: Alberta’s new liberal leadership said it would introduce new climate regulations for the carbon-intensive oil sands by the end of the month.

US: Scientists blame European climate policies for wood pellet exports, saying what comes out of the biomass smokestack is actually worse than coal.

Climate change: And Vox has done a run through of the many messy ways in which the US will adapt to a changing climate.