Showing posts with label renewable energy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label renewable energy. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 03, 2024

Oil heading to $90, renewables in Japan & more

It's been a hectic few weeks in the energy markets over the course of which oil prices have acquired a bit of buoyancy. Its something they briefly lost last month following the OPEC+ meeting. Brent crude futures currently sit just a few dollars south of $90 per barrel level, having dropped below $80 in early June. 

While global crude demand permutations haven't materially altered, there is renewed optimism over lower interest rates in key markets. That and higher demand projections in Asian markets, especially India, appear to be supporting prices. This sets the stall for relatively higher crude prices as we enter the first month of the second half of the year. 

All things staying even, the Oilholic would argue there is now a near-term case for $90 Brent crude prices. However, defending price upticks beyond the level would prove tricky, given the fact that crude supplies, especially those of light sweet non-OPEC crude, remain on a solid footing.  

Away from the oil market, yours truly was interviewed by the BBC on Japan's and wider East Asia's renewable energy landscape. The Oilholic spoke about a call by the country's private sector to triple its renewables capacity by 2035. 

This kerfuffle over Japan's future energy mix has been going on since the Fukushima tragedy in 2011, and has been further complicated by readily available and competitively priced LNG. 

Japan continues to trail the G7 in terms of renewables. However, while still using coal as a power generation source, Japan is not expanding usage in the same way as India and China are. Overall, a renewables capacity target in excess of 360GW by 2035 looks very ambitious. However, never discount Japanese ingenuity for getting things done! 

Elsewhere, here is one of the Oilholic's missives from late June on why the world needs to nurture sustainable entrepreneurship for Forbes (click here), and another one on why green hydrogen's fate in a net zero economy hinges on upscaling for Energy Connects (click here).

Finally, on the eve of the UK's general election, here are this blogger's thoughts on how the outcome will impact the country's energy industry. Regardless of whoever wins, looks like UK Energy Inc may be stuck between a rock and hard place! That's all for the moment folks. More musings to follow soon. Keep reading, keep it here, keep it 'crude'! 

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© Gaurav Sharma 2024. Photo: Gaurav Sharma on BBC World © BBC, June 25, 2024. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

UK election result's impact on British Energy Inc

By all accounts, result of the UK General Election on May 7 was simply stunning. Pollsters got it horribly wrong, Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative Party returned with a majority against all expectations, Scottish National Party bagged 56 out of 59 parliamentary seats in the ‘oil hub’ of Scotland - all the ingredients to excite politically minded scribes and the general public alike. The Oilholic began his experience at Ellwood Atfield’s splendid election night bash in Westminster (photo above left) ushering in news of the first exit poll predicting the Conservatives were going to be the largest party with 316 members of parliament.

As events unfolded into early hours of the morning and late afternoon the next day, Cameron’s Conservatives returned with 331 MPs and a slim majority putting to bed all talk of a hung parliament. This blogger was up when Labour heavyweights Ed Balls, Douglas Alexander, Jim Murphy and Liberal Democrats ministers Vince Cable, Ed Davey, Lynne Featherstone and Danny Alexander all lost their seats.

Resignation of the hapless Labour leader Ed Miliband who managed to deliver his party’s worst election result since 1983 followed, along with that of Nick Clegg, now former deputy prime minister and Liberal Democrat leader. Cameron soon walked back into Downing Street after meeting the Queen and telling her he’d now form a majority Conservative government.

Having enjoyed the drama of election night well into sunrise the next day, it’s worth pondering what the result means for the UK’s energy industry in general and the oil and gas business in particular. Afterall, the Oilholic did fret about the direction of the market in his pre-election column for Forbes.

For starters, Ed Miliband’s barmy energy price freeze isn’t going to happen. A daft idea, daftly presented to maximum populist effect just didn’t work and is now in the dustbin of political history. This blogger expects ratings agencies to ease up both on UK-listed energy utilities Centrica, the owner of British Gas, and SSE, another service provider as well as the sector in general

Unsurprisingly, both stocks jumped as the entire London market welcomed the result on May 8 morning with the FTSE 100 momentarily returning back above 7,000 points. Nonetheless, Cameron’s government faces a very serious challenge of planning investment towards creaking energy infrastructure – from nuclear to renewables – ensuring the lights are kept on. By some estimates, the required capital expenditure could be as high as £330 billion by 2030.

Switching to the mainstream oil and gas business, both the Conservative victory in the UK and an SNP landslide in Scotland are broadly positive for various reasons. As this blogger has noted before, Chancellor George Osborne’s taxation policies turned positive for the industry towards the end of the last parliament, as the oil price decline began to bite North Sea players

Collective measures put into effect back in March imply that the UK’s total tax levy would fall from 60% to 50%, giving a much needed breather to those prospecting in the North Sea. Any further stimulus measures for the better are unlikely to be disrupted by the SNP, even if they do have a broader agenda of roughing up other government programmes both North and South of the Scottish border.

This is broadly good for the industry, as it goes through a challenging period and grapples with the restructuring in Aberdeen triggered by companies as large as BP and as small as independent operations services providers. 

Finally, turning attention to the new energy minister Amber Rudd, a Conservative MP for Hastings, who has been appointed as the successor to Ed Davey; the choice is a great one. Obviously, her credentials are solid or she wouldn’t be here. Gauging the response of the wider industry, most have welcomed the appointment.

Rudd is seen as conscientious and hard working minister. Even Greenpeace sent out a release welcoming her to the job, hoping that she’d bring the same energy to implementing the Climate Change Act, as she did to fight the corner of fisheries in her last government remit.

With a challenging portfolio, Rudd has her work cut out and we wish her well, especially as she sets about the arduous task of attracting investment to the sector. That’s all for the moment folks! Keep reading, keep it ‘crude’!

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© Gaurav Sharma 2015. Photo: Ellwood Atfield election night party, May 7, 2015 © Gaurav Sharma