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Environment Agency cuts pension fund investments in fossil fuels

19/10/2015

The Environment Agency is cutting its pension fund investments in fossil fuels to bring it in line with efforts to prevent dangerous climate change. Under the plans the Environment Agency Pension Fund (EAPF) will invest 15% of its £2.7 billion fund in low carbon and energy efficient technology and reduce investment in coal by 90% and oil and gas by half, in terms of carbon emissions, by 2020. The change by the Government agency aims to make sure its investments are compatible with international agreement to keep global temperature rises to 2C - seen as the threshold beyond which dangerous impacts of climate change will occur.

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Saudi Aramco foils attempted fraud

19/10/2015

Oil giant Saudi Aramco said an attempted fraud which allegedly targeted its trading unit as well has India's Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) has been foiled.

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Protesters set up camp near proposed Hinkley nuclear power station

19/10/2015

Campaigners have set up a protest camp near the site of the proposed Hinkley Point C nuclear power station. They have established a camp on a roundabout at the gates of the development in west Somerset as the president of China, Xi Jinping, arrives for a four-day state visit to the UK.

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Statoil’s new MD takes over as UK boss

19/10/2015

Statoil’s new managing director of production in the UK has taken over her new position with the Norwegian operator. Tove Stuhr Sjoblom will head up the firm’s offices in Aberdeen with responsibility for upstream development and production activities in the UK and Ireland. Sjoblom replaces Gunnar Breivik who will now head up Statoil’s corporate investigation unit.

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UK spies set to monitor IT systems at Chinese-built nuclear plants

19/10/2015

British spies are expected to scrutinise computer systems at new nuclear plants built by Chinese firms to address national security fears. Listening post GCHQ will be responsible for ensuring the country’s energy network is not made vulnerable to cyber attacks, according to The Times. The safeguard emerged as President Xi Jinping arrives for a four-day state visit hailed by David Cameron as a symbol of a “golden era” in relations with Beijing.

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Oil bosses warn of up to 10,000 more job losses in North Sea

19/10/2015

Two of the North Sea’s biggest oil explorers have warned there could be a further 10,000 jobs losses in the oil and gas industry. Both Amjad Bseisu, chief executive of EnQuest, and Premier Oil’s chief executive Tony Durrant said the industry was making the expectation as the decline in oil price continues. Industry body Oil & Gas UK has reported up to 5,500 jobs have been affected in the last year.

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EDF hopes to announce deal with Chinese investors in coming days for Hinkley Point

19/10/2015

EDF said its hopes to announce a deal with Chinese investors to build a nuclear plant at Hinkley Point in the coming days. The French company’s chief executive Jean Bernard Levy said it was in the final negotiations with its Chinese partners. However he said he did not want to anticipate what would happen later this week as China’s President Xi Jingping to Britain.

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California shuts down more oilfield wells

19/10/2015

The US State of California has shut down 33 oilfield wells which were allegedly improperly permitted to inject into federally protected water supplies. The move was put into effect late last week affecting oilfield injection wells in the state’s Kern County.

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Dozens killed in Nigeria bombings

16/10/2015

Dozens of people have been killed in a series of bombings in Nigeria. At least 18 people were killed early today when four women suicide bombers were challenged by soldiers as they tried to enter Maiduguri, according to the National Emergency Management Agency. The explosions happened just hours after two blasts near a mosque in the city killed at least 30 people.

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BP trader dubbed “the king of cushing” set to retire

16/10/2015

Oil major BP’s head of crude, dubbed in the industry as “The King of Cushing” is set to retire from the company. David Porteous, in his early 40s, is known as one of the world’s most powerful and best-paid oil traders. BP has one of the biggest oil trading desks in the work and Porteous has made hundreds of millions of dollars for the company, according to reports.

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Shell drill vessels make return from Arctic waters

16/10/2015

Oil major Shell said two drill vessels it had been using before it pulled out of its Arctic operation have safely departed from Alaska. The Noble Discoverer is on its way to Washington State along with the Polar Pioneer after both received a Coast Guard inspection and refuel. Shell said the next destinations for both vessels have not yet been decided upon.

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Ineos senior exec ‘not too concerned’ about fracking motion

16/10/2015

A senior executive of fracking company Ineos has said he is “not too concerned” about a motion at the SNP conference that could result in a further clampdown on the controversial practice. Party members meeting in Aberdeen will today be asked to back a move that would place tighter restrictions on the party’s moratorium on shale gas extraction. The Scottish Government has already halted any fracking until 2017.

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UK Energy Minister denies hostility to green sector

16/10/2015

Energy Secretary Amber Rudd has rejected claims the renewables sector is under attack from the UK Government. The Conservatives have been criticised by the industry for the early closure of the Renewables Obligation (RO) subsidy amid warnings it will deter investment and risk thousands of jobs. Concerns have also been raised that ending the scheme from April – a year earlier than expected – will increase carbon emissions significantly.

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In the heart of Texas oil patch, it’s gas that’s taking off

16/10/2015

The oiliest county in Texas has seen its new natural gas production capacity more than double as drillers home in on their most profitable acreage. The peak output rate from new gas wells in Karnes County has surged 134 percent since January, estimates from Drillinginfo show. The only other county in Texas’s Eagle Ford shale patch where new gas capacity’s gaining is Live Oak, about 50 miles southwest of Karnes, the Austin-based energy data provider said. Gas producers are focusing on the most prolific parts of their plays as they grapple with the worst price collapse since 2008, and Karnes County has long been a sweet spot in Texas’s Eagle Ford formation. The 20,000-square-mile shale play supplies about one-sixth of the nation’s crude.

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SNP claim Labour ‘sat on their hands’ over oil jobs

16/10/2015

Callum McCaig has branded the Labour Party “shameful” amid claims the SNP failed to act to protect North Sea oil and gas jobs. The Aberdeen South MP told a packed conference hall he would have “appreciated some help” from other MPs in his efforts to protect the “vital industry”. Mr McCaig was responding to comments from Kezia Dugdale reported in Energy Voice's sister publication the Press and Journal.

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Chinese investment in UK nuclear power ‘could pose security risk’

16/10/2015

Experts have expressed concern about the prospect of Chinese investment in the UK nuclear power sector, with claims the move could threaten national security. A final investment decision on the new nuclear plant at Hinkley Point, Somerset, could be announced during Chinese president Xi Jinping’s state visit. Chancellor George Osborne has already announced a £2 billion Government guarantee to secure Chinese funding for the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station set to be built by French firm EDF, and indicated that the next step may be a Chinese-designed, Chinese-built nuclear plant at Bradwell in Essex.

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