Other News

US Senate passes energy legislation

The sharply divided US Senate has passed a comprehensive energy legislation for the first time in nearly a decade, forging a rare bipartisan compromise -- even if the result is far less ambitious than energy packages of years past.

Oil & Gas

Permit approved for ConocoPhillips Alaskan drilling

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has approved a drilling permit for Conoco Phillips in Alaska. The decision was awarded on the proposed Greater Mooses Tooth Unit oil and gas development project. It will open the way for the first production oil and gas from federal land in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska.

Oil & Gas

Alaskan Senator calls for details on oil swap with Mexico

A Senator has urged the US Government to disclose whether any oil swaps with Mexico have been finalised after transactions were approved in August. Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski who heads the Senate’s energy committee, wrote to Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker calling for further details. Administration officials previously said the Commerce Department was “acting favourably” on a number of applications to export US crude in exchange from imported oil from Mexico.

Other News

White House to urge climate change action from Canada

The White House said the new Canadian Government could do more to address climate change ahead of international negotiations on the issue in Paris. The issue is a top priority for President Barack Obama in his last 15 months in office. A white House spokesman hinted climate change would form part of a phone call from Obama to the newly elected Prime Minister-designate Justin Trudeau.

Renewables/Energy Transition

Barack Obama starts Alaska visit with climate change doomsday warning

Submerged countries, abandoned cities and floods of refugees await the world barring urgent action on climate change, President Barack Obama warned, painting a doomsday scenario as he began a visit to Alaska. In a bid to further his environmental legacy, Mr Obama brought the power of the presidential pulpit to Anchorage and called on other nations to take swift action as negotiations for a global climate treaty near a close. In a speech to an Arctic climate summit, the president sought to set the tone for a three-day tour of Alaska - including the first visit by a sitting president above the Arctic Circle - that will put the state’s liquefying glaciers and sinking villages on graphic display.

Oil & Gas

Pipeline anxiety spurs Alaska plea for Obama to open oil spigots

Alaska Governor Bill Walker has a message for President Barack Obama: Fill the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System while you still can. The U.S. agreed earlier this month to allow Royal Dutch Shell Plc to resume Arctic oil exploration, yet state officials say it may not be enough to save the 800-mile (1,300-kilometer) pipeline, Alaska’s economic lifeline for the past 40 years. Efforts to limit drilling and dwindling volumes on the line may eventually make it difficult to move crude at all. “We have an oil pipeline that’s two-thirds empty,” Walker, a Republican-turned-independent, said in a telephone interview from Anchorage. “It’s easy for people to predict what will or won’t happen, but as governor I can’t take that chance. Right now, about 75 percent of our revenue comes from that oil pipeline.”

Renewables/Energy Transition

Gas just another fossil-fuel loser in Obama renewables push

Natural gas, once seen as a clear winner in President Barack Obama’s push for cleaner power, isn’t looking like much of a champ these days. That so-called bridge that gas was supposed to be, leading America away from dirtier fossil fuels such as coal and toward renewable power, just got a lot shorter under the final Clean Power Plan released by the US Environmental Protection Agency on Monday. The agency will reward early investments in wind and solar power to get the nation generating 28 percent of its power using renewables by 2030, up from a previously proposed 22 percent. The more aggressive goal weakens natural gas’s role in America’s energy future in favor of a quicker transition to zero-carbon sources of electricity. It’s yet another blow for gas producers who’ve seen prices for their fuel slide amid a glut of supply from shale formations.

Renewables/Energy Transition

Hillary Clinton vows to defend, extend Obama climate policy

Hillary Clinton said she would both defend and go beyond the efforts by President Barack Obama to address climate change in the first detailed description of her potential environmental polices if elected president. Clinton released what her campaign said was the opening salvo of the Democrat’s energy and climate change agenda Sunday, while she was campaigning in Iowa. Among other things, Clinton pledged to defend from legal or political attack the Obama administration’s rule to cut carbon pollution from the nation’s fleet of power plants. A Clinton administration would go further, rewarding communities that speed rooftop solar panel installation, backing a contest for states to go beyond the minimums called for in the environmental rules, and boosting solar and wind production on federal lands. A four-page campaign fact sheet said the goal was to increase the share of U.S. power generation from renewable sources to 33 percent by 2027, compared to 25 percent under Obama’s carbon plan. The announcement “makes it more clear than ever that she cares deeply about climate change and will make it a top priority throughout her campaign,” Tiernan Sittenfeld, senior vice president of the League of Conservation Voters Action Fund, said in a statement.

Oil & Gas

Shell gains final permits for drilling in the Arctic

Shell has been given approval by the US Department of Interior to carry out limited offshore drilling in the Arctic. The decison comes amidst strong opposition from environmental groups who fear a potential oil spill in the region could have a lasting impact. The oil major will not be able to begin drilling until it has all necessary hardware in place to proceed as well as necessary safety measures.


The Obama administration’s fracking high noon has arrived

High noon for the Obama administration’s stricter rules for fracking on public lands has arrived on the Wyoming range. Four western states at the center of the shale oil boom are headed for a courtroom showdown Tuesday over who should have the last word on rules for extracting oil and natural gas from federal property within their borders.


Video: Obama calls for expansion to protect Alaska from drilling

President Barack Obama will call on the US congress to expand protection of Alaska’s Arctic refuge to 12million acres. The move will prohibit oil and gas drilling in a region with more than one million acres of oil heavy coast. The proposal was unveiled by the Interior Department at the weekend.

North Sea

US firm’s $1bn North Sea pledge

Plans for a billion-dollar cash injection in the North Sea will be unveiled today by Prime Minister David Cameron and US President Barack Obama. The Carlyle Group, one of the world’s leading investment managers, is putting £660million into the offshore oil and gas industry. The deal has been hailed as a “clear vote of confidence” in the sector amid fears about the effect of tumbling world oil prices on north-east jobs.