All posts by Irina Slav

Six Brilliant Clean Energy Ideas That Never Made It

The field of research for cleaner alternatives to fossil fuels is without a doubt one of the hottest in science today. There is, of course, a good reason for that: several countries have declared climate emergencies and while declarations by themselves cannot solve a problem, research may—and does—lead to solutions. Yet not all ideas pan out as In a recent story, Bloomberg’s Will Wade listed six failed cleaner energy ideas that never made it to commercial scale use for one reason or another. Typically these reasons come down to…

U.S. Sanctions Backfire, Lead To Boost In Russian Oil Exports

U.S. sanctions against Venezuela and Iran have had an unplanned side effect: they have increased exports of heavy, sour crude from Russia, Bloomberg reports, adding that calculations have shown Russian oil companies raked in an additional US$905 million at least from these sales between November and July. The Urals blend is the big winner of the U.S. sanctions, according to Bloomberg’s calculations. Venezuela is one of the main global suppliers of heavy crude, but U.S. sanctions have shrunk its exports significantly. Iran also produces heavy,…

Platts: Slumping Car Sales Weaken China’s Appetite For Gasoline, Petchems

Weakening Chinese car sales and slowing economic growth weigh on China’s demand growth of key oil products such as gasoline and petrochemicals, S&P Global Platts Analytics says. China’s new car sales slumped by 4.3 percent year on year in July, dropping for 13 months in a row beginning in July 2018, according to data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) cited by Nikkei Asia Review. Car sales in China are on track for their worst year in history and on course to book a double-digit decline this year, according…

China-Held Oil Tanker Looks To Skirt US Sanctions On Iran

An oil tanker owned by a China-based shipping company has recently gone dark for more than a month, reappearing under a different name in what could be an effort to skirt U.S. sanctions on Iran’s oil exports, Reuters reports, citing ship-tracking data. The tanker in question, whose name was Pacific Bravo until early June, was suspected by the United States of carrying crude oil from Iran to China. At the end of May, the U.S. urged Hong Kong to be on the lookout for an oil tanker carrying Iranian crude presumably on its way to China, in violation…

Solar Stocks Jittery Ahead Of Subsidy Phase-Out

The end of this year will see the beginning of a phase-out for the Investment Tax Credit that was introduced more than a decade ago and spurred a true boom in solar installations. This is making solar companies jittery as they hold onto hope waiting for the Renewable Energy Extension Act that would keep the ITC at 30 percent. Wired’s Daniel Oberhaus quotes the chief executive of the Solar Energy Industry Association as saying the subsidies had enabled the creation of almost 250,000 jobs, a 10,000-percent surge in solar installations since…

Gibraltar Releases Iranian Tanker

The authorities of Gibraltar have ruled to release Iranian-flagged tanker Grace 1 today, according to media reports, despite the US DOJ claim that it had asked Gibraltar to detain the tanker. The Supreme Court in Gibraltar said it had not received a written request from the DOJ to detain the tanker. The tanker will be released immediately. An early exclusive report by The Sun late on Wednesday quoted an unnamed source close to Gibraltar’s Chief Minister Fabian Picardo saying that Gibraltar was planning on releasing the ship today. But an…

Shale Gas Firm Cuadrilla Resumes Fracking In The UK

Cuadrilla has resumed fracking at a second well at its hydraulic fracturing site in northwest England after it secured all permits to do so, the UK shale gas group said on Thursday, after fracking at a first well had to be stopped several times over the past year due to minor seismic events. Earlier this month, the UK’s regulator, the Oil & Gas Authority (OGA), agreed Cuadrilla’s fracking plan for the second well at the Preston New Road site in Lancashire. The authority approved a well completion proposal for the second well, as…

Petrobras Repays Billions In China Debt Before Term

Petrobras has settled a debt of US$3 billion with the China Development Bank ahead of time and will repay another debt, this one of US$5 billion, in December, ending an agreement for the preferential supply of 100,000 barrels of oil equivalent daily, Reuters reports, quoting the Brazilian company. Petrobras signed the loan deal with the China Development Bank ten years ago, with the total amount at US$10 billion. It said at the time the Chinese funds would help it with its 2009-2013 investment plan that amounted to US$174.4 billion and also boost…

Koch Exits Canadian Oil Sands

Koch Industries has sold its oil sands assets to Canadian Cavalier Energy, the Financial Post reports, noting that the deal closed two months ago. Cavalier is a subsidiary of family owned Paramount Resources. The Globe and Mail cited information from the Alberta Energy Regulator, which said the assets involved in the sale consisted of five leases, with Koch abandoning the rest. “The majority of Koch Oil Sands licences have been transferred to Paramount Resources Ltd. All of the remaining licences are for well sites and [they] have been abandoned,…

Koch Exits Canadian Oil Sands

Koch Industries has sold its oil sands assets to Canadian Cavalier Energy, the Financial Post reports, noting that the deal closed two months ago. Cavalier is a subsidiary of family owned Paramount Resources. The Globe and Mail cited information from the Alberta Energy Regulator, which said the assets involved in the sale consisted of five leases, with Koch abandoning the rest. “The majority of Koch Oil Sands licences have been transferred to Paramount Resources Ltd. All of the remaining licences are for well sites and [they] have been abandoned,…