MonitorsPublished on Dec 05, 2014
Energy News Monitor | Volume XI; Issue 25

[Solar or Grid: To Choice is ‘Yours’!]

                             “Solar roof top power is propagated as energy for the poor people. In this light it is interesting to analyse the case of two hypothetical persons from the Below Poverty line category and see who will be in a better position, the one who uses power from the grid or the one who opts for solar roof top?…”




·          Solar or Grid: To Choice is ‘Yours’!

·          Open Letter to the Prime Ministers of Nepal and India


·          Global CO2 Emissions from Fuel Combustion: Gloomy Picture from the IEA


·          Energy for Cooking & Lighting in Rural India



·          ONGC targets to start production by mid-2018 from KG-D5 block

·          ONGC lines up $3 bn investment in Mozambique


·          Indian Oil eyes West coast for new refinery project

Transportation / Trade………………

·          India weighs piping diesel to Bangladesh

Policy / Performance…………………

·          Excise duty on petrol, diesel hiked; no impact on prices

·          Assam govt moves Guwahati High Court on oil royalty issue

·          LPG rate cut by ` 113, jet fuel prices by 4.1 per cent

·          Gas price in India to dip to $5 in 3 yrs: Goldman Sachs

·          National interest, energy security more important than procedures: CAG

·          From March 31, pay market rate for LPG cylinders

·          New gas price policy inconsistent with PSC, says RIL's partner

·          Expert's report on ONGC-RIL gas theft dispute by June: Oil Minister

·          ONGC finalises gas sales at $10.1-11.2: Oil Minister

·          Modi to Abe favour oil bears as plunge aids Asian economies



·          Tata Power may not source coal from Indonesia for Mundra

·          Kudankulam likley to resume power generation in December

·          Package to rescue 16 GW of gas-based power plants ready

Transmission / Distribution / Trade……

·          JSW Energy may buy JP Power's Bina, Nigrie assets

·          Saving power may fetch rewards from Delhi discoms

·          Indian power exchanges expect volume to grow due to SAARC energy co-operation deal

·          Coal supply to power plants in Maharashtra improving

·          Alstom T&D bags ` 560 mn order to supply energy management system to Sri Lankan grid

·          APTEL upholds Tata Power's distribution licence in Mumbai

·          Delhi discoms lose crores to meet winter power shortfall

·          Fuji Electric to study smart energy grid for AP

·          World's 2nd tallest power transmission towers in West Bengal

·          Relief for Tata Power, Adani Power as fuel costs decline by 10 per cent from a year ago

Policy / Performance…………………

·          Centre to collect ` 100 bn as additional coal levy: Power Minister

·          Efforts on to link coal mines with nearest power plants: Govt

·          Cabinet approves Bill on mines auction to replace coal ordinance

·          Govt will focus on gas-based power: PM Modi

·          Govt mulling new policy to recover power arrears: Haryana CM

·          TPC-RInfra porting row: APTEL flays MERC decision

·          PM Modi inaugurates second unit of Palatana power project

·          Power Minister says govt will act soon to resolve fuel scarcity issue

·          Coal India to start mining in Mozambique

·          Coal India to adopt latest technology: Coal Minister

·          Power ministry to move cabinet soon to revive stranded assets

·          Shortage of 81 mn tonnes of domestic coal for power sector

·          CERC approves Tata Power's Maithon plant tariff plan

·          Need clarity on coal block auction guidelines: Tata Power



·          RAK Petroleum increases stake in Cote d'Ivoire oil field

·          UK oil producers press for tax cuts as crude prices collapse

·          Thailand’s PTT sees US acquisitions after oil slump

·          Total makes new oil discovery in Iraqi Kurdistan

·          Exxon, Rosneft scrap Arctic deals as Russia sanctions bite

·          Karoon discovers oil at Kangaroo-2 appraisal well, offshore Brazil

·          Mexico shrugs off OPEC as Exxon to Chevron line up to bid


·          Ecopetrol refinery overhaul to boost profit in oil slump

·          Pembina plans to expand gas processing capacity at Musreau facility in Canada

·          US refiners looking closer to home to buy their crude

Transportation / Trade…………

·          Iraq to boost northern oil exports after deal with Kurds

·          Junk bonds backing shale boom facing $11.6 bn loss

·          Ukraine gets loan to modernize gas pipelines

·          Japan's Petro-Diamond pays nearly double for December cargo from ONGC

·          Return of $2 gas seen for some in US as OPEC stands pat

Policy / Performance………………

·          Saudi cabinet says oil policy purely economic in motive

·          Iran wary of oil ‘shock therapy’ as OPEC vies for market

·          China winning in OPEC price war as hoarding accelerates

·          Oil price drop forces OPEC member Iraq to weigh spending cuts

·          ECB confronts cheaper oil spilling onto stimulus debate

·          Energy acquisitions on cards as OPEC output stirs repeat of 1998

·          Japan imports first US oil in 4 yrs amid shale boom

·          OPEC policy ensures US shale crash, Russian Tycoon says

·          OPEC seen by UAE doing ‘whatever it takes’ to balance market



·          Saudi Arabia's Acwa to develop $1 bn power plant in Turkey

·          Chilean coal-fired power generation falls 5.9 per cent in October

Transmission / Distribution / Trade……

·          EIB to support electricity transmission grid upgrade in Czech Republic

Policy / Performance………………

·          US nuclear plants squeezed by cheap gas, uranium costs

·          Australia opens door to nuclear energy

·          Uranium best energy performer on rebound from Fukushima drop



·          Union Cabinet approves India's stand at climate change meet

·          Welspun Energy forays into solar rooftop space

·          MSME Ministry urged to promote use of renewable energy

·          AP to partner with Japanese Softbank for solar power projects

·          Mumbai, Kolkata most vulnerable to climate change: Govt

·          Tamil Nadu data centres tap green energy

·          Only 1.37 per cent bioethanol in petrol against mandatory 5 per cent: Goyal


·          Germany's $132 bn green energy lead is fortified by EON's split with fossil fuels

·          OPEC squeeze on oil spares renewables from energy turmoil

·          Rich nations will make $100 bn climate goal, US says

·          Argentina province schedules auction to build first solar farm

·          China solar project delays mean Japan could be largest market

·          Pollution to follow as gas replaces hydropower: Corporate Brazil

·          Molten aluminum lakes offer power storage for German wind farms

·          EPA power plant mercury rule gets US Supreme Court review

·          New carbon market is key part of climate agreement, UK says





Solar or Grid: To Choice is ‘Yours’!

Ashish Gupta, Observer Research Foundation


olar roof top power is propagated as energy for the poor people. In this light it is interesting to analyse the case of two hypothetical persons from the Below Poverty line category and see who will be in a better position, the one who uses power from the grid or the one who opts for solar roof top? As you may be aware, at a bare minimum level at least 1000kwh/ per capita/ year consumption is required to have decent quality of life.  Therefore, in the case given below, Person A is assumed to fulfil his per capita electricity consumption through grid based electricity and Person B by installing a 1 Kilo watt solar plant at his residence. Assume that both are identical having same small income for the sake of simplicity. Again for the sake of simplicity, the fixed charge for grid based electricity is taken as nil and cost of maintenance and repair for solar plant is also taken as nil. Since most of the poor people do not own their homes, they may have to pay a charge for using the roof top but this is taken as nil.


Cost of constructing power plant




Monthly bill

Savings = Difference between monthly instalment – actual bill

Person A consuming grid based electricity


 1000 kwh / per capita/ year consumption kwh taken as the benchmark criteria


Monthly consumption = 1000 kwh/ 12 =  83 kwh/ per month


Per day consumption = 83 Kwh/ 30 = 2.8 kwh

Retail supply tariff schedule for FY 2013-14 (51 units – 100 un its) in Delhi


` 2. 60

83 kwh x ` 2.60 = ` 216

Monthly saving= ` 934 – ` 216 = ` 718 (since he has not invested in the plant)


Yearly saving = ` 718 x 12 = ` 8616


Deposited the amount in the savings bank account at 4% compounded annually.


Savings at the end of 25 years = ` 8616 (invested annually at 4% = ` 3,73,174 (rounded figure)[1]

Person B having Solar roof top power Plant

Initially investment for installation of 1 kwp solar rooftop plant = ` 80,000 (benchmark capex cost as per CEA is ` 8 Crore/ Mega Watt)


The person take personal loan from Public bank at the rate of 10.10 % for 25 years (life of the Plant)


Total initial cost= 80000 x 110.10/ 100 = ` 88, 080


Yearly instalment = ` (` 88, 080+24 x 8000 (app. Figure of ` 8, 000 taken for calculation rather than ` 8, 808) / 25  = ` 280080/25 = ` 11203


Monthly instalment will be = ` 11203/ 12 = ` 933.6 or ` 934 (eventually this will be his  monthly bill)

1000 kwh / per capita/ year consumption kwh taken as the benchmark criteria


Monthly consumption = 1000 kwh/ 12 =  83 kwh/ per month


Per day consumption = 82 Kwh/ 30 = 2.8 kwh


On an average, 1 kw solar plant can generate 4 kwh energy / per day

Tariff is nil. After consuming his 2.8 Kwh, he will sell 1.2 kwh at ` 9.56 (KERC solar tariff order 2013 for roof top & small solar plants)


Monthly Revenue from the sale = 1.2 x 9.56 x 30 = ` 344 (rounded off)


Monthly revenue – monthly  instalment = ` 344 – ` 934 =  - ` 590 (rounded off)

Yearly loss = ` - 590 x 12 = ` - 7080


Money lost in 25 years = ` 7080 x 25 = - ` 1,77,000 + Plus interest


Conclusion: return on investment -Negative


Plus he has to buy new solar roof top setup



CEA = Central Electricity Authority

For those who do not want to go through the calculations here is a summary of the result. Person A using grid based electricity will be better off by ` 3,73,174 in 25 years compared to the person installing roof top solar system who will be in debt.  Some may argue that is a subsidy is given for purchase of roof top and if the cost of avoided carbon is taken the tables will turn in favours of Person B. This raises the question as to why people who barely consume any electricity should be shouldering the burden of securing a loan/installing a roof top etc to save few grams of carbon when others who consume electricity even to brush their teeth just have to flick a switch for electricity and emit kilograms of carbon. We will ignore this for the moment and only pose the question: What would the poor choose purely on the basis of value?

Views are those of the author                    

Author can be contacted at [email protected]




Open Letter to the Prime Ministers of Nepal and India

Rt. Hon. Sushil Koirala, Prime Minister of Nepal

His Excellency Narendra Damodardas Modi, Prime Minister of India

We, the undersigned concerned citizens, who have been keenly observing and following developments in the water resources sector including the award of the water related projects for hydro power generation to the national and external private sectors, have had our attention drawn to the recently signed (19th September 2014) Power Development Agreement (PDA) between the Investment Board of Nepal (NIB) and the GMR-ITD Consortium of India, allowing the latter to develop a 900 MW Upper Karnali Project, as a run-of-river (RoR) project.

We feel that the proposed project, as it stands, remains deeply flawed technically, economically, environmentally and socio-politically; and, therefore, if implemented in the present form, would directly undermine the vital interests of the people and economies of Nepal and India and would also set an unpardonable precedent with long-term consequences. The following are some of the major technical and institutional deficiencies built into the current project design:

1. Displacement of "jewel in the crown" multipurpose project

1.1 With the potential of building 2 sites in Karnali Bend, KR1A (240 MW) and KR1B (main power plant 3,532 MW and second power plant 408 MW) total potential capacity stands at 4,180 MW. As a reservoir storage project, this scheme will generate economically and financially valuable peaking power compared to flood energy with a peaking RoR plant. These are mutually exclusive options; hence, building the 900 MW RoR plant would produce relatively expensive 1,000 GWh firm energy annually while the storage option with redesign would produce 9,000 GWh. The current option thus constitutes “killing” the full potential of this site. Due to the ever increasing carbon content and resulting climate change the world is required to reduce generation and use of electricity from unclean/un-renewable sources and increase generation and use from clean/renewable sources. Against this backdrop, it doesn’t make sense to harness this site at one-fourth of its full potential.

1.2 In the Karnali Bend there is a natural head of 140m and the required tunnel length between dam and powerhouse is less than 2km due to which the construction cost will be commensurately lower. Given the unique and highly advantageous topography of the region, reputed international consultants such as the US energy giant, Bechtel International, and those from Canada have dubbed the project as a "jewel in the crown" and one of the most attractive hydro development sites. The current version would thus be a crime of debasing this gift of nature.

1.3 The storage option (with live storage of 4 billion cubic meters) will reduce flood peak on Karnali River by 50 percent with significant flood control benefits for the Open Letter to the Prime Ministers of Nepal and India re UKP downstream reaches of Karnali River in both Nepal and India. The reservoir will also generate 500 m3/s lean season augmented flow that can irrigate and additional 1.2 million hectares of agricultural land. Nepal is land-limited and, after irrigating about 200,000 hectares of land in Nepal, India can irrigate an additional 1 million hectares of agricultural land. While reservoir projects are generally accompanied by huge environmental and social costs, the impact of this storage project is relatively minimal for its capacity with positive benefits being relatively much larger.

2. Potential social and environmental disaster

2.1 Nepal’s power planning of the last several decades has bequeathed the country a “flood-drought” syndrome whose recurrent feature is electricity glut of a few years upon the implementation of a single large (for its system) project followed by years of chronic load-shedding. This pathology has become acute in the last few years with power cuts of fifteen hours per day in the roughly 700 MW sized Nepal Integrated National Grid. Currently, the “suppressed demand” in Nepal is between three to five thousand MW, much of which is needed for a transition to a carbon-neutral Nepal fuelled by renewable energy to accelerate her industrialization and provide jobs to her youth at home. This “suppressed demand” is being partially met by almost 700 MW of expensive private diesel generators that have skyrocketed import of petroleum and therefore, makes little economic sense. Against such a backdrop, pursuing an export oriented strategy as underlined by this project and its PDA is suicidal in its very intent, and is, therefore, already provoking adverse public reactions towards not only its own government but also against a friendly neighbor. However, once Nepal has achieved its requirements in power generation, all of the undersigned would see export of surplus power as eminently sensible.

2.2 Designed as a peaking RoR project, the current option is slated to interrupt the river flow for 20-21 hours a day and to discharge the pent up volume for 3-4 hours a day during the lean season. This daily flood pulse and drought will have a devastating impact on downstream irrigation projects, on the local communities and on the wildlife reserves of Bardia National Park in Nepal and Dudhwa National Park in India. The project was initially conceptualized as a 300 MW RoR further 2 kms downstream, which was later changed to the current capacity of 900 MW at the present location. While both the IBN and GMR seem to have acknowledged these problems and have suggested the possible construction of another re-regulating dam immediately downstream within six months, It fundamentally calls into question the technical and financial feasibility and viability of the current project at its very core, thus rendering it evidently unworthy of implementation in its present shape on technical as well as ethical grounds.

2.3 We also find it necessary to point out that the current UKP PDA and related agreements have been entered into by bypassing Article 156 of the Nepal's current Constitution that requires their endorsement by its parliament. We note that a procedure that is not supported by the requirements of the fundamental law of the land constitutes a rather shaky foundation on which to build enduring trans-boundary cooperation in this vital sector for both Nepal and India. Besides, we could not also fail to notice a strange Open Letter to the Prime Ministers of Nepal and India re UKP and unfortunate veil of secrecy surrounding the making of the current project that would otherwise mark the historic onset of power trading cooperation between two friendly countries, Nepal and India.

3. Possible way ahead

3.1 As upstream and downstream riparian neighbors, Nepal and India are destined to cooperate in the multipurpose development of the water resources in the Ganga basin for the multi-dimensional benefits for the people of both the countries such as hydropower, irrigation, flood control, navigation, tourism and fisheries. To this end, we are convinced that a more sagacious development of the UKP is crucially in order, and it would also go on to constitute a very healthy precedent for other projects too in future. We also find it necessary to recall that the bane of most of the projects in Nepal in recent years have been enormous cost and time overruns, mainly due to severe disjuncture between the interests of the project developers, local stakeholders as well as the general power consumers. We sense early warning signs of this malaise overtaking UKP as well if the current shortsighted option is not corrected at the earliest.

3.2 In view of the enormous loss that the implementation of the UKP in its present form would cause to the people of both Nepal and India, four alternative options – which had also been submitted to the Government of Nepal and IBN for their consideration earlier – are being proposed, so that even as GMR goes ahead with its maiden undertaking in Nepal, the potential of a better project as mentioned above would not be compromised. These options are: a) building high dam and reservoir by Nepal, and GMR to tap water from tailrace of powerhouse; b) building diversion structure downstream of Ramagad for a capacity of approximately 850 MW that would prevent backwater rising up to the high dam site; and c) building a single project to generate 4,200 MW with GMR sharing the costs and benefits. In case these options do not work, the fourth option would be to have the government of Nepal build the high dam project on its own and to compensate GMR for necessary costs incurred so far.

In the light of the above, we are seeking your statesmanlike intervention for a more rational use of Upper Karnali Project site in the Karnali Bend in such a way that bigger optimal benefits could be reaped by the people of Nepal and India.


22 November 2014

Civil Society Alliance for Rational Water Resources Development in Nepal


1. Prof. Dr. Hari P. Pandit, Institute of Engineering, TU

2. Mr. Bihari Krishna Shrestha, anthropologist/former Additional Secretary

3. Dr. Prakash Chandra Lohani, former Minister of Finance/Foreign Affairs

4. Dr. Ananda B Thapa, former Executive Secretary, WECS

5. Dr. Dwarika Nath Dhungel, former Secretary Ministry of Water Resources

6. Mr. Dipak Gyawali, Academician, NAST, former Minister of Water Resources

7. Prof. Dr. Mohan P Lohani, former Ambassador

8. Mr. Bharat Basnet, The Explore Nepal

9. Mr Ajit Narayan Singh Thapa, former MD, NEA

10. Mr. Lok B Rawat, Chair, KARBACOS

11. Mr. Ratna Sansar Shrestha, former member, NEA board of directors

12. Mr Lila Mani Pokhrel, UCPN (Maoist)


Global CO2 Emissions from Fuel Combustion: Gloomy Picture from the IEA

K K Roy Chowdhury, Energy & Environment Expert, Delhi


he International Energy Agency (IEA), Paris has specially designed a publication, titled, “CO2 EMISSIONS FROM FUEL COMBUSTION HIGHLIGHTS”-2014 Edition and released it for delegations and observers of the twentieth session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Climate Change Convention (COP 20), in conjunction with the tenth meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP 10), held in Lima, Peru from 1 to 12 December 2014.

Key findings include:

·         Global CO2 emissions increased by 51% since 1990, reaching 31.7 Giga tones of Carbon-di-oxide (GtCO2) in 2012. Despite some decoupling between economic growth and energy use, increasing wealth and population, with a practically unchanged carbon intensity of the energy mix, drove this dramatic emissions increase.

·         In 2012, two-thirds of global emissions originated from just ten countries, with the shares of China and the United States far surpassing those of all others. Increased coal and oil consumption drove emissions increases in developing countries, while developed countries slightly decreased their emissions compared to 2011.

·         CO2 emissions for the group of countries participating in the Kyoto Protocol were collectively about 14% below 1990 levels in 2012, although large differences were observed at an individual country level.

The full-scale study CO₂ Emissions from Fuel Combustion 2014 includes even more comprehensive information, such as tables and graphs by country and region. Complete time series of CO2 emissions data and indicators are also found at the IEA online data services.

The IEA estimates of CO2 emissions from fuel combustion are based on the IEA energy balances and the Revised 1996 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories.

In the lead-up to the UN climate negotiations in Lima, the latest information on the level and growth of CO2 emissions, their source and geographic distribution will be essential to lay the foundation for a global agreement as input to and support for the UN process.

This annual publication contains, for more than 140 countries and regions:

·         estimates of CO2 emissions from 1971 to 2012

·         selected indicators such as CO2/GDP, CO2/capita and CO2/TPES

·         a decomposition of CO2 emissions into driving factors

·         CO2 emissions from international marine and aviation bunkers, and other relevant information.

Recent years have witnessed a fundamental change in the way governments approach energy-related environmental issues. Promoting sustainable development and combating climate change have become integral aspects of energy planning, analysis and policy making in many countries, including all IEA member states. The IEA’s energy data are the figures most often cited in the field making it appropriate for them to publish this information in a comprehensive form.

The IEA has also reported that these data are only for energy-related CO2, not for any other greenhouse gases. Thus they may differ from countries' official submissions of emissions inventories to the UNFCCC Secretariat. However, the full-scale study contains data for CO2 from non-energy-related sources and gas flaring, and emissions of CH4, N2O, HFC, PFC and SF6. In addition, the full-scale study also includes information on ‘Key Sources’ from fuel combustion, as developed in the IPCC Good Practice Guidance and Uncertainty Management in National Greenhouse Gas Inventories.

The estimates of CO2 emissions from fuel combustion presented in this publication are calculated using the IEA energy balances and the default methods and emission factors from the Revised 1996 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories. There are many reasons why the IEA Secretariat estimates may not be the same as the numbers that a country submits to the UNFCCC, even if a country has accounted for all of its energy use and correctly applied the IPCC Guidelines.

A summary of the recent trends in CO2 emissions from fuel combustion as given in the IEA publication is stated below.

The growing importance of energy-related emissions of CO2, given the concentrations of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere that have been increasing significantly over the past century and also much reported, need not be over-emphasised. Significant increases have also occurred in levels of methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O). The Fifth Assessment Report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (Working Group I) states that human influence on the climate system is clear (IPCC, 2013). Some changes in the climate system would be irreversible in the course of a human life span.

Given the long lifetime of CO2 in the atmosphere, stabilizing concentrations of greenhouse gases at any level would require large reductions of global CO2emissions from current levels. The lower the chosen level for stabilisation, the sooner the decline in global CO2 emissions would need to begin, or the deeper the emission reduction would need to be over time. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) provides a structure for intergovernmental efforts to tackle the challenge posed by climate change. The Convention’s ultimate objective is to stabilize GHG concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system. The Conference of Parties (COP) further recognised that deep cuts in global GHG emissions are required, with a view to hold the increase in global average temperature below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, and that Parties should take urgent action to meet this long-term goal, consistent with science and on the basis of equity.

Energy use and greenhouse gases: Among the many human activities that produce greenhouse gases, the use of energy represents by far the largest source of emissions.

Within the energy sector, CO2 resulting from the oxidation of carbon in fuels during combustion dominates the total GHG emissions. CO2 from energy represents about three quarters of the anthropogenic GHG emissions for Annex I countries, and almost 70% of global emissions. This percentage varies greatly by country, due to diverse national structures. Increasing demand for energy comes from worldwide economic growth and development. Global total primary energy supply (TPES) more than doubled between 1971 and 2012, mainly relying on fossil fuels.

Despite the growth of non-fossil energy (such as nuclear and hydropower), considered as non-emitting, the share of fossil fuels within the world energy supply is relatively unchanged over the past 41 years. In 2012, fossil sources accounted for 82% of the global TPES.

Growing world energy demand from fossil fuels plays a key role in the upward trend in CO2 emissions. Since the Industrial Revolution, annual CO2 emissions from fuel combustion dramatically increased from near zero to almost 32 GtCO2 in 2012.

Recent emissions trends: In 2012, global CO2 emissions were 31.7 GtCO2. This represents a 1.2% year-on-year increase in emissions, about half the average annual growth rate since 2000, and four percentage points less than in 2010, year of initial recovery after the financial crisis.

Emissions in non-Annex I countries continued to increase (3.8%), albeit at a lower rate than in 2011, while emissions in Annex I countries decreased by 1.5%. In absolute terms, global CO2 emissions increased by 0.4 GtCO2 in 2012, driven primarily by increased emissions from coal and oil in non-Annex I countries.

Emissions by fuel: Although coal represented 29% of the world TPES in2012, it accounted for 44% of the global CO2 emissions due to its heavy carbon content per unit of energy released, and to the fact that 18% of the TPES derives from carbon-neutral fuels. As compared to gas, coal is nearly twice as emission intensive on average.

Those shares evolved significantly during the last decade, following ten years of rather stable relative contributions among fuels. In 2002 in fact, oil still held the largest share of emissions (41%), three percentage points ahead of coal.

In 2012, CO2 emissions from the combustion of coal increased by 1.3% to 13.9 GtCO2. Currently, coal fills much of the growing energy demand of those developing countries (such as China and India) where energy-intensive industrial production is growing rapidly and large coal reserves exist with limited reserves of other energy sources.

Emissions by region: Non-Annex I countries, collectively, represented 55% of global CO2 emissions in 2012. At the regional level, annual growth rates varied greatly: emissions growth in China (3.1%) was lower than in previous years, however, emissions grew strongly in Africa (5.6%), Asia excluding China (4.9%) and the Middle East (4.5%). Emissions in Latin America (4.1%) and Annex II Asia Oceania (2.5%) grew at a more moderate rate, while emissions decreased in Annex II North America (-3.7%), Annex II Europe (-0.5%) and Annex I EIT (-0.8%).

Regional differences in contributions to global emissions conceal even larger differences among individual countries. Nearly two-thirds of global emissions for 2012 originated from just ten countries, with the shares of China (26%) and the United States (16%) far surpassing those of all others. Combined, these two countries alone produced 13.3 GtCO2. The top-10 emitting countries include five Annex I countries (United States, Russian Federation, Japan, Germany, Canada) and five non-Annex I countries (China, India, Korea, Islamic Republic of Iran, Saudi Arabia). As different regions and countries have contrasting economic and social structures, the picture would change significantly when moving from absolute emissions to indicators such as emissions per capita or per GDP.

Emissions by sector: Two sectors produced nearly two-thirds of global CO2emissions in 2012: electricity and heat generation, by far the largest, accounted for 42%, while transport accounted for 23%. Generation of electricity and heat worldwide relies heavily on coal, the most carbon-intensive fossil fuel. Countries such as Australia, China, India, Poland and South Africa produce over two-thirds of their electricity and heat through the combustion of coal. 

Between 2011 and 2012, CO2 emissions from electricity and heat increased by 1.8%, faster than total emissions. While the share of oil in electricity and heat emissions has declined steadily since 1990, the share of gas increased slightly, and the share of coal increased significantly, from 65% in 1990 to 72% in 2012. Carbon intensity developments for this sector will strongly depend on the fuel mix used to generate electricity, including the share of non-emitting sources, such as renewables and nuclear, as well as on the potential penetration of CCS technologies.

As for transport, the fast emissions growth was driven by emissions from the road sector, which increased by 64% since 1990 and accounted for about three quarters of transport emissions in 2012. It is interesting to note that despite efforts to limit emissions from international transport, emissions from marine and aviation bunkers, 66% and 80% higher in 2012 than in 1990 respectively, grew even faster than those from road.


The author may be contacted at [email protected]



Energy for Cooking & Lighting in Rural India

Akhilesh Sati, Observer Research Foundation

Collection of fire wood by rural women



No. of Females*

Per 1000 Rural Females







































































*Females of age 5 yrs and above.

Source: NNS 68th Round (Report No. 559)




ONGC targets to start production by mid-2018 from KG-D5 block

December 1, 2014. Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) is targeting mid-2018 for start of natural gas production from its Krishna Godavari basin KG-D5 block, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said. ONGC is using cluster approach to bring oil and gas finds in the block KG-DWN-98/2 or KG-D5, which sits next to Reliance Industries' Bay of Bengal block KG-D6, to production by 2018-19, he said. The block (KG-D5) is divided into the Northern Discovery Area (NDA) and Southern Discovery Area (SDA). Estimated reserves of NDA are 121 million tons of oil in-place and 78 billion cubic meters (bcm) of initial gas in place and that of SDA are 80.9 bcm of intial gas in place, he said. ONGC plans to develop the discoveries in the block in three clusters -- 14.5 million standard cubic meters per day of gas for 15 years from Cluster-1 comprising of D&E finds of NDA in KG-D5 block and G-4 find in the a neighbouring area. (

ONGC lines up $3 bn investment in Mozambique

November 28, 2014. With ONGC lining up USD 3 billion more investment in a giant Mozambique gas field, India pressed the African nation to approve a law that will help protect its investment. ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL), the overseas arm of state explorer Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC), and Oil India Ltd (OIL) have already spent USD 5 billion in taking 20 per cent stake in Area-1 gas field. Their share of investment for developing the offshore gas field and converting the fuel into LNG for export in ships would be another $3 billion-plus. Though the required law and investment agreements are in place for the Production Sharing Contract (PSC) for the upstream component, the special regimes required for midstream and downstream investment (pipelines and LNG plants) are yet to be finalised. The special regimes for midstream and downstream investment require passing of a decree law and an LNG investment agreement with the approval of the Parliament of Mozambique. While the Mozambique cabinet has approved the decree law, it is awaiting Parliament nod. Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan pressed visting Mozambique Foreign Minister Oldemiro Julio Marques Baloi for early passage of the law. Any delay in the Parliament nod will push back the project as Mozambique is headed for general elections and a new Parliament may take some time to constitute and approve the decree. OVL and partners are targeting 2019 for start of gas production. Pradhan and the visiting minister discussed various areas of mutual cooperation in the energy sector. (


Indian Oil eyes West coast for new refinery project

November 30, 2014. Indian Oil Corp (IOC) is looking at setting up a greenfield refinery on the West coast as part of its expansion plans. The company is the second largest petrochemical player having 19 per cent market share. IOC's Rs 34,555 crore state-of-the-art 15 million metric tonnes per annum (MMTPA) Paradip Refinery would be commissioned in phases from March 2015 onwards. On cost escalation, the Paradip Refinery was envisaged originally at ` 29,700 crore and has now been estimated at ` 34,555 crore, which includes certain changes, with the addition of a new power plant. The refinery is capable for processing a broad basket of crude oil grades, including cheaper high-sulphur heavy crudes, which would help the company improve its bottom-line. As part of its diversification plan, the company is setting up a polypropylene project having capacity of 680 KTA at Paradip. The INDMAX FCC Unit of 4.2 MMTPA capacity at Paradip, one of the major secondary processing units, is designed to operate in petrochemicals mode to maximise propylene/ethylene production. The unit would produce 700 KTA of propylene. Based on the availability of propylene, a poly-propylene plant of 700 KTA capacity is expected to be commissioned by 2017-18, with an estimated capex of ` 3,150 crore. The company is expanding its portfolio in gas, petrochemicals and upstreams to improve its bottom-line. In the gas sector, IOC sold 3.22 MMT of R-LNG during 2013-2014, which constitutes a market share of 28 per cent in the domestic market. A pioneer in supplying 'LNG by Road' to customers not connected to pipeline networks, it includes transportation of LNG in cryogenic tankers by now. IOC plans to augment its 132-km Dadri-Panipat pipelines. A 5 MMTPA LNG re-gasification terminal project at Ennore in Tamil Nadu is under implementation. IOC is also a consortium partner for implementation of 4,000 km of gas pipeline projects and is also a joint venture partner for city gas distribution in Agra and Lucknow. Another joint venture for city gas distribution is also being implemented for Lucknow and Chandigarh. In the petrochemicals sector, IOC is now the No 2 player in the country. The petrochemical plants of IOC includes LAB at Gujarat Refinery having capacity of 120 TMTPA; PTA at Panipat refinery 553 TMTPA; and Naphtha Cracker at Panipat having Polyethylene capacity of 650 TMTPA. The total investment on these plants is over ` 20,800 crore. IOC has been aggressively automating its retail outlets with a view to optimising the benefits for customers, dealers and the Corporation. About 6,537 retail outlets have been automated till date and the Corporation has aggressive plans to cover the entire network. (

Transportation / Trade…………

India weighs piping diesel to Bangladesh

December 2, 2014. India is studying the feasibility of exporting diesel to Bangladesh through a pipeline as part of the government's plans to develop the northeast as the gateway for the proposed economic corridor with its eastern neighbours. BPCL's subsidiary, Numaligarh Refineries Ltd, proposes to export about a million tonne of diesel per year from its refinery in Assam if the ` 200-crore pipeline project finally works out. The pipeline would revive an old trade between the two countries. IndianOil in 2003-2004 made a deal with Bangladesh for exporting 2 lakh tonne of diesel a year. But, that deal floundered over the pricing issue. Bangladesh imports some 1.6 million tonne of petroleum products, mostly from Kuwait. The deal fell through even after the two sides had discussed plans to haul petroleum products from IndianOil's Haldia refinery by rail and barges. IndianOil had also offered to revamp the two million tonne Chittagong refinery and construct a fuel import terminal at Mongla. (

Policy / Performance………

Excise duty on petrol, diesel hiked; no impact on prices

December 2, 2014. The Government raised excise duty on petrol and diesel by ` 2.25 and ` 1 a litre respectively, but consumers will be spared of a price hike. The move, which comes amid declining prices of crude oil in the international market, will boost government revenue and help it contain the fiscal deficit. The move will have no impact on retail prices of petrol and diesel. This is the second hike in excise duty in three weeks. On November 12, the government had raised the excise duty by ` 1.50 per litre on both petrol and diesel but that did not have any impact on the retail prices. In view of the declining prices of crude, oil marketing companies had cut petrol price by 91 paise a litre, the seventh reduction since August, and diesel by 84 paise per litre, the third straight cut. (

Assam govt moves Guwahati High Court on oil royalty issue

December 1, 2014. Assam government has approached the Gauhati High Court seeking a direction to energy firms like ONGC and OIL to pay royalty on crude oil on pre-discounted rate to the state in accordance with a Supreme Court order. The Supreme Court in its interim order had directed ONGC to pay crude oil royalty to Gujarat on pre-discounted crude price beginning February 1, 2014. The Gujarat High Court on a petition filed by the Gujarat government had held that the royalty should be payable to the state on market price of crude oil and not on post-discount price. Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi had strongly mentioned the issue in a memorandum submitted to Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his two-day visit to Assam. (

LPG rate cut by ` 113, jet fuel prices by 4.1 per cent

December 1, 2014. Price of non-subsidised cooking gas (LPG) was cut by a steep ` 113 per cylinder and that of jet fuel (ATF) by 4.1 per cent as international oil rates slumped to multi-year lows. A 14.2-kg cylinder of non-subsidised LPG will cost ` 752, down from ` 865 previously, in Delhi, oil companies announced. This is the fifth straight reduction in rates of non-subsidised or market priced LPG, which the customers buy after exhausting their quota of 12 cylinders at subsidised rates, since August. In five monthly reduction, non-domestic LPG rates have been slashed by ` 170.5 per cylinder, bringing the price at three-year lows. On similar lines, the price of aviation turbine fuel (ATF), or jet fuel, at Delhi was cut by ` 2,594.93 per kilolitre, or 4.1 per cent, to ` 59,943 per kl. This is the fifth straight monthly reduction in rates. This reduction follows a steep 7.3 pr cent or ` 4,987.7 per kl, cut in prices on November 1. Since August, ATF prices have been cut by 14.5 per cent or Rs 10,218.76 per kl and rates have dipped below Rs 60,000 per kl level for the first time in three years. Brent, the benchmark grade for more than half of the world's oil, have dropped to $ 68.34 a barrel, the lowest level since October 2009. Prices declined 18 per cent last month and are 38 per cent lower in 2014. In Mumbai, jet fuel will cost ` 61,695 per kl from as against ` 64,414.98 per kl previously. The rates vary because of differences in local sales tax or VAT. Jet fuel constitutes over 40 per cent of an airline's operating costs and the price cut will ease the financial burden of cash-strapped carriers. The three fuel retailers -- IOC, Hindustan Petroleum Corp and Bharat Petroleum Corp -- revise jet fuel and non-subsidised LPG prices on the first of every month, based on the average international prices in the preceding month. The oil companies had cut petrol price by 91 paisa a litre and diesel by 84 paisa per litre. The seventh reduction in price since August has meant that petrol costs ` 63.33 a litre in Delhi, ` 10.27 per litre less than what it cost in July. The third reduction in diesel rates in one month has led to price coming down to ` 52.51 a litre. Non-subsidised LPG in Delhi was priced at ` 922.50 in July and rates have in every subsequent month been reduced. (

Gas price in India to dip to $5 in 3 yrs: Goldman Sachs

November 30, 2014. The new natural gas price of $5.61, which is already among the lowest in Asia Pacific, is likely to drop to around $5 per unit in three years due to the variables included in the formula, Goldman Sachs has said. Stating that Indian prices for new projects are among the lowest in Asia Pacific, Goldman said China pays explorers $11.9 per mmBtu (million British thermal unit) rate for new projects while Indonesia and the Philippines price the fuel at $11 and $10.5 respectively. Gas from offshore fields in Myanmar, where ONGC and GAIL have stake, are sold to China for $7.72. Thailand prices gas from new projects at $8.2 per mmBtu. The only nations with lower rates are Vietnam ($5.2) and Malaysia ($5), it said. The government had approved a new formula that priced all domestic gas at weighted average of rates prevalent in gas-surplus economies of US/Mexico, Canada and Russia. Goldman said encouraging domestic E&P was critical for the Indian oil and gas sector in order to check the rising dependence on imports. (

National interest, energy security more important than procedures: CAG

November 29, 2014. The national auditor has asked the oil ministry to let national interest and energy security determine its approach towards commercial discoveries instead of niggling with procedural issues and sought "critical review and rationalisation" of contractual provisions that have troubled the industry. The Comptroller & Auditor General (CAG) said in view of energy security, the country cannot afford to lose out on even a small discovery as it urged the government to speed up approvals of budgets and work programmes of blocks, which have been delayed by as much as 16 months after the end of the fiscal year. The auditor also kept an eagle eye on the expenditure and claims by companies such as Reliance Industries, Cairn India and Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC), citing contractual provisions in observations about lapses. The report revealed that the price of crude oil produced from Cairn India's Rajasthan block had still not been finalised by the government, making payment of royalty, tax and state share of profit, tentative. It also recommended disallowing some costs of Reliance Industries in the KG-D6 block, and noted that state-run ONGC sold its share of gas from a joint venture to Torrent Power at a price lower than what was prescribed. This report of CAG was keenly watched because its previous audit had made stern observations that prompted the oil ministry to initiate action against Reliance Industries. This led to arbitration and the company said its contract has a provision only for a financial audit, not the comprehensive performance audit by the CAG. In what should cheer industry, the latest report highlighted huge delays in approvals of budgets for oil and gas blocks and called them a matter of concern. The ministry has already informed the audit team that DGH had given an assurance that from next year, the work programme and budget would be received by December 31 and all efforts would be made to approve it in three months. CAG said certain provisions of the contractual regime needed a thorough relook. (

From March 31, pay market rate for LPG cylinders

November 27, 2014. Aadhaar or no Aadhaar, LPG cylinders will no more be available from dealers at subsidised rates after March 31, 2015. Moreover, holding an Aadhaar card is no more the necessary criterion for receiving subsidy on cooking gas in bank accounts. The direct benefit transfer of LPG scheme (DBTL), which was re-introduced on November 15 across 54 districts, would now be launched nationally from January 1. The government has also decided to provide a three-month grace period till March 31, 2015 for households to receive subsidised cylinders directly from their dealers. Beyond this date, the LPG cylinders will be sold at market price. And if the consumer enrolls for the subsidy transfer scheme by that time, the subsidy will be deposited in the bank account provided in the application. Otherwise, there will be no subsidy at all. The period - April 1, 2015 to June 30, 2015 — has been termed as the parking period by the government with respect to this transfer scheme. If a consumer enrolls at any time during this period, he will be entitled to receive the entire subsidy at a go, based on the number of cylinders he already bought from his dealer at non-subsidised rates. If one does not enroll within these three months, no subsidies will accrue. For enrolling under this scheme, consumers who have Aadhaar numbers will have to first link the Aadhaar number to their bank account. This can be done by submitting a certain Form 1 to the bank. Alternatively, Form 1 can also be deposited at a drop box provided at the distributor's outlet. The next step would be to link this Aadhaar number with the LPG Consumer Number. It can be done by physically submitting Form 2 to the LPG distributor or via call centre number 1800-2333-555. One can also register at or use the IVRS for cylinder booking. Both Forms can be downloaded at and the government feels this is the preferred means of enrolling under the scheme. In case a consumer does not have the Aadhaar number, he will have to provide his 17digit LPG ID to the bank using Form 3. The 17digit ID would be available on the cash-memo of LPG cylinders that have been delivered in the past. One can also log on to his respective oil marketing company's website, punch the consumer ID to know the 17-digit LPG ID. However, not all banks are accepting these forms at the moment. Alternatively, the consumer can fill up Form 4 and submit his bank details to the LPG distributor. They can also provide their bank details through the ministry's website, Both Forms 3 and 4 can be downloaded from this website or can be collected from the LPG dealer. (

New gas price policy inconsistent with PSC, says RIL's partner

November 27, 2014. The lower-than-expected hike in natural gas prices is "inconsistent" with the contract that government has signed with oil and gas explorers, said London- listed Hardy Oil, which partners Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) and BP in a KG basin gas discovery block. The government implemented a new gas price of $5.61 per unit, a rate nearly 40 per cent lower than the price approved by the previous UPA regime but not implemented. Explorers are unhappy with the new rate, which is 33 per cent higher the previous price of $4.2 per million British thermal unit and has been arrived at averaging out prevalent rates in gas surplus economies of US, Russia and Canada, as it is below the cost of producing from most gas discoveries in deepsea. Given the projected shortfall in supply the gas, pricing policy is below expectations and is inconsistent with Production Sharing Contract (PSC) provisions which require the Contractor to ensure the gas price is determined by a regional competitive arms-length price discovery process, Hardy Oil said. Hardy holds 10 per cent interest in KG-DWN-2003/1 (D3) in Krishna Godavari basin in Bay of Bengal. RIL holds 60 per cent stake and is the operator of the block, where four discoveries have so far been made. BP has the remaining 30 per cent. India currently imports 13.5 million tons a year of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and demand of natural gas is projected to grow by 19 per cent per annum. The D3 exploration licence encompasses an area of 3,288 square kilometres, in water depths of 400 meters to 2,200 meters, and is located about 45-km off the east coast. Four gas discoveries Dhirubhai 39, 41, 44 and 52 have been made and the joint venture has acquired about 3,250 sq km of 3D seismic data over the block. (

Expert's report on ONGC-RIL gas theft dispute by June: Oil Minister

November 26, 2014. Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said international expert D&M will In June submit its report on ONGC's claim that Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) had extracted gas from its fields in KG basin. ONGC had requested the court to appoint an independent agency to establish the continuity of reservoirs and to estimate the volume of gas. D&M started its work on September 25. ONGC claims three wells drilled by RIL on the boundary of KG-D6 block are within "few hundred meters" of its gas fields. RIL has disputed ONGC's allegations of theft. (

ONGC finalises gas sales at $10.1-11.2: Oil Minister

November 26, 2014. Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) has finalised sale of gas from its marginal fields at a price of $ 10.10-11.20 a unit, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said. The price that ONGC is getting for gas from its fields in Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh is almost double of the $ 5.61 per million British thermal unit (mmBtu) rate that the government decided for all domestically produced gas. Pradhan said ONGC has finalised gas price through e-tendering for the marginal fields based on Government of India's guidelines for pricing of the fuel from small and marginal fields dated July 8, 2013. ONGC has finalised a price of $ 10.10 per mmBtu for gas from Gamij-GGS-2 field and a rate of $ 11.10 per mmBtu for Gamij-GGS-3 field, both in Gujarat. For the Warosan-4 field in Mehsana basin of Gujarat, it has finalised a rate of $ 10.50 per mmBtu, he said. In case of Triputallu, Kaza, Mandapeta-23, Gokarnapuram and Suyyaraopeta marginal fields in Andhra Pradesh, the firm has finalised a price of $ 11.20 per mmBtu. Pradhan said based on the recommendations of Rangarajan Comittee Report, the previous UPA government had in January approved Domestic Natural Gas Pricing Guidelines, 2014. According to this formula the gas price came to about $ 8.4 per mmBtu. Based on the recommendation of the committee, the government last month issued New Domestic Natural Gas Pricing Guidelines, 2014. As per the new policy, the price of domestic natural gas applicable for the period November 1 to March 31, 2015 will be $ 5.05 per mmBtu on gross calorific value (GCV) basis and $ 5.61 on net calorific value (NCV) basis. The previous rate of $ 4.2 per mmBtu was on NCV basis. Pradhan said ONGC during April-September this year produced 10.98 billion cubic meters of gas and 1.1 million cubic meters of coal-bed methane or CBM gas which is produced from coal seams. Oil India Ltd produced 1.37 bcm of gas in the same period, he said. (

Modi to Abe favour oil bears as plunge aids Asian economies

November 26, 2014. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has oil to thank for helping an economic revival in India. Whether his luck holds depends on a meeting in Vienna. Awaiting the outcome of the summit of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) on Nov. 27 are other Asian leaders who depend largely on imported oil. While Chinese President Xi Jinping is looking at shoring up an economy on track to record its weakest annual growth since 1990, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is banking on OPEC’s 12 members sustaining production levels to stem his nation’s slide into recession. Oil’s slump this year is good news for these nations, which are exposed to the risk of global price changes that affect their balance of trade. In India, which imports 80 percent of its oil, the key stock index has risen the most among Asian indexes this year as crude slumped. Not only will unchanged OPEC production help India and Japan, which buys all of its oil from overseas, it will also lower prices of natural gas imports for these two countries. South Korea, the world’s No. 2 LNG importer, will also benefit. The price of liquefied natural gas sold by most producers is linked to crude oil. Lower crude means cheaper LNG. Modi got the room to free diesel prices from state control for the first time in a decade, cutting subsidies on the fuel and narrowing one of Asia’s largest fiscal deficits. Lower oil was a reason HSBC Holdings Plc last month cut its forecast for India’s current account deficit to 1.5 percent of gross domestic product from 2.1 percent. Falling Brent has more than doubled the share prices of Bharat Petroleum Corp. (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum this year. Indian Oil Corp (IOC) has gained 60 percent since January, heading for its biggest annual increase since 2007. JPMorgan Chase & Co upgraded Hindustan Petroleum’s stock to overweight from underweight, Bharat Petroleum to overweight from neutral and Indian Oil to neutral from underweight. Hindustan Petroleum’s target price was also raised by 103 percent to 895 rupees a share. All three refiners are state-owned and were selling diesel at rates below cost. The objective was to help the government curb inflation before being allowed to set individual prices starting October. Hindustan Petroleum will be comfortable even if oil reaches as high as $90 a barrel. (



Tata Power may not source coal from Indonesia for Mundra

November 30, 2014. Tata Power may cut dependence on Indonesian coal and explore other geographies to source the fuel for expansion of its 4,000 MW Mundra ultra mega power project in Gujarat. The company owns stake in KPC mining company in Indonesia which owns and operates coal blocks in the island nation. The company said the coal for Mundra project expansion can be sourced from any other country and any other mine because one gets it at the market-determined price. The company plans to expand the capacity of its Mundra project by 1,500 MW by adding two units. As per the original plan layout prepared by the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) there is space for space for two additional units. Central Electricity Regulatory Commission asked the power procurers to pay ` 329.45 crore as compensatory tariff for the Mundra plant to partly offset escalation in the price of imported coal. (

Kudankulam likley to resume power generation in December

November 26, 2014. The Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP), whose unit 1 was shut down due to some issues in turbine functioning in September, is expected to resume power generation by the first week of December, the government said. Jitendra Singh, Minister of State for Department of Atomic Energy, also informed that measures are being taken to avoid recurrence of such an event in unit 2 of the KKNPP, which is presently under commissioning and is also being prepared for hot run. (

Package to rescue 16 GW of gas-based power plants ready

November 26, 2014. The government finalised details of a package to rescue 16,000 MW of gas-based power plants lying stranded as it looks to increase supplies by raising generation without burdening consumers. Power Minister Piyush Goyal met Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan to chalk out the rescue package that may involve rescheduling of loans to power companies as well as making available fuel at affordable price through means like pooling of average cheaper domestic gas price with costly imported LNG. The two ministers did not divulge details of the rescue package finalised which may need the Cabinet approval. Pradhan said the government is taking a comprehensive view of the variety of problems plaguing this industry for a long time. The issues of making power available to the people and addressing peak load shortages were also discussed in the meeting. (

Transmission / Distribution / Trade…

JSW Energy may buy JP Power's Bina, Nigrie assets

December 2, 2014. JSW Energy is close to acquiring Bina and Nigrie thermal power units of JP Power. The deal is likely to value the assets around ` 12,000 crores. The announcement of the acquisition of Bina and Nigrie is waiting for the government's allocation of coal block to the Nigrie project which got cancelled in the Supreme Court's verdict on coal. The government is expected to allocate the mines to the Public Sector Enterprises and State government units by mid-December. As part of the deal, JSW Energy will replace Jaiprakash Associates from the 49:51 joint venture with Madhya Pradesh State Mining Corp Ltd (MPSMCL) for the coal requirements of the Nigrie power plants. Nigrie Thermal Power Project in Madhya Pradesh has a capacity of 1320 MW and is valued at over ` 9000 crores, Bina power project of 500 MW thermal power capacity is valued around ` 2600 crores in the transaction. (

Saving power may fetch rewards from Delhi discoms

December 1, 2014. Delhi's discoms are planning to come up with innovative ways to keep tabs on the city's power consumption this winter and manage peak load without any unexpected shortfall. While north Delhi discom Tata Power Delhi is planning to incentivize consumers for using more energy efficient gadgets, Reliance discoms propose to reward those who reduce their power consumption during peak morning and evening hours. The ideas are based on Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission's (DERC) order on 'demand side management' regulations wherein the regulator asked discoms to come up with ideas for reducing load and effective power management. Tata Power Delhi plans to encourage the use of energy efficient electrical equipment. The discom estimates that if consumers change their airconditioners, about 40 MW peak power can be saved. If the proposal gets cleared and is successful, the company plans to extend the rebate system to other electrical equipment as well as well. BSES discoms have also devised plans to tackle load growth in Delhi, mainly targeted at switching off load in peak hours and reducing overall demand. DERC had asked power companies to come up with plans that make use of the demand side management regulations. The regulations seek to flatten the demand-supply curve especially in peak morning and evening hours when consumers tend to use electricity the most and bridge the demand-supply gap. The regulations seek to flatten the demand-supply curve and also have benefits like lower overall cost of electricity to the consumers by economical use of resources as well as reducing difference between power demand during peak periods and off peak period. In the last few months, there has been some concern that Delhi's power demand has been rising ahead of generation due to increase in population and economic activities. (

Indian power exchanges expect volume to grow due to SAARC energy co-operation deal

November 29, 2014. India’s two power exchanges — Indian Energy Exchange (IEX) and Power Exchange India Ltd (PXIL) —expect that the energy deal signed by the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) on energy cooperation would be a big boost to the sector. These exchanges engaged in day-ahead transactions hope that India will get more power, especially from hydro power-rich Nepal and Bhutan. On the other hand, Pakistan can expect cheaper power from India through exchanges as power is generated in the northwestern neighbouring country on costly fuel like oil and Low Sulphur Heavy Stock (LSHS). According to the SAARC Framework Agreement for Energy Cooperation, the members will — for the purpose of electricity trade — enable non-discriminatory access to the their respective transmission grid as per the applicable laws, rules, regulations and  inter-governmental bilateral trade agreements. The member states will facilitate buying and selling entities to engage in crossborder electricity trading. PXIL said deal is a win-win situation for all eight countries. (

Coal supply to power plants in Maharashtra improving

November 28, 2014. The coal-supply situation is recovering in Maharashtra, the country's most industrialised state where fuel stocks at most power plants had plunged to critically low levels last month. Stocks had dropped as supply from Coal India fell sharply, forcing Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and the Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal to intervene. Goyal assured state-run power utility Mahagenco that a coal mine will be allocated to the company to cater to its 1,000 MW of new power capacity coming up in January 2015. (

Alstom T&D bags ` 560 mn order to supply energy management system to Sri Lankan grid

November 27, 2014. Alstom T&D India has bagged an order worth ` 56 crore contract to introduce the first energy management system to Sri Lanka's national grid and to monitor and control its electricity transmission network. Alstom T&D, a leading player in power transmission business, will supply its energy management system, e-terra platform, to Ceylon Electricity Board for operating its hydro-thermal electricity system, the company said. Under the project, Alstom will build in Colombo a control centre, the National System Control Centre, equipped with supervisory control, data acquisition and energy management system. It will install and integrate 34 remote terminal units (RTU) with the new system and integrate existing substation automation. Equipment will be manufactured from the firm's facilities in Noida near Delhi. RTUs are intelligent devices that collect data from remote locations to enhance network visibility for grid operators. Alstom's e-terra platform software solution analyses the collected data to help grid operators monitor and operate the network on a real-time basis, and make decisions in real-time to ensure security of the national grid. Sri Lanka has an installed generation capacity of 2,214 MW. Its peak demand is 2,014 MW. (

APTEL upholds Tata Power's distribution licence in Mumbai

November 27, 2014. Electricity consumers, especially from South Mumbai, will now be able to choose their power supplier after the Appellate Tribunal for Electricity (APTEL) dismissed BrihanMumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST's) appeal challenging Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC's) licence to Tata Power. The consumers, currently served by BrihanMumbai Electric Supply and Transport's (BEST), can also expect a competitive power tariff. MERC had granted a distribution licence to Tata Power up to August 2039. Tata Power was entitled to supply power in BEST areas too, between Colaba/Cuffe Parade and Sion/Mahim areas of Mumbai. APTEL said Tata Power had met the conditions for credit worthiness and capital adequacy for the entire area of supply. The issue of Tata Power supplying electricity to areas currently served by BEST will be considered separately in BEST's appeal pending before it. BEST, which is an undertaking of the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation engaged in power supply and transport, in its appeal filed against MERC and Tata Power had argued that MERC should not have granted Tata Power the distribution licence as its previous performance was inadequate. Besides, BEST said MERC had erred in holding that network roll out can be prescribed as a subsequent specific condition and argued that the same has to be approved before the grant of licence. (

Delhi discoms lose crores to meet winter power shortfall

November 27, 2014. Discoms in Delhi spent around ` 750 crore to purchase additional power to meet the peak winter season demand last year. They fear, this year too, they would have to buy power from the spot market to make up for the shortfall. The three discoms in the national capital are Tata Power Delhi Distribution Company (TPDDL), Anil Ambani-promoted BSES Yamuna Power Limited (BYPL) and BSES Rajdhani Power Limited (BRPL). To meet the round-the-clock demand, the discoms need more than the contractual supply. The discoms lose between ` 0.7-1.50 on every unit of surplus power sold, depending on the season. According to the report of discoms, in the last winter, they incurred a loss of around ` 750 crore on the sale of surplus power. The discoms are already facing cash crunch and awaiting tariff hike to pass on the increasing cost of procuring power. The recent tariff hike by the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission was rolled back in just 18 hours of issuing it, citing lack of technical details. (

Fuji Electric to study smart energy grid for AP

November 27, 2014. Japan's Fuji Electric will conduct a feasibility study on a smart energy grid for Andhra Pradesh (AP) to monitor the energy consumption and forecast the demand, an exercise aimed at developing a more efficient energy management system in the state. The company, which has already committed to a similar feasibility study for a smart grid project in Panipat in Haryana, agreed to the project following Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu's request during his ongoing tour of Japan. The CM said that the company, while responding to Naidu's request when he visited Smart Grid Community at Kitakyushu City, has agreed to send its representatives to Andhra Pradesh in a month or two. Though Andhra Pradesh has an energy monitoring system, it does not have forecasting mechanisms in place, said Naidu. (

World's 2nd tallest power transmission towers in West Bengal

November 26, 2014. The world's second tallest power transmission towers, built by Haldia Energy Ltd (HEL), has come up in West Bengal. The 236-metre-long twin towers, located at HEL's 600 MW capacity plant at Haldia and Raichak across the river Hooghly, are the tallest in the country. Covering a span of 1.5 km, the twin towers weigh 1,800 tonnes. The world's highest transmission tower (370 metres) is located at Mount Damaoshan in China. HEL is a wholly-owned subsidiary of CESC Ltd run by Goenka and the power generated in Haldia would be used to supply electricity in the power company's licensed areas in Kolkata. Generation of power would begin from next month in the plant. The tallest power transmission towers in India till date were located at Rihand lake in Uttar Pradesh with a height of 185 metres. The company said the towers are designed by Elias Ghannoum, an international expert on designing transmission lines. The 400 KV twin circuit twin moose transmission line is specially designed to withstand wind force on the conductors as well, as these are in a high wind zone. (

Relief for Tata Power, Adani Power as fuel costs decline by 10 per cent from a year ago

November 26, 2014. A drop in global coal prices has brought relief to Indian power producers that bank on fuel imports and increased the possibility of a respite from higher tariffs for their electricity consumers. Fuel costs have declined by well over 10% from a year ago for Tata Power and Adani Power, the country's largest consumers of imported coal. With prices of imported coal likely to come down further, intensity of disputes between utilities and customers over tariffs may reduce. Tata Power's fuel costs have come down to ` 1.84 per unit this year from ` 2.20 in the previous financial year, while for Adani Power, it has dropped to ` 1.93 per unit from ` 2.19. (

Policy / Performance………….

Centre to collect ` 100 bn as additional coal levy: Power Minister

December 2, 2014. The government will collect ` 10,494.36 crore as levy from the allottees of cancelled coal blocks for fuel extracted up to March 2015, coal and power minister Piyush Goyal said. The central government's coffers will swell with over ` 10,000 crore on account of the additional levy of ` 295 per metric tonne imposed by the Supreme Court, which cancelled allotments of 204 coal blocks after terming them arbitrary and illegal. In case of 42 coal blocks, 37 of which are producing and five are likely to commence operations, the cancellation will take effect from March 31, the minister said. The 37 operating blocks provisionally produced 325.507 million tonnes cumulatively up to October, the minister said. The total production till October will fetch the exchequer ` 9,602.46 crore. (

Efforts on to link coal mines with nearest power plants: Govt

December 2, 2014. Efforts are under way to rationalise coal linkages with power plants to save an estimated ` 6,000 crore a year to save on transportation of the fuel, the government said. Exercises are progressing to ensure that coal is supplied to the nearest power plant from the mines' pit-head to save on transportation, Coal Secretary Anil Swarup said. He said this will result in huge indirect benefits like availability of railway rakes. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said that an exercise to rationalise coal linkages, which will optimise transport of coal and reduce cost of power, was under way. The government had constituted an inter-ministerial task force to review the existing sources and consider feasibility for rationalisation of linkages with a view to reduce the transportation cost for power utilities, cement, steel and sponge iron sector. (

Cabinet approves Bill on mines auction to replace coal ordinance

December 2, 2014. The Government cleared a Bill on coal block auctions to replace an ordinance that was promulgated to begin auction of coal mines cancelled by the Supreme Court. The Bill to replace the Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Ordinance, 2014 is likely to be brought before Parliament during the winter session. The Supreme Court had in September cancelled allocation of 204 coal blocks, including 42 operational mines and another 32 ready-to-start blocks. Through the ordinance, the Centre started the process of auctioning at least 74 operational or ready-to-operate blocks with the target of allocating them by March, well before the Supreme Court deadline for companies operating mines to wind up operations. The ordinance has been opposed by central trade unions, including BJP-affiliated trade union Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS). BMS, AITUC, CITU, HMS and INTUC have jointly opposed the government’s proposal to allow private players to mine coal and sell it in the open market, a right till now reserved with Coal India Ltd. The ordinance has also come under attack from the Left parties. Meanwhile, the Centre has said that the 74 coal mines the government plans to auction to specific end-users in the first phase of bidding on February 11, will not require any green clearances. The auction will be for the private sector, while state-owned companies will get mines via allotment. The government had announced auctioning and allotment of 74 blocks in the first phase of bidding. These blocks have a potential to produce 210 million tonnes of coal. (

Govt will focus on gas-based power: PM Modi

December 2, 2014. Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi said that the government would promote gas-based generation to power India's economy. Modi announced Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) would double its exploration budget for natural gas. Tripura chief minister Manik Sarkar said the state government was keen on setting up gas-based urea and petrochemical plants instead of using gas just for the power plant. The Palantala power plant has a capacity of 726 MW, of which Assam has an allocation of 240 MW, Tripura 196 MW, Meghalaya 79 MW, Manipur 42 MW, Nagaland 27 Mw, Arunachal Pradesh 22 MW, Mizoram 22 MW and 98 Mw is to be sold on merchant basis by ONGC Tripura Power Company (OTPC). Bangladesh is likely to get power from OTPC's share. (

Govt mulling new policy to recover power arrears: Haryana CM

December 2, 2014. Haryana Chief Minister (CM) Manohar Lal Khattar said the state government was contemplating upon framing a new policy for recovery of pending arrears of electricity bills. Khattar who was presiding over a meeting of district officials at Jhajjar said there was no shortage of electricity in the state and government was committed to provide round-the-clock electricity to consumers. (

TPC-RInfra porting row: APTEL flays MERC decision

December 1, 2014. The Appellate Tribunal for Electricity (APTEL) has criticised state electricity regulator MERC for ordering transfer of 7.92 lakh low-end consumers of RInfra to Tata Power saying it has "exceeded its jurisdiction" by issuing such directions. The Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) had ordered transfer of RInfra's 7.92 lakh low-end residential consumers with a monthly power consumption of up to 300 units to Tata Power's distribution arm from November 1 last year. The regulator said its decision was to foster competition in the distribution business and accordingly allowed Tata Power to take low-end consumers of RInfra from the 11 clusters identified by the regulator. It also said the move would protect consumer interest, specifically that of the low-end ones as Tata Power would be offering power at cheaper rates. Before issuing the order MERC had asked TPC to have its own distribution network in place in the designated 11 clusters, which TPC failed to implement. Currently, Tata Power has a consumer base of over 5.63 lakh which also include the switchover customers. Tata Power charges ` 2.38 per unit and ` 4.45 per unit for changeover customers whose intake is up to 100 units and 300 units, respectively, while RInfra on the other hand charges ` 3.92 per unit and ` 6.84 per unit, respectively. (

PM Modi inaugurates second unit of Palatana power project

December 1, 2014. Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi inaugurated the second unit of ONGC Tripura Power Company (OTPC) powered Palatana power project in Udaipur and dedicated it to the nation saying development would be ushered in the North East on the basis of a four-point revolution. The water based energy and internal waterways were the next big possibilities in the region, Modi said and termed it as the blue revolution. He said that the central government wanted to develop a gas based Urea fertiliser plant in the region besides, other key projects including a petro-chemical hub as earlier suggested by Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar. The Prime Minister said that the Government of India was ready to sell 100 MW power to Bangladesh. The Palatana power plant would be generating power to Tripura and all other states of the NE region besides, its contribution to the national grid. (

Power Minister says govt will act soon to resolve fuel scarcity issue

November 28, 2014. India's fuel-starved power projects would be able to give a bonus 30,000 MW capacity to fuel the expected surge in electricity demand when the economy turns around, as power, coal and renewable energy minister Piyush Goyal's assurance of quick action has raised industry's hopes that policy action would kick-start stranded plants. Goyal, along with petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan, announced that the government will soon act to resolve fiscal difficulties and fuel scarcity of power plants based on coal or natural gas, so that people get affordable and uninterrupted supply. The acute scarcity of fuel has hit new capacity of 30,000 MW but the industrial slowdown and slackening of demand made sure that consumers did not feel the pinch. India's power deficit shrank to 4,000 MW this week. But the situation would be different once industrial growth accelerates after crawling, stagnating or declining for a long time. Apart from fuel issues, power producers were also under pressure from banks which have a huge exposure in the sector. Goyal had announced that banks were on board to discuss the possibilities of relaxing lending norms to power sector. The government has already announced the auction of coal blocks and hopes to double the country's coal output to help meet the country's coal shortage. The power sector has suffered because Coal India, the state monopoly, could not keep pace with rising demand, while India's natural gas output was also inadequate. Industry expects good news for the gas-fired plants also after Goyal's announcement. (

Coal India to start mining in Mozambique

November 28, 2014. Coal India will soon start mining in Mozambique, which, along with the projects of the Adani group in Australia and Sanjiv Goenka in South Africa, will increase supplies of the dry fuel in India where a shortage at present is crippling power production. All of these projects are set to start supplying coal to India within the next three-four years. If the plans of the government and private domestic producers are carried out as planned, supplies of coal from local mines and produced by Indian companies abroad and shipped to India are likely to be more than what the country requires. (

Coal India to adopt latest technology: Coal Minister

November 27, 2014. Government will enhance the coal producing capability of Coal India Ltd (CIL) by infusing latest technology. Coal Minister Piyush Goyal said that the e-auction of the coal blocks cancelled by the Supreme Court (SC) would be completed by March 31 next. He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had asked his ministry to get the “best” of technology for CIL. The Minister said government is in the process of fast tracking rail links in Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand. Responding to a question on the recent ordinance promulgated on auction of coal blocks cancelled by the apex court, he said the e-auction will be completed by March 31, 2015 and if the process is not completed, a “designated authority” mentioned in the ordinance will take over the mines. He said as per the SC order, the cancellation will come into force on March 31 next. He rejected a suggestion of Jyotiraditya Scindia (Cong) that the issue of cancellation has created a ‘crisis’ for the government. (

Power ministry to move cabinet soon to revive stranded assets

November 27, 2014. The power ministry is working on a proposal seeking to revive stranded power generation assets that will be put before the Union Cabinet soon for approval. A host of issues including lack of fuel supply and delayed environmental clearances have impacted power generation projects worth over ` 6.2-lakh crore. The oil and power ministries had a discussion on stranded power assets. The two ministries looked at all available options, including financing and gas availability for projects. The meeting was in the wake of representations by the Association of Power Producers (APP), the representative body of private power producers, to the finance ministry on how 136,000 MW of projects involving a capital outlay of ` 6.2-lakh crore are affected due to various factors. The finance ministry had set up a committee under India Infrastructure Finance Company chairman Santosh Nayar to look into the issues. The stranded assets include ` 50,000 crore worth of gas-based projects, which are set to turn into non-performing assets. Independent power producer (IPP) projects of 13,000 MW have been stranded for want of gas and incurring losses owing to low-efficiency factors and under recovery of fixed costs. The Santosh Nayar committee has recommended that lenders re-examine the viability of these projects and take up the matter for a “special package” on a case-by-case basis. According to Power Minister Piyush Goyal, banks are expected to cooperate to ensure the assets are revived and generation picks up. Goyal said that the government would look at various ways to improve fuel availability for plants, including gas pooling, but no bailout was being considered. Goyal said that after the upcoming e-auction of coal blocks, the government would take steps to ensure generation goes up by 50 per cent and power tariffs are kept affordable for consumers. (

Shortage of 81 mn tonnes of domestic coal for power sector

November 27, 2014. There is an overall shortfall of about 81 million tonnes (MT) of domestic coal that is needed for the power sector, the government said. The coal requirement of plants designed on indigenous coal is 554 MT, while the total availability is only 473 MT, the Power Minister Piyush Goyal said. Goyal said that in order to ensure adequate availability of fuel to power utilities, Coal India Ltd has been asked to enhance production of domestic coal and the power utilities have also been advised to augment import of coal to meet the shortfall in domestic availability of coal. He said that in the ongoing fiscal the country's coal demand has been assessed to be 787.03 MT, while the supplies from indigenous sources has been planned at 643.75 MT, leaving a gap of 143.28 MT to be met through imports. With a view to monitoring coal supplies to the power sector, an inter-ministerial sub-group consisting of representatives from the ministries like power and coal has been formed. (

CERC approves Tata Power's Maithon plant tariff plan

November 26, 2014. The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) has approved the tariff petition of Tata Power for its 1,050 MW Maithon Power project in Jharkhand, the company said. The Commission has approved the five-year (FY11-FY14) tariff petition of Maithon Power, a joint venture between Tata Power (74 per cent) and Damodar Valley Corporation (26 per cent). Maithon Power is the country's first 1,050 MW thermal power plants using sub-critical technology, coal-based thermal power plant and the first public private partnership venture plant. (

Need clarity on coal block auction guidelines: Tata Power

November 26, 2014. As it gears up for coal block auctions, Tata Power has said there should be greater clarity on draft guidelines, especially on the minimum investment requirement in end-use projects to qualify for participation in the tendering process. As per the draft guidelines, a company should have invested at least 80 per cent of the total cost in end-use projects like power and steel to qualify for bidding in the auction process, Tata Power said. Tata Power, which has a target of generating 18,000 MW by 2022, has projects of about 3,000 MW capacity which are under various stages of execution. It further plans to focus on the distribution sector as part of its strategy to de-risk its power portfolio. Tata Power is developing wind and hydro projects in Africa, Bhutan and Georgia, among others. The 126-MW Dagachhu hydel project, being developed in partnership with the Bhutan government, is expected to be commissioned soon. (



RAK Petroleum increases stake in Cote d'Ivoire oil field

December 2, 2014. RAK Petroleum plc said it has invested more than $10 million as part of a joint venture acquisition of an oil and gas field block in Côte d’Ivoire. The UAE-based, Oslo-listed oil and gas investment company said that it has increased its stake in Block CI-27 to 9.1 percent following the acquisition by Foxtrot International LDC and other members of the joint venture of their pro-rata shares of the 12 percent interest previously held in the block by Energie de Côte d’Ivoire SA. RAK Petroleum said the development of the previously discovered Marlin oil and gas field and the nearby Manta gas field is on track following the successful installation last month of the jacket over the Marlin field, part of a four-year, $1 billion, expansion programme on Block CI-27. Once completed, the platform, the second production platform on the block, will support development of both fields and increase deliverability from Block CI-27 commencing in 2015. The first platform on Block CI-27, in operation since 1999, currently processes a daily average of 145 million cubic feet of gas, 70 percent of Côte d’Ivoire’s total, and 1,000 barrels of oil and condensate from the Foxtrot and Mahi fields. Foxtrot International commenced drilling of the Marlin North 1 well to test the existence of a commercial Cenomanian accumulation north of the Marlin oil and gas field. (

UK oil producers press for tax cuts as crude prices collapse

December 2, 2014. The U.K. oil industry, after chafing at suggestions it’s subsidized by the state, wants Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne to help save it from the market’s crashing prices. Osborne’s Autumn statement, setting out tax and spending policies, is a chance for the more than 500 companies represented by Britain’s oil lobby to press for what it says is a fairer deal. In a letter sent to the chancellor, Oil & Gas UK said the collapse in prices comes on top of a 26 percent jump in unit costs for the industry last year alone. Britain has suffered the steepest drop in output of any major producer since supply peaked 15 years ago. Production has declined about two-thirds, with Oil & Gas UK persistently missing production forecasts. Now, with oil revenues sinking, investment to unlock an estimated 20 billion barrels still trapped under the seabed is increasingly at risk. The lobby is calling for the U.K. to reverse an increase in profit charges imposed in 2011, introduce a uniform allowance for capital investment, bring in tax incentives for exploration, and eventually lower petroleum-revenue tax to zero. (

Thailand’s PTT sees US acquisitions after oil slump

December 2, 2014. Thailand’s biggest energy company is on the lookout for acquisitions in the U.S. as slumping oil prices pressure drillers with limited access to new funding, according to PTT Pcl. West Texas Intermediate crude has fallen by almost a third this year to below $68 a barrel, a decline that accelerated after OPEC maintained output in the face of a supply glut. The strong financial position of PTT, which is two-thirds owned by Thailand’s government, leaves it in a good position to take advantage of investment opportunities. PTT and its units plan to spend about $30 billion in the five years through 2018. The company may face competition from larger Asian oil companies including Oil & Natural Gas Corp. (ONGC), India’s biggest producer, which has pledged to spend $177 billion by 2030 to increase oil output, partly through acquisitions overseas. Fitch Ratings said that oil’s plunge may be an opportunity for Asia’s national oil companies to buy assets more cheaply. Asian nations accounted for 33 percent of the globe’s crude oil consumption last year followed by North America with 26 percent, according to BP Plc data. China, Japan, South Korea and India, Asia’s biggest economies, need to import most of their oil, leaving the onus on their oil companies, many of them state-owned, to secure supplies to bolster energy security. PTT’s exploration unit, PTT Exploration and Production Pcl, in April agreed to pay $1 billion in cash for Hess Corp.’s stakes in oil and gas assets, adding to its 2012 purchase of Cove Energy Plc’s oil and gas assets in Mozambique for $1.6 billion. PTTEP has expanded its investments to more than 40 projects across the globe. (

Total makes new oil discovery in Iraqi Kurdistan

December 1, 2014. French oil major Total said it had struck oil and gas near the city of Arbil in the autonomous Kurdistan region of Iraq, its second discovery in the Harir block in two years. The discovery is welcome news for Total, which had disappointing drilling results in recent years, despite an increase in its exploration budget. It is set to announce a revamp of its strategy next year. The French company has ignored threats from the central Iraqi government in Baghdad and signed oil deals directly with the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region, where crude reserves are plentiful and contract terms more attractive than in the south. Total has a 35 percent share in the Harir Block, alongside Marathon Oil, with 45 percent, and the Kurdistan Regional government, which owns 20 percent. (

Exxon, Rosneft scrap Arctic deals as Russia sanctions bite

December 1, 2014. Exxon Mobil Corp and OAO Rosneft terminated contracts for five service vessels operated by Norway’s Siem Offshore Inc. and Rem Offshore ASA as sanctions upend plans to explore the Russian Arctic. Siem received termination notices from an Exxon and Rosneft joint venture on contracts for work next year in the Kara Sea for two of its anchor-handling tug supply vessels and a platform supply ship, the Kristiansand, Norway-based company said. Rem had contracts for two platform-supply vessels terminated, it said in a separate statement. Both companies will receive termination fees. U.S. and European Union sanctions against Russia over its involvement in Ukraine are jeopardizing Rosneft’s plans to explore Russia’s Arctic waters with western companies such as Exxon after the two made a 1 billion-barrel discovery in the Kara Sea in September. Exxon is looking for alternative assignments for the West Alpha rig that made the discovery and was supposed to return to the Kara Sea for more drilling next summer, it said. Rosneft has said sanctions won’t prevent it from exploring the Kara Sea and other parts of the Arctic. The company will present plans for the Arctic without Exxon by the end of the year. Russia’s OAO Gazprom has rigs capable of working in the Kara Sea from April next year if needed, Deputy Energy Minister Kirill Molodtsov said. Rem has signed new contracts for its two platform supply vessels with Exxon for work offshore Norway with a duration to June 1, 2015 and about Oct. 1, 2015 for the Rem Server and Rem Supporter, respectively, the company said. (

Karoon discovers oil at Kangaroo-2 appraisal well, offshore Brazil

November 27, 2014. Karoon Gas Australia has identified oil in five separate zones in the Kangaroo-2 appraisal well in the Santos basin, offshore Brazil. About 17 samples of oil have been recovered by the company within the Palaeocene and the Maastrichtian formations with an estimated gas oil ratio (GOR) of 400 to 700 standard cubic feet per barrel (scf/bbl). Three separate oil columns were also are identified with a GOR of 500 scf/bbl. Karoon discovered a higher 85m gross oil reservoir interval, a net to gross of more than 60% and porosities in the range 22% to 26% as well as lower oil bearing reservoir interval has a thickness of 75m, a net to gross of 25% and porosities in the range of 21% to 25% at Maastrichtian section. Oil recovered from the Maastrichtian reservoirs is anticipated to have a GOR range of 550 scf/bbl to 700 scf/bbl, the company said. (

Mexico shrugs off OPEC as Exxon to Chevron line up to bid

November 26, 2014. As OPEC ponders ways to prop up crude prices, Mexico is staying focused on a long-term plan to open its state-controlled oil industry to foreign producers. The Latin American country is scheduled to outline terms of its first auction of oil blocks to outside bidders since 1938, even as a price rout has Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) weighing whether to adjust volumes. Any move from the countries that produce 40 percent of global supplies is months to years away from a Mexican oil revival taking hold. Companies planning an incursion into Mexico as a 76-year state monopoly ends can look past four-year low crude prices. Exxon Mobil Corp, Chevron Corp. and BHP Billiton Ltd are sharing research with Petroleos Mexicanos as the government seeks $50 billion in private investment mostly in undeveloped deepwater offshore fields and onshore shale by 2018. OPEC countries meet in Vienna to assess the group’s collective output, after crude fell into a bear market amid the highest U.S. oil output in more than three decades and signs of slower demand growth. Speculation that OPEC’s leading producers are focused on maintaining their market share rather than shoring up prices has added to declines. U.S. crude continued its slide to $74.09 a barrel, the lowest settlement since September 2010 and 33 percent less than a June high, after discussions between Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Mexico and Russia failed to result in a pledge to lower output in advance of the broader OPEC meeting. Brent fell to $78.33. Mexican Energy Minister Pedro Joaquin Coldwell raised the need for dialogue and the exchange of information among important oil producers at the meeting, and the ministers agreed to meet again in February 2015. Mexico’s oil output has dropped for 10 straight years amid falling investment in aging fields. The country will produce 2.35 million barrels a day of oil in 2014, 29 percent less than in 2004, according to the state producer known as Pemex. The government is seeking to increase output 500,000 barrels a day by 2018. (


Ecopetrol refinery overhaul to boost profit in oil slump

December 2, 2014. Ecopetrol SA said the completion of modernization works at its Cartagena refinery next year will boost earnings that are being eroded by oil’s price plunge. Construction is finished at 25 of 31 units at the refinery, with full operation expected by August, Refineria de Cartagena SA Chief Executive Officer Reyes Reinoso said. The Ecopetrol plant will help the nation process more heavy crude and become a net exporter of fuels including low-sulfur diesel, gasoline and jet fuel, Reinoso said. Processing capacity will rise to 165,000 barrels of crude a day in 2015 from 80,000 barrels, and more than 200,000 barrels after 2017. Attacks on Colombia’s oil infrastructure by Marxist rebels and local community blockades have cut production at the state-controlled producer, which is targeting an average daily output of 819,000 barrels of oil equivalent this year. Average output in the third quarter was the equivalent of 754,800 barrels of oil a day, down 5.7 percent from a year earlier. Colombia’s government is seeking to fill a 2015 budgetary gap amid the fall in oil prices and output, although the price slump will provide a fillip to Ecopetrol’s refining unit, Reinoso said. (

Pembina plans to expand gas processing capacity at Musreau facility in Canada

November 28, 2014. Pembina Pipeline is planning to expand capacity of its 100 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) Musreau facility located in Alberta, Canada, with an investment of $105 mn. The expansion program, also known as Musreau III, includes development of a 100 MMcf/d shallow cut facility adjacent to Pembina's existing Musreau facility and its nearly complete Musreau II facility. The Musreau III is anticipated to have liquids extraction capacity of approximately 3,000 barrels per day (bpd), subject to gas compositions. Pembina is scheduled to commission Musreau III in mid-2016, subject to regulatory and environmental approvals. (

US refiners looking closer to home to buy their crude

November 27, 2014. The U.S. is relying the most in four decades on oil from the Americas as the shale revolution reduces imports from the Persian Gulf and Africa. Countries outside North, Central and South America supplied the smallest portion of foreign crude in August to the U.S. in government records dating back to 1973. Surging production in Canada and the U.S. has reduced the need for cargoes of light oil, with the remaining imports of heavy crude more likely to be from Mexico or Venezuela than Nigeria or Saudi Arabia. The shift is another sign of how the North American energy revolution is affecting some suppliers more than others. OPEC members, including Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and Nigeria, meet in Vienna to decide whether to cut output in an effort to prop up prices that have fallen 31 percent since June. U.S. refiners built the capacity to use heavy crude, so this is the natural home for Latin American heavy oil, the Dallas-based consulting company Turner Mason & Co. The U.S. imported 2.1 million barrels a day from outside the Americas in August, or about 28 percent of its total deliveries, the lowest level in Energy Department records dating to 1973. Such shipments have fallen to 1.87 million in October and 1.98 million over the first 18 days of November, according to U.S. Customs data. (

Transportation / Trade……….

Iraq to boost northern oil exports after deal with Kurds

December 2, 2014. Iraq reached a deal with the Kurdish authorities on oil exports through Turkey, paving the way for increased shipments to international markets. The agreement allows the shipment of as much as 550,000 barrels a day of oil from northern Iraq to the port of Ceyhan on the Mediterranean along a pipeline operated by the Kurds, the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) said. The deal will entrench the supply surplus on the oil market. The KRG has been shipping crude to Turkey this year in defiance of the central government. The government of former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki initiated legal action to block sales, leaving tankers loaded with Kurdish oil stranded at sea. The nation exported its first cargo of Kirkuk crude since shipments were halted this year. Kurdish forces took control of the Kirkuk fields in June amid an offensive by militants from the group known as Islamic State. The deal allows for the shipment of 300,000 barrels a day of Kirkuk blend via pipeline. An additional 250,000 barrels a day of Kurdish production will be placed under the control of the federal government for export, according to the Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar Al-Abadi’s office. Payments to Kurdish forces known as Peshmerga will also be made under the deal. Iraq, the second-largest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) after Saudi Arabia, boosted oil exports to 2.51 million barrels a day, the oil ministry said. (

Junk bonds backing shale boom facing $11.6 bn loss

December 2, 2014. Bond investors who helped finance America’s shale boom are facing potential losses of $11.6 billion as oil prices plummet by the most since the credit crisis. The $90 billion of debt issued by junk-rated energy producers in the past three years has fallen almost 13 percent since crude oil peaked in June. Halcon Resources Corp., SandRidge Energy Inc. and Goodrich Petroleum Corp. have been among the hardest hit as OPEC’s refusal to ease a supply glut pushed prices to a five-year low of $66.15 a barrel. The oil selloff is deepening concern among bond investors that the least-creditworthy oil explorers will struggle to pay their obligations and prompt bankers to rein in credit lines as revenue slumps. Halcon, SandRidge and Goodrich are among about 21 borrowers operating in the costliest U.S. shale-producing regions that will be unprofitable if crude oil falls below $60 a barrel. The 12.9 percent loss for junk-rated energy debt issued by U.S. and Canadian companies since January 2012 compares with a 2.2 percent decline for the broader U.S. speculative-grade market since June, Bank of America Merrill Lynch index data show. Yields on junk-rated energy bonds averaged 8.54 percent, the most since July 2010 and up from 5.68 percent in June. (

Ukraine gets loan to modernize gas pipelines

December 1, 2014. Ukraine landed a €150 million ($187 million) loan to modernize its section of the pipeline used to deliver natural gas from Russia to Europe. Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Moscow would stop pursuing construction of a Black Sea gas pipeline widely viewed as an attempt to circumvent Ukraine. Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said optimization of his country's gas pipelines would lower the cost of transporting the fuel by 20 percent. The loan is being provided to state-owned pipeline operator Ukrtransgaz by the EU's lender, the European Investment Bank. Yatsenyuk says refurbishment of Ukraine's section of the Urengoy-Pomary-Uzhgorod pipeline will boost energy efficiency and reduce harmful emissions. Almost 120 kilometers of pipelines will be replaced and two compressor stations modernized under the project. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is expected to contribute another $200 million in loans for the same planned four-year reconstruction effort. Yatsenyuk said he hopes a Ukrainian company will carry out the project, which he said could boost the economy. The pipeline system has the capacity to supply Europe with 142.5 billion cubic meters of gas annually. Russia has for years been pursuing pipeline projects intended to reduce its reliance on transit through Ukraine. Commercial and political disputes have led to the suspension of gas supplies to Europe in the past. One is Nord Stream, a recently completed pipeline under the Baltic Sea, directly linking Germany with Siberia's vast natural gas reserves with a capacity to transit 55 billion cubic meters annually. Moscow has lobbied hard to also build South Stream, which would have seen gas transported from Russia through the Black Sea to Bulgaria and other European countries, bypassing Ukraine. Yatsenyuk said recent elections in Bulgaria and Moldova had signaled a turn away from a pro-Russian line and, accordingly, initiatives like South Stream. Yatsenyuk instead urged more European and U.S. investment in the Ukrainian gas transit system. Putin appeared to definitively quash speculation over the possible fortunes of South Stream during a visit to the Turkish capital, Ankara, by announcing that Moscow would scrap the project because of EU opposition. Moscow will boost gas supplies to Turkey and may cooperate with it in creating a hub for natural gas supplies on the border with Greece, he said. (

Japan's Petro-Diamond pays nearly double for December cargo from ONGC

December 1, 2014. Japan's Petro-Diamond has bought from Oil & Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) a late December naphtha cargo, bringing its total spot purchases from India to 139,000 tonnes, or nearly half of what India has sold so far in the month, data showed. The Japanese trading house, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mitsubishi Corp, paid a premium of about $14 a tonne to Middle East quotes on a free-on-board (FOB) basis for the 34,500-tonne cargo lifting from Hazira on Dec. 23-24, traders said. The premium was nearly double what oil major Shell had paid previously at $7.50 a tonne to ONGC for a cargo lifting Dec. 9-10 from the same port. Petro-Diamond was also a key buyer of India's November spot cargoes, having bought 25 to 30 per cent of the total volumes sold, data showed. The Japanese trader's recent purchases may be a signal that it could be short of naphtha supplies for December/January delivery to Northeast Asia and could be looking to fill the gaps from the spot market, according to traders. (

Return of $2 gas seen for some in US as OPEC stands pat

November 29, 2014. For the first time in five years, $2 gasoline is making a comeback in some areas of the U.S., just in time for the Dec. 25 Christmas holiday. Retail stations scattered across the U.S. South and Midwest are about 20 cents shy of the $2-a-gallon mark. In New York, gasoline futures slid more than 13 cents Nov. 27 after OPEC failed to cut oil production to stem a glut. That decline alone could drag down pump prices by as much as 20 cents a gallon, Michael Green, a spokesman for the Heathrow, Florida-based motoring club AAA, said. The motor fuel has slid by almost a dollar a gallon in the U.S. from this year’s peak, giving Americans at least $500 annually in extra disposable income by IHS Inc. estimates. The last time the country’s average gas price was below $2 was on March 24, 2009, while in the grips of the recession. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), responsible for about 40 percent of the world’s oil supply, will maintain its collective crude output target at 30 million barrels a day, Saudi Arabia’s Oil Minister Ali Al-Naimi said. (

Policy / Performance…………

Saudi cabinet says oil policy purely economic in motive

December 1, 2014. Saudi Arabia said that its oil policy was based on economic principles, as speculation continued to swirl after OPEC meeting of political motives aimed at other producers. Riyadh, along with its Gulf OPEC allies, resisted any OPEC output cut at the group's meeting, to maintain the exporting group market share in a battle with non-OPEC and North American producers. Brent crude oil fell to a five-year low below $68 as investors looked for a price floor after the OPEC decision not to cut production. A boom in shale oil production and weaker growth in China and Europe have sent prices down by over a third since June. Iran's oil minister said that OPEC's decision is not beneficial to all members, but Iran has refrained from protesting to maintain group solidarity. Gulf oil producers are ready to ride out the weak oil prices that have hurt the likes of Venezuela and Iran - OPEC members which face big budget pressures, but cannot afford to make output cuts themselves. The Saudi cabinet also called for cooperation against market speculators and said that "cooperation of the producers from within and outside the organisation is a shared responsibility to achieve stability." (

Iran wary of oil ‘shock therapy’ as OPEC vies for market

December 1, 2014. The “shock therapy” of a steep drop in crude prices, which have fallen to a five-year low, is no solution for OPEC’s loss of market share to U.S. shale producers, Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said. U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude declined 10 percent after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) decided to keep its production target unchanged at 30 million barrels a day. Prices at this lower level are no guarantee of a significant reduction in U.S. shale output, Zanganeh said. OPEC, which supplies about 40 percent of the world’s oil, resisted calls from members including Venezuela and Iran to reduce its collective output to stem falling prices. U.S. production, driven by a boom in fracking for shale oil, has risen to the highest level in three decades, adding to a global surplus that Venezuela estimated last week at 2 million barrels a day. Demand for OPEC’s crude will shrink as U.S. supply expands, eroding the group’s share of the global market to the smallest in more than 25 years. (

China winning in OPEC price war as hoarding accelerates

December 1, 2014. China is emerging as the winner from OPEC’s battle with rival oil producers as the world’s biggest energy consumer stockpiles crude. The nation’s efforts to boost reserves may increase its imports by as much as 700,000 barrels a day in 2015, according to London-based Energy Aspects Ltd. That’s more than half the global glut forecast by Citigroup Inc. after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) refrained from cutting output at its meeting. The dwindling number of investors still betting on a rebound in prices can at least count on Chinese demand. OPEC decided to maintain output targets even as a shale boom boosts U.S. production to the highest in more than three decades and causes a global supply glut. As crude extends its slump to the lowest level in more than four years, China is seeking to build a strategic petroleum reserve. China boosted imports by 8.3 percent, or 460,000 barrels a day, in the first nine months of this year, the fastest pace since 2010, customs data show. The country will overtake the U.S. as the world’s biggest oil consumer within two decades, according to the International Energy Agency in Paris. (

Oil price drop forces OPEC member Iraq to weigh spending cuts

December 1, 2014. The plunge in oil prices is forcing the Iraqi government to consider spending cuts even as the conflict with Islamic State threatens to shrink economic output for the first time in at least three years. The government formed a panel to look into ways to cut next year’s proposed budget deficit to a “realistic level”. The current budget proposal envisages a budget deficit of about 47 trillion Iraqi dinars ($39 billion). Brent crude has fallen 37 percent this year to $70.15 a barrel amid a glut in supply. That’s more than 35 percent below the price of $111.20 Iraq needs to balance its budget this year, according to International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimates. The current budget draft is based on oil prices at $70 a barrel. The second-biggest OPEC producer has been ravaged by sectarian conflict since June when extremist Islamic State fighters seized Mosul, the country’s biggest northern city. The turmoil will likely cause the economy to contract 2.7 percent this year, according to IMF estimates. For 2015, the government should continue to focus on defense spending and delay unnecessary expenditures such as national reconciliation conferences and investment projects in Iraqi provinces. (

ECB confronts cheaper oil spilling onto stimulus debate

December 1, 2014. European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi and his colleagues are about to debate whether cheaper energy is a blessing or a curse. When the ECB president convenes his Governing Council, the 24 policy makers will have to judge how the plunge in oil prices will affect inflation expectations in the euro area and what they should do about it. Crude’s biggest drop in three years, after OPEC opted not to reduce a supply glut, puts downward pressure on consumer prices that are already close to stagnating. German council member Jens Weidmann signaled how oil is now a focal point in the quantitative-easing debate when he said that the drop in energy costs is like a mini stimulus package, suggesting no need for the ECB to expand its current measures. (

Energy acquisitions on cards as OPEC output stirs repeat of 1998

November 28, 2014. OPEC’s refusal to cut output and slow the drop in oil prices signals opportunities for mergers and acquisitions among energy companies. At least if past trends play out. In 1998, when oil slumped to about $10 a barrel after the Asian financial crisis, the value of mergers and acquisitions surged more than seven times to a combined $376 billion in that year and the next. While Brent crude oil in London is trading well above 1998 levels at more than $70 a barrel, it’s dropped 36 percent into a bear market since June 19, when it reached a year’s high of $115.06 a barrel. Halliburton Co., the world’s second-biggest oilfield services provider, agreed to buy Baker Hughes Inc. for $34.6 billion in the biggest takeover of a U.S. energy company in three years. In Asia, the region that consumes most of the world’s oil, the price plunge may be an opportunity for national oil companies, Fitch Ratings said. Oil & Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) has pledged to spend $177 billion by 2030 to increase oil output, partly through acquisitions overseas. Asian state-owned national oil companies such as China National Petroleum Corp., Korea National Oil Corp. and Malaysia’s Petroliam Nasional Bhd, are becoming more important in global oil and gas. Asian oil companies with the biggest cash reserves include PetroChina Co. and Japan’s Inpex Corp. Asian nations accounted for 33 percent of the globe’s crude oil consumption last year, the biggest, followed by North America with 26 percent, according to BP Plc data. China, Japan, South Korea and India, Asia’s biggest economies, need to import most of their oil. Besides being a consumer, China is also the Asia-Pacific’s biggest oil producer, exposing companies including PetroChina and China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. to falling prices. This may slow acquisitions by Chinese state-run companies. The drop in oil prices this time around has been triggered by rising U.S. output from drilling into shale rock deposits and OPEC’s decision to keep pumping to maintain market share against shale rivals. A similar situation played out in 1998, when Saudi Arabia tried to defend its dominance in the global market from new suppliers in Latin America. In South America, OPEC members Venezuela and Ecuador, and non-member Colombia, have been shipping more to Asia as their traditional market, the U.S., becomes saturated with shale oil, according to Chinese customs data, the Petroleum Association of Japan and Korea National Oil Corporation. In the most recent oil price crash in 2008 during the global credit crisis, Brent crude plunged 67 percent in six months to less than $45 a barrel at the end of that year. (

Japan imports first US oil in 4 yrs amid shale boom

November 27, 2014. Japan imported U.S. oil for the first time in more than four years as a surplus of light, sweet crude from shale formations floods North American markets. Japan imported about 300,000 barrels of oil from the U.S., the first shipments since at least June 2010, according to data from the Ministry of Finance. Cosmo Oil Co. received Japan’s first cargo of U.S. condensate, a lightly processed form of crude, Tokyo-based company said. As U.S. production surges to the highest in more than three decades, companies are finding ways around the four-decade-old law prohibiting most oil from leaving U.S. shores. Enterprise Products Partners LP is offering to export 600,000 barrels a month of condensate to Asia next year and South Korea imported 1.6 million barrels of oil from the U.S. and Canada in September and October. The U.S. banned most crude exports in 1975, with a few exceptions including shipments to Canada. Exports of refined products such as gasoline and diesel fuel are unrestricted. U.S. policy makers are under pressure to lift the export ban as companies pull record volumes of oil and gas out of shale formations from North Dakota to Texas. (

OPEC policy ensures US shale crash, Russian Tycoon says

November 27, 2014. OPEC policy on crude production will ensure a crash in the U.S. shale industry, a Russian oil tycoon said. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) kept output targets unchanged at a meeting in Vienna even after this year’s slump in the oil price caused by surging supply from U.S shale fields. American producers risk becoming victims of their own success. At the prices of just over $70 a barrel, drilling is close to becoming unprofitable for some explorers, Leonid Fedun, vice president and board member at OAO Lukoil, said. Oil futures in New York plunged as much as 3.8 percent to $70.87 a barrel, the lowest since August 2010. At the moment, some U.S. producers are surviving because they managed to hedge the prices they get for their oil at about $90 a barrel, Fedun said. When those arrangements expire, life will become much more difficult, he said. In Russia, where Lukoil is the second-largest producer behind OAO Rosneft, the industry is much less exposed to oil’s slump, Fedun said. Companies are protected by lower costs and the slide in the ruble that lessens the impact of falling prices in local currency terms, he said. Even so, output in Russia, the biggest producer after Saudi Arabia in 2013, is likely to fall slightly next year as lower prices force producers to rein in investment, Fedun said. (

OPEC seen by UAE doing ‘whatever it takes’ to balance market

November 26, 2014. OPEC will do “whatever it takes” to balance oil markets when the producer group meets to discuss a response to slumping crude prices, the energy minister Suhail Al Mazrouei of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) said. Crude fell into a bear market this year amid the highest U.S. production in 31 years and speculation that Saudi Arabia and other members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) won’t do enough to curb a surplus. Prices are below what nine of the group’s 12 members need to balance their national budgets, data show. A surge in output from U.S. shale deposits is boosting global supply even as Chinese growth weakens and developed economies in Europe and Japan stagnate. OPEC sees demand for its oil slipping next year. OPEC isn’t targeting a specific price for crude, rather the group wants to ensure stability and investment, Al Mazrouei said. Abu Dhabi, the U.A.E.’s largest emirate and holder of most of its crude reserves, plans to boost output capacity to 3.5 million barrels a day in 2017 from about 3 million barrels a day. Middle Eastern states including the U.A.E. are expanding capacity to produce oil and natural gas partly to meet domestic demand for fuel to run power plants and for transportation. Exports from the U.A.E., which currently produces 2.7 million to 2.9 million barrels a day, will decline as Abu Dhabi brings new units online at the 400,000 barrel-a-day Ruwais oil refinery, Al Mazrouei said. Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. is doubling capacity at Ruwais, already the U.A.E.’s largest refinery. Most of the fuel produced at the plant’s new units will supply domestic needs, with the rest exported, he said. (



Saudi Arabia's Acwa to develop $1 bn power plant in Turkey

December 2, 2014. Acwa Power International, an independent developer of power projects based in Saudi Arabia, said its Turkish unit has inked a $1 billion deal to develop a combined-cycle gas turbine power plant near the Turkish city of Kirikkale. The plant is being built by Acwa Guc Elektrik Isletme ve Yonetim Sanayi ve Ticaretower with a comprehensive long-term financing package arranged by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). With a capacity of 950 MW, the project will be able to cover half the energy needs of a city the size of Ankara and will help meet Turkey's ever-growing demand for reliable energy, EBRD said. A key developer, investor, co-owner and operator of plants, Acwa boasts a portfolio of 15,000 MW across investments in the Middle East and North Africa, Southern Africa and Turkey. EBRD said, as an independent power producer, the Turkey plant will operate on a merchant basis, selling the electricity it generates on the power market. (

Chilean coal-fired power generation falls 5.9 per cent in October

November 28, 2014. Coal-fired thermoelectric plants in Chile produced 5.9% less electricity in October, compared to the same month of last year, according to the country's statistics bureau INE. Meanwhile, hydroelectric dams produced 8.3% more electricity, run-of-river plants 2.8% more and wind farms 1.8% more. Coal accounted for 23.3% of electricity generated on central Chile's SIC grid, which supplies more than 90% of the population, down from 26.9% in September, while hydroelectric participation rose to 58.7%, from 55.4% a year earlier. On the northern SING grid, where mining accounts for 80% of demand, coal represented 82.9% of total generation, down from 83.9% in September, INE said. (

Transmission / Distribution / Trade…

EIB to support electricity transmission grid upgrade in Czech Republic

December 1, 2014. The European Investment Bank (EIB) has provided CZK5bn (about €182mn) loan to upgrade the electricity transmission infrastructure in the Czech Republic. The loan will be used for 23 transmission schemes operating at voltages of 110kV, 220kV and 400kV as well as for modernization of control and protection systems in substations across the country. Czech Republic's energy transmission network company CEPS is the project promoter and the final beneficiary of the EIB loan. In addition to providing electricity transmission, controls power flows throughout the Czech Republic transmission system, CEPS cooperates with other transmission system operators across Europe and contributes to the development of the electricity market. (

Policy / Performance…………

US nuclear plants squeezed by cheap gas, uranium costs

December 2, 2014. U.S. nuclear power plant shutdowns loom amid rising costs for uranium and low electricity prices caused by cheap natural gas. Spot prices of U3O8, or yellowcake, have rebounded 39 percent from a nine-year low in June as U.S. plant owners and speculators stockpiled uranium in anticipation of stronger demand, according to TradeTech LLC and Ux Consulting Co. Kyushu Electric Power Co. received approvals to restart two Japanese reactors as early as 2015, the first since all 48 of the country’s nuclear plants shut after the 2011 Fukushima disaster. U.S. plants, which consume 28 percent of the world’s nuclear fuel, are struggling to stay profitable after a 70 percent drop since 2008 in natural gas, a competing fuel for power generation. Available supplies have tightened after a Russian treaty to process uranium from warheads expired last December and miners slowed or delayed expansion plans. Entergy Corp. will permanently shut its Vermont Yankee reactor by the end of this year, more than 17 years before its operating license expires, because of mounting costs while low gas prices depress electricity rates. Exelon Corp., the largest U.S. nuclear operator, is retiring its Oyster Creek plant in New Jersey in 2019 and will decide whether to shut another five in Illinois for economic reasons. Four U.S. reactors were shut permanently over the past two years, partly because of low electricity prices. (

Australia opens door to nuclear energy

December 1, 2014. Prime Minister Tony Abbott opened the door to the use of nuclear energy as Australia faces growing pressure to bring down its greenhouse gas emissions. Australia is the world`s third-ranking uranium producer behind Kazakhstan and Canada but does not use nuclear power, largely due to its abundance of low-cost coal and natural gas reserves, and community sentiment. But with demands growing for Canberra to announce its climate targets for beyond 2020 at global talks in France late next year, Abbott said he was open to the idea. Australia is among the world`s worst per capita polluters due to its reliance on coal-fired power and mining exports. A reopening of the nuclear debate in Australia comes after the United States and China -- the world`s two biggest polluters -- announced a surprise deal last month to ramp up their efforts to combat climate change. Abbott acknowledged that nuclear power was an important part of the energy mix in many countries, pointing to Japan and France. (

Uranium best energy performer on rebound from Fukushima drop

November 26, 2014. Uranium’s 18 percent rally makes it the best-performing energy commodity this year as the atomic fuel extends gains in a bull market amid signs that Japan will restart idled nuclear plants and China’s demand may strengthen. Japan, once Asia’s biggest atomic power producer, may resume its first reactors early next year after Kyushu Electric Power Co. received local approval for its Sendai power station. China, the world’s largest energy consumer, is seeking to increase its nuclear generation capacity threefold by 2020 and will build the most reactors globally during the next three years, according to the World Nuclear Association in London. The nuclear fuel dropped as much as 62 percent after the meltdown at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant in March 2011 and subsequent closing of Japan’s atomic fleet. Uranium prices were at the highest in almost three years a month before the disaster, trading at $73 a pound. Kyushu Electric received permission for the restart of its Sendai reactors from the Kagoshima prefecture governor. Japan has been without nuclear power since September 2013 when the last of its operable commercial fleet of 48 was idled, leaving the country reliant on other fuels such as coal and liquefied natural gas for its electricity needs. Global nuclear power capacity is increasing steadily, with more than 60 reactors under construction in 13 countries, the most in Asia, according to the World Nuclear Association. Almost half of those are being built in China, with 26 units being developed, the association said. U.S. and European utilities may now look to build their stockpiles, Molyneux said in Singapore. Uranium may average $39 a pound next year, according to the median estimate in a survey of seven analysts. Forecasts ranged from $35 to $43. (



Union Cabinet approves India's stand at climate change meet

December 2, 2014. India's stand at the UN Climate Conference which is currently underway in Peruvian capital Lima will help enhance ties among developing world, the government said. A meeting of the Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, gave its approval to the negotiating position for the 20th Conference of Parties (COP-20) on climate change which is expected to conclude on December 12. CoP-20 is expected to focus on the elements of 2015 Agreement and Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs). Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar will attend the high-level segments of the conference. (

Welspun Energy forays into solar rooftop space

December 2, 2014. Renewable energy major Welspun has ventured into the solar rooftop segment by commissioning three projects. Through cumulative 795 kilowatt capacity, Welspun Energy Private Ltd (WEPL) is reducing the carbon footprint by helping to generate an estimated 11 lakh units of clean energy annually. The solar projects have been financed through 100 per cent equity infusion, with inflow split in three phase - pre, mid and post construction. The projects have been set up to meet captive power needs of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur, Ansal University and Medanta Medicity Hospital. Energy generated will help lower their thermal energy consumption, thereby reducing operating expenses. (

MSME Ministry urged to promote use of renewable energy

December 1, 2014. Noting that the government's 'Make in India' initiative will lead to growth in energy consumption, a network of Parliamentarians urged the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) ministry to promote the use of renewable energy and sought the creation of 'Green Cell' for the purpose. In a letter to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Minister Kalraj Mishra, Climate Parliament, a network of legislators working to promote renewable energy, said the Cell should coordinate directly with the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) for any potential integration of plans and policies. The ministry should constitute a green or renewable energy cell which should coordinate directly with the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) for any potential integration of plans and policies, the letter said. There are lot of opportunities to collaborate with MNRE and MSME ministry can play a major role in "upscaling" and large-scale implementation of those schemes like off-grid solar photovoltaic programme, off-grid solar water heating programme, and National Biogas and Manure Management Programme, the letter said. (

AP to partner with Japanese Softbank for solar power projects

December 1, 2014. Andhra Pradesh (AP) chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu said the Japanese Softbank had indicated its willingness to fund about 10,000 MW of solar power in India during his recent trip to Japan. Naidu said he had invited the Softbank to partner with Andhra Pradesh in its ongoing plan for the development of 2,500 MW capacity in solar power in addition to the new investment proposals. According to the chief minister, the Softbank Corp chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son also expressed his readiness to establish the research and manufacturing facilities in Andhra Pradesh so as to bring down the cost of solar power besides development. He said the Japanese lending institutions like JICA and JBIC are willing to fund the 4,000 MW ultra super critical thermal power project being proposed in joint venture with the Sumitomo Corporation at low interest rates. Apart from the six MoUs AP had signed during Naidu's tour in Japan some more initiatives including a likely MoU between Yokohama an Kakinada cities, entry of Japanese retail majors among other things are also in the offing, Naidu said. (

Mumbai, Kolkata most vulnerable to climate change: Govt

November 30, 2014. India's populous coastal cities Mumbai and Kolkata are most vulnerable to loss of life and properties due to coastal flooding in the second half of the century, the government has said. The UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has warned against extreme weather events like occurrence of heat wave, heavy precipitation, droughts, floods, cyclones and wildfire that cause damage to ecosystems and human systems in various regions, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said. The minister assumes significance at a time when representatives of governments are scheduled to meet in Lima for the Climate Change Conference to lay the foundation for an effective, new and universal climate change agreement in Paris in 2015. (

Tamil Nadu data centres tap green energy

November 29, 2014. Data centres, those racks and racks of hard-drives stacked up to provide for whenever businesses need computing space, are looking at renewable power sources for uninterrupted operations in Tamil Nadu (TN). Companies such as Netmagic Solutions, Zoho Corp and Tata Communications have either gone green or are considering that. Netmagic, an NTT Communications company providing storage space for ecommerce companies such as Flipkart, is running its Chennai unit on wind power. The company's large facilities in Maharashtra tap into conventional sources including thermal power. The green initiative was prompted mainly by frequent power outages. Netmagic had given an upfront commitment to buy 30 lakh units of power a year from InterOcean, a Delhi-based company that runs 10 wind-power projects in the country. The cost per unit works out to ` 6.20 a unit, which is 11-13% cheaper than the power provided by the state utility. (

Only 1.37 per cent bioethanol in petrol against mandatory 5 per cent: Goyal

November 27, 2014. The blending of bioethanol into petrol by oil marketing companies (OMCs) is reported to have been 1.37 per cent for the year 2013-14, against the mandatory 5 per cent ethanol blending by October 2013. Minister of State for Power, Coal and New and Renewable Energy Piyush Goyal said no biodiesel has been procured by the OMCs for blending with diesel. The Minister said the blending of ethanol would be increased progressively depending upon the availability of ethanol to reach the 5 per cent mandatory level. He said ethanol is being produced in the country mainly from sugarcane molasses which is limited by production of sugar and is being used for potable alcohol and chemical industry, with the balance used for blending in petrol. The Minister said research and development in biofuels, especially the second and third generation biofuels is being supported mainly by the Department of Biotechnology, Council of Scientific & Industrial Research and the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. He said a total of ` 107.15 crore has been allocated for them during the 12th Plan period and the expenditure so far has been to the tune of ` 67.14 crore. The Minister said that the Department of Science and Technology is supporting research and development in the use of biofuels in engines. (


Germany's $132 bn green energy lead is fortified by EON's split with fossil fuels

December 2, 2014. EON SE’s plan to spin off its fossil-fuel plants marks a watershed moment in Germany’s renewables effort that will likely bolster the country’s already leading position in clean energy. EON’s announcement is the culmination of a push to wind, solar and other alternative energy forms that the German government began 14 years ago with subsidies to reduce the country’s reliance on fossil fuels for power production. That plan gained added momentum in 2011 with a decision to close the country’s nuclear reactors following the Fukushima accident. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s bold move is already beginning to pay off, with Europe’s largest economy for the first time getting more electricity from renewables this year than any other source. About a quarter of Germany’s power now comes from green energy, compared with 6.2 percent in the U.S. and 4.8 percent in France. The government intends to go further, setting goals to increase the use of alternative energy sources to as much as 45 percent of all power generated by 2035 and boost that figure to 80 percent by 2050. Germany, where the eastern countryside is already dotted with thousands of wind turbines, plans to do that in part by expanding large-scale offshore wind plants that can produce more reliably because the breeze is steadier at sea. Merkel decided after the Fukushima accident in Japan to close the country’s eight oldest nuclear reactors and shutter the remainder by 2022.

To reach stricter climate protection targets, Germany will unveil details of a plan demanding additional emissions cuts from electricity produced using fossil fuel. German consumers have paid a total of 106 billion euros ($132 billion) through the surcharge on their power bills to finance the clean-energy expansion. The annual cost may peak this year and drop slightly to 22 billion euros in 2015 as the government begins reducing subsidies for the industry. Despite the expense, the shift has broad public support. A poll showed 71 percent of Germans back the decision to close the nuclear reactors and 67 percent think the country isn’t doing enough to move to renewables, according to the Allensbach polling company. Against this general backdrop, power companies in Germany are increasingly staking their future on green energy. EON after the split in 2016 will concentrate on renewables, distribution and marketing to households and consumers. The spun-off entity will include conventional power generation, global energy trading, exploration and production. Merkel is also trying to reduce the country’s emissions by pushing Germany’s auto industry to build more electric cars after French, Japanese and American carmakers got off to an early lead. Including vehicles like Bayerische Motoren Werke AG’s i3 city car and an electric version of Daimler AG’s Smart two-seater, German auto manufacturers will offer 17 electric-powered models by the end of 2014, and another 12 will be going on sale next year, according to the country’s VDA automotive industry group. (

OPEC squeeze on oil spares renewables from energy turmoil

December 2, 2014. While OPEC is helping drive down global prices for crude, it’s having less success squeezing the $250 billion clean power industry. Green energy will receive almost 60 percent of the $5 trillion expected to be invested in new power plants, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). That’s because the U.S., China, Japan and the European Union are all pushing for global limits on greenhouse gases and promoting alternatives to fossil fuels. Renewables remain a tiny fraction of the world’s power supply, accounting for about 5 percent of the electricity generated, according to the most recent data from the IEA. That’s up from 1 percent in 1990. Current policies put it on track to reach 12 percent by 2040. Investment in clean energy is growing rapidly. The industry took in $175 billion in the first nine months of this year. About $2.95 trillion may be invested by 2040 compared with $1.49 trillion for fossil-fuel power plants, the IEA estimates. (

Rich nations will make $100 bn climate goal, US says

December 2, 2014. Developed nations are on track to raise $100 billion a year by 2020 to help poorer countries deal with global warming and fulfill a key demand of international climate talks, the U.S. envoy to the negotiations said. Stern spoke as envoys from more than 190 nations gathered in Lima for two weeks of talks on new limits for greenhouse gases. The U.S. and other countries promised in 2009 to mobilize $100 billion in public and private funds to help developing countries cut carbon pollution and adapt to a warming planet. The money is meant to bridge differences between richer and poorer states that hobbled prior talks. Stern also predicted President Barack Obama would win Congress’ approval for $3 billion he pledged last month to the international Green Climate Fund. The money, like much of Obama’s climate agenda, has drawn opposition from Republicans who will take control of Congress in January. Obama will request the $3 billion, to be spread over four years, in his budget proposal next year, Stern said. Republicans supported similar funding made by a president of their own party, George W. Bush, he said. (

Argentina province schedules auction to build first solar farm

December 2, 2014. Argentina’s Santa Fe province will hold an auction Dec. 17 for developers to build its first solar farm. The 1 MW project in central Argentina will cost about 34 million pesos ($4 million) and must go into operation within six months. The solar park will help the country meet its goal of getting at least 8 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2016. (

China solar project delays mean Japan could be largest market

November 28, 2014. China risks being displaced as the world’s largest solar market as measured by annual installations after some project approvals were postponed. The delays mean China could fall short of its goal to install 14 GW of solar capacity, Li said. Japan is expected to add 10.3 GW to 11.9 GW of solar power in 2014. Policy makers have purposely delayed approvals on large utility-scale projects to make way for more installations on rooftops following a push to boost the use of distributed solar power. China plans to add as much as 8 GW of solar on rooftops, factories and other buildings in 2014, a more than 10-fold increase compared with the previous year. China is expected to install less than 12 GW of both distributed and large-sized solar capacity this year, the National Center for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation said. China saw a record addition of 8.9 GW of solar in the last quarter of 2013 as developers rushed installations ahead of a tariff cut. The last three months of last year accounted for almost 70 percent of annual installations for the whole of 2013. The nation added 3.79 GW of new grid-connected solar capacity from the beginning of the year to the end of September, according to the National Energy Administration. China hasn’t announced any reduction plan in preferential power prices this year. The country had almost 20 GW of solar capacity at the end of 2013 and is targeting a total of 35 GW of installations by 2015. Solar accounts for about 2 percent of China’s electricity generation capacity, up from 0.08 percent four years ago and double what nuclear power contributed last year. (

Pollution to follow as gas replaces hydropower: Corporate Brazil

November 27, 2014. Brazil, the world’s cleanest energy user, is getting dirtier. The government is seeking to award contracts in an auction for natural gas- and coal-fueled power plants, reversing a drive that previously favored renewable-energy projects. It would lead to the first new thermal plants in three years, after the government scaled back such projects and awarded wind contracts starting in 2009 and solar energy. Using fossil fuels at a time of need highlights tensions facing Brazilian policy makers as they join United Nations talks aimed at limiting global warming. While envoys from 190 nations are pushing for an agreement in 2015 to limit fossil-fuel emissions, Brazil may need to boost emissions to stabilize its power market and meet growing demand. Brazil, the biggest polluter in Latin America, had a 6.7 percent jump in carbon emissions last year, according to data from BP Plc. That was the fastest increase worldwide after Qatar, Colombia and the Philippines. For the world to meet its goals of limiting global warming, Brazil would have to cut carbon emissions an average of 0.9 percent a year until 2040, the International Energy Agency estimates. Current government policies put Brazil on course for annual increases of 1.8 percent over that period, the Paris-based institution estimates. Brazil restarted all of its idled thermal-power plants to make up an energy shortfall as hydroelectric output plummeted. Use of the costlier energy source boosted electricity spot prices to records. Wind and solar developers including Renova Energia SA and Enel Brasil Participacoes Ltda were the only companies to win contracts in the last auction. (

Molten aluminum lakes offer power storage for German wind farms

November 27, 2014. Germany’s sprint toward renewable energy makes wholesale power cheap, even free, when the sun is shining and the wind is blowing. Absent that, prices spike -- this year the day-ahead price of a megawatt-hour has ranged from € 52.68 ($65.35) to negative € 4.13. The system doesn’t yet have dedicated storage equipment capable of holding large amounts of renewable energy. Trimet Aluminium SE, Germany’s largest producer of the metal, is experimenting with one answer in a pilot project: using its vast pools of molten metal as virtual batteries. Making aluminum is extremely power-intensive. To yield each ton of the flexible metal, derived from bauxite that’s been converted into molten aluminum oxide, Trimet needs roughly 14 megawatt-hours, or about 500 euros worth of power. Multiply that by 500,000, the number of tons of aluminum Trimet produced using electrolysis last year, and that’s a lot of power and money humming through the company’s plant near the Rhine-Herne Canal in the western German city of Essen. For the most part, Trimet turns aluminum oxide into aluminum by way of electrolysis, the use of an electric current to stimulate a chemical reaction. Negative and positive electrodes in a tank separate the compound into aluminum and oxygen. The electrodes, in tandem with the liquid metal that settles to the bottom of the tank and the oxygen above, form an enormous battery. By varying the rate at which the metal is produced, the plant will be able to adjust the power consumption of the 290 MW smelter up and down by about 25 percent. Trimet can soak power from the grid when energy is cheap. It can then resell the power when demand is at its peak. The company can temporarily reduce its power consumption by slowing the electrolysis, cutting the energy drain. Heribert Hauck, Trimet’s head of energy management, said the plant eventually will be able to store the aluminum equivalent of as much as 3,360 megawatt-hours over a two-day period -- enough to power more than 300,000 homes for a day.  Consumption of aluminum, almost half of which is produced in China, followed by Russia, Canada and the U.S., has been growing as the metal, long a primary component in jet aircraft bodies, has become increasingly common in cars and consumer electronics. U.S. manufacturers alone produce about 100 billion aluminum beverage cans per year. Trimet’s Hauck estimates the full costs € 70 euros to € 150 to store one megawatt-hour based on 1,000 hours of use per year. That would make supply competitive at some periods of peak demand during the winter. (

EPA power plant mercury rule gets US Supreme Court review

November 26, 2014. The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to decide whether the Obama administration went too far with new power-plant pollution caps the government estimates will cost almost $10 billion a year. The justices said they will hear industry and state contentions that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) didn’t adequately consider those costs when it limited mercury and other hazardous pollutants. The affected companies include American Electric Power Co., Duke Energy Corp. and Southern Co. High court review of the rule threatens to stop a legal winning streak for EPA air-pollution regulations. In June, the Supreme Court upheld the agency’s requirement that power plants, refineries and chemical factories curb their carbon emissions. In April, the justices backed a rule targeting pollutants that cause smog and acid rain across state lines. In seeking a Supreme Court hearing, industry trade groups and almost two dozen states argued that the Clean Air Act requires the EPA to consider compliance costs at an earlier stage in the regulatory process. Coal plants are facing a series of EPA regulations that are requiring owners to invest in pollution controls or shutter aging plants. The mercury rule, which applies to every major coal plant in the U.S., is the farthest-reaching one in place. The Obama administration says the Clean Air Act requires costs to be taken into account when deciding the appropriate level of regulation, and not when considering whether to regulate at all. A federal appeals court agreed in a 2-1 ruling. (

New carbon market is key part of climate agreement, UK says

November 26, 2014. A new carbon market that will spur emerging nations to cut emissions is the key element of next year’s planned global climate accord, U.K. said. Certified Emission Reduction credits for December 2015 have more than doubled in value since June 4, when they matched a record low on ICE Futures Europe in London. Prices gained as the U.S. and China agreed to limit emissions and the UN climate secretariat published a report stating the market that creates those credits and others could be extended beyond 2020. The UN report shows that carbon markets will probably help give nations confidence to pledge bigger contributions to emission cuts during the next year or so because they will provide the ability to tap private investment capital, according to the International Emissions Trading Association. (

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