MonitorsPublished on Oct 23, 2015
Energy News Monitor | Volume XII; Issue 19

[The Negotiating Text for Paris: An Appeal]

                             “This time the United States has shaped the agenda for a ‘bottom-up’ regime again with no multilaterally determined emission reduction commitments and is pushing for review of “mitigation” actions of developing countries. India and China are stressing review of modification of longer term trends or lifestyles, to focus on the causes of the problem. India’s INDC is subtitled ‘working towards climate justice’ stressing international cooperation to enable the transformation required by Article 2…”

Energy News


Domestic coal boom halting import growth is among the biggest achievements of the sector!                                   


When SEBs are reluctant to buy power hydropower how can they be forced to buy solar power?  


Coal auctions have replaced allocation with court action!   




·          The Negotiating Text for Paris: An Appeal


·          Notes: Development / Discussions in the run up to Paris COP 21


·          India and South Asia: Petroleum Trade



·          ONGC targets $10-$12 bn foreign O&G investments

·          ONGC to buy into Adani-Welspun’s oil block off Mumbai coast

·          Tapti gas field seen ceasing production by year end: RIL

·          ONGC has no claims in KG gas row: RIL

·          Gas leak continues from OIL well in Jaisalmer

·          Deep Industries wins order worth ` 903 mn from ONGC


·          IOC sells rare Kandla cargo at small premium

·          RIL's refinery margins will continue to improve: Moody's

·          Essar Oil restarts Vadinar refinery

Transportation / Trade………………

·          GAIL will deploy drones to guard gas pipelines to raise safety standards

·          External Affairs Minister holds talks with Turkmen counterpart on TAPI

·          IOC opposes move to declare its pipeline as common carrier

Policy / Performance…………………

·          OMCs increase diesel prices by 95 paise per litre

·          GAIL inks a GCA with Jharkhand govt    

·          Transparent LPG cylinders soon to keep a tab on gas quantity



·          Odisha to firm up 300 MW through power banking

·          BHEL starts building 800 MW coal-fired unit at Wanakbori

·          Construction of two RAPS units on: NPCIL

·          NTPC incorporates arm to run and expand Patratu power plant

Transmission / Distribution / Trade……

·          RECTPL to announce lowest financial bids for 2 projects

·          India's domestic coal boom halts import growth

·          India's September coal imports slump 27 percent to 12.6 mt

·          'Lower dependence on imported coal credit positive for IPPs': Moody's

·          SEBs reluctant to buy power from NHPC projects

·          Indian Railways to procure 50 MW electricity from Adani Power

·          Alstom T&D wins orders worth ` 1.4 bn from OPTCL

Policy / Performance…………………

·          'Scope to cut power tariff'

·          Odisha hopes to bag Baitarani West coal block soon

·          Rajasthan signs MoUs with PSUs, companies worth ` 505 bn

·          Coal Ministry asks States to expedite clearances for auctioned mines

·          Assocham urges govt to resolve issues of auctioned coal mines



·          AGOCO to drill 93 wells in Libya within 10 yrs

·          US cancels remaining Arctic oil lease sales under Obama

·          Niger aims to triple oil output by 2018

·          US crude oil stocks jump by 7.6 mn barrels: EIA

·          DEA to acquire E.ON's North Sea O&G assets for $1.6 bn

·          Azerbaijan expects to keep oil output at ACG fields at 31.5 mt in 2015

·          Lukoil discovers deepwater gas field in Romania

·          SKK Migas approves EMP's plan to develop Seng, Segat gas fields in Sumatra


·          Sinopec completes $1 bn refinery expansion

·          SOCAR gets US$1.8 bn loan to upgrade Baku refinery

·          China reduces oil processing as refineries shut for work

·          Moroccan oil refiner Samir gets backing for $1 bn capital increase

·          Total European refining margin hits new record in Q3

·          Ecopetrol Cartagena refinery to resume operation: Finance Minister

·          Gazprom begins construction of Amur GPP in Russia

Transportation / Trade…………

·          ConocoPhillips, Dong said to sell stakes in Norway gas pipelines

·          Saudi crude oil exports fall in August to 6.998 mn bpd: JODI

·          Russia's Rostec to build $2.5 bn gas pipeline in Pakistan

·          EnBW to become Germany's third-largest gas player in $1.6 bn deal

·          Occidental's North Dakota deal mixed omen for pending oilfield deals

·          Jordan picks Shell to supply first two years of LNG supply in tender

·          Greece wants to speed up IGB gas pipeline deal fraught with delays

·          Sinopec gets approval for $20 bn coal-to-gas pipeline

Policy / Performance………………

·          Beijing firm highest bidder in Xinjiang oil tender: Govt

·          Iran to pay oil companies larger fees in 20 yr contracts

·          Venezuela's President says oil industry needs $88 price

·          World Bank revises down forecast of crude oil prices

·          Iran sees no OPEC output change as country seeks $70-$80 oil

·          Nigeria defers plan to slash gas supply to Ghana

·          Angolan govt cuts spending by 50 percent as oil revenue plunges

·          Lithuania govt proposes to allow LNG re-exports

·          South African regulator raids five LPG suppliers

·         China said to plan gas price cuts up to 30 percent in fuel push



·          Construction starts at 445 MW Salalah-2 CCGT power project

·          Wärtsilä wins 378 MW Flexicycle power plant contract in El Salvador

·          PSEG to spend $3.5 bn over 5 yrs to expand US power plant fleet

Transmission / Distribution / Trade……

·          China 2016 coal imports could fall a further 25 mt

·          Ayala bullish on power business

·          ABB receives $300 mn contracts to support power transmission projects in China

Policy / Performance………………

·          South Africa plans to raise power capacity by 28 percent by 2025

·          China targets 110 nuclear reactors on operation by 2030

·          Armenia will not abandon plans to build new nuclear power plant

·          Australia's Federal govt re-approves Carmichael coal project



·          Visakhapatnam to get its first 'smart streetlight' soon

·          Odisha needs ` 300 bn to implement climate plan for 2015-20

·          Vardhan stresses on need for alternate sources of energy

·          World’s largest solar power plant to come up in MP

·          RIL, 9 global oil majors commit to cut green house gases

·          Chinese firm Sany Group to invest $3 bn in renewable energy sector in India

·          World's poor must have fair access to global resources: India

·          India, Sweden agree to cooperate in urban sector initiatives


·          Vestas to sell stake in 310 MW Kenyan wind project to Google

·          China solar installations double despite delay in sales to grid

·          Nuclear climate solution is cheaper than coal: IAEA

·          Vietnam commits to reduce GHG emissions by 8 percent by 2030

·          Two companies will develop 175 MW of solar projects in Nigeria

·          Merkel joins Bachelet in push for a price on global pollution

·          US said to propose fallback for international carbon trade

·          EGP and F2i create solar PV JV in Italy

·          China’s wind power capacity to hit 120 GW

·          Clean Power Plan to shutter 4 GW of Texas coal output

·          Big oil companies back agreement to prevent climate change

·          Norway fund chief says Carney raises important climate questions

·          Germany sees new carbon market bolstering feeble climate pledges




The Negotiating Text for Paris: An Appeal

Mukul Sanwal* 


here are two opposing visions of the new climate regime and the unresolved issue is whether the multilateral consensus at Paris will be around climate justice, reflecting the concerns of the majority of the human population, or environmental integrity, which reflects the approach adopted in the negotiation text, released on 5 October 2015.

The essential question that negotiators need to ask is how the Articles of the text, and the draft decisions, will achieve the ‘Purpose’ enumerated in Article 2 of the Agreement. This is: “…strengthen and support the global response and international cooperation to collectively meet the urgent threat of climate change by further addressing its causes and by further increasing resilience and the ability to adapt to its adverse impacts, with a view to promoting the global transformation to low-carbon [emission] and climate-resilient societies and economies to keep within the global carbon budget. It reflects equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in light of different national circumstances and levels of development”.

According to the negotiation text, the focus of international cooperation should be on environmental integrity, or risk-management. The information required to be communicated under Article 3 to the multilateral level is limited to mitigation. Its review to determine future national actions under Article 9.2 and 10 is based solely on emissions reduction. Consequently, adaption, finance, technology development and transfer (and this term occurs only in a title) are considered national level actions, and multilateral assessment and review of these elements to strengthen international cooperation is not considered. The review is considered a technical exercise with the secretariat given an active role with respect to actions to be taken by Parties and stocktaking is sought to be opened up to non-Parties. This framework is presented as the new framework for achieving “global low-carbon transformation”.

For the others, and this view has been articulated most clearly by India and also by China, the universal regime for the “global low-carbon transformation” cannot be achieved without giving equal weightage to climate justice and environmental integrity. As provision of information is the only ‘commitment’ in the climate regime Article 2 must include all elements to achieve the transformation – what the text calls mitigation, adaptation, finance and technology development and transfer. Emissions reduction deals with the symptoms of climate change while the ‘Purpose’ of the Agreement, in Article 2, calls for a focus on the causes - lifestyles.

The change from the Convention negotiated in 1992 is that the world is now faced with ecological limits and the limited carbon space, in the absence of equitable allocation criteria, requires strengthening the global response to enable all to achieve middle class levels of wellbeing. The recent report of the IPCC has re-framed the global concern in terms of sharing the global climate budget, and that consideration of ethics and justice will lead to a stronger climate agreement. International cooperation, as Article 2 points out, is the purpose of the Agreement.

The negotiating text rightly focuses on ‘transparency’ (linking it with review) but the meaning of ‘understanding’ includes comprehension and awareness of others feelings, and the latter would be appropriate only in the context of climate justice. The ‘Purpose’ in Article 2 does not use the terms ‘mitigation’ and ‘adaptation’; mitigation refers to reducing the severity of pollution and adaptation refers to anticipating adverse effects; the stress is on promoting the global transformation, and that has not been considered in the text with its focus on emissions.

The only ‘commitment’ is to provide information. Review of the information and the elements of the information to be provided will be the most contentious articles to be negotiated, just as it was in 1992, because the Parties continue to have different notions of fairness. The compromise arrived at then was that the United States drafted Article 4.2(a) and ensured there were no emission reduction commitments, only an “aim”. India with the support of China drafted Article 10 and ensured there would be only assessment of aggregate effects of the measures taken by developing countries. This time the United States has shaped the agenda for a ‘bottom-up’ regime again with no multilaterally determined emission reduction commitments and is pushing for review of “mitigation” actions of developing countries. India and China are stressing review of modification of longer term trends or lifestyles, to focus on the causes of the problem. India’s INDC is subtitled ‘working towards climate justice’ stressing international cooperation to enable the transformation required by Article 2 of the Agreement, with technology development and transfer as a key element. The unresolved issue is how the ‘Purpose’ of the new regime in Article 2 will be reconciled with the information requirements, multilateral review and future collective actions of all Parties, that is, the nature and scope of international cooperation.

Other unresolved, yet significant, issues include

1. The objective of transparency (Art. 9) of the review should be ‘fairness’, or, confidence in meeting the Purpose of the Agreement and not just one component. Defining transparency related capacity should specify data, research and analytical capacity, including exchange of experiences, as this is a critical element (DD Paragraph 58).

2. Reviews should be Party driven not by experts, and the pre-2020 review is being conducted by the SBI while the post-2020 reviews are by expert groups! Peer review should be available for countries that opt for such arrangement (Article 6, DD paragraph 69). The text also has a common review arrangement (Art. 6) and does not make the critical distinction between countries whose emissions have peaked and those who have yet to do so, which is essential for a fair review process; the former also requires more frequent reporting.

3. Justification is needed for withdrawal from a regime whose purpose is to strengthen international cooperation (Art.25)

4. Role of non-Parties in decision-making is questionable (Article 8, Draft Decision paragraphs 77 to 87), and their efforts should not be recognised along with efforts of Parties (Draft Decision paragraph 82) and kept separate for transparency.

5. Global stocktaking, another critical element, should not be limited to only consider reports of the IPCC (DD Paragraphs 60 and 61) and analytical reports submitted by Parties should also be considered for better clarity and understanding.

6. The pre-2020 review by the SBI (draft Decision paragraph 14) should be with reference to achieving the purpose of this Agreement in Article 2, and not with reference to Article 2 of the Convention.

7. The role of the secretariat should be to support the peer-review, technical expert groups and the SBI, as at present, and not extended to preparing technical papers and coordination with other intergovernmental bodies (Draft Decision paragraph 70).

8. The nominated high level champions (Draft decision paragraph 83) will dilute the role of the Bureau and the Party driven process, because they are to coordinate the involvement of non-Party stakeholders and experts with a specific budget provision making it an on-going and substantive activity, its value-added is questionable. Such activities, if agreed, should be conducted by the Bureau or the SBI.

9. The selection of experts needs to be re-visited in a universal climate regime so as not to repeat the experience of the IPCC where the Lead Authors and other experts in decision-making roles continue to be from developed countries or developing country experts who have moved to developed countries. The majority should now be from developing countries based on nominations of qualified persons by the Regional Groups.

10. Facilitation is a term that has not been defined in over 20 years of the implementation of the Convention, and is best avoided in the new regime.

In 1992, the best the developing countries could achieve was to get their key concerns into the Preamble. This negotiating text also puts the key current concern of developing countries –“recognizing the intrinsic relationship between climate change, poverty eradication and sustainable development” – into the Preamble and does not link it to any of the operative articles, and will be contested in a more equal world.

The International Science Council (ICSU) and the International Social Science Council (ISSC) in February 2015 advised the negotiators of the Global Sustainable Goals to have a greater understanding of the interplay between the social, economic and environmental dimension as the goals apply to all countries of the world, climate and development should not considered in isolation from one another and goal should guide implementation. The scientists recommended that this meta-goal be “a prosperous, high quality of life that is equitably shared and sustained.” The most recent interdisciplinary science provides an integrating vision for the new climate regime.

The differences around what constitutes a ‘balanced’ agreement should not be seen as competing visions because climate justice includes environmental integrity; both should be the basis for the provision of information, its peer- review and international cooperation to enable the agreed transformation. Let not coming generations say that they were served only moderately well by the very capable women and men negotiating the new climate regime.

*Former United Nations diplomat.                                                                                                 Views are those of the author                   

Courtesy: India Environment Portal (


Notes: Development / Discussions in the run up to Paris COP 21

Lydia Powell, Observer Research Foundation

·         The US performed an impressive back-flip and endorsed both Loss and Damage as a stand-alone section and committed an annual 0.7% of GDP to financing it.

·         Negotiators from Saudi Arabia came to a newfound appreciation of human rights and are now supporting their comprehensive integration throughout the document.

·         Australia has convinced the Umbrella Group to accept major compromises on both mitigation and the long-term goal.

·         The latest EU numbers show that greenhouse gas emission fell 4% between 2013 and 2014. This brings the EU’s domestic emissions down to 23% below 1990 levels, and will most likely lead to below 30% by 2020. EU’s current 2020 reduction commitment is 20% below 1990.

·         The Oil and Gas Climate Initiative released a report calling for a price on carbon and investment in carbon capture and sequestration.

·         Shell and BHP announced a commission to advise governments on climate policy.

·         Among all of the financial mechanisms under the Convention, the Adaptation Fund (AF) has made unique progress. The AF plays an important role in the climate finance landscape by providing funding for small-scale adaptation projects. It now has a portfolio of 50 such projects, enabled especially through its direct access modality. Furthermore, the AF has successfully accredited 20 national implementing entities (NIEs) and helped build local capacity

·         The new version contains a good proposal featuring the AF as a key instrument of the Financial Mechanism. The AF can help recipient countries to implement their NAPs and their INDCs. Despite the scarcity of the resources, the Fund’s board received an unprecedented 15 proposals (including the first regional programmes) at its last meeting.

·         This burgeoning interest may be understood as a call for more pledges to help the Fund reach the fundraising target of US$100 million by COP21.

·         As the AF is a fund where all developing countries are eligible for financing in principle, it is a powerful tool for advancing the adaptation debate across the globe. Within a few years, the AF has pioneered a robust direct access and operationalised a streamlined and rapid project cycle that enables developing countries to maintain full ownership throughout project implementation and ensure monitoring and transparency at each stage.

·         A new report, Fair Shares: A Civil Society Equity Review of INDCs shows that there is still a big gap between what it will take to avoid catastrophic climate change, and what countries have put forward so far.

·         The report says all high emitting countries will have to do more to close this emissions gap, and this can be done in a fair way. Richer emitters must reduce their emissions substantially and they must contribute to more emissions and adaptation action by poorer countries by providing additional finance and technology access.

·         The report recommends that the Paris Agreement provides a framework where governments set targets in line with fairness and what the science says is needed.

o    To avoid a 3 degree world, governments must agree targets to reduce emissions in 2025, 2030, 2040 and 2050, with a view of near-zero emissions by the middle of the century;

o    The Paris agreement should include a mechanism to ratchet up current targets before they come into effect in 2020, and every five years thereafter

o    It should include a step-change in international climate finance;

o    It should create a clear and fair plan to address the emissions gap through new cooperative action fuelled by scaled-up support from the developed countries that are most responsible.

Views are those of the author                    

Author can be contacted at [email protected]

Sources: Compiled from various credible sources


India and South Asia: Petroleum Trade

Akhilesh Sati, Observer Research Foundation

Trade of Commodities

(in US$ Million)

Apr-Feb  2014

Apr-Feb  2015



Petroleum (Crude & Products)



All Commodity Imports from South Asia




Petroleum (Crude & Products)



All Commodity Exports to South Asia



 Trends in India’s Petroleum Trade with South Asian Region

Source: Lok Sabha Unstarred Question No. 3943, 7003.




ONGC targets $10-$12 bn foreign O&G investments

October 20, 2015. The foreign investment arm of India's top oil explorer ONGC is targeting $10-$12 billion of oil and gas asset purchases over the next three years, including more corporate acquisitions. ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL) hopes to capitalise on cheaper assets after a slump in oil prices and Prime Minister Narendra Modi's diplomatic efforts to boost the global presence of Indian firms. OVL, which produces about 175,000-180,000 barrels per day (bpd) from its overseas assets, wants to double output by 2018 and increase it six-fold by 2030. The firm has stakes in 33 oil and gas projects from Venezuela to South Sudan but its first corporate investment in 2008, buying Russia's Imperial Energy for $2.6 billion, did not turn out as planned with output slumping to 8,000 bpd from an estimated 60,000 bpd. OVL concluded a deal to buy a 15 percent stake in Rosneft's Vankor field to secure access to about 66,000 bpd of oil production at the Siberian field. But OVL said Africa and Latin America were likely to be the hotspots for new investment with some companies financially stressed due to high capital expenditure and low oil prices. OVL is also better placed than some of its global peers to invest due to the financial strength of its parent, Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC). ONGC and its Indian partners have submitted a $5-billion revised plan to Iran seeking development rights of Farzad B gas field, OVL said. The revised contract offered more flexibility and included a mix of production sharing and service contracts, OVL said. Investment could double if infrastructure is built to supply gas to New Delhi. (

ONGC to buy into Adani-Welspun’s oil block off Mumbai coast

October 20, 2015. Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd (ONGC) is in talks with Adani-Welspun Exploration Ltd (Adani-Welspun) to buy a stake in the latter’s oil block in the western offshore region off the coast of Mumbai. ONGC is in advanced talks to either partner with or completely buyout block MB-OSN-2005/2 held by Adani-Welspun since 2005. A deal could be signed before the end of the current fiscal. A pact between the two firms will help ONGC establish continuity among three of its other blocks located in the same region and develop these blocks using common infrastructure. It will also help Adani-Welspun monetize reserves in the block, which they have held for almost a decade now. ONGC has three blocks in proximity of the block held by Adani-Welspun—MB-OSN-2005/1, MB-OSN-2005/5 and MB-OSN-2005/6 which the company won in the eighth round of NELP (New Exploration Licensing Policy). While ONGC has established presence of crude oil in the block, its development for production is yet to start. Talks are at an advanced stage and Adani-Welspun is keen to monetize the block at the earliest. Adani-Welspun has two on-land exploration blocks—Cambay Basin in Gujarat and Assam-Arakan Basin in Assam—apart from the block in the Mumbai offshore. Adani-Welspun prefers to offload a partial stake than sell off the block. The move to buy into the Adani-Welspun block is a part of ONGC’s long-term plan to make western offshore its production hub. ONGC currently has three major mid-sea assets off the west coast: Mumbai High, India’s largest oil field; Bassein and satellite fields, which produce gas; and Neelam and Heera fields, which produce both. The Mumbai High asset is India’s biggest oil field producing 210,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd), while Bassein and satellites is India’s biggest natural gas producing field producing 24 million metric standard cubic meters per day (mmscmd) of gas. In November 2014, ONGC approved a total investment of ` 10,600 crore in western offshore over the next five years. In 2014-15, ONGC’s domestic crude oil production registered a marginal increase in production, mainly due to a 4.3% increase in production from its Western offshore assets. This helped reverse a 10-year trend of falling production reported by ONGC till last year, according to the company. (

Tapti gas field seen ceasing production by year end: RIL

October 18, 2015. The depleted Tapti gas field of the Panna/Mukta and Tapti (PMT) cluster in Arabian Sea is likely to cease production by the end of this year, Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) has said. Tapti gas field, off the West Coast, produced 0.6 billion cubic feet (bcf) of gas in the July-September quarter, down from 3.9 bcf in same period a year ago, RIL said. The output was lower than 1.9 bcf in April-June this year. BG Group of UK and RIL hold a 30 percent stake each in the PMT fields while Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has the remaining 40 percent. Once production ceases, the consortium would move into the decommissioning phase and handover of certain Tapti facilities to ONGC, in accordance with the production-sharing contract. While Panna/Mukta are primarily oilfields, Tapti is a gas field. The production sharing contract for PMT fields was signed in 1994. Panna/Mukta fields began production in December 1994 and Tapti field began out in 1997-98. The field produced a peak of 17 million standard cubic meters per day till 2007-08 after which the natural decline set in. ONGC has agreed to take over a part of the abandoned assets of the Tapti field to produce from its fields in the western offshore. ONGC will use the Tapti field assets, which include sub-sea pipelines and gas gathering stations as well as process platform, to advance production of gas from its neighbouring Daman field. The assets include Tapti gas processing platform, which received gas from sub-sea wells, removes water and other impurities before transmitting it to onshore. ONGC will lay a small length of pipeline from the Daman field to the process platform, which is connected by a 70-km pipeline to its facility at Hazira. The BG-RIL-ONGC venture will continue to operate the Panna-Mukta field, which primarily is an oil bearing field located 90-km north-west of Mumbai in the Arabian Sea. It produced 7.2 million barrels of oil and 70.7 bcf of gas. RIL said Panna/Mukta field produced 1.88 million barrels of oil in the second quarter, up from 1.76 million barrels in the period a year ago. The fields also produced 17.2 billion cubic feet of gas. (

ONGC has no claims in KG gas row: RIL

October 16, 2015. Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd (ONGC) will have no claims to make for natural gas migrating from its block to neighbouring contiguous fields of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) in Bay of Bengal after all expenses are accounted for, the private firm said. The assertion comes after US-based consultant DeGolyer and MacNaughton (D&M) in a draft report stated that about 9 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas worth around ` 9,000 crore may have migrated from ONGC's idling Bay of Bengal fields to adjoining KG-D6 fields. It said that the hydrocarbon resources belong to the nation and the main objective of the PSC is for the contractor to expeditiously develop and produce such resources for the benefit of the nation. RIL believes if all the expenses it had incurred in putting up infrastructure as well as royalties and profit petroleum paid to the government on the share of gas produced is accounted for, ONGC will get nothing. D&M submitted to the two firms as well as the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) a draft report stating that ONGC's Godavari Block (known as G-4) as well as KG-DWN-98/2 blocks are contiguous to RIL-operated Block KG-DWN-98/3 (KG-D6). According to D&M, RIL had drawn 58.67 bcm of gas from four wells near the boundary wall with ONGC block up to 31 March 2015, out of which at least 9 bcm may belong to ONGC. (

Gas leak continues from OIL well in Jaisalmer

October 14, 2015. Gas leakage continues almost 10 days after it was first detected from an Oil India Limited (OIL) well at Dandewala area in Jaisalmer, which is near the India-Pakistan border. Though experts from OIL and Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC) have been working to stop the leakage, it would take few more days for the situation to be brought under control. According to the Oil India, one effort was made to control the gas leak and it resulted in partial success. The Border Security Force (BSF) in the area and the Jaisalmer district administration has been informed of the leak. (

Deep Industries wins order worth ` 903 mn from ONGC

October 14, 2015. Deep Industries won an order worth ` 90.3 crore from Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC). The company said that the order is for 1000 Horse Power (HP) drilling rig for ONGC’s Tripura project. The company had received a 1000 HP drilling rig project for ONGC’s Ahmadabad project. The current order book of the company stands at ` 700 crore. The company expects earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) growth of 50-55 percent year-on-year. The company expects more order inflows in the gas dehydration segment for which it has received some orders in April already. (


IOC sells rare Kandla cargo at small premium

October 20, 2015. Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) has sold 18,000-20,000 tonnes of naphtha for Oct. 29 to Nov. 3 loading from Kandla after cancelling a previous tender for the same cargo due to low bids, traders said. The state-owned refiner sold the cargo to Thai firm PTT at a premium of about $1 a tonne to IOC's own price formula on a free-on-board (FOB) basis. This was the first time this year that IOC has sold a cargo out of Kandla, data showed. Traders said domestic demand had curbed exports from Kandla but IOC continues to export naphtha regularly out of Chennai, Dahej and Haldia. IOC had earlier offered the Kandla cargo for Oct. 20-25 loading but bids were mostly at discount levels to IOC's formula on a FOB basis. Smaller parcels, below 30,000 to 35,000 tonnes, usually fetch a lower price as they do not help buyers maximise on freight rates. (

RIL's refinery margins will continue to improve: Moody's

October 20, 2015. Reliance Industries' refinery margins will continue to improve as it completes margin-enhancing projects, Moody's Investors Service said. Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) reported a growth of 2 percent in its pre-tax profit during July-September compared to the preceding quarter. It has reported highest ever quarterly net profit of ` 6,720 crore for the July-September period. The company earned $10.6 on turning every barrel of crude oil into fuel during the second quarter of the current fiscal, the highest in the last seven years. During the second quarter, fuel oil cracks declined significantly while gasoline cracks largely remained stable as compared to the first quarter, resulting in RIL's gross refining margin (GRM) outperforming the benchmark refining margin by $4.3 per barrel - the highest in the last six years. Pre-tax profit for the petrochemical segment improved by 8 percent quarter-on-quarter despite softening product spreads as RIL's production increased by 7 percent. Moody's said earnings of the upstream oil and gas segment continued to deteriorate with a 70 percent decline as production levels and oil prices remain weak. (

Essar Oil restarts Vadinar refinery

October 19, 2015. Essar Oil said it has restarted its 20 million tonnes a year Vadinar refinery in Gujarat after a month-long maintenance shutdown. The company had taken a 30-day shutdown from September 18 to October 17 at the refinery. The company, in this period, undertook major maintenance and inspection jobs of all its refinery units. The previous such major planned shutdown was taken in September/October, 2011. There was no production during this period. Being a continuous process industry, refinery shutdown is a meticulously planned operation which refineries need to undertake once every 3-4 years in order to maintain their operational reliability since all major units typically operate under high temperature and pressure and are subject to wear and tear as well as corrosion. During this period, all the units are thoroughly inspected and wherever required, repairs/replacements are carried out. This opportunity is also used for undertaking debottlenecking activities and improvement in facilities. Essar Oil last undertook its turnaround shutdown in September-October 2011, when it connected the base refinery with expanded units, which were then bought on-stream in phases in 2012. (

Transportation / Trade…………

GAIL will deploy drones to guard gas pipelines to raise safety standards

October 20, 2015. GAIL, India's largest natural gas pipeline operator, will deploy drones to guard its pipelines, as part of a host of initiatives to raise safety standards that includes replacing old pipelines and integrating advanced technologies. The move follows one of the worst accidents involving the firm in June last year when its pipeline carrying natural gas exploded in Andhra Pradesh. A government probe into the accident had highlighted safety lapses at the firm and prompted the regulator, Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB), to slap a penalty. The accident, along with a struggling natural gas business due to a global commodity crash, has hammered the company's public standing since. GAIL plans to conduct a pilot in 2-3 months, wherein a drone will fly over a 200-km stretch of pipeline, collecting all relevant data using smart technology. It will soon issue a tender seeking the drone services. At present, GAIL mostly deploys foot patrolling to spot encroachments and seeks local administration's help in getting those cleared. It also partly uses helicopters for the job and has spent about ` 15-20 crore on this in the past two years. The company is looking to induce a new culture of safety in the organisation. Since the accident last year, GAIL has increased patrolling and follow-up actions. The company is replacing older pipelines of about 500 km at a cost of ` 3,000 crore in three years. The advanced technological systems are being deployed to detect any safety breach and quickly respond to it. It is installing online analysers to identify moisture and corrosive substance in the supply, a key reason leading to last year mishap, and increasing frequency of integrity measures. GAIL has set up a group of specialists to monitor all pipeline parameters. About 6,500 km of the 11,000 km of natural gas pipeline the company operates have already been examined for their health and the process is underway for the rest. (

External Affairs Minister holds talks with Turkmen counterpart on TAPI

October 19, 2015. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj held talks with her Turkmen counterpart Rashid Meredov on key issues, including TAPI gas pipeline and Ashgabat Agreement on trade and transit. Swaraj met Meredov who said that they will be sending the Ashgabat Agreement copy to India for further discussion. The discussions came after Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to Turkmenistan in July expressed gratitude for Turkmenistan's support to India in joining the Ashgabat Agreement on trade and transit. The Ashgabat Agreement is a transit agreement established in year 2011 between the countries of Uzbekistan, Iran, Turkmenistan and Oman. Kazakhstan has also joined the bloc. The USD 10 billion TAPI -- Turkmenistan-Afghanistan- Pakistan-India -- project is expected to bring Turkmen natural gas from its giant Dauletabad and Galkynysh gas fields to Pakistan and India. The project is likely to take off in December. (

IOC opposes move to declare its pipeline as common carrier

October 18, 2015. Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) has opposed the move by the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) to declare 20 of its petroleum product pipelines as common carrier to allow third-party access for transportation of fuel, saying the move will hamper refinery industry and may lead to supply issues. PNGRB issued a notice to the declared 20 pipelines of IOC, accounting for close of half of the company's pipeline capacity of 80 million tons, as common carrier by reserving some portion of lines for use by third parties. The move would allow private firms like Essar Oil and Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) to get rights to move products on the 5,900-km network. The 20 pipelines have a combined capacity to move 38.59 million tonnes of products annually.

Strongly opposing the move, IOC in its comments on the proposal said all of the 20 pipelines are for captive use. The pipelines, it said, originate from IOC's refineries and terminate at the company's depots. IOC said petroleum product pipelines are not natural monopolies as alternative modes of transport (rail/road) are available. IOC said its pipelines are not 'common carrier' under provision of the PNGRB Act of 2006 and the regulator's authority, in respect of those pipelines which are not covered within the definition of common carrier, is limited. Among the pipelines PNGRB had sought to be declared as common carrier include Barauni-Kanpur, Koyali-Ahmedabad, Mathura-Delhi, Panipat-Ambala-Jalandhar, Chennai-Bangalore, Haldia-Barauni and Guwahati-Siliguri. (

Policy / Performance………

OMCs increase diesel prices by 95 paise per litre

October 16, 2015. Oil marketing companies (OMCs) announced a rise of 95 paise in diesel rates, but kept the petrol prices unchanged to align the domestic prices with global product prices. Now, diesel will cost ` 45.9, including local taxes, in Delhi. The current level of international prices and rupee-dollar exchange rate warrant a price increase, which is being passed on to consumers with this price revision, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) said. It said that the movement of prices in the international oil market and the exchange rate would continue to be monitored and developing trends of the market will be reflected in future price changes. This is the second rise in diesel prices this month. Rates were increased by 50 paise on October 1. During the last revision on September 1, petrol was cut by ` 2 per litre. Petrol currently costs ` 61.20 per litre in Delhi. It would also meet regularly to monitor the facilitation process and issue directions to the authorities concerned. (

GAIL inks a GCA with Jharkhand govt 

October 16, 2015. GAIL (India) and the Government of Jharkhand have signed a Gas Cooperation Agreement (GCA) for creation of Natural Gas and City Gas Distribution infrastructure, which will facilitate construction of ‘Urja Ganga’ Jagdishpur - Haldia Pipeline project in the state. The Jagdishpur – Haldia Pipeline (JHPL) is slated to pass through six districts of Jharkhand, i.e., Bokaro, Giridih, Hazaribagh, Singhbhum, Ranchi and Dhanbad. It will have a total of 340 kms in the state, of which 174 kms will be mainline and 166 kms spurlines. As part of the GCA, GAIL and the Jharkhand Government will evaluate ways for cooperation in development of use of eco-friendly fuel Natural Gas and related infrastructure, promotion of Joint Venture for CGD projects and study various options to evaluate the energy demand (including for Natural Gas, LPG and other liquid hydrocarbons) in the state. The Department of Industries of the Jharkhand Government shall coordinate grant of all necessary permissions and clearances required for development of Natural Gas, CGD, distribution infrastructure and associated facilities. The GCA will also facilitate establishment of pipeline connectivity from the seven Coal Bed Methane (CBM) blocks awarded in the state to various consumption centres. The 2,000 km-long JHPL, the ‘Energy Highway’ of Eastern India being constructed by GAIL, will carry eco-friendly Natural Gas to eastern Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal. (

Transparent LPG cylinders soon to keep a tab on gas quantity

October 14, 2015. The government is planning to introduce transparent cooking gas cylinders that will make it almost impossible for vendors to deliver lower-than-promised quantity and address one of the biggest complaints of liquefied natural gas (LPG) consumers. This will be a big step to raise the quality of service following the direct cash transfer and subsidy surrender campaigns that aimed mainly at plugging leakage and improving the government's finances. Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan favours an early rollout of the scheme. The oil ministry discussed the plan with executives of state-run fuel retailing corporations Indian Oil, Hindustan Petroleum and Bharat Petroleum. A transparent cylinder is likely to cost ` 2,500-3,000, almost double the regular steel cylinder, for which LPG distributors charge ` 1,400 as security deposit. Nearly 35 lakh households have given up their share of subsidy following appeals by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and actor Amitabh Bachchan in a high-voltage campaign for months. India has a little over 18 crore LPG consumers, of which nearly 15 crore households have already agreed to get their share of gas subsidy directly in their bank accounts, helping the government in its effort to block diversion of subsidised cylinders for commercial use. Consumers are routinely frustrated at vendors delivering much less than the promised amount of gas in cylinders. The companies expect all vendors to carry a weighing machine with them. But often the spring balance is rigged. The roll-out could begin as early as March 2015, with initial stock of transparent cylinders likely to be imported. The steel cylinders displaced by the new ones will be put to use in the rural areas where residents are fairly underserved. About two-thirds of Indians live in villages but the number of cooking gas consumers in rural areas are 40 percent less than that in urban areas. (



Odisha to firm up 300 MW through power banking

October 20, 2015. Faced with a peak power deficit of 300-350 MW, Odisha is making all out efforts to plug the demand-supply gap. The state government is increasingly turning to power banking option to cater to its rising power demand. Odisha has already tied up 100 MW power deals with Delhi and West Bengal, on the power banking mode. Both West Bengal and Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd are supplying 50 MW each to the state grid. Tata Power is expected to scale up its supply to 100 MW from November and continue supplies till June next year. Gridco would return 105 percent of the procured power to the company from July next year. Meanwhile, Gridco, has sought the nod of power regulator Odisha Electricity Regulatory Commission (OERC) to buy power from captive generating plants (CGPs). Gridco wants to buy power from CGPs at a price of ` 2.75 per unit. However, CGPs are insisting on supplying power at a rate of ` 3.20 per unit or higher, a factor that could burden Gridco's finances by around ` 400 crore. Peak power deficit in the state was hovering around 500 MW but of late, it has narrowed to 300 MW after two NTPC units at Kaniha and Talcher Thermal have restarted operations. One unit of NTPC Kaniha (500 MW) and the third unit of the maharatna PSU's Talcher Thermal plant were under annual maintenance and have resumed power generation. Odisha gets 150 MW (as state share) from the Kaniha unit and 60 MW from the Talcher Thermal plant. Peak power demand in the state touched 3,900 MW but availability from various sources was 3,600 MW, leaving a shortfall of 300 MW. Average power demand stood at 3,600 MW. The state's hydro power generation suffered due to deficient monsoons. Water levels at Rengali and Upper Indravati, the two key reservoirs, were below 60 percent, hindering higher generation to plug power deficit. The state is banking on independent power producers like Ind-Barath Energy Utkal Ltd (IBEUL) and Monnet Power whose coal based power projects are likely to be commissioned soon. IBEUL has synchronised the first 350 MW unit of its proposed 700 MW coal-fired thermal power plant at Sahajbahal near Jharsuguda. Monnet Power is expected to put on stream two 525 MW units (1,050 MW) near Angul. (

BHEL starts building 800 MW coal-fired unit at Wanakbori

October 19, 2015. Bharat Heavy Electrical Ltd (BHEL) has laid the foundation stone for the eight unit of the Wanakbori coal-fired power plant in Gujarat, consisting of seven 210 MW units (1,470 MW). The new unit will be rated 800 MW and will use supercritical technology. The project is expected to be completed within three years (by late 2018). (

Construction of two RAPS units on: NPCIL

October 19, 2015. Construction of two 700 MW nuclear power units at the Rajasthan Atomic Power Station (RAPS) is progressing fast and preparatory work to install the coolant channels was on, Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) said. NPCIL said the 7th unit was expected to go on stream sometime in 2017-18 and almost 57 percent of the physical work had been completed. NPCIL is building the two 700 MW pressurised heavy water reactors at RAPS with an outlay of around ` 12,300 crore. The NPCIL already has six units at RAPS, with a total capacity of 1,180 MW (4x220 MW and one each of 100 MW and 200 MW). As for the 8th unit, the overall physical progress was around 40 percent. (

NTPC incorporates arm to run and expand Patratu power plant

October 16, 2015. NTPC said it has incorporated Patratu Vidyut Utpadan Nigam Ltd in a joint venture with Jharkhand BijliVitran Nigam Ltd for operating the Patratu thermal power plant in the state. The subsidiary has been incorporated to acquire, establish, operate, maintain, revive, refurbish, renovate and modernise the performing existing units and further capacity expansion of Patratu Thermal Power Station in Ramgarh district of Jharkhand, the company said. Patratu Vidyut Utpadan Nigam Limited has an initial authorised and paid up capital of ` 10,00,000. NTPC shall hold 74 percent of the equity share capital in Patratu Vidyut Utpadan Nigam Limited and balance 26 percent shall be held by Jharkhand BijliVitran Nigam Limited (JBVNL), the company said. (

Transmission / Distribution / Trade…

RECTPL to announce lowest financial bids for 2 projects

October 20, 2015. REC Transmission Projects Ltd (RECTPL) will announce the names of the lowest bidders on the basis of financial bids for Vemagiri II and Alipurduar power transmission projects worth around ` 8,100 crore. PowerGrid, Sterlite, Essel and Adani had submitted the bids for these two projects. Besides, Kalpataru Power Transmission has bid for the Alipurduar project. The Vemagiri II project will strengthen the transmission system beyond Vemagiri and will be called Vemagiri II Transmission Ltd. It will traverse through Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. Similarly, the Alipurduar project will strengthen transmission system in India for transfer of power from new hydroelectric projects in Bhutan. It will traverse through Bihar and West Bengal. The government has planned to put transmission projects worth ` 1 lakh crore on the block for auction during the current fiscal. Various government panels and authorities have been backing the move to rope in private developers. Power sector regulator CERC has stated that tariffs discovered through competitive bidding are 30-45 percent lower than the cost-plus route. (

India's domestic coal boom halts import growth

October 20, 2015. The thermal coal industry's hopes of Indian demand growth helping absorb global oversupply are being dashed by a jump in domestic production from the world's second largest importer. India is looking to more than double its total coal output to 1.5 billion tonnes by the end of this decade, with 500 million coming from the private sector. Coal India's output grew 32 million tonnes to 494.2 million tonnes in the fiscal year 2014/15, the biggest volume rise in its four-decade history. Coal fuels 60 percent of India's power production and the turnaround in India's coal industry has been a highlight of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's tenure in office since May last year, as he aims to connect to the grid millions of Indians who still make do with kerosene lamps. (

India's September coal imports slump 27 percent to 12.6 mt

October 19, 2015. India's coal imports fell 27 percent to 12.6 million tonnes (mt) in September from a year earlier as local output jumped, Coal Secretary Anil Swarup said. India is opening a mine a month as it races to double coal output by 2020. (

'Lower dependence on imported coal credit positive for IPPs': Moody's

October 19, 2015. Decline in power producers' consumption of costly imported coal in India is a key credit positive for them as well as the entire sector, Moody's Investors Service said. Some independent power producers (IPPs) are also locked into power purchase agreements (PPAs) that have become in viable because they do not allow rising fuel costs to be passed through, Moody's said. Coal India, which accounts for 80 percent of domestic coal output, raised its production by 7 percent in the financial year ending March 31 2015, and by a further 9.4 percent in the first five months of the current financial year. Output rose after the government initiated a process of auctions and allotments for coal mines. With the power sector's other challenges, Moody's is of view that the financial weakness of the state-owned distribution utilities has constrained their ability to enter into long-term PPAs with the generators. This scarcity of long-term PPAs has in turn undermined the IPPs' ability to secure binding fuel supply agreements for cheap domestic coal, as generators backed by long-term PPAs are given preferential access to such supply arrangements. Moody's said that improving the financial profile will require consistent tariff revisions and reductions in distribution leakages. (

SEBs reluctant to buy power from NHPC projects

October 19, 2015. In what may impact India’s hydropower generation plans, states are averse to buying electricity from NHPC Ltd’s projects because of high tariffs. State electricity boards (SEBs) are not signing the power purchase agreements (PPAs) for the full life cycle of a project, further exacerbating the situation for the state-owned utility. The primary reason behind high tariff is time and cost overrun because of issues such as disputes between states, geological issues and resistance from the local population. In the case of the 330 MW Kishanganga project in Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh are unwilling to buy electricity from the same. In the case of some commissioned projects, PPAs have been signed for five years as compared to a desired 35-year period. Many SEBs are unwilling to extend even those PPAs which have been signed for five years and have lapsed. PPAs totalling 1,337 MW, enough to supply electricity to a state such as Jammu and Kashmir from projects such as Uri-II (240 MW), Parbati-III (520 MW), Teesta Low Dam-III (66 MW), Sewa-II (120 MW), Chamera-III (231 MW) and Teesta Low Dam-IV (160 MW) have only been signed for five years. Even in the case of those PPAs which have signed for five years and have lapsed, the electricity distribution companies are unwillingly to extend them due to high cost; BSES Rajdhani Power Ltd (BRPL) and BSES Yamuna Power Ltd (BYPL) refused to do so in the case of the Sewa-II project. (

Indian Railways to procure 50 MW electricity from Adani Power

October 16, 2015. As part of its budget announcement of procuring power through bidding, Indian Railways signed a contract with Adani Power for supply 50 MW for three years. Adani will provide electricity at a landed tariff of ` 3.69 per unit for the period, said a railways ministry statement, adding this would result in an annual saving of about ` 150 crore as compared to the earlier tariff of NTPC. Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said the railway is committed to go in a big way in reducing its energy bill through an appropriate energy mix, procuring energy through bidding and using alternative sources of energy. In the railway budget this year, it was proposed to buy electricity through the bidding process at economical tariff from generating companies, power exchanges and bilateral arrangements which would result in substantial savings of at least ` 3,000 crore in next few years. (

Alstom T&D wins orders worth ` 1.4 bn from OPTCL

October 14, 2015. Alstom T&D India has bagged orders worth € 20 million (` 140.3 crore) from Odisha Power Transmission Corporation Ltd (OPTCL) for supply of air insulated and gas insulated substations. These substations form part of the major drive initiated by OPTCL to improve the transmission network of the state. Alstom will also deliver a GIS consisting of five 220 kV bays, nine 132 kV bays, substation automation and control system as well as associated civil works. (

Policy / Performance………….

'Scope to cut power tariff'

October 18, 2015. Weeks after announcing the new power tariff, which have remained constant, Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission has said there is scope for reducing them in future orders. The commission said this could be due to a physical verification of assets and billing audit of the three discoms BRPL, BYPL and Tata Power Delhi, which is going on. The regulator has asked consumers to help identify physical infrastructure of power companies, which are either non-existent or incomplete. The commission has come out with a list of all physical assets of BYPL, BRPL and Tata Power Delhi. The commission's findings on the accuracy of the claims made by the discoms on their assets could also be a component of future tariff orders. The regulator has already completed verification of assets from 2006-11 and found minor discrepancies. Consumers have long been demanding regular inspections of infrastructure, the poor upkeep of which has led to localised outages in many areas. DERC has asked consumers to send their comments on the issue after coming out with a detailed list of all physical assets. A number of consumers and activists have openly doubted the claims made by the power companies in terms of assets and infrastructure investment. DERC is in the process of finalising the prudence check for the capital works completed during fiscal years 2006-07 to 2010-11 of the three private discoms. (

Odisha hopes to bag Baitarani West coal block soon

October 17, 2015. The state government hopes to bag the Baitarani West coal block soon for its PSU, Odisha Thermal Power Corporation (OTPCL), a 50:50 joint venture between Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC) and Odisha Hydro Power Corporation (OHPC). Initially, the state government had demanded allotment of Chhendipada and Chhendipada II coal blocks to OTPCL. But since these coal blocks have already been earmarked for auctions, the Coal Ministry asked the state government to seek an alternative coal block. OTPCL had earlier bagged the Tentuloi coal block. But being an underground block, it is tough to mine and would not cater to OTPCL's requirement. Most of the reserve is below 900 metre depth. Even with the use of best technologies, only two million tonne of coal can be extracted from this mine annually while OTPCL's requirement for the power project is 16 million tonne per annum (mtpa). This prompted the state government to seek an alternative coal block. The state government justified the allocation demand stating that OTPCL was a 100 percent government owned company being a 50:50 joint venture between OMC and OHPC. (

Rajasthan signs MoUs with PSUs, companies worth ` 505 bn

October 16, 2015. The Rajasthan government signed 13 Memorandum of Understanding (MOUs) with various public sector undertakings and private companies involving investments of ` 50,527 crore. Twelve MOUs include those signed with Steel Authority of India (` 6,500 crore), RashtriyaIspat Nigam Ltd. (` 2,500 crore), Hindustan Copper (` 900 crore), Reliance Cement (` 3,400 crore), Hindustan Zinc (` 8,357 crore) and UltraTech Cement Limited (` 5,100 crore). The state government signed an MoU for ` 10,000 crore with Power Grid Corporation of India for planning and development of an inter-state transmission system for solar energy generated at solar power parks in Jodhpur and Jaisalmer districts. (

Coal Ministry asks States to expedite clearances for auctioned mines

October 15, 2015. The Ministry for Coal has clarified to the State governments that for the purpose of transfer and mutation no fresh valuation is required for the land of coal mines that were auctioned earlier this year. The Ministry has written to the Chief Secretaries of Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, West Bengal and Jharkhand that all the land owned by the previous mine owner, whether acquired by the Government or the private party, has been directly vested to the winning bidder in the auctions held under the Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Act. The letter further clarified that the value of the coal mine land has been determined by the Coal Ministry only for the purpose of compensation to the prior allottee. The State governments had also sought clarification on whether stamp duty and registration/mutation charges are payable by the successful bidders. The Ministry of Coal clarified that stamp duty is applicable and that the successful bidders have already been informed about the same. Till date, 31 mines have been auctioned under the Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Act while 27 mines have been allotted to public sector enterprises. However, delays in getting all approvals meant only seven have started production. Coal and Power Minister Piyush Goyal had flagged the issue of confusion on stamp duty when asked about the delay in the start of production in the auctioned mines. (

Assocham urges govt to resolve issues of auctioned coal mines

October 14, 2015. Stating that production from auctioned coal blocks have not started even after six months of mines auction in the absence of clearances by both Centre and states, industry body Assocham said it has asked the government to urgently resolve all issues. Even after six months of mines auction, output of coal has not started as clearances have not been accorded by the central and state governments, thereby hampering the cash flow in sectors, including steel and power, Assocham said in a communication to Coal and Power Minister Piyush Goyal. Assocham has requested the Power Ministry to hold the second and third installment of upfront payment till the mining lease is signed, the industry body said. The government had auctioned 29 coal blocks in first two tranches of mines auction early this year. The government had put on block barely three out of the proposed 10 mines during the third round in August. (



AGOCO to drill 93 wells in Libya within 10 yrs

October 19, 2015. The Arabian Gulf Oil Company (AGOCO) is planning to drill 93 wells in its Libyan concession areas within the next decade, according to the company. AGOCO, a National Oil Company Libya subsidiary, has interests in eight fields in the country, with the main producers being Sarir, Messla, Nafoora, Beda and Hammada. The new wells have a target potential in excess of 2.3 billion barrels of oil/condensate and 3.1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, according to the company. The company said that Sarir, Libya’s biggest oilfield, is currently producing 130,000 barrels of oil per day, however, based on the forecast from studies “done by experts”, the field has the potential to produce 250,000 barrels per day. (

US cancels remaining Arctic oil lease sales under Obama

October 17, 2015. The U.S. Interior Department effectively halted drilling off Alaska’s coast for the remainder of President Barack Obama’s term by canceling two sales of Arctic oil and gas leases. The decision comes less than a month after Royal Dutch Shell Plc said it would indefinitely cease exploration in the region as the company didn’t find sufficient quantities of oil or gas in a Chukchi Sea drilling zone. The cancellations highlight the changing environment for the oil industry after international prices fell more than 50 percent from their 2014 peak as supply overwhelms demand. Drilling in treacherous Arctic waters is also expensive, and Shell cited the high costs in shuttering its $7 billion search for oil and gas in the region. Alaska projects oil to account for about 75 percent of the revenue generated in the state for fiscal 2015 -- down from 88 percent the previous year -- and state politicians immediately criticized the decision to cancel the lease sales. The canceled sales were part of the Interior Department’s 2012-2017 offshore leasing program. The Obama administration in January proposed its offshore plan for 2017-2022, potentially curbing exploration in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas while opening part of the Atlantic region to drilling. The plan hasn’t been finalized. Separately, the Interior Department said its Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement has denied requests from Shell and Norway’s Statoil ASA to retain their existing Arctic leases after they expire within the next five years. The companies didn’t show a “reasonable schedule of work” to explore for oil and gas under the leases, the Interior Department said. The American Petroleum Institute, a Washington-based industry group for oil and natural gas companies, said investment in the Arctic has dwindled due to uncertainty about federal regulations. (

Niger aims to triple oil output by 2018

October 15, 2015. Niger aims to more than triple its oil production by 2018. Output from the West African country stands at 20,000 barrels of oil per day. The government hopes to raise this to 70,000 barrels per day in the coming three years, Deputy Budget Minister Mohamed Boucha said. Production is expected to grow as the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) brings a pipeline on stream in 2016 and increases its output. The pipeline will inaugurate Nigerien crude exports, carrying oil from the Agadem field to a coastal terminal in Cameroon. A deal was reached in mid-2014 between Niger and Chad for the pipeline, a 193-kilometre link to an existing Chad-Cameroon line. Niger began producing oil in 2011 following a $5 billion exploration deal struck with the CNPC. (

US crude oil stocks jump by 7.6 mn barrels: EIA

October 15, 2015. U.S. crude stocks surged by 7.6 million barrels, the largest build since April, while gasoline and distillate inventories fell, data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed. Crude inventories rose by 7.6 million barrels to 468.56 million barrels, compared with analysts' expectations for an increase of 2.8 million barrels. The rise posted by the EIA was not as large as the 9.4 million-barrel jump reported by industry group American Petroleum Institute (API). The API pegged total U.S. crude stockpiles at 465.96 million barrels. Crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub rose by 1.125 million barrels, EIA said. U.S. crude imports rose by 247,000 barrels per day (bpd), EIA data showed. Crude stocks in the Gulf Coast region gained 3.032 million barrels to 242.971 million, their second highest level since EIA started tracking it in 1990. Only the East Coast posted a drop in crude inventories, slipping 297,000 barrels to 15.193 million. (

DEA to acquire E.ON's North Sea O&G assets for $1.6 bn

October 15, 2015. DEA Deutsche Erdoel (DEA), the German-based oil and gas (O&G) firm has signed an agreement to acquire Norwegian North Sea oil and gas assets from German utility E.ON for $1.6 bn. Under the terms of the deal, E.ON will divest 100% stake in E.ON E&P Norge, which holds the Norwegian portfolio of its oil and gas North Sea upstream business. As per the deal, DEA will also purchase stakes in additional developments and discoveries, including Snilehorn, Snadd and Fogelberg, as well as portfolio of exploration licenses on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. DEA said that the acquisition is expected to more than double its Norwegian portfolio from its current production to 75,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. (

Azerbaijan expects to keep oil output at ACG fields at 31.5 mt in 2015

October 14, 2015. Azerbaijan expects to keep oil production at its main Azeri, Chirag and Guneshli (ACG) fields at 31.5 million tonnes (mt) in 2015, the same level as in 2014, the Azeri state energy company SOCAR said. The company said oil production at the BP -operated ACG fields in 2014 was 31.5 million tonnes. (

Lukoil discovers deepwater gas field in Romania

October 14, 2015. PJSC Lukoil announced that its wholly owned subsidiary Lukoil Overseas Atash BV has, along with its joint venture partners PanAtlantic Petroleum Ltd and Societatea Nationale de Gaze Naturale Romgaz SA, discovered a deepwater gas field within the Trident block (EX-30) offshore Romania. According to seismic data the field’s reserves could potentially exceed 1.05 trillion cubic feet of gas. The size of the discovery, and a precise assessment of the potential hydrocarbon reserves available at the site, will be confirmed in 2016, according to Lukoil. (

SKK Migas approves EMP's plan to develop Seng, Segat gas fields in Sumatra

October 14, 2015. Indonesian oil and gas exploration firm PT Energi Mega Persada Tbk (EMP) reported that it has received official approval to proceed with the development of the Seng and Segat gas fields in the Bentu block in Riau, Sumatra, Indonesia. The development, approved by Indonesia's upstream regulator SKK Migas, will increase the block’s output by over 50 million cubic feet per day (mmcf/d) of gas from 2017, with the gas to be sold to Pertamina Dumai at a price ranging between $7.5 and $8 per million British thermal unit (mmBtu). Gas production from the Bentu block stood at an average of 48.1 mmcf/d as of June 30, with the existing gas production sold to PLN Pekanbaru at $5.5 mmBtu, Riau Andalan Pulp & Paper at $5.2 per mmBtu and Perusda Pelalawan at $4.7 per mmBtu. EMP -- which operates 12 oil, gas, and coal bed methane projects in Indonesia and in Mozambique -- produced 11,454 barrels of oil per day and 218 mmcf/d of gas in the first half of 2015. (


Sinopec completes $1 bn refinery expansion

October 20, 2015. Sinopec Corporation said it has completed expansion works at a refinery in eastern China by adding a 100,000 barrels per day (bpd) crude unit, and plans to raise throughput in the fourth quarter. The Sinopec Jiujiang refinery, located in Jiangxi province, is expected to process 20 percent more crude oil in the fourth quarter, it said in a report. The report did not say if the 20 percent increase was a comparison with the third quarter or with the same period a year earlier. The expansion was largely on schedule as Sinopec had earlier flagged that it would be completed in September. In addition to the 100,000 bpd crude distillation unit, new facilities at the plant included a 1.7 million tonne-per-year residue fuel hydrotreating unit and a 2.4 million tpy hydrocracking unit, designed to produce higher grade fuels. Sinopec spent 930 million yuan on environmental facilities, or 13.8 percent of total spent, said the report, which would make the total investment around 6.7 billion yuan ($1.05 billion). Sinopec plans to spend another 440 million yuan to make national five grade diesel, a quality standard similar to Euro V, by end of August next year, the report said. (

SOCAR gets US$1.8 bn loan to upgrade Baku refinery

October 19, 2015. The International Bank of Azerbaijan has approved a Manat 1.86 bn (US$1.8 bn) loan to the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR), which will be directed to the reconstruction of the Heydar Aliyev Baku refinery (Manat 1.26 bn, i.e. US$1.2 bn) and to gas field drilling (wells in Bulla Deniz and Azeri-Chirag-Deepwater Guneshli (ACG) fields, Manat 600 bn, i.e. US$575 mn). SOCAR aims to reconstruct and modernise its Baku refinery and to raise its capacity from 6 million tonnes (mt) per year to 8 mt per year; the gasoline production capacity will be raised to 3 mt per year. (  

China reduces oil processing as refineries shut for work

October 19, 2015. China’s crude oil processing in September fell from the previous month as refiners shut for seasonal maintenance amid an economic slowdown. Refineries processed 42.43 million metric tons of crude last month, or about 10.37 million barrels a day, according to data released by the Beijing-based National Bureau of Statistics. That’s down 1 percent from August and the lowest since July on a daily basis. The shutdowns come amid slowing economic expansion in the world’s second-biggest oil user. Gross domestic product in the three months through September grew 6.9 percent from a year earlier, the slowest quarterly pace since the first three months of 2009, based on previously announced data. China’s apparent oil demand last month fell 1.8 percent to 10.16 million barrels a day, the second-lowest in 11 months, according to data. Net oil product exports climbed to the highest in 11 months in September while crude imports rose 8.6 percent from the previous month to 6.83 million barrels a day, customs data showed. China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., the nation’s largest refiner, shut its 5 million ton-a-year Qingdao refinery in mid-September for two months and PetroChina Co.’s similarly sized Hohhot refinery in northwestern China has been undergoing work since August, according to (

Moroccan oil refiner Samir gets backing for $1 bn capital increase

October 19, 2015. Moroccan oil refiner Samir said it has won the backing of its extraordinary general assembly for a capital increase of 10 billion Moroccan dirhams ($1.04 billion) in an effort to end the company's financial difficulties. The country's only refinery, controlled by Saudi's Corral Petroleum Holdings, suspended production at its 200,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) Mohammedia plant since August. It said it was working on a plan to resume production, without giving details. As Morocco's only refinery, its closure would make the country entirely reliant on imports. At just under 300,000 barrels per day, Morocco's petroleum consumption is Africa's fifth largest, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. (

Total European refining margin hits new record in Q3

October 15, 2015. French oil and gas company Total said that refining margins in Europe had risen to a new record high in the third quarter (Q3) of the year. Total, Europe's biggest refiner, said its European refining margins indicator rose to $54.8 per tonne in the third quarter of 2015 from $54.1 in the previous quarter. That was the highest level since records started in 2003. The indicator had hit a four-year low in the first three months of last year. (

Ecopetrol Cartagena refinery to resume operation: Finance Minister

October 15, 2015. Colombian state-run oil producer Ecopetrol will restart operation of its Cartagena refinery on Nov. 10, Finance Minister Mauricio Cardenas said. The reopening will make Colombia self-sufficient in refined oil products it has had to import in increasing quantities during the facility's refurbishment, which will more than double its capacity to 165,000 barrels per day. The first cargo will be of 80,000 barrels and by Jan. 15 it will move as much as 140,000 barrels, Cardenas said. The expansion, estimated to cost more than $7 billion, will enable the export-focused facility to vastly increase fuel production for the domestic market, supplementing output from the inland Barrancabermeja refinery, Colombia's biggest. It will ease at least some of the financial strain Colombia's biggest company has faced since a plunge in crude oil prices from June last year, which cut net profit in the second quarter by 38.5 percent to $583 million. (

Gazprom begins construction of Amur GPP in Russia

October 15, 2015. Gazprom has started construction of the Amur gas processing plant (GPP) in the Svobodnensky District of the Amur Region, Russia. The Amur GPP will have a processing capacity of up to 49 billion cubic meters of gas a year. Planned to be developed using Linde technologies, the project involves construction of a helium production block, which have up to 60 million m3 of annual production capacity. The construction follows a deal signed by Gazprom in September 2015 with the Russian Far East, for constructing the Amur gas processing plant. (

Transportation / Trade……….

ConocoPhillips, Dong said to sell stakes in Norway gas pipelines

October 19, 2015. ConocoPhillips and Dong Energy A/S agreed to sell their stakes in Gassled, Norway’s offshore gas-pipeline network, to CapeOmega AS, an oil company backed by Norwegian private-equity firm HitecVision AS. Conoco owns a 1.68 percent stake in Gassled and Dong holds 0.98 percent, according to network operator Gassco AS. The two companies agreed to sell this summer and both deals still need approval from authorities before they can be closed. Four other owners representing 44 percent of the shares in Gassled sued the Norwegian government over a cut in gas-transportation tariffs that they said would reduce their income by 15 billion kroner ($1.9 billion). Conoco and Dong, who were not part of the lawsuit, signed their deals with CapeOmega before an Oslo court ruled in favor of the Norwegian government in September. Conoco and Dong’s deals come at a time when oil companies are reducing spending and selling assets to counter a collapse in crude prices. Total, Europe’s second-biggest oil company by market capitalization, agreed in August to sell gas pipelines and a terminal in the U.K. North Sea for 585 million pounds ($906 million). (

Saudi crude oil exports fall in August to 6.998 mn bpd: JODI

October 19, 2015. Saudi Arabia's crude oil exports fell by 278,000 barrels per day (bpd) in August, despite historically high wellhead production, while volumes of shipped refined oil products rose to a record high, the Joint Organisations Data Initiative (JODI) showed. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) heavyweight shipped 6.998 million bpd in August, down from 7.276 million bpd in July, figures published by the JODI showed. The world's biggest crude exporter trimmed its production by around 100,000 bpd in August pumping 10.265 million bpd, but still maintained high output levels in line with a strategy of defending market share. Monthly export figures are provided by Riyadh and other members of the OPEC to JODI, which published them on its website. (

Russia's Rostec to build $2.5 bn gas pipeline in Pakistan

October 16, 2015. A unit of Russian state company Rostec will build a new gas pipeline in Pakistan which will connect Karachi with the provincial capital of Lahore, Rostec said. Rostec said that its unit, RT Global Resources, will build the pipeline with capacity of up to 12.4 billion cubic metres of gas per year, which should connect LNG-receiving facilities in Karachi with Lahore. It said that the construction is expected to take 42 months, with the pipeline reaching its full capacity by the second quarter of 2020 and expected costs of around $2.5 billion. (

EnBW to become Germany's third-largest gas player in $1.6 bn deal

October 16, 2015. German utility EnBW agreed to buy a 74 percent stake in gas firm VNG from peer EWE to become the country's third-largest gas provider in a deal worth € 1.43 billion ($1.63 billion). Under the deal, which is expected to close in the next six months, EWE will buy back a 26 percent stake held by EnBW in several steps by 2019. It said it was looking for a new strategic partner for the stake by 2019. EnBW had bought the EWE stake in 2009 for about € 2 billion. The deal will allow EnBW which operates mainly in the western German state of Baden-Wuerttemberg to tap directly into gas supply in eastern Germany where VNG is based. (

Occidental's North Dakota deal mixed omen for pending oilfield deals

October 16, 2015. Occidental Petroleum Corp's move to sell its North Dakota acreage likely removes a logjam that had impeded U.S. oilfield deals for much of the year, though the deal's price sets an unusually low bar for future deals and gives buyers the advantage over sellers. Oxy is selling all of its roughly 300,000 acres in North Dakota's Bakken shale formation to a private equity fund in a deal valued around $500 million. Still, for ConocoPhillips, Whiting Petroleum Corp, Oasis Petroleum Inc and other oil companies pursuing pipeline or oil acreage sales, Oxy has set the bar low. Conoco, one of the largest American oil producers, is trying to sell oil and gas properties in the Rockies, East Texas, South Texas and Northern Louisiana, with expectations for the total value of all the deals eclipsing $2 billion. (

Jordan picks Shell to supply first two years of LNG supply in tender

October 14, 2015. Jordan has awarded half of its four-year, up to 78 cargo liquefied natural gas (LNG) buy tender to Royal Dutch Shell which will cover deliveries in 2016 and 2017, overlooking commodity traders for the business. The award builds on Shell's already dominant position in supplying LNG to Jordan, a rare growth market for the fuel. This year the country signed a five-year deal with the Anglo-Dutch energy giant for 150 million cubic feet/day of LNG delivered to its floating import terminal near the Red Sea port of Aqaba, covering a quarter of Jordan's power needs. The tender result contrasts with Egypt's decision to buy 55 LNG cargoes for delivery between November this year to December, 2016 largely from commodity trading houses, although Shell was also a winner in that tender. Both countries are taking advantage of low LNG prices to cover domestic energy shortfalls with big supply purchases, a highlight of the LNG trading calendar otherwise marked by plunging fuel prices and weak demand in main market Asia. (

Greece wants to speed up IGB gas pipeline deal fraught with delays

October 14, 2015. Greece said it wants to overcome delays holding back a gas pipeline deal with Bulgaria, provided the project is financially viable. The 180 km (110 mile) long pipeline is to be built by a Greek-Bulgarian joint venture set up in 2011 and including Italian energy group Edison SpA. It is part of a Western-backed pipeline project the United States wants Greece to focus on rather than a rival gas pipeline that Athens is discussing with Russia. The Interconnector Greece Bulgaria (IGB) project, part of the Southern Corridor infrastructure scheme to bring Caspian gas to Europe, is estimated to cost about € 100 million ($112 million) and the European Union has approved about € 45 million in funding to build the pipeline. (

Sinopec gets approval for $20 bn coal-to-gas pipeline

October 14, 2015. China has approved a pipeline to transport synethic gas from coal-to-gas projects in the country's far west to the southern coast, energy giant Sinopec said. The pipeline, which would run 8,400 kilometers (5,200 miles) from the restive region of Xinjiang to the manufacturing hub of Guangdong province, carrying up to 30 billion cubic meters (bcm) gas a year, has a price tag of over 130 billion yuan ($20.5 billion), Sinopec said. The pipeline could eventually also transport conventional gas, shale gas and coal-bed methane, Sinopec said. (

Policy / Performance…………

Beijing firm highest bidder in Xinjiang oil tender: Govt

October 20, 2015. China's Beijing Energy Investment Holding Co Ltd, a local government-backed firm, submitted the highest bids for three oil and gas blocks in a rare tender issued by the Ministry of Land & Resources (MLR), the government said. A total of 13 companies, including state giant Sinopec and a Xinjiang-based private firm were among the bidders for a handful of blocks the ministry put out for a tender in July. The Beijing firm pledged over 6 billion yuan ($945.18 million) for three blocks. According to the company, the Beijing firm is engaged in utility, new energy and real estate business with total assets worth 173.2 billion yuan ($27.28 billion)in 2014. MLR, charged for managing the country's mining rights, issued a trial tender in July that allowed private domestic enterprises to bid for a total of six blocks in the remote northwestern region of Xinjiang. China has long limited oil and gas mining rights to state energy giants, with PetroChina and Sinopec dominating onshore acreage and China National Offshore Oil Company (CNOOC) a near monopoly offshore. Limited exploration has been done on the blocks tendered that have a combined size of 10,000 square kilometers. Xinjiang has proven reserves of 5.6 billion tonnes of oil at the end of 2014, according to the local government, and produced 540,000 barrels of oil per day. (

Iran to pay oil companies larger fees in 20 yr contracts

October 20, 2015. Iran will pay foreign oil companies larger fees than it did under previous buy-back contracts to attract $100 billion of investments needed to rebuild its energy industry. The Persian Gulf state, once OPEC’s second-largest crude producer, will also offer 20-year contracts on oil and natural gas projects, National Iranian Oil Co. (NIOC), said. Iran, holder of the fourth-largest reserves of oil, is preparing to boost its output once world powers remove economic sanctions that choked off investment in its oil and gas industry. Oil exports fell to an average 1.4 million barrels a day last year from 2.6 million in 2011, U.S. Energy Information Administration data show. New contract terms will be introduced next month, as part of plans to boost oil production to 5.7 million barrels a day and gas output to 1.4 billion cubic meters a day by 2021, NIOC said. Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak was leading a trade delegation to Tehran. Delegates were to meet with Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh and other Iranian officials to discuss cooperation in the oil industry and power projects. Iran’s previous buy-back contracts merely paid oil companies a fixed fee over five to seven years, without giving investors a share of a field’s production in the longer term. The new contract will link payments to oil companies to the quantity they produce, NIOC said. Iran will present its new oil and gas contracts on Nov. 27-28 in Tehran, NIOC said. The country has already lined up buyers in Europe and Asia for increased oil production it plans as soon as sanctions are lifted, NIOC said. The country will pump and sell 500,000 barrels a day in additional oil within a week of sanctions being lifted and will raise that by at least another 500,000 barrels a day within six months, NIOC said. (

Venezuela's President says oil industry needs $88 price

October 20, 2015. President Nicolas Maduro said the global price of oil would need to roughly double to $88 in order to guarantee investments in coming years and reiterated Venezuela's call for a summit of OPEC and non-OPEC producer nations' leaders. Maduro, whose recession-hit South American nation depends on oil for about 96 percent of hard currency income, was explaining Venezuela's position ahead of a technical meeting of experts from OPEC and non-OPEC countries in Vienna. The socialist Maduro said he had sent a letter to heads of states of those nations attending the Vienna meeting again proposing a summit. Maduro said Venezuela was working on a proposal to establish a "technical, coordinating committee" among producer nations to oversee production, market and price matters in coming years. Venezuela's push to reverse the price tumble faces an uphill battle to convince its richer Gulf counterparts and non-OPEC nations. Mexico, for example, is participating in the technical meeting but has already ruled out a production cut. (

World Bank revises down forecast of crude oil prices

October 20, 2015. The World Bank lowered its 2015 forecast forcrude oil prices from $57 per barrel in its July report to $52 per barrel, a development that could bring in additional savings to the Indian treasury. Bank's quarterly Commodity Markets Outlook said the revised forecast reflects a further slowing in global economic performance, high current oil inventories and expectations that Iranian oil exports will rise after the lifting of international sanctions. According to the report, the Bank's Energy Price Index tumbled 17 percent in the third quarter of 2015 from the previous three-month period, led by a renewed plunge in oil prices prompted by expectations of slower global growth, particularly in China and other emerging markets, abundant supplies and prospects of higher Iranian exports next year. Energy prices are expected to average 43 percent lower in 2015 than in 2014. For commodities, excluding energy, the World Bank reports a five percent decline in prices in third quarter and forecasts that non-energy prices will register a 14 percent decline in 2015 from the previous year's levels. The Bank said within several months, Iran could increase crude oil production by 0.5-0.7 million barrels per day (mb/d), potentially reaching a 2011 pre-sanctions level of 3.6 mb/d. In addition, Iran could immediately begin exporting from its 40 million barrels of floating storage of oil, it said. Given that Iran has the largest known gas global reserves (18 percent of the world total), it has the potential to produce and export a significant volume of natural gas over the long term, the Bank said. (

Iran sees no OPEC output change as country seeks $70-$80 oil

October 19, 2015. Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh sees no imminent change in OPEC’s output strategy even as he urged fellow members of the group to cut their collective production to buoy crude to a range of $70 to $80 a barrel. Iran is preparing to ramp up its own output once world powers remove sanctions on its economy, regardless of any decisions by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said. Iran is pushing to regain the global oil sales it lost after the U.S. and other world powers imposed sanctions over its nuclear program. The country agreed in July to accept limits on its nuclear work in return for access to oil and financial markets. The Islamic Republic is seeking $100 billion in investment by March 2021 to increase output of oil and natural gas, Zanganeh said. The country hopes to stimulate interest by announcing a new contract for oil investors in November. Iran has the world’s fourth-largest reserves of oil and second-largest deposits of gas, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. (

Nigeria defers plan to slash gas supply to Ghana

October 17, 2015. Nigeria has deferred a plan to slash gas exports to Ghana beginning over an outstanding debt of $181 million, alleviating a threat that could have worsened electricity blackouts and caused another headache for the government. Ghana gets around 25 percent of its power through gas from Nigeria that flows through the pipeline via Benin and Togo and the threat by N-Gaz to reduce volumes by 70 percent would have raised the cost of supply. In the long term, Ghana aims to solve the problem by greatly increasing its domestic gas production. The president of the World Bank said the government was on the right track. (

Angolan govt cuts spending by 50 percent as oil revenue plunges

October 15, 2015. The government of Angola, sub-Saharan Africa’s second-largest crude producer, cut spending by half this year following a plunge in oil prices, Vice President Manuel Vicente said. Public investment was reduced by 53 percent, Vicente said. Oil accounts for about two-thirds of fiscal revenue in Angola, putting the nation at risk after crude prices more than halved since June last year. The central bank devalued the currency twice this year and raised the benchmark interest rate four times in response, while the government has sought funding from the World Bank and China to help cushion the economy. The economy will probably avoid recession and expand 4 percent in 2015, he said. Debt is estimated to reach 45.8 percent of gross domestic product, he said. (

Lithuania govt proposes to allow LNG re-exports

October 14, 2015. The Lithuanian government proposed that parliament allow liquefied natural gas (LNG) importer Litgas to re-sell some of cargoes contracted with Norway's Statoil on the global markets to reduce the supply glut at home. Lithuania opened an LNG import terminal in Klaipeda last year and signed a five-year deal to buy 540 million cubic metres (mcm) of gas from Norway's Statoil annually. But the plan, aimed at diversifying Lithuania's energy imports, has struggled due to a move by utilities away from gas to biomass and price falls in Russia's oil-indexed gas. Under it, power and heat utilities were mandated by law to purchase set amounts of LNG but Litgas said it should be allowed to export LNG, as well. Litgas also called for a change to laws requiring it to import a minimum of 540 mcm of LNG per year. Litgas said gas demand from the power and heat sector was expected to drop to 2.73 TWh (260 mcm) in 2016 from 6.03 TWh (580 mcm) in 2015. Without a change in law, Litgas faces having to sell LNG at a loss which would be made up by Lithuania's energy utilities. Any extra cost to those firms would likely be passed on to consumers, the company said. Lithuania consumed 2.6 billion cubic metres (bcm) of natural gas in 2014, including households and businesses, data from the energy market regulator shows. Lithuanian Energy Minister Rokas Masiulis has recently warned that consumption could drop to as low as 2 bcm in 2016. (

South African regulator raids five LPG suppliers

October 14, 2015. South African regulators conducted dawn raids on five liquified petroleum gas (LPG) suppliers on suspicion of price fixing, the Competition Commission said. The Commission said the searches on premises of LPG firms across the country were unrelated to an ongoing market related inquiry into the LPG sector launched last year. The Commission has concerns the sector exhibited features that prevent, distort or restrict competition. Firms raided included African Oxygen Limited, Oryx Oil South Africa and the gas division of French oil major Total. The firms are some of the biggest suppliers of LPG in Africa's most developed economy, which is looking to diversify its energy mix to include greater use of gas in homes and industry after suffering biting electricity shortages this year. (

China said to plan gas price cuts up to 30 percent in fuel push

October 14, 2015. China may cut natural gas prices for business and industrial users by as much as 30 percent as the world’s second-largest economy seeks to encourage use of cleaner fuels. China’s National Development and Reform Commission, the country’s economic planner, asked provincial governments to reduce city-gate natural gas prices between 20 and 30 percent. The cuts may come as soon as Nov. 1. As the Chinese economy grows at the slowest pace in 25 years the country is curtailing demand for commodities amid a global glut that has cut prices for oil, liquefied natural gas and other fuels. In August, PetroChina Co., the country’s biggest natural gas producer, was said to be offering large industrial users flexible prices and a promise of year-round supply as it sought to boost sales amid slowing demand. (



Construction starts at 445 MW Salalah-2 CCGT power project

October 19, 2015. The second step of the Salalah gas-fired CCGT power plant in Oman has entered the construction phase. The 445 MW gas-fired project, promoted by the Oman Power and Water Procurement Company (OPWP), is being built by a consortium of ACWA Power International and Mitsui. The SR 2.32bn (US$620 mn) project is expected to be commissioned in 2018, raising the capacity of the Salalah plant (273 MW) to 718 MW. (

Wärtsilä wins 378 MW Flexicycle power plant contract in El Salvador

October 19, 2015. Energía del Pacífico has awarded a contract to Wärtsilä to supply turbines and engines for a 378 MW Flexicycle power plant in Acajutla, El Salvador. Under the €240 mn contract, Wärtsilä will supply the engines and turbines to the LNG-based natural gas fired power plant to be built by 2018. The company said that the Flexicycle facility would be the largest and most efficient power plant in El Salvador, and would reduce electricity price in the region. The power plant will feature 19 Wärtsilä 50SG engines and a combined cycle steam turbine, designed to produce up to 50% of fuel efficiency. El Salvador generates about 50% of its 1600 MW capacity using oil. In 2014, Wärtsilä was selected to supply a 139 MW Flexicycle power plant, comprising seven 50SG gas engines and a combined cycle, for Energia del Caribe in Mexico. This plant is scheduled to be commissioned in 2016. Wärtsilä has approximately 4800 MW of installed power generation capacity in Central America and the Caribbean. (

PSEG to spend $3.5 bn over 5 yrs to expand US power plant fleet

October 16, 2015. Public Service Enterprise Group Inc (PSEG) plans to spend about $3.5 billion over the next five years to expand and modernize its U.S. power plant fleet to remain competitive in the current low natural gas price environment. PSEG, which still gets most of its power from nuclear, now generates up to 40 percent of the rest from gas plants and just about 10 percent from coal. That is a switch from a few years ago, when coal produced 30 percent of PSEG's power, and gas as little as 20 percent. PSEG, however, continues to believe in a diversified fleet, including a mix of nuclear, coal, gas and renewables, and has no plans to shut coal plants at this time. (

Transmission / Distribution / Trade…

China 2016 coal imports could fall a further 25 mt

October 19, 2015. Coal shipments to top importer China could fall a further 25 million tonnes (mt) in 2016, analysts said, with foreign suppliers struggling to compete in a massively oversupplied market. Shipments of coal to China over the first nine months to September fell 29.8 percent to 156.36 million tonnes. Volumes are on track to fall about 60 million tonnes in 2015. The recent government push to support its domestic market and focus on cleaner energy sources has raised doubts over whether its status as an importer is sustainable. Colin Hamilton, head of commodities research at Macquarie, said he also forecast Chinese 2016 coal imports to drop by around 25 million tonnes and in the long term it was possible they could fall to zero. In the past, China was one of the world's largest thermal coal exporters, until around 2004 when rocketing demand at home helped drive the need for imports. (

Ayala bullish on power business

October 18, 2015. Ayala Corp. expects to see stable earnings from its power business through wholly-owned subsidiary AC Energy Holdings Inc. AC Energy said the second 135 MW unit of South Luzon Thermal Energy Corp.’s 270 MW coal plant, AC Energy’s joint venture with Trans-Asia Oil and Energy Development Corp., was set to be commissioned soon. The first 135 MW unit started operations in June. AC Energy is putting up a 540 MW coal-fired power plant in Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte in Mindanao. AC Energy said the power business was currently contributing around 10 percent to the Ayala Group’s bottom-line. (

ABB receives $300 mn contracts to support power transmission projects in China

October 16, 2015. ABB has received two contracts worth over $300m to provide power technologies for two new ultra-high-voltage direct current (UHVDC) power transmission links in China. Each of the two 800kV links is designed to have power transmission capacity of 8,000MW, which will serve 26 million consumers. The two links will transmit wind and thermal power from Shanxi to Nanjing and from Jiuquan to Hunan. Under the contract, ABB will supply HVDC converters, converter transformers and components, capacitors and filters, and high voltage circuit breakers for the two projects. The high-voltage converters are designed to turn alternating current (AC) to direct current (DC), to enable efficient and reliable long distance transmission of electricity. ABB expects the 800 kV UHVDC links to significantly reduce transmission losses. One of the two projects includes a 1,100 km line, which will primarily transmit coal-fired power from Shanxi to Nanjing. The other project is a 2,300 km ultra-high voltage transmission line which is designed to supply a mix of wind and coal power from Jiuquan to Hunan. In the recent years, China has been focusing on strengthening capacity and improving grid efficiency by developing UHVDC links. The transmission links are intended to enable power supply from China's western regions to the high demand eastern regions. (

Policy / Performance…………

South Africa plans to raise power capacity by 28 percent by 2025

October 19, 2015. South Africa's national power utility Eskom aims to increase the country's available power capacity by up to 28%, from around 42 GW to 53.6 GW by 2025. The company plans to invest R60bn (US$4.6 bn) over the next ten years to build 10,000 km of power transmission lines. (

China targets 110 nuclear reactors on operation by 2030

October 19, 2015. China plans to build six to eight new nuclear reactors every year over the next five years, to have 110 nuclear reactors on operation by 2030. The country plans to invest Cyu 500 bn (US$79 bn) on domestically-developed nuclear plants and nuclear capacity in China should triple from 19 GW in 2014 to 58 GW by 2030. China currently operates 28 nuclear reactors with a combined capacity of 24 GW. 24 additional reactors are under construction, representing a combined capacity of nearly 24 GW. (     

Armenia will not abandon plans to build new nuclear power plant

October 19, 2015. Armenia will not abandon the plans to build a new nuclear power plant, despite the fact that the government is preparing to extend the service life of the operating unit at Metsamor facility, the ministry of energy and natural resources said. Russia will provide Armenia with a credit of $270 million and a $30 million grant to extend the service life of Metsamor plant until 2026. The funds will be provided for 15 years with a 5-year grace period and an interest rate of 3% per annum. The agreements envisage that the loan may be provided in Russian rubles. Earlier, in late 2014 the sides signed an agreement on the extension of nuclear power plant operation until 2026. The ministry believes that the extension of the service life of nuclear power plant in Metsamor enables a more detailed study of the construction of a new nuclear power plant. In particular, Armenia has another 2-3 years that can be used for examining new technological solutions, available at the market, the ministry said. (

Australia's Federal govt re-approves Carmichael coal project

October 16, 2015. The Federal Government of Australia has given Adani re-approval for its giant Carmichael coal mining project in central Queensland, after having declared it invalid over a bureaucratic bungle over two vulnerable species in August 2015. The project will be subject to strict environmental conditions and the government warned that the approval would be suspended or revoked in case of a breach of the conditions. The A$16bn (US$12 bn) project, developed by Indian group Adani Mining, was approved by the Queensland government in May 2014 and by the Australian government in July 2014. (



Visakhapatnam to get its first 'smart streetlight' soon

October 20, 2015. The Port City is set to get its first 'smart streetlight' this month. This smart, solar-powered streetlight has already been installed in Vizag's first smart colony-in-the-making - the upscale Kirlampudi Layout -- near Andhra University's International Students Hostel a few days ago. But making this streetlight smart are two additional features that will be added in the next few days -- a closed circuit TV camera and a push-to-talk button (emergency call box) that will be connected to the police control room through WiFi. The indigenised smart streetlight is independent of the APEPDCL grid and runs solely on solar power. Another four spots have been identified to set up more such three-in-one lights in the colony. (

Odisha needs ` 300 bn to implement climate plan for 2015-20

October 19, 2015. A budget of over ` 30,000 crore is required for implementing the second phase of Climate Change Action Plan in Odisha, covering the period 2015-20 to combat the challenges of climate change. As per preliminary assessment, ` 30,821.08 crore needed to be spent across the sectors identified as priority for climate change adaptation and mitigation. Odisha had pioneered the formulation of the state level action plan on climate change in 2010. The initial estimates include ` 19,757.44 crore to be sourced from the state budget while the balance of ` 11,063.64 crore may come from the national missions and external aid. The sector wise fund requirement is approximated at ` 791.10 crore for agriculture sector, ` 773.15 crore for coast and disaster risk management. ` 749.46 crore for energy, ` 396.59 crore for fishery and animal resource development, ` 3646.20 crore for forest, ` 142 crore for health, ` 5 crore for industry, ` 27.50 crore for mining. For transport, urban development, waste management and water resources sectors, the budget requirement is estimated at ` 21 crore, ` 1,475 crore, ` 80 crore and ` 22,714.08 crore respectively to implement the climate change action plan. In the first plan, the budget for climate change has increased from ` 1,700.17 crore during 2012-13 to ` 2,184.35 crore in 2013-14 and to ` 3,207.26 crore in 2014-15. The draft State Action Plan on Climate Change (SAPCC) 2015-20 outlines 56 specific actions that are likely to enhance the climate resilience. The action plan also recommends 34 green house gas reduction strategies towards reducing global warming. It also indicates 10 actions that are aimed both at enhancing climate resilience and greenhouse gas emission. A carbon foot printing study was also conducted by state in 2014 with the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII). The carbon footprint study indicates that the state has net emissions of 98.525 megatons of CO2-equivalent ( baseline year 2012). The per capita emissions of the state is 2.35 tonnes, which is higher than the national average of 1.7 tonnes estimated as per 2007 baseline. (

Vardhan stresses on need for alternate sources of energy

October 18, 2015. Stressing on the need for adopting alternate sources of energy to combat climate change, union Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan directed his ministry officials to ensure development of cost effective and efficient solar devices. The 16-coach train would travel about 19,500 km across 20 states to sensitize people on climate change as world leaders gear up for the environment summit in Paris from November 30 to December 11. Vardhan stressed upon the need for creating awareness about the importance of adopting alternative sources of energy in day-to-day life. On October 2, India’s climate action plan pledged to cut emission intensity by 33-35 percent over the next 15 years. The action plans of different countries would serve as the basis of negotiating an agreement, applicable to all countries, with the aim of keeping global warming below 2 degrees Celsius. (

World’s largest solar power plant to come up in MP

October 17, 2015. State Power and Mining Minister Rajendra Shukla has said Madhya Pradesh (MP) is going to take an important step by setting up world’s largest solar plant with a capacity of 750 MW in Rewa. He said that MP stands second in terms of production of solar energy in the country and holds first position in the wind energy sector. He said that a solar power plant with the capacity of 750 MW would come up in Rewa. This would be the largest solar power plant in the world. At present, the largest plant with capacity of 550 MG solar power plant is in California, the USA. The construction of the solar plant would start from January in Rewa and Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to lay the foundation stone of the proposed plant. (

RIL, 9 global oil majors commit to cut green house gases

October 16, 2015. Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) as well as nine other global oil and gas companies committed to strengthening actions and investments to reduce green house gases intensity of the global energy mix. The chief executive officers of 10 of the world's largest oil and gas companies - which together provide almost a fifth of all oil and gas production and supply nearly 10 percent of the world's energy - declared their collective support for an effective climate change agreement to be reached at next month's 21st session of the United Nations (UN) Conference of Parties to the UN Framework on Climate Change (COP21). In their milestone declaration, they recognised the general ambition to limit global average temperature rise to 2 degrees centigrade and that the existing trend of the world’s net global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is not consistent with this ambition. (

Chinese firm Sany Group to invest $3 bn in renewable energy sector in India

October 15, 2015. China-based Sany Group, a global manufacturing company, committed investments of US$3 billion (` 20,000 crore) for the period 2016-20 towards development of 2,000 MW of renewable energy projects (for offshore wind power generation). Besides generating 4.8 TWh (terawatt hour) of power annually, the project is estimated to generate 1,000 jobs and prevent carbon emissions of around 3.6 million tonnes per year. (1 TWh is equal to 1,000,000 MWh). Sany's India operations are its largest setup outside China. The company has a manufacturing plant in Chakan, Pune, where products such as crawler cranes, concrete pump, transit mixer amongst others are manufactured. (

World's poor must have fair access to global resources: India

October 14, 2015. International cooperation to tackle climate change and "going green" should not mean hundreds of millions are left "hungry" or "homeless", India has said, stressing that the world's poor must have a fair access to global resources and environmental space. Counsellor in the India's Permanent Mission Amit Narang said, at a Second Committee session on poverty eradication in the UN General Assembly, that the poor of the world need fair access to their share of the world's resources, environmental space and of its consumption. He said that over a billion people, twice the combined population of Europe live a life of absolute poverty; some 805 million are chronically undernourished and over 1.5 billion lack access to essential medicines. He said that at least a third of human deaths annually, almost 18 million can be attributed to poverty related causes. In the backdrop of these dismal numbers, Narang said world leaders declared last month that there can be no sustainable development as long as poverty and hunger persist when they adopted the ambitious post 2015-development agenda. (

India, Sweden agree to cooperate in urban sector initiatives

October 14, 2015. India and Sweden agreed to cooperate in the implementation of new urban sector initiatives in India relating to promotion of public transport, municipal waste management and digitalization. Swedish minister of housing, urban development and information technology Mehmet Kaplan also offered his country's assistance in production of bio-gas from solid and liquid municipal waste and its conversion to fuel for running vehicles. He inquired from minister of urban development M Venkaiah Naidu about urban planning processes in India and use of digital technologies for efficient use of resources and improving governance. (


Vestas to sell stake in 310 MW Kenyan wind project to Google

October 20, 2015. Denmark’s Vestas Wind Systems A/S said it will sell its 12.5% stake in the 310 MW Lake Turkana wind farm in Kenya to Google Inc once the facility is finalised. The two companies signed the share purchase deal in Washington DC in connection with the Climate and Clean Energy Investment Forum. Upon completion in 2017, Lake Turkana will be Africa’s largest wind farm, with the capacity to produce enough power to meet 15% of Kenya’s electricity needs. It will use 365 units of Vestas’ V52-850 kW turbines capable of generating over 1,400 GWh in total. Google’s investment in the wind park will be its 22nd such deal in the renewables field. (

China solar installations double despite delay in sales to grid

October 20, 2015. China more than doubled the amount of solar capacity it installed in the first nine months of the year even though sales of electricity from some projects was halted because of congestion on the distribution grid. The nation added 9.9 GW of solar power in the period through Sept. 30 compared with 3.79 GW a year earlier, according to data from the National Energy Administration (NEA). A 10th of the nation’s solar capacity sat idle during the period. China is struggling to integrate surging supplies from renewable plants into the grid as the government spurs the industry as an alternative to more polluting fuels like coal and natural gas. China has a total of almost 38 GW of solar-power supply, the NEA said. (

Nuclear climate solution is cheaper than coal: IAEA

October 20, 2015. The potential for nuclear power to play a role in the fight against climate change is growing as low interest rates make capital-intensive investments more attractive, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said. Assuming that investors would demand a return of between 3 percent and 7 percent for financing the construction of reactors, and fossil-fuel generators will have to pay $30 per ton for their carbon emissions, nuclear power is a cheaper option than coal and natural gas, the IAEA said in a report. The agency, whose mission is to promote the use of atomic energy, had used discount rates of 5 percent to 10 percent last year for its calculations. The IAEA’s assumptions mean that it would cost $26 to $64 to generate a megawatt hour of electricity using nuclear power, compared with $65 to $95 for coal and $61 to $133 for natural gas. Nuclear power is cheaper than renewable energies including onshore wind and solar, according to the Vienna-based agency, adding that only hydro-power costs less. In the U.K., the owners of Hinkley Point are receiving a return of 10 percent after they worked out a 35-year deal with regulators to charge 92.50 pounds ($143.23) per megawatt-hour of nuclear power. A study concluded a megawatt hour of atomic power costs $261 in the U.S. and $158 in Europe. (

Vietnam commits to reduce GHG emissions by 8 percent by 2030

October 20, 2015. The Ministry of Nature Resources and Environment of Vietnam has announced that the country would reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 8% (compared to business as usual scenario) by 2030, i.e. about 787 MtCO2. This figure could increase to 25% in case of international support. Vietnam will focus on transport and communication, agriculture and land use to reduce GHG emissions. Vietnam ratified the Kyoto Protocol in 2002. The country's CO2 emissions from fuel combustion have more than tripled since 2000, from 43 MtCO2 to 146 Mt in 2013. (

Two companies will develop 175 MW of solar projects in Nigeria

October 20, 2015. Nigerian companies Pan African Solar and Nova Solar plan to invest about US$280 mn in the development of two solar projects in Nigeria with a combined capacity of 175 MW. Both projects should be developed in Kankia and should be commissioned in 2016. Pan Africa Solar plans to invest US$130 mn in the construction of a 75 MW project, while Nova Solar will invest US$150 mn for a 100 MW project. (

Merkel joins Bachelet in push for a price on global pollution

October 20, 2015. German Chancellor Angela Merkel joined Chile’s President Michelle Bachelet and six other leaders in a call to erect a global system of carbon pricing as a tool in the fight against climate change. The leaders of France, Ethiopia, the Philippines, Mexico, California and Rio de Janeiro signed up to the Carbon Pricing Panel, a group created by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund to promote a system that puts a cost on pollution. Together they are pressing for a system that would create an economic reason for restraining the emissions damaging the atmosphere. About 40 countries and 23 cities, states and regions have said they’re implementing a carbon pricing program, according to the World Bank. Ten major oil companies including BP Plc, Saudi Arabian Oil Co. and Petroleos Mexicanos said that they support a global deal to prevent climate change with the goal of keeping the increase in average global temperatures within 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit). They did not offer backing for carbon pricing. (

US said to propose fallback for international carbon trade

October 19, 2015. The U.S. is proposing the creation of international carbon-trading markets because United Nations (UN) climate talks have so far failed to set rules for such a system. A coalition of nations and regions willing to implement the market standards to meet their domestic climate targets would be a fallback position in case the UN-negotiated climate deal expected in Paris doesn’t include such measures or progress is deemed too slow. All countries will have emission limits beyond 2020 under the UN pact, and a new way of calculating the environmental value of trades relative to each nation’s climate pledge is needed, the person said. Almost 200 countries are meeting in Bonn for a final session of climate talks before a conference in Paris in November, at which envoys plan to seal a global emissions-limiting deal. If the UN effort is seen on track setting required market rules, there would be no need for regulations from a smaller markets group. The coalition may set the rules and ask the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change process to endorse them. The climate deal should include rules to ensure nations selling carbon units and those buying them don’t count the same emission reduction toward their separate pledges, according to the European Union. (

EGP and F2i create solar PV JV in Italy

October 19, 2015. Enel Green Power (EGP), the renewable branch of Italian energy group Enel, and Italian infrastructure fund F2i have created a joint venture (JV) dedicated to solar photovoltaic power. The JV aims to take advantage of the consolidation currently under way in the Italian PV market by bringing together operating PV solar plants owned by different financial institutions and private operators. Enel Green Power and F2i will each transfer 105 MW of solar PV assets to the JV, that will operate 210 MW of PV capacity and aims to become a leader in the Italian PV market. EGP has an option to acquire an additional 2.5% of the JV, which would give it control. The agreement gives F2i the possibility of contributing by 2016 an additional 58 MW of capacity, with EGP making an additional cash injection to maintain the two partners’ equal stakes in the joint venture. (

China’s wind power capacity to hit 120 GW

October 17, 2015. China’s wind power capacity is to hit 120 GW by the end of 2015, Zhu Ming, deputy director of the National Energy Administration (NEA)’s new and renewable energy department, said. Zhu Ming said wind power capacity has reached 105 GW by the end of June this year. He stressed wind power generation has become an important part of the country’s electricity supply, and needs more subsidies, better technology and management. By the end of 2020, China aims to increase non-fossil energy to 15 percent of total primary energy consumption, and sharply enhance the ratio of renewable energy in production. (

Clean Power Plan to shutter 4 GW of Texas coal output

October 16, 2015. President Barack Obama’s plan to fight climate change will force at least 4,000 MW of coal-fired power in Texas offline, pushing energy prices higher and increasing the risk of blackouts, according to the state’s grid operator. Electricity bills may jump by as much as 16 percent by 2030 as a result of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, grid operator Electric Reliability Council of Texas Inc. said in a report. Texas joins other grid managers and utilities that have warned of higher prices and reliability issues from plant closures if the plan is finalized. The analysis assumes that the price of natural gas, a key fuel in power generation, will jump to over $6 per million British thermal units by 2030, from the current price of about $2.40. Replacing units, building new transmission lines and installing energy efficiency technology would cost tens of billions of dollars, the report said.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rule, finalized in August, includes a provision that eases compliance with pollution restrictions if they threaten to shut power plants needed to keep the lights on. The EPA delayed the first compliance date by two years to 2022 and instituted a carbon trading system as an option to meet the mandates. The rule would cut carbon emissions by 32 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. It gives states credit for solar or wind projects that break ground in the next few years and will also force utilities to run natural-gas plants more or encourage customers to use less electricity. The Midcontinent Independent System Operator Inc. (MISO), which stretches across the Midwest to the Gulf Coast, warned last year of plant shutdowns and a greater risk of service interruptions. At the time, MISO said the proposal may add as much as 14,000 MW of coal capacity to earlier estimates of plant closings due to other regulations. (

Big oil companies back agreement to prevent climate change

October 16, 2015. Ten major energy companies declared their support for a global deal to prevent climate change, but stopped short of offering unanimous backing for carbon pricing. Producers including BP Plc, Saudi Arabian Oil Co. and Petroleos Mexicanos -- who together account for almost 20 percent of the world’s oil and gas output -- said they will back policies consistent with the goal of keeping the increase in average global temperatures to within 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit). The joint conference in Paris follows a June letter from BP, Eni SpA, Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Total SA, Statoil ASA and BG Group Plc urging governments to agree to carbon pricing at the United Nations’ so-called COP21 climate change summit starting in the French capital next month. While the new Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI) added the support of companies from Saudi Arabia, Mexico and India, the broader group didn’t agree a common position on whether companies should pay a price to emit greenhouse gases. The OGCI includes BG Group, BP, Eni, Pemex, Reliance Industries Ltd., Repsol SA, Saudi Aramco, Shell, Statoil and Total. While no U.S.-based companies are part the group, one big producer from China should join this year, said Total said. China is the world’s biggest emitter of carbon dioxide. Exxon Mobil Corp. said in May it wasn’t going to “fake it” when it came to its views on climate change, arguing that technology can provide solutions to any impacts that result from increasing global temperatures. Saudi Aramco, the largest producer present in Paris with daily crude output of about 10 million barrels and 260 billion barrels of reserves, will not reduce its oil-production capacity. Environmental groups said oil producers are still part of the problem. The almost 60 percent slump in oil prices since June last year could make curbing emissions more difficult, Total said. (

Norway fund chief says Carney raises important climate questions

October 14, 2015. Norway’s wealth fund chief said investors are taking heed of risks from climate change and aware of the potential for abrupt changes to business models amid a shift to a low-carbon economy. The comments come after Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said that investors need to wake up to the potential for huge losses from a sudden shift in regulations designed to curb global warming and the use of fossil fuels. The $850 billion Norwegian fund, built from the country’s oil and gas revenue, has already taken steps to shield itself from environmental risks by selling out of companies that produce coal and palm oil. With a tightening on coal investments set to take effect next year, the fund has estimated it will need to sell out of about 120 companies, valued at about 55 billion kroner ($6.8 billion). (

Germany sees new carbon market bolstering feeble climate pledges

October 14, 2015. Climate envoys will probably consider a new carbon market at a United Nations summit in December to bolster countries’ emission-reduction strategies, according to a German government. National climate pledges in the run-up to the Paris talks are “not enough to meet the 2 degrees target and that’s the anchor for us to talk about the ambition mechanism,” Franzjosef Schafhausen, director general of climate change policy at Germany’s environment ministry, said. Envoys probably need to consider a voluntary carbon market after the Group of Seven nations vowed to place climate protection at the center of its economic-growth agenda, he said. The plans delivered under the UN process would limit global warming to 2.7 degrees Celsius (4.9 Fahrenheit), more than the targeted 2 Celsius, according to Climate Action Tracker, a research group that monitors global emissions. The European Union (EU) has said it would consider tightening its 2030 greenhouse-gas output target beyond the current plan for a 40 percent cut from 1990 levels, assuming other nations show a similar level of ambition. (
























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