MonitorsPublished on Dec 11, 2015
Energy News Monitor | Volume XII; Issue 26

[Paris COP21: Treaty or Outcome?]

                             “According to some sources, differences over differentiation are equally strong in relation to parties’ monitoring, reporting, and verification (MRV) of emissions, with the US, small-island states, and others pushing for more stringent accounting rules for the new deal. India has reportedly said that existing arrangements, which impose different MRV requirements on poorer nations, are suitable and provide necessary flexibility…”

Energy News


Carbon emissions will come down much faster if falling gas prices lead to increase in demand!                                   


Shutting down coal plants in metros will not lead to lower pollution – just look at Delhi!  


Indian coal miners cannot expect to do an India in Australia with Green Peace!   




·          Paris COP21: Treaty or Outcome?

·          What India Wants from Paris 



·          OVL close to winning $5 bn Farzab-B gas field rights

·          Auction of marginal O&G fields may begin in February

·          Independent directors forced ONGC hand in row with RIL


·          IOC turns to other states for supplies

·          Chennai Petroleum shuts refinery due to flooding

Transportation / Trade………………

·          GSPL done with only route survey for Bhatinda-Jammu pipeline

·          Iran in talks for $4.5 bn undersea gas pipeline to Gujarat

Policy / Performance…………………

·          200 new CNG outlets to open in Delhi soon

·          Petroleum products should be under ambit of GST: Oil Minister

·          Oil Minister hands over Guinness certificate for LPG subsidy to Modi

·          Petronet said in talks on new LNG pricing formula with RasGas

·          Gas prices in India to fall 16 percent next year



·          Kudgi power plant in Karnataka to be commissioned in 2017: Govt

·          GAIL moots shutting of coal based power plants near metros

·          30 GW of stalled power generation capacity revived: Goyal

·          Coal India's 3.25 mt capacity project in Maharashtra to start by December-end

Transmission / Distribution / Trade……

·          Lanco Amarkantak unit 2 starts power supply to Haryana

·          Canada sends first consignment of uranium to India

·          PSU doesn't need SC nod to pay compensatory tariff to Adani

·          LED bulbs distribution to start in Uttarakhand, West Bengal, Karantaka, Jharkhand

Policy / Performance…………………

·          Adani wants Australian law to restrain greens from opposing coal mine

·          Rajasthan 3rd state to join discom revival scheme 'UDAY'

·          US delegation seeks clarity on India nuclear liability regime

·          Bill for fast­tracking nuke power projects likely this session

·          Modi's Japan nuclear deal may need more than just Abe visit

·          India's largest coal mine coming up at Birbhum: Banerjee

·          Outlook for India's power sector remains negative: Moody's

·          Jaitapur n-project eco-clearance extension expected soon

·          Nuclear energy is here to stay for long: AERB Chairman



·          Chevron starts natural gas production from two new wells in Bangladesh

·          OPEC fails to agree production ceiling after Iran pledges output boost

·          US oil drillers cut rigs for 13th week in 14

·          Anadarko agrees on Mozambique gas-field development with Eni

·          Russia keeps oil production at record high in November

·          America's biggest gas field finally succumbs to downturn


·          Phillips 66 starts up fractionator at Texas refinery

·          Japan's biggest oil refiners consider merger as demand drops

Transportation / Trade…………

·          Total to pay $3.6 mn to settle US gas market rigging case

·          Repsol said to mull sale of stake in BP's Indonesian gas project

·          China's Iran deal shows OPEC members are cutthroat competitors

·          US crude oil exports in October reached 500k bpd: US Census Bureau

·          Oil traders get closer look at what might prompt Saudi rethink

·          Turkey turns to Iraq's Kurds for gas amid pressure from Putin

·          Egypt's Dolphinus sees gas import deal with Israel in months

·          Russia offers to build pipeline for gas exports to Pakistan

Policy / Performance………………

·          Nigeria to boost 2016 budget even as crude revenue declines

·          OPEC decision to keep output high pulls oil prices close to 2015 lows

·          Egypt to freeze Israeli gas import talks after court ruling

·          China expected to double strategic oil purchases next year

·          UAE Oil Minister says open to discussions with non-OPEC countries

·          Saudi Arabian Oil Minister says global oil demand can absorb Iran output jump

·          Venezuela to push for 5 percent output cut at OPEC meeting



·          Summit Power signs construction contract for power plant

·          Uganda sees its power generation nearly doubling in 3 yrs

·          Wylfa-1 nuclear power plant will shut down in late December 2015

Transmission / Distribution / Trade……

·          NRG Energy will sell two thermal power plants in the US

Policy / Performance………………

·          Nigeria targets 1.5 GW from nuclear power generation

·          KEPCO wins local approval to restart two nuclear reactors

·          World's largest nuclear complex to see $9.7 bn overhaul

·          China to lend $1.2 bn to restore coal-fired power plant in Zimbabwe



·          MNRE did not achieve deliverables from R&D projects: CAG

·          Jharkhand tenders 1.2 GW of grid-connected solar PV projects

·          Welspun commissions 126 MW wind park in Rajasthan

·          India determined not to let Paris climate meet fail: Govt

·          Ujaas bags ` 917 mn contract for solar power plant in Vadodara

·          Need to step up power capacity addition to improve HDI: NTPC

·          India’s solar installations crosses 5 GW mark

·          'India to cut greenhouse gas emission up to 35 percent by 2030'

·          Chennai rain result of global warming: Indian experts


·          China's rooftops hold power to propel solar into the mass market

·          Spain approves 8.5 percent target of biofuel by 2020

·          Pakistan receives $3 bn investment in renewable energy in 1 year

·          From Bangladesh flood map to the Bank of England, a 'carbon bubble' is born

·          Chinese solar-panel makers face possible renewal of EU tariffs

·          Senator vows to shield US climate funding from republican cuts

·          US isn't the only country with problems ratifying climate deal

·          Malaysia pledges 45 percent reduction in greenhouse gases by 2030

·          New York pension fund launches $2 bn low-carbon index

·          Africa renewable energy Initiative aims to add 300 GW by 2030

·          UK to start $1.5 bn plan installing smart meters in 2016

·          EBRD and BMCE invest in 120 MW Khalladi wind project in Morocco

·          China says it will cut power sector emissions 60 percent by 2020

·          US welcomes India's ISA initiative on solar energy

·         World's richest 10 percent produce 50 percent of CO2




Paris COP21: Treaty or Outcome?  


fter a week of talks at the pivotal Paris UN climate gathering, countries agreed to send a 42-page heavily-bracketed draft outcome for a new emissions-cutting deal up to ministers, and converged on a process to navigate towards a successful conclusion by close of business on Friday 11 December.

The document – which contains both an agreement and implementing decisions – represents an effort to slim down the 54 pages of options that negotiators had faced at the beginning of the meet. The latest draft text is accompanied by a “reflections note” expressing countries’ particular concerns or ideas for improvement on its contents.

This work took place in the “Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP),” born in South Africa in 2011, with the mandate to reach a legally binding outcome under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCCC) by the end of the Twenty-first Conference of the Parties (COP21). The new deal would take over from the current Kyoto Protocol by 2020.

While various players expressed cautious optimism at securing a “country-owned text” now clearly signposting key areas for ministers to resolve, others filtering out into the brisk Parisian winter air noted the magnitude of the compromises needed in the coming days, wondering if the political momentum provided by over 150 world leaders at the conference’s start would be adequate.

Laurent Fabius, France’s foreign minister and designated COP21 president, suggested that a “Paris committee” will oversee the final negotiations based on an understanding that “nothing will be agreed until everything is agreed,” all parties will be represented by their chosen official, and as far as possible the main talks will remain open to observers.

Fabius also proposed establishing four groups guided by two ministers each for informal high-level consultations on critical cross-cutting areas needed to unlock progress. These include support and finance – covering issues such as climate funds and capacity building – differentiation between countries at varying stages of development, ambition, and the acceleration of climate action before the end of the decade.

At these informal consultations the groups’ co-facilitators may be asked by the Paris committee to draft compromise text in due course. In addition, a “review group” with 11 experts from a balance of regions will be established to look at the Paris outcome text for legal clarity and consistency, before being transmitted at the week’s end to the COP for adoption.

“Unlike other international negotiations this is an agreement we cannot put off until tomorrow. We are not just talking about the climate here, we are talking about life itself,” Fabius cautioned.

Scaling up over time

As previously agreed the Paris deal will be based on countries’ self-defined climate action plans or “intended nationally determined contributions” (INDCs). Over 180 of these covering close to 95 percent of global emissions have already been presented, mostly for the 2020-2030 period. One hot topic, however, is how to continue these efforts over time to ensure that aggregate greenhouse gas emissions are sufficiently reduced. Assessments of current INDCs show that these are not enough to keep global temperatures below a two degrees Celsius rise compared to pre-industrial levels.

The current draft leaves a placeholder for upgrading future INDCs and an option that these be communicated every five years, taking into account the results of a “global stocktake” towards progress on a still to-be-defined collective long-term goal. The agreement could also set up a committee or mechanism – possibly differentiating between developed and developing countries – to facilitate implementation of the Paris outcome potentially by generating indicative lists of consequences for non-compliance.

Rethinking responsibilities and differentiation

According to some observers, translating the principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities” (CBDR-RC) into the new climate regime will be critical. “If they figure out how to address differentiation, they would streamline swathes of text,” explained one expert.

The CBDR principle is enshrined in the UNFCCC’s 1992 founding document and its application recognises that different nations have varying responsibilities for the climate problem. The RC refers to the emphasis agreed at COP17 in Durban to base individual efforts on differentiated capabilities to tackle climate change causes and adapt to its impacts.

Parties such as the US, the 28-nation EU, and Australia argue that although older industrialised economies should continue to lead on climate action, the new regime should move on from a “bifurcated approach” between developed and developing nations that emerged nearly two decades ago to reflect improved capabilities, development paths, and shifting geo-economic realities. For many players, the INDC modality is itself an implementation of CBDR-RC, and indeed the most important one. But other nations have expressed strong warnings that Paris should not re-write UNFCCC principles.

These positions are juxtaposed in the draft agreement’s preamble, where one paragraph clearly notes the relative historic emissions responsibility and per capita income levels between countries, while another paragraph would recognise that parties should take action to address climate change in accordance with evolving economic and emissions trends.

Divisions over CBDR-RC also played out in the particularly sticky area of climate finance for mitigation and adaptation actions in the new deal. “Under the Convention, developed countries are obliged to provide financial resources, including technology transfer and capacity building to all developing countries. This is a legal obligation under the Convention,” said Ambassador Nozipho Mxakato-Diseko of South Africa on behalf of the G77 and China negotiating group.

“Finance support from developed countries relates to the impacts of historical emissions, which will only get worse with time for developing countries. The Group is therefore concerned about the introduction of new language,” she continued, explaining that it could not accept language supported by some developed nations that would see “all nations in a position to do so” contribute to the climate money pot.

According to some sources, differences over differentiation are equally strong in relation to parties’ monitoring, reporting, and verification (MRV) of emissions, with the US, small-island states, and others pushing for more stringent accounting rules for the new deal. India has reportedly said that existing arrangements, which impose different MRV requirements on poorer nations, are suitable and provide necessary flexibility. 

For several seasoned observers, absence of progress on these tricky areas during the first week proved unsurprising, with the arrival of ministers slated as critical. Meanwhile, some others said that the tipping point for Paris’ success has already been achieved through the presentation of INDCs, as well as the “Lima-Paris Action Agenda” (LPAA) activities that showcase concrete climate action already underway by businesses, cities, and other stakeholders.

UN provisions on carbon markets

Countries remain divided in Paris over the use of market-based mechanisms. Within the ADP, some parties resisted the idea of inserting language around carbon markets, a move slammed by proponents of international emissions trading or offsets.

According to some experts, these dynamics mean that more comprehensive references to UN rules on international carbon markets may end up being dropped in the final deal, although others have suggested that only limited language might be necessary given that countries may pursue such activities outside the UN context anyway. Some stakeholders worry, however, that the absence of firm rules will lead to poor accounting practices or projects.

A proposed “mechanism for sustainable development” would among other things ensure the environmental integrity of parties’ cooperative mitigation efforts by following the deal’s accounting guidance and making sure actions are not counted more than once. In contrast to the five options for this mechanism under consideration at the start of the week only one other mechanism, which does not address carbon market activities, is suggested.

Other options have been slightly modified acknowledging the importance of “cooperative approaches” for enhancing climate action and, if this involves internationally transferred mitigation outcomes, the need for participating countries to ensure environmental integrity, avoid double counting, and take into account relevant accounting guidance. Reference to the local and regional cooperation instruments, however, has been dropped.

A general mention of a “carbon price” has disappeared from the draft agreement’s preamble. Previous versions had acknowledged that putting a price on carbon is important for cost-effective emissions cuts. Carbon pricing – involving both taxes and emissions trading – has gained increasing popularity from a number of camps as a way to send appropriate signals to economic actors on the full costs of high-carbon consumption and production. A “Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition,” for example, among 19 governments and 90 business leaders was launched in Paris to help strengthen carbon pricing across the globe.

Discussion under a UNFCCC subsidiary body work programme on a “framework for various approaches,” which could in theory contribute to advancing common rules for international emissions trading never took off in Paris due to uncertainty over the direction of this work pending the meeting’s final outcome.

Impacts of climate action

Other technical negotiations under UNFCCC work programmes were also influenced by the larger ADP process. On the 3rd of December parties sent a bracketed draft text on a forum and work programme on the impact of the implementation of response measures for consideration by the COP plenary, after deciding to close further discussions on the issue under subsidiary body talks.

The compromise was reached after the G77 and China had pushed to work towards a decision on the impact of the implementation of response measures – in other words, the actions parties take to address climate change and subsequent effects on third parties – under the subsidiary bodies, a move opposed by other players such as the US, EU, and Australia, who argued the issue was also being considered under the ADP.

The bracketed draft text remains unchanged from a version sent to the Paris talks from a Bonn, Germany session in June. It would decide to convene an “improved forum” biannually starting in May 2016 to provide a platform for interactive exchanges and facilitate assessment and analysis of response measures’ impacts with a view to recommending specific actions. It proposes focusing on concrete examples, case studies, and practices within the context of a suggested work programme on economic diversification and transformation, as well as the just transition of the work force, and the creation of decent work and quality jobs.

As part of five submissions made ahead of Paris by various country negotiating groups the G77 and China had also suggested that implementation of the work programme should take into account “policy areas of concern” such as unilateral measures, which according to them run against a “spirit of cooperation” as found in Article 3.5 of the UNFCCC founding text, where parties pledge to promote an open international economic system and avoid climate action that would unfairly restrict international trade.

How the response measures issue will be dealt with next week remains to be seen. In the preamble of the latest Paris text, parties would reaffirm that climate responses should meet the specific needs and concerns arising from adverse impacts, and take into account the imperatives of a just transition of the work force.

Under the mitigation section of the ADP text, a bracketed option would see the establishment of a “cooperative mechanism” to address adverse effects from the implementation of response measures, with further sub-options on its form contained in an accompanying bracketed decision. Language in the current text’s agreement prohibiting unilateral measures against goods and services from developing countries on any grounds related to climate change has also been retained.

Courtesy: Biores Paris Update dated 3 December 2015


What India Wants from Paris 



ifferentiation between developed and developing countries still relevant, say developing countries. The world has not changed since 1992 and differentiation between developed and developing countries continues to be relevant through common but differentiated responsibilities, the bedrock of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). This was the resounding message from several developing countries in a rich exchange on differentiation on 3 December at the contact group of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP).

The contact group saw deep division in views over differentiation and how the Paris agreement should reflect differentiation in each of its elements (mitigation, adaptation, finance, technology, capacity building, transparency). Developing countries underscored the importance of historical responsibility of the developed countries in causing climate change and called for the agreement to be based on equity and common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR). Developed countries also said that they are for differentiation, except that it must be reflected in a ‘dynamic’ manner since the world has changed.  Developing countries gave a strong counter to the argument that the world has changed since 1992 (when the UNFCCC came into existence).

Adherence to Principles of UNFCCC

The G77 plus China grouping is said to be deeply frustrated over the refusal of some developed countries to engage in negotiations of the Paris agreement on the issues of importance for developing countries. They also complained that negotiations on several key issues were being conducted in bad faith.

Speaking on behalf of India Mr Ravi Shankar Prasad said that India is looking at a just, equitable and ambitious Paris deal. “We have been very consistent that any outcome must be based on the Convention and has to be based on the principles and provisions of the Convention. In this aspect, we are looking at all aspects of the Durban mandate (mitigation, adaptation, finance, technology, capacity building and transparency). Principles like common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR) must inform these elements,” said Prasad. 

Prasad also said that the developing countries’ INDCs (intended nationally determined contributions) are ambitious. “The level of ambition and kind of action that developing countries projected (through the INDCs) is for all of us to see and in many of the analyses we see from the NGOs they have remarked that the projected actions of developing countries are more ambitious and they are on the right track to combat climate change,” he said.

Prasad also said that while the INDCs are not enough to keep the world on a 2°C trajectory, developed countries must take the lead in these efforts. “That is one of the starting points. A large number of developing countries have been taking action. The full incremental cost of climate change actions need to be met by developed countries. And we have come down to figures like US $100 billion (a year),” he said.


Prasad also commented on a recent report by the OECD (Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development) that claims that US $62 billion (in 2014) has been mobilized. “We are not amused by the OECD report (claims) ... It is for anyone to see that these are not new, nor additional. These are not over and above ODA (official development assistance) and there is complete lack of clarity about sources and uses of funds.”  

Stressing on the importance of pre-2020 action, Prasad said, “We are very consistent and we want that pre-2020 action must form part of the Paris agreement. We must not let these five years slip by. This must be embedded in Paris. There has to be a revisit mechanism and there has to be amplification of the Kyoto targets. On the means of implementation, the kind of finance, technology and other support that was to be provided needs to be delivered,” he said (The second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol for emissions reduction by developed countries in Annex I of the UNFCCC has yet to enter into force due to failure of major developed countries to ratify the amendment to the Protocol for that purpose.)

Prasad also said that India supports the concept of aggregate global stock-take and how best any gap resulting thereof can be approached.

Equity & Justice

On the mechanics of what will lead to an agreement in Paris, Prasad said, “The French (COP) President has said that the agreement must be based on climate justice and we must take into account the historical responsibility of the developed countries. He also said that there has to be a financial mechanism for developing countries from developed countries. If this approach is followed, we should have an agreement.”

Responding to questions, Prasad said that India is very much supportive of loss and damage in the Paris agreement. “India has a large coastline and we have a large number of inhabited islands. We face similar problems, which the AOSIS (Alliance of Small Island States) also face. We need to properly anchor loss and damage in the agreement,” he said.

On the long-term goal, Prasad said that Parties are aware of what was agreed in Cancun (COP16 in 2010). “What paths countries choose will be articulated through their INDCs. These INDCs will give a roadmap in terms of the long-term trajectory for the future. We see the panning out of these paths. We are not supportive of any prescriptions of what these growth paths should be because these are nationally determined.”

Prasad further reiterated that historical responsibility is taking into account the entire spectrum. “It starts from 1850. We are not singling countries here. What individual countries do will be decided by them but the fact that those historically responsible have caused this problem, is indisputable,” said Prasad.

Courtesy: Third World Network News Updates





OVL close to winning $5 bn Farzab-B gas field rights

December 7, 2015. ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL)-led consortium is close to winning USD 5 billion rights to develop Irans Farzad-B gas field and convert the gas produced from it into LNG for shipping to countries like India. The gas produced from the field will be converted into liquefied natural gas (LNG) for export to consuming nations like India. OVL, the overseas arm of Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC), has proposed to build one LNG train of 6 million tonnes a year. A consortium of OVL, Oil India Ltd (OIL) and Indian Oil Corp (IOC) had discovered the 12.8 trillion cubic feet of gas reserves in the Farsi block in 2008. The discovery was named Farzad-B. But the Indians firms were forced to put the project on backburner after the US and the EU introduced tough sanctions against the Persian Gulf country. However, the agreement between Iran and six world powers last July has cleared the way for an easing of sanctions. Gas output from the field can either be converted into LNG and shipped to India or transported through a pipeline via Pakistan or subsea. While the field development may cost USD 3 billion, another USD 2 billion would be required for setting up LNG plant. (

Auction of marginal O&G fields may begin in February

December 7, 2015. The much-awaited auction of 69 marginal oil and gas (O&G) fields, which would usher in the revenue-sharing model of contracts, is likely to commence in February. Confirming the contours of the new contract are being finalised, the oil ministry said. The oil ministry said that whether all the 69 fields — with combined proved reserves of 88 million tonne of oil equivalent valued at around ` 77,000 crore at current prices — would be put under hammer in one go or in batches is yet to be decided. In September, in a bid to revive investments in the hydrocarbon sector, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) decided to shift to revenue sharing model for contracts instead of the current system of cost-recovery while auctioning the marginal oil and gas fields. The present contracts under the New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP) regime for oil and gas are based on production sharing contract (PSC) where government take depends on biddable sharing of profit petroleum after allowing for cost recovery. The 69 fields include 63 given up by state-run ONGC and 6 abandoned by PSU Oil India. At the current crude oil price of around $45/barrel, the production of hydrocarbon from these fields would help India cut down imports to the tune of ` 3,500 crore. The currently proved reserves in these fields stand at 88 million tonne of oil and oil equivalent. The contract would be for 20 years, which could be extended by another 10 years based on the life cycle of the fields. Of the 69 fields, 36 are offshore and another 33 are onshore fields. (

Independent directors forced ONGC hand in row with RIL

December 7, 2015. The Board of ONGC, led by its vocal independent directors and government nominee, had forced the firm’s management to take legal recourse that has now led to a damning finding that ` 11,000 crore worth of its natural gas had flowed to neighbouring block of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL). It started in July 2013 when a review of the firm’s eastern offshore oil and gas campaign by the just appointed director (exploration) Narendra Kumar Verma led to suspicion that ONGC’s Krishna Godavari basin block KG-DWN-98/2 and Godavari-PML are connected with adjoining KG-D6 block of RIL. Immediately after the review, ONGC wrote to the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) seeking data of RIL block. Not much moved on the ONGC request for next few months. When in March 2014, Dinesh K Sarraf took over as the chairman and MD of ONGC, he decided to inform the Board of the possible dispute. (


IOC turns to other states for supplies

December 7, 2015. To ensure that there was no shortage in supply of petrol, diesel and LPG, the biggest State run firm, the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), is sourcing them from markets in neighbouring states and also from other areas of Tamil Nadu. In the case of retail outlets, 127 out of a total 156 - or as much as 81 percent - are operational in the Chennai metropolitan area, IOC said. The LPG bottling plants at Chengalpattu and Ennore worked on special shifts on Sunday to increase supply, with the former doing two shifts and the latter one shift to meet the demand. In order to ensure sufficient supply, it has also sources 30 loads from its bottling unit in Salem. The company said 83 LPG distributors were operational in rain affected areas, from where 45,186 cylinders have been delivered to customers in these areas. (

Chennai Petroleum shuts refinery due to flooding

December 3, 2015. Chennai Petroleum Corp Ltd shut its 210,000 barrels per day (bpd) Manali refinery due to heavy flooding in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, sending its shares down as much as 5 percent to a week-low. The state-run company, a unit of the country's biggest refiner Indian Oil Corp (IOC), is the main fuel supplier to the city of Chennai that has been submerged by the strongest spell of rain in more than a century. The company's smaller 20,000 bpd Nagapattinam refinery was, however, operating normally. Chennai Petroleum's shares were down 4 percent at ` 194 ($2.91). India's weather office has predicted more rains in Tamil Nadu, which could prolong the Manali refinery shut down and disrupt fuel supplies. (

Transportation / Trade…………

GSPL done with only route survey for Bhatinda-Jammu pipeline

December 7, 2015. Gujarat State Petronet Ltd (GSPL) has completed only route survey and feasibility report four years after the authorisation of laying a gas pipeline from Bhatinda in Punjab to Jammu/Srinagar, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said. The Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) on July 7, 2011, had authorised GSPL, a subsidiary of the Gujarat government, to lay Bhatinda-Jammu-Srinagar natural gas pipeline to ensure natural gas supply for industrial, commercial and domestic use in Jammu and Kashmir. Subsequently, PNGRB has transfered the authorisation in favour of GSPL India Gasnet Ltd - a consortium comprising of GSPL, Indian Oil Corp (IOC), Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL), he said. PNGRB is the competent authority for granting authorisation to entities to develop natural gas pipeline on common carrier or contract carrier basis. It seeks bids from interested parties on transportation tariff and volume flow for the next 25 years. (

Iran in talks for $4.5 bn undersea gas pipeline to Gujarat

December 7, 2015. Iran, the world's largest holder of gas reserves, said negotiations are underway to lay a $4.5 billion undersea gas pipeline to Gujarat after India shunned an on land line passing through Pakistan. "Negotiations are under serious consideration" for a pipeline from Iranian coast via Oman Sea and Indian Ocean to Gujarat, National Iranian Gas Export Co (NIGEC) MD Alireza Kameli said at the World Energy Policy Summit in New Delhi. The pipeline is planned to carry 31.5 million standard cubic meters gas per day and will be built in two years from the date of necessary approvals and a gas sale and purchase agreement (GSPA) being signed, he said. New Delhi has not been participating in talks on the 1,036-km Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline since 2007 citing security and commercial concerns but has never officially pulled out of the $7.6 billion project. Kameli said Iran was currently pursuing only the Iran-Pakistan section of the pipeline. The pipeline can be extended to India if New Delhi is interested, he said.

Under the proposal being discussed, New Delhi-based South Asia Gas Enterprise Pvt Ltd (SAGE) will lay the 1,400-km pipeline bypassing the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of Pakistan. Any company wanting to buy gas from Iran can use the pipeline for a rent. The company will next year conduct a FEED study and tie-up financing.  India and Iran had in 2005 finalised a very attractive price for gas from Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) pipeline. Iran was to charge 6.3 percent of the 10-month average of crude oil plus a fixed $1.15 per million British thermal unit (mmBtu). Gas price, according to this formula, would come to $3.67 per mmBtu at current oil price of $40 per barrel. Iran had in 2009 sought a revision in the indexation to crude oil to 12 percent while lowering of the fixed component to $1.1 per mmBtu. Even at the revised formula, the cost of gas would have been $5.9 per mmBtu - less than the price at which LNG is available in spot or current market and half of the price at which India currently imports LNG from Qatar on a long term contract. Besides, India was also to pay $1.1-1.2 per mmBtu in transportation cost and transit fee for wheeling the gas through Pakistan, still making it cheaper than liquefied natural gas (LNG). (

Policy / Performance………

200 new CNG outlets to open in Delhi soon

December 8, 2015. Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan met Sunita Narain of Centre of Science & Environment and discussed issues related to cleaner fuel in transportation sector, especially in the context of India's voluntary commitment on INDC and ongoing meeting of COP21. Pradhan outlined the various initiatives that have been taken and are under implementation under clean and green fuel policy of the present Government. He informed that IGL and OMCs are working out to open 200 additional CNG outlets in Delhi within next few months which will smoothen the supply of CNG in the city. Similarly, new CNG stations will come up in the NCR territory. Pradhan said all efforts will be made to make CNG a preferred fuel and the CNG initiative becomes a social movement to deal with pollution. (

Petroleum products should be under ambit of GST: Oil Minister

December 7, 2015. Petroleum products should come under the ambit of the proposed Goods and Services Tax (GST) but a final decision would be taken when the state governments come on board on it, the government said. Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said altogether 52 percent tax is levied on petroleum products by both central and state governments and such revenues are used for various welfare and infrastructure projects. He said state governments are free to fix the amount of tax they want to levy on petroleum products as every state has its own aspirations and development projects which they carry out through the revenue generated from the sale of petroleum products. Around 32 percent tax is levied by the central government on petroleum products while around 20 percent by state governments, he said. Pradhan said in principle, the petroleum products should come under the ambit of the proposed Goods and Services Tax but a final decision would be taken when the state governments come on board on it. The Minister said ever since the NDA government came into power in May 2014, prices of petrol and diesel were reduced 19 times and enhanced seven times. He said the prices of petrol and diesel have been made market-determined with effect from June 26, 2010 and October 19, 2014 respectively. (

Oil Minister hands over Guinness certificate for LPG subsidy to Modi

December 5, 2015. The Guinness Book of World Records certificate recognising India's direct LPG subsidy transfer as the world's largest cash transfer programme was handed over to Prime Minister Narendra Modi by Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan. The previous UPA government had conceptualized and rolled out the programme to pay LPG subsidy directly into bank accounts of domestic users from September 1, 2013. However, the Direct Benefit Transfer on LPG (DBTL), which faced some teething troubles that were later sorted out by the NDA government, was relaunched under a new name PAHAL in 54 districts from November 15, 2014, and all over the country from January 1, 2015. Under the scheme, LPG throughout the country is being sold at a market price. However, domestic users get a cash subsidy to keep their payout on the fuel at the old rate of Rs 417 per 14.2­kg cylinder in Delhi. Under Pratyaksha Hastaantarit Laabh (PAHAL), Hindi for the DBTL scheme, users get LPG cylinders at market price and receive subsidy as per their entitlement directly in their bank accounts. (

Petronet said in talks on new LNG pricing formula with RasGas

December 4, 2015. Petronet LNG Ltd., India’s biggest gas importer, is in talks with Qatar’s RasGas Co. to work out a new pricing formula for an existing 25-year contract. The revised price will be based on a three-month average price of oil, replacing a five-year average. That may immediately cut the price of liquefied natural gas by about 50 percent starting next month, according to calculations. Terms being discussed include Petronet’s commitment to buy an additional 1 million metric tons of LNG annually from RasGas for the remaining years of the accord, adding any deal would require board approval. Petronet had originally agreed to purchase 7.5 million metric tons of LNG a year from RasGas under the contract ending April 2028. In addition to shortening the average pricing period to three months, the new price will be pegged to Brent crude rather than a basket of crudes imported by Japan that has been traditionally used in LNG contracts. The trailing three month average Brent price is about $48 a barrel, while the average of Japan Crude Cocktail for the five-year period ended Sept. 30 was $100, according to data. Petronet has purchased about two-thirds of its committed quantity from RasGas this year as the New Delhi-based company’s customers, ranging from power plants to fertilizer makers, moved to the spot market. Immediate-delivery prices of LNG are about 36 percent lower than the price Petronet pays the Doha-based supplier of the super-chilled fuel. A potential deal will waive the penalty Petronet would have to pay for buying less than it contracted this year and allow it to make up the shortfall by purchasing bigger volumes in subsequent years. The default could have resulted in a penalty of as much as ` 94 billion ($1.4 billion), brokerage KR Choksey Shares & Securities Ltd said. (

Gas prices in India to fall 16 percent next year

December 3, 2015. Natural gas prices in India are likely to decline 16% next year before recovering gradually, but may not regain the current year rate till at least 2020. Price of natural gas, using the formula approved by the government in October last year, is projected to fall to $3.22 per million British thermal unit (mmBtu) in the first half of 2016-17 from current $3.82 per mmBtu. Rates, which are set using prevalent price in gas surplus nations like the US, Russia and Canada, are fixed for six months and accordingly are projected to rise to $3.32 in second half of 2016-17 fiscal. These projections about the natural gas prices in India have been carried in the report of a US-based consultant DeGolyer and MacNaughton (D&M) on the dispute between ONGC and Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) over sharing of gas reservoir in the KG Basin. Using forward curve, "RIL provided a five-year price forecast," D&M said. According to the forecast, gas prices will be $3.36 per mmBtu and $3.42 in the first and second half of 2017-18 fiscal and would be around $3.45 in the next fiscal. In 2019-20, gas prices are projected to reach $3.49. As per the mechanism approved in October, 2014, the price of domestically produced natural gas is to be revised every six months using weighted average or rates prevalent at Henry Hub of the US, National Balancing Point of the UK, rates in Alberta (Canada) and Russia with a lag of one quarter. The current price of $3.82, for the period October 1, 2015 to March 31, 2016, is based on average of prices during July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015. Rates in first half of current fiscal were $4.66. When the formula was implemented in October last year, gas prices had risen to $5.05 per mmBtu from long standing rate of $4.2. But slump in global commodity prices forced by a supplies outpacing demand, has meant that rates have fallen subsequently. The cost for new deep-water discoveries ranges between $6 to $7 per mmBtu. Gas price in India, it said, is lower than $9 per mmBtu gas price in China, $10.5 of the Philippines, $6.5 of Indonesia and $8 per mmBtu price prevalent in Thailand and Malaysia. (



Kudgi power plant in Karnataka to be commissioned in 2017: Govt

December 7, 2015. NTPC's 4,000 MW super thermal power plant in Karnataka will be commissioned in 2017, government said even as it asserted that India is surplus in electricity with only constraints being in North East and Karnataka due to poor transmission ability. The project, comprising three units of 800 mw each, aims at meeting the growing energy demand in the four southern states proportionately, Power & Coal Minister Piyush Goyal said. Goyal said Karnataka is facing power shortage due to less hydropower generation in the wake of drought. That apart, the state has poor transmission network, he said. On delayed projects of NTPC, the Minister said two projects -- Solapur Super Thermal Power Station (2x660 MW) in Maharasthra and MUNPL Meja TPP-JV (2x660 MW) in Uttar Pradesh -- are delayed due to specific reasons. These two projects have been taken up through India's Ambassador in Japan and the matter has also been taken up with the External Affairs Ministry, he said. (

GAIL moots shutting of coal based power plants near metros

December 7, 2015. GAIL (India) Ltd mooted shutting down of coal-based power plants near metro cities and switch to cleaner gas as a source of electricity generation. GAIL said besides Badarpur power plant in Delhi, the nearby Dadri station too needs to be shut. Delhi, the world's most polluted city, decided to shut down the Badarpur and Rajghat thermal power stations to check pollution. It also plans to restrict the number of cars on its roads by implementing license-plate based driving bans -- allowing vehicles with license plates ending with odd and even numbers to ply on alternate days starting January 1. (

30 GW of stalled power generation capacity revived: Goyal

December 3, 2015. Over 30,000 MW of stalled power generation capacity has been revived in the last 18 months, the government said. Power & Coal Minister Piyush Goyal said there is enough coal and electricity available in the country. About 4,000 MW generation capacity have been added in the region in the last 18 months and additional 20,000 MW would be installed in the next three years, he said. Goyal emphasised that there is no politics with respect to the government's efforts towards electrification of villages. The government has launched Deendayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY) for separation of agriculture and non­ agriculture feeders, strengthening of sub­transmission and distribution infrastructure for adequate electricity supply in rural areas. In the 12th Plan period (2012­17), projects amounting to ` 63,810 crore has been sanctioned so far under DDUGJY, including the subsumed Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana, he said. With regard to electrification works in Uttar Pradesh, Goyal said his Ministry is yet to receive the data from the state government. (

Coal India's 3.25 mt capacity project in Maharashtra to start by December-end

December 2, 2015. Coal India's mining project in Maharashtra with a production capacity of 3.25 million tonnes (mt) per year will be commissioned by the month-end, as the PSU targets one billion tonnes of production by 2020. Western Coalfields Ltd (WCL) is one of the subsidiaries of state-run Coal India Ltd (CIL). In the current fiscal, eight mines of WCL have already been commissioned. In the last fiscal, three mines which were commissioned include Penganga Open Cast (OC) mining project and Bhanegaon OC mine. WCL will meet its production target of 45.1 million tonnes set for the current fiscal. The Coal India arm is planning an output of 100 million tonnes in another five years. Lauding WCL for resetting its production target from 60 million tonnes to 100 mt by 2020, Power & Coal Minister Piyush Goyal had said that enhancing coal production will help provide electricity to the deprived parts of the country. Goyal had hailed WCL for acquiring 2,500 hectare land and generating 1,300 direct employment opportunities to farmers who have given their land in last one year. The enhanced production will not only fulfil coal demand of Maharashtra but will also provide relief to the southern areas of the country, he had said. (

Transmission / Distribution / Trade…

Lanco Amarkantak unit 2 starts power supply to Haryana

December 8, 2015. Lanco Amarkantak Power, a step-down subsidiary of Lanco Infratech, has started power supply to Haryana discoms at regulated tariff from its Chhattisgarh plant. Power will be supplied to the discoms from 300 MW Unit-2 of Amarkantak plant. With this, the entire 1,800 MW operating coal-based power portfolio of Lanco is utilised to its full capacity. In September, the Supreme Court directed the South Eastern Coalfields to supply coal to the 300 MW Amarkantak Unit-2, treating it as a unit having a subsisting long term PPA (power purchase agreement). LAPL on September 24, 2015, executed the documentation for flexible refinancing with its lenders for 2 x 300 MW Unit 1 and 2. The current power portfolio of Lanco has capacities of 3,460 MW under operation and 4,636 MW under construction. (

Canada sends first consignment of uranium to India

December 6, 2015. Canada has sent the first uranium consignment of 250 tonnes to India for its nuclear power reactors, over two years after the civil nuclear deal signed between the two countries came into force. In April, Cameco signed a uranium supply contract with India after the nuclear cooperation agreement between Canada and India came into force in September 2013. According to the Canadian government, the contract to supply 7.1 million pounds of uranium concentrate (about 2,730 tonnes uranium) to India’s Department of Atomic Energy was worth around Canadian Dollars 350 million ($262 million). The government of the Canadian province of Saskatchewan said the shipment consists of uranium mined and milled at Cameco’s McArthur River and Key Lake operations in northern Saskatchewan. India currently has 21 power reactors in operation, with another six under construction and scheduled to start up over the next four years. The country plans to increase its nuclear generating capacity from the current 5800 MWe to 27,500 MWe by 2032. (

PSU doesn't need SC nod to pay compensatory tariff to Adani

December 3, 2015. The Supreme Court (SC) said that a Gujarat-owned discom does not require its permission to pay "compensatory tariff" to Adani Power Ltd and such a decision would be subject to final verdict on the plea of the private power generating firm. Adani Power Ltd has filed an appeal in the apex court against the order of the Appellate Tribunal for Electricity which had upheld the view of subordinate panel, the Gujarat Electricity Regulatory Commission (GERC). The GERC, on August 31, 2010, had set aside the decision of Adani Power to terminate its power purchase agreement (PPA) with PSU discom and had asked the private firm to keep supplying electricity as per the terms of PPA. Adani Power and the PSU had entered into a PPA which provided that the the private firm is obliged to sell 1000 MW of power from its power project. The private firm, on December 28, 2009, had issued a notice terminating the PPA with the PSU with effect from January 4, 2010. (

LED bulbs distribution to start in Uttarakhand, West Bengal, Karantaka, Jharkhand

December 3, 2015. The Centre has proposed to include Uttarakhand, Jharkhand, Karnataka and West Bengal in its LED lamps distribution programme. The Narendra Modi­led government has so far distributed over three crore LED bulbs in 11 states that are already part of the programme, Power & Coal Minister Piyush Goyal said. The pan­India programme is expected to result in savings of 20,122 MW of electricity and prevent emission of 84 million tonne of carbon dioxide (CO2), Goyal said. He said an independent study by state­run Energy Efficiency Services Ltd at five locations in Puducherry and Andhra Pradesh found that the programme has resulted in substantial energy savings. (

Policy / Performance………….

Adani wants Australian law to restrain greens from opposing coal mine

December 7, 2015. With its USD 15 billion Carmichael coal mine stuck since 2010 for want of green nod, Adani group has requested the Australian government to draft a special law prohibiting green groups from seeking repeated judicial reviews of environmental approvals.  In 2010, Adani Group had acquired the rights to develop the Carmichael coal mines in the Galilee Basin of Queensland state in Australia involving an investment of USD 15 billion over a period of time. The project, which includes building a rail link and a port at Abbot Point to ship the coal out, has been opposed by green groups ever since. Because of the opposition, the group has been finding it difficult to get banks to fund the deal. Even State Bank of India had withdrawn its committed loan of ` 8,000 crore to the project. The loan agreement was signed by the SBI chief and Adani in the presence of Prime Minister Narenda Modi in Sydney last year. Stating that the Carmichael coal mines are the world's largest, Adani claimed that the mine can support a minimum 100 million people to have electricity for a century or more. (

Rajasthan 3rd state to join discom revival scheme 'UDAY'

December 7, 2015. After Andhra Pradesh and Jharkhand, Rajasthan has become the third state to join the Centre's UDAY (Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana) Scheme, aimed at revival of debt-stressed power distribution companies. The scheme is optional and operationalised through signing of an MoU between state governments, state discoms and the Centre. The scheme has been launched to improve financial and operational efficiencies of power distribution companies. It envisages to reduce interest burden, cost of power and AT&C losses. Consequently, the discoms would become sustainable to provide adequate and reliable power enabling 24x7 power supply. The scheme provides that states would take over 75 percent debt of discoms, as on September 30, 2015 in two years. (

US delegation seeks clarity on India nuclear liability regime

December 7, 2015. A delegation of US­India Business Council and the Nuclear Energy Institute is in India to seek greater clarity about the liability regime in the Indian nuclear sector. The delegation will meet stakeholders, including players in the industry and government officials. After signing of the Indo­US civil nuclear cooperation agreement, US will build two nuclear power plants ­­ at Kovadda in Andhra Pradesh and Chaya Mithi Virdhi in Gujarat. The US companies also had concerns regarding the Civil Liability Nuclear Damage Act, 2010, which allows the operator to sue the supplier in case of any mishap. (

Bill for fast­tracking nuke power projects likely this session

December 6, 2015. A bill seeking to fast­track nuclear power projects is likely to be introduced in the Winter Session of Parliament, while another legislation for according greater autonomy to the atomic energy regulator may not be brought this time. The Union Cabinet had approved amendments to the Atomic Energy Act to enable Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) to enter into joint ventures with other public sector undertakings (PSUs). The move will help secure funds for big ticket projects. Concern over lack of financial resources has been raised by the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) frequently. The amendment will enable NPCIL, which is one of the PSUs under the DAE, to enter into joint ventures with other government undertakings. However, the Nuclear Safety Regulatory Authority (NSRA) Bill may not be presented before Parliament even in this session. The NSRA Bill will seek to create a more independent authority, replacing the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB). The Bill, first introduced in the Lok Sabha in 2011, has lapsed and will have to be reintroduced. (

Modi's Japan nuclear deal may need more than just Abe visit

December 4, 2015. It may take a few more meetings between Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi before the two countries seal a civil nuclear agreement. Modi will use Abe’s visit to lobby Japan to join the list of countries India can rely on for nuclear technology or fuel to help bring reliable and clean power to the country’s 1.3 billion people. Japan, the only country to suffer nuclear attacks, has refrained from a deal as India is yet to join the global Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Any bilateral agreement would be the responsibility of India’s external affairs ministry, the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) said. A deal with Japan would strengthen ties to U.S. reactor suppliers Westinghouse Electric Co., controlled by Toshiba Corp., and General Electric Co., which has a venture with Hitachi Ltd. It’ll also help India access cheaper financing and specialized steel from Japan used for nuclear projects, DAE said. Even if it signs a deal with Japan, India’s efforts to raise nuclear capacity are challenged by laws that leave equipment makers, in addition to the plant operators, liable for accidents. Foreign and local suppliers including General Electric Co. have opposed the rules. India is on track to expand its nuclear generation capacity to 10 GW by 2019 from 5.8 GW this year. Meeting its goal of 63 GW by 2032 requires imported fuel supplies and reactor designs. (

India's largest coal mine coming up at Birbhum: Banerjee

December 4, 2015. Blaming the Centre for "non- cooperation" even for development projects, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced setting up of a new venture to develop the country's largest coal mine in the state. Banerjee said that a special purpose vehicle (SPV) -- Bengal Birbhum Coalfields Ltd -- has been created to develop the mine at Deocha-Pachami in Birbhum district. The block has been offered jointly to West Bengal, Bihar, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Sutlej Jal Vidyut Nigam Limited, she added. Deocha Pachami coal block is the largest coal block in the country with 2,102 million tonnes of coal in reserve. Bengal would get the largest share of coal with 584 million tonnes from the block, followed by Bihar with a share of 486 million tonnes. The SPV will develop India's largest coal mine in Deocha-Pachami by appointing a Mine Developer cum Operator.  The mine would supply coal to power plants in Bengal and other states, she said. She said that despite the Centre's non -cooperation, the state government would continue with all development projects. (

Outlook for India's power sector remains negative: Moody's

December 3, 2015. Faced with challenges like fuel supply risks, cost overruns at private plants and financially weak discoms, India's power sector outlook remains negative, Moody's Investors Service said. Some independent power producers (IPPs) are also locked into power purchase agreements (PPAs) that have become unviable because they do not allow the high costs of imported fuel to be passed through, it said. Indian power generators' capacity utilisation will likely be limited by the financial weakness of offtakers, in turn constraining off-take electricity demand, despite growing electricity demand and increasing domestic coal, it said. For India's NTPC, its unfavourable business conditions are offset by the Indian central and state governments and the Reserve Bank of India's standing agreement to offset high offtaker risk, and the company's well secured fuel supply sources from domestic and overseas markets. Low commodity prices will benefit Indian IPPs by making power more affordable for offtakers. However, the offtakers weak financial profiles pose a risk to timely payments to IPPs under PPAs. Meanwhile, the high offtaker risk in India will not be addressed over at least the outlook period (next 12-18 months), as the financial profiles of offtakers will remain weak. Some state governments have also not paid all subsidies that the distribution utilities are entitled to; thereby constraining the utilities' liquidity positions. The long-term viability of the IPPs remains uncertain, without timely tariff compensation. Moody's stable outlook for the power sector in Asia Pacific (ex-Japan) is underpinned by steady demand, low input costs for most countries and transparent tariff mechanisms for some countries. (

Jaitapur n-project eco-clearance extension expected soon

December 2, 2015. The extension of the five-year environmental clearance granted to Maharashtra's upcoming Jaitapur Nuclear Power Project (JNPP) -- which lapsed on November 26, 2015, may come shortly. JNPP said most of the pre-project works at the site have been completed and some others are going on as intended, and the ministry of environment and forests has been given regular updates on the status every six months. The JNPP, being set up by Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) in collaboration with Areva S.A. France, will have six plants with a capacity of 1,650 MW each or a total of 9,900 MW, making it the biggest in the world in terms of net electrical power ratings. The Konkan Bachao Samiti (KBS), which has been spearheading the movement against the JNPP, demanded that "all work on (project) site should cease immediately". The KBS has already warned of a fresh round of agitation if any attempts are made to extend the lapsed environmental clearance without following the due processes. The JNPP is coming up in NPCIL's collaboration with French company Areva S.A at Maharashtra's Madban village on a 10 square km area, in Ratnagiri district of Konkan. (

Nuclear energy is here to stay for long: AERB Chairman

December 2, 2015. Nuclear energy is the best option available for ensuring long term energy availability for the world in a carbon-free process, SA Bharadwaj, Chairman, Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) said. Bhardwaj also termed nuclear reactors comparatively safer than before as necessary precautions are being taken to face crisis. He said that Indian reactors have a minimum of seven days water storage in the nuclear plant to face crisis and can resist an earthquake. (



Chevron starts natural gas production from two new wells in Bangladesh

December 6, 2015. Chevron has started producing gas from two new wells in the Bangladeshi state of Sylhet, aimed at easing the country's chronic energy shortages. The U.S oil and energy company, the largest foreign investor in the Bangladesh's energy sector, will initially produce around 130 million cubic feet of gas per day from the Jalalabad field, located 280 kilometers (175 miles) from the capital Dhaka. Another well at the field is expected to begin production at the start of next year, the ministry of power, energy and mineral resources said. Discovered in 1989, the Jalalabad gas field first came on-line in 1999, and has been performing with an uninterrupted efficiency of 99.9 percent since 2001. Chevron Bangladesh is supplying more than 50 percent of the total gas output of 1.5 billion cubic feet per day. Bangladesh currently faces up to 500 million cubic feet of gas shortages a day. (

OPEC fails to agree production ceiling after Iran pledges output boost

December 4, 2015. Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) members failed to agree an oil production ceiling at a meeting that ended in acrimony, after Iran said it would not consider any production curbs until it restores output scaled back for years under Western sanctions. Oil prices have more than halved over the past 18 months to a fraction of what most OPEC members need to balance their budgets. Brent oil futures fell by 1 percent to trade around $43, only a few dollars off a six year low. Banks such as Goldman Sachs predict they could fall further to as low as $20 per barrel as the world produces more oil than it consumes and runs out of capacity to store the excess. A final OPEC statement was issued with no mention of a new production ceiling. The last time OPEC failed to reach a deal was in 2011 when Saudi Arabia was pushing the group to increase output to avoid a price spike amid a Libyan uprising. OPEC's secretary general Abdullah al-Badri said OPEC could not agree on any figures because it could not predict how much oil Iran would add to the market next year, as sanctions are withdrawn under a deal reached six months ago with world powers over its nuclear program. At the meeting, OPEC welcomed back returning member Indonesia, its 13th member. The cartel accounts for about a third of world oil output and does not include Russia or the United States, which rival Saudi Arabia as the world's biggest producers. (

US oil drillers cut rigs for 13th week in 14

December 4, 2015. U.S. energy firms this week cut oil rigs for the 13th week in the last 14, data showed, a sign drillers were still waiting for higher prices before returning to the well pad. OPEC decided to keep production near record highs despite depressed prices, as a way to boost market share by forcing rivals to reduce output. Drillers removed 10 oil rigs in the week ended Dec. 4, bringing the total rig count down to 545, the least since June 2010, oil services company Baker Hughes Inc said. That decrease brings the total rig count down to about a third of the 1,575 oil rigs operating in same week a year ago. Since the end of the summer, drillers have cut 120 oil rigs. (

Anadarko agrees on Mozambique gas-field development with Eni

December 3, 2015. Anadarko Petroleum Corp. and Eni SpA agreed on a plan to develop adjoining natural-gas areas off Mozambique as the East African nation moves toward getting its first exports off the ground. The agreement, targeting 24 trillion cubic feet of gas from the areas combined, is subject to approval by the government. Mozambique has attracted international energy companies to exploit huge gas finds in the northern Rovuma basin that could help turn the country into the third-biggest liquefied natural gas exporter in a decade. The Woodlands, Texas-based Anadarko has said it’s waiting on government approvals to reach an investment decision on its project. (

Russia keeps oil production at record high in November

December 2, 2015. Russia continued extracting oil at a post-Soviet record high of 10.78 million barrels per day (bpd) in November despite low oil prices, Energy Ministry data showed. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is scheduled to hold a policy-setting meeting amid a market glut that has seen crude prices fall to around $45 per barrel from $115 in June 2014. Non-member Russia has refused to send a delegation for usual consultations before the meeting as it is been skeptical about OPEC's willingness to cut oil output in order to bolster prices. The statistics showed that Russia's record-high output level of 10.78 bpd, reached in October, was maintained in November helped by small producers Novatek and Bashneft. Russian oil producers are drilling more, showing the world's top crude producer is ready for a longer fight for market share with OPEC as its industry can carry on even if oil prices reach $35 per barrel. A weaker rouble and lower costs have helped Russian producers. In tonnes, November oil output was 44.115 million versus 45.572 million in October. Russian pipeline oil exports fell to 4.318 million bpd from 4.465 million bpd in October. Natural gas production was 60.8 billion cubic meters (bcm), or 2.03 bcm per day, versus 60.76 bcm in October. (

America's biggest gas field finally succumbs to downturn

December 2, 2015. The drilling rigs are gone from the hills surrounding this Pennsylvania town of 30,000. The hotels and bars are quieter too, no longer packed with the workers who flocked in their thousands to America's newest and biggest gas field. The drilling boom of the past seven years is over, even though thousands of existing wells in the Marcellus region still produce a fifth of U.S. natural gas supply. Preliminary figures provided by DrillingInfo, which monitors rig activity, showed drilling permits issued for the 90,000-square mile (233,100 sq km) reservoir beneath Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia, slumped to 68 in October from 76 in September. There were still 160 permits issued in June and over 600 a month at the peak in 2010. Recent months are subject to revisions, DrillingInfo said, but a retreat of such magnitude, combined with falling output from older wells, would mark a turning point for the Marcellus - and the whole U.S. gas market. The Energy Information Administration forecasts overall U.S. gas output to hit a record in 2016 for the sixth year in a row. A drop in Marcellus production could snap that streak and help prop up prices that have fallen by two thirds since 2010. U.S. natural gas production has risen 30 percent since 2008 when the development of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, and horizontal drilling unlocked vast shale gas reserves, swamping the market with new supply and causing a collapse in prices. The Marcellus area makes up nearly half of those shale reserves and the government expects the region to keep producing more in the coming years, albeit at a less furious pace. To be sure, the impact of the slump in drilling permits could be mitigated by other factors. New pipelines coming online in 2016 will allow hundreds of wells already drilled to be hooked up to the grid. A harsh winter could also boost heating demand for natural gas. (


Phillips 66 starts up fractionator at Texas refinery

December 8, 2015. Phillips 66 has begun operations at its new 100,000 barrels per day (bpd) natural gas liquids fractionator located at the company's Sweeny Complex in Old Ocean, Texas. Sweeny Fractionator One supplies purity ethane and liquefied petroleum gases (LPG) to the petrochemical industry and heating markets. It is supported by 250 miles of new pipelines and a multimillion barrel storage cavern complex. The LPGs produced at Sweeny Fractionator One are being delivered via pipeline to local petrochemical customers as well as to the market hub at Mont Belvieu, Texas. Phillips 66 will have the capability to place the LPG into global markets upon completion of its 150,000 bpd Freeport LPG Export Terminal in the second half of 2016. Phillips 66 has a long history in the midstream business segment, including NGL transportation, storage and fractionation. The company owns fractionation capacity at multiple fractionators in Mont Belvieu and Conway, Kansas. (

Japan's biggest oil refiners consider merger as demand drops

December 2, 2015. Japan’s two biggest oil refiners, JX Holdings Inc. and TonenGeneral Sekiyu K.K., said they are in talks to merge. The refiners plan to merge by 2017 after getting approval from the Fair Trade Commission. The Japanese government is encouraging refiners to consolidate and to cut processing capacity amid declining fuel demand. If a deal between JX and TonenGeneral is completed, the new company would control about half of the country’s gasoline market while a combination of domestic competitors Idemitsu Kosan Co. and Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K., which agreed to merge last month, would hold about a third. Demand for oil related products will fall about 6.8 percent between March 2015 and March 2020, according to a forecast by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. (

Transportation / Trade……….

Total to pay $3.6 mn to settle US gas market rigging case

December 8, 2015. Total SA, the world’s fifth-largest integrated oil and gas company, has agreed, along with one of its traders, to pay a $3.6 million civil penalty to settle charges of attempted natural gas market manipulation in the U.S. Total Gas & Power North America Inc. and the trader, both based in Houston, were charged with trying to rig monthly gas index prices at four major trading hubs in Texas and other markets in the Southwest, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission said. The agency imposed sanctions including a two-year trading limit during monthly settlement periods. Total was one of the largest players in the fixed-price gas markets at the time that it attempted to manipulate prices, according to the trading commission. Its penalty comes as U.S. regulators increase efforts to crack down on market manipulation in energy markets. BP Plc’s facing a $28 million penalty after a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission judge ruled that it had artificially lowered gas prices at a Houston hub in 2008. Barclays Plc is fighting $488 million worth of fines after the same energy commission alleged it had manipulated power trades. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which in September separately accused Total of manipulating gas markets, said at the time that the company had executed a scheme to manipulate the price of natural gas in the southwestern U.S. between June 2009 and June 2012. Total Gas & Power has traded and marketed natural gas in the U.S. since 1990 and owns 1 billion cubic feet per day of capacity at the Sabine Pass liquefied natural gas terminal in Louisiana, according to the company. (

Repsol said to mull sale of stake in BP's Indonesian gas project

December 8, 2015. Repsol SA is considering selling its stake in Tangguh LNG, one of Indonesia’s largest liquefied natural gas projects, as Spain’s biggest oil company seeks to reduce debt, according to people familiar with the matter. Repsol’s 3.1 percent stake in the gas fields, operated by BP Plc, may fetch as much as $300 million in a sale. Repsol is working with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to help identify buyers for the stake. Repsol, like other oil producers, is suffering from a global glut that’s pushed the price of oil to near its lowest level in more than six years. The company has sold assets and cut investments this year to weather the slowdown and to help reduce debts after acquiring Canada’s Talisman Energy Inc. for $13 billion in May. (

China's Iran deal shows OPEC members are cutthroat competitors

December 4, 2015. China's renewing of its oil purchase deals with Iran not only provides a boost to the Islamic Republic's hopes of re-establishing itself in global markets, it also underscores why Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) meeting is largely irrelevant. The market consensus is that gathering of the OPEC won't produce any significant change in the group's output policy. This is notwithstanding some apparent tentative signals from top producer Saudi Arabia that it may consider cutting output, as long as the rest of OPEC and major non-OPEC countries such as Russia also trim output. While this idea appears stillborn, given Russian opposition, the renewing of an oil purchase agreement between Iran and China is more significant, as it shows why any moves to curtail global output are doomed to fail in the current environment. Iran agreed with its top two Chinese buyers, Sinopec Corp, Asia's largest refiner, and Chinese state trader Zhuhai Zhenrong Corp, to sell about 505,000 barrels per day (bpd) in 2016, according to a report. Iran is also talking to other potential buyers in China about term deliveries next year, according to the industry sources cited in the report. China bought 536,000 bpd of Iranian crude in the first 10 months of 2015, down 1.9 percent on the same period a year earlier. With Iran having already locked in 505,000 bpd for 2016, the likelihood is that it will be able to boost the amount it supplies to China next year, assuming that it can sign up other buyers. (

US crude oil exports in October reached 500k bpd: US Census Bureau

December 4, 2015. U.S. crude oil exports jumped nearly 91,000 barrels per day (bpd) in October, mostly due to a major increase to Canada, foreign trade data from the U.S. Census Bureau showed. Total U.S. exports were just over 500,000 bpd, according to the data. Exports to Canada were 449,000 bpd, while exports to Italy were 20,000 bpd. Meanwhile, some 17,000 bpd reached Spain and exports to Switzerland were 14,000 bpd. Of the volume that reached Canada, 420,600 bpd were of domestic origin and 28,400 bpd were was foreign material. All exports to Italy were domestic origin and all exports to Spain and Switzerland were foreign origin. (

Oil traders get closer look at what might prompt Saudi rethink

December 3, 2015. Saudi Arabia has given oil traders the first glimmer of clarity on what it might take to prompt the world's biggest crude exporter to change course on policy, suggesting that its laissez faire attitude may be wearing thin. The Energy Intelligence newsletter reported that Saudi Arabia is considering proposing that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) cuts output next year by 1 million barrels per day (bpd) and has determined participants and volumes on which a deal would depend -- a surprise move that would be the Kingdom's first definitive proposal since prices collapsed. (

Turkey turns to Iraq's Kurds for gas amid pressure from Putin

December 3, 2015. Turkey plans to build a pipeline to import gas from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq, part of efforts to diversify its energy supply as relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin deteriorate. The state-run gas grid operator Botas will open a tender in two months for construction of the 180-kilometer (112-mile) pipeline, which will carry up to 20 billion cubic meters of gas a year from the border with Iraq to where the existing grid ends at Mardin. Turkey’s $800 billion economy relies on imports for almost all of its fossil fuel needs, with half of its natural gas coming from Russia at a cost of as much as $10 billion last year. Istanbul, Turkey’s most populous city that accounts for more than a quarter of national output, is almost entirely dependent on Russian gas imports through the Trans-Balkan pipeline. Storage facilities around the city may not be sufficient to meet demand in the case of a prolonged cut in supply. The value of Turkey’s business makes it unlikely that Putin will break Russia’s deals to supply gas, according to Istanbul-based Caspian Strategy Institute. (

Egypt's Dolphinus sees gas import deal with Israel in months

December 2, 2015. Dolphinus Holdings, an Egyptian gas trading company, expects to sign a final accord for natural gas imports from Israel’s Leviathan field in the next four to six months. Dolphinus hopes to get the necessary approval from the Egyptian government in a “few months," co-founder Khaled Abu Bakr said. The company has the support of a “large shareholder” in the Arish–Ashkelon pipeline, which links Israel to Egypt’s Arab-Gas Pipeline, and is discussing fees, Abu Bakr said. An agreement would alleviate an energy shortage in Egypt that has cut industrial output and may also help to position the country as a transfer point for eastern Mediterranean gas, where Israel, Cyprus and Egypt itself have made large discoveries. The government ended a state monopoly on importing and exporting gas earlier in February. Dolphinus, co-founded by Abu Bakr and Egyptian businessman Alaa Arafa, is negotiating with partners in the Leviathan field to buy as much as 4 billion cubic meters of natural gas a year for 10 to 15 years. It also signed a deal to import the fuel from Israel’s Tamar offshore gas field in March. Egypt exported natural gas to Israel up until it canceled the deal in 2012 as producing wells depleted and new explorations slowed down. The two countries have resumed normal relations following the 1979 peace accord, yet sensitivities linger about doing business with Israel among many Egyptians. Abu Bakr said political issues do not worry him and he is counting on the government’s “seriousness” in this issue. Egypt will eventually develop into a gas hub for the region, Abu Bakr said. (

Russia offers to build pipeline for gas exports to Pakistan

December 2, 2015. Russia has offered to lay a pipeline for gas exports to energy-starved Pakistan that will run parallel to the TAPI pipeline, a proposal that stems from fears that Moscow may lose the European Union market due to political tensions, according to a report. Russia, the second largest producer of natural gas, is looking for alternatives and has already signed a multi-billion-dollar energy deal with China. Pakistan could also prove to be a huge market as it faces annual gas shortage of over 2 billion cubic feet per day, according to a report. The Russian pipeline will run parallel to another regional pipeline called TAPI, which will be built by Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. Russia has also offered liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplies to Pakistan over the next two years to meet its growing energy requirements. They have signed a government-to-government deal for building a pipeline for transporting LNG from Karachi to Lahore. Russia will provide $2 billion for the project. Pakistan will provide 15 percent of equity whereas 85 percent of funding will come from the Russian company. First phase of the project is expected to be completed by the end of December 2017. Analysts say Russia’s proposal stems from fears that it may lose the EU market because of its tensions with the West over Syria and Ukraine. (

Policy / Performance…………

Nigeria to boost 2016 budget even as crude revenue declines

December 8, 2015. Nigeria’s government said it will boost spending by a fifth in next year’s budget without overstepping borrowing targets, even as oil revenue in Africa’s largest economy is set to fall. Under a three-year economic plan approved by the cabinet, expenditure will rise to 6 trillion naira ($30.2 billion), Budget and Planning Minister Udoma Udo Udoma said. Lawmakers authorized an increase of 466 billion naira in this year’s budget of 4.5 trillion naira to pay for fuel subsidies and troops fighting an Islamist insurgency in the northeast. Africa’s largest oil producer is struggling to cope with a slump in the price of crude, which is the source of 70 percent of government revenue. Economic growth is set to slow to 3.9 percent this year from 6.3 percent in 2014, according to the median estimate of 10 economists surveyed. The drop in crude prices has caused slower growth while increasing exchange-rate pressure at a time the outlook for “prices remain pessimistic,” the World Bank said. While the budget next year will be “expansionist,” the spending plan is based on an oil price of just $38 a barrel because of “uncertainties,” Udoma said. The crude output target is set at 2.2 million barrels a day, he said. The benchmark price in this year’s budget, approved in April, was $53 a barrel. All the additional expenditure planned for next year will go toward capital projects, such as infrastructure, rather than recurrent spending on government salaries, which has eaten up the majority of Nigeria’s past budgets, he said. Udoma didn’t say when the budget proposal will be sent to lawmakers for approval. The government will try to boost its income by increasing revenue from industries other than oil, cutting costs and improving the collection of taxes and fees, Udoma said. (

OPEC decision to keep output high pulls oil prices close to 2015 lows

December 6, 2015. Crude prices fell in the first trading session after Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) members failed to agree on output targets to reduce a bulging oil glut that has cut prices by more than 60 percent since June 2014. The OPEC failed to agree on an oil production ceiling after a disagreement between Saudi Arabia and Iran meant that the group for the first time in decades didn't even mention an output quota, which previously stood at 30 million barrels per day (bpd). By ditching any output limits, analysts said the group was sending a message to other producers such as Russia or North American shale drillers that it was willing to accept low oil prices to defend market share. Morgan Stanley said OPEC "believes its strategy is slowly working". OPEC's output of more than 30 million bpd has compounded an oil glut, pushing production 0.5 million to 2 million bpd beyond demand and putting many producers under pressure, especially small-sized U.S. shale drillers which have piled up large amounts of debt. Analysts said that OPEC would likely maintain production around 31.5 million bpd and that a strategy on how to deal with new Iranian volumes once sanctions against Iran are dropped would be discussed at the group's next meeting in June 2016. Because of ongoing oversupply, analysts said that prices would fall further. (

Egypt to freeze Israeli gas import talks after court ruling

December 6, 2015. The Egyptian Government ordered its oil and gas arms to freeze talks on importing Israeli natural gas after an international arbitration court ordered the Arab world’s most populous nation to pay a fine of almost $1.73 bn to Israel. Egypt will appeal the ruling by a panel at the Geneva-based International Chamber of Commerce within six weeks, Prime Minister Sherif Ismail said. The fine was imposed after arbitration between East Mediterranean Gas Co., Israel Electric Corp. and companies supplying Egyptian gas through a Sinai pipeline that was repeatedly sabotaged. The government ordered Egyptian General Petroleum Corp. and Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Co. to halt approvals to companies to import Israeli gas until it clarifies the ruling and the fate of the appeal, the oil ministry said. (

China expected to double strategic oil purchases next year

December 4, 2015. China is likely to double its strategic crude oil purchases next year as one of the biggest ever price routs spurs a buying spree that would offer some support to battered markets for the commodity. Beijing will add 70-90 million barrels of crude to storage tanks in 2016 to build up its strategic petroleum reserves (SPR), according to most respondents in a poll of five analysts and data collected by analysts. That is the equivalent to almost a fortnight's worth of average Chinese imports and would help push the country's overall oil purchases to record levels, challenging the United States as the world's top importer. Any sign of fresh buying for China's strategic reserves would offer rare support to crude prices, which have more than halved since 2014 on soaring global output that has seen 0.5 to 2 million barrels of oil being churned out every day in excess of demand. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) meets in Vienna to discuss its output target. China's secretive SPR build-up, which the government wants to raise to OECD-standards of 90 days' worth of import demand, started in 2006 as part of a drive to become more energy independent. Researchers at FGE, consultancy ICIS and bank Barclays estimated that China would double crude imports for SPR facilities to 70-80 million barrels next year, versus 30-40 million barrels in 2015, while other analysts said the volume could be higher still. SPR imports of around 90 million barrels would take the reserve's total to over 300 million barrels, more than halfway towards the government's target of reaching 550 million barrels by 2020. (

UAE Oil Minister says open to discussions with non-OPEC countries

December 4, 2015. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Oil Minister Suhail bin Mohamed al-Mazroui said that OPEC should cooperate with non-OPEC countries and that the group was open to such discussions, but the minister also said that the oil market would decide when to balance itself. Oil Minister said sustainability of crude supply was more of a concern than worry about prices. (

Saudi Arabian Oil Minister says global oil demand can absorb Iran output jump

December 4, 2015. Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said growing global demand could absorb an expected jump in Iranian production next year while the Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zangeneh said he expected OPEC to roll over production policies. Iraqi Oil Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi said his country would further raise output next year after having steeply increased production in 2015 and added rival OPEC member Iran also had the right to increase output after Western sanctions on the country are lifted. Iranian Oil Minister said Tehran would be prepared to discuss OPEC quotas or other action only when his country reached pre-sanction oil output levels. Naimi said he expected an easy OPEC meeting and added everybody was free to go back to the market. (

Venezuela to push for 5 percent output cut at OPEC meeting

December 2, 2015. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro reiterated his hopes for Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) action ahead of the group's meeting, adding the South American country was pushing for a 5 percent output cut to shore up prices. Venezuela has consistently urged the OPEC to make production cuts, but OPEC policy has so far been driven by Saudi Arabia's insistence on maintaining output to defend market share. Venezuela, which obtains 96 percent of its foreign revenue from oil exports, has suffered from a tumble in oil prices to $45 per barrel from as much as $115 a barrel some 18 months ago. (



Summit Power signs construction contract for power plant

December 8, 2015. A major step toward the realization of the long-planned Texas Clean Energy Project, a clean coal-burning power plant to be built near Penwell, was announced. Summit Power Group LLC signed the engineering, procurement and construction contract with China Huanqiu Contracting & Engineering Corp. and SNC-Lavalin Engineers & Constructors Inc. at an event in Beijing. Jeff Brown, Summit’s chief financial officer, said signing the construction contract will enable the company to finalize financing for the project, which has construction costs of more than $2.5 billion. The company expects to close financing on the power plant in the spring of 2016. (

Uganda sees its power generation nearly doubling in 3 yrs

December 8, 2015. Uganda will nearly double its power generation capacity over the next three years, helped by reforms that have fueled a rush of investment by independent power producers and development groups. The state-run Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA) said Uganda plans to export power within the region once the projects in the pipeline have come online. ERA said eight projects under construction, both privately and publicly-funded, would expand Uganda's generation capacity to at least 1500 MW over the next three years from 850 MW now. In January 2012, the Ugandan government abolished electricity subsidies for consumers, saying the cost was unsustainable. In the same year, regulators introduced a mechanism to allow quarterly reviews of end-user power tariffs based on changes in inflation, exchange rates and fuel prices. In October this year, ERA allowed Umeme Ltd, the sole power distributor, to raise tariffs 17 percent for the fourth quarter after the local currency fell against the dollar. (

Wylfa-1 nuclear power plant will shut down in late December 2015

December 4, 2015. The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) has announced that the Wylfa-1 nuclear reactor on Anglesay would be definitely shut down on 30 December 2015. The 490 MW reactor was commissioned in November 1971 and is the last unit of the Wylfa nuclear plant, since the second reactor, commissioned in 1972 was stopped in April 2012. Spent fuel will be removed from the site after April 2016 and will be reprocessed at Sellafield in Cumbria. After two to three years, the site will enter cleaning phase. (

Transmission / Distribution / Trade…

NRG Energy will sell two thermal power plants in the US

December 4, 2015. US energy company NRG Energy has decided to sell two thermal power plants in the United States (US), as part of its strategy to streamline its power generation assets and to reduce future capital expenditures. The transaction will affect the 525 MW Seward coal-fired power plant in New Florence, Pennsylvania, sold to Seward Generation and the 352 MW Shelby County gas-fired power plant in Neoga, Illinois, sold to Rockland Capital. The aggregate purchase price for the two power plants is around US$138 mn. The transactions are expected to close in the first quarter of 2016, subject to regulatory approvals, including the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.     (

Policy / Performance…………

Nigeria targets 1.5 GW from nuclear power generation

December 8, 2015. The Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN) has said that an energy demand study, which it conducted in 2010, had projected that by 2020, Nigeria would be generating 1,500 MW of electricity from nuclear sources. ECN said that at seven percent growth rate, which is in the 2010 energy study, Nigeria should have attained 1,000 MW this year if it had built the nuclear plants that were planned. The Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission (NAEC) had in June said that it would partner with a Russian firm to build nuclear power plants of over 4,000 MW capacity by 2025. NAEC also listed Geregu in Kogi State, and Itu in Akwa Ibom State as the selected sites to host the pioneer nuclear plants. Already, reports indicate that about 11 percent of the world’s electricity supply is from nuclear sources. However, Nigeria nuclear plans are coming after South Africa is already generating significant electricity with nuclear technology. Algeria, Morocco, Sudan, Ghana and Kenya also have plans for varied capacities. (

KEPCO wins local approval to restart two nuclear reactors

December 8, 2015. The city of Takahama in the Fukui prefecture (Japan) has approved plans by Japanese power utility Kansai Electric Power Co (KEPCO) to restart two reactors (units 3 and 4) at its Takahama nuclear power plant. The two 830 MW reactors commissioned in 1985 were stopped in 2011 in the wake of the Fukushima disaster and KEPCO applied with the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) in July 2013. The NRA approved a restart in February 2015, that was blocked by the Fukui District Court in April 2015 due to safety concerns about local evacuations in the event of a disaster. KEPCO aimed to restart one reactor in December 2015 and the second in early 2016 but the dates remain unclear until a decision is taken by the Fukui prefecture. (    

World's largest nuclear complex to see $9.7 bn overhaul

December 3, 2015. Owners of the world’s largest nuclear complex plan to spend C$13 billion ($9.73 billion) refurbishing six aging reactors to deliver more power to the central Canadian grid, as government officials come under scrutiny for rising prices and a maintenance backlog. Bruce Power’s units three through eight will be repaired starting in 2020 to extend the operating life of the plant to 2064. The first two units have already been retooled, with cost overruns and delays. The project at the Bruce complex will feed more supply at prices lower than the average in Ontario, where electricity charges have risen about 90 percent since 2006. The long-term average price of C$77 per megawatt-hour under the Bruce refurbishment agreement is less than the current average price in Ontario of C$83, the Ontario energy minister said. All-in electricity charges for Ontario residents and small-business owners have increased to a projected C$10.10 per kilowatt-hour in 2015, from C$5.32 in 2006, according to a report from Ontario Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk. (

China to lend $1.2 bn to restore coal-fired power plant in Zimbabwe

December 2, 2015. China will lend US$1.2 billion to help rehabilitate Zimbabwe's aging coal-fired Hwange power plant. Zimbabwe currently rations daily power to consumers because it cannot meet average total demand of 2,200 MW, with production cut to about half of an installed capacity of 1,800 MW in recent years. (



MNRE did not achieve deliverables from R&D projects: CAG

December 8, 2015. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has not been able to achieve deliverable outcomes despite sanctioning 190 research and development projects due to lack of industry participation, according to the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India. There were also delays in implementation of projects and inability of the agencies to either file patents or publish research papers as envisaged in the projects, the CAG said.  According to the CAG report, the ministry sanctioned 190 projects at a cost of ` 545.90 crore during 2007-14 to various R&D organisations, of which 112 were completed and 78 were under progress. The CAG said that monitoring of the projects by the ministry was lax as in many cases projects' progress reports were not submitted by the implementing agencies, while project completed reports were not evaluated by the ministry or third party. As per the National Action Plan on Climate Change target of 8 percent and 9 percent purchase of electricity from renewable source for years 2012-13 and 2013-14, the national achievement was only 4.28 percent and 4.51 percent respectively, the CAG observed. It was found that between 2010 and 2014, only 4.77 percent of Renewable Purchase Obligation compliance was through renewable energy certificate (REC) mode whereas 95.23 percent was through direct purchase of electricity from renewable energy sources. CAG said that the ministry has not devised any mechanism for claiming of clean development mechanism (CDM) benefits for the grid connected and off-grid renewable energy projects. There was lack of awareness with respect to claiming CDM benefits. Under the demonstration programme, Solar Photovoltaic power project developers availing Generation Based Incentive (GBI) were not eligible to avail Accelerated Depreciation (AD) benefit under the Income Tax Act. CAG observed that this was not ensured by the Ministry/ Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) before releasing GBI claims of ` 22.49 crore to Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL). This resulted in both GBI and AD being claimed by RIL in the period August 2010 to December 2012. It observed that the exploitation of wind power potential was very low at 5-17 percent in Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. (

Jharkhand tenders 1.2 GW of grid-connected solar PV projects

December 8, 2015. The Indian state of Jharkhand, through the Jharkhand Renewable Energy Development Agency (JREDA) has issued a request for proposals (RFP) for 1.2 GW of grid-connected solar PV projects, which will benefit from 25-year power purchase agreements (PPAs) to be signed with the Jharkhand state distribution company Jharkhand Bijli Vitran Nigam. JREDA plans to develop 200 MW of projects up to 25 MW, to be commissioned within 13 months after having signed the PPA. Another 1 GW of capacity will consist of projects of 26 MW and more, to be commissioned within 18 months after having signed the PPA. Technical bids are due on 12 January 2016. (

Welspun commissions 126 MW wind park in Rajasthan

December 7, 2015. Welspun Renewables announced commissioning of 126 MW wind project located in Pratapgarh district of Rajasthan. The project is the largest wind project in the company's portfolio. The project will generate 290 million units of clean energy and help mitigate 2,11,922 tonnes of carbon emissions annually. ` 840 crore was secured to build this mega wind capacity, the company said. Welspun Renewables has successfully developed all its projects well before their scheduled deadlines and at a lower cost ratio as compared to other developers in the clean energy sector. The company has successfully commissioned approx 700 MW (DC) capacity of clean energy. In line with the government's renewable energy initiatives, Welspun Renewables is well on target to commission 1 GW of solar and wind power projects by the end of this financial year. (

India determined not to let Paris climate meet fail: Govt

December 6, 2015. Ahead of key ministerial talks, India said it is determined not to make the Paris climate meet like past summits where nations returned with "false optimism and fictitious hopes" and would ensure that rich countries pay back their "debt for overdraft" drawn on the carbon space. Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said that although nations are "midway" in their journey to reach a new climate agreement, substance-wise it is "sometimes at crossroads" while hinting at the various unresolved issues which remain in the draft negotiating text. Noting that the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC) is a "fundamental global climate constitution", India also made it clear that any attempt to rewrite or to overwrite will "not be acceptable". Noting that India will not let the Paris conference fail in reaching its objectives, Javadekar said that the country will ensure that the seminal principle of Common But Differentiated Responsibilities (CBDR) is respected. Scientists warn that the planet will become increasingly hostile to mankind as it warms, causing rise in sea levels and extreme weather patterns completely contrast to present times. But to slow the climate change requires a rapid shift to clean energy — mainly moving away from burning coal, oil and gas for energy. India is expected to become the world's biggest importer of coal by 2020 as it seeks to meet its energy requirements. India's national climate plan, submitted ahead of this meeting, suggests a significant role for coal going forward. (

Ujaas bags ` 917 mn contract for solar power plant in Vadodara

December 4, 2015. Ujaas Energy Ltd has bagged EPC order for 10 MW Canal Bank grid connected solar photovoltaic power plant at Vadodara, Gujarat, from Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd. As per the contract, which is worth ` 91.78 crore, Ujaas will also be responsible for the operation and maintenance of the plant for 25 years. This is the fifth order won by Ujaas in last four month. It has already bagged contracts for 9 MW power project in Rajasthan, 10 MW at Teesta Canal in West Bengal, 1000 KWp at Andaman & Nicobar and 6 MW at Daman & Diu. (

Need to step up power capacity addition to improve HDI: NTPC

December 4, 2015. India needs to accelerate its power generation capacity addition to improve its Human Development Index (HDI) ranking, NTPC said. NTPC said that the share of India in CO2 space is mere 2.8 percent but still it has to embark upon largest renewable energy (RE) program to reach 175 GW RE capacity by 2022. Power Ministry said that despite renewable addition, India will need to use coal to generate balancing power so as to provide affordable 24x7 power to the people. NTPC said that it has installed 150 kWp Rooftop Solar PV plant at its Power Management Institute, implemented under SECI Rooftop Solar PV scheme, with 30 percent subsidy from Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. (

India’s solar installations crosses 5 GW mark

December 3, 2015. Energy consultancy firm Bridge to India in its latest study reports that cumulative installed capacity of solar power in India has crossed the 5 GW mark. In the sectorial breakup, 4.7 GW is achieved by ground based projects while rooftop capacity stands at 525 MW. The firm reports that in the present year, close to 2 GW solar capacity has been commissioned. According to the consultancy firm, Rajasthan, Gujarat and MP have historically been the front runners, but the four southern Indian states are expected to dominate the market over next 2 years. In the rooftop sector, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Gujarat are leading in the total installed capacity. In 2015, about 240 MW of rooftop capacity was added despite lack of any major rooftop specific initiatives. (

'India to cut greenhouse gas emission up to 35 percent by 2030'

December 2, 2015. Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said India was committed to cutting down emission of greenhouse gases up to 35 percent by 2030. India is a party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). All parties to UNFCC have been requested to submit their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) towards addressing climate change. Accordingly, India has submitted its INDCs which envisages reduction of carbon intensity of its GDP by 33 to 35 percent from 2005 levels by 2030, the minister said. (

Chennai rain result of global warming: Indian experts

December 2, 2015. With torrential rains in Chennai disrupting normal life, Indian environment experts attending the Paris climate change summit said the downpour in the city was an outcome of global warming. Torrential rains have pounded several parts of Chennai and its suburbs along with Puducherry, triggering a deluge that has completely disrupted normal life as army was deployed in two suburban areas to undertake rescue on a war-footing. (


China's rooftops hold power to propel solar into the mass market

December 8, 2015. China may be on the verge of finally cracking the crucial urban and suburban solar market thanks to a new funding model that allows buyers to have panels installed for free. The world's largest producer of photovoltaic panels has built massive solar farms in the country's deserts, but a disappointing take-up of solar power in cities and industrial hubs has meant the country has fallen well short of official targets. Even as China is set to overtake Germany as the country with the world's highest installed solar capacity, growth in small-scale solar such as rooftop panels has been so weak that planners didn't even bother setting new targets this year for installations under 20 MW in size. But the arrival of third-party financing models, already popular in the United States, could help China unlock the potential of solar like Germany and Japan, where rooftop panels helped to boost capacity and bring record levels of renewable energy into the power mix. China wants to boost solar capacity from 28 GW in 2014 - roughly 2 percent of the country's total power capacity - to 100 GW by 2020. But interest from households and businesses has been muted due to high installation costs, difficulties acquiring rooftop rights, limits on leases in a country where all land belongs to the state, and relatively low returns for selling excess power into the grid. Small-scale installations accounted for just 17 percent of China's installed solar capacity at end-2014, compared with at least 70 percent of capacity in Germany, according to the country's Federal Network Agency. Thanks to subsidies and falling manufacturing costs, however, a burgeoning industry to fund and install photovoltaic (PV) panels in small-scale projects has begun to emerge that offers the chance to go green with little upfront cost. (

Spain approves 8.5 percent target of biofuel by 2020

December 8, 2015. The Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism of Spain has approved a mandate for biofuels in the transport sector with a minimum target of 8.5% of renewable fuels in gasoline and diesel by 2020. The mandatory minimum target will start at 4.3% in 2016 and will ramp up by the end of the decade.  Spain plans to cover 20% of its energy consumption with renewables by 2020, including 10% in transport. (

Pakistan receives $3 bn investment in renewable energy in 1 year

December 7, 2015. Pakistan has received a record USD 3 billion investment in renewable energy sector over the past one year as the government seeks to ensure energy security in the country. Pakistan has become a choice destination of investors because of the potential in this sector, robust policy framework, lucrative tariff structures and bankable security documents, Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) said.

AEDB said that resource assessment of wind, solar and biomass had been carried out in the country with the assistance of the World Banks energy sector management assistance programme. The AEDB has so far issued over 25 letters of interest to solar energy projects having an accumulative capacity of 663 MW. The projects would start commercial operation by 2018. (

From Bangladesh flood map to the Bank of England, a 'carbon bubble' is born

December 6, 2015. Poring over a Bangladeshi flood map as a London financial analyst 12 years ago, Mark Campanale had no idea the moment would spawn a financial concept powerful enough to rivet central bankers, anger oil moguls and fuel a grassroots movement to get investors to dump their fossil fuel holdings. The map was in the prospectus of a British firm seeking to raise money to build a coal-fired power plant in Bangladesh. Not only was Campanale angry that a company would pump more carbon emissions into the air from a low-lying country vulnerable to climate change in the form of rising sea levels; he was also mystified that investors didn't see the financial risks that went with it. More than a decade later, Campanale's eureka moment has grown into a powerful - and vigorously contested - theory: that energy investors are sitting on a $2 trillion "carbon bubble" because vast amounts of coal, oil and gas companies' reserves will never be extracted if the world is to limit itself to a rise in global temperatures of 2 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial levels. The concept has rippled out from that Bangladeshi map to become part of the climate change lexicon. It has formed the basis for warnings about "stranded assets" by Bank of England Governor Mark Carney and inspired groups like Norway's sovereign wealth fund to divest billions in fossil fuel holdings. It has also been embraced by green activists usually hostile to market solutions for climate change, igniting a global campaign to get investors to divest from fossil fuels. It has resonated across global climate change talks in Paris, even if it has not yet entered the formal agenda. (

Chinese solar-panel makers face possible renewal of EU tariffs

December 5, 2015. The European Union (EU) threatened to renew tariffs on solar panels from China, potentially rekindling what was the EU’s biggest trade dispute of its kind. The European Commission said it would examine whether to re-impose two sets of duties introduced in December 2013 to counter alleged below-cost -- or “dumped” -- imports of solar panels from China and alleged Chinese subsidies. The opening of the renewable-energy trade probes coincides with a United Nations meeting in Paris aimed at striking a global agreement to curb fossil-fuel pollution, of which China is the biggest source, that is blamed for climate change. (

Senator vows to shield US climate funding from republican cuts

December 5, 2015. Senator Tom Udall vowed to protect $500 million of U.S. climate aid from cuts sought by Republican lawmakers as a delegation of 10 Democratic senators endorsed efforts by 195 nations to forge a new United Nations-sponsored global deal on climate change. Udall, a New Mexico Democrat, was in Paris where two weeks of UN discussions on global warming are at their mid-point. The funding would be the first installment of U.S. President Barack Obama’s $3 billion pledge to the Green Climate Fund set up by the UN to channel assistance to poorer nations so they can cut greenhouse gases and adapt to the ravages of a warmer climate. Such financing is seen by developing countries as a crucial component in the new deal and say rich nations must deliver on their promises in order to build trust. Obama is seeking an international agreement that would be mostly legally binding, while specific targets and deadlines for cutting emissions wouldn’t. That approach would let the administration bypass a hostile Senate. Republicans want the deal presented to the Senate for approval, and are blocking climate finance as a bargaining chip. Udall said that a package that would extend tax breaks may be rolled into an omnibus spending bill for fiscal 2016 that appropriators are negotiating. The package includes an extension of the Production Tax Credit, which pays wind-farm owners 2.3 cents for every kilowatt-hour of power produced, and is seen by the wind industry as vital to maintain a push into renewable energy. (

US isn't the only country with problems ratifying climate deal

December 4, 2015. Poland just added one more hurdle to the climate talks in Paris by saying it may not endorse a new climate deal unless it guarantees pollution cuts that are truly global. The eastern European country wants negotiators to set a more ambitious threshold for bringing the agreement into force, according to Mieczyslaw Ostojski, a senior member of the Polish negotiating team. Envoys at the United Nations climate conference haven’t settled on rules for when the deal would take effect. The options include having it enter into force if nations responsible for 55 percent or 60 percent of global emissions indicate their backing. At stake is a new agreement that would for the first time wrest commitments on pollution from both developed and developing countries after 2020. Poland, which depends on coal for more than 80 percent of its power generation, has taken a tougher line in climate talks after the Law and Justice party took power in general elections in October. Prime Minister Beata Szydlo said that Poland will endorse a deal that is fair and global. (

Malaysia pledges 45 percent reduction in greenhouse gases by 2030

December 2, 2015. Malaysia, the world’s second-largest producer of palm oil, pledged to cut projected greenhouse gas emissions 45 percent by 2030 after world leaders met in Paris to open talks on combating climate change. The Southeast Asian nation will lower its emissions relative to 2005 levels, Prime Minister Najib Razak said. The target for 2030 consists of a 35 percent cut on an unconditional basis and further 10 percent reduction based on climate finance and technology transfer. Malaysia has boosted forest cover and earmarked more such land for protection, planting more than 50 million trees and over 2,500 hectares of mangroves since 2011 as it sought to preserve its natural resources and prevent environmental degradation. Six years ago in Copenhagen it set a target of cutting emissions by as much as 40 percent by 2020 compared with 2005 levels. The government said it had achieved a 33 percent reduction as of end-2013. Policy makers are meeting in Paris for two weeks of talks on a deal intended to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit). The planet is halfway to dangerous levels of global warming, with the average temperature for 2015 set to eclipse last year’s record, the United Nations said. Island nations most at risk from rising sea levels and other developing nations want the industrialized world to provide money to help them mitigate the effects of climate change and subsidize their own transitions from carbon-emitting fossil fuels. (

New York pension fund launches $2 bn low-carbon index

December 4, 2015. New York State’s pension fund launched a $2 billion low-carbon index which will exclude or reduce investment in high-emitting industries such as coal mining, the State Comptroller said. The low-emissions index was created in partnership with Goldman Sachs Asset Management. New York has the third-largest pension fund in the United States, with net assets of $184.5 billion held in trust as of end-March 2015, according to the State Comptroller. (

Africa renewable energy Initiative aims to add 300 GW by 2030

December 4, 2015. Africa has launched an ambitious Africa Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI), which aims to deliver 10 GW of additional renewable power capacity in Africa by 2020 and 300 GW by 2030. The AREI aims to help African countries develop renewable energies to support their low-carbon development strategies while enhancing economic and energy security. Meanwhile, France has pledged to invest €2 bn in renewable energies in Africa by 2020. France will invest €3 bn to €5 bn every year to fight climate change and a substantial part of this amount will benefit to Africa. (        

UK to start $1.5 bn plan installing smart meters in 2016

December 3, 2015. The U.K. will install more than 7 million smart meters for electricity and natural gas under a 1 billion-pound program ($1.5 billion) beginning next year. It will be funded by the European Investment Bank, which will invest ‎€ 360 million ($380 million), the Luxembourg-based development bank said. Six commercial banks are also backing the program. They include Barclays Plc, Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank SA, HSBC Holdings Plc, Banco Santander SA, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. and the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd. Also investing is Infracapital, a London-based infrastructure fund. The announcement comes during the United Nations climate summit in Paris, where world leaders and their ministers are working on a global deal that would cut greenhouse gas pollution. The U.K. government is aiming to install a smart meter in every residence by 2020, which would total over 53 million. The program will be managed by Calvin Capital Ltd., a U.K.-based meter supplier. (

EBRD and BMCE invest in 120 MW Khalladi wind project in Morocco

December 2, 2015. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Banque Marocaine du Commerce Exterieur (BMCE) and the Clean Technology Fund (CTF) have approved a €126 mn financing package to UPC Renewables SA for the development of the 120 MW Khalladi wind project near Tangiers in northern Morocco. The project is currently under construction and is expected to be commissioned in late 2015 or early 2016. This funding will finance the construction, operation and maintenance of the wind project contributing to Morocco’s target to develop 2,000 MW of wind capacity by 2020 and to achieve 42% of energy production from renewables by 2020. (           

China says it will cut power sector emissions 60 percent by 2020

December 2, 2015. China will reduce emissions of major pollutants in the power sector by 60% by 2020, the cabinet announced, after world leaders met in Paris to address climate change. China will also reduce annual carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power generation by 180m tonnes by 2020, the official People’s Daily website said. It did not give comparison figures or elaborate how it would achieve the result. China’s capital Beijing suffered choking pollution this week, triggering an “orange” alert, the second-highest level, closing highways, halting or suspending construction and prompting a warning to residents to stay indoors. The smog was caused by “unfavourable” weather, the Ministry of Environmental Protection said. Emissions in northern China soar over winter as urban heating systems are switched on and low wind speeds meant that polluted air does not get dispersed. The hazardous air, which cleared, underscores the challenge facing the government as it battles pollution caused by the coal-burning power industry and raises questions about its ability to clean up its economy. Reducing coal use and promoting cleaner forms of energy are set to play a crucial role in China’s pledges to bring its climate warming greenhouse gas emissions to a peak by around 2030. China’s delegate at the Paris talks, Su Wei, “noted with concern” what he called a lack of commitment by the rich to make deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions and help developing nations with new finance to tackle global warming. (

US welcomes India's ISA initiative on solar energy

December 2, 2015. The US welcomed the recent India-led International Solar Alliance (ISA) initiative which is aimed at expanding the use and development of solar energy all over the world. Secretary of State John Kerry said in the last few years, the US has hiked use of solar energy by 20 times and increased its use to wind energy by three times. Led by India, more than 100 countries joined the launch of the ISA in France on the sidelines of the Paris Summit on Climate Change. Kerry said the COP21 climate negotiations are critical. The US announced a contribution of USD 51 million to the Least Developed Countries Fund, which is part of a nearly USD 250 million donation from 11 countries. (

World's richest 10 percent produce 50 percent of CO2

December 2, 2015. The richest 10 percent of people produce half of Earth's climate-harming fossil-fuel emissions, while the poorest half contribute a mere 10 percent, British charity Oxfam said in a study. Oxfam published the numbers as negotiators from 195 countries met in Paris to wrangle over a climate rescue pact. Disputes over how to share responsibility for curbing greenhouse-gas emissions and aiding climate-vulnerable countries are among the thorniest and longest-running issues in the 25-year-old UN climate process. The report said that an average person among the richest one percent emits 175 times more carbon than his or her counterpart among the bottom 10 percent. Rich and developing nations remain deeply divided on the issue of "differentiation" -- how to share out responsibility for curbing greenhouse gas emissions, which derive mainly from burning coal, oil and gas. Developing countries say the West has polluted for much longer and should shoulder a bigger obligation for cutting back. They also demand assurances of finance to help them shift to less-polluting renewable energy, shore up defences against climate impacts such as sea level rise, droughts and superstorms, and to cover damage that cannot be avoided. Yet many rich nations, led by the United States, reject the idea of a "bifurcated" approach with obligations placed on one group of countries, and not the other. They point to the risk of carbon emissions -- as measured by volume, rather than per capita -- from emerging giants such as China and India. (


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