Energy

  • The global oil supply could fall short of demand.

    Could Demand for Oil Outstrip Supply?

    Many oil companies had trimmed their budgets heading into 2015 to deal with lower oil prices. However, the rebound in April and May to $60 per barrel from the mid-$40s suggested that the severe drop was merely temporary.

    But the collapse of prices in July – owing to the Iran nuclear deal, an ongoing production surplus, and economic and financial concerns in Greece and China – have darkened the mood. Now a prevailing sense that oil prices may stay lower for longer has hit the markets.

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  • WTI may close the gap with Brent next year.

    WTI and Brent May Cross Paths

    A flood of bearish news has pushed down oil prices to their lowest levels in months, with WTI nearing $45 per barrel and Brent flirting with sub-$50 territory.

    With a bear market back, there is pessimism throughout the oil markets. Goldman Sachs is even predicting oil stays at $50 through 2020, a profoundly grim view of the state of oil supplies.

    On the other hand, the contraction in U.S. shale is underway, so it is just a matter of time before the mismatch between supply and demand balances out.

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  • Can Exxon's President succeed environmentally where Canada failed?

    Extracting Utah's Oil without Creating another Toxic Wasteland

    Canada has given oil sands a dirty reputation, but a breakthrough, commercially viable technology has caught the eye of a former Exxon Mobil president who is putting it to use to clean up Utah's billions of barrels of oil sands.

    Imagine extracting high-quality oil out of the estimated 32 billion barrels buried in Utah's oil sands, without creating the toxic wastelands that have resulted from oil sands projects in Western Canada. In addition, imagine doing it at a cost that can still turn a profit in today's oil price slump.

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  • Ask Warren Buffett and Elon Musk about Lithium's future.

    The Big Bet on Lithium

    The age of electrification across the transportation sector, the solar panel revolution, and Tesla's battery gigafactory are igniting a battle for the cheapest battery. That will transform lithium into a boom-time mineral and the hottest commodity on the energy investor's radar. It has been easy to take lithium for granted. This wonder mineral is the backbone of our everyday lives, popping up in everything from the glass in our windows to our mountains of electronics.

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  • The big oil and gas companies are shedding jobs.

    Bearish on Oil Means Bearish on Oil Jobs

    With the recently concluded nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1 countries, oil prices have already started heading downward on sentiments that Iran's crude oil supply would further contribute to the already rising global supply glut. The economic crisis in Greece, OPEC's high production levels and China's market turmoil have created more pressure on oil prices, making a price rebound look highly unlikely in the near future.

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  • The compelling argument that the time is now for solar energy.

    Shining a Light on Buffett's Solar Bet

    Miles per Acre per Year

    During the late innings of the ICE-age (as in the Internal Combustion Engine age), it has become clear that feeding gasoline and diesel to the next billion new cars is not going to be easy, or cheap. In China alone, 500 million new vehicles expect to jam the roads between now and 2030.

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  • Considering all parts of an 'energy trilemma'.

    The 2015 Asian Clean Energy Forum's New Context

    As we gather this week for the 2015 Asian Clean Energy Forum, the context for our meeting has changed greatly from that of last year. We have seen a dramatic drop in the price of oil, which has sent shockwaves through the entire energy sector. Volatility is the new normal, and, for a sector known for its conservative outlook, this drives those at the forefront of the energy challenge to re-evaluate traditional norms.

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  • Staying the course with nuclear energy in South Korea.

    Answering the Nuclear (Energy) Question for South Korea's Future

    Since the 1970s, nuclear power has provided cheap, stable and clean electricity that has fuelled South Korea’s rapid economic growth. Currently, 23 nuclear power plants with a total capacity of 21 gigawatts of electric energy are generating 27 percent of South Korea’s total electricity needs. The wholesale price of nuclear power, US$52 per megawatt hour (MWh) in 2014, is still cheaper than coal (US$61/MWh) without any form of carbon pricing.

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  • Small-cap tech company efforts could rescue the coal industry.

    Can New Technology Save Old Coal?

    The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) new mercury pollution regulations that took effect last month opened the floodgates for a new multi-billion-dollar energy industry that has investors scrambling to get in on second-generation technology poised for massive revenue gains.

    When the EPA measures to curb mercury pollution from coal-fired power plants over 25 megawatts took effect on 16 April, it was not only environmentalists who were popping the champagne corks—technology companies specializing in mercury remediation broke out the glasses as well.

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  • New battery technology from Tesla could change the global energy dynamic.

    Could Game-Changing Global Energy Technology Come Courtesy of Elon Musk?

    Tesla's announcement last week about creating a new line of batteries for use by businesses, consumers, and the electrical grid at large is a game-changer for the industry. Currently, when individuals or companies need back-up power, they usually rely on generators. Effective battery storage for large amounts of energy would be a game changer in that it would enable a separation of generation and use of energy produced through clean fuels like solar and wind power.

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