by Andrea Renzulli - In a period of low energy prices, the news of a Major investing hugely in a region not really well known for its hydrocarbon production could sound bizarre. Nevertheless, for those who follow regularly the updates from the energy sector, it didn’t come unexpected.
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by Fabrizio Armani - Hardly a day goes by without news or updates from the smart grid world over newspapers, media, or the internet. They tell us that the world is going to change completely and the business models of the past are doomed: the future is all about storage systems, smart metering, demand side management, electric vehicles, residential PV – all of them interconnected, of course.
by Michele Delera - In early June, Niger Delta militants – under the banner of a newly-formed group, the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) – blew up two oil wells owned and operated by Chevron. The attack is the latest in a new phase of an ongoing insurgency in the oil-rich region.
by Francesco Causone, Emanuela Colombo, Lorenzo Mattarolo - Africa is a continent rich in energy sources, but poor in energy infrastructure.
by Sergio Matalucci - In a moment of geopolitical uncertainties, fluid changes on an international level, and increase fo-cus on terroristic threats, this article wants to discuss the possible risks for energy infrastructure and examine how grave they are. Speaking with representative of the industry, think tanks, and academia, we try to shed special light on the infrastructures in Turkey and in the nearby region.
by Matteo Villa - Here at ISPI Energy Watch, we delved deeper on issues concerning the Nord Stream natural gas pipeline and its proposed expansion. However, a high degree of confusion still needs to be dispelled about the exact quantities of natural gas reaching German shores through the pipeline.
By ISPI Energy Watch - What did you miss this week? Let us tell you!
by Nicolò Rossetto - Despite some positive characteristics – like the ample resource base, their high quality and the proximity to final markets – the Algerian hydrocarbon sector is facing serious challenges, some of them predating the current declining trend in prices. Indeed, in the last decade the industry has not been able to attract significant new investment from international oil companies (IOCs) and to maintain an adequate reserve replacement ratio through the development of new oil and gas fields.
by Francesca Morra – Regardless of the pros and cons of the project from a EU energy policy perspective, Nord Stream 2 will certainly need to face a number of legal constraints, stemming from the entry into force of the so-called Third Energy Package.
By Matteo Villa – Internet can be a marvellous place, but sometimes too much stuff is written in too many places, making it hard to keep up with the constant stream of news. Sometimes, it can get even harder to tell apart those pieces of information that are really relevant from those that, well, are not. This is why this Monday we are kicking off our weekly reading list of articles published all over the net in the last seven days.
by Sergio Matalucci - Nord Stream II has been described as the gas pipeline that is ‘dividing the European Union’, ‘leading to renewed controversy within the EU’. Some commentators even said that the project is bringing Europe back to the Iron Curtain period, suggesting a stark opposition between West and East.
by Murad Harasheh - What’s going on in the European arena? Regulators, trading venues, market participants, financial and commodity analysts and data reporting agencies are all debating on the legal and operational implications of the various recent financial and energy regulations in the EU, whose implementations are already in effect either fully or partly.
by Andrea Renzulli - Managing the power system is a complex task. Supply and demand, as well as increases or decreases of the energy flows, have always to be perfectly balanced in every moment due to the characteristics of electric networks and to the costs and difficulties to efficiently stock electricity. For market participants this means continuous forecasting, recalculating and balancing their market positions, until real time.
by Maciej Hacaga and Krzysztof Dzieciolowski -As conservative Law and Justice party is still enjoying its spectacular success in the October Polish parliamentary elections, its recently formed government is already facing a challenge which, if managed inappropriately, has a potential to severely damage its popularity. The once mighty Polish hard coal mining industry is effectively on the brink of disaster. Long disregarded problems of economic inefficiency and bad management in the sector are proving to be lethal in a period of very low world coal prices. What makes the whole situation even more complicated is that both domestic coal is still the cornerstone of the Polish energy generation and that major mining companies remain state-owned enterprises. While short-term solutions are necessary, this has to be seen in the wider context of the EU climate policy which openly aims at decarbonisation. In effect, Poland is becoming increasingly isolated with its pro-coal narrative in Europe.
In order to speculate about the future of the Polish coal and how it can be impacted by current developments, it is crucial to understand the rationale behind Polish preference for coal, often perceived as myopic and irrational by international commentators.
by Michele Delera - Omani crude is currently trading at below $40 per barrel. Drilling activity in the country has hardly been affected. Crude and condensates production hit record levels recently, with 1mm b/d produced for the first time in the country’s history in July. But spending in the hydrocarbon sector is increasingly under pressure. At least 1,000 Omani workers – around 5% of Omani nationals employed in oil and gas companies – have been laid off since the start of the year. More redundancies are expected in the months ahead. With over 45 percent of Oman’s population being less than 20 and the memory of the 2011-12 protests still fresh, this is a sensitive issue.
by Sergio Matalucci and Antonio Sileo - Eurogas wrote at the end of October that gas demand in Europe is expected to grow by 7% in 2015 compared to 2014, explaining that the first half of the year should drive most of this rise. The organisation representing national gas associations concluded that ‘taking 2015 as a whole, gas demand would correspond to an EU 28 & Switzerland annual consumption of about 4760 terawatt-hours or 441 billion cubic metres.’ What are the eventual reasons for this change? More importantly, does it make sense to use gas consumption as a proxy variable for industrial performance as some commentators already hypothesised and hoped for? Or shall we rather say that the uptick in consumption has simply to do with weather conditions?
by Carlo Durante - Let’s be clear: Big Green is Big Business. Despite investments in clean energy have lowered if compared to previous years, Green still seems to be where energy investment is ultimately headed. Question is if Big Oil is anticipating the move.
by Federico Franchina - There is a relevant link between international efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, LNG and the future of transport. So far LNG was considered as one of the energy sources mostly fitted for domestic purposes like heating. Due to its characteristic of being a “good” mainly for home end-users, LNG has known a “single way” development. Oil and gas companies and countries have concentrated their efforts to build LNG terminals where store this resource shipped by sea or to support the construction of gas pipelines form producing countries.
by Filippo Clô - Low oil prices are finally affecting shale production. However, the shale industry continues to show a strong resiliency and it may eventually emerge as a winner in this new lower for longer scenario.
by Mauro Alberti, Antonio Sileo - The meeting held in Bonn two weeks ago has likely been the last round of formal negotiations before the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) in Paris. Up to now, more than 140 countries, accounting for about 90% of global emissions, have already submitted IPPC commitments to reduce emissions. Kyoto only covered 35 countries and about 15% of global emissions.
The very different carbon intensity among countries and areas of the world could be an issue to be targeted in the Conference. The transport sector is a good example because of the significant differences among the main world economies, some of which are facing the echoes of the diesel-gate scandal.
An historical overview of the US and the EU could be useful to understand where these differences come from.
The ISPI Energy Watch is an open forum for discussion and research on energy and energy-related issues.
Discussion is going to take place mainly on the Energy Watch Blog, where we would like to comment and stimulate, on a weekly basis, debate about hot topics emerged from the news. Research contributions on specific energy-related issues will be published on the Energy Watch Library with the goal of collecting, on a monthly basis, papers with a deeper level of analysis aimed at supporting policy makers and public opinion’s awareness.
The ISPI Energy Watch welcomes and supports independent written contributions both on the Blog and on the Library in order to promote a lively debate among different opinions and expertises. Contributions and proposals should be in English and should be submitted for review to the Coordination Committee.