Wednesday, August 29, 2012

From The Climate Policy Network

While Europe Dithers, Shale Boom Spreads To Russia - The use of horizontal drilling will grow faster in Russia than in the United States, where it is helping to drive a boom in shale oil and gas, the chief executive of Eurasia Drilling said. In the space of last year, Eurasia Drilling, which acquired Schlumberger’s Russian drilling assets in April 2011, reported that horizontal drilling doubled from 2010 to nearly 900,000 meters. Russian oil companies, faced with annual decline rates of 2 percent in their West Siberian home base, where Soviet-era fields generate 85 percent of the country’s 10.3 million barrel per day output, have stepped up the use of unconventional technologies to secure Russia’s position as the world’s top producer. --Reuters, 26 August 2012
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As the tension between Israel and Iran ratchets up, an interesting sub-text has developed over the role of Iran’s traditional backer, Russia. Awhole new, higher value, game chip is now in play: Moscow’s interest in Israeli energy. Whatever we may think of Vladimir Putin’s politics, one thing is clear, he is a shrewd, often ruthless, operator on the global stage. But Putin’s Kremlin is clearly rattled by the threat of decline for that which underpins Russia’s entire economy: its energy hegemony. --Michael Economides and Peter Glover,
Energy Tribune, 25 August 2012
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Europe has been unable to repeat the shale gas revolution that has swept the United States, and that could prove to be the unlikely savior of long-term EU efforts to spur renewables and curb greenhouse gases. Unless carbon capture and storage can be developed on a commercial scale, that means gas as a fuel has a limited future and should not be invested in too heavily, environmental campaigners say. They are especially against shale gas, whose environmental credentials are questioned in Europe. --Barbara Lewis and Henning Gloystein,
Reuters, 23 August 2012
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To date, Europe’s anti-shale gas policies have played into Russian hands. But with energy prices spiralling in Europe while America’s shale revolution has seen natural gas prices cut in half with the country on the road to possible energy independence, Europe’s own shale gas resources, almost on a par with those in the US, are proving an increasingly attractive economic proposition. Indeed, Europe’s antipathy toward shale development may already be crumbling in the former Soviet sattelites. --Michael Economides and Peter Glover, 
Energy Tribune, 25 August 2012
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Britain’s Chancellor has intervened to influence one of the most pressing energy policy issues because he was unhappy that the Energy Department has been ambivalent and too narrowly focused in its efforts to fill the potential gap in electricity generation when the old coal and nuclear plants are phased out. He is concerned that Ed Davey, Energy Secretary, and his predecessor Chris Huhne, placed too much emphasis on the green dimension of renewable energy and a revival of nuclear power to provide the replacement capacity needed to meet any shortfall and ignored the case for back-up in the event of construction delays. He believes another dash for gas will provide the insurance needed to avoid the risk of blackouts because of the uncertainties surrounding the renaissance of nuclear power and the problems involved in linking wind farms into a more complex electricity distribution system. --Roland Gribben,
The Daily Telegraph, 22 August 2012 
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The problem for environmentalists has been sharing their outrage. Environmentalism remains an elite preoccupation. And so it is no surprise that environmentalists’ ideas are fantasies that reflect a desire for elite forms of political and social organisation. The hoi-polloi — the demos — has failed to respond to environmentalism’s prophets, and so environmental mythology has developed to account for this disobedience.  --Ben Pile, Climate Resistance,  24 August 2012


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