Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Denmark approves construction of last segment of Nord Stream 2

The approval is the go-ahead for the last step to completion of Nord Stream 2. After long refusal the danish energy authority has given approval to the construction in the country's exclusive economic zone. It was the last permit that the consortium had to obtain in order to complete the pipeline.

"Die dänische Energiebehörde hat den Bau der Gaspipeline Nord Stream 2 von Russland nach Deutschland genehmigt. Das teilte die Behörde am Mittwoch in Kopenhagen mit. Es war die letzte noch ausstehende Genehmigung für die Fertigstellung der Pipeline."
See more information in the below article: 


Simon Kuper: green growthers are deceiving theirselves

In an article in the Financial Times, Simon Kuper discounts the concept of "green growth" as starry-eyed. According to him, "we can be green or we can have growth, but we can't have both together".

"Economic growth, democracy and CO2 have always been intertwined. Growth and democracy barely existed until coal fuelled the industrial revolution. Can democracy survive without carbon? We are not going to find out. No electorate will vote to decimate its own lifestyle. We can’t blame bad politicians or corporates. It’s us: we will always choose growth over climate."

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link: 


Monday, October 28, 2019

The reasons behind rising LNG charter rates

"So what is behind the move? A key catalyst has been the US sanctions slapped on state-owned Chinese shipping company Cosco for breaching Iranian oil sanctions. This has effectively ‘blacklisted’ a number of vessels operating under long term charter e.g. from Tangguh in Indonesia, Bintulu in Malaysia and the North West Shelf in Australia.  The sourcing of replacement vessels in the spot market has driven up rates.
Four icebreakers used to transport LNG from the Yamal peninsula were also impacted by sanctions, given a Teekay JV with a Chinese company owned by Cosco.  But this issue was resolved last week via an ownership restructure that circumvented the sanctions.
The Cosco issues have grabbed headlines but there are a couple of other factors behind the recovery in charter rates:
  1. Contango: Both TTF and JKM forward curves are in steep contango (rising forward prices) across the next two months. This reflects market normalisation from very weak prices across the summer. Curve contango is encouraging cargo owners to use LNG vessels as floating storage i.e. you get paid for delaying delivery of the cargo given rising prices.
  2. Distances: As new US export volumes come online, they are increasing average shipping distances, particularly if the LNG is flowing to Asia. This effectively increases utilisation of the global vessel fleet, acting to tighten supply and support charter rates."

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link: 

Study: Natural Gas Makes No Contribution to Climate Protection

"Switching from coal and oil to natural gas accelerates climate change through alarming methane emissions.
According to the report authors, the switch from coal and oil to natural gas in power plants and heating systems even increases the greenhouse effect of energy consumption by around 40%."

Source: Energy Watch Group

Friday, October 25, 2019

Los Angeles, the city that was built on oil fields

An interesting video made by Vice News on the oil drilling sites and gas storage facilites just in the inner city of Los Angeles: 

Thursday, October 24, 2019

US shale oil companies struggle with taking out loans

Investors are reluctant to grant credits to US shale drillers and hence putting them into difficulties and sparking a wave of bankruptcies and mergers among smaller companies in the Permina Basin and other shale regions. 

Study: organic farming is actually worse for climate change

Kind of off-topic but anyway worth a read:

"Organic practices can reduce climate pollution produced directly from farming – which would be fantastic if they didn’t also require more land to produce the same amount of food.

Clearing additional grasslands or forests to grow enough food to make up for that difference would release far more greenhouse gas than the practices initially reduce, a new study in Nature Communications finds.

Other recent research has also concluded that organic farming produces more climate pollution than conventional practices when the additional land required is taken into account. In the new paper, researchers at the UK’s Cranfield University took a broad look at the question by analyzing what would happen if all of England and Wales shifted entirely to these practices."

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link: 

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Study: digital technology emits more CO2 than air traffic

While air traffic is the new public enemy for climate activits, leading to the neologism of "flygskam" or "shame of flying", a french study finds that other activities are far more harmful for climate.
Digital industry accounts for 4 % of greenhouse gas emissions and therefore higher than air traffic emissions.
As an astonishing example GreenIT states that streaming a video on your smartphone for an hour corresponds to the annual consumption of a refrigerator.
Another big problem so far not solved is the issue of non recyclable minerals used in computerscreens and batteries like antimony or zinc.

"Dans une étude rendue publique lundi 21 octobre, le cabinet militant GreenIT, qui regroupe des associations de protection de l’environnement et des experts, montre que l’industrie numérique produit 4% des émissions mondiales de gaz à effet de serre (4 fois plus que la France) Ce chiffre est aussi sensiblement supérieur à celui du transport aérien. Compte tenu de la croissance rapide du numérique, ces émissions de gaz à effet de serre devraient doubler d’ici 2025, dans seulement six ans, et dans le même temps cette industrie multipliera par trois son impact environnemental notamment par l’utilisation de matières premières.

Car il faut prendre en compte dans le calcul, non seulement la production d’électricité pour faire fonctionner les réseaux, pour utiliser, stocker et échanger des données numériques de plus en plus rapidement et de plus en plus nombreuses et pour recharger les batteries, mais aussi le coût pour l’environnement de la production même des équipements numériques, téléphones, consoles, tablettes, ordinateurs, serveurs, relais de télécommunications…"

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link: 

You can find the study (french/english version) via this link: 

Friday, October 18, 2019

Angola tries to commercialise flared gas

"Angola wants to cash in on the roughly 3 billion cubic feet per day of associated natural gas it produces, most of which is now flared, the petroleum minister said on Wednesday.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) in June said Angola’s total natural gas output in 2016 was 413 billion cubic feet, of which 254 billion cubic feet was flared, 88 billion cubic feet was reinjected and 60 billion cubic feet sold. The EIA cited figures from gas data firm Cedigaz."

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link: 

Rhein Petroleum: oilfield found in Weingarten

German company Rhein Petroleum GmbH announces that according to their estimations
the oilfield "Steig 1" near Weingarten in south Germany can be exploited profitably.

British company Neptune Energy for her part announces further drilling operations and the extension of the production facility on the field "Ringe" near Nordhorn in Lower Saxony.

See more information via the below link: 

Thursday, October 17, 2019

EIB defers decision to halt investment in fossil fuels

"The European Investment Bank has postponed a decision that would have banned it from channelling billions of euros towards natural gas projects, following strong opposition from members including Germany."

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link: 

See also: 

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

The disastrous consequences of Nord Stream 2 on Central European countries

Mikhail Korchemkin of EEGA (East European Gas Analysis) summarizes the the outlook of domestic gas production and gas demand in Europe and the impact Nord Stream 2 will have especiall on CSEE countries if pipelines through Ukraine are decommissioned:


"And Putin himself may be a bigger danger.

The history of Nord Stream 1, which terminates in Germany just as the Nord Stream 2 pipeline is planned to do, demonstrates that he’s more than willing to use pipelines for political leverage. After the commissioning of Nord Stream 1, he wanted to keep a tight grip on gas supplies to Ukraine, reducing them when the country angered him—either by cutting off some lines or hiking prices. But when Europe announced that it would resell Russian gas back to Ukraine at a lower price than Russia had offered, Putin got angry and in June 2014 threatened to punish the involved parties—Austrian, German, and Slovakian firms—by reducing the supply of Russian gas to their home countries.

Despite Putin’s threat, the reverse gas sales went on. Believing that European consumers would be unlikely to notice any change of gas supply in the summer, Putin waited until the fall and ordered Gazprom to cut daily flows of Russian gas to Europe via Ukraine by 50 percent. In January 2015, the same reduction was applied its exports to Germany via the new and reliable Nord Stream 1. The case was never taken to arbitration court, and Putin acted as the judge and executioner.

As reported by Russia’s state news agency Interfax, that gambit resulted in a loss of $5.5 billion in revenue for Gazprom and fines of $400 million. Unfortunately for the Kremlin, the winter was warm, and the deficit in Europe was compensated by increased supplies from Norway. But for Putin, this matter was much more important than $6 billion and the reputation of Nord Stream. For him, being able to demonstrate that he could cut off supply to Europe on a whim was key. And now, with his pipeline plans fulfilled, he would be able to quickly cut off over 80 percent of the supply of Russian gas to the European Union on short notice."

You can read the rest of the piece in Foreign Policy via the below link: 

Friday, October 11, 2019

A plea for nuclear in Germany

German computer scientist and physicist Rainer Klute makes a case for the comeback of nuclear in an op-ed piece in german weekly paper "Die Zeit". He emphasises the use of nuclear waste for the operation of fast reactors.

"Deutschland braucht neue Atomkraftwerke.

Atomkraft? In Deutschland? Ist dieses Thema nicht spätestens mit dem Ausstiegsbeschluss von 2011 endgültig erledigt? Warum sollte sich das Land wieder Diskussionen über Kernenergie antun? Ganz einfach: Weil wir mit der CO₂-Bepreisung allein das Klima nicht retten werden. Und: Weil Physiker und Ingenieure in den vergangenen Jahren, unbemerkt von einer atomhysterischen Öffentlichkeit, gewaltige Fortschritte gemacht haben.

Inzwischen gibt es moderne Reaktoren, die Energie aus bereits angefallenem "Atommüll" gewinnen können. Allein aus den gebrauchten Brennelementen in den verschiedenen Zwischenlagern könnte Deutschland 250 Jahre lang komplett mit Strom versorgt werden. Die Reaktoren der sogenannten Generation IV würden damit nicht nur die Endlagerfrage lösen, sie würden auch die Menge des nutzbaren Urans um das 50- bis 80-Fache strecken, sodass es für Zehntausende Jahre Stromerzeugung reichen würde – und das alles klimafreundlich und emissionsfrei."

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link: 

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

German study: threat of shortage of commodities for batteries

A study of Institut der deutschen Wirtschaft using data of the Deutsche Rohstoffagentur has predicted that key commodities for batteries can run short and hence jeopardise the electromobility goals of the german government.

Demand for lithium-ion batteries will increase 14- to 24-fold in 2026 compared to 2016. The deposits of the commodities, such as cobalt, are often concentrated in instable and/or hostile countries like the Republic of the Congo, Russia or Cuba. 

"Mit der Nachfrage nach Lithium-Ionen-Batterien steigt die Nachfrage nach Kobalt. Kobalt ist unverzichtbarer, zentraler Bestandteil von Lithium-Ionen-Batterien. Das IW ordnet Kobalt in seiner Studie der „Roten Gruppe“ zu. Darin listet das Institut solche Rohstoffe auf, deren Beschaffung aufgrund der statistischen Reichweite, der starken Konzentration der Vorkommen in wenigen Ländern, der Gefahr des strategischen Einsatzes und der fehlenden Substituierbarkeit schwierig werden könnte.
Innerhalb der „Roten Gruppe“ belegt Kobalt den ersten Platz und ist damit der Rohstoff mit dem höchsten Risikowert. „Die hohe Konzentration von Förderung und Vorkommen in Risikoländern wie der Demokratischen Republik Kongo, Russland und Kuba spielt für die hohe Risikobewertung eine wichtige Rolle“, heißt es in der Studie.
Für die deutsche Wirtschaft sei „Kobalt ein entscheidender Rohstoff für die Realisierung der Ziele im Bereich der Elektromobilität“, heißt es in der Studie weiter. Dies gelte unabhängig davon, ob die Batteriezellfertigung in Deutschland stattfinde oder fertige Batteriezellen importiert würden.
Die Plätze zwei und drei in der „Roten Gruppe“ belegen in der IW-Studie Tantal und Gallium. Es folgen Wolfram, Niob und Rhodium. Niob wird ähnlich wie Tantal und Wolfram in der Stahlindustrie zur Veredlung und Optimierung des Stahls eingesetzt. Rhodium findet in Katalysatoren und Brennstoffzellen Verwendung.
Die Konzentration einzelner Rohstoffe auf wenige Förderländer berge besondere Gefahren, wenn die Förderländer politisch oder wirtschaftlich instabil seien, keine verlässlichen Institutionen aufwiesen oder eine strategische Verknappung des Rohstoffangebotes drohe, schreiben die Autoren der IW-Studie. Während die geografische Lage der Vorkommen nicht zu beeinflussen sei, erhöhe die Zunahme handelspolitischer Konflikte und eine weltweit stärker konfrontative politische Situation insgesamt die Risiken."

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link: