Azerbaijan would support further OPEC balancing actions

21 Oct 2017   Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan is ready to get in line behind any extraordinary effort needed to stabilize the market if a plan develops, its energy minister said Friday. Members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries implemented an agreement in January to sideline about 1.8 million barrels of oil per day from the market in an effort to drain the surplus on the five-year average for global crude oil supplies. The effort draws on the support from non-OPEC members, like Russia and Azerbaijan. “The situation on the oil market has stabilized recently and a certain balance has been reached,” Azeri Energy Minister Parviz Shahbazov was quoted by Russian news agency Tass as saying. “If a new […]

China still on track to hit growth target despite winter smog war: state planner

21 Oct 2017   China

China’s economy is on track to meet its official growth target for 2017, the head of the state planning agency said on Saturday, despite a punishing war on pollution which is expected to slash industrial output over the winter months. China has forced 28 cities in smog-prone northern regions to reduce emissions of airborne particles known as PM2.5 by at least 15 percent from October to March 2017, with some cities expected to cut steel production by as much as 50 percent. But officials with the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said the world’s second-largest economy will remain on track. “We expect to achieve the full-year growth target of about 6.5 percent,” He Lifeng, chairman of the National Development […]

China Is Showing the World What Renewable Energy Dominance Looks Like, Says New IEA Report

20 Oct 2017   China, Renewables

The growth of solar energy continues to outpace forecasts and this growth, according to a report published today by the International Energy Agency , “is a China story.” While China today is far and away the global leader in solar generation, a decade ago, the country had just 100 megawatts of solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity installed. That’s nothing. For reference, it’s actually less than is currently installed in the city of San Antonio . By the end of 2016, China had increased its solar PV capacity by nearly 800 times, with more than 77 gigawatts currently installed. China’s solar dominance is only going to keep growing, according to the IEA report. As Dr. Paolo Frankl, one of the lead authors on the report, said on a call to reporters, “In one year, China will install the equivalent of the total history of solar development in Germany.” The Renewables 2017 […]

Continental Resources oil sale to China complex

19 Oct 2017   China, Shale Oil

Continental Resources CEO Harold Hamm said the sale of oil from the Bakken shale basin in North Dakota to China represents the “new normal.The head Continental Resources, Harold Hamm, said the sale of North Dakota oil to China was the “new normal,” through the move is complex, an analyst said. Continental said late Tuesday it sold 1 million barrels of oil from the Bakken shale basin to a Houston-based trading company, which intends to send the oil to China. Continental said daily sales of 33,500 barrels of oil per day would take place next month at the U.S. oil storage hub in Cushing, Okla., and the trader would then plan to put that on tankers at a Texas port for exports to China. “This is a historic day for Continental and begins a new chapter in […]

China refineries run at record September pace: stats bureau

19 Oct 2017   China

China’s oil refineries increased their run rates by 12.7 percent to a record for September, data showed on Thursday, after a major new state-run refinery launched operations and independent plants came back on stream after maintenance.  Processing volumes in September were up 12.7 percent in September compared with the same month a year ago at 49.34 million tonnes, or 12 million barrels per day (bpd). That was also an increase on August’s 11.1 million bpd, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics. For the first three quarters of the year, refinery output rose 4.7 percent from the same period last year to 418.4 million tonnes. China National Offshore Oil Co’s 200,000-bpd Huizhou plant, in southern Guangdong province, started test runs in late […]

China’s bold gas plan may threaten winter power supplies

19 Oct 2017   China

China has ordered state oil companies to speed up the construction of pipelines to move natural gas to homes and factories, underscoring worries that the country’s insufficient infrastructure could cause power outages during the peak winter demand period. FILE PHOTO: A villager cycles past gas pipeline construction in Xiaozhangwan village of Tongzhou district, on the outskirts of Beijing, China June 28, 2017. This winter, millions of homes across the colder northern regions of the world’s second-largest economy will be heated for the first time by gas rather than coal, as part of Beijing’s effort to boost clean fuel use. But with just a month before newly installed radiators get switched on, the National Development & Reform Commission (NDRC) warned on Thursday that supply and demand conditions could be “serious” this winter. The alert shows Beijing is trying to head off supply disruptions during […]

China Leans on Old Habits to Reach 6.8% Growth for the Third Quarter

19 Oct 2017   China

A Chinese worker outside a construction site in the Central Business District of Beijing on Tuesday. The third-quarter pace slowed from 6.9% in the second quarter, though it puts the full-year target set by the leadership for growth of about 6.5% well within reach. Adding to a sense of optimism in official circles, China’s central-bank Gov. Zhou Xiaochuan said just days ahead of the political conclave that second-half growth could reach 7%. Increased industrial activity and higher commodity prices were major reasons behind the strong growth. The latter, partly a result of policies to cut overcapacity, benefited state-owned manufacturers in particular. That is because the capacity cuts led to the closures of many private firms, especially in industries like coal and metals. Recovering global demand also helped, giving China some economic breathing room, which has meant an economic slowdown that many expected hasn’t materialized. Industrial production, a main gauge […]

Can India Overtake China In The EV Revolution?

18 Oct 2017   Electric Cars, India

India faces a wide chasm between Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s campaign to make sure all new vehicles sold in India are electric by 2030 and actual sales numbers. While India has followed China’s lead to reduce air pollution and oil import dependency in its booming cities, it’s still far away from sales figures that carry any weight. According to International Energy Agency, China registered 336,000 plug-in vehicles last year while India only saw 450 of these new vehicles hit its roads. One major Indian automaker, Mahindra & Mahindra, wants to change course by committing to invest $600 million in the technology. Electric versions of its current crossover SUVs will be scheduled in the near future. The company plans to eventually boost its EV production to 5,000 units a month. Mahindra had just lost a bid for a 10,000 EV contract with the government’s Energy Efficiency Services Limited agency to […]

Major Energy Importer Bets $10 Billion On Natural Gas

18 Oct 2017   Japan, LNG

Much of the attention in energy markets has been focused on OPEC and oil prices lately. But news this week suggests that a different energy commodity is quietly becoming the hottest story going worldwide. That’s natural gas. With the world’s top importing nation — Japan — saying this week it’s about to embark on a major spending spree in the sector. Japanese press reported over the weekend that government agencies are about to launch a major funding program for international natgas projects — specifically aimed at the liquefied natural gas (LNG) sector. With the government planning to make a full $10 billion available for investment. Those dollars will reportedly come from Japan Bank for International Cooperation and Nippon Export and Investment Insurance. With targets being LNG receiving terminals as well as associated power plant facilities. Here’s the most intriguing part: Japanese papers said the program will be aimed entirely […]

China To Take 5% Of Rosneft’s Output In New Deal

18 Oct 2017   China, Russia

CEFC China Energy is set to gain up to 260,000 barrels per day of oil supplies from Russia as part of its recent deal with Moscow to invest $9.1 billion in the Russian state oil giant Rosneft, according to a new report by Reuters . The recurring shipments will mean China will take five percent of Rosneft’s output, which will challenge Western oil traders’ dominance in the Asian markets. Chinese oil and gas investments have also reached Saudi Arabia, with CEFC offering to purchase a five percent stake in Saudi Aramco. CEFC will buy a 14 percent stake of Rosneft from the Qatar Investment Authority and Glencore. The two entities acquired a 19.5 percent stake from Rosneft just nine months ago. The resale occurred so soon because Glencore, QIA’s partner in the deal, and the QIA itself looked to reduce debt repayments, according to Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin. “This […]

Volvo Cars, Geely investing US$756M to develop Polestar electrified vehicles;

 Volvo Cars and its owner, China-based Geely Holding, will jointly invest RMB 5 billion (US756 million) to support the initial phase of Polestar’s product, brand and industrial development. Polestar, the fully consolidated Volvo Cars subsidiary, revealed its first production model in Shanghai, the Polestar 1 performance plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. ( Earlier post .) The investment will be used, among other things, to establish a Polestar manufacturing facility in Chengdu, China, marking a new chapter in the development of China as a manufacturing hub for Volvo Cars. This will shorten the time Polestar needs to launch its cars. Volvo Cars and Polestar will also benefit from synergies in the development of next generation […]

Rooftop solar carving out a niche in China

17 Oct 2017   China, Solar

Rooftop solar power options offer a unique position in the world’s second-largest economy, ReneSola said. File photo by Craig Russell/Shutterstock Oct. 16 (UPI) — Installing solar panels on rooftops across China will position the only U.S.-listed company in the market as the clear leader, ReneSola announced Monday. ReneSola, which became listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 2009, said it generated 29 million kilowatt hours of solar-powered electricity in the third quarter. That’s loosely enough power to meet the energy needs of 2,500 homes for a year. The company said Monday it viewed rooftop solar power opportunities as ripe in the Chinese market. It has more than 130 megawatts of rooftop projects under development across the company and said it wanted to boost that to as high as 200 MW by the end of the year. “We are on track in our goal of developing 150-200 MW of […]

China’s Shanxi plans nine more coal mine closures this year

16 Oct 2017   China, Coal

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Authorities in Shanxi, one of China’s biggest coal-producing regions, said on Saturday they plan to close nine more coal mines by the end of this year, according to a post on a government website. The planned closures come after authorities in the region vowed to suspend or slow the construction of 12 million tonnes of coal production capacity from 2016 to 2020 to battle oversupply. The closures will mean the suspension of production in mines which produced a total of 5.25 million tones of coal a year, said Shanxi authorities. In May, the province said it would shut 18 collieries and cut 17 million tonnes of coal capacity this year.

South Korea’s September Iranian crude oil imports rise to six-month high

16 Oct 2017   Iran, South Korea

South Korea’s imports of Iranian crude oil hit the highest level in six months in September amid Iran’s push to regain its lost market share during years it was under sanctions over its nuclear program. The world’s fifth-biggest crude importer shipped in 1.83 million tonnes of crude oil from Iran in September, or 446,148 barrels per day (bpd). That is a 22.8 percent increase from nearly 1.5 million tonnes a year ago, customs data showed on Sunday. South Korea mainly buys an ultra-light oil from Iran, also known as condensate, but the data does not provide a breakdown of imports. Iran has continued to expand its oil production since sanctions were lifted last year. The Middle Eastern country aims to maintain its combined exports of crude and condensate at around 2.6 million bpd for the rest of the year, even though Tehran had cleared excess oil […]

China Takes Aim At The Petrodollar

16 Oct 2017   China

The world’s top crude oil importer and key oil demand growth driver is now determined to get as many oil exporters as possible on board with accepting yuan payments for their oil. China is now trying to persuade OPEC’s kingpin and biggest exporter, Saudi Arabia, to start accepting yuan for its crude oil. If the Chinese succeed, other oil exporters could follow suit and abandon the U.S. dollar as the world’s reserve currency. Pulling oil trade out of U.S. dollars would lead to decreased demand for U.S. securities across the board, Carl Weinberg, chief economist and managing director at High Frequency Economics, tells CNBC . Weinberg believes that the Chinese will “compel” the Saudis to accept to trade oil in yuan. Other analysts warn that the true test of China’s push for a yuan oil trade will be if the Saudis are willing to risk the anger of the […]

Asia oil buyers turn to U.S. in hunt for cheap supply

16 Oct 2017   East Asia, exports, USA

Asia is set to ramp up crude oil imports from the United States in late 2017 and early next year, with buyers searching out cheap supplies after hurricanes hit U.S. demand for the commodity at a time of rising production in the country. As many as 11 tankers, partly or fully laden with U.S. crude, are due to arrive in Asia in November, with another 12 to load oil in the United States later in October and November before sailing for Asia, according to shipping sources and data on Thomson Reuters Eikon. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude benchmark stands at its largest discount in years against the Atlantic Basin’s Brent, with local appetite curbed as U.S. refineries are still pushing to get back on track in the […]

Chinese EV Boom Could Crash Oil Prices

16 Oct 2017   China, Electric Cars

EVs are gaining traction, and although they still only make up a small fraction of the auto market, more and more analysts are starting to buy into the notion that EVs will quickly gain a foothold over the next decade or so, with massive ramifications for the oil market. There has been a sea change of sorts in just the past year or two, with EVs going from a niche idea even in long-term forecasts, to one that many believe will increasingly take market share from the traditional internal combustion engine. There are many reasons for this – policy and market forces are reinforcing each other to bring the EV revolution closer and closer. The falling cost of batteries have made EVs much more competitive, and EVs could become cheaper than gasoline or diesel-powered vehicles between 2025 and 2029, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF). BNEF predicts that […]

Energy-hungry China takes step to buffer against economic shocks

14 Oct 2017   China

The central bank in energy-hungry China injected funds into the economy Friday in an effort to offset risk and protect against bubbles. The official Xinhua News Agency reported Friday the People’s Bank of China injected about $75.6 billion into the financial network through its medium-term lending facility, which holds an annual interest rate of 3.2 percent. “The [bank’s] open market operations are closely watched by the market, as they have become major tools for the central bank in pursuing its monetary policy,” Xinhua reported. “Such a policy stance is crucial for China as it has to juggle the task of financial deleveraging, aimed at defusing risk and curbing asset bubbles, while shoring up the economy.” The Chinese economy is slowing down, […]

Strong Chinese Crude Imports Boost Oil Prices

14 Oct 2017   China

Chinese crude imports rose by roughly 1 million barrels a day in September, on the month, to 9 million barrels a day, according to government data released Friday. The news alleviated investor concern that demand in the world’s largest crude importer might be waning amid faltering economic growth. The September “bounce back” was the highest import volume in China since May, according to analysts at ING Groep. On Friday, President Donald Trump said he wouldn’t recertify a 2015 international agreement with Iran to curb its nuclear program in exchange for economic-sanctions relief. The lifting of sanctions at the start of 2016 has allowed Iran to significantly increase its production to around 3.8 million barrels a day. But disavowal of the deal or the imposition of fresh sanctions on Iran could undermine the country’s export capacity. At the same time, tensions are building between Iraq’s central government in Baghdad and […]

Electric cars: China’s highly charged power play

13 Oct 2017   China, Electric Cars

China has numerous reasons for hating the combustion engine, and a huge incentive to hasten its demise. They are dirty, accounting for what the government says is about 30 percent of the country’s choking air pollution; contribute massively to its oil imports, which Beijing sees as a major strategic vulnerability; and highlight a shortcoming that has been a chronic flaw in the domestic car industry — China is bad at manufacturing them. Last month Beijing gave the global movement to eradicate the combustion engine a sizeable boost. Alongside a number of European countries that have proposed bans on traditional fuel vehicles to be brought in between 2025 and 2040, Beijing has said it is studying the timing of a similar move against petrol and diesel cars. Welcomed by environmentalists, the move also plays into the vision of state planners who see the electric vehicle market as an industry it can compete in, or even dominate globally. The government reinforced its position in September when it announced a system of steadily increasing quotas that will reward carmakers for producing ever more battery-powered vehicles starting in 2019, while forcing them to buy EV “credits” from other producers for every conventional car they make. Share on Twitter (opens new window) Share on Facebook (opens new window) EmailShare this chart As the world’s largest and most profitable auto market, China has huge leverage over the industry and is not afraid to use it. It boasts a central planning mechanism designed to subordinate all other considerations — like profitability and consumer tastes — to government fiat. It has poured billions of dollars into subsidies and state investment in the sector.

New Tech Is Transforming Japan’s Energy Sector

13 Oct 2017   Japan, Solar

With Fukishima’s nuclear reactors set to restart for the first time since 2011’s meltdown, you could be forgiven if you missed another bit of recent energy-related news from the east-central prefecture: an exciting blockchain-powered pilot has just been given the green light. If successful, it could change the way Fukishima – and perhaps indeed the whole country – consumes, generates and trades electricity. Bitcoin-related developments are now on the rise in the Land of the Rising Sun, for the first time in a long time. And even if 2017 has seen a few bumps in the road for pioneers (with virtual exchanges under “full” surveillance beginning this month and a cryptocurrency crackdown in nearby China), Japan’s policy makers, industry leaders and tech gurus seem to be close to a consensus on cryptocurrency. They seem to agree that while China hesitates, Japan can take advantage – and surge ahead in […]

China Set To Continue Crude Oil Buying Spree, IEA Says

13 Oct 2017   China

Although Chinese oil stocks data is opaque and hard to come by, various sources peg China’s storage capacity at up to 1 billion barrels, and assuming the estimate is accurate that China has around 850 million barrels of crude oil stocks now, it would likely continue with its buying spree in the next six months until it reaches capacity, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). According to various sources, China’s storage capacity is between 800 million and 1 billion barrels, the IEA said in its Oil Market Report on Thursday, as carried by Reuters . “If we use the upper limit of the range of Chinese storage capacity estimates, some 150 million barrels could still be available,” according to the Paris-based agency. “If filling continues at a rate similar to 2017’s year-to-date average, it would take another six months to reach full capacity. Thus, the sharp slowdown seen […]

Chevron ditches plans to drill off Australia’s south coast

13 Oct 2017   Australia

U.S. oil major Chevron Corp has abandoned plans to explore the deep water off Australia’s south coast, long seen as a promising prospect, as weak oil prices are making the work hard to justify, the company said on Friday.

 Chevron’s move follows a decision by BP Plc a year ago to walk away from the waters known as the Great Australian Bight, which industry consultants Wood Mackenzie have estimated could hold 1.9 billion barrels of oil equivalent. “While the Great Australian Bight is one of Australia’s most prospective frontier hydrocarbon regions, in the current low oil price environment it was not able to compete for capital in Chevron’s global portfolio,” Chevron said in a statement. The decision came a week after Chevron acquired […]

Chinese Teapots Create $5B JV To Compete With State Firms

12 Oct 2017   China

Six Chinese teapot refiners have registered a US$5 billion (33 billion yuan) joint venture to pool funds and investments in order to compete with state-owned giants in an oversupplied domestic fuels market. The joint venture is called Shandong Refining & Chemical Group, and has six independent refiners and a fund backed by the Shandong province as shareholders, Zhang Liucheng, a vice president at China’s biggest independent refiner, Shandong Dongming Petrochemical Group, told Reuters on Tuesday. Shandong Dongming is the biggest shareholder in the new alliance with a 22.63-percent stake. The second-largest shareholder with a 22.59-percent interest is a fund managed by Shandong Marine Group, which is backed by the Shandong province, home to more than 70 percent of China’s teapots. At the beginning of September, the Shandong province approved a request by the largest independent oil refiners to set up a refining conglomerate to boost their coordination amid fierce […]

China targets pollution on eve of Xi Jinping’s second term

12 Oct 2017   Air Quality, China

A wave of environmental inspections in China has led to the closure of tens of thousands of businesses producing commodities from industrial chemicals to cement and rubber, pushing up prices and disrupting some global supply chains. The inspections highlight the ruling Communist party’s willingness to sacrifice some economic growth for what it calls a “war” on the country’s chronic air, water and land pollution. The crackdown comes ahead of this month’s political congress that will install President Xi Jinping as party chief for a second five-year term. Mr Xi has struggled to improve the government’s record on pollution in his first term — Greenpeace estimates that a third of Chinese cities saw worsened air pollution this spring compared with the previous year. Critics blame Beijing’s continued focus on meeting economic growth targets, the low status of environmental officials tasked with enforcing rules, and insignificant fines that fail to discourage polluters. However, a spate of environmental inspections launched in August across 31 provinces and regions were carried out by central government officials — including from the party’s feared anti-graft commission — which means negligent officials can lose their jobs or face jail sentences. Penalties imposed on polluters have also been toughened. “It used to be just fines, but now it is suspensions or shutting down production. That has a much greater impact because to the manufacturer it is life or death,” said prominent Chinese environmentalist Ma Jun. “It’s the first time I feel companies are becoming motivated to take a greener path.” More than 7,000 factories have been closed — at least temporarily — in Sichuan province, according to local media. The city of Zibo in Shandong province alone has seen 5,000 chemical companies closed this year, according to Rubber and Plastics News, an industry journal.

China: Beijing Improves Its GDP Reporting at a Crucial Time Politically

12 Oct 2017   China

There’s no doubt that China is currently preoccupied with domestic politics ahead of its 19th party congress. But, as Stratfor’s Fourth-Quarter forecast points out, China’s long-term focus is really on preserving economic and social stability. Beijing’s amendments to how it accounts for GDP show that, despite all the political fervor, China is still working toward its broader economic goals. In the past, China has been criticized for the poor quality of its official economic statistics, but the country is on a quest to modernize and improve its economic data collection and calculation standards. For its Oct. 19 quarterly release of data — including gross domestic product — China’s National Bureau of Statistics will once again adjust the way it handles research and development expenditures. Under the new methodology, the statistics bureau will include R&D expenditures after previously counting them as intermediate capital deductions. The changes will boost China’s GDP […]

Liquefied natural gas may carve out a niche in India

10 Oct 2017   India

Liquefied natural gas could help satisfy growing energy demands in India, especially if commodity prices continue to improve, Wood Mackenzie found. In its October forecast , the Reserve Bank of India predicted inflation would hold steady at 4.5 percent through 2019 and real gross value added growth, the grand total of all revenues, should increase from 6.7 percent through 2018 to 7.4 percent in 2019. The growth translates to a stronger energy appetite and nearly half of India’s energy comes from oil and natural gas. New Delhi this week hosts an annual IHS-CERA conference. From the sidelines, Terence Ang, a senior analyst for Wood Mackenzie, said demand for India should outpace domestic supplies, especially for natural gas. To meet the […]

The Capital Of Coal Is Looking For Other Options

10 Oct 2017   China, Coal

Taiyuan, the capital of China’s northern province of Shanxi, which is known for its coal production, has banned the sale, transport and use of most coal as it tries to cut air pollution, the state news agency Xinhua reported on Monday. The ban took effect from Sunday, restricting companies and individuals “other than major steel and power plants” from selling, transporting or burning coal in the urban area of Taiyuan, it said. The ban was expected to cut coal use by more than 2 million tonnes, or 90 percent of the city’s total consumption, it said. China has ordered Beijing and nearby provinces, including Shanxi, to limit concentrations of airborne pollutants and meet key smog targets in more than two dozen cities starting this month and lasting until March. That period is when air pollution typically increases as more coal is burned to provide heat during […]

China Hastens the World Toward an Electric-Car Future

10 Oct 2017   China, Electric Cars

There is a powerful reason that automakers worldwide are speeding up their efforts to develop electric vehicles — and that reason is China. Propelled by vast amounts of government money and visions of dominating next-generation technologies, China has become the world’s biggest supporter of electric cars. That is forcing automakers from Detroit to Yokohama and Seoul to Stuttgart to pick up the pace of transformation or risk being left behind in the world’s largest car market. Beijing has already called for one out of every five cars sold in China to run on alternative fuel by 2025. Last month, China issued new rules that would require the world’s […]

Russia And China Continue To Boost Oil Ties

10 Oct 2017   China, Russia

Even before the OPEC/non-OPEC production cuts took effect in January 2017, Russia had already beaten Saudi Arabia to become China’s single largest oil supplier for 2016. Since then, Saudi Arabia has sacrificed still more of its market share in the prized Chinese market, while Russia has dominated Beijing’s top suppliers’ list for most of this year. Now Russia’s oil giant, Rosneft—whose chief executive Igor Sechin is a close ally of Vladimir Putin—is reportedly aiming to further increase its crude oil deliveries to China, as Russia looks to boost energy ties with the world’s biggest crude oil importer and top driver of global oil demand growth. Since the OPEC/Russia oil production deal began, the U.S. has stepped up sanctions on Russia, which made Western banks and companies even more cautious in dealing with Russian firms. Considering this, it’s not a huge surprise that Rosneft and Russia want to boost ties […]

China says hopes Iran nuclear deal stays intact amid Trump criticism

9 Oct 2017   China, Iran, USA

China said on Monday it hopes the Iran nuclear deal will stay intact, playing an important role in keeping the peace, after a senior U.S. official said President Donald Trump is expected to decertify the agreement. The official, speaking last week on condition of anonymity, said Trump was also expected to roll out a broader U.S. strategy on Iran that would be more confrontational. The Trump administration has frequently criticized Iran’s conduct in the Middle East. Trump, who has called the pact an “embarrassment” and “the worst deal ever negotiated”, has been weighing whether it serves U.S. security interests as he faces an Oct. 15 deadline for certifying […]

Three Gorges reservoir braces for flood

9 Oct 2017   China

The Three Gorges reservoir is preparing for a flood that is expected to arrive in the coming week. Heavy rain is forecast in the upper reaches of the Yangtze River and its tributary, Hanjiang River, in the following three days, which will result in a flood around Oct. 12, according to the Yangtze River Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters. At 8 a.m. of Oct. 12, the reservoir will face an inflow of 30,000 cubic meters per second, up from 24,000 cubic meters of the day before. The headquarters ordered the reservoir to cut its outflow to 25,000 cubic meters per second from 2 p.m. Sunday and to 22,000 cubic meters from Oct. 9. […]

China Study Warns Of Impending Oil Production Peak & World Oil Market Squeeze, + Peak Recoverable Coal ~2020

9 Oct 2017   China, Peak Oil

China is rapidly approaching peak fossil fuel extraction according to a new state-funded study led by the China University of Petroleum in Beijing. The study findings include the assertion that China will experience a peak in its total oil production (conventional + unconventional) by as early as 2018. As a result, world oil markets and geopolitics are likely to be greatly affected as China seeks to meet the widening demand shortfall through trade. Accompanying this reality, China will also be reaching peak commercially recoverable coal around 2020, according to the study. The study notes, though, that even though coal currently accounts for around 66% of China’s total energy consumption, a shift away from the resource has been underway in recent years, and that if this shift is accelerated, then demand may fall fast enough that peak coal may not occur there. For more on that, see: China Halts Construction […]

China faces looming energy crisis, warns state-funded study

7 Oct 2017   China

China faces looming energy crisis, warns state-funded study (EXCLUSIVE) Fossil fuel decline puts Chinese and global economy at risk By Nafeez Ahmed A firefighter at a refinery owned by China National Offshore Oil Corp. in the Dayawan Economic and Technical Development zone in Huizhou city, Guangdong province, in 2011 (Source: Business Insider) Published by INSURGE INTELLIGENCE , a crowdfunded investigative journalism project for people and planet. Support us to keep digging where others fear to tread. A new scientific study led by the China University of Petroleum in Beijing, funded by the Chinese government, concludes that China is about to experience a peak in its total oil production as early as next year. Without finding an alternative source of “new abundant energy resources”, the study warns, the 2018 peak in China’s combined conventional and unconventional oil will undermine continuing economic growth and “challenge the sustainable development of Chinese society.” […]

Exclusive: Russia’s Rosneft aims for big boost in oil exports to China – sources

7 Oct 2017   China, Russia

Russia’s largest oil producer Rosneft ( ROSN.MM ) wants to boost its supplies of oil to China through Kazakhstan to as much as 18 million tonnes (36,000 bpd) per year from around 10 million tonnes in 2017, three industry sources said on Friday. Such a big increase may significantly drain flows of Urals blend to Europe at a time when Russian oil output has been reduced as part of a global pact to support prices. “(Rosneft’s head Igor) Sechin would like to boost oil supplies to China to 13 million tonnes per year with a possibility of further increase to 18 million tonnes,” a source familiar with Rosneft’s plans said, adding that there has been no decision yet at government level. He didn’t […]

China’s Oil Demand Is Far Ahead Of Last Year’s Pace

5 Oct 2017   China

OPEC recently released its Monthly Oil Market Report which covers the global oil supply and demand picture through July. OPEC crude oil production decreased by 79,000 BPD in August to average 32.8 million BPD. This marks the first OPEC production decline since April and was primarily driven by sizable outages in Libya. The cartel revised global oil demand growth for 2017 upward by 50,000 barrels per day (BPD) to 1.42 million BPD. The group reports strong growth from the OECD Americas, Europe, and China. Global oil demand for 2018 is expected to grow by 1.35 million BPD, an upward revision of 70,000 BPD from the previous report. Growth next year is expected to be driven by OECD Europe and China. China’s oil demand rose by 690,000 BPD in July, marking a 6 percent year-over-year (YOY) increase. China’s total oil demand reached 11.67 million BPD in July. Year-to-date data indicates […]

IEA lifts global renewables forecast to 2022 by 12% on China solar growth

5 Oct 2017   China, Solar

Global renewable electricity capacity will surge by over 920 GW between 2017 and 2022, a rise of 43% on current installed capacity, the International Energy Agency said Wednesday in its annual renewables report. Renewables to add 920 GW capacity over 2017-22 driven by solar China, India, US will account for two-thirds of expansion Europe to fall behind with 40% less additions forecast 2017-22 According to the IEA’s Renewables 2017 report, this year’s forecast is 12% higher than last year, due mostly to solar PV revisions in China and India. RELATED CONTENT Video: German election results bring coal exit, carbon pricing back on agenda Blog post: Solar to power Middle East oil, natural gas exports Three countries – China, India and the United States – will account for two-thirds of global renewable expansion by 2022, it said. “We see renewables growing by about 1,000 GW by 2022, which equals about […]

Who Is Winning The Market Share War In China?

5 Oct 2017   China

The pace of China’s crude oil imports and demand growth is one of the key pieces of data for the oil market and analysts to gauge global oil demand growth. Alongside India, China is the main driver of demand growth, making it a coveted destination for the biggest oil producers, especially those from the Middle East. The better part of a year into the OPEC production cuts, China’s crude oil imports show how market shares have shifted, and who’s winning and who’s losing the Asian oil supply race while the cartel and its Russia-led allies are restricting production. The biggest loser in the market share war for China is undoubtedly OPEC’s biggest producer and de facto leader, Saudi Arabia, which is leading the efforts to curtail supply and push oil prices up. The biggest winners within the production cut deal are Russia and Angola. The winners that aren’t part […]

OPEC Producers Unmoved By U.S. Shale Threat In Asia

4 Oct 2017   Asia, OPEC, USA

Middle Eastern oil producers are confident that strong demand for their product from Asia will keep their coffers full even as U.S. shale boomers venture into the biggest regional oil market, S&P Platts reports , citing comments from the APPEC conference that took place last week in Singapore. OPEC’s Secretary General, Mohammed Barkindo, said at the conference that the Asia-Pacific region continues to be a key market for the cartel—and not just key, but the “primary outlet for OPEC and Middle Eastern export barrels.” He added that by 2040, oil exports from the Middle East to Asia will rise to 22 million bpd from 14.5 million bpd last year. OPEC’s number-two, Iraq, already has concrete plans to increase the portion of its oil that it sends to Asia from the current 50 percent to as much as 80 percent, according to Dheyaa Jafar Hajam al-Musawi, councilor for energy affairs […]

China, the world’s top oil importer, rising to the top, investment firm reports

4 Oct 2017   China

China, the largest importer of oil in the world, is on pace to challenge U.S. dominance after years of heavy spending from Washington, a commodities group said. Danish investment firm Saxo Bank said in an emailed report that China is trying to increase its leverage by putting more of its currency into global trade flows. That comes as the value of the U.S. dollar continues to lose ground against other currencies. “China is the world’s largest oil importer and a successful transition to transacting oil in yuan and maintaining a stable currency would be a first key step towards the long-term deepening of Chinese capital markets and importing the global demand for its […]

Japan regulator grants safety approval to Tepco’s first reactor restart since Fukushima

4 Oct 2017   Japan, Nuclear

Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) on Wednesday received an initial safety approval from Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) to restart two reactors at the world’s biggest nuclear power plant. The approval marks the first safety approval Tepco has received in the first steps towards the possible restart of reactors since the 2011 meltdown of three reactors at Tepco’s Fukushima plant following an earthquake and tsunami that led to the eventual closure of Japan’s nuclear power plants. Tepco has said it needs to resume operations at the closed plants to pay for Fukushima’s restoration and other liabilities from the disaster. The NRA ruled that the No. 6 and No. 7 reactors, each with a capacity of 1,356 megawatts, at […]

Russia’s Gazprom aims for 10 percent of China gas market after 2025

Russia’s biggest natural gas producer Gazprom aims to take a 10 percent share of the Chinese gas market after 2025, a company executive told an energy conference on Wednesday. Gazprom said earlier this year it planned to begin supplying gas to China through Siberia on Dec. 20, 2019.

China, With Methodical Discipline, Conjures a Market for Electric Cars

China has created the world’s largest electric-car market by sheer force of will, a giant bet on domestic production that’s leaving major foreign auto makers scrambling to keep up. The government is funding its own manufacturers, luring domestic buyers with subsidies and building a vast charging-station network—while strong-arming its consumers by making sure buying an electric car is the only sure way to get license plates in crowded cities. William Zhou, a 33-year-old software-company manager, recently abandoned his 18-month quest to buy a gasoline-powered foreign car—a middle-class status symbol—when his wife became pregnant. He drives in gridlocked Shanghai, where severe restrictions on issuing license plates for new gas-powered cars don’t apply to electric or plug-in hybrid models. He settled for a Chinese plug-in hybrid because “I didn’t want to waste any more time […]

Submerged Turbines Could Replace 10 Nuclear Reactors In Japan

3 Oct 2017   Japan, Tidal

Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) researchers have developed turbines to convert the power of ocean waves into clean, renewable energy. Professor Shintake and the Quantum Wave Microscopy Unit at OIST began by starting a project titled “Sea Horse,” aiming to harness energy from the Kuroshio ocean current that flows from the eastern coast of Taiwan and around the southern parts of Japan. That project used submerged turbines anchored to the sea floor through mooring cables that convert the kinetic energy of sustained natural currents in the Kuroshio into usable electricity, which is then delivered by cables to the land. The initial phase of the project was successful, and the Unit is now searching for industry partners to continue into the next phase. But the OIST researchers also desired an ocean energy source that was cheaper and easier to maintain. This is where the vigor of the ocean’s […]

China’s EV Market Nearing 2 Percent Penetration

The number of passenger vehicles sold in China surged 68 percent in August compared to the same month last year, but the really compelling statistic is the number of electric vehicles that made up the proportion of the 55,000 units sold in the Asian country. According to numbers published Sunday by Clean Technica , the plug-in-vehicle market grew in China to 1.8 percent of total passenger vehicles, which is a new record compared to last year’s 1.5 percent. Sales are expected to grow even further by the end of the year to 2 percent and may even reach 2.5 percent, the website which reports on renewable energy trends, states. It notes that of all the EV models sold in China – 94 percent of which are domestic brands – small city cars were the most popular, with the EC-Series by BAIC International the best performer at over 6,700 deliveries […]

Economic Watch: China expands regulations on green cars

2 Oct 2017   China

China will impose tough regulations from April 2018 on passenger car makers and importers to reduce energy consumption and expand sales of new energy vehicles (NEVs). Automakers and importers will be evaluated each year for both fuel consumption of traditional cars and the output of NEVs. They will be given two separate scores, according to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT). If they fail to amass enough credits for either traditional vehicles or NEVs, they may face penalties and their products may not be allowed on the road. HOW DOES THE SCORING WORK? To gain a positive NEV score, car manufacturers must make enough new-energy cars to accumulate credits higher than 10 percent of their traditional vehicle output by 2019. The proportion will be 12 percent in 2020. Any company making more than 30,000 traditional cars in a year will need to […]

China’s Pollution Curbs May Start Slowing Growth Within Months

2 Oct 2017   China

Economist says leaders will likely tolerate growth below 6.5% Authorities have intensified anti-pollution drive this year Passengers wearing face masks walk through a subway station in Beijing, China, on Jan. 6. Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg China’s drive to cut pollution could reduce economic growth by 0.25 percentage point in the next six months while boosting factory inflation, according to Societe Generale SA. Production cuts to curb emissions and tougher nationwide environmental inspections will also support the profits of large industrial companies as producer prices rise, said Yao Wei, chief China economist at SocGen in Paris. She said the campaign will give a “notable supply shock” to the economy. “The Chinese government has turned very serious about fighting pollution,” Yao wrote in a note. It will be “more than a transitory objective for the current leadership. Modestly slower growth will be a necessary sacrifice for maintaining social stability over the medium […]

Oil Market Stars Risk Being Dimmed by China’s Mega Refineries

2 Oct 2017   China

New Chinese independent processors building mega refineries Budding plants in Zhejiang, Liaoning to produce petrochemicals China’s independent refiners burst onto the international oil market scene only a couple of years ago and lifted the nation past the U.S. as the world’s No. 1 crude buyer . Now, a new generation of firms building some of the globe’s biggest plants are threatening to eclipse them. The original set of private processors, known as teapots, is clustered in the eastern Shandong province, and operate relatively small refineries that pump out fuels such as gasoline and diesel. By contrast, the budding giants supported by the regional governments in Zhejiang and Liaoning will focus on making petrochemicals — the building blocks of everything from sportswear to soda cans and Star Wars figures. At last week’s Asia Pacific Petroleum Conference in Singapore, one of the industry’s largest gatherings, traders and company executives were speculating […]

China crude oil import data show winners and losers from rebalancing: Russell

2 Oct 2017   China

 China’s imports of crude oil offer a picture of which exporters are doing the heavy lifting of reducing supplies, and which countries are benefiting the most from the efforts of OPEC and its allies to rebalance the market. While looking at customs data from the world’s biggest crude importer isn’t a definitive study of global oil market dynamics, it’s important as exporters are well aware that China has been leading demand-growth in recent years, a trend likely to continue. China imported 281.1 million tonnes of crude in the first eight months of this year, equivalent to 8.44 million barrels per day (bpd), according to customs data. This is up 12.3 percent on the same period in 2016, or about 950,000 bpd. This makes China the major contributor to global demand-growth so far this year, given that the International Energy Agency expects world oil consumption to […]

In the heart of China’s coal country, a city bans most coal: Xinhua

2 Oct 2017   China, Coal

Taiyuan, the capital of China’s northern province of Shanxi, which is known for its coal production, has banned the sale, transport and use of most coal as it tries to cut air pollution, the state news agency Xinhua reported on Monday. The ban took effect on Sunday, restricting companies and individuals “other than major steel and power plants” from selling, transporting or burning coal in the urban area of Taiyuan, it said. The ban was expected to cut coal use by more than 2 million tonnes, or 90 percent of the city’s total consumption, it said. China has ordered Beijing and nearby provinces, including Shanxi, to limit concentrations of airborne pollutants and meet key smog targets in more […]