Monday, January 19, 2009

P20. Pick Points

Half-a-dozen or so stories of interest.

So is the Russian:Ukrainian story over for another year, or ten? Certainly it has lost the press coverage, but there will remain caution until the gas finally arrives. But one part of the deal is that RosUkrEnergo will be cut out of the action. Gazprom is reported to have set 0700 on Tuesday to resume supplies However it is estimated to take another 36 hours before gas will make it to Western Europe. The domestic situation in Ukraine is a little more complicated, since the coal and steel plants (that heavily use Russian gas) are in the east of the country, which has been a strong Russian supporter. But the gas problem has alienated some of the region, even though it is leading to a potential increase in the use of coal, which is locally mined. (pdf). The mines also contain natural gas, and this can be recovered as a separate fuel. (pdf), and such work appears to be under way.(pdf)
Here is the beginning of my post.
The British – oops! – Scottish coal industry has started to move into profit, after having been in the red a year ago, Scottish coal mining has become profitable. This occurred as sales dropped from 3.1 million tons to 2.9 million, and is encouraging the firm to open new and some old sites, though all will be surface mines, or opencast. The market will now be able to use 4 million tons/year, and so the prospects for a new deep mine at Canonbie are looking up. (Small personal note – back over a hundred and twenty years ago my ancestor was blacksmith in that village. It is a beautiful setting).

Speaking of coal there is a strange story up in Alaska about the power plant and a utility company.

I had mentioned the other day that CNG prices had gone up in Pakistan, the result has been that out of 250 stations in Rawalpindi and Islamabad that sold the fuel, over 150 were not in the cities and some 400 were out in the region, and those who had CNG were only working limited hours . It freed taxi drivers to raise rates. But it also appears that there were differences in the rates in different cities, and though the lack of supply was blamed on low gas pressure price may have also played some part. The current situation seems to be getting worse.

Speaking of reviews of the situation Energy Shortage points to a broad review of the problems that Nepal are having with hydro-electric power generation.

Investors seem to be pulling back from wind power investments, just as the plug was pulled in Maine, so it appears that the large London Array project, some 341 turbines which would generate some 1,000 mW of electricity, and which Shell backed out of, is now being reconsidered by the Abu Dhabi State owned Masdar company, again because of questionable economics. Though the drop in steel prices might help. Apparently wind driven power generation is still costing three times that of a conventional gas-fueled station, though how long that will last is likely a Russian decision.

As usual there are more stories at the Energy Bulletin and Drumbeat at The Oil Drum.


  1. CBM can have a big impact on the environment
    and there are those not keen to see development because of the pollution risk.


  2. I suspect that it will not be long until we are looking for all the natural gas we can get, and that the source will become less of an issue. The problems with CBM often deal more with water disposal.