Wednesday, January 7, 2009

P12. Pick Points

Half-a-dozen or so stories of interest.

The main one continues to be the Russia:Ukraine dispute, the parties in which are going to sit down with a Czech official and Andris Piebalgs, the EU Energy Commissioner tomorrow, the dispute comes as relative Russian consumption is taking a larger fraction of their overall production. However the thought of higher gas prices in general has led Uzbekistan to also increase the price of its natural gas to $240 per tcm, from $145, making life harder in Tajikistan, which has also just lost its electric feed from Turkmenistan. Last year they had the same sort of problems and went through a lot of the winter without power Lots of folk may have died. This year there are folk in Bulgaria who have already lost all power and heating from the current dispute even as Europe faces bitter cold.

On the other side of the World China braces for their Spring Festival, last year disrupted by bad weather, even as the same sort of disruptions start again. To help prevent future problems, the Chinese plan to double natural gas production by 2015, as well as upping coal production by 30% and oil production by 7%. (They also hope to get 10 billion cu m of methane from coal mine drainage each year).

Citgo Petroleum has decided to continue the distribution of free oil to the US, which may be a relief to Joseph Kennedy and his salary, even though Venezuela is cutting production by 189,000 bbl/day, 166,000 bbl of which comes to the US, earlier it was reported that the program would end.

Wandering the sites on the blogroll I note that Luis de Sousa is reviewing the European Commission’s Second Energy Review (SER-2), wonder if it includes the new plan for a nuclear reactor in Wales, while Jerome has been on France 24.

Pakistan, which you may remember is having gas supply problems, has agreed to a new price formula for the gas that it will buy from Iran. They currently buy 10,000 bbl/day but wish to increase this to 50,000 bbl/day , and they are still talking about putting in the Iran-Pakistan-India Pipeline (the Peace Pipeline), despite Indian concerns.

And for those who remember the disruptions in South Africa last year, due to a drop in coal-fired power production, the situation is better this year, though largely because of the world-wide recession, and overall production is still down.

There are more stories to be found at the Energy Bulletin, and at Drumbeat on The Oil Drum.

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