Improved execution of oil & gas upstream projects is now being achieved thanks to greater corporate discipline, more pre-FID planning and reduced project scope. This allows project delivery to finally hit the mark after a period of dismal performance on project returns, a new Wood Mackenzie report shows.

For the world to start meeting decarbonisation goals and mitigate climate change, deployment of renewable energy would need to be scaled up at least six times faster than today, the 2018 report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) shows. Accelerating the shift to green energy is expected to create over 11 million extra jobs.

The proposed combination of Dominion Energy and SCANA Corp. has been approved by SCANA’s two-thirds shareholders earlier this week. Once completed, the combined company will deliver energy to approximately 6.5 million regulated customer accounts and have an electric generating portfolio of about 31,400 MW.

The government of Germany‘s federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) has expressed interest in hosting Tesla’s electric vehicle and battery production facility on its planned ‘Green Battery Campus’ in Euskirchen, Handelsblatt reports. Tesla is also considering the states of Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland as potential locations for its planned Gigafactory, which would produce electric cars and batteries.

Siemens AG, Europe’s largest engineering company, has announced sweeping changes to its company structure today while posting a 14% drop in net income to €1.2 billion in the third quarter amid a “sharp decrease in profit” at its turbine division. Shrinking the number of operating divisions from five to three – ‘Gas & Power’, ‘Smart Infrastructure’ and ‘Digital Industries’ – Siemens pledges it will increase the return-on-sales at its industrial business by 2% in the near-term future.

The Government of South Korea is planning to cut natural gas taxes by 74% and raise taxes on the use of thermal coal for power generation by 27% next year. The move is aimed at reducing the country's heavy reliance on coal for power generation and shift towards cleaner-burning gas, government officials.

Turkey’s state pipeline operator Botas has increased the price for natural gas used for power generation by 50% to 1,312 Lira ($267) per thousand cubic metres, effective August 1. The price hike comes as a weaker Turkish Lira has been pushing up prices for oil and natural gas imports, which are now handed through to end-users.

Energy expenditures as a portion of U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) have fallen to 5.6% in 2016, the lowest ratio since at least 1970, according to IEA figures. Compared with a GDP at $18.6 trillion, energy expenditures declined for the fifth consecutive year down to $1.0 trillion in 2016, a 9% year-on-year decrease in real terms.

Seeking to accommodate U.S. President Donald Trump’s demands for greater LNG sales to Europe, the European Commission President Jean-Claude Junker has said the EU would build more LNG import terminals. However, this does not mean imports will increase as the JKM-TTF spread has stayed wide enough over the past year for US cargoes to get a higher netback going to Asian than Europe.

Concerned about the progress of the green energy transition, the IEA has voiced concerns about the 7% decline in global investment in renewable energy last year. Although part of the drop-off was due to falling costs that made renewable sources like solar PV more affordable than ever, the IEA says “the investment decline still represents a warning.”

Financing models of the U.S. shale oil and gas industry - often small wildcatter - has for long been characterised by negative free cash flow as expectations of rising production and cost improvements led to continuous overspending in the sector. Over the last few month, however, IEA analysts have notice a “notable improvement in financial condition,” though the overall health of the industry remains fragile.

Running the new efficient power stations on LNG helps Pakistan to save between $2 billion and $3 billion in fuel cost for power generation. With an efficiency rate of over 62%, the new Balloki, Haveli Bahadur Shah and Bhikki CCGTs can generate power at an average cost of Rs7-8 per unit, which is about half of the cost of electricity produced from furnace oil.

Total, one of seven largest oil companies in the world, has signed a deal with KKR-Energas to acquire two gas-fired combined cycle power plants (CCGT) in the North and East of France with a combined capacity of 825 MW. The two flexible CCGTs were primarily used for peakload power supply and benefitted from France’s new capacity market.

Faster economic growth in China means higher energy use given that the country is world’s top producer of energy-intensive good. Beijing’s policy goals seek to enact a greater focus on service industries, however, the EIA’s International Energy Outlook 2018 (IEO2018) finds that China’s energy use is only modestly affected by how quickly it transitions to a more personal consumption-based, service-oriented economy.

Germany, along with large parts of Europe, is firmly in the grip of a heat wave and average temperatures along the river Rhine are forecast to reach up to 38C next week, increasing the risk of power plant shutdowns due to cooling issues. Should river temperatures rise further, this will continue to reduce available cooling water use which already forced several utilities to reduce the output of their power stations.

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