Wells drilled horizontally into shale formations - in contrast to vertical wells - have surged in number over the past few years and now account for nearly all of U.S. tight oil and gas production. Horizontal wells in 2004 still made up about 15% of shale oil and 14% of gas production, but this share has risen to well over 97% for both.
Tight oil and gas production in the United States could soon become less sensitive to price as super-majors like Chevron and ExxonMobil increase their shale acreage and commit to development spending. BP’s chief economist Spencer Dale said “cash-rich supermajors can smooth through price variations” and just keep fracking regardless.
As electrification accelerates around the globe, three-quarters of the entire growth in primary energy will likely be used for power generation, with half of all primary energy being burnt to produce electricity by 2040. According to the BP 2019 Energy Outlook, nearly all power demand stems from just two developing economies – China and India.
Dirty king coal is still a stronghold in the American energy mix, and nearly all the coal consumed is produced domestically. Of the more than 755 million short tons (MMst) of coal produced in the United States last year, the electric power sector burnt 636 MMst, while industry consumed 50 MMst and another 115 MMst went for export.
By 2030, the United Kingdom will see its share of variable renewables account for half of the country’s total energy mix, the International Energy Agency (IEA) forecasts. To mitigate the intermittency risk, analysts see an urgent need for flexible gas peaking plants, energy storage, demand response and new interconnectors to neighbouring EU countries.
Joe Kaeser, CEO of Siemens, seeks to carve out further company units and prepare them for a stock market listing or a merger with a rival manufacturer. The aims its simplify operations by separating the Siemens conglomerate into what Kaeser called “a fleet of speedboats” which are meant to thrive under their own steam.
Siemens seeks to offload its loss-making Power & Gas unit in an Initial Public Offering (IPO) in early 2019, and has chosen the former Osram CFO Klaus Patzak to manage the process swiftly and effectively. The unit’s profit margin used to be around 4% in the last few years, but is intended to rise to 8% or even 10% by 2023.
Rolling out a network of electric vehicles (EV) charging stations across Britain to fast-track consumer adoption could reduce National Grid’s need to build extra power storage, potentially saving the network some £1.16 billion a year. Smart chargers can help balance the grid as they would allow for EV only to be charged outside of peak demand hours.
Gazprom Neft, Repsol and Shell have agreed to set up joint venture to develop the Leskinsky and Pukhutsyayakhsky license blocks on the Gydan Peninsula, situated on the Siberian coast in the Kara Sea. The signatories of the memorandum plan to have detailed terms in place before year-end, aiming for contracts to be signed in 2020.
Demand from Asia is set to power the growth of the global gas industry over the next five years, the International Energy Agency (IEA) says, forecasting annual growth rates of over 4% in Asia and 1.6% worldwide until 2024. China’s policy drive to switch from coal-to-gas in the power sector plays a major role in driving demand in Asia-Pacific.
Eager to reduce fuel costs, Saudi Arabia has reigned it the use of crude oil in the electric power sector to an average 0.4 million barrels per day (b/d), mainly by burning associated gas or fuel oil instead. A steady population growth keeps driving electricity consumption, although the government seeks to dedicate most crude oil production for export and incentivises solar power.
General Electric has vowed to find ways to keep open its Belfort manufacturing site despite plans for downsizing and job cuts. Hugh Bailey, general manager of GE in France said the company is looking for alternatives such as building aeronautical parts at Belfort - instead of large turbines. “I want to be clear, Belfort will not close. It will remain GE Power’s number one industrial site in Europe,” he told French media.