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Developed economies like Japan, Denmark and the United States have achieved a high economic growth with fairly constant energy consumption. If all cost-effective efficiency measures were deployed, the global economy could double by 2040 with only a marginal rise in energy demand, the International Energy Agency (IEA) finds.

Hourly electricity usage on Thanksgiving and the following day – Black Friday – tend to have different demand patterns from other weekdays. Instead of a morning and an evening peak, the electricity demand on a Black Friday rather resembles that of weekends.

Shaking up its indebted GE Power unit, the new General Electric CEO Larry Culp has reinstated John Rice – a retired GE veteran who once led its energy unit – as chairman of the Gas Power segment. “GE is desperate for leadership,” analysts commented, but it is deemed unlikely that there will be any quick fix.

More than half of India’s installed 25 GW of gas-fired power generation lies idle, with the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) identifying  about 14 GW capacity as ‘stranded,’ of unutilized. These plants had been built based on government assurances of regasified LNG supply, which did not materialize.

Vowing to avoid shortages and price spikes, China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) is pushing through measures to expand both pipeline gas and LNG imports. Taking early action is meant to improve China’s gas reserve and helps to make pre-arrangements for peak demand. CNNOC just issued a tender for a strip of cargoes to be delivered between November 2018 and 2022.

Swift and efficient completion of drilling at the Wolfcamp play has been driving up the overall hydrocarbon production in the Permian Basin. The Wolfcamp accounted for 1 million barrels of crude oil per day (b/d) and 4 Bcf/d of natural gas. Productivity gains were caused by drilling longer horizontal laterals and optimizing completions.

Iran has expanded its fleet of power plants by adding about 1,000 MW of new-built capacity since March 2018, the energy ministry reported. Installed capacity amounts to 80,000 MW, with gas powering nearly a third of the total. The government aims to add 3GW to meet peak demand.

Soaring costs of LNG imports have increased the importance of a swift restart of Japan’s nuclear reactors to generate comparatively cheap baseload power. Total cost for imported gas topped 418 billion yen ($3.71bn) in October, compared to 280 billion yen ($2.48bn) a year earlier, according to an alert by the Japanese finance ministry.

Despite the drop in rig count, the actual output of crude oil and natural gas keeps rising in the United States thanks to advances in technology and drilling techniques. Even with fewer wells U.S. natural gas gross withdrawals increased from about 78.7 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) to 83.4 Bcf/d.

Hit by a triple-whammy of weak cash flows, meager profits and slumping stock values, CEOs in the oil and gas industry are vary about continuing to invest in increasingly risky fossil fuels. Looking for a quick return, investors want oil majors to prioritize profits over production growth. Some refocus on electricity markets.

“2018 is the year of electricity,” the International Energy Agency (IEA) noted given that electric power has been the fastest growing element of final demand, and will outpace all energy sources over the next 25 years. Digitalization of the global economy goes hand in hand with electrification, making it the “fuel of choice” for households and enterprises.

Withdrawal of water by U.S. thermal power stations, mostly for cooling purposes, continues to decline over the past four years and has fallen to a low of 52.8 trillion gallons. The water intensity – the average amount of water used per unit of total net electricity generated – fell from 15.1 gallons per kilowatthour (kWh) in 2014 to currently 13.0 gal/kWh.

Hazards of oversupply in oil and natural gas are preoccupying International Oil Companies (IOCs) as less carbon-intensive sources of energy compound the risk of future oil and gas oversupply. Still, Moody's analysts are convinced oil majors will tackle these new issues through a triad of conservative financial policies to strengthen balance sheets, capital discipline, and robust long-term planning that anticipates secular shifts – like the global trend towards renewables and energy storage.

General Electric is accelerating plans to divest most of its interest in the oil services firm Baker Hughes (BHGE). The cash-strapped American engineering giant announced a complex agreement to offload up to 166 million shares in BHGE in a deal expected to raise about $4 billion.

Promising new shale gas prospects of a “substantial size” have been identified by China National Administration of Coal Geology (CNACG) both in Hubei and in Guizhou Province. CNACG will now develop the prospects, seeking to efficiently tap domestic unconventional reserves for the fast-growing Chinese gas market.

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