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News from February 2006

China Announces Plans to Build 32 Nuclear Power Plants in Next 15 Years

China Announces Plans to Build 32 Nuclear Power Plants in Next 15 Years thumbnail

The government says China will build 32 nuclear plants over the next 15 years. The official China Securities Journal says with the new plants, the country’s nuclear generating capacity will reach four percent of the nation’s total, more than double current capacity.KPHO Phoenix


Saudi police clash with suspects of oil refinery plot

Saudi police clash with suspects of oil refinery plot thumbnail

Saudi police exchanged fire in a Riyadh suburb Monday with suspects wanted in connection with a failed bid to blow up the world’s largest oil-processing plant, the Al-Arabiya television channel reported. Sounds of automatic gunfire and grenades exploding could be heard in the residential suburb of Grenada, where the suspects were holed-up, the Dubai-based channel […]


Gas Fire Injures One Person, Causes Evacuations

Gas Fire Injures One Person, Causes Evacuations thumbnail

A fire at a natural gas compression station in southwest Weld County injured one employee and forced people living in the area to evacuate Sunday. The fire happened while the employee was bleeding off a gas pipeline, said Weld County sheriff’s spokeswoman Margie Martinez. She says this is a normal procedure and it’s not clear […]


Trade deficit worst since ‘76 oil crisis

Trade deficit worst since ‘76 oil crisis thumbnail

Soaring fuel costs pushed New Zealand’s trade deficit to $7.1 billion in the year to January, the highest annual shortfall since the oil crisis of 1976, Statistics New Zealand said today. The deficit blew out to 23 per cent of exports, against an annual January average of 7.8 per cent, the government agency said, as […]


Alaska’s Largest Crude Oil Refinery Threatens to Close

Alaska’s Largest Crude Oil Refinery Threatens to Close thumbnail

The owner of the state’s largest crude oil refinery has threatened to close the plant unless the state grants it a major financial concession. Flint Hills Resources, operator of the refinery at North Pole, is asking for a contract change that could cost Alaska up to $100 million, state officials said.Anchorage Daily News


TIME: A Magic Way to Make Billions

TIME: A Magic Way to Make Billions thumbnail

EXCLUSIVE HOW LOBBYISTS ARE PULLING OFF A SYNFUEL SCHEME WITH HELP FROM KEY LAWMAKERS–AND YOU’LL PAY The wording is so bland and buried so deep within a 324-page budget document that almost no one would notice that a multibillion-dollar scam is going on. Not the members of Congress voting for it and certainly not the […]


Ending Oil Addiction Won’t Be Easy

Ending Oil Addiction Won’t Be Easy thumbnail

President Bush’s State of the Union pledge to end America’s oil ”addiction” and his tour of emerging energy technology centers last week have touched off a national debate on how to achieve energy independence. ”The answer is pretty simple. We will never get to energy independence while we are using oil as the major fuel,” […]


Venezuela Prepared to Stop U.S. Exports

Venezuela Prepared to Stop U.S. Exports thumbnail

Venezuela could easily sell oil to markets other than the United States and is prepared to end exports to its No. 1 buyer if needed, the oil minister said in comments published Sunday. President Hugo Chavez’s government has recently stepped up threats to cut off oil exports to the United States and sell Venezuelan-owned refineries […]


Shadowy Nigerian militant group holds an oil-rich nation hostage

Shadowy Nigerian militant group holds an oil-rich nation hostage thumbnail

NIGER DELTA, Nigeria – They have, by all appearances, just a handful of boats, some machine guns and grenade launchers and, perhaps equally important, an e-mail address. But with just those tools the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta has managed to shut down nearly a fifth of this nation’s vast oil production, […]


Touched by oil, and hope; newest exporter of black liquid

Touched by oil, and hope; newest exporter of black liquid thumbnail

SPANISH LOOKOUT, Belize — Near this small Mennonite town carved out of the thick jungle, a farmer dug a shallow water well a few years ago and found a viscous black liquid seeping into the water. Given Belize’s disappointing record of oil exploration, stretching back to its years under British rule, nearly everyone shrugged at […]


What’s the fuel of the future?

What’s the fuel of the future? thumbnail

Ethanol boost for Global

Ethanol boost for Global thumbnail

A BRISBANE-based company has snapped up a place in the lucrative US ethanol market by buying 60 per cent of the largest farmer-owned producer. Global Ethanol is the first Australian company to make a significant acquisition in the US producer market through the proposed acquisition of the majority of Iowa-based Midwest Grain Processors (MPG). Little […]


Higher fuel, fertilizer costs squeeze state farmers

Higher fuel, fertilizer costs squeeze state farmers thumbnail

Prices could rise even more by spring CROOKSTON, MN “You know, fertilizer and energy, you’ve got to have them, so they’re basically going to cut money right off your profit,” said Dufault, who grows wheat, corn and sugar beets near Crookston. “It’s coming right out of your pocket.” Fuel prices may rise even higher by […]


Hostages: MEND releases captives

Hostages: MEND releases captives thumbnail

The Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND) claiming responsibility for the taking of 9 foreign nationals working for oil companies in the region hostage has finally released the identities of their captives with a price tag of $1.5bn. Parading the nine foreign nationals kidnapped last week and allowing them to voice out their […]


University of Hawaii develops charcoal-fired fuel cell

University of Hawaii develops charcoal-fired fuel cell thumbnail

University of Hawai’i researcher Michael Antal has developed a working fuel cell that uses charcoal as its fuel and operates at bread-baking temperatures. The Antal system, which he calls an aqueous alkali biocarbon fuel cell, is unlike other fuel cell technology both in that it uses a renewable fuel and that it does not require […]


Shell linked to

Shell linked to thumbnail

There has been a massive surge of City interest in what has been seen until recently as a fringe part of global stock markets, helped by the high profile given to the government’s energy review. The latest green company admitted to the London market yesterday, Econergy, saw its shares rise 11% within hours. A day […]


U.S. Weekly Oil and Gas Rig Count Down 2

U.S. Weekly Oil and Gas Rig Count Down 2 thumbnail

HOUSTON – The number of rigs actively exploring for oil and natural gas in the United States fell by two this week to 1,543. Of the rigs running nationwide, 1,322 were exploring for gas and 219 for oil, Houston-based Baker Hughes Inc. reported Friday. Two were listed as miscellaneous. A year ago, the rig count […]


Iran, Russia have enrichment agreement

Iran, Russia have enrichment agreement thumbnail

Iranian nuclear chief Gholamreza Aghazadeh said a basic agreement had been reached Sunday with Russia for the establishment of a joint uranium enrichment venture. Aghazadeh, who heads Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization of Iran and is also the country’s vice president, told a news conference that the two countries “have reached a basic agreement on the […]


City prepares to clean up on nuclear

City prepares to clean up on nuclear thumbnail

Nuclear is back on the political agenda in Britain, with the Government’s current energy review charged with, among other things, considering whether a new generation of virtually carbon-free atomic plants should be built. The review is due to be completed in the summer. So it’s little wonder that companies are already positioning themselves to take […]


Korea losing race to secure energy resource reserves

Korea losing race to secure energy resource reserves thumbnail

“With the size of the investments Korea has made so far, securing overseas energy resources is almost a ‘mission impossible’,” said Chung Woo-jin, a senior manager at the Korea Energy Economic Institute. “Korea’s plan to achieve even 10-percent energy self-sufficiency by 2010 is an empty dream.” As of late last year, Korea was about 4 […]


High street feels even chillier as fuel costs turn up the heat

High street feels even chillier as fuel costs turn up the heat thumbnail

The biggest-ever increase in energy bills comes the day after retailers announce a rout on the high street. Are the two events connected? If so, how great an influence will spiralling energy costs have on our desire for shoes/ fridges/iPods? And how big an impact will this have on the wider economy? ..But if last […]


Energy: The nuclear option

Energy: The nuclear option thumbnail

..Nobody in Europe or the United States has found the final answer to long-term nuclear waste, a substance with a dangerous shelf life that is measured in thousands of years, which means that nobody knows when, if ever, it will become benign. ..Germany, for example, has announced that all of its 19 power stations will […]


Will nuclear power deliver a climate dividend?

Will nuclear power deliver a climate dividend? thumbnail

Using nuclear power to mitigate climate change would require a doubling of nuclear power output by the middle of the century. This would require the construction of about 1000 reactors with a capital cost of several thousand billion dollars. The reactors would produce 1.5 million tonnes of high-level nuclear waste over a 50-year lifespan, and […]


Rising energy costs illuminate surging fluorescent bulb market

Rising energy costs illuminate surging fluorescent bulb market thumbnail

Julie Grassley wanted to do something for the environment and save money, so she replaced many of her Edison-inspired incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps, which are enjoying robust growth in an high-cost energy era. Grassley has heard all the gripes on fluorescent: slow to light up, not very bright and expensive. She doesn’t […]


Call to develop electrical energy as alternative source

Call to develop electrical energy as alternative source thumbnail

The former director of Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre N. Vedachalam has suggested the need to develop electrical energy as an alternative source for petrol and diesel. He was speaking at a discussion on `Indo-U.S. Agreement on Nuclear Technology- Issues and Concerns,’ organised by the Swadeshi Science Movement on Monday. The price of conventional fuels such […]


Shell banks on Russian energy revolution

Shell banks on Russian energy revolution thumbnail

Does Putin, by having more gas reserves than any other country on the planet, want to effectively control the world? ‘I think there can be no question that given the scale of the resources, Russia sees that this gives them a place of real influence and a place at the top table so they want […]


Opec sees output at current levels

Opec sees output at current levels thumbnail

Opec countries should maintain oil output at current levels despite a surplus of supply but may trim production later, Opec President Edmund Daukoru said in an interview with an Italian newspaper published on Saturday. There is a 2.5 million barrels per day surplus of supply on the market. However, the preferred solution would be to […]


Many don’t feel Britain’s booming economy

Many don’t feel Britain’s booming economy thumbnail

Incomes are rising, inflation is low and on paper the British economy is booming, but many people say their record debt and high bills tell another story. British economists say major increases in the price of gas, electricity and taxes in the past few years have been accompanied by drops in the cost of food, […]


Day without oil coming

Day without oil coming thumbnail

Oil, being a finite energy source, will run out. So what should replace it? Wind power? Solar? Hydrogen? Ethanol? Biodiesel? Hydroelectric? Greater use of natural gas and coal? Even more nuclear power? The answer is: “Yes.” That’s the answer Congress gave in the energy bill passed last year. It’s the answer President George W. Bush […]


Iran to grant gas contracts to European firms

Iran to grant gas contracts to European firms thumbnail

Iran will next week grant Total, Shell and Repsol upstream development contracts in the giant South Pars gas field in the Gulf, an Iranian state oil firm said on Saturday. Iran intends to use phases 11 and 13 of South Pars, which sits on the world dawn


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