Armed by the Kremlin, Russia's national oil company could be the new force in Syria when the troops leave
- That same year, 2007, there was a similar shift in the nexus between business and security in Russia when Moscow's parliament voted to allow its energy giants Gazprom and Transneft to effectively create their own militaries, with weapons and technology supplied by the Kremlin.
- Even if Assad regains complete control, a militarised resource company will no doubt create a situation similar to Ecuador, in which foreign oil firms dictate the political arrangements of their local environment, effectively usurping the state and that state's military so that it is the oil and not the people who are protected.
- As Gazprom adds even military-grade drones to its security assets, we must wait to see whether Assad is able to control the foreign oil and gas companies operating in his country, or whether it is these firms, with the oil and gas assets firmly under their control, who command him.
Without much-needed investment, the US gas industry is facing a 'waste of capital,' IEA says
- On the production side, U.S. shale gas is performing strongly — but a current lack of investment projects in the sector could be "economically disruptive," according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).
- But Varro pointed to major bottlenecks in export capacity due to global trade tensions and a lack of sufficient investment into projects for export infrastructure.
- The IEA's forecasts for the energy industry assume international trade will function without disruption, and therefore sees excess U.S. gas production going to meet China's need for natural gas.
- But this week's announcement that the White House is raising tariffs on an additional $200 billion worth of Chinese goods does not bode well for trade prospects, consequently stunting support for export infrastructure investments.
- Nonetheless, Varro was optimistic that global trade would return to normal.
Aubrey McClendon and America's fracking boom
- In 2007, the supposedly smartest investors in the world – among them Goldman Sachs and the takeover titan KKR – structured their massive $45bn buyout of a utility called TXU in a way that was essentially a bet that natural gas prices, then around $7, were set to rise significantly.
- “When all the data is in, including 2016 bankruptcies, it may very well turn out that this oil and gas industry crisis has created a segment-wide bust of historic proportions,” said David Keisman, a Moody’s senior vice-president.
- Statoil, the Norwegian energy giant, wrote down the value of its shale and Canadian oil sands assets by $4bn; Royal Dutch Shell reported a write-down of more than $8bn.
- All told, the global oil and gas industry shed almost half a million jobs during the bust, according to consulting firm Graves & Co. By nearly all accounts, the shale boom had gone bust.
Residents can go home after Massachusetts explosions, but long road to 'normalcy' remains
- Utility workers accessed 8,600 meters, turned them off and cleared each home of gas in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover as of 6:30 a.m. Sunday, the governor said.
- An investigation into what caused the fires and blasts remains underway, but on Saturday, National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Robert Sumwalt said that a pipeline controller in Columbus, Ohio, noticed a pressure increase in a pipeline in Lawrence.
- Residents should contact authorities if they smell gas, or notice fire-related damage or anything odd with their gas appliances, he said.
- The remaining displaced residents, which officials say are in the thousands, likely stayed with friends and family, Red Cross spokesman Jeff Hall said.
- Baker declared a state of emergency Friday and said New England-based Eversource would replace Columbia Gas as the lead utility in the recovery efforts.
Boston Area Residents Are Given the OK to Go Home as Gas Clears
- Residents in the towns of North Andover, Andover and Lawrence are being allowed to return home after proprieties were safely cleared of gas, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker said in a Twitter post Sunday morning, three days after several explosions triggered evacuations.
- About 15,000 residents had their power restored as of 6:30 a.m. local time, the governor said in a separate tweet.
- Eversource Energy, in charge of the recovery operation, expects work to be completed by mid-day.
- Eversource MA @EversourceMA As of 6:30 am all residences/buildings in the affected area were confirmed to be clear of natural gas.
- As of 6:30 am all residences/buildings in the affected area were confirmed to be clear of natural gas.
- We’re actively working with National Grid to restore power, and anticipate having that completed by mid-day.
Pressure increase reported in Massachusetts gas pipeline, NTSB says
- A pipeline controller working at a console in Columbus, Ohio, noticed the pressure increase in a pipeline in Lawrence, Massachusetts, one of the three towns where the fires occurred, Sumwalt told CNN's Alison Kosik.
- The NTSB, which is investigating because transportation -- in this case, of natural gas -- was involved, arrived in Massachusetts Friday morning to investigate the fires and gas explosions and will also be looking into the system procedures, operations, and safety culture of Columbia Gas and its parent company NiSource, as well as constructing a timeline of events surrounding the fires.
- Sumwalt said the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities and the gas companies will make that decision, not the NTSB.
- Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker declared a state of emergency Friday in the three towns and put another utility company in charge of restoration efforts.
CO2 emissions in 27 major cities have declined since 2012
- There is some good news about efforts to fight human-made climate change.
- The C40 Cities group, which unifies climate initiatives in 96 urban areas around the world, reported that CO2 emissions peaked in 27 major cities (including London, New York City, San Francisco, Paris and Toronto) by 2012, and have been declining by an average of 2 percent each year since then.
- The declines were generally from known progressive cities in North America, Europe, Scandinavia and Australia.
- It would mean more if emissions declined in places where CO2 output is rampant and frequently dovetails with air pollution problems like smog.
- Even a few major cities might not completely offset emissions across a larger country.
- Still, it's progress -- and it suggests that the Paris agreement's 2020 peak emissions target was somewhat realistic.
Deadly Gas Explosions in Massachusetts Put Focus on Pipe Safety
- Federal investigators were dispatched to three towns just outside Boston after dozens of explosions and fires along NiSource Inc.’s natural gas network left at least one person dead and 13 injured and displaced over 8,000 customers.
- The blasts appear to be pipeline explosions, the National Transportation Safety Board said Friday in a briefing.
- Andover Police Department Lieutenant Eddie Guy told NBC’s Today television show Friday morning that officials believe the blasts were caused by over-pressurized gas lines.
- Columbia Gas of Massachusetts, the NiSource unit responsible for the local network, said in a statement that its crews would need to visit each of the 8,600 affected customers to shut off each gas meter and carry out a safety inspection.
- National Grid Plc, which operates the electric utility in the area, was asked to shut power to all of Lawrence and North Andover and pockets of Andover, spokeswoman Christine Milligan said.