Monthly Archives: March 2009

Draft climate change bill: a compendium of reactions (update)

The House Energy and Commerce Committee issued a discussion draft Tuesday of the energy and climate change legislation that many have been expecting. In a nutshell, the bill will: • Get the U.S. to reduce its global warming emissions by 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2020 through a combination of domestic action and efforts […]  More »

Update — Who's the CO2 boss: FERC or CFTC?

There’s still a lot of heavy lifting to do for Congress to meet the Dems’ goal of a climate change bill by Memorial Day, including deciding who would actually be in charge of what would likely be a huge new commodity market. **Update: Markey and Henry Waxman released a “discussion draft” of a bill today. […]  More »

Cali. close to going nodal

This week California is set to restart a day-ahead electricity auction, which it abandoned after a poor structure and widespread manipulation by Enron and others led to price spikes and bankruptcy filings for some utilities. As the Wall $treet Journal notes this morning: The new “day ahead” energy market will line up electricity resources for […]  More »

Climate change legislative battle heating up

Momentum may be building for introduction of a sweeping climate change bill in Congress (maybe as early as next week) but so is opposition. For the past six months or so opponents to new U.S. laws that would slow and eventually reduce emission levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases have been relatively quiet. […]  More »

Small U.S. Refineries Can Prosper

A story in today’s Chronicle Business section raised the prospect of small, inefficient refineries being forced to close in coming years as more modern fuel-making capacity comes online and demand for gasoline and other oil products comes under pressure from many sides. But that’s not to say all small plants are endangered species. There will […]  More »

Shell: Weathering the downturn

Royal Dutch Shell executives sought to reassure analysts today that the company is moving ahead on major projects already approved, reining in costs and therefore well positioned to weather the global recession and oil prices at 2004 levels. But CEO Jeroen van der Veer, who is retiring in June but up for election to the […]  More »

Shell's Perdido: The top is on

Shell Oil Co. has finished installing the oil and gas drilling and production platform atop a 555-foot spar hull at its Perdido installation about 200 miles south of Houston in the Gulf of Mexico. Perdido floats in 8,000 feet of water, and is the deepest oil and gas platform in the world. The depth matches […]  More »

EPA decision lays groundwork for carbon trading

The U.S. EPA said this week it unveiled a proposed rule requiring industries to report greenhouse gas emissions. Power plants already track such data, so it’s no big deal adding some more companies to the big government database, right? Think again. Getting a baseline reading on greenhouse gas emissions from facilities is a key step […]  More »

The power to change: legislators try to tweak the electric system

Every legislative session since Texas opened its electric retail markets to competition in 2002 has had a few bills designed to change the system. This session is no different, as seen by the bills introduced Monday. But opponents of those efforts seemed ready and waiting early Monday with counterpoints: “This legislation is being pushed by […]  More »

FBR Capital Markets: Down cycle will be long and deep

Analysts from FBR Capital Markets are among those with a more bearish view of the current down cycle in international oil and U.S. natural gas, according to a report issued to investors today. Analysts Robert MacKenzie, Doug Garber and Christopher Breaux say the down cycle will be “u” shaped rather than “v” shaped, meaning it […]  More »

Exxon on alternatives: No change

Alternative energy initiatives, particularly in power generation, are getting a $100 billion boost from the Obama Administration’s economic stimulus package. But Exxon Mobil isn’t jumping on the train while alternatives and renewables still need subisides to be economical. Rex Tillerson, Exxon’s chairman and CEO, got a question from Barclays Capital analyst Paul Cheng at the […]  More »

Exxon increasing oil patch investment

Exxon Mobil is upping its investment ante this year to $29 billion despite the recession and oil prices that fell to 2004 levels after reaching unprecedented highs last year. Rex Tillerson, Exxon’s chairman and CEO, told analysts at the New York Stock Exchange this morning that the company aims to increase capital spending from its […]  More »

BP's Hayward: Recovery won't be quick

BP CEO Tony Hayward told analysts in London today that low oil prices and low demand will likely stretch through 2009 and possibly into next year. He said during BP’s annual strategy presentation to analysts that in the short term, prices will be determined by a balance of production cuts by the Organization of the […]  More »