In Southeast Asian city-state of Singapore, the government has proposed a carbon emissions tax that could shake up the nation’s oil industry.
As part of the 2017 budget, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat, announced that a tax of between S$10-S$20 per tonne of greenhouse gas will be meted out to the largest emitters from 2019 onwards. The tax will be applicable to companies that emit the equivalent of 25,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year, which will encompass some 40 companies, including power stations, utilities and refineries.
“I’m very good at this, it’s called construction.” - President Donald J. Trump (1946 - )
Now in the third week of the Trump presidency, the Commander-in-Chief of the world's only superpower is flexing his statutory instruments.
Since taking office on January 20th, President Trump has used 22 legislative devices - including executive orders, presidential memoranda and proclamations - to enact policy changes at a rate of more than one a day. To put this in perspective, his predecessor, Barack Obama, issued 277 in his eight years in office.
It didn't even take 48 hours for the Trump presidency to cause its first controversy.
After a prickly first convocation of the world’s media delivered by new White House Press Secretary and Communications Director, Sean Spicer, President Trump’s first public meeting with the intelligence community in Langley, Virginia, was less spiky but even more contentious.
Canada’s prime minister, Justin Trudeau, last week sparked a furious backlash after claiming Alberta’s oil sands industry needed to be “phased out”.
His comments, made at a town hall meeting in Ontario, echo the sentiment of an administration that is pledged a lower carbon economy, phasing out subsidies for the hydrocarbons industries and investing $200 million a year in clean technologies.
In April 2016, Trudeau signed on to the Paris Agreement on climate change “to pursue efforts to limit the [global] temperature increase to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels, recognising that this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change”.
On January 6th, adherents of the Christian faith celebrated Epiphany, the observance of the visit of the gift-bearing Magi, three kings from the East, to the newborn Christ child in Judea in the 15th year of the rule of Tiberius Caesar.
As the festive season drew to a close, the oil and gas world welcomed the price of a barrel “comfortably” over $50 for the first time in a long time, the gift from kings in the East this time manifesting not as gold, frankincense and myrrh but a production cut by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
After a month of deliberation and conjecture, the president-elect of the United States has chosen arch oilman, the chairman and CEO of ExxonMobil, Rex Tillerson, to be his Secretary of State.
The long-time head honcho of the world’s most powerful energy company will now become the world’s most powerful diplomat, a post occupied by six former presidents including three of the Founding Fathers.
The 64-year old Tillerson was set to retire from his post at ExxonMobil on reaching his 65th birthday in March 2017, as company policy dictates. He will now be swapping his office in Irving, Texas, for one on Capitol Hill.
Imagine how it would be to walk around in the area you are going to inspect or to do a maintenance job in and be familiarised with the environment, without actually being there. Image to assemble new complex structures and parts into existing structures to verify that it actually fits into the area, without actually doing the job. Imaging monitoring equipment in real time and seeing what is going on, remotely, and have it tell you when it needs maintenance before it breaks down.
Is this just a dream or is it possible to do this today? We explore the concept in this blog post by Rune Olsen.
News from the oil and gas industry have not been jolly reading the last years.
But, at the ONS 2016 Conference in Stavanger, we heard some very good news. Statoil published a statement saying they, together with their partners, had managed to reduce the cost of building first phase of the giant field Johan Sverdrup substantially.
In a historic move, the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) last week agreed to the first cut in production for eight years.
Two years to the day since the world's most powerful cartel decided to let oil prices flit on the winds of the global markets, the 14-member combine has agreed to slash 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) from the global supply kitty.
As a reaction to this most unexpected turn of events, especially unexpected here, the price of a barrel of Brent crude rocketed to 2016 highs, breaking through the $55 mark. The frisson that sent the financial world into giddy fits, may begin to tingle up the spine anew as Russia is set to join OPEC in production diminution for the first time in 15 years.
Unsurprisingly in the opaque world of energy geopolitics, all is not as it seems. Peering through the frosted glass of this “unilateral” agreement, we glimpse a house divided: the overall production cut tells but half the tale.
“The kitchen oven is reliable, but it's made us lazy.” - Jamie Oliver (1975 - )
Tomorrow, the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will convene for their 171st (Ordinary) OPEC Meeting in the Vienna, to discuss a potential production cut. Now where have we heard that before? Ah, that’s right, before every extraordinary and ordinary and common-or-garden and run-of-the-mill and off-the-cuff meeting of the 14-member combine for the last 18 months.
The upcoming instalment of the “Greatest No-show on Earth” will seek to push through an accord outlined in September to slash OPEC’s current output by more than 1.1 million barrels per day (bpd), from its October output of 33.8 million bpd. Whilst this looked to be on the cards last week, recent comments from the Saudi Arabian Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources, Khalid Al-Falih, have dampened the prospects of this happening.