DIC 2016 Obama bans oil drilling 'permanently' in millions of acres of ocean.
Outgoing US President Barack Obama has permanently banned offshore oil and gas drilling in the "vast majority" of US-owned northern waters.
Mr Obama designated areas in the Arctic and Atlantic oceans as "indefinitely off limits" to future leasing.
The move is widely seen as an attempt to protect the region before Mr Obama leaves office in January.
Supporters of president-elect Donald Trump could find it difficult to reverse the decision.
Canada also committed to a similar measure in its own Arctic waters, in a joint announcement with Washington.
The White House said the decision was for "a strong, sustainable and viable Arctic economy and ecosystem." It cited native cultural needs, wildlife concerns, and the "vulnerability" of the region to oil spills as some of the reasons for the ban.
But while Canada will review the move every five years, the White House insists Mr Obama's declaration is permanent.
The decision relies on a 1953 law which allows the president to ban leasing of offshore resources indefinitely.
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HAPPENED IN 2016
Morocco’s first solar power plant opened by King Mohammed VI
By Enu Afolayan
King Mohammed VI switches on Morocco’s first solar power plant that is set to provide over a million homes with power.
The edge of the Sahara desert, just 12 miles outside of the city Ouarzazate is now home to a glittering spectacle that is set to be the world’s largest solar power plant.
After beginning construction on May 10th, 2013 the project has succeeded in completing stage one of its epic operations. Covering a spans the size of 35 football fields, the 800 rows of 500,000 crescent-shaped solar mirrors make up Noor I. This is the first of a complex of four linked solar power plants that once completed in 2018, will finally occupy a site larger than the country’s capital, Rabat, which is home to 1.4 million people.
Instead of utilizing the more familiar photovoltaic panels that are now a common sight on rooftops around the world, ‘the door of the desert’ site uses mirror technology which despite being less common and more expensive, has the advantage of continuously producing power even after the sun has gone down.
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CAODC 2017 forecast
Canadian operators seen boosting drilling next year. By @WorldOil @Tech_Flo
CALGARY, Alberta -- The Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors (CAODC) has released its 2017 drilling forecast.
According to a statement on the association's website, CAODC is projecting that 4,665 wells—an increase of 1,103 from 2016 (3,562)—will be drilled next year. Meanwhile, operating days are projected to reach 48,980—an increase of 8,577 from 2016. The rig fleet is expected to decrease by 55 to 610.
“After record low utilization rates in 2016, it would be difficult to suggest 2017 could be anything but better. Weak commodity prices coupled with abnormal political and social factors, has led to sustained challenges for the industry. While the price of WTI is projected to stabilize somewhat, continued uncertainty surrounding pipeline infrastructure, and a looming price on carbon, continue to push Canada to the back of the line with respect to long-term investment,” CAODC said.
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India built the world’s largest solar plant in record time by @qz
India’s push for solar power is gaining steam.
At the end of November, the country turned on the world’s largest solar power plant spanning 10 km sq in Kamuthi in the state of Tamil Nadu. It packs 648 megawatts of power—nearly 100 more than California’s Topaz Solar Farm, which was previously the largest solar plant at a single location. At full capacity, the Kamuthi plant can provide enough electricity to power around 150,000 homes.
The Rs45.5 billion ($679 million) solar project consists of 380,000 foundations, 2.5 million solar modules, 576 inverters, and 154 transformers, according to the Deccan Chronicle. Each day, the plant is cleaned by a robotic system that is charged by its own solar panels, Al Jazeera reported.
The Kamuthi solar plant, backed by the Ahmedabad-based conglomerate Adani Group, was constructed in an impressive eight months. In comparison, Topaz took over two years and cost nearly $2.5 billion to build. On the south Indian site, 8,500 men installed an average of 11 megawatts-worth of equipment each day to complete the project in time.
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Finland has announced it will phase out coal by 2030. by @ClydeCoEnergy
Finland has announced it will phase out coal by 2030.
That’s part of the government’s ‘Energy and Climate Strategy for 2030 and Beyond’, which aims to get rid of the dirty fossil fuel from its energy system and reduce oil imports by half in the next 14 years.
The country also plans to make its energy system carbon neutral by 2050 by replacing these sources with renewables, biofuels and boosting energy efficiency.
The government expects renewables to account for 50% of total energy consumption by 2030. It will aims to increase the number of electric vehicles on the roads to 250,000 and biofuel cars to 50,000.
Last week, Canada and France also announced they will phase out coal by the same period.
In the UK the government has launched a consultation to test its plans to close all coal-fired plants by 2025.
Finland’s Economic Affairs Minister Oli Rehn said: “Utilising the potential of Finnish renewable energy to produce electricity at an industrial level is one of the central questions in achieving long term energy and climate goals. The national climate and energy strategy decided today in the Cabinet meets the tough targets from a Finnish standpoint.”
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Chinese Shale Gas Target Met with Skepticism
China’s target to produce around 3 billion cubic feet per day of shale gas by 2020, while increasing its 1P reserves to 53 trillion cubic feet, has been met with doubt by oil and gas analysts at Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co (TPH & Co).
“We remain skeptical on Beijing’s 2020 target given geological/logistical issues and high costs,” analysts said in a research note sent to Rigzone.
“Although estimated to hold vast resources, Chinese shale gas development has been impacted by a combination of complex geology (high degree of faulting), high well costs, water scarcity and a lack of technology/infrastructure,” the analysts said.
The skepticism comes after China’s shale gas production in March reportedly increased by 50 percent year on year to 1.3 Bcfpd, which compares with total Chinese gas production of 15.5 Bcfpd, TPH & Co analysts revealed.
Sinopec has been described as the “clear leader” in the Chinese shale gas business, with the firm already producing from its Fuling asset. Production from its Nanchuan block is expected to start next month.
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Global Wind Energy: Strong Year Ahead Expected OEF Rapid review
According to Renewable Energy World, the wind industry globally has good prospects for 2017 and beyond: China could push back towards 30 GW of installations and India has set a new national record with 3,612 MW of new installations; Europe’s numbers were surprisingly strong. Additionally, there are clear indications that the offshore industry could spread beyond its northern European home to North America, East Asia, India and perhaps elsewhere in the near future as a result of technological advances and growing investor confidence.
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The Permian Outstripping Rival U.S. Oil Producing Regions
Very informative charts help illustrate the extent to which the Permian basin is outstripping its rivals in terms of investor interest and deal flow. Confidence is not only illustrated in merger and acquisitions activity but also in how much companies are currently willing to invest in their own future. Capital expenditure plans are lower and less bullish than a year before, but operators are still displaying a greater level of confidence in being able to fund robust capex spends.
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Trump’s “Energy Independence” Order: Both Uncertainty And Opportunity
President Trump has issued an executive order to dismantle the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan. The “Energy Independence” order lifts a moratorium on federal coal leasing, triggers a review of methane and hydraulic fracturing restrictions, and eliminates use of the Environmental Protection Agency’s “social cost of carbon” in policymaking. From a climate action perspective, there is widespread agreement that the order is bad news for U.S. emissions. Interestingly, 62 percent of Trump voters support taxing and/or regulating pollution causing global warming, and nearly three-quarters think the U.S. should use more renewable energy in future.