Tuesday, October 26News That Matters

Tag: Natural Gas

Fossil Fuel Drilling Plans Undermine Climate Pledges, U.N. Report Warns

Technology, World
WASHINGTON — Even as world leaders vow to take stronger action on climate change, many countries are still planning to dramatically increase their production of oil, gas and coal in the decades ahead, potentially undermining those lofty pledges, according to a United Nations-backed report released Tuesday.The report looked at future mining and drilling plans in 15 major fossil fuel producing countries, including the United States, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Canada, China, India and Norway. Taken together, those countries are currently planning to produce more than twice as much oil, gas and coal through 2030 as would be needed if governments want to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above preindustrial levels.Scientists and world leaders increasingly say that holding...

On a Pacific Island, Russia Tests Its Battle Plan on Climate Change

Technology, World
SAKHALIN ISLAND, Russia — Sixteen wind turbines are slated to go up amid the winding coast and wooded hills of this Russian island in the Pacific, creating a wind park bigger than any that currently exists in the vast reaches of the country’s Far East.The clean energy generated by the new wind park will go toward mining more coal.Russia is scrambling to retain the wealth and power that come from selling fossil fuels to the world, even as the Kremlin increasingly acknowledges climate change to be a human-made crisis that the country needs to do more to address.Last week, President Vladimir V. Putin said Russia would stop adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere by 2060. It was a remarkable reversal since Mr. Putin has long dismissed climate science and many in his country see international e...

As Western Oil Giants Cut Production, State-Owned Companies Step Up

Business
Kuwait announced last month that it planned to invest more than $6 billion in exploration over the next five years to increase production to four million barrels a day, from 2.4 million now.This month, the United Arab Emirates, a major OPEC member that produces four million barrels of oil a day, became the first Persian Gulf state to pledge to a net zero carbon emissions target by 2050. But just last year ADNOC, the U.A.E.’s national oil company, announced it was investing $122 billion in new oil and gas projects.Iraq, OPEC’s second-largest producer after Saudi Arabia, has invested heavily in recent years to boost oil output, aiming to raise production to eight million barrels a day by 2027, from five million now. The country is suffering from political turmoil, power shortages and inadequ...
Oil and Gas Prices May Stay High as Investors Chase Clean Energy

Oil and Gas Prices May Stay High as Investors Chase Clean Energy

Business
HOUSTON — Americans are spending a dollar more for a gallon of gasoline than they were a year ago. Natural gas prices have shot up more than 150 percent over the same time, threatening to raise prices of food, chemicals, plastic goods and heat this winter.The energy system is suddenly in crisis around the world as the cost of oil, natural gas and coal has climbed rapidly in recent months. In China, Britain and elsewhere, fuel shortages and panic buying have led to blackouts and long lines at filling stations.The situation in the United States is not quite as dire, but oil and gasoline prices are high enough that President Biden has been calling on foreign producers to crank up supply. He is doing so as he simultaneously pushes Congress to address climate change by moving the country away f...
Scotland’s Oil Industry Is Fading as Wind Energy Beckons

Scotland’s Oil Industry Is Fading as Wind Energy Beckons

Technology, World
ABERDEEN, Scotland — It’s easy to see how vital oil is to this venerable port city on Scotland’s northeast coast. Step out the door of the small international airport and you are buffeted from across the road by the roar of helicopters ferrying crews back and forth to oil platforms scattered across the North Sea.Drive into the city and you’ll pass sprawling office parks with oil company logos, the home for some of the 71,000 engineers, geologists, drillers and others in Scotland who work in the oil and gas industry. Overall, the industry accounts for an estimated 7 percent of Scotland’s economic output.Yet Scotland’s oil and gas industry is in trouble.Oil output from the British North Sea has been on a long, steady slide for two decades, and production last year was around one-third of its...
High Natural Gas Prices Strain Europeans, Weighing on Recovery

High Natural Gas Prices Strain Europeans, Weighing on Recovery

Business
LONDON — As the world struggles to recover from the pandemic, soaring natural gas prices threaten to become a drag on the economies of Europe and elsewhere. Wholesale prices for the fuel are at their highest in years — nearly five times where they were at this time in 2019, before people started falling ill with the virus.The high costs feed into electric power prices and have begun showing up in utility bills, weighing on consumers whose personal finances have already been strained by the pandemic. The price jumps are unusual because demand is typically relatively low in the warmer summer months, raising alarms about the prospects for further increases when demand jumps in the winter.Spanish households are paying roughly 40 percent more than what they paid for electricity a year ago as th...
Ida Hit One of the Country’s Biggest Oil and Chemical Hubs

Ida Hit One of the Country’s Biggest Oil and Chemical Hubs

Technology, World
The most intense hurricane on record to strike Louisiana swept through one of the nation’s largest chemical, petroleum and natural gas hubs. And while it may take days or weeks for the full extent of the storm’s impact to become clear, early reports of damage have heightened concerns over the vulnerability of the region’s fossil fuel infrastructure to intensifying storms.On Monday, officials warned that floodwaters had spilled over a temporary levee erected near a Phillips 66 refinery in Plaquemines, the state’s southernmost parish and one of most severely affected by Hurricane Katrina 16 years ago. And in neighboring St. Bernard Parish, almost two dozen barges unmoored by Hurricane Ida’s 150 miles-per-hour winds damaged the dock at the giant Valero Refinery there. And news photos showed e...
Hurricane Ida Exposes Grid Weaknesses as New Orleans Goes Dark

Hurricane Ida Exposes Grid Weaknesses as New Orleans Goes Dark

Business
Most of New Orleans went dark on Sunday after Hurricane Ida took out transmission lines and forced power plants offline. It was an all too familiar scene in a city that has often lost power during big storms.But this was an outage that was never supposed to happen. The utility company Entergy opened a new natural gas power plant in the city last year, pledging that it would help keep the lights on — even during hot summer days and big storms. It was one of two natural gas plants commissioned in recent years in the New Orleans area, the other one hailed by Gov. John Bel Edwards last year as a “source of clean energy that gives our state a competitive advantage and helps our communities grow.”The storm raises fresh questions about how well the energy industry has prepared for natural disaste...
California’s Plan to Make New Buildings Greener Will Also Raise Costs

California’s Plan to Make New Buildings Greener Will Also Raise Costs

Business
But in other locations like San Bernardino, a far less affluent city east of Los Angeles, where the typical home sells for about $529,000, the cost of solar panels and batteries can be a bigger burden to home buyers.“If we push it and we do things that are modern and efficient and green, we tend to be able to do it in Los Angeles,” Mr. Marini said. “That’s not entirely true in the rest of the country. We can’t do that in San Bernardino. At the end, the consumer absorbs the cost.”The Sycamore Square townhouses were the last ones developed in San Bernardino before the solar mandate took effect last year. Glenn Elssmann, a partner in the project who hired Mr. Marini’s company as the contractor, said the added cost of the solar requirement would have made construction of the development imposs...
Amid Extreme Weather, a Shift Among Republicans on Climate Change

Amid Extreme Weather, a Shift Among Republicans on Climate Change

Technology, World
WASHINGTON — After a decade of disputing the existence of climate change, many leading Republicans are shifting their posture amid deadly heat waves, devastating drought and ferocious wildfires that have bludgeoned their districts and unnerved their constituents back home.Members of Congress who long insisted that the climate is changing due to natural cycles have notably adjusted that view, with many now acknowledging the solid science that emissions from burning oil, gas and coal have raised Earth’s temperature.But their growing acceptance of the reality of climate change has not translated into support for the one strategy that scientists said in a major United Nations report this week is imperative to avert an even more harrowing future: stop burning fossil fuels.Instead, Republicans w...