GDF Suez signs a Memorandum of Understanding and Cooperation with Pemex

PARIS -- On the occasion of the visit of a French government delegation to Mexico, Gerard Mestrallet, Chairman and CEO of GDF Suez, signed a Memorandum of Understanding and Cooperation with Emilio Lozoya, Chairman and CEO of Pemex, to develop natural gas and other energy projects in Mexico.Mexican and French Presidents Enrique Pena Nieto and Francois Hollande were present at the signing.

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Ukraine Standoff Escalates, Could South Stream be in Doubt?

When completed, the South Stream pipeline will run from Russia, underneath the Black Sea to Bulgaria, and on to Western Europe. It will carry Russian natural gas to Europe while bypassing Russia’s neighbor Ukraine. Russia clearly finds this pipeline to be strategically important – the Kremlin would be able to operate with greater freedom when using natural gas to bully Ukraine, and it wouldn’t have to worry about angering its large customer base in Western Europe.

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The Absurdity of US Natural Gas Exports

Quiz:1. How much natural gas is the United States currently extracting? (a) Barely enough to meet its own needs(b) Enough to allow lots of exports(c) Enough to allow a bit of exports(d) The United States is a natural gas importerAnswer: (d) The United States is a natural gas importer, and has been for many years. The EIA is forecasting that by 2017, we will finally be able to meet our own natural gas needs. Figure 1.

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Fiscal break-even oil prices for major OPEC members

One of the key drivers of the oil markets is the price at which principal OPEC producers balance their government accounts – better known as fiscal break-even oil prices. By monitoring the fluctuations of these break-even prices in major oil-producing countries such as Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait and the UAE, we can assess potential changes in OPEC’s desired level of global oil prices.

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How Crimea Hurts Russia

Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, slowly but surely NATO added members in Eastern Europe. Likewise, the European Union opened up its doors to its eastern neighbors formerly in Moscow’s orbit. Russia saw this as a threat, and upon the downfall of Viktor Yanukovych, Russia saw the loss of Ukraine as something that it could not tolerate. From this perspective, Vladimir Putin likely feels that by seizing Crimea he stopped the expansion of a NATO-backed plan to expand eastwards.

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Here's an Unexpected Vote For Coal

There's a lot of money to be made spotting market bottoms in commodities. Buying producers and projects at ultra-low valuations, before the inevitable uptick in a sector.Market commentaries are a key indicator in this regard. With bottoms usually being marked by "irrational apathy"--illogical reasoning from market bears who've simply been spooked by falling valuations in unloved sectors.There's been a lot of such sentiment lately in coal.I was particularly struck by one comment the last few weeks. From a high-profile market analyst, who noted that…

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US Energy Efficiency Programs Cost 2 Cents Per Kilowatt-Hour Saved

America’s most comprehensive study of energy efficiency costs has found programs paid for by utility customers cost just two cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of power saved.

The new study from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), “The Program Administrator Cost of Saved Energy for Utility Customer-Funded Energy Efficiency Programs,” puts a price tag on the cost of saving energy through various types of efficiency programs from 2009-2011.

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12,133 Tesla Model X Reservations

Originally published on Gas2.

12,133. That’s the number of Tesla Model X reservations that have been placed so far, and with production still a year away, that number could easily go up. The third vehicle to bear the Tesla badge could be its biggest hit yet, especially in China, which isn’t included in these numbers.

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EnergyTrends.org Ranks Renewable Energy Leaders

Lisanne Boling, EnergyTrends.org

Vermont, Pennsylvania and California ranked as the most friendly to renewable energy according to new rankings from EnergyTrends.org.

EnergyTrends.org’s ranking system takes not only state policies into account but also energy consumption and generation data. Other factors considered include growth of renewable energy, state programs for renewable energy, and other factors.

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The Dakota Access Bakken Crude Gateway to the Gulf

No sooner had we finished up our analysis of the divergent fates of two North Dakota crude oil pipeline projects - the Enbridge Sandpiper (going ahead after a successful second open season) and the Koch Dakota Express (cancelled in January) – then we learned that competitor Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) had launched a binding open season for a third pipeline proposal following basically the same route.

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Private Equity Bets $2 Billion on This Commodity

There's a shuffling of investors going on, according to reports this week. In one particular market: natural gas.On the way out of this market is major Canadian producer EnCana. Which is looking to offload dry gas assets as it whittles down its project portfolio to a more manageable size.Local media noted this week that one of the first fields to go may be the Jonah project in Wyoming.

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This Critical Coal Event Is Back On

There's an eerie silence in the coal market right now.Trading sources like Platts are reporting that coal transactions globally have suddenly gone very quiet. At least in certain segments of the market.Particularly for lower-grade thermal coals. With sources noting that demand for 3,800 kcal/kg product is "nearly absent" from the market.The reason for the lull has been somewhat mysterious.

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This Week in Energy: How Would LNG Get to Ukraine?

With all the talk about using US natural gas exports as a weapon to fight Russian aggression in Ukraine, what no one’s asking is how this liquefied natural gas (LNG) would get to Ukraine (or Europe in general) in the first place. The answer is Turkey—if Turkey is willing to play ball. The potential for LNG exports to Europe without a deal between Turkey and Ukraine for the transport of LNG through the Bosphorus will fall flat.

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A Massive Oil Shortage Here Could Drive Exploration

Very interesting figures on oil production coming out of Australia last week. Showing the nation may be on the verge of a petro-crisis.Adelaide-based analysts EnergyQuest released their quarterly review of the Aussie oil and gas sector. Noting some stunning changes in production during 2013.Most notably, oil production across the nation took a tumble.

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Russia Aggression Paves Way for Ukrainian Energy Coup: Interview with Yuri Boyk

As Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula is lost to Russia, with a referendum on the peninsula’s independence planned for Sunday and the specter of a Russian military advance on eastern Ukraine looming large, we are witnessing a crisis of international proportions. The key to this crisis is energy. Russia’s aggressive move on the Crimea may in fact be the international catalyst Ukraine needs to pave its own energy independence--with a little help from its friends.

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Tesla’s Gigafactory Won’t Be In California, Texas Unlikely

Originally published on Gas 2. By Robyn Purchia. Now that Tesla has announced development of a $5 billion “Gigafactory,” everyone is wondering where it will be built. Well, we just got handed a clue: it’s not California. Although Tesla has a factory in Fremont, California, headquarters in Palo Alto, and a design studio in Southern

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The Next Wave Of Utility Innovation

Originally published on the ECOreport. The next energy storage breakthrough will be in efficiency, rather than time. During high-peak-demand times, utilities charge commercial customers a premium (per kW) called “demand charges.” These charges often make up 40% of the total electricity bill and have, on occasion even been as much as 70%. Green Charge Networks

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91 Illinois Communities Powered 100% By Green Electricity

Article by the WWF. WASHINGTON, DC, March 7, 2014 – Illinois has embraced renewable electricity on a massive scale not seen anywhere else in the nation, says a new report, Leading from the Middle: How Illinois Communities Unleashed Renewable Energy. With 91 communities providing 100% renewable electricity to their residents, the state far outpaces any other, including Ohio,

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Can the United States Rule the (Energy) World?

Geopolitical crises in Eastern Europe have been met with calls in the United States to use energy as a foreign policy tool. With U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz asking the industry to make a stronger case, however, it's domestic policies that may inhibit energy hegemony. "The industry could do a lot better job talking about the drivers for, and what the implications would be, of exports," Moniz told an audience at the IHS CERAWeek energy conference in Houston.

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Russia Plays Ukraine Gas Card—Again

Russia appears to be backing down slightly over Ukraine, with President Vladimir Putin saying that military force would be a last resort amid the threat of US sanctions, but Moscow is expectedly playing the gas card—again. Speaking in a live televised address on RT News, Putin said Russia would employ military force in Ukraine as a last resort, but still reserved the right to use all options in Ukraine to protect from the threat of “terror”.

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