The Bullroarer - Friday 1 February 2008

The Australian - Coal seam gas rise boosts Origin Energy

ORIGIN Energy has reported a small rise in quarterly gas and oil production. Production rose 2.2 per cent to 23.3 petajoules in the December quarter, from 22.8PJ in the same quarter of 2006.

Origin said December quarter production was also 3 per cent down from the September quarter, largely due to a 16 per cent fall in Cooper Basin production. The fall in Cooper Basin output reflected natural reservoir decline, lower contractual volumes, seasonal factors and a scheduled outage in late December 2007.

That added to continuing declines in conventional production from the Perth, Surat and Bowen basins. "These declines were largely offset by a 22 per cent increase in coal seam gas (CSG) production," Origin said.

ABC - Qld-PNG gas pipeline back on the cards

The dream of building a pipeline through Queensland to carry Papua New Guinean natural gas may be back on the drawing board. The multi-billion dollar project was scrapped last year, but an agreement struck with several Aboriginal groups on the Cape York Peninsula could pave the way for it to be revived.

Last year the $8 billion pipeline project was shelved after the company behind it, Oil Search, said it wanted to pursue more profitable ventures in PNG. But newspaper advertisements this week said a group called the Cape York Pipeline Company had secured a land use agreement with 13 traditional owners. It provides access to a 20-kilometre wide, 800-kilometre long corridor to construct and operate the PNG gas pipeline.

Upstream Online - BG pours $595m into Aussie QGC

Global gas giant BG today said that it will hook-up with Australian coal seam gas producer Queensland Gas Company (QGC) in a million dollar deal. The deal marks the British company’s first investment in Australia and will see the two companies work together in the exploration and development of onshore coal seam gas acreage, domestic market opportunities and a new liquefied natural gas project on the Queensland coast.

BG will buy a 20% stake in QGC’s coal seam gas assets in the Surat Basin and South West Queensland, plus a 9.9% slice in QGC for $US595 million. The British group will take an additional 10% interest in QGC’s coal seam gas and other assets once either the proven and probable reserves of 6.6 trillion cubic feet are shawed up or the final investment approval is given for the LNG project. The LNG facility will process and export jointly-marketed coal seam gas.

NZ Herald - Power crisis looms as capacity falls - Blackout threat over North Island when station shuts down

The North Island faces the threat of blackouts today if its already creaking electricity system fails to cope with the shutting down of a major power station. The 60-day scheduled shutdown of Contact Energy's 380 megawatt (MW) Taranaki combined-cycle power station from this morning could not come at a worse time for the North Island.

A breakdown at the plant last Friday, combined with a lack of wind for wind-generation, high water temperatures in the Waikato River and an inter-island link constrained to only 400MW pushed wholesale power prices through the roof and caused concern about power cuts.

NZ Herald - Blackout threat 'not cause of Auckland power cut'

NZ Herald - Vistas: Gone with the wind farms

NZ Herald - Thermal plant 'would secure power supply'. I smell something fishy...

NZ Herald - Low lake levels hit Trustpower power generation

Reuters - Australia's AWE upgrades Tui oil production f'cast

NZ Herald - Oil and dairy fuel trade surplus

NZ Herald - Energy company Grande Energy gets funding to explore West Coast

SMH - Into the fire: last month hottest January so far

AUSTRALIA had its hottest January on record, in line with a pattern that has seen the country's average temperature rise over the past five decades under the impact of global warming. "Nearly the whole country has been hotter than average for daytime and night-time temperatures in January," David Jones, the head of climate analysis at the Bureau of Meteorology, said yesterday. "It's not so much a few places breaking records by large margins. It's nearly the whole country being one to two degrees warmer than average".

The average temperature across the country rose 1.3 degrees last month, but large areas, especially in the Pilbara in Western Australia and in Central Australia, recorded temperatures three to four degrees above average.

"We just continue to get a stream of these records being broken," said Dr Jones, who has analysed Australia's rising temperature going back almost 60 years. "The general pattern is one of warming. We have now warmed up by a degree since 1950. The effects of global warming have been felt across Australia as a whole. And the pattern of warming across Australia is very consistent with the pattern we've seen across the globe."

SMH - Treasury's secret alert to Rudd

Identifying climate change as "the single most pressing environmental, economic and social challenge this country faces", officials also urge the Government to tackle the challenge of the ageing population and the shift in power to emerging economies like India and China.

"You have been elected at a pivotal economic juncture," the document, obtained by Channel Seven under freedom of information laws, states. "You have inherited an economy that is experiencing its longest period of uninterrupted growth since Federation, but which faces a number of short- and medium-term challenges that are becoming increasingly acute.

SMH - Garrett powers back to climate change action

SMH - Plug-in car first of its kind in Australia

AN AUSTRALIAN electric car that plugs in overnight to a wall socket is a potential answer to Sydney's commuter woes. The hybrid vehicle, the first of its kind in Australia, runs for 32 kilometres without using petrol, using new battery and software technology.

"It means you can commute to work with no carbon footprint at all," said Josh Usher, the vehicle's project manager at the Institute of Sustainable Futures. "It will cover the average commute to and from work in Sydney, then you just plug it in overnight and take advantage of off-peak electricity."

The car, a converted Toyota Prius, is unique because it can plug into household sockets and act as an energy outlet, so its custom-designed batteries can charge other cars or appliances. It is being assembled in a garage at the University of Technology, Sydney. Mr Usher hopes to take it out for a first trial spin next week.

The Australian - Fury on company car tax break

Treasury has dramatically scaled up its estimates of the value of the concessions available for the private use of company cars in its latest data on commonwealth tax expenditure, released last week. They are expected to cost taxpayers $2.01 billion in lost revenue in 2009-10, up from $1.14billion. The value of the exemption on offer rises in line with the distance travelled, triggering complaints it works against publicly funded efforts to cut congestion and pollution.

Australian Conservation Foundation strategies director Charles Berger slammed the tax break as fiscally irresponsible and environmentally damaging, and called on the Government to do away with it in its first budget. "These tax breaks are economically senseless, reward environmentally destructive behaviour and increase taxes that the rest of us have to pay," he said. ...

The Government has, however, staked a lot of credibility on its promise to cut greenhouse emissions. The transport sector accounted for 14 per cent of national emissions in 2004. Those emissions are growing rapidly, and are expected to rise 40 per cent on 1990 levels by 2010.

Herald Sun - RACV: new player won't cut oil price, recommends fuel tax cut. Sigh.

The Australian - Floods cost coal miners over $1bn

The Australian - Beach revenues rise as Basker project recovers

The Australian - Starfish spreads its venture capital arms - NZ's green status getting murky - Reduce Our Energy Use And Help Our Environment

Kyle Schuant - 2008 Crystal Ball

Greens Blog - Another reason To Move To Public Transport And Cycling

"It means you can commute to work with no carbon footprint at all,"

Ha ha ha. One for the Green Wash Index

Well to be fair it means it is possible to have no carbon footprint at all.

If you recharge with 100% green energy, and ignore how much fossil fuel went into the manufacture and transport of all the pieces involved...

Exactly. It is erroneous, a lie. It exaggerates the environmental benefits to gain economic advantage. It is greenwashing.

IMO these attempts to cling to personal motorised transport are an inefficient use of talent and divert attention from bigger issues. Let's get to 100% green energy first and see if there is any left over for the luxury of running private motor vehicles.

Hmm - well - I think there is room for action on several fronts at once.

I like Tesla Motors concept of selling you solar panels with the car - over time it could make for a large volume of distributed, renewable energy generation. It might not be 100% carbon neutral, but its much better than the present day state of affairs...