The Bullroarer - Tuesday 24th March 2009

The Australian - LNG looks good as oil prices continue to fall

FALLING oil prices are raising interest in Australia's liquefied natural gas sector as oil majors look to boost vital reserves they can no longer secure in areas like Canada's oil sands. Despite the steep drop in global energy prices over the past nine months, Queensland's coal seam gas sector has been strong as global and local Gladstone LNG proponents jostle for the state's reserves.

On the other side of the country, the long-delayed $50 billion Gorgon LNG project, potentially the nation's biggest development yet, is picking up steam, with operator Chevron labelling it the company's top 2009 priority. Reserve replacement among international oil companies is a key driver of share prices, meaning they will not sit idle if one of the areas they are in dries up.

WorldChanging - Australia's Centre for Integrated Sustainability Analysis

Folks at the Centre for Integrated Sustainability Analysis in Sydney, Australia seem to be doing some pretty terrific work these days. I have noticed their involvement in several cool projects lately:

Researchers there worked with the Stockholm Environment Institute on the reassessment of the UK's carbon footprint which showed that counting offshored emissions, the UK was producing more, not fewer, greenhouse gasses. ...

And, perhaps most impressively, they had a hand in the research behind the Australian Conservation Foundation's Interactive Consumption Atlas, a really excellent example of making the ecologically invisible visible in a compelling way. - 'Nano will add to global pollution'

An Australian motoring expert has slammed the world's least expensive car Nano, which was launched in Mumbai Monday, claiming it would increase global pollution and push up fuel prices.

The Age - Flaws in emissions trading scheme must be fixed

WE'RE all in this together. This is a common observation in these times of recession and climate change, essentially because it's true. That is why one must deplore any actions by government and industry, or policies, that undermine collective resolve to deal with these critical challenges. Yet that appears to be the effect of the Federal Government's Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme. A ministerial brief to the Victorian Government confirms criticism that cuts in greenhouse gas emissions achieved by households and governments will not be additional to industry targets under the emissions trading scheme, but will instead decrease pressure on industry to cut emissions.

ABC - Money to scrap car bombs not fuel efficient, RACQ says. The title could be a bit confusing if you don't read the article...

The RACQ says giving people money to scrap their old cars will not necessarily reduce fuel consumption or greenhouse gas emissions.

The Motor Traders Association of New South Wales has written to the Federal Government asking it to pay car owners $3,000 to send their old bombs to the wreckers. But RACQ spokesman Gary Fites says offering a rebate on new environmental friendly cars would be a better policy.

The Age - Airlines forecast 2009 losses at $6.6b

The airline industry association IATA on Tuesday sharply increased its loss forecast for carriers to $US4.7 billion ($A6.67 billion) this year due to a "rapid deterioration of the global economic conditions."

The new forecast given at the International Air Transport Association's annual media event marked a sharp rise from the 2.5 billion dollars in losses predicted by IATA in December.

The industry group also raised its estimate of total airline losses for 2008 from 8.0 billion dollars to 8.5 billion dollars, blaming a "very sharp fall in premium travel and cargo travel."

ABC - NT home named 'most planet friendly' in Australia

A Northern Territory residence has been named the most planet-friendly dwelling in Australia by the Alternative Technology Association. The Batchelor home is made up of four, 12 metre by six metre sheds, which are made of scavenged and recycled materials. The sheds each cost between $800 and $15,000 dollars to build and are run on solar power.

The Age - NRMA invites road rage rants on new site

Australians who are sick of road congestion, high petrol prices and astronomical tolls are being invited by the NRMA to vent their road rage on a new site,

Courier Mail - Positive outlook for Queensland's coal seam gas market

ESTABLISHING in Queensland a world-first energy source in coal seam gas to liquefied natural gas is unlikely to be derailed by currently weak oil prices and falling global LNG demand, an expert says. Michael Hurley, PricewaterhouseCoopers' London-based global LNG leader, says a strong longer-term outlook for global LNG demand, plus attractive supply factors, mean a positive outlook for Queensland coal seam gas.

Business Spectator - Linc Energy seals deal

Linc Energy’s sale of its Emerald coal tenements in Queensland has progressed another step. The $1.5 billion sale of the Bowen Basin exploration permits to Xinwen Mining Group have been given the go-ahead by Chinese regulators in a deal that has been in negotiation since September last year. ...

Located in China's Shandong province, Xinwen is partnering with Linc to develop underground coal gasification and gas-to-liquids projects in China as well. Xinwen is also spearheading China’s opening of Xinjiang as a source of coal.

Xinjiang, the Muslim-majority region that borders several Central Asian countries in China's extreme west, is believed to host 40 per cent of China's coal reserves and, naturally, a massive untapped resource of coal seam gas that local media believes could become an important fuel source for the country.

The Australian - BG Group wins majority control of Pure Energy

BG Group said today it had won majority control of its takeover target Pure Energy Resources, upping its stake to 70 per cent.

Peak Energy - Wheel Motors to Drive Dutch Buses

Peak Energy - China’s Recycling Market Is Sagging

Peak Energy - A Low Carbon Economy By 2050 For Australia

Peak Energy - Hydropower from Old Washing Machines

Peak Energy - The Dome Who Came In From The Cold

Peak Energy - iiNet ditches internet censorship trial

Peak Energy - The marriage of greed and stupidity. Great article if you want to understand how the CDO/CDS disaster was created.

Peak Energy - Douglas Rushkoff On The Economy: Let it die

Economic Times Of India - BP, Shell eye Santos; China bid unlikely

Global energy giants BP, Eni and Shell are eyeing possible bids for Australia's No.3 oil and gas firm Santos, which one analyst
valued at around $7 billion, but a bid from China looks unlikely, dealmakers say. Takeover speculation has swirled around Santos, which has a strong balance sheet and coveted liquid natural gas (LNG) prospects, since Nov 29 when a government cap on foreign ownership expired.

Its shares soared 16 percent on Dec. 8 after a media report said China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), parent of PetroChina, may bid. But with Australia reviewing a raft of Chinese investments, including Chinalco's contentious $19.5 billion deal with miner Rio Tinto, alarm bells are ringing in Canberra that China Inc might end up owning too much of Australia before the global financial crisis ends. That makes a CNPC bid highly unlikely, dealmakers say.

SMH - Suffocated by smog and heat

DEATHS from heat stress among the elderly are likely to double in Sydney by the middle of the century because of climate change, and the number of people hospitalised because of air pollution is likely to treble, scientists from the CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology are predicting.

Proactive Investors - Greenearth Energy to develop geothermal power plant in Geelong area

Greenearth Energy is pleased to announce that further work carried out by Hot Dry Rocks Pty Ltd (HDRPL), has lead to the development of a Hot Sedimentary Aquifer (HSA) commercial model for geothermal based electricity generation southwest of Geelong. ...

This HDRPL study modelled the costs and outcomes that may reasonably be expected for developing a 10.7 megawatt (MW) geothermal power plant. Similarly the study modelled an expansion to establish a 48 MW geothermal power plant.

Seeking Alpha - InterOil: Introducing the Biggest Natural Gas Well in the World. Interesting article but beware of stock pumpers is a rule always worth keeping in mind

InterOil (IOC) is a Canadian integrated (exploration assets, refinery, near distribution monopoly) located in Papua New Guinea [PNG]. After having struck two earlier profusely flowing natural gas and liquids wells (flowing at 102 and 105MMcf/d respectively), they hit an absolute killer with Antelope1, which flowed at a whopping 382MMcf/d.

The Times - Australia is the land of promise for BP and Shell

BP edged down 4p to 471¾p and Shell fell 30p to £15.33 amid talk that both were eyeing a $7 billion (£4.8 billion) bid for Santos, Australia’s third-largest energy company.

Santos’s shares have been rising since the Australian Government lifted a limit of 15 per cent on foreign ownership in November. Its market value is now A$9.3 million (£4.4 million). It is seen as a prize because, as well as having coal seam gasfields, it is planning to build a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Gladstone, Queensland, where it will cool the gas to liquid ready for export by sea.

BP has said that it is looking at buying LNG assets to plug a looming gap in its portfolio. BG Group, down 7p at £10.95, took control of Pure Energy, a rival Queensland LNG group, yesterday after buying 91 per cent of it.

Some analysts believe that the rush by oil majors into coal seam gas assets – natural gas extracted from coal – is creating a bubble and that not all projects will be completed.