August 21, 2016


The Future of Big Oil? At Shell, It's Not Oil : The energy giant is shifting to gas as the industry adapts to climate change. (Matthew Campbell, Rakteem Katakey, James Paton, 7/20/16,  Bloomberg Businessweek)

At Australia's Curtis Island, you can see Big Oil morphing into Big Gas. Just off the continent's rugged northeastern coast lies a 667-acre liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal owned by Royal Dutch Shell, an engineering feat of staggering complexity. Gas from more than 2,500 wells travels hundreds of miles by pipeline to the island, where it's chilled and pumped into 10-story-high tanks before being loaded onto massive ships. "We're more a gas company than an oil company," says Ben van Beurden, Shell's chief executive officer. "If you have to place bets, which we have to, I'd rather place them there."

Van Beurden is betting on gas projects such as Curtis Island to address the central challenge facing all oil giants: how to survive in a world moving ever faster toward new ways of producing and consuming energy.

Mum, what is a combustion engine? (Alex Gray, 17 August 2016, World Economic Forum)

[T]here are early signs that even the combustion engine, lynchpin of the industrial age, might eventually be on its way to the technological graveyard.

According to the Norwegian newspaper Dagens Naeringsliv, the ruling party Framstegspartiet will ban all combustible fuel-driven cars in the country by 2025.

It may seem ambitious, but perhaps not impossible. Worldwide sales of electric cars are booming. According to the International Energy Agency, in 2015 the global threshold of one million cars on the road was exceeded, with 1.26 million up and running. In 2005, electric cars were still measured in hundreds.

Government initiatives are partly behind the boom in electric cars. Incentives and subsidies such as toll-free driving, free public parking, use of public transport lanes and exemptions from heavy car taxes as well as purchasing incentives have encouraged the driving public to go electric.

Posted by at August 21, 2016 8:54 AM