Category Archives: energy

Oil Spill

A minor oil spill in the Bohai Gulf off the north Chinese coast.

[ConocoPhillips and the China National Offshore Oil Company (CNOOC)] said about 3,200 barrels of oil had been spilled (compared with the millions in the Gulf of Mexico last year).

But the incident has raised a disproportionate stink as

THE attitude of ConocoPhillips, railed a Beijing newspaper, shows that the American oil company regards China as an ordinary developing country, “and not, as Westerners often call us, a ‘rising great power’.”

All Sino-American collaborations are vulnerable to bad press as often sentiments of jingoism and nationalism rear their heads apropos of nothing.  Here, at least, there is a putative hook on which to hang the the nationalist sentiment.

Perhaps unusually, some Chinese news outlets have even gone on to criticize the government for its handling of the issue, insinuating nepotism, corruption and “special care.”

More at The Economist.

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Nabucco News

Pipeline economics is always interesting.

Vladimir Socor at the Jamestown Foundation outlines the current state of affairs with respect to the transport of Caspian gas to Europe.  There are three consortiums vying for the right to build and maintain the pipeline.  The Nabucco consortium is still ahead with respect to planning, engineering and, most crucially, securing agreements with the governments of the five countries through which the pipeline will pass.


The Kingdom of Magical Thinking

Robin M. Mills takes a casual look at the Saudi fiscal budget in Foreign Policy.

The article is light on facts and heavy on speculation and supposition, but that may be ascribed to a shortage of reliable data emanating from the country.  I still found it an interesting read, because I have not often come across analyses of the Saudi economy, which given its resources, is much more important globally than one might surmise from its visibility in the global media.

And there are some interesting factoids on its energy inefficiency.

As much as 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil are burned for electricity to meet summer air-conditioning demand, yet Jeddah, Saudi Arabia’s second-largest city, still suffers frequent power cuts. By around 2026, Jadwa [a Saudi investment bank] projects that domestic consumption will be over 5 million bpd, exceeding exports, which will never again reach their 2005 peak.