Volume 2, Issue 2
September 26, 2016 – October 2, 2016
Jason Mulderrig | Anushka Dasgupta

Oil and Gas:
Nigeria Claims Oil Majors Illegally Exported Crude                                                                                                                                                                                                        http://www.wsj.com/articles/nigeria-claims-oil-majors-illegally-exported-crude-1475256018                                                              Factiva link: https://global.factiva.com/redir/default.aspx?P=sa&NS=16&AID=9PRI002900&an=WSJO000020160930ec9u008c1&cat=a&ep=ASI
September 30, 2016                                                                                                                                 Africa’s largest oil producer announced that it will be suing multinational oil companies for illegally exporting oil over the a four-year period. The Nigerian government claims that Shell and Chevron, among others, left some $12.7 billion dollars’ worth of US-bound crude undeclared on the Nigerian side. Oil has been Nigeria’s primary source of revenue for 40 years, and declining prices have affected its economy since 2015. In response, Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari has promised to both guide Nigerian markets toward diversification and to crack down on undercutting and corruption by foreign companies. All oil companies accused are currently denying the claims, but may well end up paying a steep fee to the Nigerian government. -AD

OPEC Agrees to Cut Production, Sending Oil Prices Soaring http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/29/business/energy-environment/opec-agreement-oil-prices.html?ref=energy-environment&_r=0
September 28, 2016 | Clifford Krauss and Stanley Reed                                                                                                                                          Against my prediction last week, the nations of OPEC agreed this past Wednesday to cut their collective oil output. The particulars of the cut will be finalized at a formal OPEC meeting on November 30th in Vienna, Austria. This announcement sent oil prices up 5% by closing on Wednesday. This announcement is significant because this is the first oil cut from OPEC since the Great Recession 8 years ago, and it shows that the top OPEC countries recognize this stagnation in global oil prices is a serious issue that should not worsen. However, this oil cut from OPEC is expected to be modest at best – only 700,000 barrels of oil per day are poised to be trimmed, which amounts to less than 1 percent of the total global production today. We will have to wait until November to see how the particulars of the oil cut will pan out. -JPM

Offshore Wind Farms See Promise in Platforms That Float                                                                                     http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/30/business/energy-environment/offshore-wind-farms-see-promise-in-platforms-that-f.html?ref=energy-environment&_r=0
September 29, 2016 | Diane Cardwell                                                                                                                                          A few weeks ago, I profiled the completion of the construction of the first offshore wind farm on American shores – off the coast of Rhode Island. However, compared to our European counterparts, America is late to the offshore wind power game. One reason for this tardiness is that Americans living in coastal communities oppose the change to the ocean view the new wind turbines will bring. One way to combat these complaints is to install turbines further offshore – further than where conventional offshore turbines can be installed. As a result, floating wind turbines are being vigorously researched and developed by several groups around the world, from the University of Maine to Statoil to Principle Power. These turbines are poised to tap into the stronger winds offshore in order to produce more electricity than conventional offshore turbines could, and potentially at a lower cost. -JPM

Energy Policy:
Presidential Candidates Hold Starkly Different Views on Energy                                                                                                                                                                                           http://www.npr.org/2016/09/23/495068413/presidential-candidates-hold-starkly-different-views-on-energy
September 23, 2016 | Marie Cusick and Joe Wertz                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Election fever is in the air, so it’s time to look at our presidential candidates’ platforms on energy. While both envision the U.S. becoming a self-sufficient energy superpower, they take radically different approaches to achieving this goal. Hillary Clinton’s renewable-energy platform is driven by the issue of climate change. Donald Trump, on the other hand, has focused on bringing jobs back to the U.S. by expanding oil and natural gas drilling, the very strategy Clinton maintains is environmentally harmful and shortsighted. Trump has said on multiple occasions that climate change is a hoax. He would back away from Paris Agreement, which will go into action in 2020. Clinton plans to generously fund clean-energy research and installations, while Trump feels that such action is unnecessarily favoring one product over another and placing barriers to production that would benefit the U.S.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Those who depend on coal and oil production for their livelihood or blame outsourcing for job scarcity understandably find Trump’s policies appealing. The money from increased oil production could lead to public benefits. Those alarmed by the looming prospect of climate change, however, see an immediate need to begin transitioning to cleaner fuels. Such a transition will, of course, come with its own complications: for one, the U.S. is not the world’s largest producer of solar, and for another, it will be difficult to build a grid around the next fuel to address our transport needs. It remains to be seen how the U.S. government will approach these nuanced issues. – AD


The ‘Deathprint’ Of Energy Grapples With The Powers Of Regulation http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2016/09/30/the-deathprint-of-energy-grapples-with-the-powers-of-regulation/#7cb103f4479f
September 30, 2016 | James Conca                                                                                                                                                When we think of quantifying the externalities associated with different sources of energy, our minds often think about the carbon footprint (grams of CO2 emitted per kWh generated) or the physical footprint (m^2 of land taken/kWh generated). However, Conca argues in this Forbes article to consider the ‘deathprint’ of different sources of energy, which is the number of people killed per kWh produced. Even though the statistic takes you aback, it reveals some interesting phenomena with energy generation. One, coal is the deadliest form of energy generation by a large stretch. And two, regulation imposed by the US on its energy generation by the Clean Air Act, FERC, and the NRC have saved lives. As energy generation technology improves in the coming decades, it will be interesting to see how the ‘deathprint’ of each energy source changes. -JPM