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Shell takes to high seas to escape oil gloom
Danny Fortson, The Times
It was a week of unrelenting gloom for the oil industry. As one boss after another revealed unprecedented plunges in profits, tens of billions of dollars were wiped off company values. They warned of savage jobs cuts to come and none ventured a guess as to when the recession might end. All is not well in oil-land.
Yet it was a largely ignored announcement by Shell that illustrates the depth of the probems facing the industry. The company approved a plan to build a fleet of floating natural gas plants. Each will be twice the length of a Royal Navy aircraft carrier and weigh 200,000 tons. They will sail to gas fields located either so far out to sea or in such environmentally sensitive areas that the pipelines and surface infrastructure required make them unviable. Until recently, the idea was dismissed.
“We’ve been looking at this for more than a decade,” said Jon Chadwick, executive vice-president of Shell’s Upstream division. “But in the last couple of years, things have changed.”
Liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants, which extract gas from deep underground and purify, compress and superchill it to liquid form, are expensive and technologically complex. One can easily cost $4 billion (£2.4 billion). Chadwick declined to say how much it will cost to make LNG plants seaworthy, but shipping sources say the price could top $6 billion...
(2 August 2009)
OPEC unlikely to cut oil output in Sept - delegates
OPEC is unlikely to cut oil output further at its meeting next month if oil prices remain around current levels, two delegates from the producer group said on Tuesday.
"It is hard to predict now, but I don't think there is a need to do anything," said one of the delegates, who declined to be identified. "The market is OK."...
..."How can you cut with this economy? The price is going up and down. It's still below $75. But if that is because of the economy, how can OPEC cut?
(4 August 2009)
The Inevitable Rise in the Price of Gasoline (audio)
Krys Boyd, KERA (North Texas Public Radio)
How high will gas prices go and is there an up side to increasing energy costs? We'll spend this hour with Forbes staff writer Christopher Steiner, whose new book is $20 Per Gallon: How the Inevitable Rise in the Price of Gasoline will Change Our Lives for the Better
(3 August 2009)
Suggested by EB contributer westexas