All is quieter on the Eastern front in today’s edition, as Europe (and other parts of the world) celebrate May 1, Labor Day. Russia, however, is sulking about the EU’s intention to open gas and electricity markets. Before filing a dispute at the WTO, Moscow seeks to talk to the EU. Hard news in this edition comes from Mexico, with much-awaited details on its energy reform. 

Quote of the day

“Once you see what’s put up for bid, that’s when you’ll see how attractive it is”

Mexico City oil analyst David Shields, in the AP story Mexico lays out energy reform rules


Lead Stories 

Mexico lays out energy reform rules
Mark  Stevenson, AP 
The Mexican government on Wednesday unveiled its proposed rules for a historic opening of the state-owned oil and energy industry, saying contracts and production licenses should be put out for public bid and go to the company that offers the best return.

Oil Bill to Give Pemex 20% Ownership of Cross-Border Fields 
Nacha Cattan and Adam Williams, Bloomberg 
Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto is proposing legislation that will ensure Petroleos Mexicanos owns at least 20 percent of oil and gas fields that span the country’s borders.  
***LB: Also in this story “Mexico will probably offer its first oil drilling contracts to private companies as early as this year or the beginning of next year”

Mexico says reforms will boost wind
Global wind energy Council (GWEC)  
The Mexican government said it wants the renewables industry to play a key role in the country’s future as it rolls out far-reaching energy market reform.

Russia seeks talks on EU energy regulations -WTO
Russia has requested talks with the European Union on its “Third Energy Package” in a possible first step towards filing a dispute at the World Trade Organization, WTO officials said on Thursday.  
***LB: Also in this story “Russia’s request to the WTO on Wednesday concerns several aspects, including a requirement on granting access to natural gas and electricity networks, something which could force Russian firms to sell stakes and cede market share.”

Don’t cry for the Nabucco pipeline
Leslie Palti-Guzman, Reuters
It is too late for regrets. With Europe worried that Moscow could cut off gas deliveries to Ukraine, which would trigger price volatility and supply risks throughout the continent, the failure of the Nabucco pipeline project stands out.  
***LB: Also in this story “Russia, meanwhile, is likely to remain Europe’s chief natural gas supplier through at least 2020, despite the anticipated growth of diversified gas shipments to Europe, including liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the vast U.S. shale-gas resources.”

Rosneft adds $20bn safety net to balance sheet
Jack Farchy, The Financial Times
Rosneft has accumulated a $20bn “safety net” of cash on its balance sheet in order to reduce its dependence on international markets as foreign banks and investors shun Russian companies.

Even Winners in Energy Future Bankruptcy Can’t Celebrate
Linda Sandler, Beth Jinks and Richard Bravo, Bloomberg
Even the winners in the bankruptcy of Energy Future Holdings Corp. have little to celebrate after months of wrangling resulted in compromises for everyone.  
***LB: Also in this story “Owners KKR & Co., TPG Capital and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners, which took the former TXU Corp. private in the largest leveraged buyout ever seven years ago, had asked for 15 percent of the restructured company, according to documents released a year ago. They’ll go home with less than 1 percent.”

Shale Revolution Luring Trading Houses Into U.S. Energy Assets
Lynn Doan and Dan Murtaugh, Bloomberg 
Merchants from Vitol Group, the largest independent oil trader, to a company backed by billionaire Paul Tudor Jones are amassing physical energy assets in the U.S. at an unprecedented rate as shale output revives stagnant fuels markets.



Minnesota’s Marquee Solar Event
The Midwest Solar Expo is bringing together solar leaders from across the Midwest to advance dialogue on key issues, provide insight on the latest industry trends and best practices, and serve as a nexus between the solar industry and the public.
May 16, 2014
Minneapolis, Minnesota   


Shipping industry ditches barnacles for first carbon credit scheme
Will Nichols, BusinessGreen 
Fuel-efficient ships will be able to generate certified carbon credits for the first time, after a pioneering new initiative was this week accredited by The Gold Standard body.
***LB: Also in this story  “According to the Dutch company, very large crude carriers (VLCCs) can improve fuel efficiency by around nine per cent by using the more advanced, biocide-free Intersleek coating”

Report: US blue chips embracing sustainability but step change needed
James Murray, BusinessGreen
More than two-thirds of US blue chip companies are taking active steps to cut their greenhouse gas emissions, but efforts to reduce environmental impacts are still falling a long way short of what is required to tackle escalating climate risks.

Natural Gas/Coal 

House panel green lights gas exports bill
Laura Barron-Lopez and Timothy Cama, The Hill
The House Energy and Commerce Committee advanced legislation that would speed up the export of liquified natural gas.

Two plants to put ‘clean coal’ to test
Richard Van Noorden, Nature 
When Unit 3 at the Boundary Dam Power Station in Saskatchewan, Canada, switches on later this year after a lengthy refit, it will mark a historic moment for dirty coal power. It will be the first time that a commercial-scale plant supplying electricity to the grid captures and stores a large fraction of its carbon dioxide emissions.

Petronet struggles with constrained Kochi plant
Nidhi Verma, Reuters
India’s biggest gas importer Petronet LNG is scouting for ways to recoup millions of dollars invested in setting up its Kochi terminal, which has been operating at a fraction of its capacity.

BG beats Q1 estimates after losing CEO
British oil and gas company BG Group reported a lower-than-expected drop in first-quarter profit on Thursday, just days after its chief executive resigned.

UNESCO alarmed over Australian coal port dredging near Reef
Australia said on Thursday it had the know-how to protect the Great Barrier Reef after the U.N.’s cultural agency criticised a plan to dump sand nearby, but proposed postponing any move to place the reef on an “in danger” list.


Mars sweetens its green appeal with major wind farm deal
Jessica Shankleman, BusinessGreen 
Mars is set to power its entire US operations with renewable energy from next year, after signing a major new deal to purchase the power from a 200MW wind farm in Texas.

Petrobras Sells Cheap Power as Brazil Seeks to Limit Aid
Rodrigo Orihuela and Mario Sergio Lima, Bloomberg 
Petroleo Brasileiro SA  agreed to sell energy to distributors for below-market rates as the government seeks to fight inflation amid record spot prices and limit the use of a $5.4 billion aid package.

Japan Props Up More Power Utilities to Avoid Rate Increases 
Jacob Adelman and Masumi Suga, Bloomberg 
Japan moved to prop up another two unprofitable power companies after they posted losses of 159 billion yen ($1.6 billion), underscoring how the idling of atomic reactors is forcing losses on most of the nation’s utilities.


The energy storage numbers game
Christine Hertzog, GreenBiz (Blog)
Rodney Dangerfield had a great line about how he went to the fights and a hockey game broke out. It was a concise and witty commentary on the frequency of bench-emptying fist fights between hockey teams.


Independent Scotland to “lead the world in tackling climate change”
Will Nichols, BusinessGreen
An independent Scotland would be greener, cleaner and “lead the world in tackling climate change”, the country’s Environment Minister has claimed. 
***LB: Also in this story “However, UK Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey has repeatedly warned Scotland’s green energy ambitions will face major challenges and could quickly become unaffordable if it is no longer subsidised by taxpayers in the rest of the UK.”

Progressive group ties oil lobby to Saudi Arabia
Timothy Cama, The Hill 
The progressive Americans United for Change (AUFC) announced an ad campaign Wednesday saying that Saudi Arabia’s national oil company is funding the American Petroleum Institute’s (API) push against renewable fuels.

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