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he was shocked by the “protracted media and political firestorm” this year’s disaster had caused, which at its height threatened the company’s existence, but insisted that BP would not quit its business in the US. Ed Markey, a US congressman, said Mr Dudley’s speech showed that the company continued to be in denial about its responsibilities and was seeking to blame anyone but itself. In his address to the CBI employers’ group in London, Mr Dudley said there had been “a great rush to judgment by a fair number of observers before the full facts could possibly be known, even from some in our industry”.979

26.10.10. Treasury to get £1bn windfall in Swiss deal over secret bank accounts. Guardian: “Switzerland agrees to support UK's efforts to tax offshore accounts similar to previous arrangement with Liechtenstein. The Treasury, via HMRC is hoping to gain a multimillion-pound windfall thanks to a deal with Switzerland over untaxed bank accounts. The Treasury expects a multimillion pound windfall after entering talks with the Swiss authorities over thousands of untaxed bank accounts.”980

Cairn Energy writes off its $185m drilling programme off the coast of Greenland. Guardian: “Shares in Cairn Energy fell by more than 7% after the oil and gas group said that its controversial drilling programme off the coast of Greenland had come to an end without making a commercial discovery. It said it had managed to complete only two out of four planned wells by the 30 September, the end of the drilling season in Greenland. The company did not have time to finish drilling a third well where it announced last month oil had been "observed intermittently". The company said it would study data taken from the suspended well before deciding whether to resume drilling after the season begins again next June. Cairn confirmed that the two completed wells, which found traces of hydrocarbons, did not result in commercial discoveries. It said it would write off the $185m (£117m) spent on the drilling programme. … This article was amended on 28 October 2010. The original caption said that Cairn's explorations had ended due to a lack of commercial discoveries. This has been corrected.”981

27.10.10. USGS drops estimate of Alaska's undiscovered oil by fully 90 percent. CNN: “The U.S. Geological Survey says a revised estimate for the amount of conventional, undiscovered oil in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska is a fraction of a previous estimate. The group estimates about 896 million barrels of such oil are in the reserve, about 90 percent less than a 2002 estimate of 10.6 billion barrels. The new estimate is mainly due to the incorporation of new data from recent exploration drilling revealing gas occurrence rather than oil in much of the area, the geological survey said.”982

Prospect of gridlock on Chinese highways for next four years sends coal to four-month high. FT: “China is driving up world coal prices as clogged roads and railways from Beijing to Tibet restrict deliveries in the world’s fastest-growing major economy while the country tries to build stockpiles ahead of winter. A jam held up traffic for as many as 10 days along the country’s main east-west highway in August, underscoring a crisis that may buoy prices for the next two years, according to Daniel Brebner, an analyst at Deutsche Bank AG in London. The China Coal Transport and Distribution Association says it may take up to four years to ease the gridlock. Government incentives and lower wages away from coastal regions are boosting Chinese inland development, creating transport disruption that is hampering access to domestic supplies and prompting coal consumers to turn to foreign imports. … Thermal coal prices will average $110 a ton next year and $120 in 2012, Deutsche Bank’s Brebner said on Oct. 7. Coal use in Asia climbed 6.4 percent last year, more than a 0.8 percent increase in oil consumption, according to BP Plc.”983

Masdar setbacks: no energy independence, and no trgaat for 100% renewables. FT: “The plans have taken a major knock in the last 18 months. Lending for real estate dried up in the wake of the Dubai financial crisis, companies proved reluctant to move in to the new commercial space and the developers quickly realised their initial plans for the energy mix were too ambitious. Earlier this month, the company confirmed it would cut up to $3.3bn from its budget after a 10-month strategy review. Last week, days after the results of the review were announced, I talked to the company’s CEO, Sultan al-Jaber, and the city’s director, Alan Frost, about their plans for the future. The first and most important thing Frost told me was that there was still no bank finance at all for property in the Middle East. … What has changed? First of all the energy supply. Having first envisioned that the city would be entirely energy self-sufficient, the company has now realised this is not possible.” Madar remains “committed” to 100% renewables, but does not know by when it will be possible.984

Saudi Arabia forced by soaring energy demand to go for green tech incl. 25% renewables by 2030. FT: “The world’s largest oil exporter is starting efforts to slow the runaway growth in domestic energy and desalinated water consumption by asking property developers and the construction industry to adopt more environmentally friendly technologies. … Saudi officials are also now publicly recognising that heavily subsidised electricity and water foster waste. Domestic electricity demand consumes 1.25m barrels of oil a day and is growing by 8 per cent a year, according to the ministry of water and electricity. This means that 3,000 megawatts of additional capacity has to be added each year to meet the needs of a rapidly growing population, and to power energy-intensive industries and the country’s construction spree, the ministry says. … Mr Sfakianakis says that by 2030, 25 per cent of energy should come from renewables, “otherwise domestic oil consumption is going to creep up on oil reserves and exports’’.985

Axing of revenue-neutral Carbon Reduction Commitment is “baffling”, FT Lex column concludes. “Committing to austerity in the UK means breaking other commitments. Last week the government took Labour’s already renamed and delayed carbon reduction plan – the Carbon Reduction Commitment – and effectively killed it. Under the original rules the 5,000 businesses involved – with annual power bills of about £500,000 each – would pay a tax of £12 per tonne of carbon emitted, compete with each other to be the most efficient energy users, and trade associated permits. The best operators would receive a refund greater than the amount they had paid. … renamed the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme, it will merely take the money raised – perhaps about £3.5bn over four years – and stash it in the government’s coffers. Sure, the Treasury needs cash, but it is baffling that the unique competition-based mechanism has been junked. As the scheme was revenue-neutral, keeping it would have made no difference to the chancellor. Now, an all-stick-no-carrot approach will raise costs for business, while killing the incentive for a company to reduce its environmental footprint. The episode decreases still further the chance that the UK will keep its pledge to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 15 per cent and produce one-third of its energy from renewable sources by 2020.”986

More firms expected to follow Conoco in gas shut in, Reuters: “ConocoPhillips shut in a small amount of its natural gas production in the third quarter and would like to shut in more at current low prices, but some of

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