|Interview | 11 September 2014
Challenging Croatian business environment and haemorrhaging European refinery industry
Interview with Marcus Lippold, Vice President for Business Strategy and Regulatory & Public Affairs, MOL Group
MOL, the Hungarian oil & gas company, has been facing a tough time in Croatia since taking effective control over the national energy champion – INA, in 2009. According to Marcus Lippold if there isn't an amicable solution reached with the Croatian government, MOL would be willing to sell its stake in INA. In light of the current Russian-Ukrainian gas crisis he expressed concerns about missing reverse gas flows between some Central European countries. Furthermore, with regard to the EU 2030 climate goals he calls for “a clever way of financing but without giving excessive subsidies”.
The hunt for precious metals is on
By Lydia Heida
Whilst the European energy sector depends for many products and processes on precious and rare metals, their supply is unstable or insufficient. Although global competition for these metals is increasing, new recycling facilities in Europe are coming on stream.
|Analysis | 14 August 2014
European smart grid roll-out on target
By Jeremy Bowden
Currently across much of the European Union programs are being implemented to install smart meters in every home and business. This, combined with power and control networks, will provide the infrastructure upon which our widely anticipated smart grids can operate, enabling a much better control of the continent’s energy demand and supply.
|Interview | 14 August 2014
The Bigger Oil Story Behind the Headlines: Interview with Michael Levi
By James Stafford
While we fixate on sexy headlines about Chinese military threats in the South China Sea, for instance, or Washington 'lifting the ban' on crude oil exports, we miss the bigger stories—and we miss the reality. China's relentless resource quest has the greatest impact on trading prices, which may not make for headline news, but is a very important reality, while the stories about the US lifting the crude oil ban were just wrong.
Elimination of the Baltic "Energy Island" and its Importance for Further EU Market Integration in Sector of the Electric Energy
By Leo Jansons
The Baltic States - Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, in terms of energy infrastructure are frequently referred to as an 'energy island'- the region having very few interconnection routes with the rest of the European Union (EU). As for natural gas, the three states are fully dependent on one third country supply source - the Russian Federation, and a single supply route - a pipeline natural gas transmission network linking Latvia and Estonia directly with Russia, and Lithuania with Russia via Belarus. For electric energy transmission systems, the situation is pretty much the same - they are working in a parallel synchronized regime with IPS/UPS countries within the power loop of Belarus, Russia, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania (BRELL). BRELL is an agreement signed by above mentioned parties on February 7, 2001, which regulates the operational control over the electric power systems of five the countries.
- The Role of 'European formulas' in the Russia-Ukraine Gas Debate (part 2) - 4 August 2014
According to ITAR-TASS, as cited by The Moscow Times on 04 July, EU Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger on 03 July asserted EU companies' right to sell Russian gas, which they buy from Gazprom at the delivery points within the EU, back to Ukraine. Energy companies in the EU have an “absolute right to dispose of gas bought from Gazprom at their discretion, including delivering in the reverse to the Ukraine,” Oettinger said via his spokeswoman Sabina Berger...
- "Responsibly energising a growing world" - while dashing for coal? - 11 July 2014
Whether it is despite the latest complications in the international politics or thanks to them, Moscow was in the centre of world of energy for the past couple of months – with the grand opening of the 21st World Petroleum Congress at the Kremlin Palace taking place on June 15 being one of the highlights. What followed was a four-day event, undoubtedly the largest oil and gas industry conference of the year...
- EU's energy transition: the triple challenge of sustainability, competitiveness and affordability - 3 July 2014
On the road to the EU 2050 decarbonisation objective, regulatory unpredictability is considered to be the most important investment challenge by a number of energy professionals in the power sector, while too low prices in the power and ETS markets are perceived as the second biggest challenge. The question posed by some leading experts, is ‘do we want to live in 2035 when the politicians of 2015 dictated the terms of the CO2 regime?’
- What Future for Russia’s Nuclear Exports Post-Ukraine? - 19 June 2014
Recent events in Ukraine are a watershed moment for Europeans to fundamentally re-think their energy policies and reduce their dependence on one, major supplier: Russia. Re-thinking, however, is not equal to rejecting or renouncing, but perhaps more on par with revising or re-assessing, how to prevent the preventable and mitigate the probable...
- The Role of 'European formulas' in the Russia-Ukraine Gas Debate - 19 June 2014
The current Russia-Ukraine gas debate has been making the international media headlines though it has been discussed there mostly from political angle. Being interviewed recently in “Quest means Business” at CNN, I was asked by Richard Quest whether I “think that energy is being used as a diplomatic and political tool by Russia in this case”?
- "... because CCS is not as sexy as renewables" - 5 June 2014
Scientists, engineers, experts from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and politicians seem to agree: to limit the global increase in temperature to a maximum of 2°C without the introduction of a comprehensive Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) system is almost impossible...
- Germany Embarks on Major Energy Reforms - 22 May 2014
Germany is currently pushing through long-awaited reform of its seminal renewable energy laws, introducing measures intended to better control the so-called Energiewende without stopping it...
- Pressure mounts to develop UK shale, as drillers jostle for acreage - 15 May 2014
In the UK politicians are becoming excited over the prospects for shale development, anticipating lower energy prices, improved energy security, higher growth and jobs, lower emissions and increased tax revenue, with many of the early fears apparently proving unfounded. However concerns remain over lengthy and complex planning rules and public protest...
- The Caspian: challenges in environmental and energy governance - 8 May 2014
While EU’s dependency on Russian energy resources has been in the spotlight of the political and media debates in Europe and across the Atlantic over the last months, the ‘New Great Game’ in the Caspian seems to have gone slightly out of sight...
- U.S. Energy Master Limited Partnerships: Worth the Hype or a Disaster in the Making? - 2 May 2014
To increase capital to finance upstream and midstream energy sectors the United States Congress enacted the Master Limited Partnership (MLP) legislation in the 1980s. MLPs offer substantial tax advantages to the partners to encourage investments. However, the MLP structure's requirement to pay out 90% of its taxable income to unit holders, may be undercutting necessary spending on basic maintenance of energy infrastructure that they operate...