Monday 29 February 2016


Geopolitical Earthquake: Energy Price War Spreads To Gas As US Shale Storms Global Market The Daily Telegraph, 26 February 2016
 The US has exported its first shipment of natural gas in a historic move that shifts the balance of power in the global energy market and kicks off a struggle with Russia for market share. 

BG Group’s LNG shipping experience dates back to 1959 when the UK’s Gas Council pioneered the first international LNG shipment on a trial transatlantic voyage

Surging US supply over the next five years threatens to break the Kremlin's dominance over Europe's gas market, and is already provoking talk of a "Saudi-style" counter attack by Moscow to drive US shale gas frackers out of business before they gain a footing.

At the very least, it sharpens a global price war as liquefied natural gas (LNG) bursts onto the scene, and closes the chapter on the 20th century system of pipeline monopolies. Gas is starting to resemble the spot market for crude oil, with the same wild swings in prices and boom-bust cycles.

A seven-year, $11.5bn project by Cheniere Energy finally came to fruition this week as the first LNG cargo left Sabine Pass in Louisiana - in a special molybdenum-hulled ship at -160 degrees Centigrade - destined for Petrobras in Brazil. "It is a big day for our natural gas revolution," said Ernest Moniz, the US energy secretary.

Speaking at the IHS CERAWeek summit in Texas, he said the emergence of the US as a gas superpower is a geopolitical earthquake, though he has always been coy about the exact intention. "It is a change in the energy security picture," he said.

The US is ramping up LNG exports to almost 130bn cubic metres a day (BCM) by the end of the decade, roughly equal to Russia's gas exports to Europe. This may rise to 200 BCM and possibly beyond as the shale industry keeps finding once unthinkable volumes of gas.

Natural Gas Spot Prices
Natural gas spot prices

Mr Moniz said the world had been expecting the US to be a huge importer of LNG before the shale shock. The mere fact that this is no longer the case turns the market upside-down, and is a key reason why LNG prices have been in free-fall across the world.

The shift to net exports is something that almost nobody expected. Mr Moniz predicted that the US will match Qatar, and possibly exceed it to become the world's biggest exporter of LNG by 2020.

The US is still a net importer of natural gas but that is because Canadian pipelines supply New York and Detroit. However, it does not alter the overall picture.

Martin Houston, chairman of Parallax Energy, said the US may account for a quarter of the world's LNG market within a decade, and is so efficient that it can deliver gas to Europe for as little as $5 per million British thermal unit (Btu) despite the high cost of liquefa_ction and shipping.

Shale production

The Americans are now in a race for leadership with Australia as its offshore Gorgon field cranks into gear, but the two countries feed different markets.

The US shipments are aimed directly at Europe, where there is a large and unused infrastructure of LNG terminals, including Lithuania's new "Independence" plant designed to end reliance on Russian pipelines. The mere prospect of American LNG deprives Russia of its pricing power and political leverage in Europe, spoiling its gas cash cow.

Just as US shale oil has turned global crude markets upside-down, LNG from shale is now doing the same to the gas markets - beaching countless projects around the world launched in the pre-shale era.

Alexander Medvedev, deputy chairman of Gazprom's management committee, made light of the US challenge. "There is room enough for all in this gas market. Europe needs another 70 BCM of gas by 2020," he said at the CERAWeek forum.

Gas sales

The COP21 climate accords in Paris have made gas an imperative, giving it a clear edge over coal as the fossil fuel of choice, since its CO2 emissions are half as much.

But Mr Medvedev hinted that Russia will fight back, warning that its gas deliveries will be "competitively priced".

Russia faces a dilemma. Gazprom can easily undercut LNG from the US, able to deliver gas for just $3.50. It has 100 BCM of idle capacity in west Siberia, according to the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies (OIES).

James Henderson, a senior research fellow at the OIES, said it is tempting for Russia to "crater" the price until it falls below the break-even cost of shale frackers, much as Saudi Arabia is doing to oil frackers. “There may be some logic for Gazprom in adopting a Saudi-like strategy in order to reinforce its long-term competitive advantage,” he said.

Russian gas prices in Europe have already fallen so far - to $5.80 today from $11.20 in 2013 - that it may be worth the pain of pushing it a little lower to defend Moscow's 30pc share of the market.

The OIES said Gazprom could lose $25bn to $40bn in revenues over the next five years if it fails to act. The question is whether to strike a pre-emptive blow now while the first US cargoes are still modest. America's huge ramp-up occurs after 2018.

Bud Coote, a former chief energy analyst at the US Central Intelligence Agency and now a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, said the Kremlin may try to knock out America's LNG industry but that too would be very costly. "There's no question that the Russians could underprice LNG [but] it's hard to see them robbing themselves of so much revenue," he said.

Sunday 28 February 2016


This article provokes the question, as it looks at a new paper by Mann and others that actually prove that the pause in global warming is real. Amazing!

Saturday 27 February 2016


Everyone must be aware of the upcoming UK referendum on whether we remain in the EU or leave. This article looks at the issue from the perspective of legislation to decarbonise the UK. While it is true that the EU is way over the top on this issue, unfortunately the UK is even worse, so although I believe we should leave the EU in order to restore our sovereignty, I do not hold out much hope of a more sensible energy policy in the short term as both the main parties seem wedded to the global warming/climate change cult, but at least there may be a change in the future and we could vote for an alternative, whereas in the EU there is no possibility of getting a vote to change anything.

Friday 26 February 2016


This article gives the details of the suspended sentences that were handed down to the thirteen protestors who disrupted passengers' travel for several hours causing chaos. Is it any wonder that we are getting more disruption with such derisory sentences being given. If they had to pay the full cost of their actions they might think twice before repeating them.

Thursday 25 February 2016


Here are the details.  In a shocking admission that undermines much of the anti-fracking narrative pushed by environmentalists, a lawyer for plaintiffs suing an oil and gas company in Dimock, Pennsylvania has admitted the water in the area is not contaminated with fracking fluid. The truth will come out!

Wednesday 24 February 2016


That is according to Terence Mills, a professor of applied statistics at Louhgborough University in the UK.  This article gives a summary of his report, with a link to the full report for those who feel able to follow it. This is an interesting piece of work as it uses a different approach from the computer climate models which have been shown to produce rather unreliable predictions.

Tuesday 23 February 2016


This article considers the reasons why this is happening so soon after the Paris agreement.  The main reason, I would suggest, is that our political masters know only too well how unpopular these policies are going to be, and so they put them on "the back burner" as much as possible. But don't imagine they have gone away for ever. There are still a large number of vested interests who will keep reminding our leaders that they must "do more to save the planet", and put out scary reports and stories to try to keep things going.

Monday 22 February 2016


Daily Mail, 12 February 2016

Ellie Zolfagharifard

The sun is in the midst of its quietest period in more than a century. Several days ago, it was in 'cue ball' mode, with an incredible image from Nasa showing no large visible sunspots seen on its surface
The sun is in the midst of its quietest period in more than a century. Several days ago, it was in ‘cue ball’ mode, with an incredible image from Nasa showing no large visible sunspots seen on its surface.

Astronomers say this isn’t unusual, and solar activity waxes and wanes in 11-year cycles, and we’re currently in Cycle 24, which began in 2008.

However, if the current trend continues, then the Earth could be headed for a ‘mini ice age’ researchers have warned.

We’ve had the smallest number of sunspots in this cycle since Cycle 14, which reached its maximum in February of 1906.

‘With no sunspots actively flaring, the sun’s X-ray output has flatlined,’ wrote Vencore Weather.

‘The number of nearly or completely spotless days should increase over the next few years as we continue to move away from the solar maximum phase of cycle 24 and approach the next solar minimum phase and the beginning of solar cycle 25.’

‘The current level of activity of solar cycle 24 seems close to that of solar cycle number 5, which occurred beginning in May 1798 and ending in December 1810,’ added an analysis by Watts Up With That.

The previous solar cycle, Solar Cycle 23, peaked in 2000-2002 with many furious solar storms.

During Solar Max, huge sunspots and intense solar flares are a daily occurrence. Auroras appear in Florida. Radiation storms knock out satellites.

The last such episode took place in the years around 2000-2001. [...]

The longest minimum on record, the Maunder Minimum of 1645-1715, lasted an incredible 70 years.

During this period, sunspots were rarely observed and the solar cycle seemed to have broken down completely.

Maunder Minimum (also known as the prolonged sunspot minimum) is the name used for the period starting in about 1645 and continuing to about 1715 when sunspots became exceedingly rare, as noted by solar observers of the time
Full story

This, they say, will lead to another ‘Maunder minimum’ – which has previously been known as a mini ice age when it hit between 1646 and 1715.

A study last year claimed to have cracked predicting solar cycles – and says that between 2020 and 2030 solar cycles will cancel each other out.

Many researchers are convinced that low solar activity, acting in concert with increased volcanism and possible changes in ocean current patterns, played a role in that 17th century cooling.

The period of quiet coincided with the Little Ice Age, a series of extraordinarily bitter winters in Earth’s northern hemisphere.

Maunder Minimum (also known as the prolonged sunspot minimum) is the name used for the period starting in about 1645 and continuing to about 1715 when sunspots became exceedingly rare, as noted by solar observers of the time

Sunday 21 February 2016


Daily Mail, 12 February 2016

Sarah Griffith
Idyllic islands and bustling cities such as Venice and Miami may be spared from rising sea levels in the near future because parched land is absorbing some of the water released by melting glaciers.

The planet’s continents have soaked up and stored 3.2 trillion tons of water in soils, lakes and underground aquifers, according to Nasa. The agency analysed satellite measurements collected over the past decade to show the rate of sea level rise has slowed by 22 per cent – although the effect may be temporary.

‘We always assumed that people’s increased reliance on groundwater for irrigation and consumption was resulting in a net transfer of water from the land to the ocean,’ said lead author JT Reager of Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

‘What we didn’t realise until now is that over the past decade, changes in the global water cycle more than offset the losses that occurred from groundwater pumping, causing the land to act like a sponge – at least temporarily.’ 

The latest data came from a pair of Nasa satellites launched in 2002, known as the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (Grace) illustrated
The latest data came from a pair of Nasa satellites launched in 2002,
known as the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (Grace) illustrated

Between 2002 and 2014, it measured changes in gravity and therefore underlying changes in water storage.

The team of researchers, from Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the University of California, Irvine, University of Bonn, Germany, and National Taiwan University, combined the satellite data with estimates of mass loss of glaciers to calculate the impact land water storage might have had on sea level change.

Their analysis suggests that during this timeframe, climate variability resulted in an increase of approximately 3.2 trillion tons of water being stored in land.

The team learned that the ‘water gains over land were spread globally, but taken together they equal the volume of Lake Huron, the world’s seventh largest lake.

This gain partially offset water losses from ice sheets, glaciers, and groundwater pumping, slowing the rate of sea level rise by between 0.7 and 0.2 millimetres each year.’

They believe the findings, published in the journal Science, will help scientists better calculate sea level changes in the years ahead.

These results will lead to a refinement of global sea level budgets, such as those presented in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports, which acknowledge the importance of climate-driven changes in hydrology, but have been unable to include any reliable estimate of their contribution to sea level changes,’ said senior author Jay Famiglietti, a professor at the University of California, Irvine. ‘But we’ll need a much longer data record to fully understand the underlying cause of the patterns and whether they will persist.’

Saturday 20 February 2016


A committee at the University of Chicago adopted a powerful declaration of student rights that has already been adopted by a number of colleges ready to break with the Political Correctness that is stifling free expression on campus.
Read it at and pass it on to others you may know attending college or working in a university setting.
This powerful document is certainly ruffling feathers and making an impact. It clearly lays out the case for a free debate of ideas, as can be seen in the following section:
"In a word, the University’s fundamental commitment is to the principle that debate or deliberation may not be suppressed because the ideas put forth are thought by some or even by most members of the University community to be offensive, unwise, immoral, or wrong-headed. It is for the individual members of the University community, not for the University as an institution, to make those judgments for themselves, and to act on those judgments not by seeking to suppress speech, but by openly and vigorously contesting the ideas that they oppose."
CFACT is getting behind this remarkable free speech statement and using our Collegians network to bring it to students, faculty, administrators, trustees and alumni everywhere.
We hope to see it adopted by student governments, Boards of Regents, and other entities where student expression is being crushed by the forces of Political Correctness. CFACT's Collegians are going to work by urging more institutions of higher learning to adopt a version of this remarkable declaration on free expression, or a similar version guaranteeing as powerful a protection of individual freedom or greater.
As the Chicago declaration also reminds us, “education should not be intended to make people comfortable, it is meant to make them think."
It's time to say " No!” to censorship. The only remedy for speech we disagree with is more speech; speech that persuades on the merits.
CFACT's students are uniquely positioned to champion the fight for free speech on campus.
Please forward a copy of the model declaration to educators wherever free speech is in jeopardy.
Our freedom is our most precious endangered resource.
We must either "use it, or lose it."

Friday 19 February 2016


The Daily Telegraph, 16 February 2016

Jillian Ambrose

The Horse Hill site produced oil for the first time on Monday Photo: Reuters

Shares in UK Oil and Gas Investments soared by as much as 77pc after the Aim-listed developer announced that oil from its well near Gatwick Airport in Surrey flowed at a faster rate than expected.

UK Oil and Gas (Ukog) has claimed that oil from the so called "Gatwick gusher" at Horse Hill flowed from 900m below ground level to the surface without extra help from operators, and at a better rate than expected of 463 barrels a day.

The exploration company said the first ever flow test proves that “significant quantities” of Surrey oil can be brought to the surface “at excellent flow rates”.

"This is a very significant event for the company and for oil and gas activity in the Weald basin of southern England," said Stephen Sanderson, executive chairman of Ukog.

"Importantly, tests so far show oil has flowed to the surface under its own pressure and has not, so far, required artificial lift.

"The flow test, the first ever in the Lower Kimmeridge limestone within the Weald basin, provides proof that significant quantities of moveable oil exist within the Kimmeridge section of the well and can be brought to surface at excellent flow rates."

He said that while the flow rates were ahead of expectations, there was potential to increase them even further by using different techinques.

Ukog and its partners in Horse Hill have claimed that more than 9.2 billion barrels of oil lie under the 55 square kilometre licence area in the Weald Basin.

Thursday 18 February 2016


Humour is a devastating weapon and it is particularly effective when it taps into the truth. The new episode of Yes Prime Minister covers the global warming issue brilliantly (in the last ten minutes of the episode). here.  I fear that Jim Hacker is too close for comfort to our real political leaders, but we must laugh, if only to stop ourselves from crying!

Wednesday 17 February 2016


There are some interesting data in this article from the excellent Scientific Alliance. They are comparing the cost and output of two new power plant projects, one using gas and the other wind power. The figures speak for themselves.

Tuesday 16 February 2016


Here is the article which explains that more water is being soaked up by the land which has become parched due to global warming. Whoever did the study has not looked around where I live which is so wet and boggy that it cannot absorb any more water. I guess it refers to the drier parts, but since there has been no measurable global warming they ought to look at other explanations. However the fact is that sea level rise is proceeding at the same gradual rate that it has been over the past century. Obviously much slower than alarmist predictions.

Monday 15 February 2016


This report explains how a village has been blighted by a report on coastal sea protection which has claimed that sea level is set to rise by 100 cms in the next century (the headline in the Telegraph is even more misleading as it says a metre a year), meaning that low lying coastal areas will have to be abandoned to the sea. This is true alarmism, as nearby tide gauges show that sea level rise is likely to be no more than around 15cms per century.

Sunday 14 February 2016


This article looks at the role of these tiny life forms and the way they act on CO2. Very interesting stuff, but once we start to try and alter the natural balance there is a danger of over doing it and reducing levels too much.

Saturday 13 February 2016


The U.S. Supreme Court has dealt a decisive blow to President Obama’s so-called EPA climate regulations.  The Court may have stopped the EPA cold with the EPA regulations unlikely to be implemented before Obama leaves office. This will give political leaders time to mobilize and ensure that the EPA ‘climate rules’ never see the light of day. Delay is nothing short of a victory.  This is a major victory for U.S. sovereignty, energy freedom, climate science and a blow to economic central planning.

Legally what comes next is further review at the appellate level.  Importantly, the Court retained the final word for itself by imposing its stay until it has a chance to rule on whatever the Court of Appeals decides.  This signals that the majority of the Court has severe doubts about the legality of what Obama and McCarthy tried to foist on us.
Let's hope the Supreme Court blocking Gina McCarthy from implementing this dirty "clean power plan" while President Obama is still in office buys time for cooler heads to return us to a constructive energy policy. See here for more details.

Friday 12 February 2016


Here is an excellent and thorough article on the great myth that burning wood in power stations is saving CO2 emissions. It really is quite extraordinary that the politicians across Europe seem to be convinced otherwise. But as we have seen with the whole GW scare it is surprising how easy it is for politicians to succumb to group-think. It is not unlike the peer-pressure that school children feel, but on a much bigger scale.

Thursday 11 February 2016


Here is a discussion of the paper. It also gets a more detailed mention here where a slightly older paper comes to the opposite conclusion. This is the problem with GW, there is much confusion over the possible effects of a slightly warmer world. I guess it fills a few columns in the press if nothing else.

Wednesday 10 February 2016


This report explains what is going on. It is not surprising that DECC (Department of Energy and Climate Change) is trying to hide these figures. I hope that our MPs and other campaigners will use the Freedom of Information Act to keep them transparent.

Tuesday 9 February 2016


From Philip Foster:

Old Sparky
Private Eye 1411

Keeping the Lights on

THE prime minister's protracted negotiations on curbing benefits for
EU immigrants may be grabbing all the attention, but an issue of much
greater magnitude is gathering momentum in Brussels and going
unnoticed by even the most rabid Eurosceptics.

The European Commission's (EC) quiet but relentless drive to create a
"European energy union" is a brazen power (sic) grab - in the same way
it controls agriculture under the common agricultural policy ˜ for the
one big area of policy that's still largely a national prerogative.
Technically speaking energy union is still only on the commission's
wish-list, but it is determined "to bring the ideas of the Energy
Union closer to the member states" - ie, railroad them through - as
was made clear in documents published before Christmas.

Though they pay careful lip-service to the status quo - "While it is
for member states to determine their energy mix and while it is a
sovereign decision of each member state on how to decarbonise its
economy..." - you know there is a pretty big "but" coming. Thus: "EU
level coordination of [energy] policies is necessary... EU-level
policies are the most effective; a strong and reliable governance
process is needed to guarantee such coordination... National plans
should therefore from the outset build on regional consultations...
The [European] Commission will actively engage in the process."

How does the commission aim to override member states' existing
rights? "Governance of the Energy Union policies will be tackled. This
is necessary in order to make sure that both planning and reporting
reflects the integrated approach of the Energy Union... Will the
Energy Union governance be anchored in [new] EU legislation? Yes."

In addition "the commission will carry out a fitness check of the
energy acquis*" - the "acquis" being the growing list of powers the EU
has acquired from national governments. It will surprise no one when
the "fitness check" concludes that the commission needs to grab some

The energy union "idea", meanwhile, is being expanded even before it
has become reality. "Energy Union entails negotiating with one voice
with third countries", says one document, which helpfully offers a
"suggestion a Common External Energy Policy"! The fact that it has
already been capitalised indicates that it is more than a mere

There is no sign yet of anyone applying the brakes to this latest
euro-juggernaut - or of anyone even noticing what is happening.

The 'acquis' [short for 'Acquis Communautaire'] is a fundamental part
of the Treaty of Rome whereby any powers taken by/surrendered to the
Commission CANNOT be returned to individual States under any
circumstances. A fact that Mr Cameron clearly has no understanding of.

Monday 8 February 2016


Here is an interesting prediction by the UK Met Office. It is only a five year prediction, but that is good as it will be quicker to see if they are right. Watch this space!

Sunday 7 February 2016


This story from the Independent should have been saved for April 1st. I guess they couldn't wait. Actually these sort of stories are driving the average reader into the sceptic camp by making the global warming narrative into a laughing stock.

Saturday 6 February 2016


Reuters, 1 February 2016

Karolin Schaps and Susanna Twidale

British households will not benefit from a fall in market electricity prices because their suppliers are facing rising costs elsewhere, such as green energy subsidies, which they say cancel out any wholesale price falls.

Electricity and gas prices traded on the open market have fallen 20-35 percent in recent months as milder-than-normal weather has curbed demand and falling commodity prices have added even more downward pressure.

Two of Britain’s ‘Big Six’ energy suppliers, E.ON and SSE, have so far announced price cuts of around 5 percent to household gas tariffs, but reductions to electricity prices are notably absent.

“Many of the other costs that make up an electricity bill and that we don’t control have increased or may increase,” said a spokeswoman for E.ON UK, whose gas prices will fall 5.1 percent from Monday.

“These include electricity network costs – transmission and distribution – as well as environmental levies, such as the renewable obligation and FiTs (feed-in-tariffs).”

Cornwall Energy data showed the costs of government policies, which also include discounts for low-income households and payments for energy efficiency measures, on energy suppliers have risen to the highest level ever.

This means non-energy costs now make up as much as 60 percent of the average British electricity bill, up from 45 percent four years ago, according to Cornwall Energy data.

The main drivers here are the increasing costs to help finance building renewable energy plants, such as solar panels or wind farms.

Suppliers’ cost of the Renewable Obligation, the outgoing mechanism to distribute green energy subsidies, is 12.86 pounds per megawatt-hour, up from 10.57 pounds a year ago, Cornwall Energy said.

“These utilities are not selling electricity, they’re passing through renewable subsidies,” said Mark Freshney, utilities equity analyst at Credit Suisse.

Friday 5 February 2016


*GIGO - for anyone not familiar with this acronym, it stands for Garbage in -Garbage out.
Here's another excellent piece debunking some so-called research. Paul Homewood certainly does his homework, unlike the people who published this piece of pseudo-science. How easily Paul is able to show how extreme rainfall events not only occurred in the past, long before CO2 increases could have had any effect, but they were actually more frequent then. QED!


Thursday 4 February 2016


This article explains what's happening to the electricity market in the UK, Germany and Denmark. As has been said before on this blog, it is a long way from a free market, and when markets are rigged they become very costly and they don't work. "Administrative pricing" is the phrase used by the author. In other words "rigged".

Wednesday 3 February 2016


This piece shows the result of the Iowa caucas. The winner was not the favourite, Donald Trump, but instead it went to Ted Cruze. Ted is well known for his sceptical views on global warming. He is a great speaker and maybe he could pull it off. Time will tell.

Tuesday 2 February 2016


Here's a good piece looking at the dreaded Precautionary Principle and its misuse to thwart progress by those who seek to control us.

Monday 1 February 2016


This post gives the full picture as predicted by Exxon. They say that coal will slip by around 6%, but renewables will be producing only a tiny 4%. I particularly noted this piece, Rex Tillerson, CEO of Exxon, told his shareholders in May last year, that ‘his firm hadn’t invested in renewable energy because “We choose not to lose money on purpose.” So there we have it - follow the money.