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Category Archives: Energy supply and security

Gas from shale could create 35,000 jobs in UK – but should it?

The UK was a net exporter of gas until 8 years ago, thanks to our supplies from the North Sea. Now we are spending £5.2bn per year on imports as North Sea supplies dwindle. Obtaining gas from shale is somewhat controversial, and involves ‘fracking’, or hydraulic fracturing, which enables gas to be obtained from deep below the surface. A new … Continue reading

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Running out of energy

Total UK energy production was a record 13.5% lower in 2011 than it was in 2010. This meant that we had a net import dependency of 36.5%, the highest level since 1976, according to statistics just released by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC). Oil production was 17.5% lower than in 2010 and continued a downward trend which … Continue reading

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Is Opec falling apart?

The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries is a cartel of 12 oil producing countries and has been in operation for the past fifty years. Yesterday its members met in Vienna, ostensibly to agree to raise production levels in order to put supply more in line with current demand levels, and so lower prices. However, there appears to have been something … Continue reading

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Surge in the use of renewable energy in the EU

Between 1999 and 2009 the share of renewable energy in the EU27 rose from 5% of total gross inland energy consumption in 1999 to 9% in 2009. Renewable energy comprises hydro, wind, biomass, geothermal and solar energy. All Member States showed increases in the share of renewable energy over this period but the largest increases were in Denmark (from 8% … Continue reading

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Could the global recovery be hit by rising oil prices?

Earlier this week the price of Brent Crude oil rose to $95 a barrel, which was the highest level for just over two years. Although this has fallen slightly since it is still a major cause for concern. There are pressures on both the demand and supply sides. The International Energy Agency has forecast that oil consumption will increase by … Continue reading

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North Sea oil could last longer than expected

The industry body Oil & Gas UK recently published its annual forecast of offshore oil and gas exploration and development activity in the UK, based on a survey of the spending plans of over 70 companies.  It revealed that the number of offshore oil and gas projects currently under consideration for development has risen sharply over the last 12 months, … Continue reading

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Secure and sustainable energy supplies now “in doubt” in the UK

“The unprecedented combination of the global financial crisis, tough environmental targets, increasing gas import dependency and the closure of ageing power stations has combined to cast reasonable doubt over whether the current energy arrangements will deliver secure and sustainable energy supplies.” So says the UK energy regulator Ofgem in a press release this morning.   After a year of analysis … Continue reading

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