A mid-January directive by the Power Ministry asked the states of Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan and Gujarat, as well as public sector power producer NTPC to transport 10-15% of their coal requirement through a combination of land and sea routes, called the rail-ship-rail mode. This mix mode of transport of coal to power plants, which has come up in response to constraints of the direct rail movement and an anticipated surge in coal demand during summer months, is expected to increase electricity costs by up to 10%.
New research alleges systemic and severe underestimation of methane emissions from oil and gas production in the UK
New research from Princeton University and Colorado State University has found that the current method for estimating methane emissions from offshore oil and gas production in the UK underestimates emissions. According to the recently published study, methane leakages from discovery, extraction and production of oil and gas in the country is as much as five times what the UK government has reported. A critical evaluation of the emissions reporting revealed that methane from the oil and gas sector was based on factors which were either outdated, relied on unpublished or publicly unavailable industry research, or used generic values recommended by the IPCC. This, according to the researchers, has led to systemic and severe underestimations. The application of alternate estimation techniques proposed by the researchers, which uses dynamic emission factor formulation rather than static ones, resulted in methane emission estimates more than five times what was reported.
Shell looking to exit retail business in multiple countries over “tough market conditions”
Energy major Shell announced last week that it is considering exiting its retail business across multiple countries due to the persistence of “tough market conditions”. The company, which has contended with higher wholesale prices and price-capping measures over the past year, particularly in Europe, is mulling an exit from the retail sector in the UK, Germany and Norway. Despite plans to shut its retail arm in multiple countries, Shell, buoyed by high oil and gas prices, reportedly raked in over US$ 30 billion in profits overall in 2022.
Norway lines up 92 new blocks for oil and gas exploration
Last week, Norway’s petroleum and energy ministry announced that it will be offering up to 92 new blocks for exploration of hydrocarbons. Western Europe’s largest oil and gas producer will look to exploit oil and gas reserves in the Norwegian Sea and the Barents Sea through a new licensing round likely in the third quarter of this year while blocks are expected to be announced in early 2024. Earlier this month, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate had said that the country will continue producing high volumes of natural gas for at least another five years as operators have pledged over USD 30 billion for development of new fields and to extend the lifetimes of producing fields.
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