HOT JOB – OPPORTUNITIES WITH PETROPLUS REFINING & MARKETING – http://jobs.telegraph.co.uk/job/729913/permanent/coryton/opportunities-with-petroplus-refining-marketing-job-vacancy.aspx?rtn=rsl&order=0&pagesize=10&page=0&discipline=39
London based R People Ltd was launched in 2008 by Russell Baughan, who saw the opportunity to provide a more responsive and customer driven service. Specialist energy recruitment firm R People has expanded its operations in East Anglia with the opening of its new office at OrbisEnergy in Lowestoft, the high-tech innovation centre for offshore renewables.
With an international client base R People are suppliers of both on and offshore labour, to the engineering, oil and gas, renewable energy, technical and marine industries.
Projects in the renewable sector have included supplying specialist skills – such as rope access, coded welders, steel erectors, divers, heavy lift and assembly teams – for foundation and tower components for major clients installing offshore wind turbine sites. They include Lynn & Inner Dowsing, Rhyl Flats and, more recently, Sheringham Shoal off Norfolk and the Walney Island projects 1 and 2 in the Irish Sea.
Russell, managing director, said: “With a growing blue chip client base and rapid expansion of the renewable energy and Southern North Sea decommissioning projects, 2011 promises further significant growth and we’re thrilled to be able to expand our operations in Lowestoft at such an impressive facility.”
“Clients and potential clients seem to find our no nonsense, no hard sell engineering approach refreshing and we appreciate the ever more demanding needs of the industry to reduce cost and increase quality.”
Johnathan Reynolds, business development at OrbisEnergy, said: “We’re delighted to welcome R People to OrbisEnergy. With the forecast growth in the region’s energy sector, we look forward to supporting Russell and his team as they expand even further.”
The UK is to invest £6.5m in a bid to deliver engineering expertise in renewable energy.
UK Business Secretary Vince Cable announced the programme which will see universities and industry provide training for up to 50 of the best engineering students as part of a new Industrial Doctorate Centre in Offshore Renewable Energy (IDCORE).
Working at the heart of industry, alongside companies like EDF Energy, Shell and Rolls-Royce, the students will be trained in the future technologies.
Cable said, ‘Engineering skills are vital for the growth of a more sustainable economy and are in high demand from employers. This scheme will see industry working with universities to provide students with the training and commercial experience businesses want.
‘Scotland has real strengths in renewable energy – wind, wave and tidal power, building on a strong tradition of hydro. These students will have the chance to work with some of the leading energy companies based here and tackle one of our biggest challenges – developing technology for a greener future.’
The new centre will be funded through the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). Training will be delivered by Edinburgh, Strathclyde and Exeter universities, together with the Scottish Association for Marine Science and consultancy HR-Wallingford. Companies taking part include EDF Energy, BP, Caterpillar, E.ON, Rolls Royce and Shell.
Peter Hofman, Director of Company Shared Services & Integration at EDF Energy, said,
‘As the energy market in the UK develops it is crucial that we train engineering students in low carbon generation expertise. EDF Energy fully supports the investment from the Government to help meet skills targets.’
The Centre forms part of the Research Councils UK Energy Programme which aims to position the UK to meet its energy and environmental targets and policy goals through research and training. Led by the EPSRC, the Energy Programme is investing more than £530m in research and skills to pioneer a low carbon future. This builds on an investment of £360m over the past five years.
The Centre will also form a key part of the ETI’s Marine and Offshore Wind Programmes, addressing a priority area for the ETI’s engineering and technology developments. The ETI has so far invested £61m in these two programme areas.
US oil major Exxon Mobil has clinched an Arctic oil exploration deal with Russian state-owned oil firm Rosneft.
The venture seemingly extinguishes any remaining chance of BP reviving its own deal, which lapsed in May.
The agreement was signed on Tuesday in the presence of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, a Rosneft spokesman said.
Prime Minister Putin said that it would also allow Rosneft to develop fields in the Gulf of Mexico and Texas, according to local media reports.
“New horizons are opening up. One of the world’s leading companies, Exxon Mobil, is starting to work on Russia’s strategic shelf and deepwater continental shelf,” he said.
Under the agreement, the two firms will spend $3.2bn on deep-sea exploration in the East Prinovozemelsky region of the Kara Sea, as well as in the Russian Black Sea.
Exxon described these areas as “among the most promising and least explored offshore areas globally, with high potential for liquids and gas”.
The two companies will also co-operate on the development of oil fields in Western Siberia.
Exxon spokesman Alan Jeffers told the BBC: “[The Russian Arctic] is among the most promising and least explored regions for oil, that is why we are very interested.
“Exxon Mobil has developed an excellent working relationship with Rosneft [in recent years].”
Analysts agreed that the joint venture would allow both sides to spread the risks of operating in the Arctic and enables Rosneft to benefit from Exxon’s superior deepwater drilling expertise.
BP’s own Arctic deal with Rosneft – originally agreed in January – was scuppered by a legal challenge from the Russian co-investors in BP’s existing Russian joint venture, TNK-BP.
“If this is essentially the BP deal, it is exposure to a pretty significant resource base,” said Jason Gammel, energy analyst at Macquarie Research, adding it was a “pretty big win” for Exxon.
“There’s a lot of risk that’s involved in [the Kara Sea exploration]. BP was looking at several billion dollars of exploration expenditures up there.”
Analysts said that Rosneft was known to be keen to push quickly ahead with its Arctic exploration plans after the BP deal fell through, with Shell also thought to have been in the running.
Canada’s Americas Petrogas said Tuesday that it will use an Exxon Mobil Corp. subsidiary to explore for shale oil and gas in Argentina.
Americas Petrogas said its Argentine subsidiary will use an Exxon Mobil exploration unit to explore holdings near Neuquen, Argentina. There have been recent discoveries of shale oil and shale gas in the local rock formation, Americas Petrogas said.
Exxon Mobil will provide $53.9 million during the exploration phase and another $22.4 million if the companies go ahead with production.
Exxon Mobil will get a 45 percent interest in the area, called the Los Toldos blocks, with Americas Petrogas also getting 45 percent and an Argentine government entity, Gas y Petroleo del Neuquen, getting 10 percent.
Americas Petrogas said it expects to begin the first well in the fourth quarter. The company has five other blocks in the same oil and gas basin’s western shale corridor.
Separately, Irving, Texas-based Exxon Mobil announced it would work with Russia’s state-owned Rosneft oil company in a multibillion-dollar deal to develop offshore oil fields in the Russian Arctic. Rosneft lacks its own technology for deep-sea drilling, so it looked for partners to develop the Arctic projects.
Written by Ian Fraser
Source – http://www.economywatch.com/economy-business-and-finance-news/blowing-in-the-wind-europes-energy-debate.31-08.html
The future of energy in Europe is trapped in a political quagmire. As a result of the political bickering among opposing views in European parliaments, little is being done to address the energy problems for the future. Will a compromise be reached?
I might be simplifying things but the debate about the future of energy seems to be largely divided on political lines. On one extreme, you have “dark greens” and their industrial hangers-on who favour a continued push into renewable energy – wind, wave, tidal and solar – irrespective of whether such energy is viable without state subsidies. On the other extreme is a more right-wing group who are adamant the lights are going to go out in Europe in about 2020 unless we build the next generation of nuclear reactors (who, by the way, also kind of expect the form of energy they champion to receive state handouts).
The debate is intensifying as the deadline approaches.
A further dimension was added in March, when several countries started re-evaluating their commitment to nuclear power in the wake of the Fukushima disaster. All sources of power to the Japanese plant’s cooling systems were taken out by the March 2011 tsunami, which led to core meltdowns in three of the Tepco-owned plant’s six nuclear reactors. According to US National Public Radio, workers and engineers have since been struggling to halt radioactive leakage into the ocean, air and soil around the plant.
This disaster prompted German chancellor Angela Merkel to decide in May that Germany would turn its back on nuclear energy. Merkel, a trained scientist with a PhD is physics, said Germany’s 17 nuclear reactors would close by 2022. Together with the ending of nearly €200bn in subsidies paid out to nuclear since the 1950s, the hope is this will give further impetus to her country’s already successful renewables sector. Wind, solar, tidal etc. currently generate 17% of Germany’s total power output, and Merkel’s coalition government believes this can be lifted to 80% by 2050.
However, the industrialists of the Ruhr are up in arms. They believe that phasing out of nuclear power is going to cause energy costs to go through the roof and render their exports less and less competitive. There’s also concern about the level of subsidies being paid out to the renewables sector, especially the uncommercial solar power sector. In total, German electricity consumers will pay €13 billion in subsidies to the renewable sector this year, according to Der Spiegel.
In the UK, antipathy to wind farms, and the subsidies without which many would be unviable, seems even more outspoken. The Conservative MEP Struan Stevenson recently went on the warpath with a powerful anti-wind energy tirade. He opened a speech in his Ayrshire constituency with the words:
“Chambers Dictionary defines the word ‘rape’ as meaning violation, despoliation or abuse. I have chosen this evocative word as the title of my presentation this evening … as [it is] an accurate description of the scandal of industrial wind developments in our nation today.”
He went on to detail why, in his view, subisidizing the wind energy sector is economic lunacy, since it only enriches the idle rich (landowners etc.) while pushing up energy bills for ordinary people. In a write-up of the speech in The Scotsman, financial journalist Bill Jamieson (who has never been a massive fan of wind farms, by the way) provided a useful synopsis, praising the speech as one of the most powerful statements yet made against Scotland’s massive wind farm “scramble”.
“It was a classic political speech with a delivery resonant of a bygone age: not a cheap unresearched soundbite to a camera but a well-researched and thought-out attack, delivered to a constituency audience and in a manner evoking the age of Gladstonian campaigning.”
The only criticism that the governing, pro-wind-energy Scottish National Party could muster was over Stevenson’s use of the word “rape”. Bristling with outrage at Stevenson’s lack of political correctness the MSP Sandra White raised a motion in the Scottish Parliament, claiming that the MEP’s language had been “unacceptable and deeply insulting” to people who have been sexually assaulted and called on “all decent-minded people” to disassociate themselves from Stevenson’s “disgraceful remarks.”
In my view White either missed the point or was being deliberately obfuscating here. Stevenson ended his speech by examining other energy options, explaining that it would be possible to save 75% of energy used in the UK if households and industrial users were more efficient (for example, if triple glazing and roof insulation was mandatory on new homes). He also said that he favours investment in sunrise technologies including hydrogen power, which is already becoming mainstream in Germany. In the meantime, Stevenson said “it is sheer madness to turn our backs on nuclear power”. I suspect this is a debate that is going to run and run.
Barclays Plc (BARC), the U.K.’s second- largest lender by assets, created a 100 million-pound ($163 million) fund to support renewable energy farm projects.
The fund was developed with the National Farmers Union after a Barclays survey found that 37 percent of the U.K.’s 200,000 farmers are seeking to cut their energy bills and generate income using renewable energy, the London-based bank said today in a statement.
The U.K. reduced the incentives it pays to developers of large solar projects this year and is shifting its focus to funding smaller residential and commercial projects. The government aims to generate 15 percent of the country’s energy from renewable sources by 2020.
Farmers “are looking forward to many further years of lower energy costs and a potentially new income as they sell energy back to the grid,” Travers Clarke-Walker, a product and marketing director for Barclays, said in the statement.
The average size of solar, wind and hydroelectric projects likely to receive financing through the fund will be 44 kilowatts, Barclays spokesman Michael O’Toole said in a telephone interview. The bank expects the costs of wind and solar projects to fall by half in the next three to five years and may increase its investments in renewable power. It bought Aug. 11 an 85 percent stake in a 26-megawatt wind farm in eastern England.
Barclays surveyed 300 dairy farmers in England, Scotland and Wales this month and 60 percent said they expect renewable energy to generate revenue for their businesses, according to the statement.
Some are already doing so. Renewable energy “looked like a good investment because of government feed-in tariffs and we wanted to offset some of our business costs,” Andrew Hawkey, 58, a third-generation farmer from Cornwall, said in an interview.
Barclays financed a 250-kilowatt ground-mounted solar farm that’s in operation now on Hawkey’s land near Wadebridge, and he wants to borrow 120,000 pounds to add another 50 kilowatts of capacity. He said the solar panels may cut his power bills by about 30 percent.
To contact the reporter on this story: Katie Linsell in London at Klinsell@bloomberg.net
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