China’s dependency on foreign oil increases
China’s dependency on foreign oil imports has exceeded 60%, as consumption rose 4.4% last year. The rate will further increase in 2016 as vehicle ownership becomes more common, urbanisation advances and the state continues boosting oil reserves. However, as the economy has slowed, energy consumption is slowing. 2015 energy consumption was at 4.2 billion tonnes of standard coal, a drop of 0.5%, the first time in 30 years. Click here for article.
Oil & Gas exploration companies hit hard
Independent oil & gas exploration companies in the US have been hit particularly hard by the low oil price, expecting to report losses of almost $14 billion in 2015. Hess Corp. will begin the reporting season on Wednesday and is expected by analysts to report losses of $1.6 billion, their worst performance in at least 28 years. Investors have been quick to jump off, with the market value of these companies having almost $300 billion been wiped out. Click here for article.
Possible change from OPEC and Russia
Iraqi oil minister Adel Abdel Mahdi noted ‘We have seen some flexibility from the brothers in Saudi and a change in tone from Russia”, comments which seem to have helped Brent crude rebound 3% to $31 a barrel. OPEC Secretary-General Abdullah al-Badri noted producers need to work together to deal with the swollen supplies, however this requires co-operation from all. OPEC member Venezuela has requested assistance due to economic hardships which OPEC members are considering. Click here for article.
Study shows insight into Fukushima contamination
Investigators have used rice, soil, mushrooms, and soybean samples from as far as 250km to determine which reactor core can be attributed to the contamination. A method called caesium isotopic analysis is used to discriminate between which core is responsible. This study is of great benefit to environmental remediation and contamination transport studies. Click here for article.