Oil rout continues, 2 in 3 UK quoted oil and gas companies face bankruptcy, Russian economy in trouble, Petrobras targets $200bn to develop pre-salt fields, Saudi Arabia has to borrow: Weeks 51 &52, 2014:

Russian government props up ailing energy companies and banks. Including Yamal LNG, the Arctic gas project of Novatek, at Rbs150bn, Gazprombank gets 40.
Polish farmers threaten civil unrest if a vast lignite mine on farmland goes ahead. 22 villages and a windfarm would have to go if Polish energy company PAK gets its way.
30.12.14.
US drillers idle most rigs in two years as WTI falls below $55. But there are still 1,499 drilling for oil and 340 for gas.
US government allows more exports of oil condensate: some relief to producers. But the ban on unrefined crude exports stays in place, except to Canada.
Domestic political pressure builds on Statoil over climate change. Provider of 25% of Norway’s GDP is facing pushback across society, even in parliament.
29.12.14.
Brent crude hits $57.88, the lowest since May 2009. It has fallen 48% this year, and analysts expect a surplus of c. 1.5 mbd in H1 2015.
A third of quoted UK oil and gas companies face bankruptcy. Company Watch warning includes conclusion that 70% are unprofitable, wracking up losses.
How long can Saudi Arabia keep the pressure up in oil markets? They are dipping into their >$700bn reserves of foreign exchange.
Petrobras risks pariah status whilst needing $221bn 5 year pre-salt capex. With billions creamed off contracts, US SEC investigates & PWC refuses to sign accounts.
Vermont’s only nuclear plant shut down to make way for renewables. It providing 71% of all electricity generated in the state over its 42 years.
Norwegian state electricity company plans $8.1bn renewables drive. Government injects $1.3bn to start push for wind, hydro & other projects home and abroad.
Chinese flock to study Copenhagen’s low-emissions route to heating cities. It has reduced greenhouse gas emissions 40% since 1990 with smart heating grids etc.
27.12.14.
Pope to convene a summit of religious leaders in 2015 in support of Paris treaty. He will also send a lengthy message to all 1.2 bn Catholics, to the rage of a minority.
25.12.14.
Saudis to curb wages but keep investing as deficit reaches $39bn, 5% of GDP. The Kingdom will resort to borrowing and reserves to plug the gap.
24.12.14.
Fracking ban proves to boost New York Governor’s ratings. One in three voters think better of Andrew Cuomo since he responded to health concerns.
UK  capacity auction hands a £ billion to the generators for doing nothing different. Negligible amounts of new capacity created, says Chris Goodall.
IRENA boss: “switch to renewable energy is a battle we cannot afford to lose.” 144 countries have renewable energy targets, 50 countries support decarbonisation by 2050.
23.12.14.
Signs of slowdown mount up across UK shale: Williston Basin rigs down 9%. Saudis say US high-cost production will drop first, Continental CEO warns Saudis of instability.
David Hughes wades into Nature/EIA fracking spat with data from his report. “The EIA is letting us down with its extremely optimistic projections.”
22.12.14.
Russian bank bailed out: echoes of Northern Rock. IMF fears global crisis via contagion as Russia’s Central bank hands Trust Bank $530m.
South Korean nuclear plant operator computers hacked. Hacker tweets information about plants and workers. Operator says control system not at risk.