Rig count in "financialised" US oil industry down >50%, fracking's environmental toll ever clearer in daily breaches, Vattenfall restructures around wind, Duke goes solar in Florida: Week 14, 2015

US and Iran agree nuclear deal. Restrictions on enrichment for lifting of sanctions, details to come in June. Obama calls it historic. Israel calls it a threat to their existence.
“The US E&P business has, in effect, become financialized.” And capital continues to flow to “zombie companies” drilling shale, Art Berman laments.
Vattenfall restructures around wind as biggest growth investment. $1bn earmarked for renewables investments, one of 6 new business units, but overall loss last year was almost that.
“First ‘clean coal’ plant is backdoor subsidy to oil.” So the first financial analysis of Sask Power’s world-first full-scale CCS plant shows. CO2 captured is used of enhanced oil recovery.
Boreal forest fires greatly boosted CO2 emissions in 2013 and 2011. Satellite data analysis shows fires in Canada and Russia accounted for almost a quarter of global forest loss.
UK carbon floor price hike expected to switch off coal. Analysts say the doubling, instigated yesterday, will lift price of a tonne of coal to an £23, forcing switch to gas.
US rig count, now down >50%, has fallen off a cliff in 2015. Market bulls like Mark Lewis at Kepler Cheuvreux expect production drop and price rise by middle of year (no url).
Fracking operators ran up 2.5 violations a day. An NRDC study charts spills, leaks, ruptures etc during the boom in 3 states from 2009 to 2013. Breaches were hidden from public.
Duke plans to use solar to retire coal in Florida. New plan is 500 MW solar by 2024, which would triple capacity in the state.
Construction stopped at Hinkley C nuclear site. EDF are deciding whether or not to go ahead with the £16bn project.
German law before Parliament is effectively a ban on fracking. It imposes an outright ban until 2019 and go-ahead only if scientific drilling assessment in the interim finds no problems.
Russia files an ambiguous climate target with the UN. “Limiting anthropogenic greenhouse gases in Russia to 70-75% of 1990 levels by the year 2030 might be a long term indicator.”
China heads for peak oil demand well before western analysts say. Sinopec Chairman says peak diesel comes as soon as 2017, gasoline in about a decade. The company prepares for fuel selling being “non-core”.
Oil climbs the most in 2 months on US crude production decline. Down from 9.42 mbd to 9.39 mbd. WTI price rose $2.49, 5.2, to $50.09%.
Petrobras woes start hitting partners’ finances. At least five European oil companies cite late payments, delivery delays, etc, in quarterly earnings reports.
Guardian Media Group become largest yet to divest from all fossil fuels. The £800m fund says the move is justified on financial and ethical grounds.
Syracuse University to divest. After a two year student campaign, it will withdraw its $1.18bn fund from all fossil fuels and invest in solar and other clean technologies.
Peabody Energy stock drops through the floor. Down over 8% today to below $5 from a high of over $70 in 2011: because Peabody refuses to acknowledge the global shift on climate policy.
Unprecedented water restrictions in California as survey finds ‘no snow whatsoever’. In the fourth year of drought, reservoirs will not be replenished.
Return of El Nino makes global coral die-off increasingly likely. So NOAA says as bleaching sweeps across the South Pacific.
Climate sensitivity is unlikely to be less than 2C. The latest estimate from a scientific team is 2.5C, within the range where most estimates fall. Absent a methane hydrate feedback, that is.
NOAA begins aerial monitoring of gases about Texas and N Dakota shale drilling. The flights by scientists will measure methane and gases leading to ground-level ozone.
US climate pledge to UN promishes push for maximum ambition. 26-28% cuts by 2025 on 2005 levels, as before, not needing acts of Congress, but more action by executive.
Largest oil companies have begun to run down their inventories. BP has only replaced 90% of what it used in the last 3 years, Shell less, and investment will fall 25% this year, Bernstein says.
Goldman Sachs alumnus proves money can be made shorting coal. Bob Litterman was persuaded so to do Carbon Tracker’s 2011 report. His return: >40% since January 2014.
Cause of chronic power-outage crisis in Turkey not clear. The government is investigating. One option: failure of a power plant in Izmit creating a domino effect.
Rich nations’ export spending on fossil technologies 5x clean-energy. Reuters sees OECD data spanning a decade. Much of the money goes to coal.
France mandates solar roofs for commercial buildings. All new buildings are now required to be at least 50% covered with solar and/or grass.