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ENERGY Caribbean Yearbook (2013-14)

Energy issues world

Energy issues world energy outlook Oil price will stay high Companie In the Caribbean, the international energy outlook is a good deal brighter for Countries supply challenge. LNG projects these days are notoriously difficult to deliver.” With 4 oil and gas producers than for consumers. With reviving economic growth in North America and continued economic expansion in the Far East, the price of oil is likely to stay within the $95-100 range, well above the cost of production of any reasonably efficient company. The gas price will probably remain lower in the United States than has been the case until recently, moving between $4 and $4.50 per mmbtu. But it will continue strong in major Eastern markets such as Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, and even in the European Union, where demand for LNG is rising. Until the US starts to export LNG late in the current decade, pressures on pricing will intensify. Several LNG projects in other countries are having difficulty getting off the ground, because of spiralling costs for LNG construction, most notably in Australia, Canada and Qatar, and because of infrastructural deficiencies in areas like East Africa, the new hotspot for LNG development. Spokesmen for the BG Group in the UK, a major LNG trader which operates in Trinidad and Tobago, insist that “it is not going to be easy to meet an enormous LNG expected to comprise 14% of all globally traded gas by 2025, there is clearly a challenge in bringing enough supply projects on stream to be able to meet this demand. The price of oil is likely to stay within the $95-100 range, well above the cost of production of any reasonably efficient company Another piece of bad news is that coal could be making a comeback, thanks to the high cost of oil. The Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA) suggests, startlingly, that “demand for coal could catch up with oil by 2022.” As early as 2017, global coal consumption could stand at 4.32 billion tonnes of oil equivalent, compared with 4.4 billion tonnes for oil itself, the IEA predicts. This, of course, will be terribly unhealthy for the environment, since coal is the most polluting fossil fuel, and already over 66% of climate change-causing emissions emanate from the energy sector. The expectation was, of course, that energy-importing countries would turn to the more climate-friendly natural gas. But, with export projects facing long delays, coal could bridge the gap in the market. The price competitiveness of coal also poses a threat to the development of renewable energy (RE) sources in 2013 and beyond. If coal is cheaper and the gas price remains high outside North America, electric utilities will ask themselves: why convert to RE? Governments could artificially depress the price of RE to make it attractive to Atlantic LNG tank (courtesy bptt)

Energy the consumer, but at a time of constrained budgets everywhere, this is hardly an appealing strategy. issues One energy concern has now been taken off the table and will no longer be exercising the energy planners’ minds in 2013 and beyond – peak oil. The day when oil production reach its zenith and starts to decline has now been pushed well into the future – and may not occur at all, because new sources of fossil fuel energy are coming into the picture to add to existing oil output. These are the “unconventional” fuels – shale oil, shale gas, tar sands, coal bed methane, biofuels – that are being retrieved in greater quantities and will replace (and probably add to) conventional production from existing geological structures. If coal is cheaper and the gas price remains high outside Compani North America, electric utilities will ask themselves: why convert to renewables? Countries energycaribbean YEARBOOK 2013/14 5

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