Rafał Miland: “Our priority, fostering the integration of the energy sector in Central Europe”

Rafał Miland: “Our priority, fostering the integration of the energy sector in Central Europe”

Cristina Dascălu (CD): What are the priorities you will promote in Brussels, as a Vice-President of the Board of Directors of CEEP, and in regard to energy infrastructure in Central Europe? Rafał Miland (RM): The entire Board of Directors of CEEP and myself, are currently facing a very important challenge - to properly implement the basic objectives behind the foundation of the organisation - namely, fostering the integration processes of the energy sector in Central Europe, within the common policy framework of the European Union, which are rightly associated with ensuring security and diversification of supply within the sector in question. As the Vice-President of the Board of Directors of CEEP, I would like, in particular, to focus on three matters that are especially close to my heart as Vice-President of the Management Board of PERN S.A. Firstly, the development of storage infrastructure, and, above all, facilities designed for maintaining maximum stocks to improve the resistance of the EU to market fluctuations, as well as interruptions in the supply of crude oil and petrochemical products. Secondly, on the provision of EU assets for the construction of oil infrastructure, and thirdly - on the diversification of supply to improve the EU’s independence and resistance to market disturbances. CD: From your professional experience, to what extent is energy policy shaping our future energy system? RM: In my professional career, up till now, whether in Ministries or companies, I frequently observed the significant influence exerted by energy policy upon the future of our power system. The assumptions underlying energy policy, legal regulations, and financial support to selected areas, are of decisive importance, [...]

Lifting of the US oil export ban and LNG exports begin – CEEP claims some credit

As the US recently lifted its 40-year ban on the export of crude oil, the first shipment of oil has already reached Europe. The cargo has been sold to Vitol, the commodity trading company based in Switzerland. The light, low-sulfur type of crude, abundant in US shale fields, is favoured by many European refineries that are not equipped to handle heavier grades of oil, so this makes US crude oil all the more attractive to many European buyers. Meanwhile, in a few days, Cheniere Energy Sabine Pass facility on the Gulf coast will be the first to export LNG from US shale fields. When fully operational before 2019, Sabine Pass will be able to export 3.5 Bcf/a day. Cheniere plans to add production trains every six months until mid-2019. The US, after Qatar and Australia could become the third largest global supplier of LNG by 2020, and the US Department of Energy has already approved projects that may send as much as 10 Bcf a day of US gas abroad, whilst it considers further applications. The US gas industry, has it should be remembered, a big advantage over its’ competitors in Europe and North-East Asia, where gas prices have been 2-3 times higher. CEEP, as well as its Chairman of the Board of Directors, Paweł Olechnowicz, had long advocated for the ban on crude oil to be lifted, and an article in the CEEP Report (last November), outlining his speech, as the special guest, to the American Exports Breakfast Seminar, where the US’s top energy representatives were gathered, made it clear that the necessary infrastructure in Central Europe already [...]

Oil companies split over rigorous climate solution

The leaders of ten of the biggest, global oil companies have offered their qualified support for a new global treaty on climate change, stating, in a written declaration, that they share the ambition to limit global warming to 2 degrees C. The Oil and Gas Climate Initiative, (OGCI) as the group calls itself, comprises a wide international mix: Britain’s BP and BG Group, Shell, Saudi Aramco, Total, Statoil of Norway, Italy’s ENI, Repsol of Spain, India’s Reliance Industries, and the Mexican company, Pemex. Their recent meeting, held in Paris, on October the 16th, revealed their intention to collaborate and inspire their industry to do more to combat global climate change, and the group signed a declaration which called for “an effective climate change agreement” at COP-21 in December. Their statement also acknowledged that the existing trend of the world’s net greenhouse gas emissions is not consistent with the aim of a 2 degree C future. The companies asserted that that they would make their own production operations more efficient, vowing to collaborate to limit gas flaring from their refineries, whilst reducing methane that escapes from oil and gas installations. They claimed that they had, in fact, already reduced their emissions by 20% over the past decade. They also promised to promote natural gas as a better option than coal, and invest in carbon capture and storage, as well as renewable energy. The OGCI further promised to work with car makers and consumers to improve vehicle fuel economy. However, notable by their absence at the Paris gathering were American companies, especially Chevron and Exxon Mobil. These oil majors seem to [...]
Falling Oil Prices – Who’s to Blame?

Falling Oil Prices – Who’s to Blame?

A great deal of nonsense is being talked about conspiracies behind the Saudi decision NOT to cut output - to dish the Russians, to dish the American frackers, to regain OPEC control etc, etc.  In plain fact it is all quite straightforward. There is now a huge world surplus of oil (with masses more coming on stream in the next few years), a growing surplus of gas (both piped and LNG-traded), a flattening of energy demand growth everywhere - including in Asia - and not just because of recession, but because there has been a step change in energy-use efficiency (and there will be a lot more, just as much in China as elsewhere). And as Japan gets back to nuclear, under re-elected and strengthened PM Shinzo Abe, expect a further big easing in global oil and gas demand there as well. In these conditions the Saudis (and Kuwaitis, and Emirates) are not going to cut production. Why should they? They know it will make no difference. All that will happen is that they lose market share. Even if OPEC was a disciplined group, which no longer is, non-OPEC producers would simply fill the gap. All this is occurring even while several oil producing regions are being held back -e.g Iran under sanctions, Iraq because of the ISIS threat, Libya because of political and tribal chaos, Syria submerged in war, Nigeria because of northern problems and so on. Think what happens to world oil supply if any of these areas begin to pick up and add a few more million b/ds, for which they have ample capacity. [Tweet "'no-one [...]

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