Hello Everybody and Happy Monday!
We have an important update regarding our Wood Mackenzie event! Due to clashes at the company, the event will now take place on the 4rth of March at 17:30. If you are interested in getting a foot on the career ladder and learning more about an important company in the energy sector, be sure to come along! Here is a link to the Facebook event with all of the information: https://www.facebook.com/events/2674007952820793/ We are looking forward to seeing many of you there! Today's stories:
1. OIL PRICES UPDATE: CORONAVIRUS, LIBYA AND VENEZUELA. 2. SCOTTISH POWER LAUNCHES 100% GREEN ENERGY TARIFF. 3. BP PLEDGES TO BECOME CARBON NEUTRAL BY 2050.
OIL PRICES UPDATE: COROVAVIRUS, LIBYA AND VENEZUELA
What happened? Oil prices have dropped further amidst renewed fears that the coronavirus will harm demand. In Libya, the blockade continues amongst failing peace talks and in Venezuela, oil exports are threatened. What does this mean? The threat of a global pandemic has increased as the coronavirus has spread considerably outside of China, despite hopes that the virus would be contained. On February 24th, oil prices fell over 3% in London and New York. One reason for the price fall is that OPEC+ did not decide to move its March meeting forward and Russia made it clear that it has little intention to cut its oil production. This drop in prices is despite hits to oil supply. The political situation in Libya has worsened, and oil production has continued to drop as UN peace talks fell apart and the port of Tripoli was bombed, forcing an evacuation of fuel vessels and a halting of all loading operations. In Venezuela, US sanctions on Russian energy company Rosneft Trading SA, have threatened its ability to export oil to China and India. Why should I care? Oil prices have a big impact on the global economy and markets. All of these events have added to volatility in the oil sector and the decreased demand for oil has affected companies across the oil supply chain. Instability in oil has ripple effects on other commodity markets. For example, investors have been seeking safer places to put their money and a popular alternative has been gold, which has seen its prices rise due to increased demand.
SCOTTISH POWER LAUNCHES 100% GREEN ENERGY TARIFF
What Happened? Scottish Power has launched a 100% green energy tariff, guaranteeing that all of its electricity will come from their own renewable energy sources. What does this mean? Scottish Power has made a clear attempt to separate its pledge from so-called “greenwashing” energy deals that mislead consumers by claiming to offer energy from renewable sources whilst not investing in renewable energy projects. Both Ofgem and Which? have pointed to the increasing concern over “greenwashing” in the UK. Scottish Power has decided to focus on onshore and offshore wind farms and solar power in order to realise this pledge and stopped investing in fossil fuel projects in 2018. Why should I care? The chief executive of Scottish Power has said: “it’s important that consumers understand how ‘green’ their tariff is in terms of supporting the UK renewables industry.” Many green energy developers can sell renewable certificates but, due to inadequate industry laws, the initial buyer can sell the certificate without selling its green energy aspect to the second buyer. This means that many suppliers say they are green whilst in reality they do little to meet this claim. As an energy consumer, it is important to be aware of the industry mechanisms to ensure you are aware of what you are purchasing in terms of your energy.
BP PLEDGES TO BECOME CARBON NEUTRAL BY 2050
What happened? BP’s new CEO Bernard Looney said that the British oil giant will attempt to eliminate or offset all of its emissions by 2050. What does this mean? The company will continue to use fossil fuels in the future but make considerable efforts to use them at increasingly lower levels. This target relates to consumer emissions (customers who buy BP oil and gas) and does not include the company’s emissions from its operations. No information was disclosed as to how this target will be met but this information is promised to come in September. Methods are likely to include shifts in spending and investment away from fossil fuels towards renewable energy sources. Looney has also pledged that BP’s lobbying efforts will become greener and the company will withdraw from trade associations that do not support climate policy.
Why should I care? If BP were a country, its emissions would be roughly at the same magnitude as those of Australia. Big companies such as BP are key players when it comes to meeting the climate change combating targets set by the Paris Agreement. BP is the latest major oil and gas company to set itself emissions targets. Dutch company Shell recently announced it would be allocating $300million to various reforestation programmes. Many believe that this is the result of changing consumer and investor demand as people are increasingly conscious of their environmental impact. However, it remains to be seen how sincere this major pledge is. Last year, The Guardian released an in-depth study that suggested the company was planning to grow its oil and gas production between 2018 and 2030.
Sonja Rijnen, Editor