Short energy stories

** John Kerry, the Biden administration’s special presidential envoy for climate, believes climate change is a “war” threatening to unleash global catastrophe. To fight it, he told the audience of a Monday CERAWeek session, the U.S will need to rapidly deploy new technology, with the help of Houston’s energy industry.

** U.S. natural gas futures rose about 5% on Tuesday, after plunging 15% in the prior session, on forecasts for more cold weather over the next two weeks than previously expected and record gas flows to liquefied natural gas (LNG) export plants after Freeport LNG’s plant in Texas exited an outage.

** The Biden administration is holding talks with global energy companies and foreign officials in an effort to set standards for certified natural gas, a form of the fuel that producers market as climate friendly. The effort comes as the United States seeks to sustain its liquefied natural gas, or LNG, exports to Europe to displace Russian fuel, while also promoting efforts to fight global warming.

** New cost figures on California’s 4-year old bullet train issued in an update report from the California High-Speed Rail Authority show that the plan to build the 171-mile initial segment has shot up to a high of $35 billion, exceeding secured funding by $10 billion.

** Engineering company Siemens AG announced on Tuesday it is investing over $220 million to build a rail car manufacturing facility in North Carolina. Siemens’ new passenger-coach manufacturing facility, which will be built on a 200-acre site in Lexington, a 20,000 population town in central North Carolina, will bring 500 new jobs by 2028, the company said.

** A Norfolk Southern train crashed into a dump truck, killing a person early Tuesday morning in Cleveland, Ohio. The Norfolk Southern conductor was hit during this crash and suffered non-survivable injuries.

** Climate change is already having a major economic and financial impact on the United States and may trigger asset value losses in coming years that could cascade through the U.S. financial system, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned on Tuesday.


** US officials have seen new intelligence that indicates a “pro-Ukrainian group” was responsible for the sabotage last year of the Nord Stream gas pipelines, the New York Times reported Tuesday, claims dismissed by a senior Ukrainian official.

** U.S.-led international sanctions on Russia have begun to erode the dollar’s decades-old dominance of international oil trade as most deals with India – Russia’s top outlet for seaborne crude – have been settled in other currencies. India’s oil trade, in response to the turmoil of sanctions and the Ukraine war, provides the strongest evidence so far of a shift into other currencies that could prove lasting.

** One of China’s smaller liquefied natural gas importers procured a shipment from the spot market, heralding a return by the nation’s price-sensitive buyers after the energy crisis halted purchases for about a year-and-a-half.

** Shell plc’s SHEL wholly owned subsidiary, Shell Petroleum NV, has recently completed its acquisition of Nature Energy Biogas A/S — the largest producer of renewable natural gas (RNG) in Europe. This move has enabled Shell to acquire Nature Energy’s portfolio of operating plants, infrastructure, associated feedstock supply and its pipeline of growth projects.