Energy briefs

** The global natural gas market is estimated to grow by 50% over the next 5 years, a new Goldman Sachs research paper estimated, as investment in oil becomes less attractive and shifts toward short-term projects. The bank estimated that the United States will lead the market for liquified natural gas supply, and that the added capacity could both cut export costs and curb the energy crisis that has stemmed from Russia invading Ukraine and incurring international sanctions on its gas business.

** California’s largest wildfire to date this season — kindled on Saturday adjacent to an explosives- and materials-testing facility — has been 75 percent contained, Cal Fire announced Monday.

** A heat dome is forming over California and the southwest, and authorities warned residents temperatures could surge into the triple digits for days. Beyond medical emergencies and wildfires, experts are also worried about the strain on California’s electrical grid, which relies in part on new technology from China to accommodate renewable energy sources.

** A Georgia conservation group Monday filed notice of its intent to sue two U.S. government agencies, saying they failed to properly assess the environmental impacts of the $7.6 billion electric vehicle and battery plant Hyundai is building outside Savannah.

** Atlanta remains under a state of emergency Monday as it battles disruptions to its water service that began last week, leaving a swath of a major city under boil-water advisories and highlighting the pervasiveness of problems caused by America’s aging infrastructure.

** Elon Musk faces allegations that he illegally sold $7.5 billion worth of equity in Tesla in the fourth quarter of 2022, knowing that the business would disappoint after promising investors an “epic end of year.” In a lawsuit filed with a Delaware court late last week, shareholder Michael Perry accused both the CEO of deliberately unloading nearly 45 million shares in advance of poor vehicle sales data to prevent an estimated 55% hit in value, and almost the entire board of collectively violating their responsibility of directors toward shareholders.


** Millions of Nigerians are without electricity after the national grid was shut down as part of a general strike over the rising cost of living. The country was plunged into darkness shortly after 02:00 local time (01:00 GMT) when union members prevented operators at the country’s power control rooms from working and shut down electricity substations.

** Mexican President-elect Claudia Sheinbaum, the nation’s first woman president and first Jewish president, has a background in environmental policy that includes work for the Nobel-winning United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

** South Korea, one of the world’s largest energy importers, has announced it will begin a program of offshore exploratory drilling for potentially vast oil and gas prospects. South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol gave the go-ahead for searches to start off the country’s east coast, with finds expected in 2025, according to CNBC.

** In a controversial move, Colombia’s leftist President, Gustavo Petro, banned awarding new hydrocarbon exploration contracts. He also sought to ban hydraulic fracturing in the conflict-riven country, which is economically dependent on petroleum extraction.