The explosion and loss of two lives at the Black Elk oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico has once again highlighted the dangers of offshore drilling. One body has been recovered but another is still missing. Black Elk vowed to continue the search while the Department of Interior prepares to investigate.
In Washington, 3000 demonstrators converged on the White House carrying a huge mock pipeline (above) in order to protest the proposed construction of the Keystone Pipeline. President Obama is on a hot spot with environmental groups dead set against it while his support of oil and gas development is also at stake.
The world continues to follow America’s lead on natural gas with resources popping up all over. Santos reports a new find in Australia while Turkmenistan is boasting of its gas resources. Iran will build a new pipeline to Syria and Shell is ready to invest $20 billion in developing LNG transport facilities. Meanwhile, the Russians are feeling the pressure on their gas resources. The Ukraine announced it will reduce its Russian imports and Gazprom has decided to lower its prices to Bulgaria. The Russians may not be Europe’s only source of gas anymore.
Solar energy continues uneven progress. South Africa is proposing to build 3725 new megawatts in the desert and a new market report from Reportlinker.com says solar could achieve grid price parity by 2020. But rooftop installations in Hawaii are already proving too much for the grid to handle and the China-US trade war over solar subsidies is producing layoffs at Suntech’s plant in Phoenix.
Finally, in investment news, BP’s $4.5 billion penalty for the Deepwater Horizon incident may be making it a target for takeover. Pertamina’, the state-owned Indonesian oil company, has made a bid for Coastal Energy’s Southeast Asian properties and Soco, a London-based company doing exploration off Vietnam, may be the next target. The Motley Fool reports that Devon has a great balance sheet and US News & World Report suggest how to capitalize on the domestic energy boom.