The Dutch government plans on increasing the production of the biggest Dutch gas field in Slochteren. Production will be allowed to rise from 40 billion cubic meters to 42,5 billion cubic meters. This due to still increasing demands while smaller fields in the North Sea show declining yields, and the wish to prevent too much dependancy on fuel imports.
Of course this will mean that the Slochteren gas fields will be used up sooner than planned before. The Dutch government now expects production to diminish in the Slochteren field in 2020.
Also see this posting from 6 months ago, with new reports on gas reserves and new finds.
Shell starts adding 2% of alcohol biofuel to all its gasoline from January 1st 2006.
This will become compulsory for all oil companies from the start of 2007, but Shell is moving earlier than that. A Rotterdam fuel seller, Argos, already started adding biofuel last month. Somewhere during 2006 Shell will mix biofuel with their diesels as well.
Dutch government aims to have replaced 5,75% of carfuel with biofuels by 2010, in a bid to reduce CO2 emissions. This is part of the EU wide measures to bring emissions in line with Kyoto protocols.
The biofuel will be added at the depots, the one at Arnhem first. This means that at the start mostly cars in the east of the country, where I live as well, will get the new fuel mixture.
Shell does not state where they get their biofuel from. Brasil is a big producer, but also in France and Spain fuel is produced from grain and sugar beets.
Of course this is an interesting step, but it merely seeks to balance the amount of CO2 produced with the uptake of CO2 by plants in the production phase. It would of course be much more interesting to reduce the amount of carbon that gets burnt in the first place, i.e. shifting the C to H ratio in our fuels towards H more. Hydrogen of course is the highest attainable level here, or at least if we succeed in producing it carbonfree.
Today the BBC reports Oil up as winter weather hits US.
Oil prices near $60 a barrel as snowstorms hit the US North East, increasing demand for heating oil. Meanwhile two government parties in the Dutch Parliament propose to give every household a E50 ($60, so let’s say one barrel) compensation for rising energy prices. Finance minister Zalm, as well as the entire cabinet, says that such compensation is not needed, as buying power is on the rise due to a finally strengthening economy.