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Oil giants zero in on untapped Greenland

Danny Fortson, The Times
The Nordic Explorer set off last week for the seas off Cape Farewell on the southern tip of Greenland. For the next few weeks the 269ft research ship will zigzag across the water to collect data on the rock formations thousands of feet below the seabed. It is not alone. Up and down the coasts of this desolate, ice-covered country, seven other ships are carrying out similar work.

The ships are funded by oil companies hoping to determine whether the country, long dismissed as too icy and remote to be worthwhile exploring, is one of the world’s last virgin oil provinces.

The US Geological Survey reported last year that Greenland could be sitting on reserves of up to 50 billion barrels. To put that into perspective, the North

Sea has produced a total of 38 billion barrels since large-scale production began in the 1960s.

With reserves dwindling elsewhere and an oil price that makes Arctic oil attractive for the first time, the world’s largest island is experiencing a renaissance of sorts…

“Greenland is like the Arctic for beginners,” said Wheeler. “If they are successful it will heighten tensions all round the Arctic. Large finds would fundamentally change the fortunes of the companies and the countries that own the rights.”…
(13 September 2009)

Norway cuts arctic barrel count

Scandinavian Oil & Gas Magazine
The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate has cut by 20 percent its best estimate of how much oil and gas lies in the budding near-arctic oil province of the southern Barents Sea, it was revealed Tuesday.

In its Resource Report 2009, the NPD also trimmed by 12 percent the reserves it expects oil companies to find in future, admitting in its Barents-focused reporting that the numbers could yet vary wildly.

“Unfortunately, many of the new finds (in the Western Barents) are small and signficantly less than that which was assumed before drilling started,” the report’s authors wrote.

They said the NPD had “reduced expectations of large, future finds” in the southern part of the Eastern Barents.

The good news was that more prospects than expected have been uncovered by state-sponsored surveys and increased oil-company exploration since 2006…
(1 September 2009)

IEA Raises 2009, 2010 Oil Demand Forecasts on Growth (Update2)

Alexander Kwiatkowski and Joao Lima, Bloomberg
The International Energy Agency raised its estimate of 2010 global oil demand for a second consecutive month, citing growth in Chinese consumption and stronger-than-expected oil use in the U.S.

World oil consumption is likely to average 85.7 million barrels a day next year, 450,000 barrels a day more than previously estimated, the adviser to 28 nations said today in its monthly report. The IEA also raised its demand forecast for this year, pegging it at 84.4 million barrels a day, even as it said a “W-shaped recession” can’t be entirely ruled out.

“Now we are back to growth,” IEA Executive Director Nobuo Tanaka told reporters today in Lisbon. “We have to watch carefully. Europe is not that good. Even in the U.S., gasoline demand is still not that strong. In China, yes, the stimulus package worked. We have to monitor carefully.”

Oil futures in New York have advanced 62 percent this year and traded today above $72 a barrel, as global stock markets rallied on growing optimism about the world’s economic recovery…
(10 Sept 2009)