UAE-based oil tanker disappears in Iranian waters in the Strait of Hormuz
Erin Cunningham, The Washington Post, July 16, 2019
An oil tanker based in the United Arab Emirates is missing after it stopped in Iranian waters three days ago and switched off its transponder, raising concerns that it may have been seized by Iran amid heightened tensions in the Persian Gulf. Shipping tracking data showed that the Panama-flagged Riah stopped transmitting its position late Saturday when it was off the coast of Iran’s Qeshm Island in the Strait of Hormuz, where Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps has a base. Data showed that the ship was on its way to Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates before diverting sharply and slowing to a halt in Iranian territorial waters. An Emirati official denied that the tanker has links to the UAE, saying that the ship is “neither UAE owned nor operated” and “does not carry Emirati personnel.”
Can hydrogen save oil companies from climate shift?
James Osborne, The Houston Chronicle, July 15, 2019
Hydrogen as a source of energy is a tough sell. Sixteen years after former president George W. Bush forecast that the age of the hydrogen car was upon us, the world is still waiting. But facing a market clamoring for carbon-free forms of energy, some within the energy sector are wondering whether hydrogen might hold promise after all. The Norwegian oil giant Equinor is exploring the possibility of converting some of the company’s huge reserves of natural gas into hydrogen as a means to reduce its carbon emissions (natural gas is composed of hydrogen and carbon). But instead of just using to power fuel cells in cars – as Bush hoped — Equinor, which has a large presence in Houston, is looking at using hydrogen to fuel power plants and heat homes or as a feed stock for carbon-free liquid fuels. “We don’t need hydrogen cars because electric cars are so superior,” said Steiner Eikaas, an Equinor vice president. “Where we need it is heavy sectors. With small adjustments gas powered plants can burn hydrogen.”
Another European oil major, Royal Dutch Shell, has partnered with Toyota to supply hydrogen-fueled tractor trailers at the Port of Los Angeles. And companies including the German industrial conglomerate Siemens, the Japanese conglomerate Mitsubishi and utility Southern California Gas, and are working on using the excess power from wind and solar farms to produce hydrogen by separating it from water (H20) through a process known as electrolysis.
Chevron aims for lowest-emission LNG plant in world with new electric plan
Natalie Obiko Pearson, Bloomberg, July 15, 2019
Chevron Corp. is seeking approval to modify its plans for a liquefied natural gas export facility on Canada’s Pacific Coast to an all-electric design that it says will result in the lowest greenhouse-gas emissions per ton of LNG of any large project in the world. Chevron and its partner Woodside Petroleum Ltd. earlier this year had announced they’d applied to expand the capacity of their LNG project in Kitimat, British Columbia, by as much as 80 per cent to 18 million metric tons a year. That triggered a new federal screening of the project that’s expected to “commence shortly,” according to a July 8 letter filed by Chevron to the provincial environmental assessment office. As part of the fresh round of approvals sought, the project is proposing to become an “all-electric plant” powered by hydroelectricity, allowing expanded capacity without the corresponding increase in emissions of a traditional LNG facility, the letter said.