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Energy Update 13 May 2013



United Kingdom

Welcome to this edition of Fieldfisher's Energy Update. The recent weeks have seen further developments in relation to shale gas in the UK.

Welcome to this edition of Fieldfisher's Energy Update.  The recent weeks have seen further developments in relation to shale gas in the UK.  Ofgem and other regulators in Europe have been active both in terms of investigations, fines and proposing new regulations.  There have also been some interesting predictions about world energy usage to 2030 and observations about waste-to-energy in the US.  We also had news of a high level departure from a supermajor.  We hope you will find this of interest.

Fieldfisher Energy Team Co-host Unconventional Oil & Gas Exploration Seminar

On Thursday, 2 May, the Fieldfisher Energy Team co-hosted a seminar with Savills and PPS Group on 'The Route to Successful On-shore Oil & Gas Development'. The event was informative, well received and continued the current interest in UK oil and gas.

On the day delegates heard from keynote speaker, Dan Byles MP, chair of the parliamentary group for unconventional oil and gas & Conservative member of the energy and climate change select committee, who highlighted the UK's ever growing energy gas needs. The UK has colossal shale gas reserves and discussions were had on how these valuable resources can be exploited. Dan talked about the level of political support for extracting new sources of domestic energy.

Fieldfisher partner and head of property litigation, Antony Phillips, spoke on the question of avoiding trespass when drilling underground (lessons from the Bocardo case in 2010) and legal powers to restrict site protests; John Bowman, head of Fieldfisher's planning and environmental group, discussed the utilisation of compulsory powers to help secure projects; Savills director of energy, Martin Vaughan, and senior planner, Jon Gateley, spoke on planning permission and land rights and PPS Group director, Paul Kelly, highlighted the need for stakeholders to work with neighbours, communities, politicians and the media.

To find out how the Fieldfisher energy team can help you with your energy related projects click here to email the team.

Energy select committee backs shale gas exploration

The House of Commons energy and climate change select committee has published its second report on the subject of shale gas. The report has found that "a lot of hot air" had been published about the dangers of shale gas drilling. The Committee's inquiry concluded that shale gas drilling poses no risks to the country’s water supplies and should be given the go ahead for development.

Committee chair Tim Yeo MP said, “There appears to be nothing inherently dangerous about the process of ‘fracking’ itself and as long as the integrity of the well is maintained shale gas extraction should be safe."

For the report, please click here.

Ofgem investigates energy companies failing to meet energy efficiency targets

Ofgem has launched investigations into British Gas, Drax, GDF Suez / IPM, Intergen, Scottish Power and SSE for failure to achieve one or more of their energy efficiency targets. Under the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT), energy companies had to introduce measures to help reduce UK carbon emissions, such as installing insulation or switching a household's heating fuel from oil to gas. Under the Community Energy Saving Programme (CESP), the same suppliers had to deliver more complex energy saving measures to people in the most deprived areas of the country.

For more information, please click here.

Ofgem proposes changes to RIGs for offshore transmission owners

Ofgem has announced its decision on proposed changes to the regulatory instructions and guidance (RIGs) for offshore transmission owners (OFTOs). The RIGs are intended to ensure that Ofgem is able to monitor the regulatory information that OFTOs are required to provide under their licences.

For more information, please click here.

Greek competition authority fines the gas transmission operator

The Hellenic Competition Commission found that the “Hellenic Gas Transmission System Operator SA” (DESFA), the operator of the gas transmission system in Greece, abused its dominant position in the primary market of natural gas transmission by way of denying access to the network (which constitutes an essential facility) to the complainant (ALUMINIUM S.A).

For more information, please click here.

What, rubbish? Energy from waste and US greenhouse gas emissions

The United States generates 390 million tonnes of waste per year, or 7 pounds per person per day.  The Centre for American Progress has outlined how energy from waste can curb greenhouse gas emissions in a recently-published report.  It includes a chart showing how favourably EU countries fare compared to the US in generating energy from waste.

For more information, please click here.

Royal Dutch Shell chief executive Peter Voser is to retire next year in an unexpected move

After 4 years as CEO, previously serving as CFO and a career spent at Shell, and more recently overseeing a 4% rise in quarter profits, Shell's Chief Exec is to stand down. On the day following this news, Shell's share price closed up.

For more information, please click here.

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