NORWAY: OIL UP, INVESTMENT DOWN
Norwegian petroleum and other liquids production, which had been declining since 2001, increased in 2014 and will likely continue increasing in 2015. The production growth in 2014 was mainly the result of new fields coming online, but also included a small increase in output from existing fields. Production has continued to grow in the first half of 2015 and is expected to remain relatively stable over the next few years as growth from new fields balances declines from older fields.
Petroleum development projects in the North Sea generally have long lead times, meaning that production from a new field occurs several years after the decision to develop that field. These lead times often increase for projects that are farther north or far from existing infrastructure. The decisions to develop many of the fields now coming online in Norway occurred around 2012, when Brent crude oil prices averaged more than $100 per barrel. The current price is about half that level. In 2014 and the first half of 2015, four new fields with significant volumes of liquids production came online. Another four fields are scheduled to come online in the second half of 2015 and in 2016.
Although production in Norway has not yet responded to lower oil prices, investment in Norway's oil and natural gas industry is declining. This decline will likely lead to lower production in the future. Annual growth in total investment slowed to 1% in 2014 after being more than 15% in each of the preceding three years, and investment is expected to decrease in 2015. Currently, funding is being diverted toward the shutdown and removal of equipment at old fields and away from finding and developing new fields. Spending on exploration and field development in the first half of 2015 was 18% lower than in the first half of 2014, while spending on shutdown and removal was more than 70% higher.
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WNA - Apart from adding capacity, utilisation of existing plants has improved markedly since 2000. In the 1990s capacity factors averaged around 60%, but they have steadily improved since and in 2010, 2011 and 2014 were above 81%. Balakovo was the best plant in 2011 with 92.5%, and again in 2014 with 85.1%.
WNA - India has a flourishing and largely indigenous nuclear power programme and expects to have 14.6 GWe nuclear capacity on line by 2024 and 63 GWe by 2032. It aims to supply 25% of electricity from nuclear power by 2050.
WNA - Mainland China has 38 nuclear power reactors in operation, about 20 under construction, and more about to start construction. The reactors under construction include some of the world's most advanced, to give a 70% increase of nuclear capacity to 58 GWe by 2020-21. Plans are for up to 150 GWe by 2030, and much more by 2050.
PLATTS - "The domestic uranium mining industry needs US government assistance to survive the foreign onslaught -- particularly from Russia and Kazakhstan -- that has undermined the US uranium industry while new players -- particularly China -- will soon make the situation worse," Energy Fuels and Ur-Energy said in a petition they jointly filed with the department.