Shell sells stakes in Nigerian oil leases The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC), a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell plc (Shell), has completed the assignment of its 30 per cent interest in two oil mining leases and related facilities in the Niger Delta. Total cash proceeds for SPDC amount to some $488 million. These divestments are part of Shell’s strategy of refocusing its onshore interests in Nigeria and in line with the Federal Government of Nigeria’s aim of developing Nigerian companies in the country’s upstream oil and gas business. “As we refocus our portfolio we are strengthening our position for the future,” said Peter Voser, Chief Executive Officer of Royal Dutch Shell plc. “The improvement in the security situation in the Niger Delta coupled with continued progress on key projects provides the foundation for further investment and growth.” Shell has been in Nigeria for more than 50 years and remains committed to keeping a long-term presence there – both onshore and offshore. Through SPDC and its other Nigerian companies, it responsibly produces the oil and gas needed to fuel the economic and industrial growth that generates wealth for the nation and jobs for Nigerians. Oil Mining Lease 26 was assigned to the Nigerian company FHN26 Limited, an affiliate of Afren plc, for an amount of some $98 million (SPDC share). Oil Mining Lease 26 covers an area of some 480 square kilometres and is currently producing around 6,000 barrels of oil per day (100 per cent) from two fields. Oil Mining Lease 42 was assigned to Neconde Energy Limited, a majority Nigerian-owned consortium consisting of Nestoil Group, Aries E&P Company Limited, VP Global, Kulczyk Investments and Kulczyk Oil Ventures, for an amount of some $390 million (SPDC share). OML 42 covers an area of some 814 square kilometres and includes the Batan, Egwa, Odidi, Jones Creek fields and related facilities.
Google Reins in Spending on Renewable Energy Technology Back in July Larry Page became Google’s new chief executive and immediately began a campaign to reign in Google’s projects and focus their resources. This was due to the stiff competition they were facing in mobile computing and social networking from Apple and Facebook, and also investor sentiment towards increasing expenditure on none core businesses. One of the latest casualties of this “spring cleaning” was the big green initiative, RE<C (Renewable Energy cheaper than Coal), which was an ambitious idea to make renewable energy cost competitive with coal-fired power plants. The plan was to build cheaper and more efficient heliostats, mirrors that reflect the sun rays onto water-filled boilers in order to create steam and generate electricity in turbines. However this set back does not signify that Google is moving away from championing greener energy, it is merely going to use its bank account to further the cause rather than its brainpower. In fact they have already increased their investment in renewable technologies, granting $850 million of investment into solar power, wind farms and other projects.
Sun-Believable – A Solar Breakthrough Researchers have reduced the preparation time of quantum dot solar cells to less than an hour by changing the form to a one-coat quantum dot solar paint. How? Titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticles are coated with cadmium sulfide (CdS) or cadmium selenide (CdSe.) The composite nanoparticles, when mixed with a solvent, form a paste that can be applied as onestep paint to a transparent conducting material, which creates electricity when exposed to light. Although the paint form is currently about five times less efficient than the highest recorded efficiency for the multifilm form, the researchers predict that its efficiency can be improved, which could lead to a simple and economically viable way to prepare solar cells. The scientists responsible for the research breakthrough, Mathew P. Genovese of the University of Waterloo in Canada, with Ian V. Lightcap and Prashant V. Kamat of the Radiation Laboratory and Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, will be publishing their study in an upcoming issue of the American Chemical Society’s publication Nano. Potential uses could include painting electronic devices such as cell phones to recharge their batteries, along with larger electrical devices such as computers, while rooftops, windows, and cars could be coated as well. Professor Kamat said: “If we can improve the efficiency somewhat, we may be able to make a real difference in meeting energy needs in the future. That’s why we’ve christened the new paint, SunBelievable.”