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Saturday, Apr 25th

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Oil Services Co.,Baker Huhes, lays off 10,500

Baker Hughes "Extreme market forces" are in play in the global energy sector, oil services company Baker Hughes said Tuesday in announcing widespread layoffs.

The company said it was cutting about 17 percent of its workforce, or around 10,500 jobs, as it works to streamline its finances amid the drop in exploration and production. During the first quarter, Baker Hughes reported revenue of $4.59 billion, a 20 percent decline year-on-year.

"Our first quarter results are a reflection of the extreme market forces faced by our industry since late December," Baker Hughes Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Martin Craighead said in a statement. "Consistent with past downturns, many of our customers have curtailed or canceled projects."

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Coal Is Dying and It's Never Coming Back

Coal is DyingCoal, the No. 1 cause of climate change, is dying. Last year saw a record number of coal plant retirements in the United States, and a study last week from Duke University found that since 2008, the coal industry shed nearly 50,000 jobs, while natural gas and renewable energy added four times that number.

Even China, which produces and consumes more coal than the rest of the world put together, is expected to hit peak coal use within a decade, in order to meet its promise to President Barack Obama to reduce its carbon emissions starting in 2030.

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To foil oil spills, new federal rule requires better blowout preventers

Blowout preventersThe Obama administration unveiled a new rule Monday that's designed to help prevent a repeat of the deadly 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and to bolster the president's claim that it's safe to start drilling in the Atlantic Ocean.

The rule calls for tighter requirements on blowout preventers, a supposedly fail-safe device that failed miserably in the 2010 catastrophe. Eleven workers died, and millions of barrels of oil spilled into the Gulf of Mexico. The announcement came as President Barack Obama has proposed opening waters off the coasts of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Virginia to drilling.

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Germany Proves Life With Less Fossil Fuel Getting Easiersss

Life with less fossil fuelsSitting in a control center that helps ensure uninterrupted power for 82 million Germans, Gunter Scheibner is proving that renewable energy from the sun and wind can be just as reliable as fossil fuels.

Scheibner, in charge of keeping flows stable over 6,200 miles (9,976 kilometers) of transmission lines in eastern Germany, must keep power from solar and wind in harmony whether it’s sunny or overcast, windy or still. In doing so, he’s overcoming the great challenge for renewable energy: how to keep supplies steady when the weather doesn’t cooperate.

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Across American oilfields, layoffs and auctions

Cheaper oil brings layoffsConvinced he can ride out the slowing fortunes of America's oil and gas industry, Shawn Kluver arrived at Thursday's heavy equipment auction with money to spend and bets to make.

Kluver flew to Colorado from North Dakota on a one-way ticket, confident he'd find bargains to drive home.

"Everyone says we're crazy, but we're hoping to capitalize on the downstroke," he said, walking around the sprawling, dusty auction site, where more than 3,000 bidders haggled over backhoes, bulldozers and the trucks he was shopping for, called hydro excavators.

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Costa Rica Has Gotten All Of Its Energy From Renewables For 75 Days Straight

Costa Rica abandons fossil fuelCosta Rica got 100 percent of its energy from renewables for 75 days straight this year, the state-run Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) announced this week.

The Latin American country hasn’t had to use fossil fuels at all so far in 2015, due to heavy rains that have kept hydroelectric power plants going strong. Wind, solar, biomass, and geothermal energy have also helped power the country this year.

“The year 2015 has been one of electricity totally friendly to the environment for Costa Rica,” ICE announced in a press release in Spanish this week.

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The argument for divesting from fossil fuels is becoming overwhelming

fossil fuel divestmentThe world has much more coal, oil and gas in the ground than it can safely burn. That much is physics.

Anyone studying the question with an open mind will almost certainly come to a similar conclusion: if we and our children are to have a reasonable chance of living stable and secure lives 30 or so years from now, according to one recent study 80% of the known coal reserves will have to stay underground, along with half the gas and a third of the oil reserves.

If only science were enough.

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