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Japan Aims for $628 bln Green Energy Market to Boost Economy

Japan will aim to create a $628 billion green energy market by 2020 through deregulation and subsidies to promote development of renewable energy and low-emission cars, a draft of the government’s growth strategy showed.
The government will also work with the Bank of Japan to ensure the country exits deflation and achieves stable price growth, according to the draft obtained by Reuters on Tuesday.

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Update: Norway’s Government Ends 16-day O&G Workers Strike

Norway’s government ended a 16-day dispute between offshore oil and gas workers and their employers, averting a lockout that had threatened to halt production from western Europe’s largest crude exporter.
“We are relieved that we do not need to shut down production on the Norwegian continental shelf, but if the government hadn’t acted now, we would have done that,” Jan Hodneland, chief negotiator for the Norwegian Oil Industry Association, said in an e-mailed statement. “Everything was ready to shut down after midnight.”

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Private Equity Wary of German Green Energy Shift

Any German politicians hoping private equity investors will cough up some of the billions needed to finance the shift to green energy should probably think again, if comments at an industry conference on Wednesday are anything to go by. Speakers at the conference said renewable energy projects, vital if Germany is to achieve its goal of a sustainable shift away from nuclear power, were too bound by red tape to be an attractive destination for the huge sums which private equity firms allocate.

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Brazil Government Fails to Benefit Blocking Oil Firms

International oil companies looking to start exploring Brazil, home to the largest discoveries in the past decade, can’t get near the crude. Brazil has repeatedly delayed the sale of exploration areas since 2007, leaving Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) and Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) shut out of an offshore area that holds at least $5 trillion of oil.

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Exxon Mobil Quits Shale Plans in Poland

Exxon Mobil Corp. said Monday it has dropped further shale exploration in Poland after two wells failed to yield commercial quantities of natural gas, a hit for the country’s efforts to reduce its dependence on imports from Russia. “We have completed exploration operations in Poland,” said company spokesman Patrick McGinn. “There have been no demonstrated sustained commercial hydrocarbon flow rates in our two wells in the Lublin and Podlasie basins.”

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Japan Approves Renewable Subsidies in Shift From Nuclear Power

Japan approved on Monday incentives for renewable energy that could unleash billions of dollars in clean-energy investment and help the world’s third-biggest economy shift away from a reliance on nuclear power after the Fukushima disaster. Industry Minister Yukio Edano approved the introduction of feed-in tariffs (FIT), which means higher rates will be paid for renewable energy

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Obama Eyes New Air Standards

Risking an election-year backlash from Republicans, the Obama administration is proposing new air quality standards to lower the amount of soot that can be released into the air. The move, to be announced Friday, is likely to win support from environmental groups and public health advocates but exposes the president to potential criticism from congressional Republicans and industry officials that the rules are overly strict and could hurt economic growth and cause job losses in political swing states such as Ohio and Pennsylvania.

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Pact Norwegian and UK

A raft of Norwegian companies are set to step up their investments in the UK sector under a ”landmark agreement” strengthening energy ties between the two countries signed by their respective prime ministers in Oslo on Thursday. Top executives from 10 companies including state-owned Statoil, oilfield services giant Aker Solutions, and drilling and floating production player Fred Olsen attended a breakfast meeting with UK Premier David Cameron and his Norwegian counterpart Jens Stoltenberg to discuss their UK growth ambitions.

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Europe’s Green Energy Needs Milestones To Spur Growth

Europe must agree 2030 milestones as soon as possible to spur investment in renewable energy, or green power growth will fizzle once firm policy runs out in 2020, the European Commission said on Wednesday in its latest strategy statement.
Many in the renewable energy sector agree there is a need for strong guidance, but they want binding targets, rather than vague aims. At the other extreme, some of the 27 member states are strongly opposed to legal goals for renewables.

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Clinton to Assert U.S. Interest in the Artic

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will assert her country’s interest in the Arctic, where the prospects for abundant oil, gas and new trade routes has been likened to a modern-day gold rush, when she visits the region on Saturday. As the sea ice recedes with climate change, huge oil and gas fields are adding vast amounts to global reserves, while sea passages are opening for longer periods each year and cutting thousands of kilometres off trade routes between Europe and Asia.

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