Sharp rise in crude oil production in the US.
OPEC members in June 2018 agreed to increase oil production to prevent a supply shortage and reduce prices after previous production cuts were deemed excessive and raised prices too much. This stabilised global prices, before rising again on anticipation of US sanctions on Iranian oil exports.
Crude oil production in the United States saw a significant increase as exploration and extraction of oil from its plentiful shale reserves grew, causing the largest ever annual increase by a single country. This was due to new projects coming online, a persistent demand for oil and higher prices (US$14 per barrel higher than 2017). Oil production also continued to increase in Russia, the Middle East (except Iran) and in Africa.
On the other hand, Latin America experienced an overall decline. Political issues mounting in Venezuela and, paired with sanctions from the United States, saw oil production drop 29%, equivalent to one third of the rise in the US. Similarly, Iranian oil production tumbled, down 7%, after international sanctions were reinstated.
According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), US crude oil exports continued to increase in the first half of 2019, rising to an average of 2.9 mb/d (+50% compared to the same period of 2018) and reaching a record-high monthly average of 3.2 mb/d in June 2019. Canada remained the largest importer of US crude oil (over 450 kb/d, +3% compared to the first half of 2018), whereas exports to China fell by 64% to 248 kb/d over escalating trade tensions. US crude oil exports to other destinations surged, especially in South Korea (+246% to nearly 400 kb/d), India (+114% to over 380 kb/d) and the Netherlands (+192% to over 260 kb/d). Overall, US export to Asian countries grew by 58% (+472 kb/d).
According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) latest 3D seismic mapping, the Alaska North Slope contains 1,523 bcm (53,800 bcf) of technically recoverable natural gas hydrate (methane ice) resources stored within gas hydrate formations. The resources are located on a depth range of 200-1,200 m. Ressources are assumed to be tackled by using conventional technology. As there are no exploration fields on gas hydrate formation, its commercial viability is unknown.
According to the Australian government, Australia’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reached 538.9 MtCO2eq (+0.6%) for the year to March 2019. The growth is largely due to a 19% increase in LNG exports and to a higher steel and aluminum production. Without the impact of LNG production on emissions (+4.7 MtCO2eq), domestic GHG emissions would have fallen, as the growth in wind and solar power generation contributed to a 2.1% drop in GHG emissions from the power sector. GHG emissions in Australia, which pledged to reduce its emissions by at least 26% from 2005 levels by 2030 under the Paris Climate Accord, stood 11.7% below their 2005 level in the year to March 2019.
According to the Chinese National Energy Administration (NEA), a total of 11.4 GW of new solar PV capacities was connected to the Chinese grid in the first half of 2019, i.e. less than half of the capacity added in the same period in 2018 (24 GW). The new capacity raised the country's total solar PV capacity to 186 GW (+20% increase compared to the first half of 2018). Centralised PV power plants capacity rose by 6.8 GW (+16%) to 130 GW, while distributed capacity surged by nearly 4.6 GW (+31%) to 55 GW.