Leader: Today’s fracking industry report tells of a new opportunity for Scotland: thousands of jobs and a major shot in the arm for an economy which is currently lagging. Of course, the figures come from the fracking industry itself, so we have to take what they say with a certain amount of caution. However, fracking is something on which, as a nation, we need to make a decision. The Scottish Government has a long-standing moratorium on fracking – it has so far opted not to make a decision one way or another. Finally, a consultation into the controversial energy extraction technique is to end this month. Once the evidence is gathered, a decision needs to be made as quickly as possible – either to rule it out or grasp the opportunity and its economic advantages. Embracing fracking would be a controversial road to go down, but one which must be considered, given the potential economic benefits for Scotland.
Scotsman 10th May 2017 read more »
Engie, the French energy group, is closing in on a $4bn deal to sell its exploration and production business to Neptune Oil & Gas, a company backed by US private equity funds Carlyle Group and CVC Capital Partners. If completed, the deal would bring a successful conclusion to a two-year hunt for oil and gas assets by Sam Laidlaw, the former chief executive of Centrica, the UK utility, since he took charge of Neptune with a $5bn war chest to invest. For Engie, 29 per cent owned by the French state, the disposal would represent a big step towards its target to sell as much as 15bn euro of assets in a bid to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and thermal power generation. China Investment Corporation, the Chinese sovereign wealth fund which owns 30 per cent of Engie’s oil and gas portfolio, is expected to increase its interest in the assets by taking a stake of up to 49 per cent in Neptune as part of the transaction. People involved in the process said negotiations were in their final stages but cautioned that the complex nature of the transaction – involving three companies and assets spread across five continents – meant the timing remained uncertain.
FT 11th May 2017 read more »