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Energy News: First Solar and SunPower Sign Deals With China


Exxon Mobil is starting an LNG project in Papua New Guinea. Plus, news from BP, Royal Dutch Shell, and Chevrolet.

This column highlights the most interesting and useful business and financial commentary on energy from around the Web.

Link: First Solar, SunPower Ink Major Deals in China
"The two largest American solar manufacturers, First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR) and SunPower (NASDAQ:SPWR), separately announced deals on Monday that will see their technologies being installed in China, a growing market that can be difficult to crack for non-Chinese solar companies.

"First Solar said it will be shipping 2 megawatts of solar panels for its first-ever demonstration project in China in early 2013. The Arizona company has signed the supply deal with Zhenfa New Energy Science & Technology, which plans to install the panels in Xinjiang Province in western China. Zhenfa has completed 410 megawatts of solar projects in China by the end of 2011, and it plans to increase that total to 1,100 megawatts by March next year, the company said."

Link: Exxon Seeks to Overcome Challenges in PNG After 21% Cost Overrun
"Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM), operator of a $19 billion liquefied natural gas project in Papua New Guinea, said it's confident the development will begin shipments in 2014, even after costs surged 21 percent.

"'There's still a long road ahead and quite a few challenges,'" Decie Autin, Exxon's project executive in Papua New Guinea, said today in a speech in Sydney."

The Oil Drum
Link: Oil Watch - OECD Oil Production (IEA)
"According to BP (NYSE:BP), OECD oil production (C+C+NGL) peaked at 21.67 million bpd in 1997. Monthly production data from the International Energy Agency (IEA) now suggests that production has been stable for 5 years at around 18.5 million bpd.

"The North Sea (UK and Norway) is still in steep decline. This has been offset by growing production in the USA and Canada where non-conventional tight oil and tar sands production are offsetting declines in conventional crude in these countries."

Seeking Alpha
Link: Royal Dutch Shell, Show Me the Money in Dividends
"In my article of April 30, I gave a buy recommendation for Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE: RDS.A). Nothing has changed so far; I am still bullish about the company.

As a Dutch living in the Netherlands, investors ask me sometimes which are the most famous Dutch companies listed on NYSE Euronext Amsterdam. I always answer Royal Dutch Shell, Unilever (NYSE:UL) and Heineken. Other companies with great businesses in the US are Ahold, Akzo Nobel and Reed Elsevier.

The Detroit News
Link: Volt Sales Plummet Due to Inventory Issue
"Sales of Chevrolet's (NYSE:GM) Volt fell in November, following the vehicle's best sales month in October, while less expensive electrified vehicles gained ground on Chevy's range-extended plug-in hybrid.

"Chevrolet sold 1,519 Volts in November, a 33% rise over the same month a year ago. But that was only about half the record 2,961 vehicles sold in October and 2,851 in September."
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