Energy Book Reviews |
12 December 2011
Written by: Nicholas Newman
The following book reviews covers
publications that take an indepth look at what is behind the latest, trends, developments and changes in
energy related policies, news, technologies, markets, mining, trading and policies in different sectors, regions
and countries throughout the world both on and
- European Natural Gas Demand , Supply, and Pricing: Cycles, Seasons, and the Impact of LNG Price Arbitrage
Predicting the future is always problematic and a complex matter, forecasting the future shape of Europe’s gas markets over the next ten to twenty years for Europe’s decision makers, some would say is an almost impossible task!
For instance, forecasting future gas demand is full of unknowns, including the shape of prices, the impact of improvements in energy efficiency, the timing of Europe’s economic recovery to when rival coal and nuclear power plants will come on stream, since such capacity investment will have a negative impact on gas demand.
On the supply side, similar imponderables exist for European forecasters.
What is this book about?
- Natural Gas in Asia:
There are crucial issues and problems that face the Asian Natural Gas industry today, which have been dangerously ignored by the West.
The rapid economic growth in economic development being experienced by the major economies in Asia is creating new challenges for industry decision makers and investors to solve.
The authors in this new edition of ‘Natural Gas in Asia: The Challenges of Growth in China, India, Japan, and Korea’ seek to explain the factors hindering development, examines possible solutions and the likely prospects for the industry in Asia into the 2020s.
What are the issues, challenges and problems the Asian gas industry faces?
- Energy Trading and Investing
This book by Davis Edwards should really be called Energy Trading and Investing in North America, since it is heavily focused on the United States. Even so, it is a useful book for those seeking an introduction to this complex subject. It is written not to frighten off the aspiring trainee market analyst, energy lawyer or energy journalist. Energy Trading and Investing is written in plain jargon free English and without the use of complex mathematics one usually associates with such books.
This book’s author Davis Edwards is MD of Australia’s Macquarie Group, and has been responsible for many years for managing the credit risks of its North American investments. It is designed for those readers who need a clear basic understanding of the principles of energy trading and investment.
- Gas Markets in the Middle East and North Africa
Recent events in Libya and Bahrain have been of great concern to many foreign investors, operators and governments concerned with the potential threat of disruption of gas supplies. So far, for Europe, it is fortunate that gas imports from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region have not been affected significantly. This book explains the importance of this region’s gas resources to the world.
What is this publication about?
This book examines the possibility that the MENA region could face a possible ‘gas crisis’ by the end of the decade, which will result in much lower levels of exports than has been expected from a region that contains an estimated 40% of the world’s gas reserves. It examines and comments on the individual trends and policies that affect each of the markets that make up the MENA region.
- The Olympic Dam Story
What is this book about?
This book by David Upton is about how a small independent Australian mining company discovered and developed the world’s largest mineral deposit deep in the remote South Australian desert, some 560 kilometres north of Adelaide.
The writer describes in detail the fascinating story behind the initial discovery and subsequent development of the Olympic Dam mineral deposit. This mineral deposit is special for a number of reasons, including the immense scale of this valuable mineral resource containing copper, gold and uranium. In addition, it was the first significant find based on the theory that such deposits could be found where no tell-tale surface features are visible.
- The Social Cost Of Electricity
For both energy policy makers and energy companies involved in the decisions concerned with investing in electricity generation technologies, determining what are the various social costs of diverse technologies is often open to subjective individual evaluations.
What is this book about?
This book is a modern version of traditional cost benefit analysis as it is specifically applied to power generation and its application to such externalities as climate change, human health and the environment. Though the authors do admit, they do ignore the benefits that are derived from different power generation solutions, have had on individual well-being, prosperity and human advancement.
- Cuba’s Energy Future:
Cuba’s Energy Future is written by a team of policy makers, scholars and analysts at Washington’s Brookings Institute, led by Jonathan Benjamin-Alvarado. This book, poses the challenging question what steps can Cuba take to achieve both short term and long-term energy sustainability and self-sufficiency. The often-complex solutions are based on three alternative scenarios of little change, some reforms and a full liberalisation of the Cuban economy will surprise many readers not familiar with the Cuba's energy sector or the developing world.
As a regular writer and researcher on energy matters, including the geopolitical issues that affect countries in the Caribbean. What is clear is that Cuba has much in common with its fellow neighbouring states, including the vital failure, inter alia, to maintain adequate levels of investment in its energy sector.
- Non Gazprom Gas Producers in Russia
This book by James Henderson, who is currently Head of Russia for Lambert Energy Advisory in London as well as a Senior Visiting Research Fellow at OIES, provides a useful insight into the intricacies of the Russian domestic gas market. It not only describes in a concise and knowledgeable manner the complex organisational interrelationships between gas producers, brokers, investors and government agencies, but also comments on how these various stakeholder relationships have evolved over time since the beginning of the post-soviet era to the present day.
However, based on my own experience as a writer and researcher on Russian energy, I found this thorough analysis of the geopolitical complexities of this subject informative.
- Taking risks and how to avoid them!
There is no such thing as a risk free world; we all take risks, both big and small. We would not have heard of Microsoft Windows if innovators like Bill Gates had not taken certain risks, nor would we hear about people climbing Mount Everest.
‘Risk Management: with Applications from the offshore Petroleum Industry’ by Terje Aven and Jan Erik Vinnem, Springer 2007, is about how the offshore oil and gas sector should assess, manage and tackle risk of an offshore installation’s complete life cycle from predesign to final decommissioning and disposal in the world’s tempestuous seas.
- Power Markets and Economics:
This long awaited book is perhaps unique in attempting to describe and provide comprehensive analysis of the world energy market environment. The book’s author Barrie Murray has provided an in depth expert investigation of the various models of energy market reform that have been adopted throughout the world, together with some useful insights into how well such reforms have succeeded in meeting their original objectives and ongoing events.
In addition, the author examines the new development challenges that face consumer, markets and policy makers in various countries, which arise from climate change, economic conditions and technological developments.