Craig Brown

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                    [post_content] => The promise of carbon-free, utility-scale power generation from offshore wind farms is encouraging a number of governments to implement policy support frameworks and national targets for offshore wind power generation. However, the high capital requirements for the deployment of offshore wind have proven that it is an expensive approach to meeting national renewable energy and carbon reduction targets, relative to other power generation sources. The capital requirement for offshore wind farms will be pushed even higher as consented development zones move further from shore and into deeper waters. In this paper, we analyse the major capital cost drivers of offshore wind plants and the implications of various policy frameworks on overall cost reductions for the industry. According to the results of our analysis, this issue – whether the promotion of scalability, or of competition for subsidies, will be more effective in driving down industry-wide costs – is highly market specific. Competitive policies are likely to be most effective when the market size is sufficiently large, whereas enhancing scale is more effective in nascent markets. However, we caution that in either case, the public costs of policies directly supporting offshore wind must be reconciled with the cost of supporting other low-carbon and zero-carbon technologies that may be equally as effective in helping governments achieve renewable energy and carbon reduction targets.

Executive Summary
                    [post_title] => Achieving a cost-competitive offshore wind power industry - what is the most effective policy framework?
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                    [post_content] => The surge in natural gas liquids (NGLs) supply accompanying US shale production has notably underpinned the domestic petrochemicals industry with cheap plant feedstock, particularly in the form of ethane. This has allowed US plants to forge a competitive global position in ethylene production and ushered in a new era of investments in the US petrochemicals sector. However, the impact of US NGLs production is not confined to the domestic petrochemicals sector. The emergence of the USA as a key global exporter of light-end commodities and purity products split from NGL streams is not just redrawing traditional trade patterns, it is also influencing wider market dynamics and global petrochemical feedstock trends and investment decisions. In this paper, we argue that while North American producers will lead the charge on cost-advantaged ethane-based ethylene production, petrochemicals markets will also adjust to support naphtha-based steam crackers based on growth in condensate exports and splitting capacity, particularly in markets east of Suez. Given these dynamics, the major spillover effect of US NGLs production on global petrochemical markets will be the provision of more optionality and feedstock alternatives between LPG and naphtha to global producers; this will ultimately act as a ‘balancing mechanism’ in global petrochemical markets outside the USA.
                    [post_title] => US NGLs Production and Steam Cracker Substitution: What will the Spillover Effects be in a Global Petrochemicals Market?
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                    [post_content] => A number of high-profile projects and a wave of recent investments have focused attention on the global gas-to-liquid (GTL) industry, suggesting a latent potential for gas-to-liquid fuels to usher in a new conceptualization of oil product markets. The clean-burning, high-quality characteristics of GTL diesel fuels lend support to this outlook, seemingly offering a viable substitute to oil-derived diesel in the global transport sector. However, doubts over the long-term viability of large-capacity GTL projects in the absence of heavily subsidized gas feedstock prices leads to an alternative narrative, suggesting that GTL products will have only a limited impact in the global transport sector by virtue of the industry’s unsustainable growth potential. Evidence of this is seen in Europe, where despite the favourable market conditions for diesel imports, GTL diesel remains a niche product with relatively narrow commercial applications. As such, the recent wave of GTL investments may not be totally justified by market context, and the potential for GTL fuels to impact oil product markets may be overstated.
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Executive Summary
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Latest Publications by Craig Brown

Latest Tweets from @OxfordEnergy

  • OIES' @thierry_bros quoted on Sonatrach changes https://t.co/C2f3RROp1q via @LesEchos

    March 27th

  • New OIES study on Russian LNG: A 12-year tax holiday + no export tax on LNG improved project economics for Yamal LN… https://t.co/HZej1LYRny

    March 24th

  • Novatek will be Russia's LNG leader while Gazprom will focus on pipeline projects, OIES via @AAEnergyNews https://t.co/JOB85QXAyc

    March 23rd

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