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Energy Roundup: Abu Dhabi Adds Output, T. Boone on Ropes, Green VCs Double Down, and More

Abu Dhabi set to invest $20 billion to increase crude output -- The Abu Dhabi government plans to invest some $20 billion through 2010 to increase its crude output 30 percent. Current crude production is 2.7 million barrels per day. Abu Dhabi hopes to raise that to 3.5 million barrels per day. In addition, the emirate plans to invest a further $25 million in its natural gas industry over the next half decade. Remember: The early bird catches the worm. [Source: Oil and Gas News Worldwide]
71 Gulf rigs still idle after storms -- According to the U.S. Minerals Management Service 71 production platforms in the Gulf of Mexico are still evacuated after last month's hurricanes Gustav and Ike, or a little over 10 percent of the 694 manned production platforms. About 28 percent of the oil production and 33 percent of the natural gas production in the Gulf is still "shut-in." [Source: Energy Current]

T. Boone's investors bailing -- Earth2Tech reports that after famed oil man and energy security crusader, T. Boone Pickens' appearance on "60 Minutes" Sunday night, in which he admitted his funds are down a brisk $2 billion, investors are jumping ship â€" or rather rig. About half of the investors in Picken's energy fund have scrammed. [Source: Earth2Tech]

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Offshore wind power turbine service craft lost at sea -- A "jackup lift boat," Titan-1, owned by KS Energy Services was lost at sea while crossing the Atlantic from Pascagoula, Miss. to Liverpool, U.K. Titan-1 was being sent to the North Sea under contract with Siemens Wind Power for installation and maintenance work of wind turbines in the North Sea off of Denmark and the U.K. The craft slipped off the M/V Ancora when the semi-submersible encountered engine trouble. Rough seas caused the Titan-1 to shift and then capsize. A subsidiary of KS Energy is in talks with Siemens to substitute another vessel, most likely the identical Titan-2. The value of the 817-day contract was $43.9 million. [Source: Energy Current]

Intel investing in energy, too â€" Not to be outdone by Google, who has recently dived into the energy business with considerable gusto, Intel Capital, owned by the computer chip company of the same name, will invest $20 million in Chinese solar and wind power equipment provider, Trony Solar Holdings. "The world economy is in a very difficult position, but innovation is the way to help companies out of financial crisis," said Cadol Cheung, managing director of Intel Capital for Asia Pacific. "Intel Capital is still committed to investing in innovative companies." So far the alternative energy sector seems to be weathering the crisis. Can it continue? [Source: Sydney Morning Herald]

Green crunch leads venture capitalists to double down despite downturn -- Yesterday we reported that falling fossil fuel prices could be putting the kibosh on alternative energy initiatives. But, as Earth2Tech blogger, Katie Fehrenbacher, points out lowered company valuations can be a boon for VCs. She writes: "Last week at the Dow Jones Alternative Energy, a panel of investors highlighted those types of positives in a bear market. Lee Bailey, managing director of U.S. Renewables Group, said that even over the past few weeks, valuations have gone down dramatically, resulting in better deals. It's proof that the market works, Bailey said. Raj Atluru, managing partner with Draper Fisher Jurvetson, said that this is actually the time when great returns can be made. 'If anything, we're doubling down,' said Atluru." [Source: Earth2Tech]

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