Energy Roundup: China-Iraq Deal, Pickens Wind Farm on Hold, and More

Last Updated Nov 14, 2008 3:12 PM EST

China inks major oil production deal with Iraq -- The China National Petroleum Corporation, Zhenhua Oil, and Iraq's minister of oil have signed a 23-year service agreement to further develop the Al-Ahdab Oilfield in Baghdad. It is one of Iraq's first joint-venture oil projects since the war began in 2003. The deal expands the strategic energy cooperation between Iraq and China. The Al-Ahdab is located about 90 miles southwest of Baghdad and takes up about 100 square miles. CNPC thinks it can increase production to 115,000 within six years. [Source: Rigzone]

T. Boone Pickens trims Texas wind farm project -- Famed "Pickens Plan" oil man, T. Boone Pickens has put plans to build his first wind farm on hold, citing falling energy prices. When the billionaire unveiled his energy plan in the summer, oil was at a staggering $147 a barrel. Today it has fallen below $60 a barrel. Nevertheless, the Associated Press quotes Pickens as saying, "I see myself very much as a pioneer-- I understand the problem and realize something has to be done." [Source: AP via]

Good news and bad news for Pickens' and Clean Energy â€" The good news is that Clean Energy Fuels has raised $32.5 million in a combination of sold shares and warrants. The bad news is that Clean Energy reported a net loss of $10.6 million in the third quarter of this year, compared to a $1.5 million loss in 2007. Third quarter revenue, however, rose 21 percent to $35.3 million from $29.2 million in 2007. T. Boone Pickens, a director and the largest shareholder in the natural gas vehicle distribution company, is certainly having his ups and downs this year. Well, at least he's been on The Daly Show with John Stewart. [Source: Earth2Tech]

IEA: Nuclear must grow 80 percent by 2030 -- In its 2008 World Energy Outlook report, the International Energy Agency said that nuclear capacity must grow to least 1.8 times current capacity by 2030 if global temperature rises are to be kept to 2oC. "Limiting temperature rise to 2oC will require significant emission reductions in all regions and technological breakthroughs," says the report. Dramatically increasing reliance on nuclear is one way to do that. [Source: World Nuclear News]

Backed by $120 million, Amyris makes fuel from sugarcane -- With $120 million venture capital from Khosla Ventures, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, TPG Biotech and DAG Ventures, genetic bioengineering firm Amyris Biotechnologies has produced its first patch of biofuel produced from a mixture of sugarcane, a genetically modified yeast and a dash of ordinary diesel. The company plans to use its funding to further refine the process and eventually put its "No Compromise" biodiesel into production. In an object lesson about the value of serendipity, Amyris stumbled upon its formula while searching for a malaria treatment. [Source: SFGate and Amyris]