Oil, petrol and natural gas
All Commons Briefing Papers
|22.07.2015||Competition in energy markets in Great Britain|
Since 2008, Governments and the energy regulator - Ofgem - have sought to reduce the barriers to effective competitiveness in the gas and electricity markets, particularly for supplies to domestic consumers. The various interventions have culminated in the reference by Ofgem to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to conduct an Energy Market Investigation in June 2014. The CMA's provisional findings and possible remedies were published on 7 July 2015
|25.06.2015||Shale gas and fracking|
The regulatory regime for fracking in the UK is covered in this note along with comment on environmental concerns. It also covers the new access provisions and debate on fracking in during the Infrastructure Bill's passage through Parliament.
|29.05.2015||Taxation of North Sea oil|
This note gives a short description of the way North Sea oil is taxed, before discussing the reforms that have been made to the fiscal regime since 2000.
|10.03.2015||Sources of Statistics: Energy|
This introductory guide provides sources of statistics on energy in the UK.
|23.01.2015||Infrastructure Bill: Energy and Climate Change measures|
The Infrastrucutre Bill 2014-15 provides a number of new powers and regualtions that relate to energy and climate change. The note provides information on some of these for the Commons Report stage debate.
|04.12.2014||Infrastructure Bill [HL]|
This is a 'portmanteau' bill, covering a number of separate but related areas.
|14.05.2014||Carbon Price Floor|
Details of the Carbon Floor Price and the Governemnts annoucnemnt to freeze prices until 2020
The price of domestic gas and electricity has generally increased over the past eight years after around a decade of falling prices. The cost of heating oil has increased by a larger amount. There have been some price cuts over the past few years, but these have been smaller than the price rises. Last winter all of the big six energy suppliers increased gas and electricity prices by between 6% and 11%. So far this autumn only SSE has announced a price increase (8%) which will be implemented in mid-November. Domestic prices have ratcheted up as higher operating, network and environmental costs and higher supplier margins have magnified the impact of longer term increases in wholesale costs. In the medium to long term the pressures on price all appear to be upwards and the only way for most consumers to reduce the impact of increased unit costs, and even to reduce their bills, is through energy efficiency improvements.
|29.01.2014||Petrol and diesel prices|
Road fuel prices have increased steadily since their recent lows in early 2009. Petrol prices reached a record monthly high in May 2010, set new records in December 2010 and in each of the following five months and broke these again in March and April 2012. Since then petrol prices have been in the 131-139 pence per litre range. Diesel prices exceeded their summer 2008 highs in January 2011 and also set new highs in each of the next four months. New records were set in February, March and April 2012. Prices fell by 10 11 pence per litre over summer 2012 and have been in the 138-145 pence per litre range since then.
Oil prices peaked at almost $150 Dollars a barrel in July 2008 and fell sharply in the second half of 2008 as the global financial crisis hit. Prices have increased since then, despite a fairly weak global economy. Political unrest across the Middle East and the revolt in Libya contributed to further price rises in early 2011. Subsequent prices in 2011 and 2012 have been volatile; falling amid concerns about the world economy and going up as tension between Iran and the West increases. Prices were less volatile in 2013 but the average was close to the near record levels seen in the previous two years. Some commentators have said that quantitative easing has contributed to the underlying price increases. Sustained high prices in 2011 meant the annual average price was above that seen in 2008 and the highest since 1864. The latest spot price is around $107 per barrel. This is $43 below the peak, but the weaker pound has meant that in early 2012 and early 2013 Sterling prices have approached or exceeded their 2008 peak. The International Energy Agency's business as usual projections put the price of oil at almost $250 per barrel in 2035.
|27.01.2014||Components of an energy bill|
The latest round of energy price rises has brought increasing focus on the different elements that make up a domestic energy bill and particularly which are responsible for these price rises. This note describes the different component parts of a domestic energy bill and summarises existing estimates of the contribution of each part to current bills and contributions to past bill increases.
|21.01.2014||The Deep Sea Mining Bill 2013-14|
Mrs Sheryll Murray MP came fourth in the ballot for Private Members' Bills and has introduced the Deep Sea Mining Bill 2013/14 which will receive its have its Report Stage on the 24 January 2014..
|10.01.2014||Taxation of road fuels|
This note sets out the way in which road fuels are taxed, and the Government's approach in recent years, before discussing the recent debate about reducing the burden of high oil prices on road users.
|02.12.2013||Road fuel prices: Social Indicators page|
UK pretrol and diesel price trends and cross EU price comparisons
|02.12.2013||Domestic gas and electricity prices: Social Indicators page|
Depiction of trends in the retail prices of gas and electricity since privatisation.
|04.09.2013||Energy Use: Social Indicators page|
Trends in sources of UK energy and generation
|30.08.2013||Energy imports and exports|
After spending most of the previous 25 years as a net exporter of energy the UK became a net importer in 2004. The gap between imports and exports has increased since 2004 and this looks set to continue to increase in the future. This, alongside higher fuel prices and increased concern over the security of energy supply has increased the attention on energy imports and exports.
|12.04.2013||Heating oil and other off-gas grid heating|
This note sets out the regulation of the off-gas grid energy market, and possible sources of support for those who live off the gas grid and have to rely on other fuels such as heating oil or LPG to heat their homes.
|12.03.2013||Energy Bill: Committee Stage Report|
This paper complements Library Research Paper 12/79 on the Energy Bill 2012-13. It covers the Bill's Second Reading and Committee Stages. The Bill seeks to implement electricity market reform and introduces 'contracts for difference' to support all forms of low carbon generation, including nuclear. Government amendments made during Committee Stage related to cheaper energy tariffs and setting a decarbonisation target.
The Energy Bill [Bill 100 of 2012-13] seeks to implement 'electricity market reform' and through this achieve 'secure, clean and affordable' electricity supplies. The Bill was introduced to the Commons on 29 November 2012 and will have its Second Reading debate on 19 December 2012. A draft Bill was subject to pre-legislative scrutiny by the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee.
|19.10.2012||Road fuel prices and taxes across the EU: Social Indicators article|
Looks at trends in petrol and diesel prices in the UK and the rest of the EU.
A compendium of the latest social statistics. This edition includes articles on: UK aviation: airports and capacity; Road fuel prices and taxes across the EU; and a look back at London 2012.
|20.09.2012||Deepwater and Arctic oil drilling|
This note outlines several examples of how previously inaccessible sources of hydrocarbons are now starting to be exploited, the regulatory regimes that surround this and the increasing controversy over drilling in the Arctic.
|24.08.2012||Winter Fuel Payments for 'off-gas grid' households|
Four million (15% of) households in the UK are not connected to the mains gas grid and their average fuel costs are signifiantly higher than those with a mains gas supply. A Private Members Bill presented by Mike Weir MP aims to help older off-grid households by bringing forward the timing of Winter Fuel Payments to enable them to purchase fuel at a time of year when prices are likely to be lower.
|18.07.2012||Antarctica: the treaty system and territorial claims|
The unique treaty system that protects the Antarctic is constantly updated and sometimes challenged. A current Private Member's Bill would implement recent changes in the UK.
|19.01.2012||Oil embargo on Iran and the threat to the Straits of Hormuz|
EU countries are preparing to impose a new round of sanctions on Iran, to include an embargo on the import of oil. The US has also enacted new legislation which will target the Iranian central bank and make oil trading more difficult for Iran. Iran has responded with some threatening comments about closing the Straits of Hormuz, leading to a rise in the oil price. It has also signalled that it is open to re-starting talks. This note details these developments and gives some samples of recent expert commentary.
Tar sands (oil sands) have potential to provide a significant fraction of future global oil demand but there are concerns, acknowledged in an EC Fuel Quality Directive, about their environmental impact, not least on greenhouse gas emissions.
|21.06.2011||EU energy policy 2010 and after|
This note outlines the development of EU energy policy since the Coalition Government first represented the UK at negotiations.
|04.05.2011||Energy Bill [HL]|
This briefing on the Energy Bill has been prepared for the Second Reading Debate in the House of Commons. The flagship policy in the Bill is the 'Green Deal', a scheme whereby homes would be given finance upfront to make energy efficiency improvements, which would then be paid for by energy bill savings. The Bill would also set up a new obligation on energy companies to help certain groups of consumers with saving energy, who need extra support. The Bill also introduces a range of other measures designed to improve energy efficiency; such as facilitating the roll-out of smart meters, widening access to energy performance certificates and making information on energy bills clearer. The Bill also provides measures designed to help improve energy security, to encourage low carbon generation and to grant additional powers to the Coal Authority to charge for certain services.
|21.01.2011||Taxation of road fuels: the road fuel escalator (1993-2000)|
From 1993 to 2000 Conservative and Labour Governments set taxes on road fuels by means of a 'escalator' - a commitment to raise duty rates by a specified percentage each year. This note is a short history of this policy.
|21.01.2011||Taxation of road fuels: policy following the 'fuel crisis' (2000-2008)|
This note discusses the 'fuel crisis' of summer 2000, and the Labour Government's approach to taxing road fuels in the following years.
|29.07.2010||Coalition proposals for an Energy Security and Green Economy Bill|
This note sets out the measures in the Bill alongside what was said about these areas in the Conservative and Liberal Democrat election manifestos, the formal coalition Government agreement and the March 2010 Conservative green paper Rebuilding Security: Conservative energy policy for an uncertain world. It also highlights comment on the proposals.
|27.01.2010||Turkey's energy politics|
Turkey and its relations with its gas-rich neighbouring countries play a predominant role in the future of European energy security. Turkey hopes to use this as leverage in its aspirations to join the European Union. The array of Eurasian gas pipeline projects
|06.10.2008||Energy price rises and their impact on demand|
Social Indicators article which looks at price rises across different sectors in recent years, the impact on demand and the implications of this. This subject will be looked at in greater detail in the Library talk on 3 November: http://hcl1.hclibrary.parliament.uk/whatsnew/talks.asp#144
|23.04.2008||Energy Bill: Committee Stage Report|
[Bill 79 of 2007-08]
Energy Bill. (Bill 53 of 2007-08). House of Commons Library Research Paper 08/05.
|13.06.2007||Working Time Directive: Offshore Sector|
Working Time Directive: Offshore Sector. By Vincent Keter. SN/BT/1001.
|12.02.2002||Alternative vehicle fuels|
Alternative vehicle fuels. House of Commons Library Research Paper 02/11.