Easwaran Kanason

Co - founder of NrgEdge
Last Updated: August 15, 2021
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Business Trends

With crude oil prices having swollen to their highest levels since late 2018, Big Oil is back to Big Profits. Continuing a trend that kicked off in at the start of 2021, the world’s largest oil and gas companies have been capitalising on the recovery in consumption and the unusual production discipline from OPEC+. Despite squabbles within the crude producer group, sanity has prevailed and supply levels have been restrained, deliberately lagging behind growing demand from resurgent economies to clear the huge glut inherited from 2020. Easing economic restrictions afforded by the world’s largest vaccination drive have led to demand for fuels surging back – in some cases, back to pre-pandemic levels – and even with the delta and lambda variants looming, all are hoping (and betting) that the worst is over.

With big profits come big expectations. The turbulence that the industry has seen since 2015, a prolonged slump that led to a brief period of ambition that was killed stone cold by Covid-19, has left all supermajors and majors in a state of caution. In those years, the conversation around fossil fuels has changed dramatically. Having always been looming over, the issue of climate change has now taken centre stage. It has taken root and is beginning to bud in Europe; it is accelerating, despite some resistance in the USA; and even in emerging economies, the question of clean energy and carbon capture is now a part of the conversation.

What this means for the energy industry is that the glare of scrutiny has intensified, requiring them to pivot towards clean energy and carbon neutral targets. And what that also means is that capital is becoming scarcer. Several large sovereign and independent wealth funds have already abandoned investment in fossil fuel firms, turning their considerable amount of capital towards financing clean energy. This doesn’t mean that the likes of the supermajors are starved for funds, but they certainly need to shine brighter to regain their investment lustre. Big profits won’t lead to big spending anymore – unless it is investment into clean energy. But those profits aren’t being channelled into paring down debt and strengthening balance sheets either. Instead, Big Oil is turning its Big Profits into Big Rewards for its shareholders. The message this is trying to send is clear: “investors, please stick with us… we will get cleaner, we promise… and there will be plenty of dividends along the way.”

Shell kicked off the earning season with a blockbuster announcement that set the tone for the rest. With reported net profits of US$5.53 billion for Q2 2021, Shell announced that it would be raising its dividend by almost 40% and kickstart a share buyback worth US$2 billion. Chemicals were a particular highlight in Shell’s performance – reflecting the broader strength in manufacturing driven by online spending and shifting consumer habits over the pandemic period – but Shell still has a way to go to convince its shareholders fully. The raised dividend still does not fully restore the two-thirds slash that Shell took to its dividend payout last year at the onset of the Covid-19 crisis. Shell’s share price remains some 40% lower than pre-pandemic levels despite a full recovery in oil prices and a restoration of major profit levels.

France’s TotalEnergies also reported a huge surge in net profits, US$3.5 billion compared to US$126 million a year ago. Unlike Shell, TotalEnergies had been in position to maintain its dividend scheme over the pandemic, but did join in the payout party by announcing share buybacks. Tied to the Total’s target crude price level of US$60/b, 40% of the newly-renamed TotalEnergies’ cash flow above the target level would be used for share buybacks, with a total value of at least US$800 million and potentially US$1 billion if average prices hit US$68/b. In the UK, BP kept the trend going, raising its dividend by 4% and previewing a stock buyback scheme of US$1.4 billion for 3Q 2021, while promising to increase dividends by 4% annually and repurchase US$1 billion of shares each quarter until 2025 is crude oil prices average above US$60/b. BP’s net profit for the second quarter was US$2.8 billion, compared to a mammoth loss of US$6.68 billion a year earlier.

Elsewhere in Europe, other major players like Equinor, Eni and Repsol followed the same theme of increased profits leading to increased payouts. It wasn’t just in Europe, but across the world. In North America, Chevron’s net profits rose to US$3.3 billion for Q2 2021 from a US$2.9 billion loss a year earlier, leading the supermajor to revive a share buyback scheme suspended at the start of the pandemic involving share buybacks of some US$2-3 billion per year. The likes of ConocoPhillips, Occidental Petroleum and even refiners like Marathon Petroleum crushed earnings estimates and rewarded shareholders. Even the world’s largest oil firm – Saudi Aramco – shattered expectations, reporting net profits of some US$25.5 billion, most of which will be channelled the government of Saudi Arabia.

There was a lone holdout in the payout party for the quarter. And it was a major one. ExxonMobil posted its highest profits in two years – at US$4.69 billion, up from a loss of US$1.08 billion a year ago – as well as recording its highest chemical profits on record. However, ExxonMobil won’t be spending much of that excess cash flow on its investors, having frozen its dividend levels and refraining from initiating a share buyback. Instead, CEO Darren Woods will be focusing on repairing its balance sheet and bottom line, having burned through nearly US$28 billion in cash over two years. ExxonMobil’s net debt rose by nearly 40% to a record US$68 billion in 2020 and Woods will be focusing on paring this down, after suffering a bruising proxy battle with activist investor Engine No. 1 that forced it to replace a quarter of its Board of Directors, lest it brews another revolt.

The main beneficiaries of this new magnanimity will, of course, be shareholders. Wooing investors has historically never been a problem for Big Oil. But as the industry comes under increasing pressure to shift away from polluting fossil fuels towards embracing clean energy while the world grapples with a warming planet, energy companies are struggling to justify their current reliance on fossil fuels to power their revenues and profits. They are also struggling to convince investors that their renewable energy plans to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 will yield the same profits as oil and gas currently does. And so to keep investors in their corner, Big Oil is betting that generosity is the way forward.

End of Article 

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Market Outlook:

  • Crude price trading range: Brent – US$69-71/b, WTI – US$66-68/b
  • Despite the worrying acceleration in Covid-19 infections led by the delta variant, crude oil prices are holding ground around the US$70/b level on hopes that global vaccinations will keep hospitalisation rates low and lockdowns limited
  • However, worries over the tightness of supply leading to higher fuel prices has led the US to call on the OPEC+ alliance to revive production more quickly than its planned 400,000 b/d hike per month through December, causing a bit of drag on prices

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Making use of commercial timber pellet mill

Today we  will certainly  discuss industrial  timber pellet mill  Most of us know that  contemporary society  promotes the recycling of resources, especially waste wood, sawdust, straw,  and so on. The  timber that  might not be  utilized before can be  refined into sawdust after  squashing  and also processing., sawdust  as well as other raw materials,  advertise the recycling of waste wood,  as well as facilitate our lives.

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Around us, waste wood, branches, waste wood scraps, bark, branches, waste boards, veneers,  furnishings factory scraps,  assorted wood, etc can be  grated into sawdust,  and also biomass pellet fuel is  generated through the industrial  timber pellet mill The finished product has high  burning efficiency and little harm to the  atmosphere, which can be  claimed to kill two birds with one  rock.

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August, 03 2022
Seven Tips for Online Learning During COVID-19

It is no secret that the COVID-19 epidemic has forced us all to make significant changes in our lives. Remote work has been an option for businesses; K-12 schools have adopted distance learning as a necessity; many college students, who were previously enrolled in on-campus courses, now have to learn online.

While online learning carries many positive benefits that make it the preferred choice for millions of students, it doesn't come without its challenges--especially for students who are more familiar with in-person courses.

Here are seven tips from Jonathan Small (associate vice president for online learning at Regis College), that will help you to adapt your study habits to fully online learning.

Tips for Online Classes1. Take the time to plan ahead and understand when your assignment is due.

Online students interact with the subject matter and complete assignments via learning management software (LMS). Regis offers online classes through Moodle. Other popular tools include Canvas and Blackboard.

It doesn't matter what LMS you use, it is important that you take the time to familiarize yourself with the interface as well as your assignments. Take a look at the due dates for your assignments so you can create a realistic plan to complete them.

Small says that online classes are often structured in modular formats, which is different from face-to-face classes. You don't always have the physical reminder that your work is due in class. Online classes can be very busy, so students must organize their time.

2. Make sure you have enough time to study.

Many students at Regis and other universities pursue their education while also fulfilling other obligations. You have to balance work, childcare, family obligations, and internships.

Small says, "Chunking tasks is a great way for students to feel accomplished." You feel like you are making progress. You can also schedule a time to study, which will help you establish and maintain a routine.

3. Regular communication is essential for group projects.

Many college courses include group projects and assignments that you must compete with others in the class. This is true for both online and in-person courses. Small says that while in-person courses allow for group projects and bring people together face to face, online students must be careful about communicating effectively.

Groups must prioritize communication, regardless of whether it's via Zoom, email or phone call, instant messaging, shared documents, or any other form altogether.

Small says, "Find a system which works for everyone in your group and then follow up often."

4. Split up work groups early.

It is important that groups are able to properly divide tasks so that everyone has a fair share and everyone knows exactly what they have to do.

Small advises that group projects should be planned far in advance so that everyone can share the work and coordinate their efforts. This way, even if something isn’t due for a few more weeks, everyone has the opportunity to use their time and work on their tasks as they can.

5. Keep in touch with your professor frequently.

As important as it is to communicate with your classmates and group members, it's equally important that you communicate with your instructor or professor. Whether you need help with an assignment, or simply want to share your struggles with them, make the effort to contact your professor.

Small says that talking to your instructor is key to success. Small says that you don't have to struggle with your questions and concerns alone. The professor can help. Talking to your instructor for five minutes can help you save days of stress. You will feel better, get more clarity, and be more successful.

You don't have to communicate only when things are going wrong. You can build a rapport with your instructor by letting them know when things are going well.

6. Participate as often as you can

Participation is key to your success, no matter if you are taking classes online or in person. Active participation not only shows your professor you are engaged but also shows you are learning and willing to do the work required to succeed. Participation transforms education from a passive process to one that is active.

Small says that the more you take part as a student the better your experience will be.

7. Flexibility is key.

Flexibility is key to online learning, both for you and your fellow students--and even your professors.

Small says, "Remember that your instructors had only to switch to remote teaching within a weekend. That's the same time it took to transition to online learning."

"This happened by accident. It's possible to restore the campus community by simply being compassionate, active in your course material, and talking to your instructors. This will make the transition smoother.

Put in the Work

Online learning might not be your first choice. However, the tips and advice above will help you make the most of your online courses. Clear and open communication with your classmates and instructors, as well as staying focused on the course material, will be key to your success in this difficult time.

Related article from studentjob.co.uk : http://www.studentjob.co.uk/blog/5757-best-online-exam-help-top-five-websites-you-can-trust 

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Are Online Classes Worth It? 12 Pros & Cons Of Online Learning

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August, 02 2022
What is a Satire Essay and How Does It Work?

One of the most popular literary devices or genres is Satire. This genre is especially designed to criticize someone or group of people for their vices, wrongdoings, or shortcomings.

Usually, humor is used to highlight important political and cultural issues in a society. A satire article is a type essay that uses humor, sarcasm, and irony to ridicule a person, situation, or ideology. It pokes fun in an elite and sarcastic fashion at certain people or situations.

How to Write Satire Essays: Writing Tips

How do you write a satire article? It doesn't have to be difficult, even though it seems daunting. However, once you use the following tips, it can be an easy task to write a satire article.

Choose a relevant and original topic

This is why you will need to create a satire essay. Your first step is to pick a satirical essay topic. You may be assigned a topic by your professor or teacher in some instances, but you would need to create your topic.

Decide the topic of your essay. Depending on what you are interested in, you can choose to concentrate on either a political or societal situation.

However, it's a good idea to choose a topic you are already familiar with. This will make it easier to locate facts and evidence to support the views you hold.

Consider your audience

Your essay is the center of attention. You must consider your audience at every stage of the writing process. Your essay should be addressed to college professors or high school students.

Are professionals reading it or are you just a student? It is important to consider your audience and determine the right tone for your essay.

A casual tone is acceptable if your target audience is mostly friends and students. It's best to use a formal tone if your target audience is professionals.

Add humor!

What makes a humorous essay so engaging? It is the topic, or the writer's writing style that makes satire essays so interesting. Humor is the key ingredient to any satire essay. You want your audience to laugh at the absurdity or inanity of a person or situation. Irony, sarcasm or hyperbole are all great ways to accomplish this end.

These devices can be very effective if used in a thoughtful manner.

Be clear about the facts

Because satirical essays often use exaggeration and humor, it is crucial to write an essay that is straightforward. An essay that contains false or misleading information will not be accepted by the court of public opinion.

Therefore, facts should only be stated that are supported by strong evidence. If you want to give credibility, be sure to cite the source of your information after citing figures, theories, opinions, etc.

This would ensure your audience that your essay was credible. Avoid including arguments that you are unable to prove or find evidence.

Use the ELP Format

ELP format is a great tool to ensure that your satire essay will be professional and high-quality. ELP is an acronym that stands for ethos, logos, and pathos.

These three elements make up a large part of an essay and can either help or hinder your work. These elements are important and can be used in your essay.

Ethos informs readers about the topic at hand and their preexisting beliefs. To provide a foundation for readers, Ethos should be used as a tool in the introduction.

Logos give credibility to your work by providing facts and figures for the audience.

As the name implies, pathos will elicit the appropriate emotions and feelings from your audience. You can use this tool to invoke sadness, sympathy, anger or any other emotion.

Be tolerant

It is important to avoid making offensive statements in satire essays, even though they are often filled with irony or sarcasm.

Your audience will likely include people from all walks of life. Therefore, it is important not to make comments that could be considered discriminatory or offensive for a particular section.

The art of discerning the right line between humor and offensiveness is delicate and requires practice. You can ask teachers or colleagues to give you second opinions so that your essay doesn't offend.

Learn more at: https://proessays.net/blog/40-witty-topics-for-a-satirical-essay

July, 25 2022