Thursday, June 4, 2020

Australia News

Shell Weighs Sale of $2B-plus Share in Queensland LNG

Shell Logo - Image by Alexandr Blinov - AdobeStock

Royal Dutch Shell is considering raising more than $2 billion from the sale of a stake in the common facilities at its Queensland Curtis LNG plant in Australia, according to a sale flyer reviewed by Reuters."Royal Dutch Shell plc is considering a sale of a 26.25% interest in the Queensland Curtis LNG (QCLNG) Common Facilities - a multibillion-dollar investment opportunity," the sale flyer said.The sale process is being run by Rothschild & Co and is due to be completed in 2020, the document showed.Shell declined to comment on what it called market speculation.

Melbana Gets More Time for Find Beehive Drilling Partner

Image Credit: Melbana

Australian oil and gas company Melbana Energy has been given more time to work on its Beehive offshore prospect in the Bonaparte Basin off W. Australia.The company said Friday that the National Offshore Petroleum Titles Administrator had approved Melbana's application for a 12-month suspension of the work program conditions in respect of Permit Year 3 (with a corresponding extension of the permit term) for the WA-488-P block containing the Beehive prospect.As a result, Permit Year 3 now ends…

Woodside to Boost Vincent Crude Quality to Ride VLSFO Demand

The Ngujima-Yin FPSO is used for production from Greater Enfield Project - Image by Bruce Jacques - MarineTraffic

Woodside Petroleum will improve the quality of Vincent crude by increasing its flash point from July so that it can be blended into very low sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO) and capture higher premiums, two sources told Reuters.Among crude grades, heavy sweet oil, with higher density and less sulfur, is most suitable for blending into VLSFO that meets the new marine fuel sulfur regulations dubbed IMO 2020. However, crude with a low flash point could ignite easily and can cause engine issues.The increase in the flash point will be made possible by shutting in the Cimatti field off Western Australia…

Oil rises 5% in second weekly gain on output cuts, demand hopes

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Oil prices settled 5% higher on Friday in their second consecutive week of gains as U.S. producers cut production with the number of drilling rigs falling to a record low, and as more states moved ahead with plans to relax lockdowns intended to halt the coronavirus pandemic.The number of operating oil and natural gas rigs fell by 34 to an all-time low of 374 this week - reflecting data going back 80 years - as the energy industry slashes output and spending to deal with the coronavirus-led crash…

Wood, NERA Team Up for AI-Powered Subsea Inspections

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Oil and gas engineering firm Wood has teamed up with National Energy Resources Australia (NERA) to develop and deliver an AI Inspection tool for subsea oil and gas infrastructure.The companies say that the solution has the potential to revolutionize the way asset inspections are conducted in challenging and high-risk environments across a range of industries while increasing the speed and accuracy of issue detection, response, and resolution.According to a statement released by NERA, Wood’s Augmented…

Virus Lockdowns Pummel Global Gas Demand, Force LNG Output Cuts

Illustration; An LNG Carrier - Image by vladsv/AdobeStock

Lockdowns to slow the coronavirus pandemic are pummelling gas demand in the world's biggest buyers of liquefied natural gas (LNG), pushing Asia's spot prices to record lows and forcing some suppliers to start cutting output. Economies worldwide have ground to a halt as virus containment measures have taken their toll, slashing gas demand for power generation, heating, cooking, vehicles and chemical manufacture. The world's biggest LNG markets - Japan, China, South Korea, and India - are all seeing a drop in demand.

Woodside Watching Supermajors' Woes for Opportunities

Peter Coleman (File photo: Woodside)

Woodside Petroleum is keeping a close eye out for assets that might come up for grabs from the oil supermajors amid the oil market rout, seeing itself in a position to bid, Chief Executive Peter Coleman said on Friday.The head of Australia's top independent gas producer said, however, deals were unlikely until the third or fourth quarter of this year."We are watching closely the super majors," Coleman told reporters on a conference call the day after Woodside's annual meeting.He said Woodside…

Inpex Sells Ichthys LNG at Record Low

Ichthys Explorer CPF offshore Australia - Image Credit: Mathew Wright/MarineTraffic

Inpex sold a liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargo from Australia's Ichthys plant for loading in May at what traders say is a record low price.Inpex had offered two cargoes for loading in May and has sold at least one of them at about $1.70 to $1.75 per million British thermal units (mmBtu), four traders said.The cargo was sold on a delivered ex-ship (DES) basis, two of them said. Details of the buyer and the second cargo could not immediately be confirmed. (Reporting by Jessica Jaganathan; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)

Covid-19 Catches up with Seaborne Coal in Asia

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The coronavirus pandemic has finally caught up with seaborne thermal coal in Asia, as soft demand in major importers India and China sends prices to multi-year lows and dents the polluting fuel's relative outperformance against other energy.The price of low-energy coal from Indonesia, the world's top exporter of thermal coal, has dropped to the lowest since assessments were started by commodity price reporting agency Argus in 2008, while higher-quality Australian supplies have slumped to a four-year low.Indonesian coal with an energy value of 4…

New Offshore Acreage Licensing to Drop 60% in 2020, Rystad says

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Newly licensed offshore oil and gas exploration acreage is likely to fall by about 60% and onshore acreage by 30% compared with 2019 levels, Rystad Energy has said, as the Norwegian energy market analytics company expects more than half of the world’s planned licensing rounds to be canceled this year due to the combined effect of the COVID-19 pandemic and the low oil prices."This year was slated to be another remarkable year for exploration with about 45 countries launching at least 52 lease rounds, about 60% of them in offshore areas.

Offshore Helicopter Merger Nears Completion as HSR Waiting Period Ends

Illustration; A Bristow helicopter / Image by Colin Gregory / Flickr - CC BY 2.0 license

Offshore helicopter players Era and Bristow, which recently announced plans to merge, have skipped a hurdle towards the completion of the merger.Era said Tuesday that the waiting period for the proposed merger under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Act ended on April 10, 2020.The expiration of the waiting period under the HSR Act satisfies a condition to the closing of the merger, Era said."The closing of the Merger remains subject to other customary closing conditions, including the approval of the merger by Bristow’s stockholders and the approval of the issuance of the shares in the merger by Era’s stockholders…

Yamal LNG Resumes Loading Operations in Norway

(File photo: Novatek)

Yamal LNG, controlled by Russia's largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) producer Novatek, is resuming ship-to-ship transfers in Norway, Novatek said on Monday, after plans to shift the operations to Russia fell through due to coronavirus.Novatek suspended transfers in Norway in June last year due to what it termed "pressure from the West".According to Refinitiv Eikon data, the Arc7 tanker Vladimir Vize is due to arrive at the Norwegian Arctic port of Honningsvag on April 1, carrying a cargo from Yamal LNG.The data also showed that an empty Arc4 tanker…

Fully Laden LNG Tankers Sit Idle Off Indian Ports after Force Majeure

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At least five fully-laden liquefied natural gas (LNG) tankers are idling offshore India, as yet unable to discharge their cargoes, after importers there declared force majeure earlier this week, according to an analyst and shipping sources.Gas demand is falling globally amid the fast-spreading coronavirus which has capped industrial output, forcing LNG tankers in several regions to remain at sea fully laden with no immediate destination, the sources said.At least three major buyers in India, the world's fourth largest LNG importing country…

Origin Energy to Defer Shale Drilling in Australia

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Origin Energy will defer shale exploration drilling in Australia's Northern Territory until the second half of this year in a bid to protect workers from a coronavirus, the company said on Thursday.Origin, operator of a joint venture with Dublin-based Falcon Oil & Gas Ltd, resumed drilling in the Beetaloo Basin last year after a three-year break when drilling was banned, and had hoped to get first test results around July this year.It has estimated the Beetaloo Basin contains 6.6 trillion cubic…

U.S. Crude Hits 18-year Low as Lockdowns Spread

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Oil prices fell for a third session on Wednesday, with U.S. crude futures tumbling to an 18-year low and Brent hitting a more than 16-year low as travel and social lockdowns to counter the coronavirus raised prospect of the steepest ever annual fall in oil demand.U.S.

Australia Becomes World's Largest LNG Exporter

Graph: Rystad Energy

Australia has become the largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporter in the world. The record figure knocked Qatar out of the top spot."Australia is set to become the world’s largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporter this year, overtaking Qatar, with its supplies expected to reach 81 million tonnes (MT) as Ichthys LNG and Prelude FLNG increase production," Rystad Energy said.Meanwhile, Qatari exports will remain at current levels, around 77 MT. The US will increase LNG exports from about 36 MT in 2019 to 56 MT in 2020, dominating new LNG supply contributions.

Coronavirus Paralyzes Oil, Gas Sales into China

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Short-term sales of crude oil and liquefied natural gas into China almost ground to a halt this week as the coronavirus slows economic activity and cuts demand and buyers ponder legal action to avoid having to honor purchase agreements, trade sources said.Typically, trade would have revived after the Lunar New Year holiday at the end of January, but China has extended the break into February to try to contain the fast-spreading coronavirus, which has claimed nearly 500 lives.As a result, commodity supply chains have been disrupted with shipments cancelled or delayed and stocks piling up…

China Can't Meet Its US Energy Commitments

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The more you delve into the details of China's commitment to buy an additional $52.4 billion in U.S. energy over the next two years, the more it becomes apparent the goal is unachievable, even with the best will in the world.As part of the "Phase 1" trade truce between Beijing and Washington, China undertook to buy energy over and above a $9.1 billion baseline of U.S. imports in 2017, with a split of an extra $18.5 billion in 2020 and $33.9 billion in 2021.In practical terms this means China's…

Nordex Wind Energy Orders Top 6.2GW in 2019

Image: Nordex Group

The turbine manufacturing and installation company Nordex Group booked turbine orders totaling 6207MW in 2019, up 31% on the 4754MW in 2018.The German manufacturer secured deals with a combined capacity of 1477MW in the fourth quarter of last year, which was down on the 1679MW in the last three months of 2018.Overall, the Nordex Group received orders to deliver 1,616 wind turbines with a total output of 6,207 MW in 2019, representing a 31 percent increase on the previous year (2018: 4,754 MW).In the fourth quarter of 2019…

Europe Dominates LNG Import Story in 2019

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Global liquefied natural gas (LNG) production jumped in 2019, triggering oversupply and low prices that are expected to persist in 2020. Initial full-year data from LNG Edge shows exports at 355 million tonnes in 2019, up from 314.9 million tonnes in 2018.This represents the largest ever increase in production.While East Asian, especially Chinese, demand increased in 2017 and 2018 to absorb additional production, there was little change this year. Instead, supply pushed into Europe reached a record high…