Thursday, February 27, 2020

Australia News

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

© Riekelt / Adobe Stock

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

© ymgerman / Adobe Stock

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

© Maciej Bledowski / Adobe Stock

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…

Puma Energy Sells Fuels Business to Chevron Australia

© Lev Dolgachov / Adobe Stock

Singapore's Puma Energy, the retail and midstream arm of global commodities trader Trafigura, said on Thursday it would sell its Australian commercial and retail fuels business to Chevron Australia for A$425 million ($288 million).Puma Energy is 49%-owned by Geneva-based Trafigura, which is under pressure to rebalance its books after a decade-long buying spree.Trafigura last week reported its lowest annual net profit in nearly a decade after a string of losses in its physical asset portfolio.Puma Energy was among Trafigura's loss-making businesses…

Woodside Finalizes Gas Deal with Uniper

Scarborough concept (Image: Woodside)

Oil and gas producer Woodside Petroleum Ltd said on Tuesday it has signed an agreement to supply liquefied natural gas (LNG) to German utility Uniper SE for 13 years starting 2021.Under the agreement, Woodside said it would initially supply up to 0.5 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) of LNG, which could increase to 1 Mtpa from 2025.However, supply from 2025 remains conditional upon a final investment decision related to the company's Scarborough project off northwestern Australia.Woodside is looking to develop Scarborough to feed a new 5 Mtpa production unit, called a train, at its Pluto LNG plant in Western Austra

Malaysia Spot Crude Premiums Hit Multi-year High

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Asia-Pacific refineries are forking out multi-year high premiums for sweet crude produced in the region as alternative supplies from the West have become more expensive with the rise in shipping costs, several trade sources said on Monday.Lower exports from Indonesia and Vietnam and rising demand for very low-sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO) have also helped push up premiums for crude produced in Malaysia such as Labuan and Kimanis to the highest in years, they said.Malaysian crude has low sulphur content that makes them suitable to be processed into cleaner fuels.Malaysia's state energy company Petronas has sold 300…

Beach Energy Eyes Offshore New Zealand

Map of the Great South and Canterbury basins showing the location of PEP50119 and the Tawhaki prospect relative to the Beach-operated PEP38264 permit and the Wherry and Gondola prospects. Map: Beach Energy Limited

Australian oil and gas exploration and production company Beach Energy Limited has signed an agreement with OMV GSB Oil Exploration to acquire a 30% participating interest in exploration permit (EP) PEP50119 in the Great South Basin, offshore New Zealand.Under the agreement, Beach will acquire a 30% participating interest in the permit in exchange for funding a 30% share of the Tawhaki-1 well cost and the associated work program and budget. The estimated capital exposure is approximately $25 million net to Beach.The transaction is subject to New Zealand government and regulator approval…

Petronas Names Second FLNG in S. Korea

Image: Petronas

Malaysian oil and gas company Petronas named its second floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility, the PFLNG Dua, in a ceremony in Geoje, South Korea.The floating LNG facility is designed to extract gas from deepwater gas reservoirs in depths up to 1,500 meters.With PFLNG Dua, the national oil and gas company of Malaysia owns and operates two floating LNG facilities, following the success of PFLNG Satu which has been in operation since 2017. This achievement demonstrates Petronas’ strong…

Cheap LNG from Qatar Imperils N.American Projects

Cheniere's Sabine Pass LNG Terminal (CREDIT: Cheniere)

Proposed projects to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) from North America face an uphill battle against Qatar, which announced plans to further ramp up production to hold onto its position as the world's leading LNG exporter.The United States is on track to overtake Qatar and Australia as the top LNG exporter by 2024, but now will only hold that title for a few years as Qatar announced this week it will boost production by 64% by 2027.Qatar's plans add another headwind for dozens of long-in…

Woodside Sees Reserve Base Tripling

(File photo: Woodside)

Australia's Woodside Petroleum on Tuesday laid out plans to triple its gas and oil reserve base as it pursues projects worth over $36 billion in Australia, Senegal and Myanmar.Success in those projects would result in its reserve base reaching 3.7 billion barrels over the next seven years and help Woodside expand production by 6% a year over the next decade, it said."We believe we now have a compelling growth story," Woodside Chief Executive Peter Coleman told an analysts briefing in Sydney.Coleman's comments highlight Woodside's bullish view as crunch time approaches on major projects.

GasLog Sees Tighter LNG Shipping Market

Pic: GasLog

GasLog, an international owner, operator and manager of liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers, is predicting a tighter LNG shipping market, as increasing United States LNG output combines with a seasonal uptick in demand for gas, resulting in rising demand for shipping and higher utilization of the global fleet.These underlying trends in the LNG commodity and shipping markets point towards a structurally tighter market through 2020 and into 2021.As of October 28, 2019, the LNG fleet and orderbook (excluding floating storage and regasification units (FSRUs) and vessels with capacity below 100…

Heavy Crude Demand Boosts Mitsui Profits

Higher demand in low-sulphur heavy crude ahead of new rules on shipping fuel is helping to boost the profit of Mitsui & Co as the Greater Enfield project in Australia began production in August as scheduled, the Japanese trading house's CEO said on Thursday."The timely start of production of fine-quality low-sulphur heavy crude at the upstream project had also a ripple effect to our energy trading unit in Singapore," Mitsui Chief Executive Officer Tatsuo Yasunaga told an analyst meeting.A Mitsui…

Wood Names Cox as Americas CEO

Stephanie Cox is the new CEO of Wood’s Americas business (Photo: Wood)

Energy services company Wood said Stephanie Cox  will take over as CEO of its Americas business, succeeding Andrew Stewart who has been appointed executive president of strategy and development for the global business.Responsible for the firm’s $4 billion asset solutions business which employs around 20,000 people working across the US, Canada, Trinidad, Brazil, Mexico and Guyana, Cox will be based in Houston and report directly to Wood’s Chief Executive, Robin Watson.Cox joins Wood following a 28-year tenure with Schlumberger…

Santos Posts Record High Output

(Photo: Santos)

Australia's number two independent gas producer Santos Ltd on Thursday said third-quarter production and sales volumes peaked to record levels, benefiting from higher output from its Western Australia assets.Revenue of $1.03 billion was the second highest quarterly sales on record, the company said in a statement, while production surged 32% to 19.8 million barrels of oil equivalent (mmboe), beating an estimate of 18.9 mmboe by UBS."Another highlight of the quarter was the successful appraisal of the Dorado field which is one of the most exciting growth projects in our portfolio.

Woodside Targets Scarborough FID in Early 2020

(Photo: Woodside)

Woodside Petroleum Ltd has pushed out the final approval date for its mammoth Browse gas project but slightly brought forward plans to sign off on its smaller Scarborough project as it races to fill an anticipated global supply gap.Woodside, Australia's top independent gas producer, said on Thursday it is now targeting a final investment decision on the $20.5 billion Browse project in the first half of 2021 as it continues to wrangle with its partners. It had previously expected approval in late 2020.However…

Airswift Eyes APAC Growth

Airswift, the global workforce solutions provider for the energy, process and infrastructure sectors, announced two senior hires to build upon recent successes in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region. Fueled by the region’s energy and infrastructure markets, the appointments follow 20% year-on-year growth for the company.Based in Brisbane, Ryan Carroll has been appointed as Regional Director, Australia & New Zealand, where he will be responsible for all in-country operations. Carroll has four years’ recruitment experience in Australia across industries such as civil engineering…

Shell QGC Ships 500th LNG Cargo from Curtis Island

Curtis Island Liquefied Natural Gas, Queensland. Image: Bechtel

Shell’s QGC business, along with its joint venture partners CNOOC and Tokyo Gas, have shipped the 500th cargo of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from its LNG plant on Curtis Island, Queensland.The cargo will be delivered by Gladstone’s namesake vessel, the GasLog Gladstone, Shell said.Shell’s QGC Vice President East, Tony Nunan said: “The 500th LNG cargo safely completed loading today from our plant on Curtis Island, five years since the first cargo set sail.“It takes commitment and collaboration to safely and efficiently develop, process and supply gas to both domestic and international markets.

Santos Acquires ConocoPhillips’ Northern Australia Interests

Santos announced it has acquired ConocoPhillips’ northern Australia business with operating interests in Darwin LNG, Bayu-Undan, Barossa and Poseidon for US$1.39 billion plus a $75 million contingent payment subject to FID on Barossa.Matt Fox, ConocoPhillips executive vice president and chief operating officer, said, “While we believe the Darwin LNG backfill project remains among the lower cost of supply options for new global LNG supply, this transaction allows us to allocate capital to other…