Thursday, December 14, 2017

Natural Gas News

China's LNG Woes Boost Coal, But for How Long?

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Lidian Neeleman)

A sure sign that China is struggling with its planned switch to natural gas from coal for winter heating is the spot price of Australian coal climbing back above $100 a tonne. Spot cargoes of thermal coal from Australia's Newcastle port , an Asian benchmark for the fuel used mainly in power plants, rose to $100.65 a tonne on Wednesday, breaching the triple-figure barrier for the first time since Nov. 1 and hitting their highest since mid-September.

First Vessel Heads for MD's Cove Point LNG

The LNG Carrier Maran Gas Delphi (CREDIT: Maran Gas)

The first liquefied natural gas vessel, the Maran Gas Delphi, was headed Thursday for Dominion Energy Inc's Cove Point LNG export facility in Maryland, a Reuters interactive map showed, with the facility expected to enter service by the end of the year. Cove Point will be the second large LNG export terminal in the lower 48 U.S. states, after Cheniere Energy Inc's Sabine Pass terminal in Louisiana, which exported its first cargo in February 2016.

China's Nov. NatGas Imports soar, Crude Shipments Rebound

File Image: A typical LNG Carrier at Sea (CREDIT: QGTC)

Total natural gas imports jump to record as industrial and commercial users face gas shortage. China's natural gas imports in November rose to a record as domestic demand surged while crude imports were the second-highest ever, as refiners ramped up output to cash in on strong profits as fuel prices soar, customs data showed on Friday. November gas arrivals, including pipeline imports and liquefied natural gas (LNG) shipments…

FNB Says Austria Incident Not to Affect Supply

FNB, a group of German long-distance gas network operators, said on Tuesday that the explosion at an Austrian gas hub disrupting European natural gas supply should not affect German flows. "We don't currently assume any problems with the supply of gas but we are observing the situation with utmost attention," Berlin-based FNB said in a statement. The fire and explosion at Austria's Baumgarten hub curtailed flows especially to southern and southeastern borders of that country…

Putin to Saudi Energy Minister: Buy Our Gas, Save Your Oil

Russian President Vladimir Putin offered Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih to buy Russian liquefied natural gas (LNG) in order to spare Saudi Arabia's oil, the Interfax news agency reported citing him as saying on Friday. "Buy our gas and you'll save oil," Putin told Falih after having given the order to start loading the first gas tanker with liquefied natural gas at the Novatek-led Yamal LNG project in the Arctic. "That's why I'm here," Falih replied.

Norway Open to Offshore Floating Wind Power

Norway plans to open one or two offshore regions for construction of floating wind turbines, the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy said in a statement on Wednesday. Norway is western Europe's top producer of oil and natural gas, and has so far lagged Nordic neighbours Denmark and Sweden in wind power developments.

Russia is Developing Subsea Production Systems

Kirinskoye field subsea production facility (Image: Gazprom)

The Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade is working with Gazprom and several Russian research institutions to develop domestic subsea production systems for prototype production in 2019 and testing in 2020. The initiative is underway as the country aims to reduce its dependence on imports in its oil and gas industry, specifically in natural gas liquefaction projects. Subsea production systems enable hydrocarbon production in severe climatic conditions…

UK Energy Prices Spike on North Sea Pipeline Casualty

British power and natural gas prices spiked on Monday afternoon, after a shutdown of the Forties oil and gas pipeline in the North Sea exacerbated ongoing supply outages and already high demand due to colder-than-normal weather. Wholesale gas for immediate delivery jumped as much as 28 percent to 74.00 pence per therm, its highest since the second quarter of 2013. Day-ahead prices were nearly 11 percent higher at 63.90 p/therm.

Tokyo Gas, Alaska Gasline Ink LNG LOI

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) pisotckii)

Tokyo Gas Co Ltd said on Tuesday it signed a letter of intent (LOI) with Alaska Gasline Development Corporation (AGDC) regarding the sale and purchase of liquefied natural gas (LNG). The move follows China's biggest state oil company Sinopec, one of the country's top banks and its sovereign wealth fund agreeing last month to develop the $43 billion natural gas project in Alaska, as the cash-poor U.S. state seeks to revive its dwindling energy industry.

Trafigura's LNG Trade Soared in 2017

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Fotmart)

Commodities trader Trafigura grew liquefied natural gas (LNG) traded volumes by 27 percent to 8.1 million tonnes of the super-cooled fuel this year after expanding its trading desk, aided by sharp Asian demand growth. Swiss trading houses are expanding into the global market for LNG, until recently the preserve of energy giants, and expect to grab a $10 billion share of the business this year, delivering more than 8.5 percent of global supply.

Gazprom Signs Memorandum on Iran LNG

Russian gas giant Gazprom said on Wednesday it had signed a memorandum on possible cooperation in a liquefied natural gas project in Iran. It said the memorandum was signed with Iranian Oil Industry Pension, Saving and Staff Welfare Fund. Iran LNG is designed to have two lines of 5.25 million tonnes of annual capacity, each with a view of eventually increasing total production to 21 million tonnes per year. Its key shareholders are National Iranian Oil Company as well as Oil Industry Pension…

Nigeria's Oil Minister to Engage with Union to Avoid Possible Strike

Nigeria's oil minister said on Thursday the government would engage with the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria after the trade union threatened to launch a nationwide strike. "I have directed that they should be engaged quickly to resolve what the issues are as soon as possible," Emmanuel Kachikwu told reports in the capital, Abuja, after the union said it would strike from Dec. 18 over what it said was a mass sacking of workers.   Reporting by Felix Onuah

Novatek Sells First Yamal LNG Cargo to Petronas

Russia's largest non-state gas producer Novatek has sold its first liquefied natural gas cargo of 170,000 cubic metres from the Yamal LNG project, with Petronas LNG UK Ltd (PLUK) the buyer. Novatek launched loadings from the $27 billion Yamal LNG project on Friday. Novatek's head Leonid Mikhelson has said Yamal LNG will ship three gas cargoes by the end of 2017 and start selling fuel under long-term contracts after April 2018.

IEA Says Monitoring Forties Crude Pipeline Outage

The International Energy Agency said it is monitoring the closure of the Forties crude pipeline that has sent oil prices to 2-1/2 year highs, but said it saw no immediate need to act as the market remains well supplied. The pipeline, which can handle around 450,000 barrels per day of Forties crude oil and carries around a third of UK gas produced offshore, closed down on Monday and may remain shut for a number of weeks, after its operator Ineos detected a minor leak last week.

U.S. Energy Chief Discussed LNG Exports with Saudi

File Image: U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry (CREDIT: DOE)

U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry said on Wednesday that he has held discussions with Saudi Arabian officials on possible exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the United States into the kingdom. Perry was speaking at an industry conference in Abu Dhabi, part of his first official visit to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar this week. Perry has met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman and Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih and visited state oil giant Saudi Aramco during his trip.

Trafigura, Eni Execute Landmark LNG Futures Contract

Commodity trader Trafigura and Eni Trading and Shipping traded the first liquefied natural gas (LNG) futures contract representing delivered prices to Dubai, Kuwait and India, Singapore Exchange (SGX) said on Wednesday. A total of 100,000 million British thermal units, a fraction of a standard-size cargo, of February 2018 futures was cleared by SGX at a price of $9.85 per mmBtu on Dec. 8, the exchange said in a statement.

Wison, CCS Partner on China’s FSRU Standards

Photo: Wison

Wison Offshore & Marine announced it will collaborate with China Classification Society (CCS) Wuhan Rules & Research Institute on various fronts of floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) storage and re-gasification facility (FSRU) developments in China under a strategic cooperation agreement. Pursuant to the agreement, both parties will embark on a wide range of joint efforts in development and optimization of FSRU products…

Enbridge Shares Climb After $2.3 bln in Asset Sales

Photo: Enbridge

Enbridge Inc shares jumped as much as 6.2 percent on Thursday after North America's largest energy infrastructure company announced plans to sell C$3 billion ($2.3 billion) of noncore assets to focus on its central business. The company is also raising C$1.5 billion by selling new shares to pay down debt. It has identified C$22 billion worth of projects it intends to complete through 2020. The Calgary-based company…

Britain's Biggest Oil pipeline Shut "for weeks"

File Image: a typical offshore North Sea installation (Credit: Craig International)

Britain's largest oil pipeline could shut down for weeks for unscheduled repair work, sending the price of crude to new two-year highs and triggering a steep rally in natural gas prices, just as a cold snap sweeps the country. The Forties Pipeline System, which carries around 450,000 barrels per day of Forties crude from the North Sea to the Kinneil processing terminal in Scotland, had been operating at reduced capacity since December 7 when a routine inspection revealed a small leak.

Novatek, Marubeni, Mitsui agree on LNG hub in Kamchatka

Russia's Novatek said on Tuesday it had signed a memorandum of understanding with Japan's Marubeni and Mitsui O.S.K. Lines to explore options for a liquefied natural gas complex in Russia's Kamchatka region. Novatek added that the action plan was to explore opportunities to establish an LNG transshipment and marketing complex at Kamchatka in Russia's far east. Novatek plans to launch its first LNG plant on Russia's Yamal peninsula next month, to export supercooled gas both to Europe and Asia.