Malaysia is cementing its position as the dominant player in issuing global and domestic sukuks – helped by the regional energy sector. "Power bonds have accounted for 39% of Malaysia's RM239 billion of infrastructure bond issues in the last decade," said Chong Van Nee, co-head of Infrastructure and Utilities at RAM Ratings.

Vacuum contactors, used in power plants and substations, are seen to grow from an estimated market value of $3.43 billion in 2015 to over $4.81 billion by 2020. MarketsandMarkets analysts reckon that a large number of transmission and distribution line upgrades, particularly in Asia Pacific, will spur 7.04% cumulated annual growth rates (CAGR).

Shale gas production in the United States is expected to reach 79 Bcf/d in 2040, while tight oil output could exceed 7 million b/d, according to EIA projections – provided that technological progress helps bring down drilling costs and oil prices stabilise.

South Korea’s sole gas importer Kogas is taking steps to source LNG at cheaper prices through its proprietary gas production. "We need to shift away from a conventional supply method of bringing LNG under high-priced long-term contracts from overseas,” CEO Lee Seung-hoon stressed.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016 09:00 / Markets

China’s oil major turns towards gas

CNPC has decided to step up investment in gas upstream as it seeks to nearly double its gas output to 180 Bcm/y by 2020. Hou Qijun, head of CNPC’s planning department, announced the gas proportion of CNPC's budget will continue to rise; he stressed the cleaner-burning fuel is "our top priority with high potential for profit growth."

The government of Gibraltar and Royal Dutch Shell have signed an agreement for the construction of a small FSRU that will receive LNG delivered by Shell for use in an adjacent gas-fired power plant, which is already being built.

Ivory Coast, Ghana and South Africa are tipped to become front-runners in setting up integrated LNG-to-power projects. Developers can arrange attractive import terms as a glut of new gas supply is entering global markets while demand from key Asian buyers remains subdued. 

Even though natural gas is less carbon-intensive than coal, the overall rise in gas-burn in the power sector – amid competitive fuel economics – has made related pollution levels surpass those of coal. The EIA expects emissions from gas will be 10% greater than those from coal over the course of 2016.

Plans for several LNG-fuelled power plants in Chile have been shelved after none of the projects won contracts at the country’s latest electricity tender. A series of wind and solar power projects secured more than half of the contracts at auction.

Santos, Australia’s third largest gas producer, has spent billions to realise an LNG export project – but now it is struggling to pump enough gas and has to purchase expensive local supplies to feed its Gladstone LNG facility. Power producers down under, meanwhile are facing fuel shortages and call for restrictions on gas exports.

Natural gas production worldwide is projected to increase from 342 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in 2015 to 554 Bcf/d by 2040. According to EIA findings, the largest component of this growth will come from shale resources which will account for up to 30% of global gas production.

To tackle gas shortages and double generating capacity, the Ghanaian government aims to have at least one FSRU in place before the end of this year. Pointing at Ghana’s two main power hubs - one in the west, one in the east - energy minister John Abdulai Jinapor said ”nothing prevents us from putting in two LNG facilities [adjacent to both centres of power generation.]”

Tuesday, 16 August 2016 08:00 / Markets

Iran’s installed capacity tops 75 GW

Grid connection of the Gol Gohar power plant in southern Iran has boosted the country’s nominal installed generating capacity to 75,365 MW. Out of the total, gas-fired capacity currently accounts for just under 26,600 MW – yet more is to come as production of the South Pars gas field ramps up.

Over the summer, operators of gas storage facilities typically build up inventories – but this year inventories in Southern California remain relatively flat. High gas-burn and slightly lower natural gas production have even led to a rare summer net withdrawal from storage.

When launching its 2016 Future Energy Scenarios, National Grid asked shareholders about the impact of the Brexit vote. “The general view was that Great Britain would end up in a greener and more prosperous world in 2036 than we are in today,” it resuméd now, “but there would be a decade of either the environment or the economy suffering.”