The US oil major ExxonMobil has joined a group of eight International Oil Companies (IOCs), led by the European majors Shell and BP, to jointly put forward proposals to curb methane emissions from upstream operations, notably shale gas fracking. For Exxon, this is the first time the company joins an environmental initiative alongside industry peers.
Global petrochemical manufacturer INEOS has struck a long-term supply agreement with SP Chemicals which will see ethane, derived from US shale gas, being shipped to China for the first time. The deal also stipulates the construction of a 95,000cbm Very Large Ethane Carrier (VLEC) which is expected to be delivered in 2019.
As persistent overhang in global gas supplies reduces state revenues, energy ministers from Qatar, Iran, Russia and Venezuela are gathering at this week’s Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. The question is how GECF countries – often referred to as the Gas OPEC – should react to the rampant US gas exports which has adopted a price-setting function on global spot LNG markets.
NIOC, the National Iranian Oil Company is keen to follow through on Iran’s first ever gas export contract, sealed by IFLNG – a joint venture between Khark Gas Refining Company and Norway’s Helma. The 20-years contract, set to come into force within three months, stipulates the liquefaction and export of Iranian gas from the South Pars field starting from mid-2018.
For efficiency levels of fully air-cooled gas turbines – like Siemens’ new HL-class – to reach 63% and ultimately 65% combined-cycle efficiency, firing temperatures need to keep rising. Siemens consequentially developed manufacturing technologies like laser engraving that allow the use of thicker/ multi-layer thermal barrier coating to better protect the turbine parts exposed to the hot combustion gases, says Guido Schuld, Product Family Owner large gas turbines.
The Polish Oil and Gas Company Group (PGNiG) has signed a five-year contract with Centrica for US LNG cargoes, delivered on a DES basis, from the Cheniere Energy’s Sabine Pass terminal in Louisiana starting from 2018.
A new chemical composite, developed by researchers at MIT, can be used to store the energy from sunlight or any other heat source in a battery-like system that is capable of storing thermal energy and releasing it on demand. The new solution combines phase change material (PCM) with molecular switches that can be adjusted with light, enabling the overall system to store thermal energy at lower melting points than the original material.
Wison Offshore & Marine has forged a strategic cooperation with Shanghai Electric Power Generation Group to jointly develop a medium to large-scale floating LNG power generation barge. The two partners want to commercialise the new FLNG power ship as a first step of a wider strategic cooperation.
Controversy is mounting in Australia over whether the lifetime of AGL Energy’s 2,051-MW Liddell power plant should be extended – as proposed by the Turnbull government – even though the operator wants to shut down the “costly and unreliable” unit in 2022. A new report finds the government’s stipulated lifetime extension would cost around $3.6 billion over five years, compared to $2.2 billion for a combination of wind power, demand side-response and energy efficiency measures.
Solar power will outcompete natural gas as a fuel for power generation in the United States, with costs for utility-scale solar projects forecast to plunge 84% from 2009-levels by 2025. The US National Renewables Energy Laboratory (NREL) expects gas will maintain its relative cost advantages at $53/MWh for a combined-cycle power plant – except compared with the $32/MWh of utility-scale PV in 2030.
Three Mitsubishi business units have worked together and successfully completed testing of MHPS’s 2-shaft H-100 gas turbine. Utilizing latest combustor technology, the 120 MW turbine is now proven to be industry leader in terms of low NOx (single digit ppm) for full-load operations. MHI Group said the solution has been designed for thermal power plants as well as mechanical drive LNG-applications.
Electricity demand and GDP growth used to be closely coupled but this link has been broken in several countries due to changes in economic makeup, electrification and income levels. Some OECD countries with sustained GDP growth, like the United States, Japan and the UK, have shifted from energy-intensive manufacturing toward service economies – using significantly less electricity per capita as a result.
Differences on energy policy and migration have brought down lengthy and difficult coalition talks between Germany’s Conservatives, the Green Party and the Liberals (FDP). Shortly before midnight on Sunday, FDP head Christian Lindner abandoned negotiations, stating: “The four discussion partners have no common vision for the modernisation of the country, and lack a common basis of trust.”
As the power generation landscape is being reinvented around renewables, so are national grid codes that define performance – especially in countries with weaker grid infrastructure, which are changing in response to this new power generation mix. These grid codes specify the power quality of electricity that plant and grid technologies must deliver – both in normal operation and under fault conditions – and are now giving rise to a range of creative solutions such as GE’s ‘rotating stabilizer’.
The Musandam Independent Power Project (IPP) power plant at Tibat, supplied and built by Wärtsilä, has just been inaugurated and is now utilised for fast-start power supply. The120 MW plant, connected to a new 132kV transmission network, is a major contribution towards the economic development Musandam , a mountainous Omani peninsula projecting into the Strait of Hormuz.