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Integrating North America’s abundant shale gas resources into global markets keeps prices subdued: NBP averaged at $10/mmBtu in 2011-14 and by 2016 lost more than half of its value, hovering around $4.63/mmBtu. According to Societe Generale analysis, natural gas is now in a unique position to help regions transition away from coal- and oil-fuelled power generation.

Published in Markets

Excess growth in global LNG supply, notably through the ramp-up of US LNG through 2018 and into 2019, will make European gas prices “move through the coal floor [price]”. Fuel-switching in the Western European power market, according to Societe Generale, will ultimately be determined by short-term gas prices hinging at the variable cost of shipping a US LNG cargo to Europe.

Published in Markets

Natural gas-fuelled power generation in the United States reached its highest daily level at 41 Bcf/day on July 20 – just a tick lower than the 2016 peak of 42 Bcf/d seen on August 11 last year.  Higher gas prices relative to last summer explain part of the decrease; but PointLogic Energy analysts stressed that “although power burn in 2017 is lower than in 2016, it is still relatively high compared with the previous five-year average for that period.”

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May 02 – With Henry Hub having stayed just below the fuel switching trigger of 3.08 $/mmbtu (7,100 gas vs 10,300 coal) during the past week, Energy Aspects forecast that gas prices in the Northeast and Midwest, “should see support this week on maintenance-related output cuts and colder Midwest temperatures.” Analysts also said in a note that “Henry Hub should also see limited support from the dip in output this week, as well as a slightly more constructive weather forecast for May.”

Published in Brief news

Shale oil and gas production from the Appalachian Basin's Utica play has hit 3.5 Bcf/d this June, jumping from very low levels of 0.1 Bcf/d in December 2012. The surge in output from the vast Utica play keeps a lid on US natural gas prices and incentivise more power station operators to shift from coal to gas. The capacity factor for CCGTs has risen to 56% and is expected to increase further.

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Gas demand from the US power sector has been coming down from peak summer levels as the heat wave gradually abates, ending the need to tap gas storage. Analysts at Energy Aspects see gas burns for power over the two-week period ending August 12 averaging around 37.5 bcf/d, up by a modest 0.7 bcf/d year-on-year.

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As natural gas plant liquids (NGPL) are sourced from gas production streams or in association with crude oil production, future NGPL production largely depends on the price differential between oil and natural gas. EIA analysts anticipate a significant rise in liquid fuel production beyond 2017.

Published in Markets

As the heat wave in Central and Eastern US eases, gas demand from the power sector is tapering off. Energy Aspects forecasts gas-burn for power over the first two weeks of August to average around 38 Bcf/d while Henry Hub cash prices are seen “stabilising at levels just above the fuel switching price trigger that now sits at 2.73 $/mmBtu.”

Published in Markets
Monday, 18 July 2016

US fuel switching

Jul 18 – With Henry Hub now near 2.77 $/mmBtu, prices have softened from the last fuel switching trigger of 2.99 $/mmbtu (6,300 gas vs 11,300 coal), Energy Aspects said in a note. “Pricing more gas into merit over coal,” would be achievable at the next major fuel switching level seen at 2.59 $/mmbtu (7,500 gas vs 10,000 coal). For comparison, CSX August delivery coal prices rose slightly w/w, at 38 $/t.

Published in Brief news

With exports of pipeline gas to Mexico on the rise, and LNG exports from Louisiana ramping up, the United States is forecast to become a net exporter of natural gas by the second half of next year. "For the first time since 1957, the United States is on track to export more natural gas than it imports,” commented said EIA Administrator Adam Sieminski. Yet, the spread widens between Marcellus spot and Henry Hub gas prices.

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News in Brief

ABB repowers Italian fashion supplier

Dec 12 – Italy’s Printing House of Martinengo, a major supplier to global fashion and couture brands, has partnered with ABB to upgrade with Ekip UP, digitizing its existing switchgear and circuit breakers. ABB Ekip UP is ideal for updating older facilities, capturing data and sharing it with cloud-based energy management functions without any other meter or external gateway required.

GE axes 12,000 jobs to realign business

Dec 11 – GE’s plans to axe 12,000 jobs globally highlights the struggles of the industry to shift the focus from heavy-duty gas turbine business towards the renewable segment. The $10 billion takeover of Alstom is now viewed by some analysts as a “bad bet on an old-school industry.”

GE breaks ground on 3D Campus in Lichtenfelds

Nov 8 – Concept Laser and GE have laid the foundation for a new 3D Campus that will unite research and development along with production, service, and logistics in Lichtenfels, Germany. The new offices, providing room for about 500 employees on 40,000 square meters, GE said, should be ready for move-in early 2019.

OPRA Turbines taken over by Dalian Energas

Nov 7 – OPRA Turbines has just disclosed that its entire shareholding has been taken over by China’s Dalian Energas Group since August. OPRA Turbines has been continuing its operation at their new headquarter in Hengelo as a member of Energas Group.

Adven to buy E.ON’s distributed energy business in Sweden

Nov 6 – Adven, a leading energy and water infrastructure and services provider in Finland, Sweden and Estonia, has agreed to acquire E.ON’s Swedish district heating and distributed energy solutions business (EVLE), which owns heating operations in nine municipalities in the south and centre of the county. The value of the transaction was not disclosed.

Reliance completes $1bn power project in Bangladesh

Dec 5 – Reliance Power has completed execution of agreements for Phase 1 of the power project in Bangladesh. Phase-1 consists of 750MW combined cycle gas power plant to be set up at Meghnaghat near Dhaka and 500 mmscfd LNG terminal at Kutudbia Island.

AWE hopes for higher offer after CERCG bid

Dec 4 – Australian Energy company AWE, shareholder in the Waitsia gas field off Western Australia, is playing the waiting game after it received an unsolicited, non-binding proposal from China Energy Reserve and Chemical Group (CERCG), proposing to acquire 100% of AWE’s shares at A$0.71 cash per share. However, the initial reaction of AWE’s has been that the takeover bid is seen as “not sufficiently attractive” to provide access for due diligence.

Distributed power market to top $103bn by 2022

Dec 1 – Driven by increasingly stringent mandates to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and rising electricity demand in remote regions, the market for distributed generation is forecast to grow at a rate of 11.48% annually. According to MarketsandMarkets projections, the sector will expand in revenue from $60.04 billion in 2017 to $103.38 billion by 2022. Key global players in this market segment are Siemens, GE, Schneider, Mitsubishi, Capstone and Doosan.

Simit V9.1 simulation for faster commissioning

Nov 30  – Siemens has released an upgrade to its Simit simulation platform for virtual commissioning and operator training. Version 9.1 can also be used in modular plants, speeding up actual commissioning by up to 60% and reducing unwanted standstill periods, particularly during plant conversion and migration processes.

Nigeria halts commissioning of 215-MW plant

Nov 29 – The Senate of Nigeria has stopped the scheduled commissioning of the 215 MW dual-fuel power plant in Kaduna state over a dispute between the power ministry and the plant’s gas supplier, Abuja-based Greenville LNG. The power ministry had unexpectedly changed the terms of its contract with its gas supplier, deciding to run the plant on diesel. Greenville LNG, meanwhile, insists that natural gas remains the cheapest fuel source for the $186 million Kaduna project. The plant was meant to be commissioned in January 2018, but construction works have already fallen three years behind schedule.

Gas OPEC condemns unilateral sanctions

Nov 28 – The Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF), also known as Gas OPEC, has condemned unilateral economic sanctions by the US against some members of the group, notably Russia, Iran and Venezuela. The GEFC condemned such sanctions that are not authorized by the United Nations “as a weapon against other nations.”

GE helps Saudi’s NDU drive digital industry

Nov 28 – The Saudi Arabia’s National Digitization Unit (NDU) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with GE to drive the country’s digital industrial diversification, leveraging GE’s digital applications and ServiceMax which allows field service engineers’ time to be utilized more efficiently. The partnership will focus on community- based digital solutions in sectors identified for transformation under Saudi Vision 2030.

ADNOC opens Habshan-5 gas processing plant

Nov 27 – ADNOC has inaugurated and commenced operation at its $6.85 billion Habshan-5 gas processing plant. Linked via a 215km pipeline to ADNOC’s offshore Umm Shaif gas field, the plant has four gas processing trains and four sulphur recovery units. Its daily production capacity is 12,000 tonnes of natural gas liquids, 1.1 billion of sales gas; 5,200 tonnes of liquid sulphur and 3,000 barrels of condensate.

Nigerian regulator extends Afam VI licence

Nov 24 – The Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has renewed the power generation licence for Shell’s 650-MW Afam VI power plant. Operated by the Shell Petroleum Development Company Joint Venture (SPDC JV), the combined-cycle gas power plant between 2008 and 2016 delivered over 24.16 million MWh to the Nigerian grid.

German gas power output up 13%

Nov 23 – Electricity output from German gas-fired power plants in the first nine months of 2017 totalled 62.23 TWh, a 13% rise compared with the same period last year, according to BDEW data. In September, the most recent month for which the BDEW data is available, gas power output dropped 1.5% on the year to 6.24 TWh which marks the second on-year drop in a row, the industry lobby group said.

SimoticsIQ connects MindSphere and open IoT systems

Nov 22 – With Simotics IQ, the new IoT-compatible drive concept from Siemens, the Simotics SD low-voltage motors are fitted with a compact sensor box which captures important operating and condition parameters and transmits them by WiFi to the cloud. The operating data can then be stored and analyzed by the Simotics IQ MindApp on MindSphere.

CT market worth $4.4bn by 2020

Nov 21 – The Coiled Turbine (CT) market, by service, is projected to grow at an annual rate of 6-7% from an estimated value of $3.2 billion in 2015 to around $4.4 billion by 2020. According to MarketsandMarkets analysis, North America accounted for nearly half of the total revenue in 2013, driven by demand in the ultra-deep CT service sector as shale gas drilling activities keeps expanding.