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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.”

Published in Markets

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.

Published in Markets

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.

Published in Markets

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.

Published in Markets

Low US gas prices, forecast to stay below $5/mmBtu through 2040, are forecast to drive a rise in natural gas consumption in the industrial and power sector. Overall, EIA analysis sees gas use to grow 1% annually, up from 28 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) last year to 34 Tcf in 2040.

Published in Markets
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News in Brief

SCANA pulls the plug on two nukes

Aug 18 – Escalating costs, falling electricity demand, construction delays, and the bankruptcy of Westinghouse, have prompted South Carolina Electric & Gas Company, part of SCANA Corp, to pull the plug on two nuclear reactors at the V.C. Summer nuclear power plant. The project was launched back in 2009, and the reactors were scheduled to come online in 2019 and 2020.

HoA signed for 600MW plant in Indonesia

Aug 17 – Indonesia’s power producer ENMP, together with tenants of the Bantaeng Industrial Park has signed a Heads of Agreement (HoA) in Jakarta for the development of a 600MW combined-cycle power plant. The CCGT will be fuelled by LNG that will be sourced through Philippines-based AG&P, a specialist for bringing LNG to markets that are currently off-grid.

EIA’s expands drilling report

Aug 16 - To complete coverage of U.S. crude oil and natural gas production, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) is expanding the Drilling Productivity Report (DPR) to cover the Anadarko region. This prolific area covers most of the production from the Anadarko Basin in 24 counties in Oklahoma and five counties in Texas.

US to stay ‘net exporter’ past 2018

Aug 15 – The United States’ status as a net exporter is expected to continue for the rest of this year and past 2018 because of growing U.S. natural gas exports to Mexico, declining pipeline imports from Canada, and increasing LNG exports the US Energy Administration (EIA) forecasts.

GE books $100m deal for hydro pumped storage in Israel

Aug 14 – GE Renewable Energy has booked a turnkey contract with Star Pumped Storage Ltd for the 344 MW Kokhav Hayarden hydro pumped storage station, the second to be installed in Israel. GE Renewable Energy is responsible for the design, manufacture, supply and installation of all electro-mechanical and hydro-mechanical equipment as well as complete balance of plant for the two 172 MW pumped-storage units. The project will be executed by a consortium led by Chinese EPC SinoHydro.

Ansaldo to service Thai power plant

Aug 4 – Italy’s Ansalso Energia has won a service agreement for the Glow Energy Phase-5 gas power plant, some 200km southeast of the Thai capital Bangkok. The 328 MW plant produces electricity and also up to 160 tonnes/hour of process steam that gets used by local industries.

DTE Energy files plan to build 1.1 GW plant at Belle River

Aug 3 – Detroit-based utility DTE Energy has filed plans with the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) to build a 1,100-MW gas-fired power plant northeast of Detroit, near its existing Belle River power station. The August 1 certificate of necessity filed with the MPSC asks for construction of the new $1 billion gas power project to begin in 2019 with a view to starting commercial operation in early 2022.

Coiled turbine market at 7% CAGR

Aug 2 – The coiled turbine market, by service, is seen expanding at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6-7% to reach an estimated $4.4 billion in 2020. North America is the largest market for coiled turbine (CT), both by value and by active fleet count.  The United States in 2013 held the major share of the active fleet count of more than 59%, spurred by the surge of shale gas drilling activities, with analyst seeing further growth potential for ultra-deep CT services.

Aliso Canyon cleared to resume operations

Aug 1 – Aliso Canyon, California’s largest underground natural gas storage facility, has been cleared by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources to increase injections above earlier imposed limits. The facility has been undergoing extensive testing since a leak was detected in October 2015 and stopped in February 2016

Need for fast-ramp, fast-cycle dispatch propels up OPEX

July 31 – Rising penetration of renewable electricity sources in California is forcing gas-fired power generators in the state to cycle more often, which incurs higher operating costs. Analysis of hourly data from the California Independent System Operator (CASIO) shows that intermittent electricity supply from wind and solar caused 21% of the cycling events for the system's 120 fossil-fuelled generators in 2013, up 7.1% from two years earlier. The study was compiled by Renewable Impacts.

ABB delivers power solution for Shanghai Stock Exchange

July 21 – Swiss-based ABB has signed a contract to provide more than 1,500 units of MNS low-voltage switchgear for the Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE) before the end of the year. Dubbed the Jinqiao Technology Center project the MNS switchgear deployment is meant to support the safe, efficient and reliable operation of the stock exchanges’ data center. SSE is ranked #4 in the Shanghai market, and is ranked #26 in China.

TNB extends acquisition period for 51% stake in SPG

July 20 – Malaysia’s state utility Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) has granted SIPP Energy an further 30 days to fulfil conditions set out in the May 3 acquisition agreement when TNB bought a 51% stake in SIPP Energy’s Johor-based unit SPG for RM51. Set up as a special purpose vehicle in august 2016, SPG was given regulatory approval last September to build a 2x720MW combined-cycle gas power plant in Pasir Gudang, Johor. The CCGT is scheduled to start full commercial operation at the start of July 2020.

TVA’s new plant produces 1 GW in first three months

July 19 – Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA) new combined cycle gas power plant in Muhlenberg County has produced over 1,025 MW of electricity in its first three months of operation. The cost of the project is estimated at about $850 million, but TVA senior vice president Bob Deacy underlined the new CCGT will give the operator the option of fuel switching to optimise its coal- and gas-burn which will ultimately save money. 

Toshiba opens hydrogen application centre in Tokyo

July 18 – Toshiba has opened a new hydrogen application centre at its Fuchu complex in western Tokyo. Research at the centre focuses the company’s new H2Onesolution for hydrogen supply system business for fuel-cell vehicles, or fuel-cell forklifts within buildings.  According to project manager Hiroyuki Ota, “This center showcases totally CO2-free operation, from hydrogen production through to application.”

Opening of Rhode Island plant delayed unit 2020

July 17 – Chicago-based Invenergy has delayed the start-up of its proposed natural gas-fired power plant in Rhode Island until “at least 2020,” citing “delays in permitting. The Chicago-based company had previously agreed to start selling power to the regional grid in 2019.

China’s energy efficiency sector tops $13bn in revenue

June 14 – The International Energy Agency (IEA) is supporting association member states in implementing energy efficiency measures. In China, government policy created a whole new sector for low-energy solutions, retrofits and services. This niche sector got started less than 20 years ago but already employs over 600,000 people and has annual revenues of over $13 billion.

Centrica starts building 50 MW unit

July 13 – UK energy supplier Centrica has announced that construction works are getting underway this week on its new 50 MW back-up power unit at Peterborough power station. The new gas-fired ‘peaking’ plant will be driven by five Wartsila-built reciprocating gas engines. The plant operator will dispatch the fast-ramp unit mostly on weekdays to cater periods of peak power demand or to provide back-up electricity when requested by the National Grid.