March 2 – Thailand’s PTT Exploration & Production of and its partners in a Mozambique LNG processing plant have struck a gas offtake agreement with the French utility EDF. The 15-year deal will give PTT a longterm revenue stream from the Mozambique Rovuma offshore area 1 gas field, ensuring access to the European market. The investment of state-owned PTT in the Mozambique project is part of a plan to secure LNG for Thailand, which generates over 60% of its electricity from gas.
British factories have been told to shut down parts of their operation to help National Grid avert a looming gas supply crisis. A ‘Gas Deficit Warning’ was issued early this morning, with National Grid stating it had experienced “gas supply losses overnight” which exacerbates pressure on the system as this week's cold snap continues.
Japan’s prime gas importer JERA, in consortium with Marubeni, is evaluating options of shipping LNG to the Australian east coast where to supply a new gas-fired power plant. With this move, JERA is seeking to divert excess supplies under longterm import contracts by selling it as spot LNG to high-priced markets around Sydney and Melbourne. FID on a floating LNG regas project with up to 2 mtpa will be taken later this year.
Eager to clean up air pollution, the Chinese government has mandated several million households in China’s northern provinces to stop relying on coal heating in winter. Gas use and LNG imports have surged as a consequence, with China surpassing South Korea in late 2017 to become the world’s second-largest LNG importer.
Construction works at the 190 MW Old Harbour Bay project in Jamaica are nearly halfway finished, after just 11 months. The first of three gas turbines for the new power plant has already arrived, so the $330 million project is well underway to be commissioned as planned in June 2019.
The New Northern Policy, launched by the South Korean president Moon Jae-in, is seeking new growth drivers in Russia and Northeast Asia. The Korean energy ministry announced Korea Electric Power Corp (KEPCO) will sign a memorandum of understanding with Russia's energy firm Rosseti later this year. The aim is to create a multinational power grid interconnection in the Northeast Asia region that also includes China and Japan.
Acceleration of Europe’s announced gas-fired power projects is likely after 2020, as many EU countries step up efforts to retire nuclear, lignite and hard coal-fired generation. According to Energy Aspects, there are 17 GW of proposed projects in the UK alone while across Europe that figure is 51 GW.
More rigs have been drilled for natural gas than for oil in Saudi Arabia for the first time in seven years, marking a quiet but swift shift to gas and renewables in power generation. The Saudi Kingdom is accelerating its drive to reduce dependence on crude oil exports, while direct burning of heavy fuel oil (HFO) in the power sector has reached multi-year lows.
Noble Energy and Delek Drilling and Noble Energy, partners in developing Israel’s Tamar and Leviathan gas fields, confirmed they signed a $15 billion deal to export up to 64 billion cubic meters (Bcm) of natural gas over 10 years to Egypt’s Dolphinus Holding. Hurdles of how to export the gas to Egypt have not been solved yet, but the Arab nation urgently needs the more gas supply to fuel three 4.8 gigawatt combined-cycle power plants, currently under construction.
Substitution of Australia’s ageing coal- with gas power plants would be ideal to comply with the National Emission Reduction target but gas prices are very high and availability is tight which leads to “constrained electricity generation,” according to the IEA's latest Australia 2018 Review. "Relatively high-cost production from unconventional gas” impact on the expansion of LNG projects in Western Australia and the start of LNG exports from Queensland. At the same time, domestic gas consumption has surged 70% over the past decade, notably in power generation.