Global gas trade expanded last year by 63 billion cubic metres, or 6.2%, with growth in LNG outpacing growth in pipeline trading, according to the latest BP Statistical Review of World Energy. The apparent absence of a glut shows, according to analysts, that any surplus LNG resulted in bouts of unsustainably low prices rather than a build-up of idle capacity.
Developing Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) would substantially increase U.S. crude oil and natural gas production after 2030. The state of Alaska holds an estimated 36 billion barrels of crude oil and 137 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, so after the Trump administration lifted an ANWR drilling moratorium in December 2017, wildcatters are rushing north to tap America’s Arctic resources.
Strikingly, China has excluded LNG from a list of additional tariffs to be levied on U.S. imports despite the nascent trade war between the two super powers. Beijing’s move shows “LNG is clearly seen as an essential good," and in the event of an escalation Wood Mackenzie expects LNG to remain outside the bounds of any additional tariffs.
Spain’s Gas Natural Fenosa (GNF) has renewed a natural gas supply contract with the Algerian incumbent Sonatrach until 2030. Price or volume details were not disclosed, but GNF stressed the deal guaranteed a stable cost structure for more than 40% of Spain’s overall gas procurement.
Risk of a trade war with China is affecting U.S. President Trump’s homeland, after China threatened to levy tariffs on imports of crude oil, natural gas and refined products from the United States. If imposed, these tariffs would be a big deal given that China just emerged as the largest importer of U.S. crude oil and a key LNG offtaker.
Dry natural gas production in the United States is about to reach a fresh record of 81 Bcf per day, spurring LNG export growth and pushing down prices this year. According to the U.S. Energy Agency (EIA), Henry Hub prices are forecast to average $2.99/MMBtu for the full year 2018, but notch up to $3.08/MMBtu in 2019.
Competition in the U.S. power market keeps heating up with marketers supplying about 21% of retail electricity sold, up from just 11% in 2005. Investor-owned utilities, in contrast, lost market share from 62% in 2005 to currently just above 52%. According to EIA analysts, this shift was driven by the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which closed the original federal regulatory structure established by New Deal-era legislation.
June 13 – U.S. power generator New Mach Gen has filed for bankruptcy, presenting a pre-packaged reorganisation plan. New Mach Gen operates three gas-fired power plants with a combined capacity of 2,500 MW in Athens, NY, Maricopa County, Arizona and Charlton, Massachusetts.
Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) and Aliso Canyon Technical Assessment Group have both voiced concerns that regional natural gas infrastructure issues in Southern California could affect electricity reliability this summer. Should these bottlenecks result in lower gas inflows into storage, there is a risk of significantly reduced gas availability in the upcoming winter.
June 11 – With June 1 marking the official start of the 2018 hurricane season in the United States, Dominion Energy has urged customers to prepare and emergency storm kit. The Virginia-based utility is continuing day-to-day preparations for a busy storm season.