Toning down its green energy ambitions, the Government of South Korea has backed away from plans to convert four out of nine planed coal-fired power plant projects to run on natural gas. Instead, only one coal-to-gas conversion is now likely to go ahead, the country’s energy minister said over the weekend.
Several major US energy companies plan to accompany US President Donald Trump and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on a visit to Beijing, starting November 8. The aim is to close deals on selling US LNG to China, along with other American-made products, in order to close the widening trade deficit between the world’s two biggest economies.
Consumption of natural gas in China is anticipated to tripple to reach 57 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) by 2040, and emboldened buyers are turning to spot LNG as the cheapest supply option except for the winter months. “PetroChina and CNOOC are actively purchasing spot in addition to their contracted volumes,” says Wen Wang, senior consultant, Asia gas and power, Wood Mackenzie. Sinopec has already ventured in to gas trading, she told Gas to Power Journal, signalling it out as “the only company that are diverting cargoes among the three NOCs.”
The Indian government in Delhi needs to give hydrocarbon developers more freedom on gas pricing in order to incentivise production in less explored basins, Wood Mackenzie’s Asia office recommends. The removal of multiple pricing regimes that are currently in place across India will also help drive greater use of gas in the industrial and power sector.
Aug 23 – Oil pricing dynamics will increase, through near-term $50-60 range, forecasts Wood Mackenzie principal analyst, Patrick Kirby. For olefins, and polyolefins, this means the global and particularly European view is sensitive to demand, particularly from China, given that the supply landscape is well defined.
Driven by falling costs, increasing investor confidence and policy support, renewable power and decarbonisation technologies are reshaping global energy markets. In Wood Mackenzie and GTM Research’s latest report ‘Future of renewables: a radical disruption,’ over 21% of all cars on the road are estimated to be electric by 2035 under the carbon-constrained scenario. Such a stark shift to EVs can displace up to 6.5 million barrels of oil demand.
Falling costs for renewables and energy storage will squeeze out gas-fired generation in South Australia as early as 2025, Wood Mackenzie and GTM Research find. By then, wind, solar and battery costs are seen decline by 15%, 25% and 50% respectively – hence they offer a “lower cost alternative” to CCGTs, which cover the bulk of South Australia’s base load power today.
Top forecasters anticipate energy demand growth through 2035, but projections on rates and market size vary significantly between Wood Mackenzie’s 'Energy View to 2035' and similar outlooks by BP, ExxonMobil (XOM) or the IEA’s New Policies Scenario. Outlooks broadly agree on which fuels will win or lose across Asia Pacific: Coal is seen static across all forecasts, backed out by gas, nuclear and renewables, although WoodMac’s projection is highest on gas growth.
Asian investors used to pour over $20 billion into US Lower 48 assets in the period 2010-13, mostly in shale plays – but this cashflow dried up some three years ago and has become “negligible,” particularly on the Permian tight oil play. Wood Mackenzie says this trend is about to change, anticipating some of Asia's largest upstream players “wish to diversify and grow production.”
The role of regasified LNG in balancing Brazil’s power sector is set to rise as it becomes more difficult to add large-scale hydro projects. Most new projects are run of the river rather than large reservoirs which allow for less storage and flexibility. Developers of LNG-to-power plants are hesitant amid uncertainty over runtime hours and future power auction rules.