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.
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.
National Grid has projected Britain’s de-rated power margin for winter 2017/18 projected will be 6.2 GW, or 10.3%, anticipating a net flow of electricity from Continental Europe to the UK at peak times. Considering the current price spread, the TSO also expects a net flow from the UK to Ireland, though this may be reversed in cases of high wind levels in Ireland.
China’s LNG trucking capacity is set to double in medium term and WoodMackenzie analysts see trucked LNG and distributed generation have the potential to create synergies. Yet, few distributed generation is currently fuelled by trucked LNG because most of these power units are in areas with pipeline coverage and enjoy discounted gas prices already.
China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) will unify China’s residential and industrial city-gate natural gas pricing systems from June 10 to better reflect rising demand and costs. The new mechanism will allow gas prices to rise by no more than 20% from a benchmark price, NDRC stated, which is “more flexible” than the existing one which since 2010 kept a ceiling on residential gas prices at at 1.4 yuan (about $0.22) per cubic metres.
Competition is fierce for nuclear power in the United States as energy mix is being transformed by comparatively cheap natural gas, rising supply of renewable energy, and limited growth in overall electricity demand. Sensitivity analysis in the EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook 2018 (AEO2018) show the potential effect on the U.S. nuclear power fleet of different assumption for reactor operating cost, future gas prices and carbon policies.
Bangladesh has become the first new LNG importing nation in 2018 with the arrival of Excelerate Energy’s FSRU Excellence at Moheshkhali Port on April 23, carrying a commissioning cargo from Qatar. “Bangladesh suffers from two crippling energy shortages: electricity and gas. This is the first step of a significant ramp up of LNG.” commented Wood Mackenzie's director of gas and LNG research, Nicholas Browne.
Japanese utilities TEPCO and Chubu Electric, through their JERA joint venture, are planning to invest around $935 million on new power generation projects in the United States by 2030. JERA said it specifically targets to acquire stakes in gas-fired power units, as those are seen to become “increasingly price competitive.”
Enel Generación Chile S.A., formerly known as Endesa Chile and Empresa Nacional de Electricidad, is now almost fully in the hands of the Italian utility group Enel. After minority shareholders, including Endesa, accepted Enel’s public tender offer to purchase their shares, Enel Chile managed to raise its shareholding in Enel Generación Chile to 93.55% from approximately 60%. The move is part of Enel’s business restructuring in Chile.