The February 2018 futures contract for natural gas on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) is trading at a discount to the current spot price. This pricing pattern provides economic incentives to withdraw natural gas from storage to avoid exposure to the spot market.
The US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has approved the PennEast pipeline in a 4-1 vote, acknowledging the clear need for more gas transport infrastructure along the East Coast. The $1 billion PennEast interstate pipeline will bring up to 1 billion cubic feet of daily low-cost Marcellus gas to customers in southeast Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Wärtsilä has entered into a 10-year operation and maintenance agreement with Emerging America, a private investment firm jointly owned by Mexican investors and the Abraaj Group of Dubai, to ensure reliable operations of a 110 MW gas power plant in Chihuahua, Mexico. The facility, currently under construction, will be the first engine-driven power plant built specifically to serve the Mexican spot market.
Nov 7 – Flow-Cal Inc., a Houston-based a developer of measurement data management software, has launched CALCit.Cloud, a an on-demand measurement calculator for natural gas and petroleum liquids. It allows users to perform various spot calculations, including gas volume, plate size, liquid correction factors and speed of sound. The source code of the application is in C computer language, or as a DLL that can be integrated into other applications.
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.”
Strikingly, South Korea’s year-to-date LNG demand has risen by over 4 million tons – contrary to expectations it would fall. Yet very little of this demand strength comes from the power sector; according to Energy Aspects, Korea’s LNG appetite this year has been more down to expansion of LNG import facilities with players having bought cheap spot cargoes on spec and put the gas into storage.
Alarmed about the scale of gas shortages in Australia, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is considering restrictions on LNG exports from Australia’s eastern coast. Santos, Shell and ConocoPhillips have been urged to help plug an estimated shortfall of up to 17% of market demand in 2018.
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.”
South Korea’s sole gas importer Kogas is taking steps to source LNG at cheaper prices through its proprietary gas production. "We need to shift away from a conventional supply method of bringing LNG under high-priced long-term contracts from overseas,” CEO Lee Seung-hoon stressed.