Daily News

Swift and efficient completion of drilling at the Wolfcamp play has been driving up the overall hydrocarbon production in the Permian Basin. The Wolfcamp accounted for 1 million barrels of crude oil per day (b/d) and 4 Bcf/d of natural gas. Productivity gains were caused by drilling longer horizontal laterals and optimizing completions.

The offshore section of the TurkStream pipeline through the Black Sea is now complete after the Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Erdogan gave the command to weld the final joint of the pipeline’s second string. The entire pipeline will be commissioned in late 2019.

Leaked drafts of a report of Germany’s coal commission show the country’s coal exist will likely be delayed to 2022, rather than starting in 2020. The pathway of the coal exit is now in focus, rather than the exit date. Forced plant closure should be avoided, the commission said, stressing shut-downs need to agreed with operators who will claim compensation.

Seeking to cash in on the shift from coal to gas, Saudi Aramco has made plans to expand its multi-billion natural gas business at home and abroad. “Saudi Aramco is on the way to becoming a gas powerhouse in addition to its huge strength in oil,” the company stated, indicating it plans to boost production from 14 billion standard cubic feet per day (bscfd) to 23 bscfd of natural gas.

Iran has expanded its fleet of power plants by adding about 1,000 MW of new-built capacity since March 2018, the energy ministry reported. Installed capacity amounts to 80,000 MW, with gas powering nearly a third of the total. The government aims to add 3GW to meet peak demand.

Soaring costs of LNG imports have increased the importance of a swift restart of Japan’s nuclear reactors to generate comparatively cheap baseload power. Total cost for imported gas topped 418 billion yen ($3.71bn) in October, compared to 280 billion yen ($2.48bn) a year earlier, according to an alert by the Japanese finance ministry.

Seeking to strengthen ties with Europe, the Russian gas giant Gazprom is fast-tracking works on the $11 billion Nord Stream 2 project with the aim of starting first gas flows to northeast Germany in the autumn or early winter of 2019. Poland and the United States adamantly oppose the project.

Despite the drop in rig count, the actual output of crude oil and natural gas keeps rising in the United States thanks to advances in technology and drilling techniques. Even with fewer wells U.S. natural gas gross withdrawals increased from about 78.7 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) to 83.4 Bcf/d.

Siemens has started construction on a new energy center in Bolivia, designed to provide traditional and digital services to electric utilities in South America. Equipment from Siemens is being deployed to expand three combined-cycle gas power stations in Bolivia: Termoeléctrica del Sur, de Warnes and Entre Ríos.

“2018 is the year of electricity,” the International Energy Agency (IEA) noted given that electric power has been the fastest growing element of final demand, and will outpace all energy sources over the next 25 years. Digitalization of the global economy goes hand in hand with electrification, making it the “fuel of choice” for households and enterprises.

Hit by a triple-whammy of weak cash flows, meager profits and slumping stock values, CEOs in the oil and gas industry are vary about continuing to invest in increasingly risky fossil fuels. Looking for a quick return, investors want oil majors to prioritize profits over production growth. Some refocus on electricity markets.

MAN Energy Solutions has been contracted to provide a new combined-heat-and-power (CHP) solution for Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel. A dual-fuel engine MAN 9L51/60DF will be vital to power the airport, with plant handover scheduled for the end of 2019.

Hazards of oversupply in oil and natural gas are preoccupying International Oil Companies (IOCs) as less carbon-intensive sources of energy compound the risk of future oil and gas oversupply. Still, Moody's analysts are convinced oil majors will tackle these new issues through a triad of conservative financial policies to strengthen balance sheets, capital discipline, and robust long-term planning that anticipates secular shifts – like the global trend towards renewables and energy storage.

Taiwan Power Company has awarded a full-turnkey order to Mitsubishi Hitachi Power System (MHPS) to refurbish and upgrade its Nanpu and Datan gas-fired power plants. The contract stipulates low-NOx enhancements of seven M501F gas turbines, and the roll-out of the digital service MHPS-TOMONI. Works are due to be completed in August 2019.

Sinolam Smarter Energy (SSE), part of Shanghai Gorgeous Group, has awarded a long-term service agreement to Siemens for the SGT-800 gas turbines at the Gas to Power Panama project by Martano. The power plant will operate with LNG and is scheduled for commission in the autumn of 2020.

News in Brief

BAE switches to gas power

Dec 18 – BAE Systems has received a U.S. Army contract worth $158 million to replace the coal-fired power supply at Holston Army Ammunition Plant in Kingsport, Tennessee, with a natural gas steam facility. The modernization project will replace an existing coal-fired plant and significantly reduce the facility’s overall carbon footprint.

Silver Lake buys 90% in ServiceMax

Dec 17 – GE Digital has agreed to sell a majority stake in Service Max, a provider of cloud-based software tools, to Silver Lake, a global technology investor. Under the agreement, GE will retain a 10% equity ownership in ServiceMax. The divestment comes as GE Group seeks to reduce its debt.

Ingersoll Rand launches W7152

Dec 14 – W7152, a new half inch powerful impact wrench, has been introduced by Ingersoll Rand as the latest addition to its IQV20 series of power tools. With a length of 207 millimetres, the torque has a 360-degree shadow-less task light to provide technicians with more visibility in hard-to-reach spaces.

Permian reserves revised upwards

Dec 13 – The Permian’s Delaware sub-basin contains more than twice the technically recoverable reserves of the Midland sub-basin. According to the US Geological Survey (USGS), the Wolfcamp play and overlying Bone Spring Formation hold an estimated mean of 46.3 billion barrels of oil, 281 tcf (8.0 tcm) of gas and 20 billion barrels of natural gas liquids (NGLs).

More buyers for Malampaya gas

Dec 12 – Two more electric utilities, in addition to First Gen and Ilijan, have expressed interest to buy Malampaya’s banked gas, valued at $700 million to $750 million, via a negotiated scheme. The Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC) is in talks with all four of them, but did not identify the two new bidders.

Surge in wind power new-builds

Dec 11 – More than 680GW of new wind power capacity will come online globally over the 10-year outlook, according to Wood Mackenzie research. Most upgrades occur in the medium-term, boosting annual capacity additions from 2020 to 2023 by an average of 2.7GW.

Hybrid power for Galapagos Island

Dec 10 – Siemens has inaugurated a hybrid power plant on the Galapagos island of Isabela after only ten months of planning and ten months of construction. The system runs carbon-neutral with biofuel and solar energy and supplies almost 900 households.

Tata unveils TCS Intelligent Power Plant

Dec 7 – Tata has presented it TCS Intelligent Power Plant at an U.S. trade show, combing its engineering knowledge with artificial intelligence (AI) to optimize operations of fossil power plants. The TCS Intelligent Power Plant builds on the digital twin concept and data-driven models.

Aker, Siemens to co-develop digital offerings

Dec 6 – Aker Solutions and Siemens have agreed to collaborate on creating software applications and joint service offerings, e.g. industrial digital twins that will drive efficiency throughout the entire plant lifecycle. Specific offerings for the oil and gas sector will be based on Siemens' Comos engineering platform.

Robot for remote inspection

Dec 5 – Sarcos Robotics is demonstrating their Guardian S mobile IoT inspection robot at POWER-GEN International in Orlando, Florida. The remote visual inspection tool that can carry multiple sensor payloads and is a quick-deploy inspection solution for pipes, boilers and tanks.

JERA still builds coal power plants

Dec 4 – JERA, Japan’s largest LNG importer, said it was still replacing ageing oil-fuelled power plants with coal-fired units, instead of gas, for economic reasons. Environmental permits have just been issued for two new coal power units at Yokosuka power station, south of Tokyo.

GE delivers grid solution to Pakistan

Dec 3 – GE Power has delivered a turnkey solution to DG Khan Cement Company (DGKCCL), for its new cement plant. Situated 30km northwest of Karachi, the new manufacturing facility is powered by GE’s advanced grid solutions including 132/6.3 kV gas insulated switchgear (GIS), 40MVA power transformers.

Rolls-Royce to showcase Bergen genset

Nov 29 – Rolls-Royce will showcase its new B36:45 Bergen gas genset at the 2018 Power-Gen International show next week in Orlando, Florida. This will be the first time the company introduced Bergen engines at a U.S.-based trade show.

Toshiba aggregates RES & energy storage

Nov 28 – Tokyo-based Toshiba will reinforce its green energy footprint by spending 100 billion yen ($175m) on a new biomass power plant near the thermal Mikawa power station in Omuta, Fukuoka prefecture. Going forward, Toshiba aims to aggregate all its renewable energy sources and storage batteries, creating a Virtual Power Plant (VPP).

Exmar helps Argentina export LNG

Nov 28 – Belgium's Exmar has signed a 10-year agreement with YPF to produce and export 500,000 tonnes per annum of LNG from Argentina via a floating liquefaction vessel named Tango FLNG. The deal advances Argentina’s ambitions of becoming a gas exporter.

ABB UPS tops 97% efficiency

Nov 27 – ABB latest uninterruptible power supply (UPS) module has a 97.6% efficiency rating. The DPA 250 S4 covers the power range 50 to 1,500 kW and is designed for critical, high-density computing environments such as data centers, hospitals, railway signaling stations and airports.

Europe still depends on Russian gas

Nov 26 – In the first ten month of 2018, there was a more than 100:1 disparity between Russian pipeline gas and U.S. LNG deliveries to European countries, according to Gazprom figures. The Russian gas giant sees still “a high level of uncertainty” in the long-term forecasts for U.S. shale gas production.