Daily News

As the world’s top oil company, ExxonMobil does not need to worry about size when it comes to snapping up assets. The Texas-based oil giant is tipped as a potential buyer of Endeavor Energy Resources, the largest privately-held oil and gas producer in the U.S. Permian basin – a takeover could cost over $10 billion.

Substations in the digital age are increasingly known as “the heart of the power supply system,” connecting parts of the grid that operate at different voltage levels. Siemens’ vision is a largely decarbonized energy system in a “near-to-all electric world”. The technology is already there, but utilities and grid operators still need to fully embrace it.

General Electric has signed a multiyear service agreement with GEL Utility to support the power generation unit at Nigerian National Petroleum Corps’s refinery in Port Harcourt. The aim is to achieve uninterrupted power supply at Nigeria’s largest refinery, which currently produces up to 210,000 barrels per day (bbl/d).

Rebounding oil prices are putting energy pricing reforms under pressure in some countries, with fuel subsidies creeping higher again after having fallen from a high in 2012 of more than a half trillion dollar. New IEA data for 2017 show a 12% increase in the estimated value of fuel subsidies, to more than $300 billion.

Natural gas production in the United States is hitting new records after output increased to an average 86.9 Bcf/d in October, and continues to rise. In its Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said 2018 production will average 83.2 Bcf/d, and is seen to top 89.6 Bcf/d in 2019. This supply glut is likely to push down prices at Henry Hub.

Coal exports from New South Wales, Australia, are seen entering a phase of “terminal long-term decline” as key buyers are turning away. Exports of thermal coal out of the Port of Newcastle peaked three years ago and analysts now observe a steady decline as Asian markets transition towards cheaper more sustainable renewables.

Northern Indiana Public Service Co. (NIPSCO) has alerted state regulators about plans to retire four coal-fired power units by 2023, and another one by 2028. The utility’s latest Integrated Resource Plan details NIPSCO’s efforts to produce 65% of its electricity from renewables and at least 25% of its output from natural gas.

Advent International, a Boston-based private equity group, has acquired GE’s Distributed Power business and is now a stand-alone energy company, rebranded as INNIO. The transaction includes the Jenbacher and Waukesha product lines, with main operating sites in Austria, Canada and the U.S.

Germany utility RWE has decided to freeze the development of Tilbury Energy Centre in the UK, which included proposals for a 2.5 GW combined-cycle gas power plant and energy storage. The project is no longer economically viable, RWE said, considering current market conditions and costs.

The Italian turbine manufacturer Ansaldo Energia has signed a contract worth about €60 million, stipulating the supply of its first H-class GT36 gas turbine to the Minhang combined-cycle gas power plant (CCGT) in China. The 800-MW is being built in Minhang District, a suburban area of Shanghai.

Fuel security has been politicized in the U.S. and PJM Interconnection has just passed a stress test, imposed by the U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry on all transmission system operators. Selecting 14-day period of winter weather, PJM analyzed the system under more than 300 different scenarios that might occur from 2023 onwards. “We could handle it, but need to focus on fuel supply and demand response,” said PJM President, Andrew L. Ott.

A consortium led by ACWA Power, the Saudi power plant developer and investor, has signed a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with for a 2,300-MW project to be built in Luxor, southern Egypt, at an estimated cost of $2.3 billion. Phase-1 of the project will start up in summer 2022, and the entire plant is due to be operational in summer 2023.

Duke Energy has stepped up efforts to finalize and commission the second 820-MW unit of its 1,640 MW Citrus County Power Plant by the end of December. In April, the utility first announced plans to have the entire new CCGT fully operational by the end of 2018.

New York Public Service Commission (NY PSC) has approved a petition by Consolidated Edison Company (Con Edison) for a $5 million, three-year gas demand response pilot program, one of the first schemes of its kind. Industries and large commercial customers will get financial incentives to reduce gas consumption at times of peak demand.

Siemens has successfully concluded the first phase of its Subsea Power Grid shallow water test in Trondheim, Norway. Working together with Chevron, Equinor, ExxonMobil, and Eni Norge, Siemens is in the final stages of developing a barrier-breaking system to distribute medium-voltage power, using pressure compensated technology.

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.