Daily News

General Electric is accelerating plans to divest most of its interest in the oil services firm Baker Hughes (BHGE). The cash-strapped American engineering giant announced a complex agreement to offload up to 166 million shares in BHGE in a deal expected to raise about $4 billion.

Promising new shale gas prospects of a “substantial size” have been identified by China National Administration of Coal Geology (CNACG) both in Hubei and in Guizhou Province. CNACG will now develop the prospects, seeking to efficiently tap domestic unconventional reserves for the fast-growing Chinese gas market.

Global gas demand is on the rise, erasing talk of a glut as China emerges as a giant consumer. Already the world's biggest oil and coal importer, China will also become the largest buyer of natural gas with net imports approaching the level of the European Union by 2040, according to International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates.

MAN Energy Solutions has been contracted to supply an LNG regasification terminal to Forchem in Rauma, Finland. The chemical company wants to convert the boiler for generating steam for the refinery process to natural gas, or bio-gas, and asked MAN to deliver a tailor-made solution with an offloading skid for LNG trailors.

Closure of the large Rough storage has left the UK in a “precarious position” and “vulnerable” to gas supply shortages, Wood Mackenzie finds. Spot LNG cargoes can help cover demand at a short notice – but it would be imprudent to rely on flexible gas imports through the Interconnector, particularly as UK gas demand is bound to increase due to the government’s coal phase-out policy.

Additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, has evolved significantly and today develops turbine components that, in most cases, perform better than their conventionally manufactured counterparts. In the energy field, Siemens is aspiring to qualify 200 components for manufacture via 3D printing by 2025.

An online auction will be held for the sale of an almost complete gas-fired power station that was originally built as an energy-from-waste project at Teeside, in northeast England. The auction will be staged between November 15 and 29, accompanied by a separate private treaty sale process.

Operators in the energy sector are struggling to cope with rising threats to the security of their generating assets. Digitalisation helps ensure a save and stable operating environment to allow for flexible dispatch of power units. Wärtsilä solutions build up an active resistance to cyber threats that guarantees electric utilities a steady return on their assets.

Germany-based RWE and Tokyo Gas, one of the world’s largest LNG buyers, have partnered on gas sourcing, trading and shipping. The two players agreed a framework for reducing costs through optimized shipping of US LNG, procured by Tokyo Gas.

Construction works have started for SEE’s new 850-MW Keadby-2 combined-cycle gas power plant in North Lincolnshire. The £350 million project, built by Siemens as a full turnkey solution, will be Britain’s most fuel-efficient CCGT with an efficiency level of 63%.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) agreed to give a $227.7 million loan to Gulf SRC Company to finance the construction and operation of a 2,500 MW combined-cycle gas power plant in Chonburi Province of Thailand. The technology of the CCGT is meant to achieve over 63% thermal efficiency.

Flexible gas power plants will have to fill the capacity gap after Toshiba abandoned its £15 billion Moorside nuclear power venture in Cumbria, and will start to wind up NuGen in January. Moorside could have covered 7% of the UK’s electricity needs by 2025 – a share that now needs to be filled by fossil fuels, notably natural gas.

Chevron’s gas aggregation company in Nigeria has agreed to extend gas deliveries to Egbin Power. Under the deal, Chevron will supply 145 million standard cubic feet per day (MMBtu/d) through the Nigerian Gas Company (NGC) to Egbin’s 1,320-MW power plant in Ikorodu. Kola Adesina, chairman of Egbin Power, said the additional gas supply should help boost Ikorodu's capacity to 5,000 MW over the coming five years. 

Austria’s OMV is close to obtaining a stake in the development of Urengoyskoye, one of the world’s largest fields at the time of discovery in Russia’s Yamal region near the Arctic Kara Sea. A draft contract has been discussed by Gazprom chairman Alexey Miller and his counterpart at OMV, Rainer Seele that will see the Austrian utility participate in Urengoyskoye’s Blocks 4A and 5A.

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.

News in Brief

PG&E nears bankruptcy

Jan 18 – Northern California’s utility Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) has informed federal regulators that it expects to seek Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection by January. The San Francisco-based utility is under investigation for its shortcomings in the deadly 2018 wildfires. S&P this week downgraded PG&E’s gas and electric unit to ‘D’ to ‘CC’ after the utility failed to make a $21.6 million interest payment

Hitachi suspends work on Wales nuclear project

Jan 17 – Japan’s Hitachi is close to suspending construction works at its Horizon division’s Wylfa nuclear power plant in Wales. If the project gets shelved, EDF Energy's Hinkely Point-C will be the only nuclear project remaining hence flexible gas power will have to fill the capacity gap.

PG&E files for bankruptcy by Jan 29

Jan 16 – Northern California’s utility Pacific Gas & Electric has informed federal regulators that it expects to seek Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection by end of this month. The San Francisco-based utility is under investigation for its shortcomings in the deadly 2018 wildfires.

Gas engine market to top $4.4bn by 2020

Jan 15 – Global demand for natural gas engines is forecast to expand with the market set to exceed $4.4 billion in value by 2022, according to Zion Market Research. Key manufacturers include, GE, Rolls-Royce, Cummins, Caterpillar, Wärtsilä, Kawasaki, MAN, Deutz, Doosan and Yanmar.

Encana selects Siemens rotating equipment

Jan 14 – Siemens has been selected to provide one feed and sales gas train and one refrigeration compression train for Encana’s Pipestone Processing Facility in Grand Prairie, Alberta, Canada. The new unit, due to operational in 2021, will provide Encana with 19,000 barrels per day of net raw condensate processing capacity plus 170 million cubic feet per day of net inlet gas processing capacity.

Cheap U.S. LNG underpins power project in Panama

Jan 11 – AES Colón expects the entry of low-cost US LNG will transform the Central American energy sector, much as it has in the Panama. The utility in September started up an $1.15 billion LNG import terminal and adjacent combined-cycle power plant.

Rolls-Royce joins forces with OT industries

Jan 10 – Britain’s bellwether manufacturer Rolls-Royce has signed an accord with OT Industries to explore areas of joint work for the provision of Emergency Diesel Generators (EDGs) and Instrumentation and Control (I&C) systems for new units at the Paks nuclear power plant in Hungary. OT industries is majority owned by the MOL Group.

State-run utilities dominate energy spending

Jan 9 – Future investments in global energy supply largely rest in the hands of governments. In the power sector, a striking 95% of monies are spent by regulated utilities under schemes to minimize risk associated with variable prices on competitive markets. However, once China will have completed its power sector reform the share of countries that rely on competitive markets will rise from 54% to almost 80%.

Floating power market to top $1.4bn by 2022

Jan 8 – The market for floating power plants (<250MW capacity) is expected to grow at an annual rate of 10.11%, expanding from currently $889.6 million to reach $1,440 million by 2022. Main growth drivers, according to MarketsandMarkets, are cost advantages of floating over land-based power plants, particularly in regions with a lack of power infrastructure.

Energean to supply gas to Israel

Jan 7 – Energean Oil and Gas has agreed to supply 5.5 Bcm of natural gas Karish and Tanin fields over 19 years to the Israeli power producer I.P.M. Beer Tuvia. The deal is expected to $900 million in revenue for Energean over the contract duration.

Eranove builds 390 MW plant in Ivory Coast

Jan 4 – Ciprel, a subsidiary of Eranove Group of France, is preparing to construct a 390 MW power plant in Jacqueville near Abidjan, the capital of the Ivory Coast. Driven by one of GE’s F-class turbine the combined-cycle power plant will be similar to one that Ciprel already has in operation.

Works advance on Jawa-1 CCGT

Jan 3 – Construction works are forging ahead for Jawa-1, a 1,760 MW combined-cycle gas-fired power plant. Built at cost of $1.8 billion the facility will be built by PT Jawa Satu Power (JSP) and PT Jawa Satu Regas (JSR) in Karawang, West Java.

Grozny TPP due onstream in 2019

Jan 2 – Construction of Unit 2 of the Grozny Thermal Power Plant (TPP) is advancing fast with a view having the entire plant operational in mid-2019. The first 180 MW unit has been running uninterruptedly for a fortnight and once the second unit will start up, Grozny TPP will reach its design value of approximately 360 MW.

E&P profitable at $50/bbl

Dec 21 – Globally, Wood Mackenzie expects exploration budgets to remain steady in 2019. But with stronger prices, lower costs and a greater focus on commerciality, the exploration sector is now seen to be more resilient than ever, and “well positioned to generate positive full-cycle returns at oil prices of US$50/barrel or even lower.”

GE upgrades substation in Germany

Dec 20 – TransnetBW has asked GE Power to upgrade one of the substations in so-called ‘Badische Rheinschiene’, a highly loaded link in the transmission grid of southwest Germany. The project will deliver 22 bays of 400 kV GIS to reduce the substation’s footprint while increasing its capacity.

Burckhardt opens service centre for Central Europe

Dec 19 – Swiss-based Burckhard Compressions has opened a new service centre for Central Europe in Slovakia. Reciprocating compressors of any brand are serviced there for operators in Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland.

Global CCS growth nears 10% per year

Jan 19 – A report from analysts Research and Markets says the global Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) market will grow 9.18% per year between 2017 and 2021, with Babcock & Wilcox, ENGIE, GE Power, Linde and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries dominating developments.