Advances in technology and drilling techniques have allowed for production of U.S. crude oil and natural gas to keep rising despite fewer wells. According to government figures, the total number of wells fell to just 982,000 last year, down from a peak of 1,035,000 wells.
All eyes are on China’s health crisis and its impact on economic and energy demand growth. Though a U.S.-China trade deal includes a promise for $52.4 billion in further purchases of American energy exports in 2020 and 2021, Beijing has left import tariffs in place. This could allow Russian pipeline gas to gain the upper hand over US LNG imports.
Stranded gas wells at the Marcellus Basin in Pennsylvania are being tapped via mobile trailor-mounted liquefaction units. Initial operations were launched and are set to last until at least 2020, Edge LNG announced, stressing the technology allows to “reap economic benefits on assets unreachable by pipeline.”
British utilities SSE and EDF Energy are among the winners of the latest T3 auction for capacity in 2022/23. Contracts for 45.06 gigawatts (GW) of back-up power generation capacity were awarded at a price of £6.44 per kilowatthour per year. SSE’s Keadby 1&2 gas power units as well as the Hinkley Point B nuclear reactor failed to get contracts.
The last two coal units at Drax Power Station may soon shut down as the operator weighs up options. On a positive note, Drax said it secured capacity contracts for 2,562 MW at the latest T3 auction for existing gas, pumped storage and hydro assets. These contracts, running from October 2022 to September 2023, are priced at £6.44 per kilowatt and worth some £15 million.
Concerns over China’s gas demand grow after the government said it would hand out ‘force majeure’ certificates to domestic companies if they cannot fulfill their offtake obligations. Beijing apparently tries to mitigate potential losses of state-owned gas companies though the impact on LNG imports is still unclear.
Natural gas prices at Henry Hub are forecast to stay lower than $4 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) through 2050 amid an abundance of low-cost resources, primarily in the Permian Basin.“With continued technologically-enabled growth in production, we see the United States remaining a net exporter of energy for some time,” said the head of the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), Linda Capuano.
Electricity generation from renewable energy sources in the United States is forecast to double between now and 2050. Declining capital costs, and higher renewable portfolio standards (RPS) targets in some U.S. states, will prolong the sharp growth in renewables seen during the past ten years while gas-fired generation stays rangebound.
Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) will conduct joint research with Indonesia's Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) analyzing big data from local power plant operations on the island of Java to advance clean energy technologies. The aim is to probe new fuels like ammonia and hydrogen.
LNG and pipeline gas have still a long way to go to reduce, let alone replace, the current “massive coal consumption” by Asian nations. In contrast to Europe, where gas is regarded as one of the fossil fuels amid strives for net-zero emissions, "coal-to-gas switching is important in Asia," the Institute of Energy Economics in Japan (IEEJ) noted.
Coal gasification helps curb air pollution in China's mega-cities given that the emissions-intensive thermal fuel accounts for nearly 70 percent of China's power generation mix. Siemens recently built a 5x500 MW coal gasification plant for the Shenhua Ninxia coal mining group near China's border with Mongolia.
Wärtsilä has missed Q4 expectations as order intake plunged 17 percent and the operating result fell to 202 million Euros, or 12 percent of net sales. Anticipating “soft” demand, Wärtsilä CEO Jaakko Eskola said “the year 2019 was characterised by a difficult environment and poor financial performance.”
Crude oil and associated gas production in the United States will keep growing, albeit at a much slower rate due to a decline in rigs. Projections of the U.S. government, revised in January, expect growth rates in crude oil production to slow down from 9 percent to just 3 percent by 2021, and remain subdued.
Germany's gas industry plans to establish a 5,900 kilometres pipeline network to enable the large-scale use of hydrogen use. FNB Gas, representing German gas TSOs, intends to use mainly existing infrastructure to transport hydrogen from future generation sites in the north of the country to industrial centres in the west and south.
Power-to-X through electrolysis can swiftly utilize large overcapacities of wind and solar power, helping to balance the grid. Producing ammonia – a hydrogen liquid – is more attractive than hydrogen gas, the World Energy Council (WEC) says, given its energy density is higher by a factor 300.