US oil firm are earning a growing share of their revenues from natural gas. During the first half of 2021, production outages after the February cold freeze in Texas and sharp rises in energy demand after the pandemic made Henry Hub gas prices briefly triple in price, which in turn boosted profits for upstream companies.

Dominion Energy has agreed to sell its Questar Pipelines business on the Wyoming-Utah border to Southwest Gas Holdings for $1.975 billion in an all-cash transaction. The deal includes the assumption of $430 million of existing debt. The sale is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2021.

US and European markets face a further “bull run” in natural gas prices. According to Energy Aspects, markets have “nearly maximized their gas-to-coal switching potential,” and considering low storage inventories and a shortfall of US LNG deliveries from Freeport terminal, prices at US Henry Hub and the Dutch TTF could surge substantially with the onset of the winter season.

Exelon has presented its new leadership team as the company’s energy business is being carved out from the first quarter of 2022. Christopher Crane, Exelon CEO, will continue to lead the firm’s regulated utility business. Joseph Dominguez, currently CEO of ComEd, was appointed incoming CEO of the competitive energy business that will trade under the new name Constellation.

Austria-based INNIO, the maker of Jenbacher gas engines, and Clarke Energy have agreed to extend the latter’s distribution territory to Indonesia, focusing on Independent Power Producers (IPP) and Merchant Power Producers (MPP). From 2022, Clarke can offer Jenbacher gas engines with a “Ready for H2” option that can be converted to run fully on hydrogen.

New Fortress Energy (NFE) has chartered the floating storage and regasification unit (FRSU) ‘Höegh Gallant’ from New York-listed Höegh LNG Partners for a period of 10 years from the fourth quarter of 2021. The FSRU will be deployed to Jamaica, where NFE owns and operates an LNG regas terminal with adjacent gas-fired power plant.

German state secretary for environment, Jochen Flasbarth, has urged wealthy nations to do more on climate finance and proposed a plan to mobilise $100 billion per year between 2020 and 2025 for “climate action” projects in developing countries. The plan is meant to be finalised prior to the UN climate change conference COP26 in Glasgow in November.

US energy firm New Fortress Energy (NFE) has signed an agreement to invest in Sri Lanka’s first integrated LNG-to-power project. NFE confirmed it will take a stake in West Coast Power (WCP), the owner of a 310 MW Yugadanavi power plant in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo and developer of a nearby LNG regas terminal.

Surging energy prices in Germany are hitting industry and household customers, but the economy ministry does not intend to intervene at this point. Nord Stream 2 will bring some respite, though the start-up date of the Russian gas interconnector has been pushed back from October to the end of 2021.

Traded natural gas prices at Europe’s main hubs, the British NBP and the Dutch TTF, have reached record levels. The UK NBP price for the end of the summer season has risen more than four-fold in six months to the equivalent of $25.95 per million British termal units (MMBtu) on September 21, while TTF prices soared to the equivalent of $25.80 per MMBtu the same day.

Quantifying the impact of Hurricane Ida, the US Department of Energy (DoE) said the storm initially left more than 1.2 million in the dark in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. Entergy still hasn’t restored power to all customers. By its estimates, full electricity supply may not be restored in certain southeastern Louisiana parishes until the end of September.

The German industry federation BDI has issued a stark warning against Government plans to bring forward the phase-out date for all coal power plants in the country from 2038. An early coal exit would undermine the security of electricity supply, BDI head Siegfrid Russwurm said, as gas-fired plants could not be built quick enough to make up for the lost capacity.

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News in Brief

CCUS market to reach nearly $3bn in 2025

Oct 25 – The global carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) market will grow from $1.30 billion in 2020 to $1.46 billion in 2021, according to ResearchAndMarket estimates. The rebound comes as companies return to normal operations and sales, after a pandemic-related slowdown. Analysts expect the market will keep growing at a rate of nearly 20% annually to reach $2.97 billion by 2025.

SDG&E accelerates drive towards Net Zero by 2045

Oct 20 – San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E) has set a new sustainability strategy, outlining new and accelerated goals to help meet its pledge to reach net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2045. SDG&E it now seeks to operate a 100% zero emissions vehicle fleet by 2035 – five years earlier than planned.

B&W develops biomass-to-hydrogen plant in Australia

Oct 19 – B&W's Renewable segment and Port Anthony Renewables Ltd have started to develop a biomass-to-hydrogen energy project in Victoria, Australia, based on B&W’s BrightLoop technology. When completed, the plant is expected to be part of the largest green hydrogen hub in south-eastern Australia.

LNG prices rise faster than oil

Oct 18 – Liquefied natural gas and pipeline supplies have experienced an even sharper increase in prices in 2021 than oil, driven by a combination of circumstances that included a strong recovery in demand in North Asia, southeast Asia and Europe, unseasonal weather and planned and unplanned capacity outages.

Wärtsilä shaft gensets to power two LNG carriers

Oct 14 – The Finish technology group Wärtsilä has been awarded a contract to supply four shaft generators to provide electricity take-off from the main engines of two LNG carriers. The ships are being built at the Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) shipyard in Korea on behalf of the Capital Gas Ship Management of Greece.

VoltH2 gets green light for large hydrogen plant

Oct 13 – Vision Hydrogen Corp has announced that its affiliate VoltHe has received building and environmental permits to realise its first large-scale hydrogen plant at the Dutch North Sea Port of Vlissingen. The 5 MW hydrogen plant is located near existing high voltage power and gas infrastructure as well as large wind power assets. Once operational, it will produce around 3,500 tons of green hydrogen per year and will be scalable to 100 MW or 14,000 tons.

Tesla overtakes German e-cars

Oct 12 – Sales of Tesla in Germany has overtaken that of leading German carmakers. In September, more electric Tesla Model 3s were registered in the country than leading domestic models, such as the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4 and Mercedes C-Class combined.

EnerMech spends £500k on crane training tech

Oct 11 – EnerMech has invested £500,000 in new crane simulator training systems at its Luanda (Angola), Doha (Qatar) and Great Yarmouth (UK) facilities. The British company recently formed a joint venture with 3t Energy Group to bring the KraneSIM-6000 equipment to both Qatar and Angola and offer in-country training across client organisations globally.  

Germany finances green hydrogen projects abroad

Oct 8 – The German government has agreed to support green hydrogen projects in other countries with up to €350 million by 2024, the economy ministry said when publishing a directive with relevant guidelines. Moreover, financial support is given to projects that produce and process green hydrogen for storage, transport and use in countries outside the EU through investment grants worth up to €15 million each.

UK e-car sales surge 186%

Oct 6 – Sales electric cars in the UK have surged 186% to a total of 108,000 in 2020 during the pandemic, up from just 38,000 in the previous year. Latest statistics show there were nearly 300,000 pure-electric cars on UK roads at the end of August 2021, and more than 600,000 plug-in models if including plug-in hybrids (PHEVs).

FogHorn deploys AI software at Chugoku Electric Power in Japan

Oct 4 – FogHorn, developer of Edge AI software, has deployed its Internet of Things (IoT) software at the Chugoku Electric Power hydroelectric power plant. The AI solutions will make the power gen process more efficient and enhances workplace safety. Chugoku Electric Power employs nearly 9,200 workers across 114 power units in the western part of Honshū, the largest island of Japan.

Rolls-Royce supplies MTU engines for ferry propulsion

Oct 1 – Rolls-Royce's new MT engines, automation system, and MTU Go! tool for remote service have future-proofed the high-speed catamaran Avemar Dos, run by the Spanish operator Balearia. Four MTU 20V1163 M84 units replaced the previous 1163 units, taking the vessel to a "new level of ecological soundness," the manufacturer says.

GES appoints former Puma Energy Chairman as NED

Sept 30 – Global Energy Storage (GES) has appointed the former Puma Energy Chairman, Graham Sharp, as an NED. Graham will support GES on its ‘new energies’ strategy for the energy transition, focusing on hydrogen fuels and hydrogen carriers space.

Aggreko reaches 2 GW of live power gen capacity

Sept 29 – Aggreko has today announced it has reached 2GW of live global gas power capacity and growth in flare gas to power and stranded gas projects. This new record follows a milestone of exceeding 1GW of delivered flare gas power projects in 2020.

Wärtislä renews O&M agreement with Lafarge Africa

Sept 28 – The Finish technology group Wärtsilä has renewed a long-term Operation & Maintenance (O&M) agreement with Lafarge Africa, a large producer of building materials in Nigeria. The agreement covers the 100 MW Lafarge Ewekoro power plant, which provides a dedicated supply of electricity to the company’s concrete and cement manufacturing processes.

Rolls-Royce supplies MTU engines to Sanlorenzo

Sept 27 – Rolls-Royce business unit Power Systems will become one of the leading engine suppliers for Sanlorenzo, delivering MTU 10V, 12V and 16V 2000 yacht engines with a compact IMO 3 solution. A framework contract from 2022 through 2024 has been signed at the Monaco Yacht Show.

Shell exits Permian Basin

Sept 24 – Royal Dutch Shell has sold all its upstream interested in US Permian Basin to ConocoPhillips for $9.5 billion in cash. Shell’s assets in the Permian include around 225,000 net acres with a current production of around 175,000 barrels per day equivalent.

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