Markets

Natural gas and wind are the fastest growing sources of U.S. electricity generation, both rising 6% this year. In 2020, gas power will rise another 2% while generation from wind is seen surge 14%, according to the EIA’s latest Short-Term Energy Outlook.

Though Europe’s green energy transition is gaining pace, natural gas demand is seen grow significantly. Wood Mackenzie advises European utilities to share some cross-hub price risk with LNG producers, or else they risk losing market space to international oil companies or state-run energy majors like Gazprom.

Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) has warned the Philippine island of Luzon may face power shortages in the first week of October, when up to 900 MW of gas-fired capacity will be offline for maintenance. Repairs coincide with the four days maintenance shutdown of the huge Malampaya gas field.

The U.S. shale revolution and falling capital costs for renewables are reshaping the power mix both domestically and abroad, the International Energy Agency (IEA) noted. Future production growth and exports will depend on the complementary build-out of oil and gas pipelines, as well as LNG terminals.

By 2030, new-build renewables will outcompete existing fossil fuel generation on energy cost in most regions. According to McKinsey analysts, the northwest of the United States is “the exception with tipping-points post 2035,” due to low gas prices and limited potential for solar photovoltalic.

Drone strikes have reduced Saudi Arabia’s oil output by half which is feared to have reverberations on global energy markets. An increase in oil prices is likely to lead to a corresponding rise in gas and electricity prices, which will be reflected in higher tariffs for customers in the UK and most western economies.

Construction is being fast-tracked on the Thi Vai LNG import terminal and adjacent Nhon Trach unit-3 and 4 power units in the southeastern region of Vietnam. Samsung C&T and PetroVietnam seek to get the integrated LNG-to-Power project on stream by 2022 for an investment of about $286 million.

Gas and variable renewables will be the only energy sources for which demand is higher in 2050 than today. Rapidly falling capital costs for solar photovoltaic will make the technology 25% to 50% cheaper than new gas-fired power projects, DNV GL analysts told Gas to Power Journal.

Electric utilities in Turkey are burdened with $47 billion debt of which up to $13 billion are at risk of defaulting. Before the end of this year, loans worth some $10 billion, mostly for gas-fired power plants, will need to be restructured, the Banks Association of Turkey (TBB) warned.

Rising dry gas production in the United States will be sufficient to meet demand for power generation and exports at a lower price than forecast. With this assement, the U.S. Energy Administration (EIA) lowered its Henry Hub spot price forecast for 2020 by 20 cents to an average of $2.55 per million British thermal units (mmBtu).

Northwest European near-curve gas prices have fallen in recent days. With the TTF Oct-19 trading as low as 3.86 $/mmbtu, this low price drives up demand for LNG shipping to higher-priced markets in Asia. Energy Aspects says the TTF Oct-19 contract has already priced in much of the incremental demand from the power sector switching to gas from coal.

Nearly 16 gigawatt of utility-scale gas power generation has been added in Florida between 2008 and 2018 – the most in any U.S. state. The share of natural gas in Florida’s energy mix surged from 47% to 72%, and EIA analysts anticipate gas-fired generation will continue to displace less cost-competitive plants fuelled by coal and petroleum liquids.

Spot LNG deliveries to Japan have decreased despite record-low prices as power generators like Jera, Tepco, Kepco and Chubu Electric prefer thermal coal over natural gas. Peak electricity demand is now largely met by thermal coal which remains the cheapest fuel source.

Wind and solar power are forecast to outperform combined-cycle gas power plants in most parts of the United States on a levelized cost of energy (LCOE) basis through 2040. However, Wood Mackenzie finds that combined-cycle gas power stations beat renewables on cost in Florida, the Midcontinent and in some spots in PJM West where gas prices are exceptionally low.

Russia's Novatek and Japan’s Saibu Gas have signed a Heads of Agreement (HoA) to set up a joint venture to market LNG and natural gas to end customers. This agreement will include the development of gas-powered generation in Japan, bunkering business in Asia, and the construction and operation a new storage tank at the Hibiki LNG terminal.

Page 9 of 163

News in Brief

ExxonMobil enhances turbine oils

Jan 17 – New high performance turbine oils, developed by ExxonMobil Lubricants, are  entering the market which are formulated to prevent build-up of lacquer, varnish and deposits. The oils are designed to protect against thermal and oxidative degradation, one of the root causes of deposit build-up.

Wärtsilä signs O&M deals in the Bahamas

Jan 16 – Following the commissioning of a Wärtsilä-built 132 MW power plant in Bahamas in December, the Finish manufacturer now signed a two-year operation and maintenance (O&M) accord with the plant owner, the Bahamas Power and Light Company (BPL). Wärtsilä will transition, train, and develop the owner’s Bahamian work force and provide key performance guarantees.

China, S'Korea curtail coal to tackle air pollution

Jan 15 – Beijing city government’s aggressive approach to tackling air pollution is working and South Korea’s spring coal-fired curtailments show some success in cutting seasonal emissions. According to Wood Mackenzie, this should benefit LNG, particularly while spot prices remain low.

Sri Lanka at brink of power shortages

Jan 14 – Sri Lanka could face power cuts by March, after plans for a large-scale coal power plant were been cancelled just prior to start of construction, and a tender for a 300 MW diesel plants ended up in court. On the demand side, pressure is building up as the region is moving into the dry season in February and March. Weather warnings say the island is likely to receive lower than average rainfall in the first quarter of 2020.

Caterpillar’s new genset comply with UK & German grid codes

Jan 13 – Caterpillar Inc. has launched a series of new generator sets that comply with the new G99 United Kingdom, VDE-AR-N 4110 German and Belgium C10/C11 grid codes. The following gensets – G3500H, CG132B, CG170, and CG260 (rated from 280-4,500kVA) – have been verified to be able to accommodate different reactive power modes, active power functions, and connection conditions for normal operation or reconnection after mains decoupling.

Transneft launches battery-based power supply for ILI tools

Jan 10 – Transneft Diascan, the largest Russian inspection service provider for pipelines, has developed and put into operation a power supply system for in-line inspection (ILI) tools based on rechargeable batteries. Flaw detectors performing inspections of trunk oil pipelines, gas pipelines and oil product pipelines can now use the energy from rechargeable batteries, which helps save time and reduces the cost of in-line inspection.

Pavilion starts trading LNG out of Madrid

Jan 9 – Singapore-based Pavilion Energy has completed the acquisition of all gas and LNG assets of the Spanish utility Iberdrola. From its new European headquarters in Madrid, Pavilion said has launched 2020 LNG trading operations with supplies focusing on Spain and the UK market.

Gazprom extends gas transits via Belarus until 2021

Jan 8 – Gazprom and Gazprom Transgaz Belarus have sealed additional agreements to extend the contracts for gas supplies to and gas transportation across Belarus until 2021. According to the newly-signed documents, the contractual supply and transit volumes in 2020 will remain at the level of 2019.

EastMed pipeline to take FID by 2022

Jan 7 – Greece, Cyprus and Israel have signed an agreement to build the 1,900-kilometre EastMed pipeline at an estimated cost of 6 billion Euros. The subsea pipeline, spanning over 1,900-kilometres would initially carry 10 Bcm of gas per annum from Israeli and Cypriot waters to Crete and then on to the Greek mainland and into the European gas network via Italy. A final investment decision (FID) is meant to be reached in 2022, given that the pipeline is scheduled for completion by 2025.

U.S. energy-related emissions drop over 2%

Jan 6 – Fewer emissions from coal consumption, combined with lower energy demand, have helped to significantly reduce the overall energy-related carbon emissions in the United States. According to government statistics, energy-related CO2 emissions fell 2.2 percent last year, and the downward trend is forecast to continue into 2020.

Brent crude prices surge

Jan 3 – North Sea Brent crude prices have risen to their highest level since September 2019, up nearly $3 per barrel because of Middle East tensions coupled with improved Chinese economic forecasts. Brent crude futures for March 2020 delivery were last seen trading at 69.21 per barrel the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE). This bullish price sentiment will feed through to oil-indexed natural gas contracts and LNG deliveries, linked to the Japanese crude cocktail (JCC) basket price.

IEA says coal’s fate tied to Asia

Dec 23 – Rapid rise of wind and solar power in many parts of the world has pushed coal-fired power generation into steep decline in most developed countries. "But this is not the end of coal, since demand continues to expand in Asia," analysts at the International Energy Agency commented: "The region’s share of global coal power generation has climbed from just over 20 percent in 1990 to almost 80 percent in 2019, meaning coal’s fate is increasingly tied to decisions made in Asian capitals."

Drop in coal-burn makes Germany edge closer to climate targets

Dec 20 – In 2019, Germany managed to increase its greenhouse gas emissions for the second year in a row, mainly due to a 20 percent drop of coal use for power generation and a growing contribution from renewables. Energy savings and efficiency increases also helped. According to calculations by energy research group AG Energiebilanzen (AGEB), Germany’s primary energy consumption declined by 2.3 percent this year, overall energy use fell more than 2 percent, and energy-related CO2 emissions fell by as much as 7 percent.

Glencore buys Orsted’s lgas business unit

Dec 19 – UK-listed mining company Glencore has agreed to take over a loss-making natural gas business from Orsted, including long-term import capacity at the Gate regas terminal in Rotterdam and five other LNG purchase agreements. “The transaction entails a payment from Orsted to Glencore and will result in a loss that exceeds our current provision related to the LNG activities,” stated Copenhagen-based Orsted without disclosing the value of the transaction.

Carbon-intensive firms may shed over 40% in value

Dec 18 – Energy- and carbon-emissions intensive companies could lose up to 43% of their value if national governments enact more stringent policies to reduce air pollution and tackle climate change. Companies using green energy, in contrast, could gain up to 33% in value, research by the United Nations-backed Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) finds.

COP25 – a “lost opportunity”

Dec 17 – UN Secretary António Gutierrez has dismissed the outcome of the COP25 climate talks in Madrid as “disappointing” and “lost opportunity“. Some of the world’s largest emitters, including Australia, Brazil, China and Saudi Arabia had joined the U.S. in pushing for accounting loopholes to weaken commitments to reduce emissions in the transport and power generation sector.

Industry produces over 13% of Germany’s electricity

Dec 16 – Decentralized power generation at industrial sites keeps rising in Germany. According to the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis), industry produced 55 Terawatt-hours (TWh) of in 2018, meaning local units of mining and manufacturing generated 12.6 percent of the country's gross electricity output, mostly from gas-fired power units. The use of gas as a fuel for industrial power plants has consequently risen from around 35 percent to almost 50 percent over the last ten years.