China’s Blue Sky Policy envisages boosting the share of natural gas in the energy mix from currently 7.5 percent to 15 percent by 2030 which requires substantial investment in LNG and pipeline import capacity and related infrastructure. Imports are forecast to meet more than 70 percent of gas consumption in Greater China in 2040.
Spot gas prices at the U.S. benchmark Henry Hub in Louisiana have fallen to their lowest level in the past year since 2016 as domestic production keeps growing. “Lower natural gas prices in 2019 supported higher consumption – particularly in the electric generation sector – and higher natural gas exports,” EIA analysts commented.
The energy portion of the S&P Goldman Sachs Commodity Index (GSCI) has risen faster than other commodities over the course of 2019 with prices of WTI and Brent crude oil up 31 percent and 20 percent, respectively. In contrast, natural gas futures sold on NYMEX fell 26 percent to end the year at $2.19/MMBtu — the largest decline of all commodities in the index.
Traded volumes of natural gas in European brokered markets have soared nearly 22% to reach 30,496 TWh in the period from January-November, according to the London Energy Brokers’ Association (Leba). Volumes on the Dutch TTF – Europe’s most liquid hub – increased over 21%, while UK NBP trading fell nearly 27%.
Germany’s largest utility Uniper strives to fast-track permitting and construction of a floating storage and regas unit (FSRU) in Brunsbüttel to importLNG from Australia, among others.To that end, Uniper agreed with Woodside Energy Trading Singapore to import 0.5 mtpa initially from 2023, which will be increased to 1 mtpa by 2025.
Keen to maximize China’s domestic oil and gas production and streamline imports, the government in Beijing’s is taking steps to bundle all onshore trunk pipelines owned by PetroChina, Sinopec Group and CNOOC into one single transmission system operator (TSO). Wood Mackenzie reckons China’s new state TSO could be worth up to $105 billion and is likely to lead to higher end-user energy prices.
Strong economic growth in Asia and other non-OECD countries is forecast to push up the world’s energy consumption by nearly 50 percent over the next three decades. According to the U.S. government projections, industry accounts for most of the energy demand growth and is expected to reach about 315 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu) globally by 2050.
Engas, the Spanish gas transmission system operator, has recorded an 80 percent rise in gas demand in the year just past, reaching 111 TWh. Coal-to-gas fuel switch in the power sector was the main cause of the “extraordinarily high demand,” along with higher industrial consumption, Enagas said, pushing up Spain's total 2019 gas demand to 398 TWh.
Smart electrically-driven heating is a “valuable field in which to invest”, Delta-ee says with reference to over 30 million units of electrically-driven heating units across Europe. In the UK, new business models provide heat-as-a-service, helping the customer avoid buying natural gas or wood pallets to fuel heating appliances by simply purchasing the heat, and comfort that comes with it.