Governments in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) are preparing to take action to remove fuel subsidies and other price distortions that have for long rendered electricity trade unattractive, and undermined the creation of a pan-Arab energy market. Under discussion are cost-reflective fuel pricing, open-grid access and a gradual integration of existing interconnectors.

A wave of nuclear restarts in Japan curbs LNG demand. Kansai Electric is preparing to restart its 870-MW reactor No. 4 reactor at its Takahama station, following in the footsteps of Kyushu Electric which just brought the 890-MW Unit-2 at its Sendai reactor back online. Each returning reactor is forecast to lower gas consumption in the power sector by up to 1 million tons per year.

China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC) has started to develop the Lingshui find, the company’s the first independent deepwater gas discovery. CNOOC freed up an initial budget of 20 billion yuan (US$2,93bn) and set a design capacity of 343 million cubic feet as it aims to turn the Lingshui find into its main source of gas production after 2020.

Hong-Kong-based Energy World Corp. (EWC) is progressing with its Philippines LNG import and power generation hub as well as a small-scale liquefaction plant at Sengkang, Indonesia. Construction on the 650 MW Pagbilao combined-cycle as power project and adjacent LNG import terminal in Quezon Province continued throughout the year, EWC noted, with observers saying the venture is 90% complete.

The Turkish government has decided to increase natural gas prices by 14%, while energy regulator EMRA announced a similar rise in electricity tariffs in reaction to a deepening currency crisis. The Turkish Lira  lost 42% against the U.S. Dollar this year and economists are concerned about the Central Bank’s apparent inability to rein in inflation.

As the difference in fuel cost between coal and LNG narrows, South Korean electric utilities increasingly opt for cleaner-burning natural gas. In H1-2018, about 41% of the country’s electricity came from coal, 28.8% from LNG and 21.5% from nuclear, according to the Korean government’s Electric Power Statistics Information System (EPSIS).

November 1, 2018, is the date when the Val de Saone pipeline will commence full operation, supplying an additional 250 GWh of natural gas from the North to the South of France. Start up of this key interconnector will lay the foundation for a single gas market zone in France – the basis for a standardized pricing system.

Gross natural gas production across the United States has risen by more than 10% in recent month, spurred by new drilling and completion techniques that propelled up output from Appalachian Basin in the Northeast, the Permian Basin in western Texas and New Mexico, and the Haynesville Shale in Texas and Louisiana. The contribution of these three regions has increased from 15% to nearly 50% of total gas production.

Russia’s oil and gas behemoth Gazprom has embarked on a process of re-estimating its hydrocarbon reserves. Procedures are meant to be completed in 2020. Gazprom’s proven natural gas reserves (А+В1+С1 categories) amount to 35.4 trillion cubic meters (Tcm), and the company underlined reserve addition rates over the past decade surpassed production rates.

Eni has acquired 124 exploration leases in the Eastern North Slope from Caelus Alaska Exploration Company. The leases are situated between the huge hydrocarbon finds at Prudhoe Bay and Point Thompson, and Eni said it now prepares for fast-track exploration with a short time to markets.

Exports of natural gas from the U.S. to Mexico by pipeline exceeded 5 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) for the first time in July 2018, according to Genscape data, after several key interconnectors were commissioned. By the end of 2018, anther four of six major strategic pipelines within Mexico will start up, giving further scope for export of constraint Permian production in western Texas.

The French oil major Total has signed a binding Letter of Intent (LOI) with Shell for the sale of its 26% minority equity stake in Hazira LNG regasification terminal in Gujarat, India. In addition, Total agreed to sell 0.5 mtpa of LNG to Shell over a 5-year period starting from 2019.

The global trend towards urbanization will increase business activities within some of the world fast-growing port cities, driving demand for Floating LNG power vessels. MarketsandMarkets analysis sees the FLNG power vessel market to expand from currently $860 million to nearly $932 million by 2023.

Qatargas’commissioning cargo has berthed at Bangladesh’s first LNG import terminal, situated off Moheshkhali Island, has unloaded its commission cargo, received from Qatargas. Construction of the Moheshkhali Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU), developed by Exelerate, was finalized just 25 month after the project was first announced.

Core inflation in Singapore has reached 1.9% – the fastest rise in four years – due to a surge gas and electricity tariffs. According to the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI), the uptick in energy prices was instated in July 2018 in reaction to a pickup in global oil prices in the preceding quarter.

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