Markets

The outcome of the US presidential election in November is expected to have merely a limited effect on global energy markets, two Washington-based consultancies found independently.

South Korea's ministry of Ministry of Knowledge Economy (MKE) will establish a master plan for shale gas development before the end of the year as it aims for shale gas-derived LNG imports to account for 20% of the country's LNG import capacity, a ministry official told 'Gas to Power Journal'.

Despite short term restraints in the market for gas-fired power generation, Frost & Sullivan's Energy Industry Director, Harald Thaler sees "sound medium- and long-term prospects" for the industry and forecasts global gas-fired power plant orders will total 537 GW through 2020.

Electricity is the largest sector for growth for the gas industry and the trend is likely to continue as coal-fired plants are retired, ExxonMobil's Americas gas marketing manager, Paul Greenwood, told a gas forum in Chicago this week.

Japan's ministry for economy, trade and industry (METI) will host an LNG conference in Tokyo on September 19 to evaluate the increasingly central role of gas supplies for power generation as the country considers a nuclear phase-out by 2030. METI is aiming to overhaul the current strict regionalization of Japan's main electric power utilities, which consume about 5 million tonnes per month of LNG for to fuel gas-fired power plants.

The rapid implementation of India's 'National Gas Grid for LNG', designed to accommodate rising gas supply from LNG import terminals on the western coast, will provide a fillip to gas-fired power generation. "The formation of the gas grid (12,000 km) in India is a great leap which is going to encourage the use of gas-based power generation over a wider geographical area," an analyst at India's Central Power Research Institute told Gas to Power Journal.

While European power prices are will stay flat over the coming days they  are likely to increase in by the end of September on colder weather conditions, the Italian bank UniCredit forecast. Gas generation remained on low levels throughout Europe, while higher profit margins and subsequently higher utilisation of power generation have supported carbon prices in recent weeks, bank research shows.

At current prices, "gas is too expensive a fuel for Europe", Société Générale said in a report today. The bank remains more bearish than the forward curve and recommends selling the front year NBP Summer 13 contract.

A surge in Japan's LNG imports for thermal power generation is on the cards as the party of Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda is gearing up to adopting a zero-reliance policy on nuclear power to win voters' support in the forthcoming election.

Hot-weather-driven electricity demand for air conditioning coupled with low natural gas prices has led to a 24% surge in U.S. gas demand for power generation in the period through August 15, according to the U.S. Energy Administration (EIA).

The British government has proposed to set a cap "broadly equivalent to 1 GW" for new biomass-fired power plant capacity. Energy secretary Ed Davey said the cap will "ensure that the Renewables Obligation delivers value-for-money for the bill-payer while enabling shovel-ready projects to come forward."

UK gas exports have dropped this week, after the NBP Zeebrugge spread turned towards the zero or slightly negative level at the start of September. "UK gas flows shift early towards winter flow patterns," Deutsche Bank analysts said today, commenting "last year this shift did not occur until the start of December". 

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News in Brief

Fatih Birol on Time 100 list

Sept 20 – The Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA), Fatih Birol has been named as one of the 100 most influential people by Time Magazine in its annual list. ““In a world where facts are assaulted, Fatih Birol combines the best of high-tech data, optimistic know-how and old-school rhetorical finesse,” US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry commented, suggesting the IEA head would use his authority to “slash carbon emissions and save our planet.”

Chevron lack Net Zero target

Sept 17 – US oil major Chevron is plans to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions along its oil and gas value chain, but lacks a clear Net Zero target. CEO Mike Wirth told investors and shareholders “an ultimate pathway to net zero will require technology advancements, more ambitious government policy, and development of large offset markets.” Concrete steps will be revealed in next month’s update to Chevron’s climate change resilience report.

Paul Browning to lead MHI’s energy transition team

Sept 15 – Mitsubishi has appointed Paul Browning as deputy head of Energy Transition & Power Headquarters, Energy Systems at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI). Browning is currently CEO of Mitsubishi Power Americas and will move to the new position on October 1, 2021.

Linde to help build liquefaction plant in Russia

Sept 14 – Gazprom has handed an EPC contract to Linde, Renaissance Heavy Industries and RusKhimAlyans, to build a gas liquefaction plant within the Gas Processing Complex (GPC) at the port of Ust-Luga, west of St Petersburg. The GPC will process ethane-containing gas into various fuels, and the two-Train liquefaction plant will have a design capacity for 13 million tons of LNG per year.

Santos completes Oil Search takeover

Sept 13 – Australian LNG exporter Santos has completed the takeover of Oil Search in a deal worth A$8.40 billion (US$6.25 billion). The all-share transaction brings together upstream oil and gas and LNG export assets in the Timor Sea, the Australian state of Queensland and in Papua New Guinea. Under the deal, Santos holds a 61.5% share of the merged company and Oil Search the remaining 38.5%.

Rolls-Royce goes green at DSEI trade show

Sept 10 – Rolls-Royce Energy Solutions is showcasing a range of sustainable power solutions at the DSEI trade show in London this week. The company’s is currently exploring how its Defence business can contribute to wider corporate objectives such as sustainability, electrification, and the development of digital technologies

Wärtsilä develops mobile battery for inland vessels

Sept 8 – Wärtsilä has developed and delivered a mobile battery container to enable inland waterway vessels to operate with zero emissions to ZES, a Dutch company founded in 2020 by ING Bank, the French utility Engie and the Port of Rotterdam. The two containers were delivered in June and the batteries are in continues operation since then.

EU-funds project for energy efficiency

Sept 7 – Today, the European Union (EU) funded HEATLEAP project has been launched to demonstrate the benefits of waste heat recovery systems such as large heat pumps for industries and gas expanders for electric utilities. Turboden will coordinate the project whereby heat pumps and gas expanders are tested at real scale.

EnerMech signs new deals in Americas

Sept 6 – Integrated solutions specialist EnerMech has secured several multi-sector contracts in the Americas. The multiple sector awards span the oil and gas, petrochemicals, maritime, and power generation industries. The largest contract is for nitrogen and leak testing of installations for an E&P operator in offshore Gulf of Mexico. As a result of these new awards EnerMech doubled its electrical team, and increased the number of mechanical pipefitters.

ACWA Power to hold IPO

Sept 3 – ACWA Power International has launched an initial public offering (IPO) to list its shares on the Saudi stock exchange, the Tadawul. The ACWA Power share sale will be the biggest in the Kingdom since the 2019 floatation of Saudi Aramco, which sold 1.5% of its shares and the trading debut valued the oil and gas business at $1.88 trillion.

Iran braces for winter gas shortage

Sept 2 – Iran’s Thermal Power Plant Holding (TPPH) has urged the energy ministry to take precaution to avoid fuel shortages in the coming winter. “We have faced serious problems last year due to the lack of gas and liquid fuel required by the power plants, and there is a concern that we will not be able to fully meet the country’s electricity needs this winter either,” said TPPH’s managing director Mohsen Tarztalab. Since households customers are prioritised and significantly increase their gas consumption in the coal season, power generators often have to resort to burning liquid fuels instead.

LYTT technology monitors carbon capture

Sept 1 – LYTT, a provider of real-time insights to oil and gas operators through a fiber optic sensor, LYTT is testing novel technology to monitor CO2 transport and migration in storage reservoirs together with SINTEF, an institute for applied research. Tracking dynamic multiphase flow is essential when monitoring the long-term effectiveness of carbon capture storage (CCS).

Gazprom invests in Russian gas grid

Sept 1 – Gazprom’s board of directors has approved 2.9 times more financing for new gas supply and infrastructure in 2021-2025 than in the previous five-year period. Over two-thirds of the investments will be made in rural areas, Gazprom explained, and by 2026, the gas grid expansion is planned to be “completed to the fullest extent possible in 35 regions of Russia.”

Woodside pioneers MAN’s Factory LNG solution

Aug 30 – Australian LNG pioneer Woodside is working with MAN to commercialise a solution for small-to-mid scale LNG production. Known as Factory LNG, concept involves a nominal 0.05 mtpa unit, the size of 40-foot ISO shipping container that can be transported via standard heavy-lift ships and trucks. The compact design shortens construction timeframes compared to traditional stick-built or modular LNG trains.

Seismic nodes enhance gas exploration

Aug 18 – Omani-based Africa Geophysical Services has agreed a deal with STRYDE to secure 154,000 seismic nodes for oil and gas exploration projects in Oman and Africa. Seismic nodes have become the preferred system to make high-definition images of subsurface structures, enabling upstream companies to maximise the output of reservoirs with targeted and cost-effective drilling.

Emission monitoring market surges

Aug 16 – Global market for Continuous Emission Monitoring Systems (CEMS) is forecast to grow at a rate of 7.8% from $2.2 billion in 2020 to reach $3.8 billion by 2027, according to MarketandMarkets. The power gen segment is likely to surge 8.3% and reach $1.3 billion over the forecast period.

Nokia deploys LTE to Western Power Distributions

Aug 13 – Nokia has provided a private wireless network to Western Power Distribution (WDP) in the UK. The 4.9G/LTE network will enable smart grid trials and support daily operations of WPD, which distributes electricity to the Midlands, South West and Wales.

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