The amount of debt and equity issued by US exploration and production (E&P) companies has surged to $4.4 billion in March 2021, the highest level since last August. Analysts say upstream players want to cash in on higher oil prices which bounced back from less than $40/bbl in spring 2020 to currently over $65/bbl.

Delek Drilling, owned by the Israeli billionaire Yitzhak Tshuva, has announced plans to divest a large share of its Tamar offshore gas field to an UAE-based company for an estimated $1.1 billion. Delek confirmed a memorandum was signed with Mubadala Petroleum, and the Israeli government has been notified about the proposed sale.

UK power prices have risen considerably above summer 2020 lows. Industry demand rebounded once Covid-19 lockdowns were lifted, which together with a bullish gas market will likely keep the May 2021 baseload power contract at £60/MWh – twice the value of the May 2020 contract this time last year.

The US economy has been badly hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, with gas consumption in 2020 falling to 1.9 Bcf per day below the 2019 high of 85.1 Bcf/d. Analysts expect gas demand for power generation will continue to fall in 2021 and 2022 amid greater renewable energy built-out.

Connected climate control expenditure in the European Union has grown to over €718 million, up 10% from pre-year levels, according to Delta-EE findings. Despite the negative effects of Covid-19 at the start of last year, the lockdown catalysed investment in house improvements which pushed up customer spending on climate controls from €670 million to €760 million.

Virta, a supplier of electric vehicle chargers, has closed a €30 million investment round led by Jolt Capital and two co-investors, Tesi and Vertex Growth. The funding helps Virta expand its e-charging business, with e-vehicles exceeding 20% market share in parts of Asia, Europe and the US.

Abundant and comparatively cheap supply of shale gas in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia is encouraging the development of combined-cycle gas power plants. About one-third of new-built CCGTs in the United States since 2010 are situated in PJM Interconnection. They reach a utilization rate of 71% – substantially more than thermal coal units.

If the world takes decisive actions to limit global warming to 2°C by 2050, the scale of change is likely to unravel the energy industry. “Progressive electrification will squeeze the most polluting hydrocarbons out of the energy mix,” Wood Mackenzie says, forecasting oil demand will take a hit while gas demand remains resilient.

German utility company Uniper is looking to import hydrogen, instead of LNG, at the port of Wilhelmshaven. The terminal is planned to be equipped with an ammonia cracker for producing green hydrogen and a 410 MW electrolysis plant, which – combined with the imports – is meant to cover 10% of Germany’s hydrogen demand in 2030.

Fitch Rating has raised its ‘vulnerability scores’ for 100 utilities in Europe, the Middle East and Asia (EMEA) for the period 2025-2050. Integrated utilities like Enel, Iberdrola and EDP score a moderate 15 points, while Engie and Naturgie score 30-35 points due to higher transition risk of gas-fired generation, compared to transmission and distribution (T&D) assets.

Energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in the United States have seen a steep 11% fall in 2020 primarily because of the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and related restrictions. Within the US power sector, emissions from coal declined the most, at 19%, while gas-related emission rose by 3% amid a general trend towards more gas generation.

WhiteWater Midstream is holding an open season for up to 2 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of firm storage capacity at the Waha Gas Storage in Texas. The bidding process started Monday this week and will conclude at 5 pm local time on May 21. Services for the contracted gas storage capacity will start on July 1, 2022.

Page 5 of 241

News in Brief

Howden powers methanol plant

July 29 – Howden will deliver a hydrogen compressor to Johnson Matthey to serve the world’s first methanol plant that harnesses energy from the wind, in Patagonia, Chile. The Haru Oni project will deliver around 900,000 litres per year of e-methanol as early as 2022 and will be scaled up to 550 million litres of e-fuels per year by 2026.

Bloom SOFCs to power micro plant in South Korea

July 28 – California-based Bloom Energy, in cooperation with SK ecoplant, will install solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) in a combined heat and power (CHP) plant in Donghae City, South Korea. The CHP will provide heat and warm water for the nearby Bukpyung sports center. Construction on the project is slated to start this autumn.

Shanghai Electric to digitalise factories

July 27 – Shanghai Electric has entered a partnership with AI Investment Fund at the WAIC 2021 conference to provide digital solutions to industrial parks and medical institutions. Yang Hong, Vice President of Shanghai Electric said the aim is to help industries to minimise emissions and waste while maintaining low unit costs.

Slow LNG uptake in Africa

July 26 – In Africa, the uptake of LNG imports to new markets has been slow. Both Ghana’s 1.7 million tons per annum (mtpa) Tema LNG and Senegal’s 1.0 mtpa Dakar Powership are still awaiting their first LNG deliveries, though their respective FSRUs Vasant and Karmol LNGt Powership Africa have been in place since June.

Growth in turbine air filtration tops 3%

July 22 – The turbine air filtration market is expected to grow 3.27% annually from $1.92 billion in 2020 to reach $2.29 billion in 2026. Demand from the oil & gas industry and electric utilities had plunged during the corona crisis and subsequent economic downturn, but the latest trend towards clean energy is driving robust growth for turbine air filtration which can be widely and easily applied in the power sector.

US oil exports stay high

July 21 – Despite volatile prices, U.S. crude oil exports reached a record high in 2020 and remained strong this year, averaging 3.51 million barrels per day (b/d). Expanded ports at Houston and Corpus Christi allow for oil to be exported from the Permian Basin and Eagle Ford Basin.

CVEC to be converted to hydrogen

July 20 – Cricket Valley Energy Center (CVEC) is taking steps to run the  combined-cycle plants on hydrogen. Works to convert the plant will be carried out by GE and are scheduled to start in late 2022. One of three GE 7F.05 gas turbines at CVEC will be introduced to a 5% hydrogen blend with natural gas.

MAN ETES labelled solar impulse efficient

July 16 – MAN Electro-Thermal Energy Storage (ETES) was attributed the “Solar Impulse Efficient Solution” label by independent auditors. In January, the German manufacturer supplied to ETES heat pumps to DIN Forsyning for a heat and power plant in the Danish port city Esbjerg.

Electricity sales to US industry rebounds

July 14 – Economic recovery has caused a 5.1% rise electricity sales to US industry this year, dwarfing 2.8% more retail sales and a 2.1% rise in the commercial sector as many office workers continue working from home. The US Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) acting administrator, Steve Nalley, called the rebound in electricity sales to industry a “strong sign of rising levels of economic output as the Covid-19 pandemic recedes.”

Solar PV to triple in Asia by 2030

July 13 – Asia Pacific solar photovoltaic capacity could triple to 1,500 gigawatts (GW) by 2030. According to Wood Mackenzie estimates, China will add 619 GW of mainly utility-scale capacity while most other nations in Asia prefers distributed solar due to land constraints. Solar PV tends to be backed up by flexible gas gensets and energy storage, forming hybrid power units.

Kinder Morgan closes on Stagecoach assets

July 12 – US energy infrastructure major Kinder Morgan has closed its acquisition of Stagecoach Gas Services. The deal include 4 gas storage facilities with a 41 bcf working gas capacity and a transmission network with multiple interconnects to major interstate pipelines, including Tennessee Gas Pipeline. The Stagecoach assets add to Kinder Morgan’s approximately 83,000 miles of pipelines and 144 terminals.

Dortmund cancels electrotechnik fair

July 9 – The elektrotechnik fair, planned for 29 September to 1 October 2021, will now not be taking place in Dortmund due to requests from the industry. The next trade fair for building, industrial, energy and lighting technology will now open its doors again in spring 2023.

Hitachi to change name of ABB Power Grids

July 7 – Hitachi ABB Power Grids will become Hitachi Energy in October. The Japanese manufacturer bought a controlling stake in ABB’s grid business a year ago and is about to fully take the name of the merged company while expanding its direction towards e-mobility and data centres.

Tapping wind energy for hydrogen

July 6 – Spanish utility Naturgy and the gas grid operator Enagás are evaluating the use of 350 MW offshore and onshore wind capacity to produce green hydrogen. The fuel will be used to decarbonise the steel industry and shipyard in northwest Spain.

EU seeks to expand Green Deal to Africa

July 5 – The European Green Deal should be expanded to also include African states as partners, the German development minister Gerd Müller said. Green hydrogen production in Africa, in his view, should be a “cornerstone for economic cooperation with the Europe.”

Decom Engineering updates PCR

July 2 – Northern Ireland-based Decom Engineering has invested more than £700,000 to develop tools for repurposing and clean decommissioning of energy infrastructure. Through updated Pipe Coating Removal (PCR) equipment, decommissioned or surplus pipelines can be cleaned of multiple coatings, so they can be repurposed for used on other projects.

Cummins buys half of Momentum Fuels

July 1 – Cummins has signed a letter of intent to acquire a 50% equity interest in Momentum Fuel Technologies from Rush Enterprises. The transaction is expected to close before year-end, and the combined venture will produce Cummins-branded natural gas fuel delivery systems for the commercial vehicle market in North America.

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