Deep disparities between well-supplied oil and gas markets, growing emissions and the insufficiency of stated policies to curb those emissions are the key theme of the 2019 World Energy Outlook (WEO), published by the International Energy Agency (IEA) today. However, critics the IEA is “underplaying the speed” at which the world could switch to green energy.
Japan’s machinery and electric equipment maker Toshiba is considering taking full control of two of its four listed subsidiaries, including Toshiba Plant Systems & Services and Nishishiba Electric. With Toshiba’s board is still discussing the matter, market observers expect a decision to be made in the coming weeks.
State-owned Saudi Aramco, the world’s most valuable oil company, has disclosed details on the initial public offering (IPO) of at least 0.5% of its shares in December. In its IPO prospectus, Aramco said it strives to remain the world’s leading crude oil producer by volume and low cost, while boosting investment in natural gas upstream, LNG trading and green energy.
Rolls-Royce’s power system unit and 2G Energy, German maker of gensets and cogeneration modules, have agreed to mutually supply gas-powered gensets. Under the deal, Rolls-Royce will buy 2G gensets in the 250-550 kilowatt range and re-sell them under its MTU brand, while 2G buys MTU Series 4000 generators in a range of 776 kW to 2,535 kW.
A flurry of pipeline projects has been proposed throughout the United States. The U.S. government counts 134 active projects but only 46 entered service this year, adding 16-17 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of gas transport capacity. More than 40% of this – or 7.2 Bcf/d – is situated in the South Central region.
The German government believes hydrogen is key for a successful energy transition. Even if costs for making renewable hydrogen in electrolysers are much higher in Europe than in Asia, the ship has not sailed yet for Germany,” economic minister Peter Altmaier said, suggesting German-made technologies could be exported to African countries instead.
American oil and gas producers are shying away from building major pipelines in the Appalachian Shale as production has slowed down in the current low-price environment. “No exit pipelines will come into service in 2020,” Energy Aspects says, pointing at scheduling delays and massive cost overruns at the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and Mountain Valley Pipeline.
A new Storage and Flexibility Model (SFM), developed by Baringa for the British Energy Technology Institute (ETI) and now owned by Energy Systems Catapult, is said to give the “clearest ever picture” on balancing supply and demand. Storage technologies are vital to ensure grid operators can cope with fluctuating supply, and avoid buying energy at peak times.
Siemens today reported a rise in its fourth quarter earnings and net profits, exceeding analysts’ expectations, but warned of a subdued year ahead as the global economic slowdown hits demand for short-cycle products. In 2020, Siemens said its focus will be on the listing of Siemens Energy, with preparations “well on track.”
Runtime restrictions, imposed by the South Korean government on coal-fired power plants to limit fine dust, are expected to push up LNG demand. Energy Aspects cautioned, however, that the country’s natural gas imports requirements this winter will merely rise 0.47 million tons due to good nuclear power availability.
Analysts at the World Bank expect energy and metal prices will continue to decline in 2020, following sharp drops this year amid weaker global growth and consequent softer demand. Prices of oil, natural gas and coal are forecast almost 15% lower in 2019 than in the previous year, and to fall further in 2020.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industry (MHI) Group has updated its midterm business plan to focus on decarbonization through hydrogen co-firing, electrification and artificial intelligence. Reacting to lower demand for steam turbines, the group also cut its revenue target of 5,000 yen to 4,700 billion by end of fiscal 2020.
Start-up of two liquefaction trains - Cameron LNG Train 1 and Corpus Christi LNG Train 2 - have pushed total U.S. net gas exports to 4.1 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in the first half of this year, more than double pre-year levels. Apart from LNG, pipeline gas is exported to Canada and Mexico.