Withdrawals from US gas storage kept falling this week, with analysts attributing the storage-build to mild weather in South Central regions and a subsequent rise of gas injection into salt cavern storage. South Central was badly hit by the mid-February ‘Big Freeze’ in Texas but temperates already sprung back to a 10% warmer-than-normal March to-date.

The Norwegian government has ruled the sale of Bergen Engines to TMH Group of Russia “must be stopped.” Rolls-Royce had announced the €150 million deal on February 4, but Oslo’s ruling threatens to derail the sale and undermines the company’s target to raise £2 billion from disposals.

Gazprom is reviewing its options to produce and utilize hydrogen in Russia, and export the fuel through its existing gas pipeline infrastructure. Grey hydrogen is cheaper to make for large natural gas producers such as Gazprom, and the Russian gas major is already in talks with Germany to add hydrogen to its gas deliveries through the North Stream-2 pipeline.

Joe M. Kang, President of the International Gas Union (IGU), has highlighted the role of natural gas as an enabler of the energy transition. Speaking at the 50th GECF Gas Lecture Series, he criticised the “lack of a global approach” on how to ensure clean, secure and affordable energy given that “renewables cannot yet replace hydrocarbons.”

Raising the Social Cost of Carbon (SCC) is seen as a tool for US Democrats to obstruct upstream gas projects, notably fracking leases. Energy Aspects believes the bar for federal approval of new fossil fuel infrastructure will rise once the Democrats gain majority of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in July.

The dramatic rise Asia’s spot LNG price in mid-January and subsequent decline has greatly impacted prices at the UK’s National Balancing Point (NBP) gas trading hub. Analysts observe that UK gas and electricity prices have become more sensitive to increasingly volatile global LNG markets.

Gas end-use deliveries in the United States decreased in three out of four sectors in 2020. The electric power sector consumed 31.7 Bcf/d, a 2% increase from the previous year according to government statistics, as Henry Hub gas prices fell to their lowest point in decades.

Steel and other energy-intensive industries have “no future the UK,” lobbyists claim, blaming the government’s 2050 Net Zero emissions target for the rise in electricity prices. Figures by the industry association UK Steel indicate electricity prices in Britain are between 60% and 80% higher than those in France and Germany.

Britain’s engineering major Rolls Royce announced today its Power Systems unit is expected to recover from the effects of the pandemic by the end of 2021. Revenues will be back to 2019 levels by 2022, the company said, stressing its success in China will allow it expand its business in Asia.

Western Gas is re-examining the idea of delivering natural gas from its Equus project in Australia at competitive prices to the East Coast via a transcontinental pipeline. The feasibility of that pipeline is being examined together with the infrastructure company APA Group, comparing the cost of transporting gas by pipeline versus LNG shipments.

Russia’s Gazprom is adding an auxiliary power plant to expand the output from its Chayandinskoye oil, gas and condensate field, put into operation in December 2019. Igor Krutikov, Director General of Gazprom Dobycha Noyabrsk announced the 72 MW auxiliary power plant is “ready for launch” and will help achieve “energy independence” for upstream operations.

Black Bear Transmission, headquartered in Houston, has completed the sale of gas gathering assets owned by BBT Alabama to an undisclosed buyer. The divesture comes just month after Black Bear bought NGT Assets from Third Coast Midstream in September 2020, in a move to streamline its business structure and save cost.

Page 7 of 240

News in Brief

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.

Gazprom evaluates cost of grey hydrogen

June 30 – Scientific studies by Gazprom and the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) seek to solve technical challenges in producing grey hydrogen through steam reforming in the most cost-efficient way, as well as transporting the fuel to end-users. The findings of the studies will be factored into Gazprom's sustainable development scenarios up to 2050.

Redox about to overtake Li-ion batteries

June 28 – Li-ion batteries have dominated the energy storage field, but are expected to lose their leading role in stationary applications. According to IDTechEx findings, Redox flow batteries are gaining traction and are likely to overtake the installed Li-ion battery energy capacity before the end of 2030.

B&W proceeds with waste-to-energy projects

June 25 – Babcock & Wilcox’s (B&W) renewable segment has received limited notice to proceed for a waste-to-energy project in Europe as it finalizes terms for a $24 million contract with the customer. Ohio-based B&W said it looks to capitalize on an estimated addressable market of more than $7 billion in Europe over the next three years.

Japan’s gas-burn on the rise

June 24 – LNG imports for power generation in Japan have rebounded with steady volumes from the Middle East and Australia and higher cargo numbers from Russia and the US, though LNG deliveries were outpaced by thermal coal shipments. The May 2021 LNG shipments amounted to 4.95 million tonnes, or around 73 cargoes, a 8.2% rise on volumes received in May 2020, according to trade figures by the Japanese finance ministry.

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