Regulation & Policy

Outgoing UK Prime Minister Theresa May has committed to a 2050 emissions target of reducing emissions by 80% to “almost zero”. Massive investment in clean energy generation – renewables, hydrogen, flexible gas power and energy storage – will be needed to achieve this goal, but funding is still uncertain.  

Burning wood pellets is deemed “carbon neutral” under new EU policy rules, and so-called “biomass energy” is also increasingly popular in Japan and Korea. But some scientists dismiss the policy as “shortsighted” or outright damaging, given that is leads to old forests being chopped down in rural parts of the U.S. and in Eastern Europe.

By mid-June, the German government will receive a comprehensive report on the effects of a carbon price compared with the option of allowing sectoral pathways to reduce emissions. “Transport, buildings and agriculture so far have no form of [carbon] pricing but just some more or less effective mix of measures,” Chancellor Angela Merkel remarked as her cabinet is divided on how to meet Germany’s 2030 climate targets.

Johannes Teyssen, CEO of the European energy giant E.ON, is supporting plans for a CO2 price to be levied on all sectors of the German economy: power generation, transport and housing. “We propose a cross-sector CO2 tax of 30 Euros starting from next year, which could be gradually increased to 35 Euros,” he told German media.

The German Chancellor Angela Merkel has vowed her new Climate Cabinet is seeking ways for the country to reach climate neutrality. Should the ministers find a “sound” way to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, Germany would be able to join France and Sweden, in drafting a long-term EU climate strategy, said Merkel at the 10th Petersberg Climate Dialogue in Berlin.

The Nigerian government has announced plans to implement a new gas pricing regime on May 29 in an effort to reduce chronic supply shortfalls and subsequent electric power cuts. Payment issues, and problems with debt collections, have so far made it difficult to enforce domestic gas supply obligations for critical infrastructure such as power stations.

“The path towards a de-carbonised future is unstoppable,” claims David Ledesma, Energy & Strategy Consultant and Senior Research Fellow at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies (OIES). The industry must, therefore, develop long-term strategies as to what it will do to achieve the European carbon emission targets and set out what additional costs will be incurred and who will pay them.

The French government has decided to put a cap on carbon emissions from its coal-fired power plants starting from 2022. The measure is meant to ensure that “they are forced out of the market,” energy minister Francois de Rugy said when announcing the new draft law.

Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway – the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) states – will be able to auction their emission allowances on the common EU Emission Trading System (EU-ETS) starting from June. The European Energy Exchange (EEX) said it is about to publish an auction calendar that includes the EFTA states volumes.

The UK Shale Gas Commissioner Natascha Engel has resigned after just six months in office, stating she quit over “ridiculously low” tremor limits which effectively prevent fracking. Under current law, the fracking process must be halted every time a 0.5 magnitude tremor occurs. Opposing these stringent rules, Ms Engel said this cautious approach had created a ‘de-facto ban on fracking’.

The UK Government has been urged by the House of Commons Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee that it needs to do more, and act quicker, on vital clean energy technology such as carbon capture and storage (CCS). The Committee calls for firm targets for storing CO₂, and to deploy CCS sooner and in more places than government’s current plan.

South Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) has released a briefing note, detailing the nation’s ambition to move away from coal and towards renewable energy. If realized, these policies are expected to significantly reduce Korea’s coal imports from Australia. Analysts see significant implications for KEPCO’s Bylong Coal mine proposal.

Page 12 of 77

News in Brief

Rolls-Royce supplies MTU engines to Sanlorenzo

Sept 27 – Rolls-Royce business unit Power Systems will become one of the leading engine suppliers for Sanlorenzo, delivering MTU 10V, 12V and 16V 2000 yacht engines with a compact IMO 3 solution. A framework contract from 2022 through 2024 has been signed at the Monaco Yacht Show.

Shell exits Permian Basin

Sept 24 – Royal Dutch Shell has sold all its upstream interested in US Permian Basin to ConocoPhillips for $9.5 billion in cash. Shell’s assets in the Permian include around 225,000 net acres with a current production of around 175,000 barrels per day equivalent.

Global biogas market tops $88bn in 2030

Sept 22 – The global biogas market is set to expand at a rate of 8.4% annually and reach $88.47 billion in 2025. According to ResearchAndMarkets, the main growth drivers are small-scale power generators that use biogas derived from municipal or agricultural waste through anerobic digestion.  Europe was the largest region in the biogas market in 2020, though Asia Pacific recorded the fastest growth.

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 lacks 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.

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