Archive for the ‘natural gas’ Category

The UK may lose a large part of its gas storage, but does it matter?

It went largely unnoticed by the general media, but last week there was a significant announcement for the UK gas industry: the country’s main gas storage site may have its capacity cut by around a quarter, reducing the volumes that can be held in reserve next winter.

Just two years ago, during a cold winter, there were warnings that the country “was just six hours away from running out of gas.” So why would storage capacity be cut now, and does it matter? Read the rest of this entry »

Europe: The perennial LNG sponge

This winter saw record volumes of LNG arriving on the shores of Europe, as cargoes sought value in an environment of weak LNG spot pricing. Cargoes flowed in from not only Qatar, but also from production sites like Trinidad and Tobago as portfolio players sought to optimize volumes into Europe while purchasing Asia Pacific delivery cargoes elsewhere to fulfill existing commitments.

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At the Wellhead: Thailand’s oil, gas exploration under pressure

Thailand is in a difficult position when it comes to procuring enough oil and gas for its growing needs. Myanmar, a country that provided much of Thailand’s gas, needs to keep more of its production for its own needs, and production from Thailand’s declining reserves is being held up by the government. Mriganka Jaipuriyar explains the country’s position in this week’s Oilgram News column, At the Wellhead.

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The hearty, hardy gas production of the US

It seems like only yesterday that big winter storms or other extreme weather events could curtail or shut natural gas production in the US. A winter storm and freezing temperatures in the Northeast or in the Southeast would prompt freeze-offs or shut-ins along pipelines. But perhaps no longer.

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Australian oil and gas producers tighten belts

Just as their bigger international counterparts have moved quickly and decisively to cut capital expenditure by around 25% in the wake of the recent rout in oil prices, Australia’s oil and gas players have also been tightening their belts and reassessing asset values.

Amid moves that have left some analysts mildly surprised at the speed of the global industry’s reaction to the current downturn, the major Australian players have hit the pause button on spending.

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Gazprom and Europe: the end of the road

Relations between Gazprom and the European Commission have sunk to an all-time low over the past year as Ukraine breaks up and the civilian and military death toll in the east rises.

Gazprom is too closely related to the government – and the president Vladimir Putin in particular – for it to be seen as a gas production, transport and supply company just like any other. Gazprom inevitably takes some of the heat for the activities in the Kremlin.

The EC has already imposed sanctions on Russian companies. But if an outright ban on Russian gas is too damaging for its own end-users, the EC can also employ other means – directives, anti-trust probes, exemption clauses and all the other weapons in its armoury – to limit Russia’s ability to profit from Europe.

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UK energy reform is not just about price cuts

The UK’s “big six” energy retailers have started to lower their gas prices, undercutting the opposition Labour party’s promise to freeze household energy bills if the party comes to power in the May 2015 general election. But the party’s plans go further than just its headline tariff freeze.

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Egypt’s Sisi outlines national energy policy at World Future Energy Summit

Egypt has set development and reform of its energy sector as a key priority as it seeks to rebuild its economy following the country’s second revolution in the past few years, the country’s president, Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, said January 19 during his first official visit to the UAE in that role.

During his keynote address to the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi, Sisi also said he considered the security of the Persian Gulf region to be “part and parcel of Egyptian security.” The annual Abu Dhabi WFES gathering, while primarily a UAE forum for promoting and discussing regional and international renewable energy development, has also developed a significant political agenda.

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The crude price plunge and LNG, a tenuous link

Over the last several months there has been much discussion about the impact of falling crude oil prices on the liquefied natural gas market. The conventional argument goes something like this: lower crude prices are making oil-linked LNG contracts cheaper and are putting pressure on the spot market as these contracts increasingly undercut spot prices.

At first glance, this argument appears quite compelling. On January 14, 2015, the price of Platts-assessed Dated Brent was $45.73/b. For buyers using 14.5% slope to crude, not uncommon in the Asia-Pacific market, that would equate to an LNG price of just $6.63/MMBtu. By comparison, the Platts JKM price (a spot index for the Asian LNG market) was assessed significantly higher at $9.38/MMBtu on the same day.

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UK warns utilities to pass on falling fuel costs

The UK’s finance minister, George Osborne, has reacted to plunging crude oil prices by warning energy companies to make sure they pass on to customers any reduction in their own fuel costs. With just four months to go till the country’s May 7 general election, politicians are likely to keep up the pressure on utilities. But how far have UK gas prices fallen?

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