Archive for the ‘natural gas’ Category

SoCal Gas’ Aliso Canyon gas storage leak raises questions about California markets

The Southern California Gas Company is one of the biggest local distribution companies in the United States, covering much of Southern California, and is a regulated utility within Sempra Energy.  One of the wells at its Aliso Canyon storage site has been leaking gas for over three months now, and it’s not expected to be stopped for another month.

We’re not here to comment on the politics or social impact of this event, but we are tracking how this is impacting the California natural gas market. This has really shaken up expectations for the California gas market, as the future of the facility after the leak is repaired is unknown. So why is Aliso Canyon such an important storage facility?

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The US enters a brave new world as it begins LNG exports

Next month, the US is set to export its first cargo of LNG from the continental US. Cheniere Energy, the company that won the highly-contentious race to be the first exporter out of the gate, will have some advantages over its US peers, but the global LNG landscape has changed significantly since the company first proposed to build its LNG export terminal over a half-decade ago.

Before diving into the current state of the world LNG market, let’s take a step back and see how we got to where we are today.

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Political promises squeeze Canadian oil industry

The oil industry had eight years of an energy friendly government in Canada and couldn’t get a single new export pipeline built.

Now, with newly elected Prime Minister Justin Trudeau keeping his campaign promise of banning tanker traffic off parts of Canada’s west coast, it put the already reeling industry further on its heels and could eventually force more production shut-ins and cuts in investment due to a lack of access to global crude markets.

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Ethane cash cow a red herring for European petchems producers

In the next few weeks the first ship bringing US shale gas to Europe will arrive on the southern shores of Norway, marking an end to Ineos’ search for cheap feedstock to power its European petrochemical assets.

Plagued by $100/b oil, European petrochemical producers in 2012 were struggling with margins and started looking abroad for cheaper feedstock options. The contracting European margins coincided with plentiful and inexpensive supplies of ethane-rich natural gas in the United States.

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US natural gas is high, low, and looking to 2016

If I had to sum up the US natural gas industry of 2015 in four words, they would be: high production, low prices. This year has indeed been a year that some people — such as consumers — will want to remember, while others — namely, producers — will want to forget.

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Gas quotas and earthquakes: Minister Kamp’s Groningen balancing act

Dutch economic affairs minister Henk Kamp must be more than ready for the holiday season after what has been an eventful year for the man in charge of the country’s energy policy.

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Ticket to ride: Energy outlooks and the few who benefit

If you’ve been involved in any conversations about energy in 2015, there’s very much a sense the industry is gritting its teeth and just trying to get through this period of sustained low prices. And if you’ve looked at any forecasts about prices, supply, demand and production into the near future, it’s clear why there’s a prevailing sense of grim determination.

The Platts Global Energy Outlook Forum was held today in New York, and while there was still a feeling of caution about what the future will bring, there were also glimmers of hope for growing energy consumption to support producers. Well, glimmers of hope for some countries, anyhow.

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Alaska’s rocks keep drawing explorers searching for oil, gas: Fuel for Thought

These are bleak times across much of the nation’s “oil patch.” Layoffs are spreading and rigs are being laid up. One state – Alaska – is defying the trend, at least for now. Industry employment in Alaska remains near-record numbers, according to state data. Producers are pressuring contractors and suppliers to slash rates, but explorers keep lining up in search of black gold.

What keeps the industry interested, and busy, is that really the rocks are great. State geologists say the North Slope has one of the largest oil-generating systems of the world. “The rocks are fundamental,” said Ken Boyd, a former state oil and gas director. “If you don’t have good rocks you don’t have anything.”

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US data indicates power sector CO2 emissions down 15.6% since 2007

As it prepares for the November 30 start-up of the United Nations Climate Change conference in Paris, the US Department of Energy has been generating data that shows total US carbon dioxide emissions have declined and then flattened out in the past eight years, with emissions specifically from the US power sector part of the same trend.

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The Eastern Mediterranean Basin showing promise for oil, gas: Fuel for Thought

Ask an oceanographer about the Eastern Mediterranean Basin, and he might mention a sea-floor dotted with mud volcanoes spewing gas and sometimes oil into the benthic environment.

Ask a geologist, and she may wax lyrical about sediment columns up to 12 km thick, generously capped by “evaporite,” i.e. dirty rock salt.

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