Archive for the ‘natural gas’ Category

Keeping the electricity flowing in Europe and the UK…or at least trying

Among the many brilliant and baffling woodcuts by the Dutch artist MC Escher is a depiction of what appears to be a triangle made of three sections of wood, which is in fact an impossible construct owing to the way the joints appear to fit together.

If it existed at all, it would resemble the leg of an insect, which viewed from one position only would appear to enclose a triangle, but in reality it would form a three-part zigzag in space, two of its ends far apart.

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The great new oil and gas frontier of Myanmar, warts and all

Myanmar, the Southeast Asian country still called Burma by many people, is rapidly emerging from almost 50 years of military rule and related economic isolation.

The country, which is slightly smaller than Texas and home to more than 50 million people of many ethnicities, religions and language groups, has great potential. Apart from known and hoped-for oil and gas resources the country also has substantial tin, zinc, copper, tungsten, lead and coal resources, as well as jade, other gemstones and hardwoods.

A few days spent in the former capital Yangon earlier this month proved a real eye opener. Those five decades of isolation have led to a many idiosyncrasies and problems, making it a struggle for most foreign investors to do business there.

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US shale boom writes a tale of two emerging classes of gas carriers

Growing natural gas liquids production spurred by the US shale gas boom has stoked interest in new classes of ships to move ethane and LPG across oceans: very large ethane carriers and ultra large gas carriers.

The first VLEC orders have been placed and could keep shipyards busy for years, even as more are built to move cheap US ethane to Asia and Europe. But the time for ULGCs is yet to come.

After years of uncertainty because of economics, paltry demand and ballooning supply, the future is looking bright for ethane as appetite emerges in Europe and Asia, and with it the need for longer-haul and larger vessels.

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Utica shale’s big natural gas flows, and Edvard Munch

Did you ever feel like that kid in the poster for the classic movie “Home Alone” who is clutching his face with both hands, mouth agape in shock at having to foil two nitwit burglars?

I did when I saw the initial natural gas production rates that have come out of some recent Utica Shale wells.  Although it wasn’t out of shock but sheer awe at the volumes being yielded by wells the Northeast US natural gas-prone play.

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Fracking dollars help save a sports icon in fracking-free New York

Another chapter in the never-ending love/hate relationship between New York and fracking. The former has banned the latter, as we’re sure you know.

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India’s gas pricing dilemma: A ‘Modi’cum of liberalization?

The new Narendra Modi government in New Delhi prolonged the suspense this week over what tack it will take on the controversial domestic gas pricing issue.

It had been expected to signal which way it is inclined ahead of a September 30 deadline to announce its final decision on gas prices.

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Energy Economist: The Russia-Ukraine standoff looks to the energy needs of winter

In this month’s excerpt from Energy Economist, Ross McCracken looks at the winter energy implications of the Ukraine-Russia divide.

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Has the UK natural gas market’s year-long downtrend gone into reverse?

The UK gas market has been on a downtrend throughout the year after a mild winter left storage facilities entering summer already at high levels. Qatar has also kept up a steady flow of LNG cargoes throughout the year, sending daily gas prices down from the mid 60s pence/therm in January to the lowest point of the year at 34.60 p/th on July 11.

But the market now seems to have turned 180 degrees, with a sharp jump in prices since mid-August. With higher winter demands on the way, July’s lows may not be seen again this year.

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Regional price spreads: predicting the future of LNG

On March 11, 2011, a magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami devastated a large portion of Japan’s eastern coastline killing nearly 16,000 people and causing infrastructure damage estimated at more than $225 billion. The consequent nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Power Plant ultimately resulted in the closure of all of Japan’s nearly 50 nuclear reactors.

In a move to compensate for lost electric generation capacity, Japanese imports of LNG jumped nearly 23% to 86.7 million mt during the 2012-2013 fiscal year, up from imports that totaled 70.6 million mt during the fiscal year just prior to the disaster.

The precipitous jump in demand for LNG from post-Fukushima Japan changed the global gas market irrevocably. Since March 2011, spot Asian gas prices have averaged roughly $15.65/MMBtu compared to prices that trended around $7.00/MMBtu during the two-year period from 2009-2011.

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You know what blows up besides oil? Just about everything

Since I’m based in California and work the last US shift of the day with the Platts Central Editing Desk, it falls to me to watch for possible news items as the sun rolls out of the American sky and into Asia.

So nearly every evening, unless I’m so flat out with other work that I can’t, I troll Google to see if something wild has happened in the commodities world that I ought to cover for us.

This has me regularly searching for words such as “spill” and “explosion” and “fire.”

(And yes, I am absolutely expecting Homeland Security to come to my place any day now. It will be interesting to see how my company’s bean counters respond when they see the bail bond charge on my expense bill.)

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