Posts Tagged ‘LNG’

Mad Men face a challenge selling Australian coalseam gas

Back in 1979, Australians were wowed by a television advertising campaign in which natural gas was depicted as “The Living Flame.”

Produced for eastern Australia-based gas utility AGL, the advertisement showed ballerinas dancing around a giant cooking hob, depicting natural gas in human form. The Living Flame was positive, beautiful and memorable. It was a campaign that would have made Don Draper proud.

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Gazprom, oil-link vs spot gas prices, and storage

Europe’s competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager is taking on some tough battles. Last week she accused US technology giant Google of abusing its dominant position in the internet search market. This week she has laid charges against Russian gas producer Gazprom over its sales practices in eastern Europe.

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IHS CERAWeek 2015, Day 3: The gas guys take the stage

While Wednesday was supposedly natural gas day at IHS CERAWeek, oil topics still leaked into some of the discussions from executives and officials, such as during a discussion with Richard Kinder of Kinder Morgan.

On the other hand, some companies centered on other commodities (*cough cough coal*) are looking to gas as a way to round out their opportunities in a rapidly changing global energy landscape.

We tweeted tidbits from @PlattsGas, as well as from @PlattsOil and @PlattsCoal today, and also shared stories from our three natural gas and LNG editors who were in attendance at various sessions. Below are some of their thoughts about Wednesday’s events.

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Shell capitalizes on low oil to drive advancement for gas, LNG

Shell has become the first major to take proper advantage of the low oil price, taking out a company that it has long been interested in buying: BG. And the reason is a good one: not growth for its own sake but using BG’s assets to help it achieve its own goals faster. The transaction is underpinned by BG’s asset value, it said.

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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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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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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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