NGS’ NG/LNG SNAPSHOT Apr 16-30, 2024

National News Internatonal News


City Gas Distribution & Auto LPG

Piped gas to reach every household under PM Ujjwala Scheme; target set for 12.5 cr connections by 2030

The PM Ujjwala Yojana, initiated by the central government in 2016, aimed to provide clean cooking fuel to rural and underprivileged households through gas connections. The focus has, however, now shifted towards supplying piped gas to every household.


With 10.27 crore beneficiaries reached under the Ujjwala scheme, the transition to piped gas will ensure consistent access to clean cooking energy. The objective is to achieve 12.5 crore piped natural gas (PNG) connections by 2030, covering both rural and urban areas

As of March, official data indicates a total of 1.21 crore domestic PNG connections across the country. By January, approximately 10,000 km of gas pipeline had been laid. These figures represent a substantial improvement from 2014 when only around 25 lakh households had piped gas, primarily in urban areas.

In India, access to clean cooking gas is limited for the poor, leading to reliance on harmful alternatives like coal, wood, and cow dung for cooking. Previously, LPG cylinders were predominantly accessible to urban and semi-urban areas among higher-income groups.

Piped gas offers convenience by eliminating the need for handling, refilling, and changing cylinders. It also proves to be more cost-effective by reducing transportation expenses and enhances safety. Additionally, it ensures a consistent gas supply, eliminating concerns about running out of gas during odd hours

The expansion of the city gas distribution network, which includes providing PNG connections, is conducted by authorised entities based on targets outlined in the minimum work programme (MWP) set by the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) and considering techno-commercial feasibility.

As of May 2023, approximately 300 geographical areas covering nearly 98 percent of the population and 88 percent of the total geographical area, spanning around 630 districts in 28 states/UTs, including rural regions, have been authorised by the PNGRB.

These authorised entities are tasked with providing around 12.5 crore PNG connections by 2030, encompassing both rural and urban areas, as stipulated by the MWP targets. Additionally, these entities cater to the demand for natural gas, supplying it to customers, including industrial and commercial sectors, based on demand and techno-commercial viability.

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Gujarat Gas, Indian Oil inks MoU to broaden services

Gujarat Gas (GGL) and and Indian Oil Corporation (IOCL) have entered into a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MoU) to expand the scope and accessibility of energy solutions for consumers.


This alliance between both the companies will deliver an extensive range of products and services throughout GGLs authorized areas.

Under the MoU, IOCL will provide liquid fuels at GGL outlets, IOCL will provide automotive lubricants, greases and specialties at the GGL outlet, set up CNG Facility at IOCL COCO Outlets and GGL will set up CNG mother facility at IOCL outlets.

Gujarat Gas is the largest city gas distribution company in India. The company has a network of -38,000 km of gas pipeline, distributing approx. 9.2 mmscmd of natural gas. The company operates more than 815 CNG stations and has connected more than 20.5 lakh households in six states and one union territory.

Indian Oil Corporation is an Indian government owned oil and gas explorer and producer. As of 31 December 2023, the Government of India held 51.50% stake in the company.

Shares of Gujarat Gas declined 1.46% to currently trade at Rs 564.80 while Indian Oil Corporation gained 2.25% to Rs 170.25 on the BSE.

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Natural Gas/ Pipelines/ Company News


India’s Gross Natural Gas Production Spurts 5.8% On Year In FY24

According to a latest update from Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC), Indias gross Natural gas production for the month of March 2024 (P) was 3138 MMSCM which was higher by 6.2 % compared with the corresponding month of the previous year.


The cumulative gross production of natural gas of 36438 MMSCM for the current financial year till March 2024 was higher by 5.8 % compared with the corresponding period of the previous year.

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Policy Matters/ Gas Pricing/ Others

GSPL shares hit 20% lower circuit as PNGRB cuts tariffs for key pipeline network

Gujarat State Petronet shares declined 20%. This happened after Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board cut pressure transmission tariff. The tariff was cut by 47% on Gujarat State Petronet’s Gujarat pipeline network.


The new approved tariff is Rs 18.1 per million metric British thermal unit. Gujarat State Petronet had asked for Rs 34 per million metric British thermal unit.

The significantly lower tariff that has been set by the regulatory board caused key brokerages to cut the company rating. It is also important to add that the tariff order sets the prices that can be charged by the Company for the transport of natural gas in its pipeline network.

The regulatory board’s decision could significantly impact India’s natural gas market.

As of 10:05 am, the shares were trading 20% lower at ₹302.15 on NSE.

Gujarat State Petronet is state government-owned oil and gas company under the ownership of Department of Energy and Petrochemicals, Government of Gujarat.

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After GSPL, tariff cuts for GAIL also can’t be ruled out. Gajendra Singh of PNGRB explains why

Gajendra Singh, Member, PNGRB (Petroleum & Natural Gas Regulatory Board), says PNGRB has come out with pricing revision because the companies, because of the volume growth, had made more than 12% returns Since this is a regulated entity, PNGRB is only ensuring that whatever the fine print was, if they are making returns of more than 12%, that really needs to be capped.


Singh further says that in order to ensure that pipeline entities do not suffer, PMGRB has come out with a unified tariff for CGD entities as well as GAIL.In the case of GAIL, there are a number of pipelines where capacity utilisation was low and other pipelines where it was more. So the regulator has integrated their network to average it out.

I will begin by just asking what the reason was behind that sharp cut in GSPL (Gujrat State Petronet Ltd) tariff and why were GSPL’s filled assumptions not being considered?
Gajendra Singh: This tariff is a combination of various factors like volume flow, overall pipeline capacity and earnings in the previous years. The last time this tariff was worked out was in 2018. At that time, GSPL submitted that the volume flow will be 23 mmscmd but we considered 26 mmscmd and the tariff was worked out and the levelized tariff was 34. Later on, we have seen that the volume went up and the company did excellently and could reach up to 30 mmscmd.


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So, in a previous year, when the tariff was considering 26 mmscmd volume, they could reach up to 30-31 in previous years and so their earning were better in previous years. This time, when this revision took place, they have given a submission that their volume is going to be 26 mmscmd. We are considering that volume as 30 million considering the actual volume of previous years. We do not have any reason not to believe them.

Whenever we work out the tariff, we normally do it for 10 years and then in between, after 5 years, there is a revision. But here we have kept a special provision only for this GSPL HP if the volume declines the way they are projecting, then perhaps after one year, we will review those tariffs. The main reason for decline was that in previous years, they had better earnings. One can see their balance sheet also.

It is a regulated business and this GSPL is doing only this transmission business. It is not like other businesses are there. So, their earning was definitely better in previous years. That has been true when we worked out this tariff, that was one reason.

Secondly, the capacity when they installed the pipeline network, there was a capacity considered 30 million. But in between, a lot many new sources have connected to that pipeline. Whether it is a Mundra, whether it is a Dahej on the now Chhara terminal is also going to get connected. So, taking all those things into accounts, PNGRB has given this job to the expert agency that is Engineers India Limited to carry out the capacity assessment for all the companies. They did this capacity assessment because the number of entry and exit points has increased and that capacity was worked out at 36 million mmscmd. So that was also another factor. If you see overall what they are getting, if there are some surprises, if volume declines as they are saying, then we will review in one year.

Volume is one part of it. You said that you are going to be reviewing the tariffs in the next financial year based on the volume performance. But given the sharp cut in tariffs, earnings impact is also expected to be higher. So, will PNGRB consider that while reviewing the tariffs or will only volumes be under consideration to revise the tariffs henceforth?
Gajendra Singh: One is the volume, but when we will revise then we will see other factors also. Because earlier the practice was that any pipeline entity used to keep a capex for a number of pipelines to connect to the consumers and we used to consider all that capex while working out the tariff.

But now, all across the country, all the geographical areas have been authorised to CGD (city gas distribution) entity. After authorising those, if the volume is below 50,000, the investment is to be made by the CGD entity, not the pipeline entity. So, whatever links they have created, GSPL from the high pressure network, 65 they have worked out. We have considered all those things. Earlier we were taking it as a provisional, but now it is final. We have taken note of that capex, but in future,if they put in any capex and say that this capacity is to be enhanced, after one year if there is a revision, that factor will also be taken care of.

Since these are listed entities, there are public shareholders also. The message for the public shareholders would be that PNGRB is interfering and trying to curb profits. How would you dismiss that?
Gajendra Singh: Number one, no, we are not interfering in anybody’s business. It is a public consultation process because whenever we do this thing, we call it a public consultation process. Because there are a number of factors that they have submitted. They have their methodology. Suppose they say the volume is going to be 26 mmscmd but is there any reason to believe that it may not be so, we will take care of that and it is done transparently. I know that this is a listed company, it is hard if something goes down that way, but this is the reality.

Is there any proposal to revisit the gas tariff plans or the tariff structure for GAIL also?
Gajendra Singh: Yes, why not? We worked out their capacity. They have submitted their capacity. We did that capacity. I think that has also been uploaded. They have given some capacity, but we found the capacity has increased so that has also been put up onto the website. Public consultation process will be started for GAIL and subsequently we will work out on those things.

What is the number that has been suggested by GAIL and what is it that your assumption has been? Could you spell it out for us?
Gajendra Singh: Right now, nothing has been suggested for GAIL. What I am saying is that through an expert agency, we have assessed what is going to be the capacity. Now, based on this, we will ask GAIL to submit their tariff numbers and then the public consultation process will be there and then we will work it out. It will take a time, normally it takes two-three months’ time. So, it will be worked out based on that.

I would imagine that ultimately the objective here is that a large part of the tariff revision should be passed on to the customers or the end consumers. If companies do not pass it on, would you be taking strict action against that?
Gajendra Singh: Right now, we have now implemented a unified tariff. What the entities are earning is a separate part. Based on that, the unified tariff is applicable to the consumers. In this case also, the tariff is not going to change as far as the unified tariff is considered. We have insulated customers with this kind of thing.

But if the gas prices are revised, then that means customers should also benefit. That should be the spirit, right?
Gajendra Singh: Yes, that is the objective of the unified tariff. It is a national gas grid, if they want to buy a gas from any, from East Coast, West Coast or some other places, they can take that volume to their places and unified tariff is applicable all across the country for all the customers. What I am saying is that earning tools are entities, pipeline entities. Another is what is the realisation of the tariff? It is based on the weighted average basis. So, customers are going to benefit from this.

So, that is one aspect of it. But do not you think that this would also discourage companies to not grow volumes?
Gajendra Singh: If they have better earning in the previous year, normally the tariff is reasonable. They get around 12%. But if the entities get more,, that is we have to see that if it is getting more, what are the regulations in place? Then we have to come into picture that shouldn’t any entity be making some kind of big numbers?

PNGRB is said to be working to bring competition in the regasification space as well. What is your thought process here?
Gajendra Singh: Whatever prices are applicable for consumers, should reflect transparency. Currently we are at the stage of asking the information from the entities. Once the entities give all the information, we do not want to control their regas tariff and other things. We want whatever regas charges are applicable all across the country because there are the numbers of terminals. If each terminal is charging differently, it all adds up and the consumers have to pay. We are seeking information from all those entities. Once we get this thing, then we will pitch in and we will see how it will work.

So, what are the next steps you are taking to bring about competition in the city gas distribution sector as well where both marketing and infrastructure exclusivity have expired?
Gajendra Singh: Exclusivity is a separate thing. We are working on that because there are the few entities which have completed 25 years because PNG connections have been given to different houses. It is not that we can immediately bring in some other agency who are going to put up PNG connections to lakhs of houses. That may not be possible.

Normally we give extension to these entities subject to the fact they meet the service level agreements. Those are the few things which we will discuss whenever the exclusivity period is over.

A lot of CGDs have not fulfilled their commitments on the PNG connections front. Is PNGRB planning any action on them already?
Gajendra Singh: That is also our worry and that is what we are seeing. But, we have to see also that basically the problem is when one is giving a PNG number or PNG connection to any house, they have to replace the LPG connection. Many times consumers do not want to give up LPG connection because they have not experienced the PNG one as they are new consumers. That is why this OMC has come out with a policy, they can keep these LPG cylinders in safe custody. So, whatever the security deposit is there, they can keep this cylinder.

If a person has a transferable job, they can surrender it and take a PNG. But if they are getting transferred to a place where the PNG is not there, they can get their LPG. ,So that is one.

In PNG, we are also worried that those numbers are not being met but we are also seeing that their acceptability from the consumer side also needs to be there. So we are working on that.

So, let me summarise our today’s interaction. The reason why PNGRB has come out with pricing revision is because the companies, because of the volume growth, had made returns, which were more than 12%. Since this is a regulated entity, PNGRB is only ensuring that whatever the fine print was, if they are making returns of more than 12%, that really needs to be capped. So, it is in this spirit perhaps this decision has been done and this was also done after a public debate.
Gajendra Singh: Yes, it is right, correct.

PNGRB is open to revisit the tariff structure if the returns go below 12%.

Gajendra Singh: Basically your point is right. The pipeline entitities should not suffer. So, we have come out with a unified tariff. For GAIL also there are the number of pipelines where the volume, what we call capacity utilisation was low, there are the other pipelines where the capacity utilisation was more, so we have integrated their network so it averaged out. This was in the interest of the entities. Maybe in some places they are losing, but in other places they are making a good earning. We have averaged out that.

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In car fuel economy, India might catch up with Europe

New Delhi: In a move designed to contribute to India’s ambitious climate targets and lower carbon emissions, the central government is planning to introduce the next stage of norms for fuel economy or efficiency of automobiles.


The third phase of corporate average fuel economy, or CAFE-III norms, is being prepared by the road transport and highways ministry and the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), two people aware of the matter said, adding that the new norms may come into effect from 2027.

“Work is underway in terms of specifications and technicalities, and giving the OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) a roadmap in terms of adapting to the updated norms,” one of the two people cited above, an official with the ministry of road transport and highways, said on condition of anonymity. “It would take two-three years for the new norms to become applicable.”

Queries sent to the ministry of road transport and highways and BEE remained unanswered till press time.

The current, operational CAFE-II norms came into effect in 2022. These norms are relevant for petrol, diesel, CNG (compressed natural gas), LPG (liquefied petroleum gas), hybrid and electric passenger vehicles. Vehicles covered under these norms include those having up to nine seats including the driver’s seat and a gross vehicle weight not exceeding 3,500 kg. 

Commercial vehicles with gross weight of 12 tonne or more are covered under separate fuel efficiency norms that were finalized in August 2017. Further, for vehicles with weight of 3.5 to 12 tonne, norms are still in the making, according to the BEE website.

Under the current CAFE-II norms, the cap on emission by passenger vehicles was pegged at 113 gm CO2 per km. It was brought down from 130 gm CO2 per km under CAFE-I norms, which had come into effect in 2017.

The permitted emission levels in Europe are 95 gm CO2 per km, which India will try and match with the CAFE-III norms, and talks are underway with OEMs, said another person aware of the matter.

“The current FE (fuel economy) standards are so lenient that these cannot push technological innovations to maximize fuel and carbon savings from ICE vehicles, nor can they require large-scale electrification of car fleet to meet fleet-wide fuel efficiency targets,” said Anumita Roychowdhury, executive director, research and advocacy, Centre For Science and Environment.

“We are losing out on the opportunity to leverage these norms to accelerate electrification of car fleet. As noted in Europe, much more stringent fuel economy or carbon dioxide reduction targets have speeded up electrification. India needs to quickly tighten the norms, especially now when our market is shifting steadily towards heavier cars and SUVs, with a fuel economy penalty,” Roychowdhury added.

CAFE norms also allow manufacturers of passenger cars to earn extra credits, known as super credits, based on specific model performance for fuel efficiency and specific features that would help get better fuel efficiency.

“Newer and cleaner technologies help car makers accrue super credits, which help them meet the limits set under CAFE norms for passenger cars,” said Sharif Qamar, associate director, transport & urban governance, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI). “EVs and hybrids are currently part of the super credit mechanism. The norms also allow super credits for technological features, like tyre pressure indicator, six speed transmission, start stop system, regenerative braking, etc.” 

As per existing regulations, non-compliance with CAFE norms attracts penalties for automakers. The proposed new CAFE-III norms, once implemented, will also be mandatory for all passenger vehicles, and auto companies would need to tweak their vehicle composition to adhere to emission and efficiency parameters.

Apart from CAFE norms, there’s also the Bharat State Emission Regulations (BSER) regulations, including BS-VI, which aim at lower the emissions of several toxic biproducts including sulphur, nitrogen oxide, among others, while the CAFE norms aim at improving the fuel economy and lowering the emissions of carbon dioxide.

According to a report by TERI, the Indian automobile industry had introduced new technologies to reduce fuel consumption for passenger vehicles to achieve CAFE-II targets. For example, in addition to making the powertrain more efficient, manufacturers also introduced technologies like start-stop device, regenerative braking, tyre pressure monitoring system and six-speed transmissions, according to TERI.

Further, different manufacturers have embraced different strategies for introducing electric or hybrid vehicles for compliance with these norms.

Noting that overall greenhouse gas emissions of the vehicle depend on the way the fuel was produced, the 2022 report of TERI said: “It is important to evaluate the real GHG emissions of various fuel options. Considering India’s specific situation and availability of vast biological resources, there is a need to integrate carbon neutral ethanol and carbon negative (Bio-CNG) biofuels in upcoming CAFE considerations.”

The proposed CAFE-III norms are in line with India’s target to reduce carbon emission by about 45% till 2030 from the 2005 levels.

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LNG Use / LNG Development and Shipping

Gail India issues swap tender to buy and sell LNG in 2022 – sources

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Gail (India) has issued a swap tender offering liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargoes for loading in the United States and seeking cargoes for delivery into India, in 2022, two industry sources said on Friday.


It has offered to swap one cargo a month in 2022 in a tender that closes on July 27, they said.

The cargoes it is offering will load from the Sabine Pass plant on a free-on-board (FOB) basis and the cargoes it is seeking will be delivered into India on a delivered ex-ship (DES) basis.

The Indian importer has 20-year deals to buy 5.8 million tonnes a year of U.S. LNG, split between Dominion Energy’s Cove Point plant and Cheniere Energy’s Sabine Pass site in Louisiana.


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GAIL plans to double capacity at its Dabhol LNG terminal

New DelhiGAIL is planning to more than double the capacity of its LNG terminal at Dabhol, Maharashtra, and build new terminals in the country to tap opportunities expected to emerge from the future growth in gas imports.


The nation’s largest natural gas marketer and transporter plans to raise the capacity of its Dabhol terminal to 12 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) in a phased manner by 2030-31, GAIL chairman Sandeep Kumar Gupta told ET.

The Dabhol terminal has a nameplate capacity of 5 mtpa but operates at about 2.9 mtpa as it remains idle during the monsoon season. The company is building a breakwater infrastructure, which will help the terminal operate also during monsoon.

GAIL is also drawing up plans for new LNG import terminals but those are in the preliminary stages, Gupta said.

“Around half the current gas consumption is met by imports and the share is unlikely to come down by 2030. If more gas has to be imported, more terminals will be needed,” Gupta said.

The country has about 48 mtpa of LNG import capacity and another 20 mtpa is said to be in the pipelines. “But if the gas goals are to be met, these terminals will not be sufficient, and we will need to add more,” Gupta said, referring to the national goal of increasing the share of natural gas in the primary energy mix to 15% by 2030 from around 6.5% now.

The government’s goal of increasing the use of natural gas in the economy has spurred the growth of multiple LNG terminals in recent years. Gas consumption or imports, however, haven’t increased at the same pace, resulting in a deep underutilisation of terminals.

Gupta said the underutilisation would be addressed over time by rising domestic demand and imports.

Of the seven LNG terminals in the country, four operate below 25% capacity and another two below 40%. Just one terminal at Dahej, India’s oldest and largest, operates above 95%.

GAIL also has a 12.5% stake in Petronet LNG Ltd, which operates the Dahej terminal. Petronet’s spectacular earnings for years have helped draw new players into the LNG terminal business.

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LNG import volume up 17.5% in FY24 as consumption rises

India’s import of liquefied natural gas (LNG) rose in volume term by 17.5% on year to 30,917 mmscm (million standard cubic meter) in the financial year 2023-24 due to increased consumption, data from the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell showed.


The rise in consumption by 11.1% on year in FY24 to 66,634 mmscm was driven by use of gas by the fertilizer, power, and city gas distribution sectors.

Even as the import volume reported such increase, the country’s gas import bill fell significantly by 22% to $13.3 billion in FY24 from $17.1 billion in FY23, as prices fell.

While the fertilizer sector contributed to 32% of the total consumption, CGD entities accounted for 19% of the total natural gas consumption, followed by the power sector at 12%.

In the fertilizer and other industries, natural gas is used as a feedstock and is also used as a fuel for electricity generation and heating purposes in industrial and commercial units.

Higher gas generation in the power sector was driven by higher peak thermal demand amid reduced hydro power generation. India generated 133,966.18 GWh of hydro power during April to March, a decline of 17% from 162,098.77 GWh in the same period a year ago, as per data from the Central Electricity Authority.

Moreover, the production of natural gas also grew by 5.7% on year to 36,438 mmscm in the financial year 2023-24. In March alone, the production stood at 3,138 mmscm, up 6.2% from the corresponding period a year ago.

India’s consumption of LNG is expected to rise further in the coming months on the back of growing demand from the fertiliser and power industries, analysts say. Anticipated lower spot LNG prices will further add to this growth.

“In Summer 2024, imports are expected to increase by a further 3 mmscm per day compared with 2023, driven by sustained demand in the power sector and continued growth in the industrial and fertilizer sectors,” S&P Global had earlier said.

The total capacity of the country’s existing LNG terminals at the end of FY24 was at 47.7 million tonne per annum.

The LNG terminal at Dhamra operated at 23% capacity. Petronet LNG terminal at Dahej operated at 95.1% capacity while Shell’s LNG terminal at Hazira operated at just 31.5% capacity during April-February period, according to PPAC.

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GAIL to set up retail LNG biz with Rs 650 cr investment; plans to acquire 50% market share in 6 years

Presently, GAIL sources LNG from US, Qatar, Australia, and Russia among others with a total portfolio of around 14 million metric tonne per annum and is looking for further such contracts. 


State-run leading natural gas company GAIL India is looking to foray into retail LNG (liquified natural gas) aiming to increase the use of LNG as a transportation fuel with a potential investment of Rs 650 crores, the company said on Thursday. 

Highlighting the potential of LNG business to grow substantially, the company, in an exchange filing, said that it plans to set up LNG dispensing stations across golden quadrilateral or major national highways, aspiring to acquire more than 50% market share in the next 5-6 years. 

“This will help GAIL in the retail LNG sector, leading to an increase in natural gas portfolio. By converting transport fuel from diesel to LNG, reduction in carbon footprint is envisaged,” the company said. GAIL’s new business plan comes at a time when the government is aiming to increase the share of natural gas in the energy mix to 15% from present 6% by 2030 enabling it to realise the goal of net-zero by 2070.

“Proposed line of business investment is strategic in nature which relates to exploring opportunity-based investment for the development of LNG dispensing infrastructures & last mile connectivity along golden quadrilateral/national highways, mining areas as alternative to diesel meant to serve customers with fuel having lower carbon footprints,” it said. 

In an interview with FE earlier, the company had highlighted its plans to extend its portfolio in the LNG segment. “We have a strong conviction that LNG transportation has a huge potential and within GAIL we have set up a vertical of retail LNG. We have a roadmap also prepared and we will be shortly announcing our plans in detail for this,” the the company’s chairman and managing director Sandeep Kumar Gupta had told FE.

Presently, GAIL sources LNG from US, Qatar, Australia, and Russia among others with a total portfolio of around 14 million metric tonne per annum and is looking for further such contracts. 

The company recently signed contracts for additional 1.5 million metric tonne of gas supplies taking its entire volume to 15.5 million tonne per annum from 2026. The contracts include 1 mmpta of gas supply from Vital Asia and 0.5 mmpta from ADNOC starting 2026.

Talking about its investment plans, the Chairman had said that the company is targeting a capex of Rs 10,000 crore for the next financial year. In FY24, GAIL has targeted a capex of Rs 7,750 crore which was later revised and increased to Rs 10,000 crore.

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IGX launches small scale LNG contracts

Indian Gas Exchange (IGX) said on Wednesday that it has launched contracts of small-scale liquefied natural gas (ssLNG) on its platform after it received approval from the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB).


This move marks a significant step towards addressing the demand of natural gas in areas that are not connected to the national gas grid, the platform said.

In December last year, IGX said that it sought approval from the PNGRB for launching ssLNG trading on the exchange, which allows trading of LNG from RLNG terminals and distributed fields in ssLNG containers.

ssLNG contracts

The introduction of ssLNG contracts on IGX aims to address the growing gas demand from industries and CGD (City Gas Distribution) companies that do not have access to pipeline networks, IGX added.

Through ssLNG, they can now procure liquefied gas through LNG tankers at competitive rates under daily, fortnightly and monthly contracts. Initially, this contract is launched at Dahej and Hazira LNG terminals. Later, it will be launched at other terminals namely Dhamra, Mundra, Ennore, Kochi, and on-land ssLNG stations at Vijaipur.

IGX MD & CEO Rajesh K Mediratta said, “With demand for road-transported LNG projected to increase substantially over the coming years, our initiative will provide CGD networks, industries and LNG dispensers a competitive gas pricing that will optimise their costs. By facilitating the trading of ssLNG contracts, we are not only enabling efficient transportation of larger volumes of natural gas via trucks but also widening access to a cleaner fuel across the country.”

LNG transportation

Natural gas is primarily supplied through pipelines, as a result, industries and commercial establishments without access to the grid primarily rely on trucks for LNG transportation.

The demand for road-transported LNG is projected to increase to 5 million standard cubic meters per day (MSCMD) over the next five years. ssLNG contracts present a win-win situation for both the buyers as well as sellers. It would serve as a platform for sellers, who can come and trade LNG.

Transporting natural gas in liquefied form via trucks will allow larger volumes to be transported, potentially making it economically viable for buyers not connected to pipelines. Further, it will also ensure a transparent and fair procurement process with enhanced payment security.

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Electric Mobility/ Hydrogen/Bio-Methane

Ethanol-petrol blending. Govt okays use of B-heavy molasses stock at sugar mills for ethanol production 

The government has allowed the use of the B-heavy molasses (BHM) lying with sugar mills to make ethanol, which may see oil marketing companies (OMCs) reallocating ethanol quota to distilleries in the next 2-3 days. The move will not affect sugar availability as fresh B-heavy molasses will not be used for ethanol production, official sources said.


“Only the BHM stock already with sugar mills until March 31 is to be converted,” an official source said. The government hopes to generate an additional 60 crore litres of ethanol to help meet the targeted 15 per cent ethanol blending with petrol for the 2023-24 ethanol supply year (November-October), against 12 per cent achieved so far.

Industry data shows that OMCs have targeted purchase of 235 crore litres of ethanol from sugar-based distilleries and 166 crore litres from grain-based plants. Nearly 130 crore litres of ethanol have been supplied by sugar-based distilleries and 100 crore litres by grain-based plants.

According to the fortnightly production update from the Indian Sugar & Bio-energy Manufacturers Association (ISMA) on April 16, domestic sugar output touched 310.93 lakh tonnes (lt) until April 15, from October 1, 2023, as against 312.38 lt in the year-ago period. This excludes the quantity diverted to ethanol production.

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Shell to be part of India’s energy transition story, says Mansi Tripathy

With a strong R&D footing in India and tested upstream and downstream segment of the country’s hydrocarbon space, global oil and gas major, Shell Plc, is looking at opportunities in CBG (compressed biogas) here.


In one of her first media interactions, the newly appointed Chairman, Shell Group of Companies in India and Vice President Shell Lubricants Asia Pacific, Mansi Madan Tripathy, sharing her thoughts on the major’s India strategy and be part of energy transition story told businessline that “three big things in my mind are clear as regards perspective. One is that like our global strategy we are fully committed to net zero by 2050 in India too. This is also in line with the government policy on how we balance the energy security, energy affordability and emissions drop all in one, together. And Shell is also working on a journey to be a leading energy transition player in the country.”

On asked if this meant shift in focus of Shell here, she said, “Being part of energy transition is where you see our focus shifted on to — on gas and power and through a recent acquisition of Sprng Energy few years back we define the commitment that we want to move towards renewables.”

“Also, as we go into future, we want to ensure that we are into entire renewable space. It will be a big area which we will be focusing on as we go forward from an energy transition perspective,” she said.

“What is also important is that when you talk about Shell in India, we do have the biggest talent pool globally, having 13,000 plus employees here and we are working for the globe — global R&D, technology, IT, AI, finances from here. So, for Shell globally India is big,” she added.

Tripathy said that what also encourages her is the plans which Shell India has. “We are working with communities through our CSR programs and we are focusing on Nature based solutions like planting trees to generate carbon credits while improving lives in communities,” she said.

Shell in India is much more holistic and much more diversified than any international oil company in the country, she said.

When asked what the strategy of the company in downstream category is, it is already into fuel retailing business in India, she said: “downstream will cover the mobility business and as you know we do have our 350 retail stations and we are progressing more on what you call as non-retail business part of the portfolio which is very strong. Then there is EV charging category, where we have partnered/partnering with our key customers. The other one is lubricants, where we are going strength to strength both into the industrial part of the portfolio and open market.”

“Our gas business is part of Shell Energy India — Hazira LNG terminal,” she said adding the issue is how do you increase your market share? “Well, this is our current footprint, and we are exploring CBG as we go forward,” she added.

On whether there is a proposal to further expand Hazira or go for new project, she said that “there are two parts to it — gas pricing is one aspect which impacts the capacity use. This is where we have to do the maths to ensure capacity is used all time and strategy thereafter.”

Going back to CBG on whether Shell would just like to be a marketeer or would also like to set up a plant, she said “I would say both where our intent is, but currently the business model is yet to be defined in India. While there are lots of pilots happening, there are still uncertainty on the feedstock, issue of pricing is there, grid connectivity, price points where it will flow.”

“So there are lot of things which still need to be defined and we are working with the eco-system to see what the right business model will be, we are working with the government right now to see how we can influence some of the policy decisions so that from the economic perspective it pays out.”

Elaborating further she said, “once we are able to learn through, I guess next couple of months from various pilot projects then I guess once a base model is confirmed that is when we will start scaling up some of these projects”.

On asked if Shell is completely out of India’s upstream segment, she said, “there is no diktat to say we will not look into it. The bigger piece is whether it is in line with our overall strategy of energy transition targets and is it commercially viable proposition. The point is whether it will bring any unique value to Shell. And if a project meets parameters they will go through.”

To the global strategy in the Group, India is an important and is part of top energy transition category for Shell, she added.

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Tata Meets Tesla: Indian business giant to make chips for Elon Musk’s EV company

With Tesla set to enter India, speculations are rife about who the EV company selects as its suppliers in the country. In the midst of all this, reports have started to surface that Elon Musk’s EV company may have struck a deal with India’s Tata Group to procure semiconductor chips for its EVs, worldwide.


According to a report by The Economic Times Tesla has reportedly entered into a strategic partnership with Tata Electronics to procure semiconductor chips for its global operations. This is a major indicator that the EV giant is seeing India playing a major role in its global operations.

The agreement was executed and signed quietly a few months ago as per ET’s report.

While neither Tesla nor Tata Electronics have officially commented on the deal’s value or specifics, industry insiders consider it a significant move.

It aligns with Tesla’s strategy of diversifying its supply chain and indicates a push towards creating a local ecosystem of suppliers, reducing dependency on any single market.

Tesla’s interest in India, the world’s fastest-growing major automotive market, is evident with Elon Musk’s reported visit to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi, later this month. Although there has been no clear indication as to the agenda of this meeting, it would be safe to say that Musk will be a part of the team that finalises the location for Tesla’s Indian factory. During his visit, he is also expected to officially announce potential investments by Tesla in the EV manufacturing industry in India. Experts suggest that it will range from $2-3 billion.

Recent policy changes, including reduced import duties for EVs priced above $35,000, have incentivised global automakers to establish manufacturing plants in India.

While Tesla may initially focus on premium electric models for the Indian market, they have already started developing mid-range EVs, and are exploring options for the local production of entry-level EVs.

Meanwhile, Tata Electronics has been strengthening its workforce by hiring top-level expatriates to bolster its semiconductor technology, strategic planning, and design capabilities. The company has set up semiconductor manufacturing facilities in Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, and Assam, with ambitious plans for further expansion, backed by a $14 billion investment.

Tesla’s move to diversify its sourcing options beyond China for critical components aligns with its post-COVID strategy. While the company manufactures some electric components internally, it relies on global suppliers for sub-assemblies and other parts.

The partnership between Tesla and Tata Electronics not only underscores India’s growing importance in the global semiconductor supply chain but also positions Tata Electronics as a key player in India’s semiconductor manufacturing ecosystem, with a team boasting over 1,000 years of global domain experience driving the project forward.

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How are hydrocarbons extracted from under the ground?

Over millennia, mighty geological processes in the earth’s crust heated and compressed together pieces of life-forms that had been dead for a while. Eventually, this mulch of organic matter accumulated as hydrocarbons inside rock formations. The two Industrial Revolutions were the result mainly of people finding a way to extract these hydrocarbons and using them to drive many and great engines, whose foul breath polluted the air and water and eventually gave us global warming.


Where are hydrocarbons located?

The most common forms in which these hydrocarbons exist in subterranean rock formations are natural gas, coal, crude oil, and petroleum. They are usually found in reservoirs underground created when a more resistant rock type overlays a less resistant one, in effect creating a lid that causes hydrocarbons to accumulate below it. Such formations are important because otherwise, the hydrocarbons would float to the surface and dissipate.

Experts use the tools, methods, and techniques of the field of petroleum geology to assess these rocks, including to check for their porosity and permeability. If a rock formation is highly porous, it could hold a larger quantity of hydrocarbons. Similarly, the more permeable a rock is, more easily the hydrocarbons will flow through it.

The primary source of hydrocarbons in this rocky underground is called kerogen: lumps of organic matter. Kerogen can be deposited from three possible sources: as the remains of a lake (lacustrine), of a larger marine ecosystem, or of a terrestrial ecosystem. Rocks surrounding the kerogen can become warmer, more compactified over time, exerting forces on the kerogen that cause it to break down. Lacustrine kerogen yields waxy oils; marine kerogen, oil and gas; and terrestrial kerogen, light oils, gas, and coal.

The rock containing the kerogen is called the source rock, and petroleum geologists are tasked with looking for it, understanding its geophysical and thermal characteristics, and characterising its ability to yield hydrocarbons. They also undertake modelling activities informed by observational data and dig smaller exploration wells to estimate the amount of hydrocarbons there, and report it to the relevant regulatory body.

Once a particular location is determined to be a profitable source of hydrocarbons, drilling can begin.

How are the hydrocarbons accessed?

Drilling and reservoir engineers are responsible for extracting as much of the hydrocarbons as is gainful without damaging the reservoir, to which end they deploy a variety of methods.

The first task is to create a production well, the principal hole through which the reservoir will be drained to the surface; its location is chosen to maximise the amount of drainage. The well is created with a drilling machine. The drill consists of the drill pipe, the drill collars towards the bottom, and the drill bit at the bottom. The drill bit is the object that breaks through the rock, creating a hole as it tunnels further down.

Once the tunnelling is underway, engineers lower steel casings that are slightly less wide than the hole itself into the tunnel, and pump cement slurry in the gap between the outer edge of the tunnel and the casings. As the cement solidifies, it protects the upper parts of the tunnel from caving in and prevents fluids in the surrounding soil from entering the well. The tunnel is also filled with drilling fluid, which reaches and swirls around the drill bit. Its primary purposes are to keep the bit from overheating and to bring the pieces of rock being cut away with it when it is pumped to the surface, where they can be removed from the tunnel.

The pressure at which the drilling fluid is delivered needs to be carefully controlled or it could force the hydrocarbons in the source rock to rush into the gap between the casing and the drill string (pipe + collar + bit) and erupt on the surface like a volcano of oil. Modern drilling setups include mechanical valves called blowout preventers to trap the gushing in the borehole, and manage the equipment already inside as necessary.

The process of recording the rock cuttings by depth and studying their properties is called mud-logging.

As the drill bit descends, the length of the drill pipe is increased by tacking on extensions; it can also be pulled up if it needs replacing.

Today, all of these processes are conducted by sophisticated drilling rigs, which also come with generators and batteries to power various steps of the drilling process. These rigs can also be installed offshore, with additional facilities to boost their stability and aid extraction through the water column.

How are the hydrocarbons extracted?

Once the production well has been drilled, it has to be prepared to drain the hydrocarbons – a step called completing. Here, engineers remove the drill string out of the borehole and punch small holes into the casing. More often than not, the pressure inside the well is sufficiently lower than in the surrounding rock for the hydrocarbons to start flowing into the well and rise up on their own. And as they rise, they are forced to exit at the top via a narrower tube – which is installed to, among other things, encourage the fluids to flow in only one direction (out).

The flow of hydrocarbons ends the completion stage and begins the production stage, when the most important aspects of the extraction operation are the systems at the well’s head controlling its outflow using valves. Sometimes, the pressure difference may be too low to bring the hydrocarbons to the surface. A common solution in some oil-rich sites is to use pump jacks, facilities seen dotting the American midwest with a hammer-shaped piston moving up and down in languid fashion. They draw mechanical power from, say, an engine to lift up hydrocarbons from the bottom of a well. Some long-standing wells may require additional components or having old ones replaced to get more hydrocarbon out of them; these tasks are called workovers.

The production profile of a well can be split into three phases: primary, secondary, and tertiary, depending on the methods required to maintain production. The primary phase banks on natural processes, like pressure differences between the reservoir and the well and less dense compounds floating to the top. Secondary interventions are concerned with inducing artificial pressure in the rock to maintain the differential (e.g. by injecting water into it or diluting the hydrocarbon mix to help it flow better).

The tertiary phase is focused on forcing the remainder into the well. Steam injection is a common example of such an enhanced recovery method. An on-site gas turbine generates electricity while its waste heat is routed to a steam generator. The resulting steam is pumped into the rock: its heat makes heavy-oil hydrocarbons less viscous and more willing to flow while its pressure pushes them out. When recovering petroleum, for example, the well may yield about 15%, 45%, and 15% of its hydrocarbon volume in the three respective phases.

What happens when a well is depleted?

As the extraction rates indicate, a well needn’t be fully depleted before the extraction process ends. The process’s economics matter greatly: the contractor may stop extraction if it’s no longer profitable to keep extracting from a well.

A well thus abandoned needs to be plugged so that its contents – both the hydrocarbons and the gases accumulating in the borehole – don’t escape into their surroundings. These plugs can be temporary, in case the project proponent wishes to recommission it later, or permanent. A common issue with improperly plugged wells is the plugs deteriorate and fail, either because of quality issues or due to nearby disturbances.

The most exhaustive way to conclude operations at a well, whether on land or offshore, is to decommission it, but this process is expensive and often commercially infeasible for the proponent. Improperly abandoned wells are a major source of methane emissions – to go with the emissions released during the production and use of various components required to extract hydrocarbons. One 2018 study estimated that 9,000 oilfields in 90 countries released 1.7 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2015 alone.

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Indian Biogas Association joins hands with HAI to promote hydrogen

Indian Biogas Association (IBA) has partnered with Hydrogen Association of India (HAI) to promote bio-based energy solutions with a special emphasis on green and blue hydrogen.


Talking to PTI, IBA Chairman Gaurav Kedia said, “IBA and HAI have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) aimed at promoting the production of green energy within the nation”.

This strategic alliance will facilitate comprehensive measures — including training, capacity building, and policy advocacy —directed towards catalysing the promotion and advancement of bio-based energy solutions with a special focus on green and blue hydrogen.

The green hydrogen market in India is forecasted to achieve a total worth of USD 8 billion by 2030 and USD 340 billion by 2050, Kedia informed.

With a shared objective of minimising the country’s reliance on imported energy sources, the MoU marks commitment to joint efforts in propelling sustainable energy initiatives forward.

The agreement is focussing on harnessing synergies from both associations, thereby catalysing the continued growth of the growing bio-based energy sector.

While Indian Biogas Association remains dedicated to advancing the biogas industry, Hydrogen Association of India is committed to delivering comprehensive services and seeking optimal solutions for key stakeholders, spanning the entirety of the hydrogen sector’s diverse industries.

The partnership can also give an extra push to blue hydrogen, whose projections indicate that it is poised to increase to 80 million metric tons by 2050, contingent upon ongoing governmental endeavours worldwide to enforce more stringent regulations to foster the adoption of emission-free fuel sources, Kedia said.

“The discourse surrounding the utilisation of hydrogen within the steel industry has garnered significant attention. However, it is crucial to note that carbon remains indispensable in the process.

“By breaking methane molecules, inherent within biogas, we can simultaneously yield both carbon and hydrogen, thereby offering a viable solution to address this requirement,” he added.

HAI president RK Malhotra stressed the importance of policy advocacy for the bio-hydrogen and biogas ecosystem.

This collaborative approach aims to leverage government initiatives within the sector and empower the industry to achieve India’s green energy goals, ultimately supporting the nation’s sustainable growth, he stated.

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Gruner Renewable Energy bags projects worth ₹1,500 crore for Biogas plant

The projects include 11 assignments valued at ₹1,100 crore from one of India’s leading business conglomerates and 19 additional projects worth ₹400 crore from individual business leaders. These plants are strategically planned across various cities including Ayodhya, Satna, Balasore, Navsari, Yavatmal, Vijayawada, and Rajahmundry, aiming to produce over 88,000 tons of compressed biogas annually for the Indian market.


New Delhi: Gruner Renewable Energy, within its first year of operation, has secured multiple projects to establish Compressed Biogas (CBG) plants across India, totaling an investment of ₹1,500 crore.

The projects include 11 assignments valued at ₹1,100 crore from one of India’s leading business conglomerates and 19 additional projects worth ₹400 crore from individual business leaders. These plants are strategically planned across various cities including Ayodhya, Satna, Balasore, Navsari, Yavatmal, Vijayawada, and Rajahmundry, aiming to produce over 88,000 tons of compressed biogas annually for the Indian market.

Utkarsh Gupta, Founder & CEO of Gruner Renewable Energy, stated, “Currently, India satisfies about 85% of its crude oil demands through imports. There is a gradual effort underway to expand biofuel production capacity within the country. By leveraging our current orders in hand, we aim to reduce India’s overall expenditure on crude oil imports by INR 8 billion.”

Gupta further added, “Our efforts aim to benefit farmers and generate employment in the energy industry, fostering awareness and development. We aspire to play a pivotal role in India’s commitment to becoming a net-zero economy by 2070 through renewable energy.”

To support the operations of these projects, Gruner will increase its workforce by approximately 900 professionals and skilled labor, raising its total number of employees to 2,500 by next quarter.

The company, which started in February 2023, currently oversees a portfolio of 30 ongoing projects nationwide. With a forward-looking approach, Gruner aims to increase its project count to 100, targeting a new order value of ₹5,000 crore by the end of the current financial year.

These initiatives align with the broader national agenda of promoting clean energy and decreasing reliance on fossil fuels, marking significant strides in advancing India’s renewable energy infrastructure.

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Natural Gas / Transnational Pipelines/ Others

Nigeria: NIPCO completes four Compressed Natural Gas stations in Lagos

NIPCO Plc says it has completed four Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) stations in Lagos and are set for inauguration by May 2024. Mr Nagendra Verma, the Managing Director of NIPCO Gas Ltd., disclosed this during an interaction with newsmen on Sunday, April 14, in Lagos. Verma, who highlighted the significance of CNG as a viable alternative fuel, commended the Federal Government’s initiative in promoting gas as an alternative fuel.


He affirmed NIPCO’s commitment to supporting the initiative while emphasising the company’s extensive involvement in AutoCNG development since 2009.

He also spoke on the company’s partnership with the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd. (NNPCL) to construct 35 AutoCNG stations in phases.

“The completion of these CNG stations in Lagos marks a significant milestone, offering motorists an alternative to petrol amidst long queues at filling stations.

“The facilities would be opened for commercial operations within April and May to become the first of its kind in the state which is now contending with long queues at filling stations,” Verma stated.

He further outlined pricing details, noting the competitive rates of AutoCNG compared to traditional fuels.

The NIPCO boss expressed confidence in AutoCNG being the preferred fuel, especially with government support and media advocacy.

According to him, the company has identified 19 CNG station locations and had received stage-wise approval from the Nigerian National Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) and other statutory authorities.

Verma, who assured sustainability of supply after commissioning, said that currently, for cars, taxis and Keke’s, AutoCNG is sold at N200 per standard cubic feet scm against the petrol price of N610 per litre, in Lagos and N230 per scm against the PMS price of N670 per litre in Abuja.

The managing director further informed that, similarly for heavy commercial vehicles, AutoCNG is being sold at N260 per scm against the AGO price of N1250 per litre in Lagos and N290 per scm against the AGO price of N1300 per litre in Abuja.

“NIPCO Gas is sure that with the continuous focus and push by current government, AutoCNG will become the choice fuel for Nigeria, which has the potential to reduce the pressure on importation as well as on forex.

“AutoCNG is a project for masses and of national cause and importance, adding, “We are sure once expanded across Nigeria; it will surely and definitely relieve the masses and motorists from high fuel cost.

“We continuously seek blessing and support of the government and media to make AutoCNG a reliever, cleaner and greener fuel of Nigeria,” he added.

Speaking on the company’s strategy, Verma said, initially, the company started with Benin City and expanded the AutoCNG network to Ibafo in Ogun State and later-on in Kogi State.

He stressed further that with the initiatives and clear mandate by current government, the AutoCNG network also expanded to Abuja FCT, Ibadan in Oyo State and Oron in Akwa Ibom State.

He said that NIPCO gas presently operates 15 AutoCNG stations across Nigeria and CNG vehicles from Lagos can travel up to Abuja and Kaduna by taking CNG from the in-between NIPCO Gas AutoCNG stations.

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Belgium: Fluxys buys stake in Mukran LNG pipeline

A unit of Belgian LNG terminal operator Fluxys has purchased a 25 percent stake from Germany’s Gascade in the offshore pipeline that connects the Deutsche ReGas-operated Mukran LNG terminal with the German gas transmission network in Lubmin.


Fluxys Deutschland and Gascade did not provide the financial details of the deal in a joint statement issued last week.

The unit of Fluxys will market the associated transport capacities independently in future.

The 50-kilometer-long “Ostsee Anbindungsleitung” (OAL) pipeline connects the Mukran FSRU-based LNG terminal on the island of Rügen with Lubmin from which point it is linked to the pipeline network.

Fluxys Deutschland and Gascade are already co-owners of the “Nordeuropäische Erdgasleitung” (North European Natural Gas Pipeline, NEL) and the “Europäische Gas-Anbindungsleitung” (European Gas Pipeline Link, EUGAL), which also have their starting points in Lubmin near Greifswald.

Substantial transport capacities can be provided in Lubmin via the three pipeline systems to transport gas from the coast in the north-east to the main consumption areas in Germany and its neighboring European countries, the partners said.

Mukran FSRU terminal

German LNG terminal operator Deutsche ReGas recently received an operating permit for its FSRU-based LNG import facility in Germany’s port of Mukran.

Once fully commissioned, the LNG terminal will have a capacity of up to 13.5 billion cbm of gas annually to be fed into the gas pipeline networks.

Last month, Deutsche ReGas received the first LNG tanker at its LNG import facility as part of the commissioning phase.

The 2015-built 161,870-cbm, Maran Gas Alexandria, owned by Greece’s Maran Gas and Qatar’s Nakilat, a delivered the cargo from from Equinor’s Hammerfest LNG export plant in Norway to the 2021-built 174,000-cbm, Energos Power, in Mukran on the island of Rugen.

In June last year, Deutsche ReGas signed a deal with the German government to sub-charter the FSRU delivered in 2021 by Hudong-Zhonghua and owned by US-based Energos Infrastructure.

Deutsche ReGas took over the charter of Energos Power in October last year.

Energos Power will work along the FSRU Neptune in Mukran as part of the second phase of the LNG terminal.

Deutsche ReGas officially launched its Lubmin FSRU-based LNG import terminal, first private LNG terminal in Germany, in January last year.


It chartered the 2009-built 145,000-cbm, FSRU Neptune, from French energy giant TotalEnergies for this project.

Deutsche ReGas recently said it expects Neptune to arrive in Mukran in the beginning of summer.

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Nigeria: ‘SON pushing for compressed natural gas vehicles’

The Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) push for activation of the compressed natural gas vehicles is yielding positive results as the agency is working with relevant partners to bring the initiative into fruition.


The Director General of SON, Dr. Ifeanyi Okeke dropped this hint recently at a public forum in Abuja.

According to Okeke, the SON’s 80 approved standards for CNG for road vehicles and related appliances, is the surest way of ensuring compliance to quality assurance.

Working in collaboration with the team of Presidential Compressed Natural Gas Initiative (PCNGI) Michael Oluwagbemi, the SON boss noted that the agency is determined to make things work in line with its constitutional mandate as the standards bearer of the nation.

“If the standard for the implementation of CNG fails it means only one thing, SON has failed in its duty. The involvement of SON in CNG marks the beginning of the journey towards safer, more reliable, cheaper, environmentally sustainable, and most importantly alternative fuel utilization across the nation for road vehicles and other CNG-related appliances,” Okeke emphasised.

Okeke also noted that in developing and approving these standards, the agency is working in accordance with world best practice and striving to achieve a significant milestone in its effort to promote safety and quality in the energy sector.

It is worthy to note that CNG is a clean and efficient alternative to traditional fuels, with applications ranging from transportation to industrial processes.

The Presidential CNG Initiative (PCNGI) is a component of the palliative intervention of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration and one of the many steps the president has taken to ensure every Nigerian enjoys his Renewed Hope Agenda.

Following the inauguration of PCNGI, a Committee comprising relevant regulatory agencies such as, the National Midstream Down-stream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Nigerian Institute of Transport Technology (NITT), National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), Ministry of Finance Incorporation (MOFI) and other key stakeholders were set up.

Justifying the drafting of the standards, Oluwagbemi said, “These 80 standards encompass a wide range of technical specifications and requirements, including CNG Conversion kit, Standards for electrical connections and vehicle Diagnostics, Standards for Road worthiness and Vehicle safety, Standards for CNG storage Vessels, Standards for CNG refuelling stations, and Guideline for installation of specific components to support the use of compressed natural gas (CNG) for Vehicle propulsion.

“The development of these standards was a collaborative effort, bringing together industry experts, regulators, and stakeholders from across the country. Adhering to these standards offers numerous benefits. Some of the benefits are enhanced safety for consumers, workers, and the environment, improved reliability and efficiency in CNG operations among others.

“We want to say that this effort by SON to develop these standards imbibes the vision of the president to make life better for Nigerians. We are impressed by the speed and efficiency of SON to get this done. The approval of the 80 standards will get the industry started. With these 80 standards, we have the regulatory standards to start the industry and we hope that it will unlock the investment needed in the sector.”

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Ukraine: Major natural gas deposit discovered in western Ukraine

A large natural gas deposit has been uncovered in the Carpathians at a site previously believed to have been depleted, Ukrainian state gas extraction company UkrGasVydobuvannya announced on Nov. 17.


According to the report, probing of the well resulted in a gas inflow with a flow rate exceeding 200,000 cubic meters per day. This is the largest gas inflow in the past 20 years for the western region of Ukraine.

The breakthrough discovery was achieved thanks to new technology, including the drilling rig Ivan Bohun.

“The western region [of Ukraine] has great potential for discovering new hydrocarbon deposits, as confirmed by the results in neighboring countries,” UkrGasVydobuvannya CEO Oleg Tolmachev said.

As noted on the company’s website, the well for drilling was established based on previous 3D geological surveys of the area.

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Qatar: Natural gas output in Qatar surges 5-fold over 2 decades

(MENAFN) Qatar has made remarkable strides in its natural gas production, achieving a five-fold increase over the last two decades. Now, the nation is poised for further expansion, with plans to increase its natural gas output by an impressive 70 percent by the year 2050, as indicated in the 8th edition of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) Global Gas Outlook 2050.


This significant growth is anticipated to be driven by two major expansions in the North Field, the world’s largest natural gas field. Scheduled for 2026 and 2028, the North Field East and North Field South expansions are expected to play a pivotal role in Qatar’s gas production surge.

In line with global environmental concerns, Qatar is actively investing in eco-friendly measures to reduce its carbon footprint. These initiatives encompass carbon capture and storage, alongside efforts to mitigate methane emissions.

The Middle East and Eurasia are forecasted to experience substantial growth in natural gas production, collectively representing 43.2 percent of global gas production by 2050. Additionally, with Africa’s projected surge, mainly fueled by offshore gas production, these regions are poised to dominate global gas supply, accounting for 53.6 percent.

Within the region, non-associated conventional gas projects, notably in Iran, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE, are expected to drive the growth in natural gas production. Furthermore, Iraq is set to lead associated natural gas production, while conventional gas projects in Iran, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia will spearhead overall production growth, comprising 94 percent until 2050. Gradually, unconventional tight gas resources in Oman, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE are anticipated to contribute to production growth as well.

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Natural Gas / LNG Utilization

Turkey: Turkey’s Uzmar Shipyard Launches World’s First LNG Dual Fuel Propulsion Tractor Tug, Sultanhani

Uzmar Shipyard, based in Istanbul, Turkey, has launched a unique tractor tug for BOTAS, a Turkish operator. The vessel, dubbed the Sultanhani, was launched on 27 February as the first Voith-propelled tractor tug operating on liquefied natural gas (abbreviated as LNG) dual-fuel propulsion.


It is the first of the two hulls manufactured for BOTAS using Robert Allan Ltd.’s design of TRAktor V3900-DF.

The TRAktor V3900-DF is based on Robert Allan Ltd.’s experience designing both LNG dual fuel tugs and Voith tractor tugs.

It combines remarkable manoeuvrability with the dependability of Voith propulsion in a greener package where the tug may run on diesel oil or LNG.

Even while using diesel oil, the emission is reduced using an after-treatment system based on IMO Tier III.

Owing to the forward location of the structure’s VSP units, the LNG tank hold is placed aft of the engine room, offering separation of the gas system and the associated hazardous zones from the accommodation block.

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US: First gas for Plaquemines LNG in Q2 to boost US domestic demand

With the first of Plaquemines LNG three feeder pipelines, Venice Extension, approved for service, the terminal is ready to begin taking feedgas in the second quarter which will push up overall


US demand in addition to the seasonal increase in cooling load. Stretching over three miles, the 1.3 bcf/d pipeline will bring gas from Texas Eastern Transmission (TETCO) to Plaquemines.

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UK: LNG supply: Shell tables claims against Venture Global, NLNG faces arbitration hurdles

Following restriction of Liquefied Natural Gas LNG supply to its customers, Shell PLC has made claims against Venture Global LNG (VGL), a United States-based LNG exporter, for its breach of contract to supply LNG cargoes.


Also, Nigeria LNG may risk sanctions from a UK High Court for a similar breach of an LNG supply contract.

Both Venture Global LNG and NLNG have been facing hurdles in the United States and in the United Kingdom for  breach of contract in a relatively similar fashion.

While Shell Plc filed its claim with U.S. regulators, the NLNG breach, has now been advanced to the UK High courts for further litigation.

Nigeria LNG is challenging the enforceability of the arbitral award’s demand order, issued by the arbitration panel.

According to Reuters, report, Shell Plc has escalated its dispute with Venture Global LNG. It accused the liquefied natural gas producer of restricting supply access to it and other customers while exporting over $18 billion in LNG.

In a letter sent to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Shell requested the commission to compel Venture Global LNG to disclose plant commissioning data to clarify the cause of delayed commercial operations.

Shell and other European companies say they contracted with Venture Global LNG but did not get their gas cargoes under long-term contracts.

They alleged that Venture Global LNG has been selling gas from the plant for more than a year to others, costing them billions in lost profit.

On its part, Nigeria LNG was held to be in breach of contract by failing to deliver 19 cargoes under a contract it executed in January 2020.

The cargoes, which were due for delivery between October 2020 and October 2021,, have not been delivered.

In pleadings made by NLNG in its Particulars of Claims to the High Court of Justice in England and Wales Commercial Court, it’s breach was  confirmed by a final arbitration award dated 30th January 2023.

 The arbitration tribunal  comprised  Mr John Beechey CBE, Mr J William Rowley KC and Mr Nevil Phillips.

Nigeria LNG Ltd., is significantly owned by Shell, Total, and Eni.

An industry expert cited similarities between the disputes involving Venture Global LNG and Nigeria LNG.  The source attributed the challenge to the unexpected surge in the LNG market.

“ The reason for this surge in disputes maybe related to the unexpected turn in losses to highly profitable margins, as high as $90 million per cargo, at the beginning of the Russian Ukraine conflict, post COVID market recovery and a huge demand in Asia and European markets, it is seen as a golden Era for LNG cargoes.

“ This situation may have prompted numerous defaults on agreements, with major LNG suppliers opting to retain higher margins at the risk of lengthy litigations,” the source added.

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Philippines: The Philippines at a crossroads between LNG and clean energy

MANILA: In its quest for energy security and an ambitious shift to renewables, the Philippines finds itself at a critical crossroads, grappling with the economic realities of imported liquefied natural gas (LNG) and the goal of expanding its clean power sector.


The waning reserves of the Malampaya gas field, the country’s only indigenous commercial source of natural gas since its operations commenced in the early 2000s, have been forecast to run dry by 2027, with supply expected to be depleted starting in 2024.

According to the Energy Department (DoE), this “could result in permanent loss of gas supplies from domestic sources, leaving the country with a considerable natural gas deficit.”

An analysis by Fitch Solutions stressed that uncertainty remains in terms of the country’s capability of producing gas in the near-to-medium term amid plans to scale up exploration activities.

“Unless gas can be produced from domestic sources, the Philippines will need to rely exclusively on imported LNG going forward,” it said, adding that the country will depend on LNG imports come 2025.

With ambitious targets for renewable energy on the horizon, the present reality steers the country toward an increased dependence on imported LNG.

Last year, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr signed a service contract renewal agreement allowing the Malampaya consortium to operate for another 15 years, or until February 2039, and requiring it to search for new gas deposits to augment the Malampaya field’s depleting reserves.

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US: Mitsui and Mitsubishi eye lower-emission LNG production with Sempra partnership

Mitsui and Mitsubishi are joining forces with Sempra Infrastructure to market LNG produced through a process with 90% lower carbon dioxide (CO₂) emissions, reported Nikkei. This greener LNG production partnership aims to commence production around 2029 at a facility in Louisiana, US, with a production capacity of 6.75 million tonnes per annum (mtpa). 


Besides the Japanese trading giants, the partnership is set to include other companies.  

The process will help in transitioning from conventional gas turbines to electric motors powered by renewable energy, predominantly solar power.  

In conjunction with carbon capture technology, this method is expected to reduce emissions from production by 80–90%, significantly lowering the fuel’s life cycle carbon footprint, excluding combustion. 

The cost of this greener LNG is expected to be comparable to current production methods.  

Mitsui and Mitsubishi are currently negotiating to supply this LNG to Japanese electricity and gas companies.  

These utilities are under increasing pressure from their commercial clients in manufacturing and retail to adopt energy sources with reduced carbon emissions from production through to consumption. 

Natural gas is known to emit less CO₂ upon combustion compared with oil or coal.  

According to Shell, demand for LNG could increase by more than 50% from 2023 to 2040.  

As energy producers, including Qatar, strive to reduce their carbon footprints, early providers of greener LNG could secure a competitive advantage in attracting new customers. 

Japan imports approximately 20% of its LNG from Sempra’s Louisiana facilities, with companies such as JERA being key buyers.  

Sempra holds an interest in Cameron LNG, a 12mtpa export facility in Hackberry, Louisiana, and is developing additional LNG export facilities in North America. 

In August 2023, Sempra reached an agreement with a Japanese consortium including Tokyo Gas, Osaka Gas, Toho Gas and Mitsubishi to produce e-natural gas, a synthetic gas made from CO₂ and renewable hydrogen.  

This project, if successful, could establish the first link in a global supply chain for liquified e-natural gas, according to Sempra.

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Global LNG Development

Qatar: Qatar to sign new LNG supply contracts in Asia and Europe

This move is part of an effort to boost Qatar’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) production capacity by nearly two-thirds by the end of this decade. Qatar is set to announce a series of additional contracts to sell gas to Europe and Asia, reported Bloomberg.   According to the country’s energy minister and head of QatarEnergy Saad Al-Kaabi, the Middle Eastern nation could also form new partnerships for the expansion of the North Field project.  


This move is part of a strategic effort to boost Qatar’s LNG production capacity by nearly two-thirds to 126 million tonnes by the end of this decade. 

Qatar, a leading LNG exporter, is actively securing sales contracts for its increased capacity.  

These efforts aim to cement Qatar’s position as a primary supplier for the foreseeable future.  

The expansion project includes the North Field South and North Field East, where international energy giants such as ConocoPhillips, Shell, TotalEnergies, ExxonMobil and Eni have acquired stakes. 

China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (Sinopec) has committed to a 27-year LNG purchase agreement from the North Field South project and holds a minor stake in the North Field East project.  

Al-Kaabi hinted that a partnership similar to the Sinopec deal could be announced shortly.  

Recent LNG supply agreements have also been signed with India’s Petronet and Bangladesh’s Excelerate Energy. 

Al-Kaabi dismissed concerns over potential threats to LNG shipping routes in the Red Sea, stating that most of Qatar’s LNG is shipped eastward and that western-bound cargoes would simply face longer transit times. 

Meanwhile, QatarEnergy and Chevron Phillips Chemical have commenced the construction of a $6bn integrated polymers complex in Ras Laffan Industrial City.  

The complex will house what is claimed to be the Middle East’s largest ethane cracker, with a 2.08 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) ethylene capacity, and two high-density polyethylene units with a combined capacity of 1.68mtpa.

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Singapore: First Gen grants LNG supply deal to CNOOC

FIRST Gen Corp. (FGEN) has awarded a contract to CNOOC Gas and Power Trading & Marketing Limited for the supply of liquefied natural gas (LNG) following a successful international tender.


The Lopez-led firm on Monday said that 130,000 cubic meters of LNG would be delivered next month to unit First Gen Singapore Pte. Ltd

This shipment will be unloaded at the BW Batangas Floating Storage Regasification Unit (FSGU) that is moored at the First Gen Clean Energy Complex (FGCEC) in Batangas City.

The LNG will be utilized by FGEN’s gas-fired power plants, also located at the FGCEC.

FGEN subsidiary FGEN LNG Corp. constructed the interim offshore LNG terminal project and acquired a five-year charter for LNG storage and regasification.

This terminal is expected to play a crucial role in ensuring the energy security of the Luzon Grid and the Philippines.

FGEN’s share price dropped by 14 centavos to close at P19.38 each on Monday.

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Japan: EMA and JERA sign LNG MoU

The Energy Market Authority (EMA) and JERA Co. Inc. (JERA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to cooperate on mutually beneficial areas in LNG procurement and supply chains for Singapore and Japan.


Under the MoU, EMA and JERA will share best practices and knowledge in LNG procurement and management of LNG supplies as well as explore collaboration opportunities in LNG procurement and supply chain management.

Soh Sai Bor, Assistant Chief Executive, EMA, said: “Natural gas will continue to be a major part of our energy mix even as we pivot to and scale up lower carbon sources in the medium to longer term. EMA is pleased to partner JERA to mutually strengthen our LNG supply chains. This is another step forward in Singapore’s efforts to enhance the security and reliability of natural gas supply with stable and competitive pricing for our power sector in our energy transition.”

Ryosuke Tsugaru, Senior Managing Executive Officer and Chief Low Carbon Fuel Officer, JERA, said: “This MoU signifies our shared commitment to strengthening energy security and fostering mutual cooperation in LNG procurement and optimisation between JERA and Singapore. Through this MoU, JERA and EMA will seek to establish a more stable, resilient, and cost-efficient energy flow into both Japan and Singapore leveraging their mutually complementary relationship.”

This MoU between EMA and JERA follows the spirit of an earlier Memorandum of Cooperation on LNG Cooperation and Energy Transitions signed in October 2022 between the Ministry of Trade and Industry of Singapore and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan. Both Memorandums aim to further strengthen the partnership between Singapore and Japan.

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Oman: Oman secures 10-year LNG supply deal with Shell

ALBAWABA- Oman LNG has inked a decade-long liquefied natural gas (LNG) supply pact with Shell, marking a significant move to meet soaring global energy demands. Under the agreement, Oman will supply up to 1.6 million metric tonnes of LNG annually, slated to kick off in 2025, according to the Oman News Agency. Hamad Al Numani, CEO of Oman LNG, hailed the deal as a catalyst for fostering global cooperation, enhancing the company’s stature as a dependable LNG provider.


This accord builds upon the enduring partnership between Oman LNG and Shell, extending beyond 2024, reinforcing Shell Gas’ pivotal role as the largest private stakeholder in Oman LNG, with a 30% ownership share and continuing as a technical advisor.

The agreement fortifies Oman’s position as the Middle East’s second-largest LNG exporter, aligning with Shell’s projection of doubling LNG demand by 2040, driven by China’s coal-to-gas shift and rising demand in South Asia and Europe.

Oman’s LNG venture with Shell bolsters its energy portfolio, ensuring flexibility and reliability to meet evolving global energy needs.

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LNG as a Marine Fuel/Shipping

Canada: Seaspan splashes second LNG bunkering vessel

Canadian shipowner Seaspan Energy has launched the second of its three 7,600 cbm liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunkering vessels, Seaspan Lions. As explained, this series of vessels are each 112.8 meters in length, 18.6 meters in width, and 5 meters in draft, with a design speed of 13 knots. The LNG bunkering vessels are being built by CIMC Sinopacific Offshore & Engineering (CIMC SOE).


For the design of the LNG bunker ships, Seaspan worked with the Canadian-based team at VARD Marine to incorporate emerging technologies that could result in a decrease in emissions and underwater noise.

According to Seaspan, the design is focused on safe, efficient, and economical refueling of multiple ship types with an ability to transfer to and from a wide range of terminals. The design will allow the vessel to engage in ship-to-ship LNG transfer and coastal and short-sea shipping operations.

These vessels are named after iconic West Coast mountains and the first two vessels, Seaspan Garibaldi (Nch’kay̓) and Seaspan Lions (Ch’ich’iyúy Elxwíkn), will be delivered in 2024 with the third vessel arriving in 2025.

“Solving the LNG infrastructure gap on the West Coast will play a vital role in creating new markets for lower-emission fuels and a more sustainable maritime industry,” said Ian McIver, President of Seaspan Energy.

“We understand the importance of providing low-carbon bunkering solutions for ship owners who want to decarbonize their operations and we are committed to supporting the transition to cleaner, lower-emission marine fuels in British Columbia, Canada and the world.”

Seaspan Lions will provide LNG fueling services for vessels on the West Coast of North America, becoming the first company to provide LNG bunkering in the Pacific Northwest.

Meanwhile, Seaspan Garibaldi is set to deliver low-carbon solutions to the global market and will be based in the Panama region. The ship was launched at the beginning of this year.

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China: LNG dual-fuel 13K TEU CMA CGM Paraty delivered

Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding, a subsidiary of China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC), and China Shipbuilding Industry Trading have delivered liquified natural gas (LNG) dual-fuel large containership CMA CGM Paraty to French shipping major CMA CGM.


As informed, the delivery ceremony was held together with the naming ceremony on April 9, 2024. The vessel, which was designed by China Shipbuilding Group’s 708th Research Institute, has a total length of 336 meters, a molded width of 51 meters, and a molded depth of 26.8 meters. 

The containership has a designed service speed of 21 knots and a maximum load capacity of 13,200 TEUs. It incorporates an LNG dual-fuel power system and is equipped with a 14,000 cubic meter LNG cargo tank with Mark III-type cargo containment system.

According to the shipbuilder, the intelligent control by exhaust recycling (iCER) system installed onboard the ship could reduce methane slip in gas mode by 50% and greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by more than 28%. The ship is specially equipped with a huge bow windshield, which could save 2%-4% of fuel consumption during actual operation.

Additionally, an energy-saving device is installed at the stern of the ship, that is expected to improve propeller propulsion efficiency and reduce energy consumption by about 1,5%.

To remind, the ship was launched in September last year.

Another 13,000 TEU containership CMA CGM Belem was launched in January this year at Hudong-Zhonghua.

The 13,000 TEU containerships are part of CMA CGM’s $2.3 billion dual-fuel, LNG-powered containership order from April 2021.

Meanwhile, the French shipping heavyweight returned to Chinese shipyards with a massive order worth $3.06 billion in April 2023 with a contract with the China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) for the construction of 16 large container ships.

The order comprises twelve 15,000 TEU methanol dual-fuel and four 23,000 TEU LNG dual-fuel container vessels.

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Russia: Russia’s Gazprom ships second LNG cargo from Portovaya to Spain – LSEG data

MOSCOW, April 15 (Reuters) – Russia’s Gazprom shipped a second cargo of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from its small-scale Portovaya LNG plant on the Baltic Sea to Spain, LSEG data showed on Monday.


Russia’s LNG exports, unlike oil supplies, have not been under Western sanctions. However, Europe has been looking into ways to curb the supplies and cut revenues for Moscow.

The European Parliament voted on Thursday to pass rules allowing European governments to ban Russian liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports, by preventing Russian firms from booking gas infrastructure capacity.

Russian LNG deliveries to Europe increased last year to 22 billion cubic metres (bcm), up from around 16 bcm in 2021, according to EU analysis.

The tanker, the Cool Rover, which loaded LNG ship-to-ship from the floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU), the Marshal Vasilevskiy, is discharging in the Spanish port of Bilbao at the BBG LNG terminal, the data showed.

Gazprom and Portovaya LNG did not respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Last month Gazprom shipped the first LNG cargo from Portovaya to Spain.

State-controlled Gazprom has largely lost the European pipeline gas export market, once a main source of foreign currency revenues for Moscow.

Russia supplied just 28.3 bcm of gas to Europe via pipelines last year, down from 63.8 bcm in 2022 and 148 bcm in 2021, the last full year before its invasion of Ukraine.

The Portovaya LNG plant with a capacity of 1.5 million metric tons per year was launched in September 2022. Most LNG cargoes from the plant have been sent to Turkey or Greece, while three were shipped to China. (Reporting by Oksana Kobzeva Editing by Peter Graff)–2370597/news/Russia-s-Gazprom-ships-second-LNG-cargo-from-Portovaya-to-Spain-LSEG-data-46434579/

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Japan: MOL Sunflower launches first LNG-powered ferry at Naikai’s shipyard

MOL Sunflower, a group company of Japanese shipping major Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL), has held a naming and launching ceremony for the first of two new liquified natural gas (LNG)-powered ferries, which are under construction at Naikai Zosen Corporation.


As informed, the ceremony took place at Innoshima Shipyard on April 11, 2024. The vessel was given the name Sunflower Kamuy.

The vessel will be delivered at Naikai Shipbuilding in December 2024 and is slated to enter service on the late-night Oarai-Tomakomai route operated by MOL Sunflower in early 2025.

The second of the two new vessels is scheduled to enter service on the same route within 2025.

With the addition of these vessels, the MOL Group will operate a fleet of four LNG-fueled ferries on east-west routes in Japan by 2025, joining the Sunflower Kurenai and Sunflower Murasaki, which went into service on the Osaka-Beppu route in 2023.

MOL is pursuing wider use of LNG on its ships as part of its decarbonization efforts, the objective being to become net zero by 2050. The strategy lays out steps that will see MOL gradually introduce alternative fuels on its ships, starting with LNG.

According to MOL, the ferry will be able to reduce CO2 emissions by about 35% compared to currently in-service vessels on the Hokkaido route by adopting various state-of-the-art technologies in addition to LNG fuel, thereby contributing to the reduction of overall CO2 emissions.

To remind, MOL revealed that its two ferry and coastal RoRo vessel operating companies, MOL Ferry Co. and Ferry Sunflower Limited, will operate under one company, MOL Sunflower, in June last year.

The company plans to launch about 90 LNG-fueled vessels by 2030.

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China: CNOOC’s LNG bunkering vessel nears delivery

CNOOC’s 12,000-cbm liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunkering vessel, Hai Yang Shi You 302, has recently completed its sea trials. State-owned CNOOC announced the completion of the trials in a statement issued on Tuesday. Hai Yang Shi You 302 now entered the “delivery phase”, CNOOC said, but it did not say when it expects to take delivery of the LNG supply and bunkering ship.


The vessel features an electric power system and is part of the strategy for the “gasification of the Yangtze river”, according to CNOOC.

Its AIS data provided by VesselsValue shows that the vessel left CIMC SOE’s yard in Qidong on March 26 and returned on March 29.

China’s Nantong CIMC Sinopacific Offshore & Engineering (CIMC SOE) hosted a launching ceremony for the vessel in November last year and prior to that it held a keel-laying ceremony in June.

The unit of CIMC Enric won this contract worth about 441 million yuan ($61 million) in December 2021.

The CCS-classed 132.9 meters long and 22 meters wide vessel has a draft of 11.8 meters and features two type C tanks each with a capacity of some 6,000 cbm, CIMC SOE previously said.

Once delivered, it will mainly serve international ocean-going vessels and LNG-powered vessels on domestic coastal routes, and undertake LNG transfers along the giant Yangtze river, it said.

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Oman: Oman LNG signs gas supply deal with Japan’s JERA

As per the terms of the agreement, Oman LNG commits to supplying 0.8mn metric tonnes per annum of LNG to JERA over a span of 10 years, commencing in 2025. Muscat – Oman LNG Company on Tuesday announced the signing of a significant sales and purchase agreement (SPA) with JERA, Japan’s largest power company.


As per the terms of the agreement, Oman LNG commits to supplying 0.8mn metric tonnes per annum of LNG to JERA over a span of 10 years, commencing in 2025.

This agreement not only solidifies the partnership between Oman LNG and JERA but also amplifies Oman LNG’s presence in Japan, a pivotal market it has served for the past two decades.

Hamed al Naamany, CEO of Oman LNG, remarked on the significance of the agreement, saying, “This sales and purchase agreement underscores the deepening partnership with Japan’s foremost LNG importer, JERA. It exemplifies the trust and confidence JERA places in Oman’s LNG. This deal ensures mutual growth while guaranteeing a stable energy supply to this critical market.”

Beyond raising Oman LNG’s reputation as a reliable LNG supplier, this agreement underscores the company’s ability to navigate the evolving global energy landscape.

Established in 2015, JERA holds a significant share in Japan’s electricity production, contributing approximately 30% of the nation’s total. With a global footprint, JERA possesses expertise across the entire energy supply chain, spanning from LNG upstream projects and fuel procurement to transportation and power generation.

JERA, which stands for Japan’s Energy for a New Era, has committed to achieving net zero CO2 emissions from its domestic and international operations by 2050, championing an environmentally sustainable energy transition.

As part of its ongoing global marketing efforts, Oman LNG has successfully secured several new long-term gas supply agreements since the begining of 2023. These agreements extend Oman LNG’s reach beyond 2024, attracting buyers from emerging markets in the Middle East, East Asia, and Europe.

In March, Oman LNG finalised a sale and purchase agreement with Germany’s SEFE (Secure Energy for Europe) to deliver 0.4mn metric tonnes of LNG annually to Germany. This landmark agreement marks a significant milestone in the strategic energy partnership between Germany and Oman, with SEFE becoming the first German company to engage in LNG procurement from Oman.

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Singapore: PetroChina lifts first spot LNG cargo from PNG national oil firm

This is the first sale of the super-chilled fuel the Pacific island nation’s state-owned Kumul Petroleum Holdings Limited (KPHL) has made, the Chinese firm said in a statement on its social media WeChat platform.


SINGAPORE: PetroChina International has lifted a spot cargo of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the PNG LNG project sold by Papua New Guinea’s national oil company, the Chinese state oil and gas trader said on Friday.

This is the first sale of the super-chilled fuel the Pacific island nation’s state-owned Kumul Petroleum Holdings Limited (KPHL) has made, the Chinese firm said in a statement on its social media WeChat platform.

KPHL sold the cargo via a tender in February that was awarded to PetroChina International (PCI).

The purchase of the 144,000-cubic-meter cargo marks the beginning of more LNG trade between the two countries both in spot and longer-term LNG deals, Li Shaolin, PCI Singapore’s general manager said in the statement.

 The fuel was loaded at Caution Bay on Wednesday into the 174,000 cubic-meter LNG tanker Wudang that is partly funded by PetroChina.

Kumul Petroleum, which has a 16.77% stake in the PNG LNG project that is operated by Exxon Mobil, is entitled to sell about 14 cargoes over the next four years, KPHL said on its website on Wednesday.

KPHL added that once it completes the purchase of an additional 2.6% share of the project that would allow it sell more LNG on the spot market, without specifying from whom it would purchase the stake. (Reporting by Chen Aizhu; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)

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Technological Development for Cleaner and Greener Environment Hydrogen & Bio-Methane


Netherland: Rotterdam Port to house Battolyser plant for green hydrogen production

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – The Port of Rotterdam on Monday said it will help develop a 14,000 square metre factory for Battolyser Systems, a company that designs combined battery and green hydrogen production machines.


Financial terms were not disclosed.

The port, which has announced a series of hydrogen-related deals this year, said it views the company, a spin-off from the Delft University of Technology, as an anchor for a part of the port that will be devoted to companies helping to get carbon out of supply chains.

“Companies in the port are already actively working on projects regarding production, imports, shipping, storage and use of green hydrogen,” port CEO Allard Castelein said in a statement. “With this factory we add green hydrogen equipment manufacturing to that portfolio.”

Battolyser, which has funding from entrepreneur Kees Koolen, is seeking to commercialise systems based on iron nickel batteries, which produce hydrogen by electrolysis — using electricity to “split” water — once fully charged.

The idea is that during the day, when electricity from wind and solar power is cheap and abundant, the battery will charge and convert power to hydrogen. And at night the system switches off and the battery may feed electricity back into the grid.

“So when there is an imbalance in power markets and prices shoot up, we can help balance that, so we can make money whilst balancing the grid,” CEO Mattijs Slee said in an interview.

Battolysers are also the first locally made electrolysers, he said. With many Dutch companies seeking to replace natural gas with hydrogen, demand for electrolysers is expected to rise.

“Even though we are sort of the epicentre of hydrogen in Europe, we do not have a electrolyser manufacturing facility, or capacity at all in the Netherlands,” he said.

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New material for hydrogen storage confines this clean yet troublesome fuel

Skoltech scientists and their colleagues from Shubnikov Institute of Crystallography of RAS and research centers in China, Japan, and Italy have discovered a material for chemical storage of hydrogen that can “soak up” four times as much of this hard-to-contain gas as the current top contenders.


 Finding efficient ways to confine hydrogen is crucial for integrating this promising energy carrier into the sustainable economy of the future. With proper storage technology, hydrogen could one day fuel high-temperature industrial processes and transportation, and serve for balancing supply and demand on the power grid. The study appears in Advanced Energy Materials.

Hydrogen is expected to play a major role in the future low-carbon economy. It can be produced renewably and consumed to generate electricity or heat via fuel cells or combustion. Some of the areas that stand to gain the most from hydrogen energy are steelmaking, production of glass and cement, and the chemical industry.

International shipping—and transportation and mobility in general—would also benefit. Besides that, hydrogen could help balance the electrical grid by storing excess energy, including the irregular supply from renewable sources.

A major obstacle preventing the widespread adoption of hydrogen power is the lack of safe, sustainable, and economical technology for storing this extremely light (14 times lighter than air), reactive, hard-to-contain, and explosive gas. To accumulate and transport hydrogen in gas cylinders, tubes, cryogenic tanks, and pipelines, it can be compressed or liquefied or perhaps even turned into a solid made up of H2 molecules. But there are multiple pitfalls to this:

First of all, such processing is very expensive. The compression and refrigeration involved expend the equivalent of about 20%–40% of the total energy ultimately provided by the hydrogen—a very high penalty.

And even then, hydrogen is so light that despite its being by far the most energy-dense chemical fuel by mass, it still packs only about half as much energy per unit volume as natural gas—compressed or liquefied. This is particularly inconvenient for vehicles.

Finally, hydrogen is the smallest molecule, so it easily escapes from containers and even permeates into their metal walls, making them brittle and causing cracks and leaks.

“The alternative is chemical storage,” says one of the lead authors of the study, Dmitrii Semenok, who holds a Ph.D. in materials science and engineering from Skoltech.

“Certain materials, for example magnesium-nickel and zirconium-vanadium alloys, can store hydrogen in the voids between the metal atoms that make up the crystal structure. Such accumulators provide relatively dense and safe storage and release hydrogen fairly quickly upon demand if heated.

“But while you can tweak the metal alloys in terms of the conditions they require for hydrogen capture and release and how many charge-discharge cycles they withstand, there is a relatively hard limit on how much hydrogen you can cram into those materials: about two hydrogen atoms per one metal atom. And that is the chief figure of merit.”

“The compounds we synthesized—cesium heptahydride CsH7 and rubidium nonahydride RbH9—pack as many as seven and nine hydrogen atoms, respectively, per metal atom. And we expect them to be the first such hydrogen-rich materials stable at atmospheric pressure, although the latter requires further confirmation. At any rate, the proportion of hydrogen atoms in these compounds is the highest among all known hydrides, twice as high as in methane CH4,” Semenok added.

The principal investigator of the study, Professor Artem R. Oganov, who heads the Material Discovery Laboratory at Skoltech, explained, “We react the hydrogen-rich powder of ammonia borane with either cesium or rubidium. This produces salts known as cesium or rubidium amidoboranes. Heat decomposes those salts into cesium or rubidium monohydrides and lots of hydrogen.

“Since the experiment is run in a cell between two diamonds exerting 100,000 times the atmospheric pressure, the extra hydrogen is forced into the crystal lattice voids, forming cesium heptahydride and rubidium nonahydride—the latter, in two distinct crystal lattice varieties.”

According to the researchers, cesium and rubidium are “predestined for this,” because of how large their atoms are, resulting in bigger voids in the crystal structure for hydrogen to occupy. The formation of the compounds agrees with the predictions of both the team’s simulations and the calculations based on fundamental physical laws.

The presence of the compounds was also confirmed with multiple analytical techniques: X-ray analysis, Raman spectroscopy, and reflection/transmission spectroscopy—the latter was enabled by the contribution of Research Scientist Denis Sannikov from Skoltech’s Hybrid Photonics Lab.

The team now intends to repeat the experiment using large-scale hydraulic presses at a lower pressure—about 10,000 atmospheres—to obtain larger amounts of cesium and rubidium polyhydrides and verify that once synthesized, these compounds remain stable even at atmospheric pressure, unlike the other polyhydrides known to date.

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Methanol Institute and SEA-LNG unite against EU trade barriers to biomethane and biomethanol fuels

BRUSSELS : The Methanol Institute (MI) and SEA-LNG, key representatives of the methanol and liquefied natural gas (LNG) industries respectively, express their deep concerns following the recent announcement by the European Commission impacting the trade of biomethane and biomethanebased biofuels such as biomethanol.


 The Commission has noted the intention to exclude the automatic certification of biomethane and biomethanol-based fuels produced through mass balance chain of custody in third-party countries outside the EU gas grids within the Union Database (UDB), an IT system to trace the sustainability and origin of renewable fuels place into service in the European market. This exclusion will severely limit the use of these critical fuels in decarbonizing intra-European and international maritime transport even if these fuels were produced in accordance with EU regulations under the Renewable Energy Directive (RED). Methanol Institute, as the trade association representing the global interests of the methanol industry, and SEA-LNG, a multi-sector industry coalition promoting the benefits of LNG as a marine fuel, are particularly concerned about the potential impacts of these measures on competitiveness and international trade dynamics.

If this materializes, it will create a trade barrier that threatens to impede the importation of biomethane and biomethanol into the European Union, limiting the availability and increasing the costs of these fuels to the bunkering industry in Europe. Furthermore, it may also disqualify such fuels produced using a mass balance chain of custody from non-EU gas grids, when bunkered in non-European ports for use by vessels calling at European ports from being recognised under the Renewable Energy Directive (RED). Consequently, these fuels may not be able to generate credits under EU ETS and FuelEU Maritime. In response to these challenges, MI and SEA-LNG call for the recognition of biomethane and biomethanol-based fuels produced using a mass balance chain of custody from non-EU gas grids under the UDB. We propose an urgent meeting between our representatives and those of the European Commission to discuss necessary amendments to ensure a sustainable and competitive energy future for the European maritime sector. Aboutthe MethanolInstitute For 35 years, MI has served as the global trade association for the methanol industry, representing the world’s leading producers, distributors, transporters, shipowners, and technology companies. About SEA-LNG Founded in 2016, SEA-LNG is a multi-sector industry coalition that includes shipping companies, ports, LNG suppliers, bunkering companies, infrastructure providers, and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), working together to

demonstrate the benefits of LNG as a marine fuel.


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Revolutionizing Hydrogen Storage: New Material to Power the Future

Skoltech scientists and their colleagues from Shubnikov Institute of Crystallography of RAS and research centers in China, Japan, and Italy have discovered a material for chemical storage of hydrogen that can “soak up” four times as much of this hard-to-contain gas as the current top contenders. Finding efficient ways to confine hydrogen is crucial for integrating this promising energy carrier into the sustainable economy of the future. With proper storage technology, hydrogen could one-day fuel high-temperature industrial processes and transportation and serve to balance supply and demand on the power grid. The study came out in Advanced Energy Materials.


Hydrogen is expected to play a major role in the future low-carbon economy. It can be produced renewably and consumed to generate electricity or heat via fuel cells or combustion. Some of the areas that stand to gain the most from hydrogen energy are steelmaking, glass and cement production, and the chemical industry. International shipping—and transportation and mobility in general—would also benefit greatly from hydrogen. Besides that, hydrogen could help balance the electrical grid by storing excess energy, including the irregular supply from renewable sources.

A major obstacle preventing the widespread adoption of hydrogen power is the lack of safe, sustainable, and economical technology for storing this extremely light (14 times lighter than air), reactive, hard-to-contain, and explosive gas. To accumulate and transport hydrogen in gas cylinders, tubes, cryogenic tanks, and pipelines, it can be compressed or liquefied or perhaps even turned into a solid made up of H2 molecules. But there are multiple pitfalls to this:

First of all, such processing is very expensive. The compression and refrigeration involved expend the equivalent of about 20%- 40% of the total energy ultimately provided by the hydrogen—a very high penalty.

Even then, hydrogen is so light that despite being by far the most energy-dense chemical fuel by mass, it still packs only about half as much energy per unit volume as natural gas—compressed or liquefied. This is particularly inconvenient for vehicles.

Finally, hydrogen is the smallest molecule, so it easily escapes from containers and even permeates into their metal walls, making them brittle and causing cracks and leaks.

“The alternative is chemical storage,” says one of the study’s lead authors, Dmitrii Semenok, who holds a PhD in materials science and engineering from Skoltech“Certain materials, for example magnesium-nickel and zirconium-vanadium alloys, can store hydrogen in the voids between the metal atoms that make up the crystal structure. Such accumulators provide relatively dense and safe storage and release hydrogen fairly quickly upon demand if heated. But while you can tweak the metal alloys in terms of the conditions they require for hydrogen capture and release and how many charge-discharge cycles they withstand, there is a relatively hard limit on how much hydrogen you can cram into those materials: about two hydrogen atoms per one metal atom. And that is the chief figure of merit.”

“The compounds we synthesized — cesium heptahydride CsH7 and rubidium nonahydride RbH9 — pack as many as seven and nine hydrogen atoms, respectively, per metal atom. And we expect them to be the first such hydrogen-rich materials stable at atmospheric pressure, although the latter requires further confirmation. At any rate, the proportion of hydrogen atoms in these compounds is the highest among all known hydrides, twice as high as in methane CH4,” Semenok added.

The study’s principal investigator, Professor Artem R. Oganov, who heads the Material Discovery Laboratory at Skoltech, explained the details of the experiment: “We react the hydrogen-rich powder of ammonia borane with either cesium or rubidium. This produces salts known as cesium or rubidium amidoboranes. Heat decomposes those salts into cesium or rubidium monohydrides and lots of hydrogen. Since the experiment is run in a cell between two diamonds exerting 100,000 times the atmospheric pressure, the extra hydrogen is forced into the crystal lattice voids, forming cesium heptahydride and rubidium nonahydride — the latter, in two distinct crystal lattice varieties.”

According to the researchers, cesium and rubidium are “predestined for this,” because of how large their atoms are, resulting in bigger voids in the crystal structure for hydrogen to occupy. The formation of the compounds agrees with the predictions of both the team’s simulations and the calculations based on fundamental physical laws. The presence of the compounds was also confirmed with multiple analytical techniques: X-ray analysis, Raman spectroscopy, and reflection/transmission spectroscopy — the latter was enabled by the contribution of Research Scientist Denis Sannikov from Skoltech’s Hybrid Photonics Lab.

The team now intends to repeat the experiment using large-scale hydraulic presses at a lower pressure — about 10,000 atmospheres — to obtain larger amounts of cesium and rubidium polyhydrides and verify that once synthesized, these compounds remain stable even at atmospheric pressure, unlike the other polyhydrides known to date.

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