NGS’ NG/LNG SNAPSHOT – February 1-16, 2022
City Gas Distribution & Auto LPG
GAIL starts India’s first project of mixing hydrogen into CGD network
GAIL (India) Limited has begun India’s maiden project of mixing hydrogen into the natural gas system at Indore, Madhya Pradesh, an official statement confirmed. This is a first-of-its-kind project in the country.
The hydrogen blended natural gas will be supplied to Avantika Gas Limited, one of GAIL’s Joint Venture (JV) companies with HPCL, operating in Indore. In line with the National Hydrogen Mission, GAIL has started hydrogen blending as a pilot project to establish the techno-commercial feasibility of blending hydrogen in the CGD network. This project marks the stepping stone of India’s journey towards a hydrogen-based and carbon-neutral future. GAIL started injection of grey hydrogen at City Gate Station (CGS), Indore.
This grey hydrogen would subsequently be replaced by green hydrogen. GAIL has already obtained the necessary regulatory permissions to commence the project.
Adani Total Gas Ltd to invest Rs 20,000cr in city gas distribution
The firm has won licenses to expand its City Gas Distribution network to 14 new geographies in the recently concluded 11th round of CGD bidding by the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB).
After winning a bid to supply gas to 14 additional cities, Adani Total Gas declared it would invest Rs 20,000 Cr in the city gas sector in the next eight years.
Adani Total Gas, a joint venture between the Adani Group and TotalEnergies of France, has won licenses to expand its City Gas Distribution (CGD) network to 14 new geographical areas (GAs) in the recently concluded 11th round of CGD bidding by the PNGRB.
ATGL is now the largest city gas distribution company catering to 52 areas. Of this, 19 are operated along with its strategic JV partner Indian Oil Corporation. These 52 GAs account for 15% of the country covering 124 districts across 18 States and 3 UTs.
Policy Matters/ Gas Pricing/ Others
Former oil secretary Tarun Kapoor to be new oil regulator
Former oil secretary Tarun Kapoor who superannuated as secretary of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas on November 30, 2021, has been selected to be chairman of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) after interviews of over a dozen candidates.
His candidature will now go to the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet for ratification and once approved, he would take over. 13 candidates, including former chairmen of ONGC and a former director of IOC, had applied for the top job at PNGRB. Out of these, the ministry shortlisted seven candidates. Interviews were held by a search-cum-selection committee headed by V K Saraswat, Member (S&T), Niti Aayog on Thursday, Jan 04, and Kapoor was picked for the top job.
The shortlisted candidates for interview included Kumar, Satish, Barua, Jana, Virendra Nath Datt, OSD to the chairman of GAIL (India) Ltd, and former CPCL MD Surendra Nath Pandey. Former GAIL directors Gajendra Singh and A K Tiwari are currently the two members of the PNGRB.
No petroleum including natural gas products under GST
The GST Council has made no recommendation so far to include petroleum products, including natural gas and other fuel under the GST. The inclusion of petroleum products will require the recommendation of the GST Council.
But the council, which also includes representatives of the state, has not made any such recommendation, Pankaj Chaudhary, MoS, Ministry of Finance, said in a reply to the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday, Feb 08.
Reliance to sell gas from CBM block at $14/unit
Mukesh Ambani-led-Reliance Industry Ltd is seeking a minimum of $14 for selling natural gas being produced from coal seams in a block in Madhya Pradesh. The company in its notice inviting offer said it sought bids from
users for the sale of 0.65 million standard cubic meters per day of gas from its coal-bed methane (CBM) block SP-(West)-CBM-2001/1 for a one-year period.
A bidder shall be required to quote the variable denoted as ‘V’ in USD per million British thermal unit terms as a positive number pursuant to the gas price formula” of “14% x dated Brent + V, the NIO reads. The company has kept the starting ticker for ‘V’ at $1 per mmBtu, which means bidders will have to quote at least $1 plus 14% of dated Brent crude oil to buy the CBM gas. Currently, Brent crude oil is trading above $92.5 per barrel and at this price, the floor rate for Reliance gas comes to $13 per mmBtu. Adding ‘V’ of $1, the minimum price comes to $14 per mmBtu. The government dictated price for gas produced by state-owned firms such as ONGC is $2.90 per mmBtu.
Electric Mobility/ Hydrogen/ Bio- Methane
Fuelled by state policy, sales of EVs in Delhi gather steam
In January, electric vehicles were the fastest growing segment in Delhi, albeit on a very low base, and that within this, electric two-wheelers accounted for more than half — an indication of the growing popularity of EVs given the high fuel prices, as well as generous sops in the Delhi Electric Vehicle (EV) Policy, notified in August 2020.
According to the Delhi transport department, sales of EVs increased by about 136% over January 2021 to 3,404, with sales of two-wheelers, for the first time, surpassing those of e-rickshaws. The sharp rise (753%) in the sale of electric two-wheelers is significant. Of the 13.4 million registered vehicles in the national capital, 7.4 million are two-wheelers, and a major contributor to vehicular emissions in the city.
Within the first six months from the date of notification of the aggregator policy, 10% of all newly inducted two-wheelers and 5% of all new four-wheelers will have to be electric vehicles. Two years from the notification, 50% of all new two-wheelers and 25% of all new four-wheelers will have to be EVs, the policy has proposed.
Electric Vehicles in India; miles covered and miles to go
The Electric vehicle (EV) industry has seen a drastic change over the last decade. India, however, lags considerably in terms of EV penetration, compared to other larger markets but there is a huge scope to work on the number of models,
charging infrastructure, developing vendor ecosystem and providing financial incentives. India is the largest 2W and 3W market globally and amongst the top five in commercial vehicles (CV) and passenger cars segment but has a negligible share in EVs.
Only 7,96,000 Electric vehicles have been registered till December 2021. The growth of sales has seen a growth of 133% from FY 2015 to FY 2020.
Natural Gas / Transnational Pipelines/ Others
Gas Market Report – IEA
Global natural gas consumption rebounded by 4.6% in 2021, more than double the decline seen in 2020. The strong demand growth in 2021 was driven by the economic recovery that followed the previous year’s
lockdowns and by a succession of extreme weather events. Supply did not keep pace which, combined with unexpected outages, led to tight markets and steep price increases, putting the brakes on demand growth in the second half of 2021.
Uncertainty over prices and supply remained high as of early January, with most of the heating season still to come. Weather patterns are likely to remain the principal driver of both prices and volatility in the coming weeks, although there are also other physical, commercial and geopolitical factors at play.
The current market situation is a stark reminder for gas-consuming countries of the importance of implementing and updating their security of supply toolboxes, including policies to protect consumers and to optimise the use of gas infrastructure, especially storage.
The gas pipelines linking Russia and Europe
Russian natural gas makes up around a third of all gas used in Europe, arriving on the continent via pipelines. Gas plays an important role in the energy mix of many European nations, making the question of what would happen to gas flows in the case of a standoff of Western powers and Russia over Ukraine a contentious one.
40 billion more annual cubic meters can be transported via Ukraine, according to The Economist. Major European economies which obtain 40% or more of their natural gas from Russia include Germany, Italy and Poland. Many smaller countries, especially in Eastern Europe and the Balkans, are even more dependent on the Russian gas supply.
Even before the current crisis, the project was heavily criticized for creating more energy dependence on Russia. However, experts believe that Europe is actually able to replace up to two-thirds of the gas quantity currently supplied by Russia. This could happen via increased use of pipelines from Norway, the UK and North Africa as well as through the use of imported and regasified LNG.
Russian troop presence on the Ukrainian border meanwhile continues to alarm observers, even though Russia has denied plans to invade. After the U.S. had put 8,500 troops on alert of deployment to Europe last week, 2,000 are now scheduled to travel to Germany and Poland, while 1,000 soldiers already stationed in Germany will move on to Romania.
Colombia: IVECO Bus will deliver 130 natural gas vehicles to Valledupar
The vehicles will be built under the Daily Scudato 70C14G CNG model chassis, with the capacity to transport up to 25 passengers, by the Colombian company Superpolo, a partner of the automaker. Deliveries are expected to take place between June and August 2022.
The Daily Scudato 70C14G CNG, made in Italy, provides profitability for the operator, power, robustness, comfort for the passengers and fuel economy through the use of natural gas, with beneficial results for the environment.
Norway: KN decides to buy FSRU Independence
KN, the operator of Lithuania’s only LNG import facility, has decided to acquire the FSRU Independence from Höegh LNG after its lease ends. The decision on the purchase, which has been regarded as the most economically advantageous option,
will be made at a shareholder meeting on February 25, 2022. Under Lithuania’s law, the LNG operator has to pick the most economically advantageous offer to acquire a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) before December 31, 2024, at the latest.
The market consultation and research on the acquisition of the FSRU initiated by KN in 2021, identified three possible alternatives to the current option: a newly built FSRU, used FSRU, or a converted LNG carrier.
Global LNG Development
Texas, USA: McDermott unit wins tank deal for Plaquemines LNG project
U.S. offshore engineering and construction services firm McDermott has won a contract for two storage tanks as part of the first phase of the Plaquemines LNG export project. The contract was awarded by Venture Global to McDermott’s storage business CB&I.
Under the deal, the company would build two 200,000 cubic-meter liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage tanks for the first phase of the Plaquemines LNG export project.
Located on the Mississippi River, 20 miles south of New Orleans, Plaquemines LNG is expected to have a combined export capacity of up to 20 million metric tons per year. McDermott added that CB&I recently achieved ready-for-cooldown as scheduled for two LNG tanks of similar size and scope for Venture Global’s Calcasieu Pass LNG project.
Germany: German chancellor backs plans for ‘one or more’ LNG terminals
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz supports plans to build one or more liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals in the country, a government spokesperson said on Monday, amid concerns about Germany’s dependence on pipeline gas from Russia.
Europe’s LNG terminals are currently operating at 71% capacity, an economy ministry spokesperson said in the same regular news conference.
Texas, USA: Tellurian to begin construction on Louisiana LNG Plant
US liquefied natural gas (LNG) developer Tellurian Inc. will begin construction on its US$16.8 billion Driftwood LNG plant in Louisiana in April. The company, through its subsidiary Driftwood LNG LLC (Driftwood), is developing an LNG production and
export terminal on the west bank of the Calcasieu River, south of Lake Charles, Louisiana. Once complete, the terminal will be able to export up 27.6 million tonnes per year (mpta) of LNG to customers worldwide. The first phase of Driftwood construction is designed to process 11 mtpa of LNG. First delivery could take place in 2026.
Technological Development for Cleaner and Greener Environment Hydrogen & Bio-Methane
Snam & OrangeGas partner to build biomethane stations in Germany
Snam4Mobility, a subsidiary of Italy’s energy infrastructure group Snam, and OrangeGas (OG), a Dutch company owning and operating sustainable fuels service stations in the Netherlands, Germany, and Sweden, have signed an agreement for
the development of a new biomethane refueling station in Paderborn, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.
This agreement, which marks the first step outside of Italy for Snam4Mobility, is part of a larger cooperation project between the two companies in the sustainable mobility field. The station, which will be built by Snam4Mobility by year-end and will be operated by OG within its network of service stations, will provide both bio-CNG and bio-LNG to power sustainable mobility of both light- and heavy-duty transports in Germany.
The cooperation between the parties may lead to future projects aimed at further expanding bio-CNG and bio-LNG supply infrastructure in Germany, as well as potential initiatives on hydrogen, thus contributing to the decarbonization of transports and to reducing polluting emissions.
Michigan, USA: WEC Energy to pilot hydrogen blend in Michigan Natural Gas Power Plant
Upper Michigan Energy Resources plans to co-fire hydrogen with natural gas in a pilot project at one of its power generation plants in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, parent company WEC Energy Group reported. In addition to utilities, midstream companies are exploring opportunities with hydrogen,
renewable natural gas, and other emissions-reducing fuels.
Under the pilot project, which Upper Michigan is conducting with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), hydrogen and natural gas will be mixed up to a 25%/75% blend to fuel one of the regional power plants, WEC said. The plants use reciprocating internal combustion engine technology manufactured by Wärtsilä and in service since 2019, the firm added.
EPRI has actively sought to commercialize low- and zero-carbon energy technologies. It plans to oversee the project’s technical implementation and disseminate results, WEC noted. EPRI CEO Arshad Mansoor called such demonstration projects “critical to advancing clean energy technologies needed to meet net-zero goals.”
Europe wants to allow natural gas, nuclear in green investment
The European Commission wants to include nuclear energy and natural gas in its plans for building a climate-friendly future. Proposal from the European Commission has divided member countries and drawn outcry from environmentalists as “greenwashing.”
The green labeling system would define what qualifies as an investment in sustainable energy in the 27-nation bloc. Under certain conditions, gas and nuclear energy could be part of the mix, making it easier for private investors to inject money into both. The plan will please nuclear-powered France and gas-dependent Germany, but critics call it a big blow to climate goals.
USA: PG&E deploys advanced methane detection technology for gas distribution safety survey
As part of PG&E’s ongoing commitment to provide customers with safe, reliable natural gas service, the company conducts comprehensive surveys of its gas distribution pipeline system. This year, PG&E will survey 1.2 million customer service lines, customer gas meters, and corresponding distribution pipelines.
PG&E’s leak survey program covers the entire extended 42,000-mile distribution system on a three-year cycle under the company’s accelerated inspection program, compared to the five-year cycle that is mandated by law. Distribution lines carry natural gas from the high-pressure transmission pipelines into communities at a reduced pressure. These lines feed service lines that connect directly to natural gas meters. PG&E also surveys its entire high-pressure transmission pipeline system twice per year.
Access to inspect all meters is critical to the safe operation of PG&E’s gas system. When these inspections are being conducted, customers will see PG&E employees or contractors, and both will have company-issued dentification badges which they will present upon customer request. PG&E contractors will not be operating PG&E-marked vehicles, and customers can ask to see identification to confirm their identity.
When leaks are identified on gas distribution systems, utilities including PG&E, they are assigned a grade based on a national scale. If leaks are assigned as “grade one,” PG&E will make immediate repairs. As part of its ongoing efforts to curb emissions from its system, PG&E also prioritizes repairs for the highest emitting leaks.