NGS’ NG/LNG SNAPSHOT – January 2021, VOLUME 1

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City Gas Distribution & Auto LPG

Major UP highways to turn into green energy corridors

The state government said on Sunday (Dec 27) that it has issued guidelines for the supply of piped natural gas (PNG) to industrial development authorities with the objective of environmental conservation and providing safe fuel to industries.

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The government said steps were being taken to convert major highways of the state into green energy corridors to promote the use of pollution free fuel in transport sector. “Industrial development authorities have been directed to facilitate authorized gas companies for laying of pipelines for network of natural gas in areas of state’s industrial development authorities,” industry minister Satish Mahana said. Additional chief secretary, infrastructure and industrial development, Alok Kumar said directions had been issued to Noida, Greater Noida, Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority (YEIDA), UP State Industrial Development Authority (UPSIDA), Gorakhpur Industrial Development Authority (GIDA), Satharia Industrial Development Authority (SIDA) and Lucknow Industrial Development Authority (LIDA) to provide required support to gas companies in development of piped natural gas (PNG) network. Last week, the industry department had issued a government order to the chief executive officers of industrial development authorities asking them to implement the ‘Dig and Restore’ policy of urban development department in industrial areas in compliance with Petroleum Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) directives for development of city gas distribution network based on geographical area. The authorities were directed to permit and facilitate infrastructure development by authorized gas companies for PNG supply. Under the Dig and Restore policy, permission has been given for laying of underground pipelines for gas supply through the use of such technologies that do not affect or interrupt traffic and normal activities. An NoC will be provided only if digging and restoration work done by the company is found to be satisfactory. UP Expressways Industrial Development Authority officials said 4,875 sq mt land had been earmarked in Bilhaur on Agra-Lucknow Expressway for green energy corridor.

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/lucknow/major-up-highways-to-turn-into-green-energy-corridors/articleshow/79985898.cms

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M&A activity rises in city gas distribution segment

City gas distributor Torrent Gas Pvt. Ltd is close to buying Mathura-based Sanwariya Gas Ltd for around ₹140 crore, a person aware of the matter said, as consolidation continues in India’s city gas distribution (CGD) sector.

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This is the fourth acquisition in the last one year for Torrent Gas, part of Gujarat-based Torrent Group, after buying Mahesh Gas in Pune from the Mahesh Group, and Siti Energy in Moradabad and Dholpur from the Essel Group. Acquisition of Sanwariya will give Torrent a ready access to a gas pipeline network of 500-km and seven compressed natural gas (CNG) stations to sell gas to 15,000 vehicles and sell piped gas to 5,000 homes and 125 factories. Torrent on its own would have taken nearly a decade to set up this network,” said the person cited above, the chief executive of a city gas distributor. The move by Torrent Gas follows Adani Gas last month signing a definitive agreement to acquire CGD in three geographical areas—Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Kutch (East)—from a consortium led by Jay Madhok Energy. Adani Gas, which sold 37.4% stake to France’s Total Gas for ₹5,700 crore in February, has been bullish on the sector. “If you look at the ability of CGD companies to pass on price increases in this segment, you will see that they have been able to protect margins, leading to healthy returns on investments for them,” said Prashant Vasisht, vice-president and co-head, corporate ratings at ICRA Ltd. This has helped attract interest from private equity investors as well. Since CGD is capital-intensive and it takes around seven years to break even, many companies lack the capacity to operate in the sector, analysts said, leading to consolidation in the space. Added to this is the impact of covid-19 on sales and growth, which has forced the sale of many companies to bigger, established entities. “Small and standalone CGD players have been impacted by the lockdown imposed to contain the spread of coronavirus. Companies with a healthy balance sheet to bank upon have been able to absorb or sustain the loss though,” the CEO of another CGD company said. India has about 40 CGD companies, which together operate 1,500 CNG stations in the country; in contrast, there are over 60,000 fuel stations dispensing petrol and diesel. The share of gas in India’s energy mix is expected to rise to 15% by 2030, with the government’s push for creating a gas infrastructure. Companies are thus seeing a large opportunity in the sector, analysts said.

https://www.livemint.com/industry/energy/m-a-activity-rises-in-city-gas-distribution-segment-11608618522117.html

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In chat with Anil Singhvi, MK Surana, CMD, HPCL says planning to increase focus on city gas distribution

Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) CMD Mukesh Kumar Surana joined Zee Business Managing Editor Anil Singhvi in the popular ‘NewsParViews’ show today and revealed that the company is planning to increase focus on city gas distribution.

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“We already have good grasp over petroleum products and their business. However, gas is a new vertical for us and it is growing fast. From city distribution point, we have authorization for 20 geographical areas. We have already done good job on this front. This year, CNG and PNG city gas distribution has started in many of these areas and there will be good increase in numbers next year too,” HPCL CMD said, adding that even where the company itself has no authorization, it selling CNG through some 600 petrol pumps. Talking about charging stations, he said, “Electric mobility is a subject, where discussions are underway, but as far as its use in the market is concerned, there is still time. In this, there is a new item about which discussions are underway about its full utility, convenience and infrastructure and even there is some headway on work front. HPCL has provided charging facilities at 36 retail outlets of the company,” he said. Talking about impact of high cost of petroleum products on margins, Mukesh Kumar Surana said it is wrong perception and increase or decrease in prices of petroleum products do not impact the company’s margins much.  

https://www.zeebiz.com/companies/news-in-chat-with-anil-singhvi-mk-surana-cmd-hplc-says-planning-to-increase-focus-on-city-gas-distribution-143965

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City Gas Distribution: Guwahati to get piped gas supply by next year

Rupam Goswami, Chairman of Duliajan Numaligarh pipeline Limited (DNPL), said that the work to bring the gas line from Numaligarh in Upper Assam to Nagaon, is on. “The gas line is expected to start supply by next year in Guwahati,”

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he said. A consortium of three Public sector units, Assam Gas Company Ltd (AGCL), Oil India Limited (OIL) and GAIL Gas Ltd, has incorporated a new company for implementation of the City Gas Distribution (CGD) Networks. Gokul Ch Swargiyari, director and CEO of DNPL and chairman of Purba Bharati Gas Private Limited, said that there is abundance of gas in the state. “We will provide piped gas in Kamrup Metro and Kamrup. We are expecting that in next nine months we will able to provide piped gas in Guwahati. Already in Silchar we have provided 300 gas connections and by end of this year the number will be 1000.” “Target is in Barak valley we will provide one lakh connections and in two districts of Kamrup around three lakh. Around 72 CNG stations will be set up in these districts,” he added. AGCL is also willing to provide piped gas in seven other districts, and has participated in the expression of interest. Swargiyari said, “Due to COVID 19 pandemic our works were affected however we are trying to make up. Assam government has assured that Assam State Transport Corporation buses will be converted to CNG. In some tea estates of Upper Assam piped gas is provided and we are getting good response for this is cost effective. Piped gas will hugely benefit tea industry.”  “Rs 6,000 crore is provided by government for the Northeast India gas grid,” Goswami added. Swargiyari added that the Barauni to Guwahati section of the National Gas Grid is likely to be completed by next year. Thereafter, eight states of the North East will be connected by Indradhanush Gas Grid Ltd. to the National Gas Grid. According to state government the connection of Assam to the National Gas Grid, steady supply of Natural Gas shall initiate a spurt in the industrial sector, power generation sector, automotive CNG sector and domestic piped gas to households sector and it will act as a catalyst to trigger immense development and employment opportunities throughout Assam and other parts of Northeast Region. Goswami stated that there has been steady growth in profit of DNPL from 13.48 Crore of 2016-17 it has grown to 35.42 Crore in 2019-20.

https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/oil-and-gas/city-gas-distribution-guwahati-to-get-piped-gas-supply-by-next-year/79825311

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Private CNG pump owners warn of strike over MGL’s 15 year lease

Private CNG pump owners in Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai have declared a strike in the New Year—from January 4—if Mahanagar Gas Limited (MGL) attempts to ‘force’ them into signing lease agreement for 15 years. 

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The pump owners said that they had support from the Petrol Dealers Association and threatened a major showdown. MGL officials said that they were prepared with an “alternative arrangement” in case there was a strike. There are 7,00,000 CNG consumers in Mumbai and a majority of them are private car owners, followed by auto and taxi drivers. If there is a strike, it could hit public transport.
Said a private CNG pump owner, who represents the United CNG Dealers’ Association, “It is a strong arm tactic of MGL to make us sign a 15-year lease for our land on which the pump stands. We are willing to sign leave and licence agreements upto five years, but do not want to give the land on lease A MGL spokesperson said, “In line with the existing Oil & Gas industry practice, including that followed by Oil Marketing Companies, MGL Board has recently approved new business models which will govern terms and conditions of MGL’s dealing with its dealers. MGL’s existing dealers have opposed the introduction of these new models.”
Source: TNN/Indian Oil & Gas

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AK Jana discusses PNGRB’s latest notification granting open access for CGD players

AK Jana, Managing Director at Indraprastha Gas Ltd (IGL) in conversation with ET Now talks about the open-access norms in the city gas distribution (CGD) sector

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and how it is beneficial for the company. AK Jana discusses Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board’s (PNGRB) latest notification on open access has provided a short-term respite to city gas distribution (CGD) players. Many sector experts feel that competition from other players will ultimately weigh down on their profitability in the future. Watch the full exclusive interview with AK Jana to find out more on this story and stay updated with ET Now.

https://www.timesnownews.com/videos/et-now/companies/ak-jana-discusses-pngrbs-latest-notification-granting-open-access-for-cgd-players/85199

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GO TOP

Electric Mobility & Bio- Methane

Indian Oil Corporation to buy 15 hydrogen buses for Delhi

In contrast to other electric vehicles, these vehicles produce electricity using a fuel cell powered by hydrogen, rather than drawing electricity from only a battery. To give a fillip to India’s push to usher in a hydrogen-based

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mobility solutions ecosystem, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) plans to buy 15 buses that can run on hydrogen fuel. The country’s largest oil refiner and fuel retailer is also setting up a facility at its Faridabad research and development (R&D) centre to produce hydrogen to run the buses, the company said in a statement. Like all electric vehicles, fuel cell electric vehicles use electricity to power an electric motor. In contrast to other electric vehicles, these vehicles produce electricity using a fuel cell powered by hydrogen, rather than drawing electricity from only a battery. Fewer pollutants and less noise are among the advantages of electrically powered vehicles. IOC said it has invited “bids to procure 15 polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell buses”. This project is the first-ever attempt in the country to address all the aspects of hydrogen-based mobility as the ultimate green option. IOC Chairman S M Vaidya said the company has been pioneering the hydrogen efforts in the country and this exercise is part of a bigger project that aims at addressing all aspects of the hydrogen value chain. This venture, he said, is being supported partially by the hydrogen corpus fund of the Union Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas. S S V Ramakumar, director (R&D) of IOC, said the fuel cell buses would be evaluated in collaboration with the selected original equipment manufacturer (OEM) partner through a wide-scale field validation exercise in Delhi-NCR on a structured scientific format. “One of the key ingredients of this project is that the fuel cell stack/system technology would be indigenously developed and manufactured in the spirit of the Aatmanirbhar Bharat, thus accelerating the creation of a local ecosystem to support further activities in the hydrogen energy domain,” he said. To facilitate the hydrogen supply for refuelling these buses, IOC is also setting up demo units for different pathways to produce one tonne per day of hydrogen at its state-of-the-art R&D centre in Faridabad.

https://www.financialexpress.com/industry/indian-oil-corporation-to-buy-15-hydrogen-buses-for-delhi/2157458/

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Decarbonising Transport: India needs to consider this

The UN secretary General has called for treating the present as a climate emergency. For US president-elect Joe Biden, climate is a key priority. France and the UK have decided to become net carbon neutral by 2050.

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Electricity generation is the largest user of fossil fuels, and thus a key generator of carbon emissions. Decarbonising electricity generation entirely with renewables and storage is technically feasible. Biden would like to make electricity generation in the US free of fossil fuels in 15 years. The cost of electricity storage has been falling rapidly. India has decided to raise its renewable energy capacity from 80GW to 450GW. After electricity, the largest use of fossil fuels is in the transport sector. In India, using electricity for train movement is far cheaper than using diesel, and the Railways are moving towards full electrification. As India’s electricity generation becomes gradually free of fossil fuels, the Railways would be moving towards lowering carbon emissions. However, in road transport, the use of petrol and diesel is expected to keep rising in a business as usual scenario. Electric vehicles (EVs) are far cheaper to run now. The reason EVs don’t have a higher market share is due to the absence of charging stations. Without charging infrastructure, very few EVs are being sold. As very few cars are being sold, setting up the charging infrastructure is not an attractive investment. A critical mass of public charging stations as well as charging facilities in all multi-storey apartments and office complexes is needed. The best way would be for the government to give a policy directive to the electricity distribution companies to create the critical mass of the charging infrastructure in metros and large cities. It should simultaneously direct the state electricity commissions to consider this investment as being eligible for return, on a par with other capital investments for distribution. As the demand for EVs picks up, this would generate profits. The government should provide full financing as debt through the Power Finance Corporation would not need any budgetary support at all. This investment would also generate demand and help economic revival. As the carbon emissions from each unit of electricity move towards zero, emissions from EVs would also move to zero. This transition from fossil fuels would be driven by market forces without any subsidies or compulsion. The benefits of reduced air pollution from EVs makes a compelling case for a policy directive for provision of charging infrastructure. For inter-city movement of trucks and buses, the way forward, as it is emerging in Europe and Japan, is the introduction of hybrid trucks and buses. With fast-charging stations, including battery swapping, along highways, these vehicles would mostly run on electricity, which will be generated ultimately with renewables only. Germany has recently conducted a pilot, of laying overhead electric cables that would enable hybrid trucks to run only on electricity on the highways. India needs to consider this. It is time to consider going slow on truck, bus and car transport being run on gas as a cheaper and cleaner fuel. Getting locked into long-term ‘take or pay’ LNG contracts and heavy capital investments in LNG terminals, and the distribution network for road transport is not a good idea now. The UK has now decided that from 2030 sale of petrol and diesel vehicles would not be allowed. The argument of gas being a greener bridge fuel had merit earlier, but has now become dated. The risk is that once large new investments are made for gas supply, a strong constituency emerges in favour of the status quo and against change. India needs to seriously look at the fading away of coal mining and thermal power plants. It also needs to start thinking of the day when the oil refining and distribution network would have to wind down. There are legitimate concerns that the total reserves of rare earth and minerals may not be adequate to sustain full electric mobility through the present battery technologies. Market forces can reasonably be expected to drive innovation in creating viable substitutes. Auto majors have developed vehicles running on fuel cells using hydrogen as fuel. Hydrogen is a clean fuel discharging water vapour when the engine runs. Producing hydrogen at affordable costs, without carbon emissions, is the challenge. The route is through electrolysis of water using electricity from renewables only. Europe and Japan have mounted pilot projects for the hydrogen economy to lower costs and scale it up rapidly thereafter. The distribution network is also quite costly as hydrogen has to be compressed at very high pressure. India should undertake some modest measures for learning and creating capacity for the hydrogen economy. The government-financed R&D for lowering costs could give us a competitive advantage. For India, this may be the right time for the adoption of feasible pathways to have a carbon-free surface transport system over the next two decades. It may even turn out to be a lower-cost option.

https://www.financialexpress.com/opinion/decarbonising-transport-india-needs-to-consider-this/2151514/

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MP now mulls cow cess on fuel & LPG

At a time when fuel prices are on fire, the Madhya Pradesh government is mulling cow cess on petrol, diesel, and cooking gas. The government hopes to earn at least Rs 200 crore that it will funnel into cow welfare.

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If implemented, it would be the first major step to ensure funds for cows since the cow cabinet was formed on November 20. The cow is a revered animal for many. But the MP government seems hell bent on milking the cow dry. After constituting a cow cabinet, it is now going in for a cow cess. True, several other states have also opted for the same method, but putting the cow at the centre of so many state-driven initiatives is baffling. The animal husbandry department has placed this proposal, citing that PunjabRajasthan, UP and Haryana already charge cow cess, say sources. According to sources, the department has proposed cow cess of 15 paise per litre on petrol and diesel — which is expected to fetch Rs 120 crore annually — and Rs 10 per cooking gas cylinder, aimed at mopping up Rs 83 crore.

https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/oil-and-gas/mp-now-mulls-cow-cess-on-fuel-lpg/79750999

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Delhi municipal corporations plan e-charging stations at every 3km

Here’s some good news for those planning to buy an eco-friendly electric vehicle. Municipal corporations in Delhi have decided to set up a large number of electric charging stations in the city during the next one year. 

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Senior officials say that their target is to provide at least one station in an area of 3 sqkm so that people owning electric vehicles are incentivised. South Delhi Municipal Corporation has identified 75 locations for creating charging infrastructure, the north corporation has finalised 127 such charging points and the east corporation has shortlisted 93 locations for creating charging stations. As per the new building bylaws, it has already become mandatory to reserve 20% of the parking space for electric vehicles—with the provision of charging infrastructure in place—for all future projects, including malls, hospitals, public buildings, housing societies as well as commercial complexes. Besides encouraging adoption of e-vehicles, the move will indirectly help in cutting down the carbon emissions. 

https://auto.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/industry/delhi-municipal-corporations-plan-e-charging-stations-at-every-3km/79752246

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RERC fixes Rs 6/unit power tariff for EV charging stations

To pave the way for the growth of electric vehicles (EV), Rajasthan Electricity Regulatory Commission (RERC) has fixed the tariff for charging stations at Rs 6 per unit by creating a new category of consumer.

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The standard operating procedure (SOP) for establishing these electric vehicles (EV) charging stations were released by the department. The regulatory body has also decided to provide relaxation in permanent fee from Rs 135 to Rs 40 per month for these stations. An official said, “Under the ‘Time of Day’, method 15 % relaxation will also be provided to owners, who will charge their EV between 11 pm to 6 am.” Electric vehicles’ charging infrastructure will also be soon developed at 75 locations in the Pink City. The Jaipur Development Authority (JDA) will identify locations for setting up EV stations within a week. In Jaipur, a total of 54 stations will be established by the Rajasthan Electronics & Instruments Ltd (REIL) and remaining 21 stations will be set up by the Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL). An official said, “Electric vehicle chargers are being installed by REIL under the FAME Scheme of department of heavy Industry, Ministry of Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises, Government of India with the objective to promote electric mobility by creating charging infrastructure and creating awareness.” The city will have two types of charging stations – fast and slow. The fast-charging station will take 60 minutes and slow charging station will take 6 hours.

Source: ET Auto

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Uber announces launch of 3,000 electric two-wheeler, three-wheelers and cabs in 2021

Uber on Wednesday (Dec 16) announced its plans to switch majorly to fully zero-emission platform by 2040 globally and in India, it has committed scaling up to 3,000 electric vehicles across two-wheelers,

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three-wheelers and cabs by the end of 2021. Officials from the aggregator firm also mentioned that this year, it provided 1.8 lakh free rides to state/local governments and partnered with the National Health Authority of India (NHA) to provide over a lakh free rides to healthcare workers. “In India, we disbursed grants to approximately a lakh drivers in distress during Covid,” said Prabhjeet Singh, President, Uber India and South Asia. “In March, the world came to a screeching halt due to Covid-19. In just a few days, we went from connecting millions of rides a week to urging our riders to stay home,” Singh said. “We found meaningful ways to cater to the evolving needs of our communities, while creating livelihood opportunities for our drivers.”
A report released by Uber on Wednesday showed that it provided 10 million rides and deliveries of food globally to healthcare workers, seniors, and others worldover. In India, Uber distributed over 3 million masks and 2 lakh bottles of disinfectants and 2 lakh sanitisers to drivers free of cost. “In India, we facilitated essential trips to hospitals, pharmacies and clinics during the lockdown and completed 45,000+ trips on Uber Essential,” Singh said, adding,”We installed safety screens (separates the rider from the driver) in 43,000 cars and 87,000 auto rickshaws. We also facilitated 50,000 free rides to leading NGOs, including Robin Hood Army, HelpAge India, CHILDLINE India Foundation and the National Association for the Blind,” he added.

Source: ET Auto

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Punjab cabinet approves IOCL’s proposal to set up compressed biogas plant

The Punjab cabinet on Thursday (Dec 17) gave in-principle approval to Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL) for setting up a compressed biogas (CBG) plant at the site of closed cooperative sugar mills at Rakhra in Patiala.

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The plant, to be developed in collaboration with Sugarfed, will help reduce stubble burning through use of paddy straw for biogas generation, and will also nurture soil fertility through organic manure production, according to a government statement here. The upcoming CBG plant, which will create direct and indirect employment opportunities, will have capacity of 30 tonnes CBG (compressed bio gas) production, with daily feedstock capacity of approximately 300 tonnes of paddy straw per day. It would also generate organic manure to the tune of about 75,000 tonnes per annum. Moreover, CBG being an environment-friendly fuel with the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 98%, the plant would help in minimising dependency on fossil fuels, and thus become a major contributor to promoting circular economy. The CBG plant would also be instrumental in reducing stubble burning in fields, thereby containing air pollution in Punjab. It will also thus help in augmenting the savings of farmers, as well as in restoring soil fertility and carbon content, the statement said. Apart from these, it would also provide additional income or revenue to the state government through tax on sale of CBG produced from the proposed plant. At a cabinet sub-committee meeting, headed by Cooperation Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, IOCL had informed that the project would involve production of biogas from rice straw and other biomass at an estimated cost of Rs 180 crore. IOCL would procure straw from farmers through cooperative societies. The rates for purchase/supply of rice straw would be settled after mutual negotiations. CHS VSD RVK

https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/oil-and-gas/punjab-cabinet-approves-iocls-proposal-to-set-up-compressed-biogas-plant/79789259

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About 14% cut in CO2 emissions possible in small commercial vehicle segment with EV push

India can see up to 14% reduction in CO2 emissions in the small commercial vehicle segment with higher electric vehicle (EV) penetration in total sales by 2030, according to a study. The study —

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Roadmap for Electrification of Urban Freight in India — was conducted to assess the operational and financial feasibility of EVs in the urban freight (UF) segment by undertaking a survey-based analysis of five sectors in Delhi, Bengaluru and Surat. It was released by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in association with Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation (SSEF). The study has come up with various recommendations, including setting up of a nationwide vehicle scrappage policy programme, with a focus on electric vehicle replacement. The study has also called for a countrywide national programme for electrification of urban freight sector. It has recommended state and city-level action plans for electrification of urban freight segments besides establishing a financial credibility framework for the manufacturers and drivers. The study also sought favourable terms of finance for electric freight vehicle by the lending institutions. “Our key findings suggest that the total cost of operation is rapidly turning in favour of EV variants, and diesel prices, range of EVs and subsidies play a significant role in the overall total cost of ownership (TCO) of EVs,” TERI Centre for Sustainable Mobility Associate Fellow and Area Convenor Sharif Qamar noted. Qamar, who has authored the study, also highlighted that a large proportion of light commercial vehicles (LCVs) currently plying in Indian cities are pre-BS-IV emission standards, and focus is needed to upgrade these to newer vehicles. “EVs are increasingly being introduced in the urban freight/last-mile delivery services in Indian cities. Up to 14 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions is attainable in the small commercial vehicle segment with higher EV penetration in total sales by 2030,” Qamar said. Niti Aayog Adviser, Transport, Sudhendu J Sinha while unveiling the report in a virtual event said with the increase in the country’s urban population, authorities need to address the transport sector. “The urban freight sector is no more confined to four and three-wheelers; it also comprises two-wheelers with the advent of e-commerce,” he noted. One of the most significant challenges in the three-wheeler segment is with respect to finances. However, that cost is now coming down to 25-30 per cent in India, he added. Citing the success of the public-private partnership (PPP) model for the adoption of EVs in Kochi, he said that awareness campaigns should be taken up to promote the uptake of such electric three-wheelers.

Source: ET Auto

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TP Renewable Microgrid inaugurates first 5kW Bio-gas plant in Bihar

TP Renewable Microgrid (TPRMG), a wholly owned subsidiary of Tata Power, on Monday (Dec 28) announced that it had inaugurated its first 5kW Bio-gas generating plant at Kamalpura (Basaitha) village in Muzaffarpur district of Bihar.

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The plant commenced operations on ‘National Energy Conservation Day’, on December 14. TPRMG constructed this plant in association with Grassroots Energy. The plant consumes cow dung which is procured from nearby villages and then it is processed through a Bio-digester to generate methane gas. This gas is then used to drive a specially designed 5kW generator to generate electricity which is fed to the adjoining 30kW microgrid generating station. The residue of the Bio-gas plant is processed to create organic manure for the farmers. “…we are constructively moving ahead with our agenda to be the foremost Renewable Energy Company of India and continue to support the nation to achieve its green energy goals,” Praveer Sinha, CEO & MD, Tata Power, said. “With this low-cost energy-efficient technology to produce purified biogas in a cost-effective manner, we will address diverse market segments currently using conventional energy sources. We shall enable them to switch to low-cost Bio-gas powered electricity without lowering their performance,” said Manoj Gupta, CEO, TP Renewable Microgrid. This Bio-Gas plant was inaugurated in the presence of the village Pradhan (Headman), the land owner, the Grassroot Energy team along with TPRMG’s team. TPRMG’s focus now lies on developing and commissioning its Bio CNG plant in rural parts of India.

https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/oil-and-gas/tp-renewable-microgrid-inaugurates-first-5kw-bio-gas-plant-in-bihar/79993603

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Gas/ Pipelines/ Company News

PM to virtually inaugurate Kochi-Mangaluru GAIL pipeline

It was a matter of happiness that a project, believed to never materialise, was finally ready and the PM himself was inaugurating it, the Chief Minister added. Thiruvananthapuram:

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PM Narendra Modi would virtually inaugurate the Kochi-Mangaluru GAIL pipeline on January 5, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Thursday. Vijayan told reporters here that it was a matter of happiness that the Prime Minister had agreed to launch the natural gas pipeline project. “Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan called yesterday. He informed that the Prime Minister consented to virtually inaugurate the Kochi-Mangaluru GAIL pipeline on January 5,” he said. It was a matter of happiness that a project, believed to never materialise, was finally ready and the Prime Minister himself was inaugurating it, the Chief Minister added. The 444-km long pipeline was launched in 2009 at an estimated cost of Rs 2,915 crore and was to be commissioned in 2014. But opposition on safety and commercial grounds wherein the land price was the main hurdle, both from political parties and the public, had left the project hanging fire. This had led to the project cost nearly doubling to over Rs 5,750 crore.

https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/oil-and-gas/pm-to-virtually-inaugurate-kochi-mangaluru-gail-pipeline/79941819

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India’s natural gas consumption rises 2% in November from a year earlier

Natural gas consumption in the country has risen 2% in November from a year earlier, signalling a rebound in the industrial activity. The consumption rose to 5.2 billion cubic meters (BCM) from 5.1 BCM last November,

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as per the official data. The demand for the April-November period is down nearly 5% from last year. “There has been a growth in consumption as the economic activities regain slow and steady growth,” the oil ministry’s Petroleum Planning & Analysis Cell said in its monthly report. The initial demand recovery was led by the fertilizer and power plants and refineries. “City gas demand that had sharply dropped due to the lockdown is also returning with new city gas licensees setting up CNG fuelling stations,” said E S Ranganathan, director (marketing) at GAIL, the nation’s largest gas marketer. Lockdown had curbed public transport, a key consumer of compressed natural gas in big cities like Delhi and Mumbai. With schools still shut, a big segment of CNG buses are still not on the roads. But the deficit is being met by new CNG pumps being set up in new city gas license areas. Increased activity in smaller factories, which get supply from city gas distributors, has also helped. Fertilizer is the biggest consumer with about 30% of all gas consumed while power takes about 20%. City gas distributors have recovered to 18% while refinery and petrochemicals take about 14% and 6% respectively. The demand for natural gas for cooking at home has remained steady although it has fallen sharply for restaurants this year due to fewer people eating out. India imports a little more than half of its natural gas requirement and lower international prices for many months also helped boost domestic demand. Rates of natural gas have risen in the international market now, which can have adverse effect on consumption.

https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/oil-and-gas/indias-natural-gas-consumption-rises-2-in-november-from-a-year-earlier/79907954

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Gas pipeline blast kills one, destroys houses in Gujarat

A blast at a gas pipeline in Gujarat killed one person and injured two others early on Tuesday, authorities said.

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It was not immediately clear who ran the pipeline – state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) denied media reports that it was the operator. Local company Sabarmati Gas, partly-owned by Bharat Petroleum Corp, also said it was not involved. The massive explosion destroyed two houses in a residential area near ONGC’s Kalol field in Gandhinagar district, trapping people under the debris, officials said. Senior Gandhinagar official Kuldeep Arya told Reuters a gas leakage could have triggered the blast. ONGC confirms that this pipeline, where the accident took place, does not belong to ONGC,” its local office said. It was supporting rescue officials on the ground, it added.

https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/oil-and-gas/gas-pipeline-blast-kills-one-destroys-houses-in-gujarat/79861584

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RIL, BP start gas production at ultra-deep-water R-cluster field off Kakinada coast

Reliance Industries (RIL) and BP Plc have started production from the R-cluster, ultra-deep-water gas field in block KG D6 off the east coast of India, a joint statement said Friday (Dec 18).

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RIL and BP are developing three deepwater gas projects in block KG D6 – R-cluster, Satellites cluster and MJ – which together are expected to meet around 15% of India’s gas demand by 2023. “This is a significant milestone in India’s energy landscape, for a cleaner and greener gas-based economy. Through our deep-water infrastructure in the Krishna Godavari basin we expect to produce gas and meet the growing clean energy requirements of the nation,” Mukesh Ambani, chairman and managing director of RIL, was quoted as saying in a statement. The commissioning of the R-Cluster is the first of three deepwater projects. It is expected to reach plateau gas production of about 12.9 MMSCMD in 2021. “Growing India’s own production of cleaner-burning gas to meet a significant portion of its energy demand, these three new KG D6 projects will support the country’s drive to shape and improve its future energy mix,” BP Chief Executive Bernard Looney said. These projects will use the existing hub infrastructure in KG D6 block. RIL is the operator of KG D6 with a 66.67% participating interest and BP holds a 33.33% participating interest. Reliance and BP Plc had committed an investment of Rs 40,000 crore in June 2017 into the three sets of discoveries which were aimed to reverse the fall in production in KG-D6 block. The R-cluster was earlier scheduled to start operations by June, but due to the Covid19 pandemic, the date got deferred to the second half of 2020-21. R-cluster is located about 60 kilometers from the existing KG D6 control and riser platform (CRP) off the Kakinada coast and comprises a subsea production system tied back to CRP through a subsea pipeline. Located at a water depth of greater than 2000 meters, it is the deepest offshore gas field in Asia.

https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/oil-and-gas/ril-bp-start-gas-production-at-ultra-deep-water-r-cluster-field-off-kakinada-coast/79797585

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GAIL launches testimonial videos

Advocating natural gas as a cleaner and convenient fuel option towards a gas-based economy, as envisioned by the Government of India, GAIL has established a Natural Gas pipeline network of over 12,500 kms.

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GAIL has been spreading the clean energy to various nooks and corners of the country by spreading the length of its pipeline network and connecting more and more number of cities. To facilitate energy empowerment and fuel the nation, the company has launched three testimonial videos under it’s online initiative #SpreadingEnergyofHappines. It is to motivate the masses and enhance the usage of natural gas. These testimonial videos showcase an autorikshaw driver from Bhubaneshwar, a homemaker from Patna and an industrial unit in Bengaluru using natural gas as fuel. The initiative advocates the use of uninterrupted, convenient supply of piped natural gas (PNG) at homes. It promotes affordable environment-friendly fuel for transportation through compressed natural gas (CNG) and encourages convenient, soot-free and workers’ health-friendly energy for better work environment in manufacturing and industries. It also advocates the usage of cleaner natural gas for captive power generation for industries and SMEs. The usage of the cleanest fossil fuel will help in reducing emissions of GHG, thereby, facilitating in reduction of air pollution, climate change, global warming and rising sea levels. An engagement activity has been initiated along with the #SpreadingEnergyOfHappiness initiative, asking netizens to share their stories, pictures and quotes on how cleaner energy has brought convenience and happiness in their lives. GAIL has tied up with an NGO to plant a tree for every comment on social media platforms. The trees will be geo-tagged and the live location will be shared with the social media users.

https://www.dailypioneer.com/2020/vivacity/gail-launches-testimonial-videos.html

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Reliance-BP consortium invites bidders for gas from KG D6 basin

India’s Reliance Industries Ltd and UK’s BP Plc on Wednesday (Dec 30) invited companies to bid for gas produced from the KG D6 basin. They expect to sell the gas from February.

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* “The gas produced for KG D6 will be available for sale at the delivery point at Gadimoga near KakinadaAndhra Pradesh tentatively from 01 February 2021,” the companies said in a notice in the Times of India newspaper. * CRISIL Risk and Infrastructure Solutions Ltd, a unit of S&P Global Inc, will conduct the bidding process through an online platform, the notice said.
* The Reliance-BP consortium is developing and producing from deep water gas fields under a production sharing agreement with the Indian government.

https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/oil-and-gas/reliance-bp-consortium-invites-bidders-for-gas-from-kg-d6-basin/80022752

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Policy Matters/ Gas Pricing/Others

Reliance-BP’s natural gas production to raise domestic consumption and cut expensive imports, say analysts

Natural gas from Reliance-BP’s new field in the KG basin will help raise domestic consumption and cut expensive imports, analysts and industry executives said. RIL-BP’s production has started

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at a time the liquefied natural gas (LNG) prices in the international spot markets are roaring. Spot LNG rates in Asia have jumped to above $11 per unit this month, a six-year-high, from a record low of under $2 per unit in May on colder-than-normal winters in north Asia, higher freight, and supply outage at some LNG exporting plants. Most of the gas currently being produced by RIL-BP’s new field was sold last year at a price linked to crude oil and can’t rise above the government-set ceiling of $4.06 per unit until March. “There is a lot of latent domestic demand. The new volume from RIL-BP will help domestic consumption to rise,” said K Ravichandran, senior vice president & group head-corporate ratings at rating agency ICRA. “There will be a small impact on import as well where consumers will want to cut down on expensive spot purchases.”

https://www.energyinfrapost.com/reliance-bps-natural-gas-production-to-raise-domestic-consumption-and-cut-expensive-imports-say-analysts/

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Cairn Energy wins retro tax arbitration; India ordered to pay USD 1.2 bn

The tribunal asked India to pay the funds withheld along with the interest to the Scottish oil explorer for seizing dividend, tax refund, and sale of shares to partly recover the dues. UK’s Cairn Energy Plc has won

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an arbitration against the Indian government levying Rs 10,247 crore in retrospective taxes, the company said on Wednesday (Dec 23). The three-member tribunal, which also comprised of a judge appointed by the Indian government, ruled that India’s claim of Rs 10,247 crore in past taxes over a 2006-07 internal reorganisation of Cairn’s India business was not a valid demand, sources said. The tribunal asked India to pay the funds withheld along with the interest to the Scottish oil explorer for seizing dividend, tax refund, and sale of shares to partly recover the dues. Confirming the award, Cairn in a statement said “the tribunal established to rule on its claim against the Government of India has found in Cairn’s favour.” Cairn had challenged the Indian government seeking taxes over an internal business reorganisation using the 2012 retrospective tax law, under the UK-India Bilateral Investment Treaty. “The tribunal ruled unanimously that India had breached its obligations to Cairn under the UK-India Bilateral Investment Treaty and has awarded to Cairn damages of USD 1.2 billion-plus interest and costs, which now becomes payable,” it said. This is the second blow to the government over the retrospective tax issue in three months. A separate international arbitration tribunal had in September ruled against India levying retrospective taxes on Vodafone Group.

https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/oil-and-gas/cairn-energy-wins-retro-tax-arbitration-india-ordered-to-pay-usd-1-2-bn/79916315

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All industries in Delhi to switch to PNG by January 31, 2021, directs air quality commission

About 1,644 of the industrial units spread across 50 industrial areas in Delhi have been identified for the switch over to PNG. The Commission for Air Quality Management in NCR and Adjoining Areas has directed

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all industrial units in Delhi to switch over to piped natural gas (PNG) by January 31. In one of its first big interventions, the Commission has also directed the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) to inspect and identify industries using polluting fuels and take stringent penal action against those found violating the directive. At a meeting on Tuesday (Dec 22), the Commission reviewed the progress of switching over of industries operating in Delhi to PNG. Representatives of the Delhi government, Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL), and Indraprastha Gas Limited (IGL) attended the meeting. About 1,644 of the industrial units spread across 50 industrial areas in Delhi had been identified for the switch over to PNG. The Commission stressed the need to switch over by all identified industries in Delhi considering the sector is one of the major contributors to air pollution in Delhi and the NCR or the National Capital Region. IGL and GAIL have been directed to complete the pipeline network, metering, and associated infrastructure by January 31. MM Kutty, chairman of the Commission and former Delhi chief secretary, had earlier said they were also working on a long-term solution to crop stubble fires that also pollute the region’s air.

https://www.hindustantimes.com/delhi-news/all-industries-in-delhi-to-switch-to-png-by-january-31-2021-directs-air-quality-commission/story-vYvQMOvrYVUxYklyZ2jsAM.html

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APP asks power ministry to reintroduce gas subsidy scheme to revive power plants

The Association of Power Producers (APP) has urged the government to reintroduce gas subsidy scheme for revival of gas-based electricity generation projects in the country.

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The body has also sought dedicated allocation or auction of gas for power sector and inclusion of natural gas under goods and services tax (GST) regime to maintain 5% tax across the country. In a letter shot off to Power Minister R K Singh last week, APP asked for reintroduction of a modified E-RLNG (electronic auction of subsidy to buy regasified liquefied natural gas) scheme to improve the PLF (plant load factor or capacity utilisation) of stressed gas- based power generation plants. It pointed out that due to the limited supply of gas, these power plants are operating at extremely low PLF of 22 per cent. In order to revive the stranded gas-based assets, the central government had introduced E-RLNG scheme in 2015. Taking into consideration the high price of imported gas due to high taxation (VAT) and transportation tariff, the scheme recommended a haircut to be taken by all the stakeholders in order to make imported gas competitive with other sources of fuel. This scheme had helped improve the PLF of many stressed gas-based plants, but it was discontinued after two years leading to the return of stress and uncertainty for the gas-based assets, the body said. According to the recommendation of the body, the modified scheme can have exemptions like 50% reduction on pipeline tariff charges, 75% reduction on marketing margin and 50 % reduction on regasification charges. APP pointed out,” It may be recalled that many pipeline operators were willing to provide 50% reduction in their tariff since most of the pipeline utilization were not more than 40 to 45%.” It may also be noted that the reintroduction of this scheme would be in line with the recommendations of the High Level Empowered Committee (HLEC) constituted in 2018 to look into the issues of stressed power plants. The committee had suggested that the power ministry and petroleum and natural gas ministry may jointly frame a scheme for revival of gas based power plant on the lines of earlier e-bid RLNG scheme (supported by PSDF-power system development fund), it added. APP has also asked for a separate window for allocation of gas to power plants. Natural gas allocation/auction should be done similar to coal allocation, in which a special bucket is reserved for the power sector, it demanded. “Power sector is a regulated sector and it desperately needs additional domestic gas allocation/auction in view of the dwindling past supply to the power sector. “The additional 30 MMSCMD of domestic natural gas to be available by FY 2023 from KG basin should have some quantity earmarked for the power sector plants which have no gas presently, on priority basis to revive and operationalize them in long term,” the body said. The domestic gas that would be produced can be allocated through a bidding route, but of the total gas being bid, there should be a special bucket or a specific quantity solely for the power sector as the sector cannot compete with other non-regulated industries, it suggested. APP is of the view that such high VAT rates result in restrictive usage of natural gas and are detrimental to the government’s vision of increasing the share of gas in India’s energy sources. Further, it stated that the VAT on domestic gas is completely incongruous with the tax levied on coal. For instance, it said that in contrast to gas, coal is taxed under the GST regime at 5%. Further, as natural gas is not under the ambit of GST, there is no input tax credit available. The majority of the gas-based plants in India are struggling at present. The current installed capacity of gas-based plants in India, is around 25 GW, of which around 12 GW are under stress. Of these 12 GW of stressed plants, around 5.60 GW have had absolutely no gas supplied to them in 2019-20 and 6.16 GW of plants have had limited gas supplies in that fiscal year. The gas-based plants have fixed cost as low as Rs one per kWh and can result in tremendous cost savings if they are operationalized and power is procured from them as opposed to these Central Sector plants that have an extremely high tariff. As per the APP estimates, operationalizing gas-based assets can cut down CO2 emissions by 74 million metric tonnes.

https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/oil-and-gas/app-asks-power-ministry-to-reintroduce-gas-subsidy-scheme-to-revive-power-plants/79837571

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LNG Development and Shipping

 


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INTERNATIONAL NEWS

 

Natural Gas / Transnational Pipelines/ Others

U.S. throws weight behind construction of EastMed gas pipeline

The United States is backing the construction of a subsea pipeline that would supply Europe with natural gas from the eastern MediterraneanU.S. Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette said on

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Thursday (Dec 17). Greece, Cyprus and Israel have approved an agreement for the Eastmed pipeline, which has been in planning for several years. The countries aim to reach a final investment decision by 2022 and have the 6-billion-euro scheme completed by 2025 to help Europe diversify its energy resources. “We are going to continue to work with Israel, Greece and other interested parties to ensure that the infrastructure will be developed,” Brouillette told reporters in Athens. “There is still an enormous amount of interest both from private industry and from governments of the region to see that infrastructure developed and to be developed as quickly as we can possibly do it.” Greece aims to play an important role in helping Europe diversify its energy resources away from Russia, an objective strongly supported by Washington. Imports of U.S. natural gas to Greece have risen sharply in recent years as the country has built up gas infrastructure, including an 878-kilometre (545-mile) pipeline. The Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), which brings Caspian gas to the Greek-Turkish border and into southern Italy, started commercial operation last month. Greece is also looking to build a liquified gas regasification unit off its Alexandroupolis port in the north that would be able to feed gas into TAP and another pipeline under construction with Bulgaria. (Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou Editing by Mark Heinrich)

https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/oil-and-gas/u-s-throws-weight-behind-construction-of-eastmed-gas-pipeline/79789106

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Pakistan to build 1,100 km gas pipeline with Russia in July

Pakistan has become one of the top emerging markets for the super-chilled fuel in recent years as domestic gas production has plateaued, forcing the nation to import cargoes.

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Pakistan will start building a 1,100 kilometer (684 miles) pipeline in July with Russia that will allow the South Asian nation to operate more liquefied natural gas terminals. The South Asian nation will have a majority share of 51% to 74% in the project, while Russia will own the remainder, Nadeem Babar, petroleum adviser to the prime minister, said in an interview on Dec. 14. Pakistan’s gas distribution companies Sui Southern Gas Co. and Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Ltd., which have started acquiring land for the pipeline, will be a part of the project, while a Russian consortium will lead construction. Pakistan has become one of the top emerging markets for the super-chilled fuel in recent years as domestic gas production has plateaued, forcing the nation to import cargoes. The nation has also auctioned a record 20 oil and gas blocks to encourage exploration activity, with bids expected by mid-January, said Babar. Pakistan, which imported its first cargo five years ago, currently has two LNG terminals. It’s running the two terminals at capacity to meet peak winter demand, with 12 cargoes secured for December and 11 for January, Babar said. Two more LNG terminals, Energas and Mitsubishi’s Tabeer Energy, are expected to start in the next few years. Pakistan has LNG deals for 700 million cubic feet a day and Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government will decide if the nation needs another medium-term LNG contract for five years after reviewing demand from power generators, the biggest consumers of the fuel, in the next three months, said Babar. The nation has also decided that it will only import cleaner Euro-5 diesel from January after doing the same for gasoline earlier this year. Besides imports, Pakistan also plans to add 150 million cubic feet a day of domestic gas output this month, including 50 mmcfd from the Mari gas field, Babar said.

Source: LNG Global

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Indian companies’ oil & gas output from overseas fields drops 11%

Output of Indian companies from overseas oil and gas fields has fallen 11% so far this year on the natural decline in fields, production cuts by Russia and the UAE to meet OPEC plus supply reduction commitments,

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and pandemic-induced capex delays. The output declined to 12.8 MMTOE during April-October this year from 14.4 MMTOE in the same period last year. India’s domestic production of oil and gas has also fallen 9 per cent in the same period. “Principally, some major international projects of ONGC Videsh have been impacted by host governments being members of OPEC+ group of countries and complying to agreed-upon production cuts. Due to this factor, production has been affected at Vankor in Russia, Lower Zakum in UAE, ACG Azerbaijan and GPOC project in South Sudan,” ONGC Videsh, the overseas arm of state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corp, said in an emailed response to ET’s query. “Geopolitical situation” was hurting production at its two projects in Venezuela, the company said. “Natural decline, exit from GNPOC in Sudan, Covid-19 impact on drilling schedule and deferment of capex activities; and optimization of Capex and Opex due to low oil price scenario” were also affecting output, it said. “The combined impact of these factors would be about 2 MMTOE, depending on changes in key elements during the second half of the year,” said ONGC Videsh, whose production of 15 MMTOE in 2019-20 was about 60 per cent of Indian companies’ total output from overseas fields. Other state-run firms such as Oil India, Indian Oil, and Bharat Petroleum too have invested in some of the same producing fields abroad as ONGC and are facing similar challenges. ONGC Videsh has 14 producing assets across several countries but depends predominantly on Russia for its annual output. In 2018-19, Russia contributed 62 per cent of ONGC Videsh’s oil and gas production while Vietnam accounted for a tenth. The UAE, Myanmar, and Azerbaijan made up 5 per cent each. As part of OPEC plus, a grouping of about two dozen oil-producing countries, Russia, the UAE and Azerbaijan have taken output cut to support prices that had sharply dropped earlier this year following a demand collapse due to the pandemic.

https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/oil-and-gas/indian-companies-oil-gas-output-from-overseas-fields-drops-11/79789042

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Kremlin sees US sanctions on Nord Stream 2 as manifestation of hybrid war

The Kremlin sees US sanctions against the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, expected to pump gas from Russia to Europe, as a sign of a hybrid war, presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Monday (Dec 21). Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska 

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has recently said that “sanctions are a tool of a very real modern hybrid war.” “We definitely can agree with Deripaska that these restrictions … are in fact a kind of a hybrid war,” Peskov told reporters when asked about Kremlin’s opinion on the billionaire’s statement. The best response to these restrictions on the gas pipeline project will be its completion, the spokesman said. (ANI/Sputnik)
https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/oil-and-gas/kremlin-sees-us-sanctions-on-nord-stream-2-as-manifestation-of-hybrid-war/79839505

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PetroChina strikes big gas find in China Xinjiang’s Junggar basin

Asia’s largest producer of oil and gas, PetroChina, has struck a large natural gas discovery in northwest China’s Xinjiang region with an initial estimated reserve exceeding 100 billion cubic meters,

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China’s state news agency Xinhua reported over the weekend. This marks another breakthrough in the state oil firm’s natural gas development in the region, following a similar-sized discovery at Tarim basin in September last year. PetroChina tapped 610,000 cubic meters of daily gas flow and 106.3 cubic meters of crude oil at exploration well Hu-1, located in an exploration zone totalling 15,000 square kilometers at the southern rim of the Junggar basin, Xinhua said. The oil and gas flows were struck at around 7,400 meters below the earth’s surface. Near the discovery, PetroChina is drilling three more exploration wells – Letan 1, Tianwan 1 and Tianan-1. Xinjiang is among the top areas for PetroChina’s domestic exploration and production spending as the state energy giant has vowed to spend 150 billion yuan ($22.90 billion) between 2018 and 2020 to boost total oil and gas output at the region to 1 million barrels per day oil equivalent.

https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/oil-and-gas/petrochina-strikes-big-gas-find-in-china-xinjiangs-junggar-basin/79835665

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Russia’s Novak says Saudi Aramco could expand role in Russian energy

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak on Sunday said that work was continuing to expand Saudi Aramco‘s role in Russian energy projects.

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“Energy continues to play a key role in the cooperation between our countries, with significant potential in the creation of new technologies for oil production and enhanced oil recovery, the use of artificial intelligence and scientific cooperation,” the former Russian energy minister was cited as saying in a statement published during his visit to Saudi Arabia.

https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/oil-and-gas/russias-novak-says-saudi-aramco-could-expand-role-in-russian-energy/79832700

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Brazil energy company Eneva eyes buying Petrobras gas assets in 2021

Eneva also expects to participate in government auctions set for 2021 for energy generation plants, which were originally scheduled to take this year but postponed because of uncertainties brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

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Brazil energy company Eneva will look into acquiring potential divestments in the gas sector from oil company Petrobras next, the company’s financial director Marcelo Habibe said on Wednesday (Dec 23). Eneva also expects to participate in government auctions set for 2021 for energy generation plants, which were originally scheduled to take this year but postponed because of uncertainties brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. Habibe said Eneva is particularly interested in the so-called A-5 and A-6 auctions, set for September. “It would be a project of somewhere about 600 megawatts, but we are still evaluating, the discussions are in early stages,” Habibe said. Among the Petrobras assets that Eneva would be interesting in purchasing are gas exploration fields and thermoelectric plants.

https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/oil-and-gas/brazil-energy-company-eneva-eyes-buying-petrobras-gas-assets-in-2021/79961699

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Global LNG Development

Australia’s Woodside and North West Shelf partners sign deals to process gas

The Perth-based firm said the North West Shelf facilities will process about 7.5 MMT of LNG over five years from the Waitsia Gas Project Stage 2, owned jointly by Beach Energy and Japan’s Mitsui & Co. –

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Woodside Petroleum and its North West Shelf LNG venture partners executed two agreements to process gas through the project’s facilities in Western Australia, the gas producer said on Wednesday (Dec 23). The Perth-based firm said the North West Shelf facilities will process about 7.5 MMT of LNG over five years from the Waitsia Gas Project Stage 2, owned jointly by Beach Energy and Japan’s Mitsui & Co. The project partners also signed a three-year deal to process about three million tonnes of LNG and 24.7 petajoules of domestic gas at the project’s Karratha gas plant under a deal signed with Woodside Burrup, a unit of the company. The processing of third-party gas resources will unlock further value for the NWS Project,” Woodside Chief Executive Peter Coleman said. “It will provide new revenue and LNG exports from the NWS Project, add to Western Australia’s domestic gas supplies from Pluto and help underpin Australia’s economic recovery.” Woodside’s partners on the North West Shelf project include units of BHP Group, BP, Chevron and Shell. The agreements mark a major step in transforming the Karratha gas plant into a third-party gas tolling facility and secure gas to fill processing capacity, the company said in a statement.

https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/oil-and-gas/australias-woodside-and-north-west-shelf-partners-sign-deals-to-process-gas/79932857

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China’s LNG imports could hit record high in Dec as demand bounces back

China’s LNG imports could hit a record in December on strong industrial demand and a continued gasification push, trade sources said. The world’s second largest LNG importer after Japan is on track to

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import its highest monthly volumes since December 2019, Refinitiv shiptracking data showed. December’s imports may set a new record, with domestic gas consumption for early December up 20% year-on-year, two sources familiar with the Chinese gas market told Reuters. “Domestic gas demand is really strong, as some provinces and cities are rushing to hit their five-year goals for coal-to-natural-gas switch, creating new pockets of industrial demand,” said a Beijing-based gas trader. China pledged to switch 7.09 million households in 45 cities in northern China from coal to gas or electricity this winter, part of its ongoing plan to use gas to cut emissions. China’s apparent consumption of natural gas increased 5% year on year to 257.73 BCM in the January-October period, according to latest data from the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC). October alone saw an 11.4% jump year-on-year in natural gas consumption, reaching 26.78 BCM, NDRC data showed. “Gas demand has been robust with industrial usage driven by strong exports being the key driver,” another Beijing-based source said. China’s exports rose at the fastest pace in almost three years in November on booming global demand for appliances, clothing, personal protective gear and other goods. China’s demand for gas for heating has also been rising. Still, with Asian spot LNG prices at their highest since 2018 Chinese buyers may slow imports from January, several sources said. “It feels like the gas crunch in 2017 is reappearing once again. Prices are soaring crazily but still it’s almost impossible to find any supply….I have no choice but to halt business for a while,” said a Tangshan-based LNG trader who buys imported LNG from a state-backed energy company and sells it to local users, such as steel mills and gas stations.
(Reporting by Jessica Jaganathan in Singapore and Muyu Xu in Beijing, additional reporting by Chen Aizhu)

https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/oil-and-gas/chinas-lng-imports-could-hit-record-high-in-dec-as-demand-bounces-back/79753169

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U.S. liquefied natural gas exports set a record in November

During the summer of 2020, monthly exports of LNG from the United States were the lowest in 26 months but have since increased, and in November, estimated LNG exports surpassed the previous record set in January 2020.

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In the December 2020 Short-Term Energy Outlook, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimated that November U.S. LNG exports reached 9.4 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d), which was 93% of peak LNG export capacity utilization. Several factors contributed to the increase in U.S. LNG exports in recent months. International natural gas and LNG prices increased in Asia and Europe because global natural gas demand increased after COVID-19 restrictions were eased and global LNG supply fell due to unplanned outages at LNG export facilities in Australia, Malaysia, Qatar, Norway, Nigeria, and Trinidad and Tobago. In addition, 2.7 Bcf/d of new U.S. LNG export capacity was added in 2020, and several U.S. LNG terminals affected by hurricanes and annual maintenance have resumed LNG shipments.

Source: LNG Global

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Pakistan to import LNG at $6.34 per MMBtu

In the wake of heavy criticism for losing a lifetime opportunity to import LNG at exceptionally low price, the government announced import of 30% more fuel during the peak winter month of January 2021 at the price of $6.34 per MMBtu –

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which it claims is the cheapest ever. LNG has emerged as a lifeline for the nation particularly during winters when households utilise it to operate heater and geysers as the mercury drops to freezing temperatures in many parts of the country. With decline in production of fuel from the local fields and no major discovery being made during the past one decade, the country has resorted to imports. “Pakistan will be moving 30% more LNG in this January (2021) compared to January 2018 at the cheapest ever price of $6.34 during the peak winter month,” Ministry of Energy (Petroleum Division) spokesperson said in a tweet on the division’s official Twitter handle on Saturday. The government has arranged import of 12 ships of LNG in January 2021. “In addition, the volume has been increased in certain cargoes (ships),” he said. Pakistan can receive maximum 12-13 LNG ships per month due to import capacity constraints. At present, there are only two import terminals in operation at a port in Karachi. The combined import capacity of the two terminals stands at around 1,200 MMCFD. Despite imports, and local production cumulatively amounting to 3,500 MMCFD, the government has to resort to load-shedding through temporary suspension of the fuel mostly to CNG filling stations, fertiliser manufacturers, power plants and others. The government provides the gas to residential consumers on a priority basis, however, they have been reporting blackouts as well. The spokesperson said. “With these robust steps, the load management plan approved by the cabinet for this winter remains undisturbed, whereby curtailment will be done primarily for CNG (filling stations) and captive power units (mostly run by textile exporting firms), as needed.” City loads have increased by 9% on Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited’s (SNGPL) network in Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa due to severe cold.

Former premier and petroleum minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, the co-guest at the show, however, criticised the Pakistan Tehreek-eInsaf government for having failed to book LNG cargo for peak winter months. He recalled that the fuel was available at less than $4 mmbtu a couple of months back when its demand had dropped next to zero globally owing to supply gluts during peak Covid-19 pandemic in summer 2020. Babar criticised Abbasi for signing a 15-year long import contract with Qatargas at an expensive price (13.37% of Brent) at a time when the world was predicting drop in the commodity price due to supply gluts in 2016. Later on, the prediction came true.

https://tribune.com.pk/story/2276639/pakistan-to-import-lng-at-634-per-mmbtu

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Shell reaps $2.5 bln from sale of minority stake in Queensland Curtis LNG facilities

Shell said on Monday (Dec14) it has agreed to sell a 26.25% stake in its Queensland Curtis LNG (QCLNG) facilities to Global Infrastructure Partners Australia for $2.5 billion, helping the oil major meet its annual target for divestments.

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Shell, advised by Rothschild & Co, put a minority stake in the asset up for sale earlier this year, after infrastructure investors expressed interest in the asset which has a guaranteed earnings stream for 15 years. The sale price was in line with analysts’ expectations. “This decision is consistent with Shell’s strategy of selling non-core assets in order to further high-grade and simplify Shell’s portfolio,” the company said in a statement. Shell is aiming to raise $4 billion a year from asset sales. The sale to Global Infrastructure Partners puts it on target for this year, following the divestment of its Martinez refinery and Appalachia shale gas assets. The QCLNG plant is majority owned by Shell, with minority stakes owned by China National Offshore Oil Corp and Tokyo Gas Co. The stake Global Infrastructure Partners has bought gives it a piece of a U.S.-dollar denominated, inflation-linked usage fee paid by CNOOC and Tokyo Gas over about 15 years, regardless of the LNG plant’s throughput. Global Infrastructure Partners was not immediately available for comment on the deal. Shell’s remaining 73.75% stake in the common facilities aligns with its stake in the overall QCLNG venture, which produces liquefied natural gas at an 8.5 million tonnes a year plant for export mostly to China and Japan.

https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/oil-and-gas/shell-reaps-2-5-bln-from-sale-of-minority-stake-in-queensland-curtis-lng-facilities/79832150

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There is hardly any gas’: LNG price rally exacerbates gas crunch in Asia

Surging spot prices for LNG are exacerbating a gas supply crunch in key fast-growing emerging markets in Asia just as a cold spell in other parts of the region boosts demand for the fuel. Companies from

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Pakistan to China have cancelled a flurry of LNG tenders this week, several trade sources said, as lofty prices risk pushing up the input costs of industries, which could make energy more expensive for consumers. Benchmark Asia spot LNG prices LNG-AS have soared sevenfold since May to six-year highs, driven by production losses in Australia, Malaysia, Norway and Qatar combined with accelerating use in China, India and elsewhere. “Buyers with no alternatives are now paying top-dollar for prompt cargoes in January,” said Chong Zhi Xin, a director at consultancy IHS Markit. The state buyer for Pakistan – one of the fastest growing LNG markets – did not award an emergency tender seeking three cargoes for delivery in January after it received high prices, according to sources. Power plants may opt to burn dirtier but cheaper fuel oil instead, the sources said, but are also facing rising prices in that market. In India, Gujarat State Petroleum Corp (GSPC) and Indian Oil Corp did not award tenders seeking cargoes for January to February delivery, trade sources said. In Bangladesh, gas shortages are already apparent. “We don’t have gas for cooking until (the) afternoon during the winter season. There is hardly any gas. I can’t even boil water, let alone cook food,” said Sumi Akter, a mother of two in the capital, Dhaka. Bangladesh has only imported one spot cargo this winter despite issuing several tenders over the past few months, a senior energy ministry official said. “We have started importing from the spot market but the effort was not successful because of the abnormally high prices,” the official added. Buyers in China, the world’s second largest LNG importer after Japan, are also feeling the pinch, with one steel trader reporting a rise of around 2% in billet prices in steelmaking hub Tangshan, due to the rise of natural gas prices. Steel mills use natural gas to fuel their furnace for production. China’s top buyers PetroChina and China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC) did not award tenders placed on the Shanghai Petroleum and Natural Gas Exchange, while Guangzhou Gas and Guangdong Energy also recently did not award tenders, traders said. Higher prices combined with a gas supply crunch have seen operations at liquefaction plants in some areas in northern China being cut by 20% to 40%, sources added. Top LNG importer Japan’s spot power prices have also surged to their highest since July 2018 as cold weather has driven demand for heating. “The LNG prices have reached a point where I don’t think it’s viable for some price-sensitive buyers,” a Singapore-based LNG trader said.

A tight shipping market has also accentuated the recent market supply pinch. “It’s really the perfect storm, and the fundamentals have supported the price rally,” said Robert Sims, research director at Wood Mackenzie.

Source: LNG Global/Reuters

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Gazprom loses ground in Finland to LNG from the Baltic States

Gazprom has lost a third of its Finnish gas market share after a new pipeline made it possible to import LNG via the Baltic States, data from Gazprom and Estonian gas grid operator Elering showed.

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The pipeline, called Balticconnector, which opened early this year, links Finland and Estonia and can also send gas to the Baltics. In the first nine months of 2020, a total of 5.8 terawatt-hours (TWh) of gas was exported to Finland via the pipeline, data provided by Elering showed. Meanwhile, direct gas exports from Russia to Finland over same period dropped by 35% to 11.4 TWh, from 17.6 TWh over Jan-Sept. in 2019, Gazprom’s quarterly data, published on its website, showed. Natural gas prices between Finland and the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania vary due to their access to the global LNG market, ability to store gas in Latvia and different Russian gas supply contracts. Haroldas Nauseda, CEO of Lithuanian state-controlled gas trader Ignitis, told Reuters: “In 2019, gas in Finland cost about 7 euros per MWh more than in Lithuania, a difference of 150 million euros for the full year.” “Today, there’s little difference left.” Ignitis supplied 2.23 TWh to Finland over Jan-Sept. and expects to keep the share in Finland next year, Nauseda said. Most of the gas came from the only large-scale LNG import terminal in the Baltic states, in Lithuania, with capacity of 39 TWh per year. Nauseda said that during the cold winter months the Balticconnector pipeline is unable to satisfy demand and prices in Finland go up. Built to transport about 25 TWh of gas per year, Balticconnector has been limited to about 11 TWh per year due to delays upgrading compressor stations. Gazprom is also facing competition in other parts of Europe from LNG imports, including from the United States. The Baltic and Finnish gas markets will get connected to mainland Europe at end-2021 by a new pipeline linking Lithuanian and Polish gas grids, potentially bringing in more competition. “The four countries consume about 60 TWh of gas per year, compared to 200 TWh in Poland, so the region will attract international players,” Nauseda said. (Reporting By Andrius Sytas. Editing by Jane Merriman)

https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/oil-and-gas/gazprom-loses-ground-in-finland-to-lng-from-the-baltic-states/79908830

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SOCAR, ENOC offer lowest prices for Feb LNG cargoes to Pakistan

SOCAR Trading (UK) Limited and ENOC Singapore have offered the lowest prices to supply two liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargoes to Pakistan LNG Limited (PLL) for delivery in February 2021,

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according to a tender document published on Tuesday (Dec 29). SOCAR offered a cargo for delivery between Feb. 15 to 16 at a percentage of the Brent crude oil futures price, known as a slope rate, of 23.4331% while ENOC offered a slope rate of 20.8483% for a cargo for Feb. 23 to 24, according to the document on the PLL website. PLL is a government subsidiary that procures LNG from the international market. Global LNG supply has been tight amid production issues and that has pushed spot prices to a near two-year high and freight rates for LNG tankers to a more than one-year high. Pakistan is yet to decide on whether it will award the tenders, said an official at the country’s petroleum ministry, as the rules require a 10-day gap between the bid announcement and the award. Earlier this month, Pakistan issued a prompt tender after three out of six cargoes it had sought in an earlier tender for January received no bids, but the country did not award the tenders given the high rates. The South Asian country has become an emerging buyer in the international LNG market over the last few years, with an increasing gap between demand and supply of gas. Pakistan has long-term purchase deals in place, but regularly taps the spot market as demand continues to rise. The power sector is Pakistan’s largest natural gas consumer, followed by residential consumption and the fertiliser industry. (Reporting by Gibran Peshimam; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)

https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/oil-and-gas/socar-enoc-offer-lowest-prices-for-feb-lng-cargoes-to-pakistan/80019733

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China’s CNOOC leads first LNG group purchasing on Shanghai gas exchange

Chinese state-owned China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC) has led the first group purchasing order for liquefied natural gas (LNG) on the Shanghai Petroleum and Natural Gas Exchange,

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the bourse said in a statement on Wednesday (Dec 30). The 120,000-tonne LNG cargo will arrive in April 2021 via CNOOC’s terminals and other approved hubs in Shenzhen and Guangdong, the exchange said. Buyers will have until the end of September to collect their purchases. The exchange’s newly launched group purchasing option for LNG buy tenders allows smaller firms to purchase portions of a larger cargo. Each group is managed by a “leader” who must own an LNG terminal to receive shipment. The group leader is also responsible for the shipment and its risks, and coordinates splitting the cargo with other buyers. Twelve firms, including local gas distributors Jindi United Energy Group, Zhejiang Huaqi Energy and Jilin Wansen Gas, are involved in the group purchase. China is the world’s second-largest LNG importer after Japan, and is aiming to create a benchmark price for Asian gas supplies via its natural gas trading exchange.

https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/oil-and-gas/chinas-cnooc-leads-first-lng-group-purchasing-on-shanghai-gas-exchange/80038682

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Natural Gas / LNG Utilization

Argentine government supports green corridors with CNG stations

According to María Fernanda Martínez, Manager of Natural Gas for Vehicles of the National Gas Regulatory Entity (Enargas), CNG will contribute to industrial growth, better logistics and more employment.

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“This development is a project built to value all the potential that Vaca Muerta radiates, fostering a stable volume of demand for natural gas and promoting productive, technological and industrial growth,” she said in an interview with the news agency Télam. In this sense, Enargas is working on the development of the so-called CNG Green Corridor, with a list of strategic routes for heavy and public transport that include all access highways to the City of Buenos Aires, the Ezeiza-Cañuelas highways, the La Plata highway and Highway 2. The national highways 7, 9, 12 and 14 are also included, as well as routes 3, 5, 8, 11, 19, 20, 22, 33, 34, 35, 36, 38, 40, 105, 158, 174, 188, 226 and 231. Thus, the coverage of the corridors will be extended to the areas of Argentina with the highest circulation and heavy traffic of goods (the Pampas) and, likewise, will allow the Northeast and Patagonia to be effectively incorporated into this new process of space integration. “From an economic perspective, CNG is substantially less expensive than other Euro fuels, which present the same performance qualities in transport use,” explained Martínez, noting that Argentina has more than 2,000 CNG filling stations that supply more than 500 towns and cities in 20 provinces. “We believe that this development agenda for CNG Green Corridors will result in greater possibilities for industrial growth, greater employment and better conditions to improve logistics and integration in a country as large as ours. The most important thing is that it will improve the situation of foreign currency outflow from imported energy, as is currently the case,” she commented. “In this way, it is estimated that a list of CNG stations that could supply the growing fleet of heavy and medium vehicles, vans and buses for passenger transport will be released soon,” she added.

http://www.ngvjournal.com/s1-news/c4-stations/argentine-government-supports-green-corridors-with-cng-stations/

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Spain: two new CNG stations will supply public transport in Mallorca

Redexis is building two new natural gas refueling stations on the island of Mallorca, as well as the necessary infrastructure to supply gas to both facilities. These stations, located in the towns of

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Felanitx and Calvià, will supply fuel to a total of 111 buses of the public transport service of the Balearic Islands (TIB) from December 2020 and January 2021, respectively. The Felanitx CNG station, specifically, is being installed on land provided by the Consorci de Transports de Mallorca (CTM). It will supply fuel to a total of 61 buses that will operate from Felanitx to Artá ​​with a consumption of 38.8 GWh/year, and this service can also be extended to other transport companies and industries present in the city. The Calvià station will be located in the Son Bugadelles industrial estate. It will supply CNG to a total of 50 TIB buses from the first quarter of 2021, with a consumption of 16.9 GWh/year. Private cars and trucks, coaches and vans will be also able to refuel CNG at this facility. Both locations are considered strategic since they are located on the main discretionary transport corridors in Mallorca. Thanks to the tender by the CTM, a public body of the Government of the Balearic Islands, there are now five branches built by Redexis to supply natural gas to a total of six service stations located at the bases of various concession companies of the TIB service in Mallorca, including the two that Redexis is currently building. In turn, these CNG stations have made it possible for the island to have more than 170 natural gas coaches for interurban public transport, which join Emaya’s truck fleet and the 100 CNG urban buses recently acquired by the Palma de Mallorca EMT. In 2021, a total of more than 270 public transport vehicles in Mallorca (100 from the EMT and 171 from the TIB) will be powered by CNG, representing about 75% of the fleet.

http://www.ngvjournal.com/s1-news/c4-stations/spain-redexis-builds-two-cng-stations-for-public-transport-in-mallorca/

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LNG as a Marine Fuel/Shipping

First call in France by an LNG-fueled containership took place in Dunkirk

The CMA CGM CHAMPS ELYSEES, sailing under the French flag, called at Terminal des Flandres at the Grand Port Maritime of Dunkirk, the first call in France by a 23,000 TEU vessel powered by LNG.

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Gazprom Neft’s installs key equipment on Russia’s first LNG bunkering vessel

She joins forces with the CMA CGM JACQUES SAADE, the CMA CGM Group’s flagship, on the French Asia Line (FAL 1), the iconic route linking Asia with Europe, with a weekly call in Dunkirk. In November 2017, Rodolphe Saadé, Chairman and CEO of the CMA CGM Group, made the visionary decision to order nine 23,000 TEUs with an LNG power supply, a first in the history of the shipping industry for vessels of this size. The weekly FAL 1 call in Dunkirk will keep France supplied with goods ahead of the festive season. CMA CGM also helps to export French and European products around the world, so this weekly call also a means of exporting high value-added goods, such as industrial equipment, as well as French agricultural products. The CMA CGM Group now operates seven LNG-powered containerships sailing under the French flag and will have a fleet of 26 containerships of various sizes by 2022. The CMA CGM CHAMPS ELYSEES and her eight 23,000 TEU sister ships (including the CMA CGM JACQUES SAADE) will be registered on the French International Register (RIF). They will be named after iconic monuments and landmarks in the French capital (Palais Royal, Louvre, Rivoli, Montmartre, Concorde, Trocadéro and Sorbonne). 

http://www.ngvjournal.com/s1-news/c7-lng-h2-blends/first-call-in-france-by-an-lng-fueled-containership-took-place-in-dunkirk/

f Russia’s first LNG bunkering vessel is now in its final stage, with Gazprom Neft having completed its installation of tanks and other cryogenic equipment for LNG transportation and storage.

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This high-tech vessel will be providing environmentally-friendly NGV-fuel transportation and bunkering services for clients at major ports throughout the Baltic Sea – in St Petersburg, Ust-Luga, Primorsk, and elsewhere. Using LNG to develop its bunkering-fuels line is front of mind for Gazprom Neft, the company having initiated the deployment of international standard in LNG bunkering for Russian shipping in 2018. Construction works on Gazprom Neft’s LNG bunkering vessel have involved the installation of two cargo tanks, each with a capacity of 2900 m3 – this high-tech equipment having been manufactured using a nickel-iron-based alloy, with high durability and resistance to ultra-low temperatures, thanks to which fuel tank circuits mean LNG can be stored safely at temperatures as low as -165°?. Special reinforcing props attached to the hull structure in the cargo holds had to be used to install the tanks. The LNG bunkering vessel has also been fitted with cryogenic equipment, including: pumps and piping for loading and discharging LNG, and a fuel-tank cooling system. In line with planned scheduling, the next stage in building the LNG bunkering vessel will be the installation of the cargo deck, while pipe-fitting and installation of cargo handling equipment remain ongoing. “The best international technologies, both in shipbuilding and in LNG storage and transportation, are being used on Russia’s first LNG bunkering project. 70% of key construction works are now complete; the ship’s hull has been assembled; and energy facilities have been installed, as have fuel tanks. The next stage is going to be launching Gazprom Neft’s LNG bunker at sea”, says Alexei Medvedev (Director General, Gazpromneft-Marine Bunker).

https://www.lngindustry.com/liquid-natural-gas/15122020/gazprom-nefts-installs-key-equipment-on-russias-first-lng-bunkering-vessel

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Texas LNG bunkering project starts waterway assessment process with Coast Guard

A plan to build the first LNG bunkering terminal along the U.S. Gulf Coast is progressing through the permitting process by initiating a water suitability assessment with the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG).

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Pilot LNG LLC’s proposed Galveston LNG Bunker Port (GLBP) project would comprise an LNG production vessel that would be permanently moored off Pelican Island, TX. The island is in Galveston Bay, one of the busiest marine corridors in the United States, providing access to the ports in Houston, Galveston and Texas City. The project, which would have production capacity of 500,000 tons per year, equivalent to about 64 MMcf/d of gas, plans to make a positive final investment decision in late 2021 or early 2022 after getting regulatory approvals. Operations are slated to begin in 2024. Pilot LNG earlier this month submitted a letter of intent and a preliminary water suitability report to the USCG to initiate the evaluation, management said. The review would assess the potential safety, security, marine and economic impacts of expected marine traffic from the project. Bunker barges would load at the terminal and distribute LNG fuel to ships, but the project has not yet determined if it would operate its own fleet. The bunker port project in October reached a preliminary long-term supply deal with GAC Bunker Fuels, an affiliate of the GAC Group that procures fuel for customers in the shipping industry. The heads of agreement outlined the terms for Pilot to provide LNG bunker fuel to GAC customers on a delivered ex-ship basis. The project in July applied for key permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The U.S. LNG bunkering market is most advanced along Florida’s Atlantic Coast, primarily to serve ships transporting U.S. goods to Puerto Rico. JAX LNG LLC in 2018 began operating a second waterfront LNG facility in Jacksonville, FL, to conduct ship-to-ship bunkering operations. Eagle LNG Partners Jacksonville LLC also has proposed building and operating a terminal and export facility in Jacksonville.Demand for LNG bunker fuel is poised to grow. International regulators have tightened emissions standards, and the maritime industry has increasingly turned to LNG as a fuel source because of its lower emissions profile and cost competitiveness. The International Maritime Organization has established the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from shipping by at least 50% by 2050 compared to 2008, and many LNG-fueled ships are expected to be produced going forward.

https://www.naturalgasintel.com/texas-lng-bunkering-project-starts-waterway-assessment-process-with-coast-guard/

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Samsung wins 815 bln-won order to build 4 LNG ships from Africa

SEOUL, Dec. 23 (Yonhap) — Samsung Heavy Industries Co., the world’s second-biggest shipbuilder by orders, said Wednesday it has won a 815 billion-won (US$734 million) order

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to build four liquefied natural gas ships for an African customer. Samsung Heavy plans to supply the ships by May 2024, the company said. Since Monday, the company has won orders to build eight LNG carriers with a total value of 1.6 trillion won.

The shipbuilder has so far won $5.5 billion worth of orders this year, which accounts for around 65 percent of its annual goal of $8.4 billion.

https://en.yna.co.kr/view/AEN20201223005200320

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Gazprom Neft LNG-bunkering vessel set afloat

Russia’s first cargo and passenger ship-to-ship LNG-bunkering vessel has been set afloat shipyard specialists having completed the main stage in the vessel’s construction,

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including assembling the hull and installing LNG fuel tanks and other auxiliary systems, in record time. The vessel has been moved to dock for final installation of navigation systems and controls, and installation of key equipment rooms. Sea trials are planned for spring 2021. The LNG-bunkering vessel, named in honour of the great Russian chemist and researcher Dmitry Mendeleev, will join Gazprom Neft’s fleet in the second half of 2021. This new vessel will provide transportation and bunkering of low-tonnage LNG fuel at ports in the Gulf of Finland and the Baltic Sea — including St Petersburg, Ust-Luga and Primorsk. Designing the Gazprom Neft LNG-bunkering vessel has involved cutting-edge shipbuilding and LNG storage and transportation technologies, with equipment being fully compliant with international MARPOL Convention standards and ECO-S environmental certification. The vessel has been designed on the basis of “zero emissions”, with its propulsion system fuelled by LNG stripping-gas. The vessel is 100 metres in length, 19 metres wide, and can transport up to 5,800 m3 of liquid natural gas. Its Arc4 ice-class reinforced hull means it can navigate one-year-old ice of up to 80 cm thick independently, while its integrated digital system means it can be controlled by just one crew member, directly from the navigation bridge.

https://www.einnews.com/pr_news/533401346/gazprom-neft-lng-bunkering-vessel-set-afloat

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

New contracts for 58 million gallons of biomethane will supply North American key commercial fleets

Clean Energy Fuels Corp. announced new and extended contracts for more than 58 million gallons of Redeem™ renewable natural gas to accommodate the continued demand for the sustainable fuel from key business

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segments including heavy duty trucking, solid waste and public transit. “Our customers have continued to operate their essential businesses at a very high level, despite significant challenges from the COVID 19 pandemic,” said Nate Jensen, senior vice president renewable fuels, Clean Energy. “This means that essential employees are able to get to work, refuse is collected every day, and goods movement continues uninterrupted throughout the U.S. Our customers have demonstrated their commitment to sustainable transportation by enthusiastically embracing our ultra-low carbon Redeem. In response, we have significantly augmented our supplies of renewable natural gas and expect to provide ever-increasing volumes of the clean, sustainable fuel to our customers.” Pacific Green Trucking, Inc., which operates drayage vehicles in the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, is adding 39 new renewable natural gas trucks to its fleet through the Chevron and Clean Energy partnership Adopt-A-Port program. In migrating from diesel fuel to biomethane, Pacific Green has committed to an approximate 2.3 million gallons of Redeem. Several waste companies and operators have also signed supply contracts with Clean Energy, including Waste Connections, Atlas Disposal, CR&R Environmental Services and the City of Mesa (Arizona). Moreover, Linden Bulk Transportation LLC, National Cement and the Town of Smithtown on Long Island (New York) have acquired new natural gas trucks through Clean Energy’s Zero Now program. Finally, other fuel agreements were signed with Denver International Airport, AmeriGas, U.S. Concrete, Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA), Santa Monica transit agency Big Blue Bus, City of Surrey, B.C., Canada, and Livermore Sanitation in California.

http://www.ngvjournal.com/s1-news/c4-stations/new-contracts-for-58-million-gallons-of-biomethane-will-supply-north-american-key-commercial-fleets/

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Gasrec upgrades biomethane station in Northamptonshire, England

Gasrec has completed a £1 million upgrade to its flagship refueling facility at the Daventry International Rail Freight Terminal (DIRFT), to meet the growing demand of transport operators making the transition to bio-LNG and bio-CNG.

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A team of engineers have installed new fuel dispensers, new supply lines and a new fuel management system, along with greater remote operability for the site – which has the capacity to refuel up to 700 trucks per day. Gasrec has also introduced its own fuel cards to provide better information to its customers and to prepare for expansion of its station network. “This investment reinforces our confidence in the growing demand for trucks running on renewable biomethane, which now represent nearly 5% of all new tractor unit registrations in the UK,” said Rob Wood, Chief Executive of Gasrec. “We have seen a huge influx of new customers at DIRFT over the course of 2020. This demand has also led us to invest in our supply chain and more than double the number of LNG road tankers in our fleet. These latest upgrades will ensure DIRFT continues to hit our strict targets for safety, sustainability, refueling speed and uptime, plus it means we are best positioned to refuel the latest generations of vehicles.” The company projects that one-third of the UK’s 44-ton heavy truck market will have transitioned to natural gas within the next seven years, with approximately 39,000 gas-powered HGVs on UK roads.

http://www.ngvjournal.com/s1-news/c4-stations/gasrec-upgrades-biomethane-refueling-station-in-northamptonshire-england/[Edited]

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