NGS’ NG/LNG SNAPSHOT – October 16–31, 2022

National News Internatonal News


City Gas Distribution & Auto LPG

Gujarat reduces the cost of piped cooking gas and CNG by 10%

The Gujarat government on Monday (October 17) announced a 10% VAT (Value Added Tax) decrease on CNG and PNG as well as the annual gifting of two cooking gas cylinders to 38 lakh beneficiaries of the Center’s Ujjwala programme.

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The state exchequer will spend a total of Rs 1,650 crore on the reduction in VAT on CNG (compressed natural gas), PNG (piped natural gas), and two free liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cylinders provided to Ujjwala scheme beneficiaries each year. The reduction in VAT is being implemented as Gujarat’s Assembly elections are only a few months away.

“Our government has reduced VAT on CNG and PNG by 10 per cent. This will help homemaker women, auto-rickshaw drivers and all those who are using CNG-run vehicles,” state minister Shri. Jitu Vaghani said.

Gujarat had a 15% VAT on CNG and PNG (used by families in kitchens), but the tariff will now drop to 5%, according to industry sources.

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Three Bio-CNG plants to be operationalized next year, gas to be used as clean fuel

The Municipal Corporation of Delhi has initiated the work on setting up digesters for an integrated Bio-CNG fuel station spread over a three-acre site located in North Delhi’s Narela region in Ghogha, officials in the know said on Thursday(October 20).

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The facility is expected to produce compressed natural gas (Bio-CNG) by treating 200 tons of wet waste and dairy waste a day, which will in turn be utilised as clean fuel for operating vehicles, a senior MCD official said.

“The civil work at the site is going on in full swing through the installation of two digester units, the raw material feeding into the digesters will begin in December and we will conduct the trial runs and full commissioning of the plant in March 2023,”.  “In the second phase, we have initiated the civil work and the machinery is expected to be delivered by next month,” the official said.

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Bio CNG rapidly makes inroads into India’s automobile market

India’s leading automakers are currently focused on the CNG segment to meet the demand brought about by rising petrol prices and stressing concerns over environmental safeguards. The Indian CNG and LPG vehicles market was valued at 808.26 thousand units in 2020, and it is expected to reach 1281 thousand units by 2027 with a CAGR of 6.80% during the forecast period.

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Sales of CNG-powered cars in India’s automotive sector accounted for 8.6 % of total sales in FY 2022, according to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers.

Carmakers are laying a bet on CNG in a big way as it gives consumers a more affordable driving option. Besides this CNG will no longer be seen as a fuel associated with the commercial segment but the players in the automobile sector offer the best value in their CNG offerings to entice potential customers from each segment.

The share of CNG models in passenger vehicle segment sales has seen a big jump since last year as India has driven consumers’ shift towards the cheaper CNG vehicles due to the increased price gap between CNG fuel and petrol/diesel and also a noticeable increase in CNG refilling stations across India. The fact is, the bigger driver of CNG vehicle sales is the improved infrastructure for supplying CNG fuel.

Inadequate city gas distribution network connectivity was the major roadblock to the slower incursion of CNG vehicles. CRISIL Research says the total number of CNG pumps is expected to increase to about 8,500 by fiscal 2025.

CBG manufacturing companies are coming up with a sustainable solution by having Bio-CNG manufacturing plants in every municipal corporation limits to fulfill the CNG pumps requirements in each district of India. As per industry experts, installing 50 Bio CNG manufacturing plants of 25 TPD capacities can reduce 66825 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions in a year by removing 11,880 diesel cars off the road.

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Natural Gas/ Pipelines/ Company News


Gail integrates with global awareness campaign Interactions

State-owned Gas Authority of India Ltd (Gail) has integrated with Interactions, a global campaign to create connections between nature, humans and animals through biodiversity, climate change, and others, the company said in a statement. “Interaction comprises of 12 short films produced by

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Art for the World (Geneva, Switzerland) with the participation of 12 international film-makers under the auspices of UN’s COP15 (Conference of the United Nations on Biodiversity) and WAAS (World Academy of Art and Science),” the statement reads. These thematic films cover nature conservation, climate change, ecosystems &biodiversity, deforestation, water risks, health & animal rights, it said.

These 12 short films also include Indian short films  by National Award winning director Padmashree Nila Madhab Panda.

Gail had earlier associated with Art for the World for an award winning film on environmental awareness, entitled Interdependence, which premiered at Rome and was viewed by over 500 million people across continents including India in the years 2019-2021.

GAIL has been constantly striving to create awareness against climate change, air pollution and spreading the tenets of sustainability in individual and corporate lifestyles.

GAIL, India’s largest gas distributor and operator of pipelines, imports 14 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) of liquefied natural gas (LNG) under various long term deals.

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Gas price takes a toll on refining margins

The rise in prices of liquefied natural gas and a global supply crunch has impacted the gross refining margins (GRM) of oil marketing companies, said people in the know of the developments.

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Two officials aware of the developments said this has prompted OMCs, as the three state-run companies are called, to move to alternatives like naphtha and diesel in their crude refinery processes instead of LNG.

But refining margins have been impacted despite the shift because the alternatives too are priced high under long-term agreements. “We have had to shift from gas to other alternatives like diesel, naptha and even grid power. This has hit our GRMs”

Gas plays a significant role in the oil refining process, in all three stages—separation, conversion and treatment of oil. Refining margin refers to the difference between the price of the refined product and Crude. In the last financial year (FY22), Indian Oil Corporation reported an average GRM of $11.25 per barrel of crude oil, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) $9.09 per barrel and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation (HPCL) $7.19.

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Policy Matters/ Gas Pricing/ Others

IOC in talks with US co Tellurian for LNG pact

Indian Oil Corp is in talks with US energy firm Tellurian Inc for a long-term liquefied natural gas (LNG) supply deal as well as an equity investment in the latter’s Driftwood project, according to people familiar with the matter.

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Indian Oil has grand ambitions in the natural gas segment but a turmoil in the international market has made it harder for it to source affordable LNG. Indian Oil, Petronet LNG and GAIL are all seeking long-term contracts but have been unable to lay their hands on any deal that can bring supplies ahead of 2026 when large global liquefaction capacity is expected to come onstream, easing the current crunch.

Indian Oil has begun discussions with Tellurian but is yet to agree on volume or the equity investment in Driftwood LNG project, according to people cited earlier.

Indian Oil didn’t respond to ET’s request for comment.

Tellurian told ET in an emailed response that it can’t comment on specific commercial negotiations or contract terms. “We have watched with admiration the investment India has made in natural gas infrastructure and would be delighted to work with Indian companies on supply, ” it said. “Tellurian is prioritising strategic equity partners who may want LNG offtake for their portfolios and have freed up 6 mt within the first phase of Driftwood for that purpose”

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India’s first SPM facility at IOC-Vadinar berths the 6,000th oil tanker

India’s first unloading single point mooring (SPM) facility, commissioned by Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) in 1978 at Vadinar in Gujarat, achieved a significant milestone with the berthing of the 6,000th oil tanker.

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Oil tanker MT Yio, a Liberian very large crude carrier carrying Basrah crude oil from Iraq, berthed at the Vadinar SPM, the company said in a statement. IOC chairman S M Vaidya and the company’s director for pipelines D S Nanaware welcomed the crew of MT Yio to celebrate the momentous occasion, it said.

Complimenting the team Vadinar of IOC, Vaidya said, "Economic and social growth relies on energy and given our dependence on foreign crude, unloading crude supplies from large crude-carrying vessels deep into the sea safely and reliably is vital to keep our refineries running.”

The 3 lakh kilo litres of crude oil that MT Yio is carrying is adequate to meet about 40 percent of the daily fuel requirement of the entire nation, he said.IOC currently operates two SPM terminals at Vadinar, in the south of the Gulf of Kutch, for unloading of crude oil brought in tankers for transportation to shore tanks through pipelines, of which around 14 km is subsea.

Subsequently, the crude is transported through cross-country pipelines to IOC’s mega refineries at Vadodara in Gujarat, Mathura in Uttar Pradesh and Panipat in Haryana. “With the unloading of this crude parcel, IOC Vadinar terminal has crossed a cumulative receipt of 735 million tonnes”. it said. 

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ONGC sets up Rs 100-crore startup fund

Flagship explorer ONGC has created a Rs 100-crore venture capital fund to incubate innovative ideas for the oil industry, becoming the first state-run company in the sector to set up a startup fund under the government’s initiative to promote entrepreneurship.

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A company release on Sunday (October 18) said the fund would be used for supporting “fresh ideas in the oil and gas sector” and providing “seed capital, hand-holding, mentoring, market linkage and follow-ups”. According to company chairman Shri. Dinesh K Sarraf, the oil and gas sector is facing a number of challenges and new ideas are required to mitigate those challenges. The venture funding initiative will promote entrepreneurship among young Indians by creating an ecosystem that is conducive for the growth of startups in the oil and gas sector, which has a huge potential for technology-enabled ideas.

To encourage its own employees to innovate, ONGC also awarded three young officers – Sh. Rajendra Bhambhu, Sh. Deepak Naik and Sh. Prajesh Chopra – for their ideas. Bhambhu and Naik developed an innovative safety device for rigs that facilitates setting up of an emergency brake to augment the safety mechanism on drilling rigs. Chopra innovated a unique Dual SIM Cellular Router System that provides data connectivity at work-over rigs. This system curtails the hassle of frequent dismantling and reinstallation during rig transportation, thus, saving time and money.

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LNG Use / LNG Development and Shipping

Mid-Course Changes In Gas Pricing To Delay Investments: Reliance

Shri Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries has told a government-appointed panel reviewing gas pricing that any ‘retrograde’ move to artificially cap rates will add to fiscal policy instability, delay investment and dent India’s attempt to become Atmanirbhar in fuel production.

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In a submission to the committee headed by Kirit Parikh, which has been asked by the Oil Ministry to look at setting a ‘fair price to consumers’, the firm detailed how the economics of its about-to-start field in the KG-D6 block, where billions of dollars have been spent to recover reserves lying several kilometres below the seabed, will be impacted under different prices.

The mid-course changes through price caps not just go against pricing and marketing freedom contracts and government policy promises to companies but also add to uncertainty to a fiscal regime which would impact investments, according to sources briefed on the matter and the presentation.

The government biannually fixes gas prices based on rates prevalent in surplus nations. Rates according to this formula stayed below the breakeven price of USD 3-3.5 per million British thermal units for six years starting October 2015 but have jumped 5x in the last one year to USD 8.57 for old fields and USD 12.46 for difficult fields.

This rise has prompted user industries to complain, following which the ministry set up a panel to suggest an affordable rate for the users.

The sources said Reliance told the panel that doubling India’s production from current levels to cut rising imports and meet the target of raising the share of natural gas in the primary energy basket to 15 per cent by 2030 from the current 6.7 per cent, would require at least Rs 2 lakh crore to Rs 3 lakh crore investment, which can be viable only if a stable fiscal and contractual regime with market-based pricing is provided.     Only such a regime can attract investors to commit long-term funds for the exploration and development of such areas.

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Electric Mobility/ Hydrogen/ Bio- Methane

India’s biggest bio-energy plant begins ops tomorrow in Punjab’s Lehragaga

With the policy for ex-situ management of crop stubble in place this year, the biggest bio-energy plant in India is all set to be inaugurated in Lehragaga on Tuesday (October 18).

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Coming up with an investment of Rs 220 crore, the plant is being set up by Germany-based Verbio AG’s Indian subsidiary. It will be using crop residue (straw) to produce biogas and manure, with an aim to reduce 1.5 lakh tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions each year. This is the first major project to give a fillip to the ex-situ management of stubble in Punjab, and prevent farmers from burning the stubble to prepare them for the next wheat season.

“We have tied up with farmers to procure crop residue, which can go up to 1 lakh tonnes of paddy straw in a year. This will prevent reduction in straw burning on 40,000-45,000 acres of land,” Shri. Ashish Kumar, Managing Director of Verbio India, told The Tribune here today. Verbio will be producing 33 tonnes of compressed biogas (CBG) and 600-650 tonnes of fermented organic manure per day. The CBG produced will be supplied to 10 outlets of Indian Oil Corporation.

A policy for ex-situ management was recently prepared by the state government and given a go ahead by the Commission for Air Quality Control last month. The state government has also formed a task force for its smooth implementation. The idea is to utilise 2.10 million tonnes of the total 18.32 million tonnes expected paddy straw production this year through ex-situ and raise it to 4.88 million tonnes by 2023-24

Shri Ashish Kumar says that though some entrepreneurs are setting up CBG units in Punjab, it would be helpful if the commercial off-take of CBG is mandated for various companies. Officials say that the Agriculture Department in the state is already working on this. Shri Kumar said he hopes that a system to earn carbon credits, too, is put in place soon..

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India to pitch for global biofuels alliance at G20

India plans to pitch for a global alliance on biofuels among members of the group of 20 major economies, oil minister Shri Hardeep Singh Puri said on Wednesday(October 19), as the world’s third biggest oil consumer bids to boost use of cleaner fuels.

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India will take over the presidency of the group, also called G20, from Indonesia in December. New Delhi will host a meeting of the member nations in September next year. “We will use our G20 presidency to try and set up an international biofuels alliance,” Shri Puri said at the International Conference on Biofuels.

India”s plans to set up a biofuels alliance mirror International Solar Alliance launched by New Delhi and Paris in 2015 to bring clean and affordable solar energy within the reach of all.

“We have enough countries in the world which are producing biofuels, so if you get the ecosystem around it, in terms of the standards, the flex-fuel engines… I think we are on our way to setting up an international alliance,” he said.

India, also the world’s third-biggest oil importer, ships in about 85 percent of its crude needs, but is gradually building capacity to increase its output of biofuels.

The South Asian nation plans to build 12 bio-refineries to produce fuel from items including crop stubble, plant waste and municipal solid waste.

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Volvo Trucks begins trial of LNG trucks in India

Shri B Dinakar, EVP and Business Head – Volvo Trucks – VE Commercial Vehicles, said, “Our BS VI compliant Volvo FM 420 4×2 tractor-trailer solution is already the industry benchmark for express cargo clocking over 25,000km every month with exceptional uptime.

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This LNG powered Volvo FM 420 4X2 solution will help our customers to reduce vehicle emissions and improve fuel efficiency levels in their operations even further. We are particularly proud to be introducing such solutions at a time when the government of India has defined its vision for modernising logistics in India, as laid out in the recently released National Logistics Policy and Gati Shakti program.”

The company says its LNG trucks are unique as they use the diesel cycle to run the LNG engine as opposed to the industry practice to use Otto or petrol cycle using spark plugs for combustion. By leveraging the technology and efficiency of a diesel cycle which is 15-20% better than petrol cycle.

Volvo has been supplying LNG powered trucks in Europe for the past 5 years and many thousand trucks are operational in severe applications like long haul, petroleum, oil and lubricants distribution, refrigerated container movements and road train combinations.

Mr. Jonas Nilsson, VP India & Indonesia – Volvo Truck Corporation said, “The LNG powered Volvo FM 420 4X2 is the next step in Volvo Trucks continuing endeavour to introduce innovative transport solutions that set new standards for productivity, safety & uptime in India. Further delivering on Volvo Trucks core value of safety, the Volvo LNG FM 420 4X2 truck offers advanced driver assist functions like lane departure warning and Automatic Emergency Braking System.”

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One in ten petrol pumps now offers EV charging, CNG

India has about 84,600 fuel retail outlets, of which 8,900 offer alternative fuels such as CNG, auto LPG or EV charging facilities, according to the oil ministry data. EV charging facility is available at 4,100 pumps, CNG at 4,000 pumps and auto LPG at 700. The private sector, which controls a tenth of the country’s fuel stations, offers alternative fuelling options at less than 200 pumps.

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“India is witnessing a larger trend of liquid fuel stations turning into energy stations where a customer has the choice of ordering petrol, diesel, natural gas, or electrons as per his needs. It brings convenience to customers. It also helps oil companies guard their future profits,” said an industry executive.

State-run fuel retailers such as Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum have readily embraced the natural gas business, winning city gas licences to serve large parts of the country. And in some areas they don’t have city gas permits, they have tied up with licensees to set up CNG dispensers at their petrol pumps. This has helped a faster rollout of CNG pumps across the country. The total number of CNG retail outlets, including the standalone CNG stations, today is about 4,700, up from 1,270 five years ago. This is expected to top 10,000 in seven years.

Indian Oil, BPCL, and HPCL also plan to have EV charging facilities at 22,000 pumps over the next few years.

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Bengal to launch more electric, CNG buses to reduce air pollution

Presently, around 80 electric buses operate in eastern metropolis, which were acquired under capex model WBTC procured vehicles and has been operating these on its own

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In a bid to bring down air pollution, the West Bengal government is set to launch nearly 1,200 electric buses in Calcutta over the next two years, of which 400 will be operational by January 2023, a senior transport official said.

The transport department is also working to introduce CNG-run buses in the northern and western parts of the state, he said.

“The department will introduce 1,180 buses to be run by the West Bengal Transport Corporation(WBTC) within the Calcutta municipal area over the next two years," the official told PTI. “Out of these, 400 buses will hit the streets by January next year,” he said.

Environmental activist Subhas Dutta welcomed the move and called it a “good start”.

He said that even though miniscule in scale given that around 10 to 12 lakh vehicles ply in the Calcutta metropolitan area, it is a positive step.

“Let there be a start for a better environment; the electric buses will definitely reduce carbon emission,” he said. At present, around 80 electric buses are operated in the eastern metropolis, which were acquired under the capex (capital expenditure) model the WBTC procured the vehicles and has been operating these on its own.

The WBTC official said that another 50 electric buses are being bought for Salt Lake and New Town areas adjoining Calcutta. Of these, 11 are already operational.

“The new 1,180 buses are being acquired under the opex (operating expenditure) model and the Tata-made electric buses will be provided by an agency that is the owner of the vehicles," he said.

While around 750 buses will be of 12-metre length, the rest will be eight-metre long, the official said. “We will pay the company on a kilometre-running basis,” he said, adding, the drivers will be provided by the firm, while conductors will be from the WBTC.

The transport department official said the new CNG-run buses will be acquired by the two other state transport undertakings (STUs) Durgapur-headquartered SBSTC (South Bengal State Transport Corporation) and Coochbehar-headquartered NBSTC (North Bengal State Transport Corporation). He said since the experience of retrofitting diesel-run buses with CNG kits has been bad, new buses with CNG-run engines will be bought for the two STUs. Deliberations on the nitty-gritty of acquiring the CNG buses are underway, he said.

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Natural Gas / Transnational Pipelines/ Others

China: Hudong hires TMC to deliver compressors for MOL’s LNG carriers

Chinese company Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding has selected TMC Compressors (TMC) to deliver the complete marine compressed air system to six liquified natural gas (LNG) carriers the shipbuilder is constructing for Japanese shipping major Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL).

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Under the agreement, TMC will supply multiple control and service air compressors and air dryers to each of the six LNG carriers. In addition, the company will provide feed air compressors to the nitrogen system on board the 174,000 cbm vessels.

“It is a vessel type we are highly familiar with, and we will deliver an energy-efficient system that the vessel crew can easily maintain themselves if and when required,” said Mr. Hans Petter Tanum, TMC’s director of sales and business development.

TMC’s screw compressors are energy-efficient and oil-lubricated. They are designed and manufactured for continuous operation in high ambient temperatures.

The equipment will be manufactured in the Nordic region and then shipped to China. Upon delivery of the vessel to MOL, CNOOC Gas & Power will charter the ships.

“Our technology is designed solely for marine and offshore use. Simply because we believe this technology approach provides more robust equipment performance compared to products that have been marinized for offshore use,” Mr. Tanum added.

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Romania’s Romgaz and Azerbaijan’s Socar partner for Black Sea LNG project

Romanian state-owned gas producer Romgaz and Azerbaijan’s state energy firm Socar have agreed to jointly explore the feasibility of developing a liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in the Black Sea.

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The two firms have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to undertake a feasibility study for the proposed project. The project would include the construction of an LNG plant, a regasification plant, and other installations and facilities required to supply natural gas into Romania from the Caspian Sea. The study will focus on identifying the financial, technical, and commercial feasibility of the LNG project.

Based on the study results, the two companies will commence negotiations to reach an agreement for the development of the Black Sea LNG Project.

In a statement, Romgaz said: “In the current energy context, the initiative of the two companies represents a new opportunity to ensure access to gas resources from the Caspian Sea region for the Romanian and regional markets, with a significant positive impact on the energy security of countries in Central and Southeast Europe.”

Ziarul Financiar quoted Romania Prime Minister Mr. Nicolae Ciuca as saying: “It is a new project, both for us and for Azerbaijan.”

Mr. Ciuca said the country is also considering ways to receive gas from the Caspian area via the trans-Anatolian pipeline (TAP) through Turkey-Bulgaria-Romania, and from Romania to the other beneficiary countries including the Republic of Moldova.

“It is a commitment of us and of Azerbaijan to be able to support the Republic of Moldova with the necessary amount of gas,” Mr. Ciucă added.

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Excelerate charters Excelsior FSRU to Germany

Excelerate Energy Inc. and the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany have signed a 5-year contract to charter 5-billion cu m/year floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) Excelsior, starting first-quarter 2023.

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Excelerate Energy Inc. and the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany have signed a 5-year contract to charter 5-billion cu m/year floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) Excelsior, starting first-quarter 2023. The 138,000-cu m vessel will be berthed in the Port of Wilhelmshaven.

Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action previously announced that a consortium including Tree Energy Solutions (TES) GMBH, E.ON SE, and Engie SA would jointly develop and implement Germany’s fifth FSRU-based import terminal using an Excelerate vessel (OGJ Online, Sept. 2, 2022). The FSRU will also accelerate development of TES’s green hydrogen terminal at Wilhelmshaven, according to Excelerate. Excelsior will go to drydock at the end of 2022 for scheduled maintenance before deployment to Germany. It has most recently been operating in Israel.

Europe has been monitoring natural gas supply and discussing a possible price cap as the first heating season in the wake of Russian’s invasion of Ukraine approaches. German storage is 95% full (OGJ Online, Oct. 18, 2022).

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Natural Gas / LNG Utilization

South Korea: Minerva takes delivery of LNG newbuild in South Korea

Minerva Gas, a unit of Andreas Martinos-led Minerva Marine. Samsung Heavy handed over LNG carrier Minerva Amorgos on October 14, according to Minerva Gas.

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The ABS-classed Minerva Amorgos is flying the Malta flag. Minerva Gas did not reveal the charterer of the vessel. This is the final LNG carrier in a batch of three vessels SHI built for the Greek firm. SHI delivered the 174,000-cbm Minerva Kalymnos in February last year, followed by Minerva Chios in August the same year.

All of the sister LNG carriers feature WinGD’s X-DF propulsion, GTT’s Mark III Flex Plus containment system, and an Air Liquid subcooler system.

In addition to these three carriers, Minerva Gas took delivery of two LNG tankers from South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering.

The 173,400-cbm Minerva Limnos joined the fleet of Minerva Gas in June last year while its sister ship Minerva Psara started working with Shell in January 2020.

Both of these newbuilds feature MAN ME-GI propulsion, GTT’s NO96 containment tech, and a partial reliquefaction system.

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Singapore to introduce new emissions rules for fossil-fuel power plants

Singapore’s energy regulator will be introducing new emissions standards for new and repowered fossil fuel-fired power generation units in 2023, a minister said on Wednesday.

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The Energy Market Authority (EMA) will consult with the industry in the coming months and will release details on the standards subsequently, Low Yen Ling, the Minister of State for the ministry of trade and industry, said at the Singapore International Energy Week conference.

The new rules are part of the implementation of a law the city-state passed last year that allowed the EMA to set greenhouse gas emissions standards.

The measure also follows Singapore announcing plans to reduce its emissions target for 2030 to 60 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2).

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Global LNG Development

WASHINGTON: U.S. approves LNG shipping waiver for Puerto Rico after hurricane

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Biden administration late on Sunday approved a waiver of U.S. shipping rules to address Puerto Rico’s urgent need for liquified natural gas (LNG) after Hurricane Fiona.

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The Homeland Security Department issued a waiver of the Jones Act, a century-old law that requires goods moved between U.S. ports to be carried by U.S.-flagged ships “to address Puerto Rico’s needs as recovery efforts from Hurricane Fiona continue,” the department said.

In late September, the department approved a Jones Act waiver to ensure Puerto Rico had “sufficient diesel to run generators needed for electricity and the functioning of critical facilities.”

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Tehran: Iran starts refining its oil in Venezuela

Iranian Petroleum Minister Javad Owji has said that Iran has started refining its crude oil in

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Venezuela, state media affiliated to his Ministry reported.Iran had started processing nearly 100,000 barrels per day of its crude in Venezuela’s El Palito refinery, Owji was quoted by the state media as saying on Sunday.

“This was a long-standing and 43-year-old dream that was realised through the efforts of my colleagues at the National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company (NIORDC)”  he added.

Jalil Salari, Head of NIORDC, said on Sunday that efforts are underway to expand Iran’s refinery operation in overseas projects, Xinhua news agency reported.

According to state media, Iran signed a $116-million contract with Venezuelan state oil firm PDVSA in May to repair and expand the refinery.

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First Gen LNG to be completed by 2023

Lopez-led First Gen Corp.’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal is on track to be completed by the first quarter of 2023, aiming to make its first gas delivery by the month of July.

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First Gen executive president Mr. Jonathan Russell said that the LNG facility may be finished by the end of March next year. He added that First Gen would “really need to get into the control systems, which were the things that were delayed because some of those were coming from China, which was affected by very severe lockdown.”

The Department of Energy earlier announced that First Gen’s LNG facility is facing delays due to “events and circumstances not within reasonable control.”

Last month, First Gen announced that Norwegian firm BW LNG, a floating gas infrastructure developer, is set to provide LNG storage and regasification services to the company’s existing and planned gas-fired power plants and third-party terminal users.

First Gen’s interim Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU) and regasification terminal, also in Batangas, has a capacity of 5.26 MTPA and is set to supply the Sta. Rita, San Lorenzo, San Gabriel, and Avion gas plants, as well as the proposed 1,200 MW worth of new natural gas power plants.

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China: CNOOC discovers gas field in south China sea

Chinese state energy company Cnooc on October 19 announced the discovery of a deep-water deep-stratum gas field with proven reserves exceeding 50bn m3 in the sea southeast of Hainan Province.

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The Baodao 21-1 gas field is located in the Baodao Sag, Qiongdongnan basin, in the western South China Sea, with a water depth of 660 m to 1,570 m. The discovery well Baodao 21-1-1 was drilled with a gas layer of 113 m and a depth of 5,188 m.

Cnooc reported daily output of natural gas of 587,000 m3. The Baodao 21-1 gas-bearing structure is the first large-scale deep-water natural gas field in the South China Sea, Cnooc said.

“It has achieved the biggest breakthrough in the Songnan-Baodao sag in more than half a century, and will lay a solid foundation for the construction of a trillion-dollar gas region in the South China Sea,” the company added.

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LNG as a Marine Fuel/Shipping

Canada: Canada open to supporting more LNG terminals

Canada is open to supporting more LNG export terminals within its borders, as long as they are economically feasible and can be proven to be displacing coal-fired power generation, federal finance minister Mr. Chrystia Freeland said October 14.

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Mr. Freeland said Ottawa “will always be looking at economically-viable LNG projects”, according to a Reuters report. German chancellor Mr. Olaf Scholz visited Canada in August, hoping to come away with new LNG supply commitments from prime minister Mr. Justin Trudeau.

But Trudeau was non-committal, questioning the business case for LNG on Canada’s Atlantic coast and instead steering the German leader towards Canada’s future green hydrogen capabilities – which likely won’t be realised for several years.

Two east coast LNG projects remain on the table – Pieridae Energy’s 10mn mt/yr Goldboro LNG project in Nova Scotia, and a possible conversion by Repsol of its little-used LNG import and regasification terminal in New Brunswick. Both projects, however, are hampered by a lack of pipeline capacity to move feed gas from western Canada.

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Bangladesh: Bangladesh, Brunei sign LNG pact

Bangladesh and Brunei have agreed to collaborate in the energy sector, particularly in the supply of LNG.

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This was stated in a joint statement between Bangladesh and Brunei Darussalam on the state visit of Brunei Darussalam Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah to Bangladesh.

Reuters in July reported that Bangladesh will not buy LNG on the spot market in the coming months due to a steep rise in prices. Elevated prices are having an impact on the country’s energy sector as natural gas accounts for nearly three-quarters of the country’s power generation, Reuters said. Bangladesh has been forced to take a series of measures, including nationwide daily one-hour load-shedding.

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Vessels carrying liquefied natural gas line up off European shores

A queue of vessels loaded with a supercooled liquid form of natural gas is building up offshore in Europe as regional infrastructure becomes saturated, vessel tracking data show. U.S. news outlet CNBC relied on data from the online service MarineTraffic to identify 60 vessels laden

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with liquefied natural gas sitting more or less idled near the ports of Northwest Europe, the Straits of Gibraltar and in the Mediterranean Sea.

Mr. Andrew Lipow, the president of Lipow Oil Associates, told the news outlet on Tuesday that the long queues indicate more LNG is coming in than regional facilities can handle. “The wave of LNG tankers has overwhelmed the ability of the European regasification facilities to unload the cargoes in a timely manner,” he said.

The European market is leaning more on LNG as it tries to break Russia’s grip on the regional energy sector not only for the sake of energy security but also as part of an effort to stifle the Kremlin’s war chest as it continues to press its campaign in Ukraine.

That leaves it to countries such as Australia, Qatar and the United States to deliver supplies. German energy company RWE signed a new agreement to secure shipments of LNG from Qatar just last month.

LNG does not carry the same geopolitical risk that conventional pipelines do because delivery options are more fluid, but long voyages and the lack of infrastructure to warm LNG back to the gaseous forms are creating some challenges for Europe nonetheless. Should those vessels sit around for too much longer, they could be rescheduled for other ports. Given European concerns about the availability of natural gas during the winter, however, the build-up of ships offshore could provide a sense of security given the amount of product waiting to come onshore.

The build-up too may be good for natural gas prices as it addresses some of the looming supply-side challenges. Ade Allen, an analyst at Norwegian consultant group Rystad Energy, said that, all told, the situation in Europe seems to be improving.

“LNG demand in Europe remains high, but market pressures have eased with improvements in storage inventories within the region,” he said.

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China: Qatargas-chartered Q-Flex LNG vessel calls at China’s Beihai LNG terminal

Qatargas has delivered a liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargo aboard a Q-Flex vessel to China’s

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Beihai LNG Terminal, the first ever call by a Qatargas-chartered vessel at this terminal. The Q-Flex vessel, Al Sahla, is the largest LNG carrier to call at the terminal since the start of its operations in 2016.

Al Sahla was loaded with 205,000 cubic metres of LNG on September 14 at Ras Laffan Port, and called at Beihai LNG Terminal, located in the Tieshan Port Industrial Zone in Beihai Zhuang

Autonomous region, in the Guangxi Province of China, on 5 October. It became the largest LNG carrier to call the terminal which has capacity to also accommodate the even larger Q-Max LNG vessels carrying up to 266,000 cubic metres.

The cargo was delivered to China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (Sinopec) which is the largest oil and petrochemical products supplier and the second largest oil and gas producer in China. It is the largest refining company and the third largest chemical company in the world.

The terminal, which has nominal capacity of three million tonnes of LNG per annum (Mtpa), comprises four storage tanks each, with an overall capacity of 640,000 cubic metres.  Qatargas, in collaboration with Sinopec and PipeChina Beihai LNG Terminal, has cleared vessels up to size of Q-Max (266,000 cubic metres). This facilitates customer to receive larger volumes along with additional flexibility to wider range of LNG receiving terminals.

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Germany Signs Contract With US Company On Charter Use Of New LNG-Terminal-Ministry

The German government and Excelerate Energy, a US-based LNG company, have signed a contract on the charter use of a fifth floating terminal for liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the German port of Wilhelmshaven, the Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action said on Tuesday(October 25)

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MOSCOW : The German government and Excelerate Energy, a US-based LNG company, have signed a contract on the charter use of a fifth floating terminal for liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the German port of Wilhelmshaven, the Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action said on Tuesday(October 25)

“With the fifth floating LNG-terminal we once again strengthen our independence from pipeline-bound supplies of natural gas and establish the necessary infrastructure for reliable energy imports. By doing so, we create the conditions to become completely independent from imports of Russian gas via pipelines,” German State Secretary Mr. Patrick Graichen said, as quoted by the ministry.

In early September, German Economy Minister Mr. Robert Habeck announced plans to build a fifth floating terminal in Germany so the country could import more LNG from other countries to replace Russian pipeline gas. There are currently four LNG-terminals under construction in the German ports of Wilhelmshaven, Brunsbuttel, Stade and Lubmin. The first terminals are expected to enter into operations by early 2023, according to the German government.

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

Netherlands: Titan to build world’s largest bio-LNG plant in Port of Amsterdam

The bio-LNG plant will produce 200,000 tonnes of LBM per year. The plant will be built at its strategic location in the Port of Amsterdam allowing supply to ships and trucks.

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Important milestones for the project are the two recent contract signings with biogas

producer BioValue for the off take of all on-site produced biogas, and with Linde Engineering to perform the basic engineering. BioValue, one of the largest biogas suppliers in the Netherlands, will supply a significant part of the biogas required for the total LBM production.

For this, BioValue will construct a new biogas plant, adjacent to the bio-LNG plant. The remaining biogas will be sourced from other production installations throughout Europe that are connected to the existing gas grid.

“The LBM will substitute fossil fuels, avoiding about a million tonnes of CO2 equivalent emissions per year, equal to the annual emissions of about 25% of all diesel cars in the Netherlands,” said Titan.

“Titan is committed to decarbonise shipping by supplying LBM and any other renewable fuels such as hydrogen-derived methane, also known as E-LNG. Strategic value chain collaborations are paramount to ramping up alternative fuel production to the scale required for shipping. We are proud of the joint efforts with BioValue and look forward to a long-lasting partnership,” Mr. Ronald van Selm, CTO at Titan, noted.

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USA: Siemens Energy to supply world’s first emissions-reducing gas/electric hybrid drive system for an LNG plant

Northeast Energy Center (NEC) and Chart Energy & Chemicals selected Siemens Energy to supply a gas/electric hybrid drive system for NEC’s LNG plant being built in Charlton, Massachusetts.

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The NEC project will be the first LNG facility in the world to feature a system of this type, which offers a significant advance in efficiency no matter the weather or temperature. Siemens Energy will serve as the single-source supplier of the integrated drive, providing all rotating equipment and associated control systems. The hybrid drive system will combine a Siemens Energy low-emissions industrial gas turbine, integrally geared compressor, and electric motor-generator to ensure stable and efficient operation of the plant’s main refrigeration/liquefaction train throughout the year while slashing emissions, reducing costs, and increasing efficiency. Available power from gas turbines decreases as the ambient temperature increases.

As a result, units installed at industrial facilities are often oversized to ensure sufficient power during the hot and humid weather. However, the same gas turbine may generate much more power during cold time than is required, leading to reduced efficiency and increased emissions. The hybrid drive refrigeration compressor system being supplied for NEC offers a solution to this problem by combining an electric motor-generator with a gas turbine that features a dry-low emissions (DLE) design with lowest achievable NOx emissions levels. The same system allows NEC an active and powerful tool in demand side management and reduces its costs and the need to purchase power from the grid, while allowing the sale of power back to the utility.

The NEC project is strategically important to the security of the energy supply of New England that depends on imported LNG. The NEC facility is expected to produce a baseload of 170,000 gallons of LNG per day for Boston Gas under a firm contract and up to 250,000 gallons per day to other utilities. The gas turbine’s output will decrease when LNG production increases to 250,000 gallons per day on hot summer days when the motor-generator will function as a motor to supply additional power to the compression system.

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China: UECC Takes Delivery Of Multi-Fuel LNG Battery Hybrid Pure Car And Truck Carrier

UECC has taken delivery of its third and final newbuild multi-fuel LNG battery hybrid pure car and truck carrier (PCTC) as the company takes the lead in meeting new requirements for low-emission ship operations with the green transformation of its fleet.

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The latest newbuild, to be named Auto Aspire, was delivered on 20 October at China’s Jiangnan Shipyard and will soon join sister vessels Auto Advance and Auto Achieve plying trade routes in Northern Europe after delivery of the pair from the fabrication yard over the past year.

“This significant delivery marks the realisation of our ambition conceived a decade ago to bring to the European short sea market a new breed of advanced low-carbon vessels able to deliver on demands for energy efficiency under a green shipping regime,” says UECC’s CEO Glenn Edvardsen.

“This has been achieved through a process of innovation whereby a new technological solution has been developed together with Jiangnan’s in-house ship design team to give substantial gains in terms of emissions reductions.

“But, as the name of the third newbuild suggests, we still aspire to do even more.”

With delivery of the latest vessel, UECC now has five eco-friendly PCTCs out of its current fleet of nine owned vessels plus seven chartered units, with 80% of its current lifting capacity already meeting the IMO requirement for a 40% reduction in carbon intensity from shipping by 2030.

The leading shortsea Ro-Ro carrier has earlier pioneered the world’s first dual-fuel LNG PCTCs – Auto Eco and Auto Energy – and piloted the use of biofuels on another vessel, Auto Sky, with the aim of sourcing 80% of its annual fuel demand from alternative fuels by 2030.

“Imminent regulatory changes are shifting the market landscape in favour of green-focused players and these newbuilds represent timely and sizable investments that offer our clients a sustainable shipping solution with both environmental and cost benefits,” adds Edvardsen.

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