NGS’ NG/LNG SNAPSHOT – SEPTEMBER 2020, VOLUME 1

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City Gas Distribution & Auto LPG

MNGL’s green fuel project a hit in city

Over 15,000 households in the city have shown interest in getting piped natural gas (PNG) for their cooking needs. 

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The state owned Maharashtra Natural Gas Ltd (MNGL) is creating infrastructure in the city to supply compressed natural gas (CNG) for vehicles and PNG for households. “We are carrying out an awareness among residential societies about the benefits of using PNG as cooking gas replacing the conventional LPG cylinders. Over 15,000 flat owners have envisaged interest in getting PNG connections at their homes. We are confident that this number would further swell,” said Sandeep Srivastava, head of MNGL in Nashik. Srivastava said that the company, a joint venture between GAIL and BPCL, are setting up underground pipelines at a rapid pace for the supply of PNG to households. “We have already created the infrastructure for supplying PNG at 2,000 households so far. We would be able to start the supply of the fuel to households by end of this year,” said Srivastava. The company is presently concentrating in localities such as Gangapur Road, Indiranagar, Rajiv Nagar, Prashant Nagar, etc. to create infrastructure required for supplying PNG to the residential societies. Later, it would expand to other localities. “PNG will cost about 30% lesser than LPG cylinders. It is more safe and would be available 24×7. Consumers need not take the trouble of booking LPG cylinders and wait for its arrival. We are sure that our project will get overwhelming response in the city,” added Srivastava.

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Uttarakhand News: Gas pipeline will reach door to door in Haldwani

Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd. (HPCL) is laying gas pipeline in Haldwani. Permission for street slicing has been sought from Public Works Department, NHAI and Municipal Corporation for laying the pipeline.

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The plan is to distribute gasoline connections and open CNG pumps via the pipeline at Haldwani. HPCL has began laying the gas pipeline from Rudrapur to Haldwani. In the primary section, the corporate has sought permission from NHAI, Forest Department, LONVI and Municipal Corporation. HPCL official stated that the corporate will present gasoline connections solely in Nainital district in Uttarakhand. The plan is to produce gasoline within the mountains by filling gasoline, home, business, CNG pumps and tankers from Haldwani. There shall be freedom from the mess of cylinder. There are 175254 LPG gas connections of Indian Oil in and round Haldwani, 20122 of HP and 73854 of BP. The firm’s eyes are set on these connections. The firm desires to develop its connections by laying pipelines right here. HPCL plans to ship gasoline from door to door in Haldwani metropolis and close by villages. If this initiative of HPCL is significant, the gas shall be provided to homes. HPCL official informed that Gas Authority of India Ltd. Gas pipeline until Rudrapur has reached. HPCL has tied up with GAIL. Gas pipeline shall be laid from right here to Haldwani. HPCL has sought permission for street slicing for laying gas pipeline. The firm has been requested to deposit cash in lieu of street slicing. HPCL has sought permission to put gasoline pipelines in a number of municipal lanes. The firm has been requested to submit compensation for street slicing.

https://ourbitcoinnews.com/uttarakhand-news-gas-pipeline-will-reach-door-to-door-in-haldwani/

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CNG vehicle drive hits bumpy road in Kochi 

KOCHI: Two years ago, the Centre decided to give the green mode of transport a much-needed push. The plan was such that by 2030, one out of every two vehicles sold in the country would be CNG-powered.

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The state government too joined the chorus by announcing subsidies and tax exemptions in the Budget. Two years on, the enthusiasm seems to have died down with the Motor Vehicles Department statistics showing only 0.21 per cent of the total vehicles registered this year opting for CNG-equipped.As many as 3,59,635 vehicles have been registered in the state in 2020, of which 779 were CNG-equipped. The figures were 9,12,676 and 4,066 last year and 10,48,780 and 1,822 the year before last. 

https://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/kochi/2020/aug/29/cng-vehicle-drive-hits-bumpy-road-2189572.html

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CNG brick-kilns need of the hour, says Agri Secy

In order to curb air pollution, most brick-kilns out of 2,200 units in the state have adopted zig-zag high draught technology, which uses less coal as compared to traditional brick-kilns firing system.

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KS Pannu, Director, Tandrust Punjab Mission and Agriculture Secretary, said technological advancement in combustion systems have made it possible to convert coal-based brick-kilns into compressed natural gas (CNG)-based brick-kilns without much change in the design of the unit. Under the Tandrust Punjab Mission, we intend to explore the possibilities of shifting brick-kilns from coal to CNG, he said. “Shifting brick-kilns to CNG will not only help in reducing the cost of production of bricks, but it will also help to substantially reduce air pollution,” said Pannu.

https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/punjab/cng-brick-kilns-need-of-the-hour-says-agri-secy-133980

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Electric Mobility & Bio- Methane

Biofuel records growing demand in rural areas of Dakshina Kannada

There is a growing demand for renewable automotive fuel in Puttur and Bantwal taluks of Dakshina Kannada district. Recently, Union minister for road transport and highways

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Nitin Gadkari called for switching to bio-fuels, CNG, and electricity as a transportation fuel not only to save on fuel bills, but also to contribute to the economy and reduce pollution. JCB operators, especially in rural areas of Puttur, Bantwal, and Vittal, are gradually switching to biofuel. Keshava Moorthy C, proprietor, Jayachandra Biofuel Station in Bantwal, told TOI, “We are noticing a growing demand for biofuel. However, post lockdown the demand fell. We were selling nearly 3,500 litres per day before the lockdown. Currently, the station manages to sell about 2,500 litres/ day and the demand is mostly from JCB owners followed by private vehicles, who are finding the cost reasonable along with pleasure of driving and increased mileage,” he said. Biofuel costs a rupee less than diesel. Biofuel is prepared from extracts of corn and soya in Gujarat and transported on road to Bantwal. In the US, soybean oil is the most commonly used vegetable oil for biodiesel production and smaller amounts of vegetable oil for biodiesel production include distiller’s corn oil, a byproduct of the corn ethanol production process. The company is expected to launch bioethanol from sugarcane bagasse in the next six months as an alternative to petrol, said Keshava Moorthy who is helping in setting up a biofuel bunk in Hagaribommanahalli in Ballari district and is donning the role of a consultant for nine other such bunks across Karnataka. Moorthy who worked as an IT consultant in the UK for 16 years took this up as a pilot project when he returned to India. “After a lot of trials, we launched the fuel station last year. The product has been working fine for all diesel vehicles. We expect more support from the government as there is a strong lobby working against the use of biofuels,” he said

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mangaluru/biofuel-records-growing-demand-in-rural-areas-of-dk/articleshow/77810976.cms

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Nitin Gadkari calls for modernising public transport, increasing use of biofuels

Road transport minister Nitin Gadkari on Monday said there is a need to modernise the public transport fleet and promote use of green fuel like bio-CNG, ethanol, methanol as well as electricity.

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Most of the State Road Transport Undertakings (SRTUs) are incurring huge expenditure on conventional fuels, he said while addressing a webinar — 4th UITP India Bus Seminar. The minister “called for moving on to biofuels, CNG and electricity as transportation fuel”, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways said in a statement. This, he said, will not only save on fuel bill but also contribute to the economy and pollution reduction. The country is spending a huge amount on import of crude oil, which needs to be reduced, Gadkari emphasised. Referring to the workability of green fuel, he said Nagpur has started to convert 450 buses to biofuel-run vehicles. “As many as 90 buses have already been converted so far. He added that loss in bus service is about Rs 60 crore per year, which can be saved by converting buses into CNG,” the statement said. He called upon SRTUs to adopt this model for reducing losses, which will help in providing better public transport. Gadkari also said efforts are being made to produce CNG from sewage water. Adopting other sources of CNG like paddy straw will provide multiple benefits to farmers, transport sector, environment and economy, he said. The minister also called for adopting the ‘London bus model’, harnessing utilisation of private capital for better public transport. He stressed on the need to encourage public private partnerships (PPPs) and said ‘bus ports’ are being planned with all modern amenities. “He suggested that adopting double-decker buses by the operators will also improve the efficiency of public transport….Bus operators may consider providing better services like good attendants, provision for entertainment tools like audio music, video films, etc which can fetch better returns,” the statement said.

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/india-business/nitin-gadkari-calls-for-modernising-public-transport-increasing-use-of-biofuels/articleshow/77729002.cms

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India’s first lithium-sulphur battery technology introduced for EVs

Shiv Nadar University, research-focused university and an Institution of Eminence (IoE), today introduced Lithium-Sulfur (Li-S) battery technology. 

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The research aims to assist in the production of more cost-effective, safer, more energy-efficient, and environment-friendly Li-S batteries, as a viable alternative to Lithium-ion batteries. The Li-S battery technology employs principles of Green Chemistry, incorporating the usage of by-products from the petroleum industry (Sulfur), agro-waste elements and copolymers such as cardanol (a by-product of cashew nut processing) and eugenol (clove oil) as cathodic materials. This technology can aid industries including electric vehicles, tech gadgets, drones, and more. The university introduced the tech after research of five years by Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry, Dr Bimlesh Lochab. According to the research, Li-S battery technology will be significantly cheaper and sustainable, while offering up to three times higher energy density with intrinsic flame-retardant properties. Dr Lochab’s team has partnered with the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay’s Professor in the Department of Energy Science and Engineering, Dr Sagar Mitra, to use this research for the development of a Li-S battery prototype. The new battery technology synthesises a bio-based molecule, capable of commercial-scale production. The research includes a new type of cathode for Li-S batteries, which can help push the promising battery technology to higher performance levels.

The use of cardanol for Sulfur-based structures as an unconventional application to create cathode materials in this next generation Li-S battery technology has exhibited enhanced capacity retention (among the highest charge capacities reported) and longer battery life in a significantly smaller battery unit. The Sulfur for the battery is sourced from industrial waste and cardanol is sourced from bio-renewable feed-stock that is easily available, non-toxic and environmentally friendly. In addition, the research innovatively used eugenol (derived from clove oil) copolymer, which is also environmentally sustainable, halogen-free, flame-retardant, and reduces the combustible propensities, making the battery remarkably safe to use.
Source: Indian Oil & Gas/Financial Express

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Great Wall Motors waiting for green light to enter India

Great Wall acquired General Motors’ Talegaon factory in January for Rs 950 crore as part of a $1-billion investment plan to participate in India’s fast-growing SUV market. Great Wall Motors,

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China’s largest maker of SUVs, is waiting for India to approve its foreign direct investment (FDI) proposal, the fate of which will be closely watched by other companies from that country looking to set up local ventures. The company has approached the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) and the Competition Commission of India (CCI) ahead of its plan to launch its vehicles in India next year, said people with knowledge of the matter. The automobile sector is on the automatic approval route, but any FDI from China needs government clearance. “The proposal has (also) to be vetted by the Ministry of Home Affairs for security clearance,” said a government official. More than 40 proposals involving Chinese investment are said to be awaiting security clearance. Great Wall Motors didn’t respond to queries. Other Chinese automakers including Changan, Chery and Haima, which are close to defining their India blueprint, will be monitoring Great Wall’s progress, said the people cited above. This will also be test case for such proposals following the rise in tensions between the two nations. Following border clashes in June, India has sought to curb imports and banned apps amid rising anti-Chinese sentiment. The government introduced new rules in April making prior government clearance mandatory for any investment from countries that share a land border with India, even in sectors that are on the automatic route. The DPIIT had said this was “for curbing opportunistic takeovers/acquisitions of Indian companies due to the current Covid-19 pandemic”. The move was seen largely targeted at FDI coming from China.

With the border situation still unresolved, security clearances involving Chinese investments will take time, said a person familiar with the matter. General Motors had aimed to stop production in November this year, but with the closure of the deal with Great Wall getting delayed, the US carmaker has extended output by several weeks more. A General Motors India spokesperson said, “We continue to work towards the end of production and deal close.” Delays in approval, assuming it will come through, will push back the company’s timetable. “If the clearance comes through in a couple of months, the company may be able to maintain the brand launch timelines of 2021,” said an executive at a vendor, which has been approached to provide parts.
“Already, the rollout has been pushed by a quarter to June of 2021. If it gets further delayed then the launch plan may move to 2022.” Great Wall was one of the few companies to make a splash at Auto Expo this year in the National Capital Region, with plans of launching four vehicles in India in the medium term. It had also expressed its intention of participating in the mainstream sub-Rs 10 lakh market and challenging the likes of Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai Motor and Mahindra & Mahindra, apart from electric vehicles. Group units of Great Wall that produce parts for the company, and are looking at setting up factories in India, may face additional screening, said the people cited above. The plans of Changan, Chery and Haima are said to have been delayed by more than two-three quarters because of flight restrictions. Chinese executives are waiting for the resumption of aviation services to resume India projects. Chinese companies have seen their own domestic markets bouncing back after the Covid lockdown was lifted.

Source: ET Auto

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E-vehicle sales in Mumbai rise by 1,360% in 3 years, most for bikes

The number of electric vehicles in Mumbai is miniscule, compared to petrol/diesel’s 11 lakh cars and 24 lakh bikes. Over three years, electric vehicle registrations grew by 407% in Maharashtra and 1,360% in Mumbai.

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Latest transport department statistics show that from 1,459 electric cars and scooters registered in 2017-18 in the state, the figure rose to 7,400 in 2019-20. The figure jumped from 46 to 672 in Mumbai. In 2019-20, most registrations were also in Wadala and Andheri: 245 e-vehicles in Wadala (15 cars, 189 bikes and 41 light passenger vehicles), and 223 in Andheri (40 cars, 49 bikes and 134 light passenger vehicles). Borivli RTO followed with 106 new registrations (20 cars and 85 bikes) and Tardeo with 98 (33 cars, 31 bikes, 14 heavy passenger vehicles, 18 medium passenger vehicles and two light passenger vehicles). An official said many e-scooters were purchased in Mumbai, while dedicated e-vehicle shops have also come up in the suburbs which is a good trend as they operate silently, with zero emissions. Petrol or diesel cars can cost Rs 3-4/km, while e-cars cost only 50 paise. In a single fast charge, one can drive up to 120km, sources said. An e-scooter dealer from Mulund (W) said, “There are no maintenance issues, and government offers tax concessions and subsidised rates for e-charging at home.” Some e-vehicle owners, however, offered suggestions. Urban designer and architect Trupti Amritwar, who has been driving a Mahindra e2o, purchased for Rs 6 lakh more than five years ago, said, “The state government will have to subsidise and reduce costs, while imposing a tax on petrol/diesel vehicles to promote e-vehicles.” Another owner of an e-scooter said, “Unless e-vehicles or batteries cost less there will not be many takers.” The number of electric vehicles in Mumbai is miniscule, compared to petrol/diesel’s 11 lakh cars and 24 lakh bikes. “The government is making efforts to push e-vehicles and CNG cars in the city,’‘ a senior RTO official in western suburbs said, adding that during Covid-19, there has been an increase in registration of vehicles running on green fuel (CNG), compared to diesel.

Source: ET Auto

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Gas/ Pipelines/ Company News

GAIL India looks at petrochemicals, renewables for growth

State-owned GAIL India Ltd is eyeing expansion in petrochemicals, specialty chemicals and renewables to supplement growth in its core business of natural gas marketing and transportation, its chairman Manoj Jain has said.

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The nation’s largest gas marketer and shipper has adopted a revised strategic plan identifying priority business initiatives. “This strategic plan will help us to address our challenges in changing industry scenarios and provide new areas for growth with geographic expansion,” he said in the company’s latest annual report. GAIL transports over 70% of all gas shipped in the country through its network of 12,426-km network of natural gas trunk pipelines. It sells 55% of all natural gas in the country and petrochemical plants at Pata and Lepatkata in Assam that gives it a 17.5% market share. It has a small portfolio of wind and solar power generation capacity. “While gas will remain our core segment, we will look for growth in other areas such as petrochemicals, specialty chemicals, renewables, water, etc to reach new heights in coming years,” he said. GAIL in the annual report for 2019-20 said it has undertaken ‘Strategy 2030’ exercise to define its journey through the next decade. “The strategy has been developed with the objective of building a strong business portfolio and organisation structure which is not only robust enough to respond to the fast-changing business scenario but also unlocks growth opportunities for the long-term growth of the company,” it said. GAIL said it plans to bid for new pipelines put on offer by the regulator. Also, it will continue to grow its gas transmission business by laying important sections of National Gas Grid — about 7,500-km of lines, mostly to the eastern part of the country, are currently being laid.
GAIL said it shall push for higher gas usage in the industrial and transport segments using CNG and LNG. The company is talking to city gas licence holders to set up liquefied natural gas (LNG) dispensing stations on National Highways to supply fuel to long-haul trucks and buses. It will also explore “opportunities in the petrochemicals segment to leverage upon GAIL’s extensive presence and high future demand of polyethylene and polypropylene,” the report said adding the firm was also assessing opportunities for certain specialty chemicals in India. GAIL “shall also be focussing on preparing the next line of leadership and developing capabilities to realise the strategic direction that has been envisioned,” it said. “To promote new technologies, GAIL has invested in the startups which focus on new technologies like electric vehicles, digitisation, etc.”

https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/oil-and-gas/gail-india-looks-at-petrochemicals-renewables-for-growth/77842770

 

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India’s natural gas demand rebounds, reaches near pre-Covid level

Higher demand from fertilizer plantsrefineries and power plants has helped natural gas demand recover to almost pre-Covid levels with consumption in July just 2 per cent lower than last year.

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India consumed 5,333 MMSCM of natural gas in July as against 5,433 MMSCM in the same month last year, official data showed. This is a sharp recovery from June when the consumption of 4,925 MMSCM was 9% lower than a year earlier. Increased demand by fertilizer makers, power plants and refineries has led the revival, offsetting poor show by city gas players, which mainly supply to local industries and gas-based city transport. Lower price for imported liquefied natural gas (LNG) also helped boost local demand. LNG import rose 6% to 2,963 MMSCM in July from a year earlier. LNG made up 55.6% of the country’s total gas demand in July. “Natural gas demand has got redistributed,” Petronet LNG managing director Prabhat Singh said, adding that city gas distributors were still drawing less than what they did before the onset of the pandemic but increased demand from industries has resulted in recovery of overall demand. Petronet, the country’s largest gas importer, is operating both its import terminals at pre-Covid levels. For the April-July period, the consumption of gas is down about 11% from a year earlier to 18,867 MMSCM. The import of LNG has also been 8% lower in the same period. India has six LNG import terminals with a combined capacity of 42.5 MMTPA. During April-June this year, Shell Energy’s terminal at Hazira in Gujarat clocked the highest capacity utilisation of 87.8% while Indian Oil’s new terminal at Ennore operated at the lowest 8% utilisation.

https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/oil-and-gas/indias-natural-gas-demand-rebounds-reaches-near-pre-covid-level/77754156

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India to see natural gas share rise to 10 per cent by 2025: GAIL director

India may see the share of natural gas in its energy basket rise to 10 per cent by 2025 as a result of massive investment push in the creation of infrastructure to take the environment-friendly fuel to onsumers,

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 GAIL Director (Marketing) E S Ranganathan said on Friday (Aug 21). Prime Minister Narendra Modi has set a target of raising the share of natural gas in the energy basket to 15 per cent by 2030 to cut carbon emission in the economy. “With gas demand (growing at) CAGR (of) 8 %, gas is expected to account for around 10% of India’s primary energy supply by 2025,” Ranganathan said at a PHDCCI webinar. CAGR stands for compound annual growth rate. India is making investments worth billions of dollars to expand pipeline network as well as build import capacities to meet growing gas demand in the country. Also, city gas distribution networks are being expanded to raise the share of gas as a transportation fuel as well as kitchen fuel. Ranganathan said the government has over the past few years taken several policy measures to enhance exploration and production of oil and gas in the country including liberalised licensing regime and giving pricing and marketing freedoms. “The number of reforms envisaged by the government will be instrumental in realising India’s vision on mega investments on LNG (liquefied natural gas) terminals, gas pipelines and CGD infrastructure in a move towards increasing the share of natural gas from 6 per cent to 15 per cent in the energy basket,” he said. Currently, the total natural gas pipeline network in India is about 17,500 km, of which 12,500 km is operated by GAIL. With the commissioning of two new liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal (one in the east coast and another in the west coast of India), regasification capacity of India has reached 39 million tonnes per annum. “This capacity is expected to cross 60 million tonnes in the coming years with another four greenfield LNG terminals which are currently under construction and planned expansion in Dabhol terminal,” he said. There had been a huge thrust from the government on the development of the natural gas market in the eastern and northeastern regions in India, he said. Ranganathan said the Indian gas market had taken an unprecedented hit from the recent COVID-19 pandemic crisis. “Impact on commercial, transportation, manufacturing, and industrial activities led to a substantial decline in overall gas consumption. With the unlocking measures, normalcy is expected in the major segments such as fertiliser, power, and refinery.”
While renewable energy capacity is increasing rapidly, electricity grid stability can be provided by gas-based power plants that respond more swiftly on load changes than coal-based plants, making them suitable for the balancing role in providing grid stability. He said the contribution of gas in the transport sector stands at a mere 3.2 per cent in 2019, providing a huge potential for alternative fuels like natural gas and LNG to increase their share.
He also added that new and innovative applications of gas are likely to emerge going ahead in areas like LNG for transport, tri-generation of power, heating and cooling for industrial and commercial loads, and small-scale LNG. Expansion of gas infrastructure and offering affordable supply will be the key to unlock the gas demand in India, he added.

https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/oil-and-gas/india-to-see-natural-gas-share-rise-to-10-per-cent-by-2025-gail-director/77686272[Edited]

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GAIL sees gas sales returning to pre-COVID-19 levels by quarter end

State-owned gas utility GAIL India Ltd sees its gas demand returning to pre-COVID-19 levels by the end of the current quarter as the expansion of the city gas network will offset shrinking consumption,

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its Director (Marketing) E S Ranganathan said on Thursday (Aug 20). GAIL, the country’s largest natural gas marketing and transporting company, sold about 113 million standard cubic metres per day of the fuel before the outbreak of the pandemic. “We (GAIL) have come back to more or less 95% level,” he said at FIPI’s Young Professionals Forum. “It is going to come back to 100% level by the end of this quarter.” GAIL saw gas demand almost halving when a nationwide lockdown was imposed beginning March 25 to contain the spread of coronavirus. Industries that used gas as feedstock shutdown and CNG-run buses and vehicles went off the road. But with the restarting of economic activity and unlock phases that began in May and June, the demand started coming back, he said adding GAIL is currently selling gas at almost 95% of pre-COVID-19 levels. The most prolonged reduction in gas demand came from the city gas distribution sector that sells CNG to automobiles, piped cooking gas to households, and provide fuel to hotels and other industries in towns. Ranganathan said the reduction in demand in existing city gas networks would be offset by new demand from newer areas where the network is being expanded now. City gas networks are mostly concentrated in Delhi, Gujarat, Mumbai and a few other cities and licences have been given to roll out the same in other areas. “As many as 475 CNG stations and 1 lakh households were added last fiscal and the same trend is likely in current fiscal,” he said. “The demand destruction will be offset by an increase in geographical reach.” He said gas consumption for the industry as a whole is likely to return to normal by the end of the financial year. “GAIL will see its gas sales returning to pre-COVID levels by end of the quarter and for the industry as a whole it will be by the end of the financial year,” he said. Sales of petroleum products in May 2020 were 77 per cent compared to May 2019 and sales in June 2020 were about 91 per cent as compared to June 2019.
However, with some states re-imposing lockdowns, the demand for all petroleum products has fallen to 80-82 per cent. For reaching pre-COVID-19 level public transport and offices will have to resume. Also, the aviation sector has to return to normal.

https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/oil-and-gas/gail-sees-gas-sales-returning-to-pre-covid-19-levels-by-quarter-end/77654954

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Italian energy utility Snam plans to enter India gas market

Over 31% of SNAM’s shares are held by holding company CDP Reti, which is a JV between Italy’s state-run Cassa Depositi e Prestiti and the State Grid Corporation of China. Italian energy utility Snam plans to

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set its foot in India’s gas infrastructure space as the country intends to raise the share of gas in its energy basket. The company’s CEO recently had a discussion with petroleum Dharmendra Pradhan regarding collaborations in the areas of liquefied natural gas (LNG), gas storage and hydrogen fuel. Responding to FE’s queries, Snam said “the significant push towards cleaner energy shift and in particular towards gas is what makes India an interesting market,” adding that “we look forward to opening soon our office in India to enhance the dialogue and cooperation with Indian partners that we have developed over the past couple of years”. Snam wants to tap the relatively nascent market of gas for transportation and utilise its technology and equipment for CNG or liquefied-CNG refuelling stations. FE’s email to the ministry of petroleum and natural gas asking whether the government’s current anti-China stance will be a problem for Snam’s potential investments in the country remain unanswered. The management of Snam is Italian and is proposed by CDP and the Italian government. “There is no influence by other shareholders on any of Snam investment decisions or strategy and therefore we don’t see any issue,” Snam told FE. India aims to increase the share of natural gas in its energy mix to 15% by 2030 from the current level of about 6%. Demand for natural gas in the domestic market is largely dependent on the fertiliser (28%), power (23%), city gas distribution entities (16%), refinery (12%) and petchems (8%).

https://www.financialexpress.com/industry/italian-energy-utility-snam-plans-to-enter-india-gas-market/2059176/#:~:text=Italian%20energy%20utility%20Snam%20plans%20to%20set%20its%20foot%20in,gas%20in%20its%20energy%20basket.&text=India%20aims%20to%20increase%20the,current%20level%20of%20about%206%25.

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Policy Matters/ Gas Pricing/Others

Natural gas prices may be cut to decade low of $1.9, dent ONGC revenues

Prices of natural gas in India are likely to be cut to $1.9-1.94 – the lowest in more than a decade – from October, denting revenues of producers such as ONGC who are already incurring huge losses on gas production.

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A gas price revision is due from October 1 and going by the changes in the benchmark rate in gas exporting nations, the price is likely to be anywhere between $1.90 to $1.94 per MMBtu, sources privy to the development said. This will be the third straight reduction in rates in one year. Prices were cut by a steep 26% to $2.39 per MMBtu in April. Prices of natural gas, which is used to produce fertiliser and generate electricity and is also converted into CNG for use in automobiles as fuel and cooking gas for households, are set every six months — on April 1 and October 1 each year. Sources said the cut in prices would mean a widening of losses for India’s top oil and gas producer ONGC. Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) had posted Rs 4,272 crore loss on gas business in 2017-18, which is likely to widen to over Rs 6,000 crore in the current fiscal (April 2020 to March 2021), they said. ONGC has seen incurring losses on the 65 million standard cubic meters per day of gas it produces from domestic fields shortly after the government in November 2014 introduced a new gas pricing formula that had “inherent limitations” as it was based on pricing hubs of gas surplus countries such as the US, Canada, and Russia. The current $2.39 per MMBtu rate is the lowest in more than a decade. Sources said ONGC in a recent communique to the government has stated that the break-even price to produce gas from new discoveries was in the range of $5-9 per MMBtu. In previous years, loss from the gas segment was getting offset from the gain from the oil business. But with oil business itself coming under severe strain due to a sharp slump in benchmark prices, it has become difficult for the company to meet even the operating expenses, they said. In May 2010, the government had raised the rate of gas sold to power and fertilizer firms from $1.79 per MMBtu to $4.20. ONGC and Oil India Ltd (OIL) got $3.818 per MMBtu price for the gas they produced from fields given to them on nomination basis and after adding 10 per cent royalty, the fuel cost $4.20 per MMBtu for consumers. The Congress-led UPA had approved a new pricing formula for implementation in 2014 that would have raised the rates but the BJP-led government scrapped it and brought a new formula. The rates at the first revision, using the new formula, came to $5.05 but in the subsequent six-monthly reviews kept falling till they touched $2.48 for April 2017 to September 2017 period. Subsequently, they rose to $3.69 in April 2019 to September 2019 before being cut by 12.5 per cent in October 2019 to $3.23.

https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/oil-and-gas/natural-gas-prices-may-be-cut-to-decade-low-of-1-9-dent-ongc-revenues/77582409

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Oil & Gas projects worth Rs 5.88 lakh crore resumed since 20 April

Project activity has resumed in 8,363 Oil & Gas projects worth Rs 5.88 lakh crore in India despite the impact of Covid-19 pandemic,

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the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MoPNG) said in a statement today. The domestic petroleum industry has kickstarted economic activities or projects maintaining al pandemic-related Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), it said, adding oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan has been conducting in-depth reviews of all ongoing projects of oil and gas companies. “Petroleum Industry has turned ‘crisis into opportunity’ and is striving to work on mission mode to generate employment and revive growth. Oil and Gas entities in their role as key actors are working on war footing and contributing to the green shoots of economic revival already visible through the backward and forward linkages of the oil and gas industry,” the ministry said. It added that this includes 25 major ongoing projects having an anticipated cost of Rs 1.67 lakh crore and have incurred capital expenditure of Rs 7,861 crore. These projects of state-owned Oil & Gas companies and their Joint Ventures or subsidiaries include refinery projects, bio-refineries, E&P projects, marketing infrastructure projects, pipelines, CGD projects, drilling and survey activities.

https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/oil-and-gas/oil-gas-projects-worth-rs-5-88-lakh-crore-resumed-since-20-april/77743755

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LNG Development and Shipping

Petronet LNG to gain from higher LNG usage going forward

Natural gas importer Petronet LNG, which reported a 45% jump in Profit After Tax (PAT) for the quarter ended June, is set to gain from a comfortable business model and

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the company represents a structural story on India’s increasing gas demand, research firm ICICI Securities said. “With India continuing to be short of natural gas supplyPetronet LNG will benefit as the primary play on increasing usage of LNG,” the firm said in a report, adding while volumes were impacted during the lockdown, currently Dahej terminal is operating at full capacity.

The company announced its quarterly results on Monday with volumes falling 15.9% year-on-year to 190 trillion British thermal units (TBtu) as LNG offtake was reduced during the lockdown. Petronet’s Kochi terminal is expected to see an increase in utilisation post completion of the Kochi-Mangalore pipeline. “The pipeline is expected to be commissioned by August end. This will help increase utilisation, going ahead. We expect capacity utilisation to improve to 30-35% in FY22E,” the report said. At the 17.5 MMTPA Dahej terminal, 7.5 MMTPA capacity has been booked under RasGas long-term volumes while additional 8.25 MMTPA has been booked as regasification capacity, thus providing visibility to long-term volumes. The company’s management has indicated it is planning to set up an import terminal on the east coast. Also, Petronet’s deal with Tellurian to buy a stake and import LNG is currently under negotiation.

https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/oil-and-gas/petronet-lng-to-gain-from-higher-lng-usage-going-forward/77614367

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Petronet LNG may scale down $2.5 billion deal with Tellurian’s LNG project

Petronet LNG Ltd’s proposed $2.5 billion investment plan in US LNG developer Tellurian’s upcoming Driftwood LNG terminal in Louisiana may be scaled down considering the energy company’s decision to cut first phase cost of the project by

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a third thereby also reducing production. Sources said that PLL, which has till December to reach final agreement with a Tellurian and conclude the investment plan, is re-evaluating its plans and would come up with a fresh decision soon. The changes may include scaling down investment in the project if sufficient quantity of LNG at competitive pricing is not assured. It is expected that PLL might renegotiate the whole investment deal given the current market conditions. The PLL officials could not be reached for comments. In September last year a non-binding memorandum of understanding was signed between PLL and Tellurian that gave the Indian entity PLL option to buy 5 MMTPA LNG from Tellurian’s Driftwood project on the banks of Calcasieu river in Louisiana. In return, Petronet was to also spend $2.5 billion for an 18% equity stake in the $28 billion Driftwood LNG terminal.

“The spot LNG prices have now crashed to about $2 per MMBtu and gas is widely available in the market. It would now make little sense to sign an agreement committing to pay on sea price of $3.5 to $4.5 per MMBtu for 40 years for the gas at this juncture,” said a energy sector analyst asking not to be named. PLL is also weighing options considering the changed market dynamics that had taken a sharper turn after the outbreak of Coronavirus that had disrupted businesses across the globe and resulted in energy price crash. PLL has remained sceptical about the Tellurian deal from the very beginning. The term of last years MoU between PLL and Tellurian was to expire on March 31, 2020, which was extended to May 31 in February. With diplomatic push, sources said, the term has now been extended till December 31. The expiry of the second deadline for converting the MoU into a definitive agreement in May generated doubts whether the deal, that also saw involvement of top government functionaries for both Indian as the US, will go through. The Tellurian deal, if concluded, will be first long term LNG deal under the Modi government since 2014. The landed price of some of the earlier concluded long term LNG supply deals is higher at $9-10 per MMBtu that is being renegotiated by PLL now. Under the Tellurian deal, first set of gas from Driftwood project would reach Indian shores only by FY24. As per analyst presentations given by Tellurian earlier, the first phase of the 27.6 MMTPA Driftwood project will be able to deliver LNG only in 2023. With the US LNG developer now reducing first phase cost by around 30% to roughly $16.8 billion by deferring some planned pipelines, the phase will now include liquefaction units capable of producing only 14.4-16.6 MMTPA of LNG. Sources said of the 5 MMTPA proposed contracted quantity, Petronet may not get even fully capacity from the first phase Driftwood project to be ready for delivery by 2023.

As the US project is proposed to be constructed in four phases, sources said full capacity may not be reached before 2030. By then gas market may be looking lot different and may make Petronet’s invest ment unproductive. For Petronet, another issue of concern would be mobilising huge investment commitment of $2.5 billion for Driftwood. With a cash and reserves of just over Rs 8,500 crore, it would have to look at other means of funding its US investment commitment. Government could either rope in more PSUs to fund the project with Petronet or permit it to tap overseas market to raise cheap funds. Tellurian is selling 51% holding in Driftwood to third parties while it itself would retain 49% stake or control over 13.6 MMTPA of LNG.

https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/oil-and-gas/petronet-lng-may-scale-down-2-5-billion-deal-with-tellurians-lng-project/77571539 

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Maharashtra: MSRTC to set up 30 petrol, diesel and LNG pumps

MSRTC which incurred huge losses during Covid-19, on Tuesday (Aug 18) said it will set up 30 petrol and diesel pumps, five liquefied natural gas (LNG) pumps to earn more revenue.

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MSRTC managing director Shekhar Channe told TOI it will be a “new business venture”. “Indian Oil Corporation will help us to set up the pumps and infrastructure. The pumps will come up on MSRTC land. They will be operated by our officials and profits will go into our kitty,” he said. An MoU was signed between MSRTC and IOC officials in the presence of state transport minister Anil Parab, who expedited the plan. MSRTC’s accumulated losses are Rs 6,000 crore and it is incurring a daily loss of around Rs 22 crore, with most buses in the 18,000-strong fleet lying idle or operating with few passengers. “We started an ST truck business in May for transportation of vegetables, fruits and other commodities to earn more and curtail losses. But we wanted to explore more areas,” said Channe. Two petrol and diesel pumps will be in Palghar division, three in Nashik, one in Aurangabad, four in Beed, two in Jalgaon, one in Dhule, two in Buldana, one in Jalna, two each in Ratnagiri, Akola and Wardha, one each in Yavatmal, Gadchiroli, Amravati, Ahmednagar, Satara and Pune and two at Solapur. An official said, “It’s time we generate more revenue as we are unable to pay salaries.” Staff got 50% pay in May and no salary for June and July. They received August’s dues only. Deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar recently sanctioned Rs 550 crore but officials said at least Rs 2,000 crore was needed for six months. MSRTC has over a lakh staffers, including 34,000 drivers and an equal number of conductors, who are frontline workers during Covid-19.

https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/oil-and-gas/maharashtra-msrtc-to-set-up-30-petrol-diesel-and-lng-pumps/77625169

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Sri Lanka to become south Asia’s LNG hub

Pearl Energy (Pvt) Ltd., signed the agreement with the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka to launch ‘Hambantota LNG Hub’ – A floating storage LNG trading facility at the Port of Hambantota, 

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bringing LNG to the doorstep of Sri Lanka, with a primary aim of trading LNG in the region utilizing the strategic location of Hambantota. The LNG Hub will become a landmark infrastructure development for the region paving the way to broader access to natural gas as a primary fuel in South Asia. Commencing commercial operations within 6 months, Pearl Energy will utilise a floating storage unit (FSU) with an initial capacity of 1 MMTPA. The company will deploy small LNG Carriers to re distribute LNG to South India & the Maldives providing LNG as a clean and affordable alternative to the industries in these locations. ‘It is our pleasure to embark on this journey of bringing clean energy to the doorstep of Sri Lanka & the region. Taking the ‘early mover’ Advantage we will strive to place Sri Lanka as a future LNG Hub of the world. Factors including the strategic location of Hambantota, Newly established stable government & its investor friendly policies & the fast growing regional demand for LNG Encouraged our investors led by Mr.Omar Siraj of Saudi Arabia to place their confidence on this project despite the global economic downturn caused By Covid-19 pandemic’, said Ms. Tania Siegertsz – Director, Pearl Energy.
‘Sri Lanka is extremely well equipped to meet the change in dynamics in the global LNG market and consolidate its position as a key player for the future. Though our project is launched targeting regional trade, the fact that a world class LNG hub will soon be within the Port of Hambantota, we are confident that Sri Lanka too will be encouraged to convert its power plants to LNG Thus saving millions of USD whilst also increasing the efficiency & producing more power to the national grid. The Port too could also commence using LNG for bunkering thereby making Hambantota Port & its industrial Zone as a ‘Clean Energy Zone’ of the future, Ms. Tania stated further.
Source: Indian Oil & Gas/Addadarena sl

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Petronet CEO gets 27% salary raise in FY20; Search launched for new chief

India’s biggest gas importer Petronet LNG Ltd gave its outgoing chief executive Prabhat Singh a record 27% rise in remuneration in FY20 and has now begun a search for a new CEO on modified terms that

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made just retired executives of PSUs ineligible. Singh, who completes his five-year term as managing director and CEO next month, took home a record Rs 1.8 crore in fiscal 2019-20 (April 2019 to March 2020), according to Petronet‘s latest annual report. This included Rs 22.5 lakh commission on profit. Petronet, which is registered as a private limited company but is headed by the oil secretary, had paid him a total of Rs 1.4 crore in the previous fiscal.

The salary paid to the CEO of Petronet is much higher than that is drawn by chairmen of its promoter PSUs, namely GAIL, IOC, ONGC and BPCL. Singh was appointed CEO of Petronet on September 14, 2015, and that year he took home Rs 40.4 lakh (the remuneration for six-and-a-half-months). In the following year, he took home Rs 1.08 crore. Though Singh, 63, was eligible for an extension till he achieved superannuation age two years later, Petronet has begun a search for a new CEO. “The candidate should be aged minimum of 48 years and maximum of 60 years on the date of vacancy i.e. September 14, 2020,” it said. Also, the “applicant must, on the date of application, as well as on the date of interview, be employed in a listed company with a turnover of Rs 5,000 crore or more,” it said. This is a new clause and essentially bars executives of gas utility GAIL (India) Ltd, refiners Indian Oil Corp (IOC) and Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) and explorer Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) who have either just retired from service after attaining 60 years of age or are due to superannuate this month. The ’employment status’ was not an eligibility criterion when past CEOs including Singh were appointed, sources in the know said. The selection of the new CEO will be done through a search committee of the board of Petronet, where state-owned GAIL, IOC, ONGC and BPCL hold 12.5% equity stake each. Chairmen of promoter PSUs are normally the nominee director on the Petronet board. The notice also stated that the candidate “should have held the position of a director on the board of the company (with a minimum turnover of Rs 5,000 crore) in the oil and gas/hydrocarbon sector (public limited company”. “The position carries an attractive perquisite which includes retiral benefits, performance incentive, company vehicle, medical facility, post-retirement medical scheme, group term-life insurance, group personnel accident insurance, etc, as per company’s policy,” it said. Petronet operates liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal at Dahej in Gujarat and Kochi in Kerala. The Mumbai listed firm had a turnover of Rs 35,000 crore in FY20.
Alongside the CEO’s position, Petronet also advertised for Director (Business Development and Marketing), seeking candidate between the age of 48 and 57 years who are on “regular/permanent” employment with a PSU or private company “in the grade/position of maximum two-level below the board.”
The employment status eligibility is also first for a director appointment.

https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/oil-and-gas/petronet-ceo-gets-27-salary-raise-in-fy20-search-launched-for-new-chief/77700940

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INTERNATIONAL NEWS

 

Natural Gas / Transnational Pipelines/ Others

Saudi Arabia announces discovery of new oil, gas fields

Saudi energy minister Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud announced on Sunday the discovery of two oil and gas fields in the kingdom, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

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The two fields, Hadat Al-Hajrah gas field in the Al-Jawf region and Abraq Al-Talul oil field in the northern border region, were discovered by the Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco), Xinhua news agency reported. Saudi Aramco will work on assessing the quantities of oil, gas and condensate in the two fields, as well as digging more wells to determine their area and size, the minister said. Saudi Aramco is the world’s most valuable company and pumps more oil on a daily basis than any other producer.           

https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/oil-and-gas/saudi-arabia-announces-discovery-of-new-oil-gas-fields/77842665

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Gas flows to US LNG export plants rise after storm, still near zero at Louisiana plants

Cheniere Energy Inc’s Sabine Pass and Cameron LNG’s Cameron export plants in Louisiana continued to take in almost no pipeline gas on Friday,

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according to preliminary data from Refinitiv that is subject to change later in the day. The amount of gas flowing to US liquefied natural gas export facilities was on track to rise for a second day on Friday (Aug 28) after collapsing to its lowest level since February 2019 earlier in the week when two plants in Louisiana shut for Hurricane Laura. Cheniere Energy Inc’s Sabine Pass and Cameron LNG’s Cameron export plants in Louisiana continued to take in almost no pipeline gas on Friday, according to preliminary data from Refinitiv that is subject to change later in the day. Flows to other LNG export plants, however, were on track to rise to 2.8 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) on Friday after dropping to an 18-month low of 2.3 bcfd on Wednesday when Sabine and Cameron shut, according to Refinitiv.

One billion cubic feet is enough gas for about 5 million US homes for a day. Energy firms along the Gulf Coast, including Cheniere and Cameron, are conducting damage assessments as they prepare to return their oil and gas plants and pipes to service. Cameron LNG said its assessment will continue over the next few days. Once complete, a timeline of activities to restart operations will follow, it said. There were at least two LNG vessels in the Gulf of Mexico on Friday morning waiting to enter Sabine Pass and Cameron once it is safe to do so, according to data from Refinitiv. Gaslog Shanghai, the vessel waiting to go to Sabine, however, has since turned to go to Cheniere’s Corpus Christi plant in Texas. Officials at Cheniere were not immediately available for comment. No LNG vessels have been at either Sabine or Cameron since Sunday as all kinds of ships steered clear of the Gulf this week while they waited to see where Hurricane Laura would hit. Laura slammed into the Gulf Coast near the Texas-Louisiana border early Thursday as a major Category 4 storm with sustained winds of 150 miles per hour (241 km per hour).

https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/oil-and-gas/gas-flows-to-us-lng-export-plants-rise-after-storm-still-near-zero-at-louisiana-plants/77815262

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Lower German June gas imports drag down H1 total, prices fall

Germany imported 2 per cent less natural gas in the first six months of 2020 after imports in June alone dropped by 8.5% year-on-year while lower prices reduced the Jan-June import bill by

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more than a third, official data showed on Friday (Aug 21). Gas, power and carbon traders monitor gas imports because the supply and demand balance can change prices and traded volumes in all three markets. Gas statistics also correlate with coal, which competes with gas in the production of electricity, and carbon emissions permits. German January-June imports were 2,695,921 Terajoules (TJ), or 76.7 billion cubic metres (bcm), compared with 2,750,176 TJ a year earlier, said trade statistics office BAFA. For June, imports totalled 371,125 TJ, down 8.5%. Imports in the year to May had still been 8.7% above the same period a year ago. Importers’ bills fell to 8.9 billion euros ($10.48 billion) for the six months, 35.5% less than a year earlier as a supply glut weighed on the market. Average prices paid on the border in June were 2,550.53 euros per TJ, which was equivalent to 0.92 euro cents per kilowatt hour (kWh), and down 34.8% from the same month in 2019. Average border prices across the January-June period were down 34.0% year-on-year at 3,305.67 euros/TJ. Germany mainly imports gas from Russia, Norway, the Netherlands, Britain and Denmark via pipelines.

https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/oil-and-gas/lower-german-june-gas-imports-drag-down-h1-total-prices-fall/77686288

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US energy firms shut 58% of Gulf of Mexico oil output due to twin storm threat

Energy firms shut 57.6%, or 1.07 million barrels per day (bpd), of offshore crude oil production in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico because of the twin threat from Hurricane Marco and

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Tropical Storm Laura, the U.S. government said on Sunday (Aug 23). Also, 44.6%, or 1,205 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd), of natural gas output was shut ahead of the storms, the federal Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) said. Workers have been evacuated from 114 production platforms out of the 643 manned platforms in the Gulf of Mexico, BSEE said.

https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/oil-and-gas/us-energy-firms-shut-58-of-gulf-of-mexico-oil-output-due-to-twin-storm-threat/77711710

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Draft EU methane strategy shies away from binding emissions standards

The European Union‘s long-awaited plan to curb emissions of the potent greenhouse gas methane will not impose binding standards on natural gas sold in the bloc, according to a draft seen

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by Reuters. Methane is nearly 90 times more potent than CO2 in its first 20 years in the atmosphere, and is emitted from leaky pipelines and infrastructure, and is often burned off at oil and gas fields. It is also produced in farming. As the world’s biggest importer of natural gas, the EU is facing pressure from investors, climate campaigners and some fossil fuel companies to set binding methane emissions limits on gas sold in Europe. While the EU regulates methane emissions from gas burned in the bloc, it doesn’t do so for emissions during the production or transport of gas imports, so those emissions don’t show up in the tally of greenhouse gases linked to Europe’s gas-fuelled power plants, nor are they are counted in the EU’s climate goals. The EU’s methane strategy draft, due to be published by the European Commission next month, does not propose further methane emission standards but commits to “explore” them, without fixing a date. Rather, it will propose legislation next year requiring oil and gas companies to better monitor and report methane emissions, and repair leaks. The EU executive will then consider standards by 2025 to stop industry venting and flaring methane, practices that release the gas into the atmosphere or deliberately burn it.
VOLUNTARY TARGETS
Yet having the desired policy effect may prove difficult and there could be disagreements over any data used to analyse emissions. Much of the EU’s gas comes from Russia, Norway and Algeria. The Commission does not comment on unpublished drafts, which are subject to change until adopted. Some fuel companies, including Shell and BP , have already set voluntary targets to curb methane emissions. However, campaigners say such efforts alone are insufficient, especially because recent satellite imagery and aerial surveillance have shown actual methane emissions significantly higher than levels reported by industry in some countries, including the United States. “What we learnt from the U.S. is that voluntary agreements, data and transparency in and of themselves do not deliver reductions as needed,” said Poppy Kalesi, global energy policy director at the Environmental Defense Fund. “Reducing methane emissions from oil and gas is one of the most immediate, cost-effective options to slow the rate of global warming.”

https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/oil-and-gas/draft-eu-methane-strategy-shies-away-from-binding-emissions-standards/77686255

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Work on North-South Pipeline in Pakistan set to kick off

Experts see the Supreme Court’s decision in the gas infrastructure development cess (GIDC) case as a major breakthrough that will help kick off work on the stalled North-South Gas Pipeline by the public utilities.

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The pipeline will pump imported gas from south to north to feed Punjab industries and will send positive signals to the companies planning to set up new liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals. In a recent judgement, the Supreme Court directed the federal government to take all steps to commence the laying of North-South Gas Pipeline within six months. It was also decided that the funds collected on account of GIDC would be utilised to execute the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (Tapi) gas pipeline project as soon as the laying of pipeline in Afghanistan reached the stage where work on Pakistan soil could conveniently start. Funds will also be spent on the Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline as soon as sanctions on Tehran are no more an impediment. In case no work is carried out on the North-South Pipeline within the prescribed time frame and on laying any of the two other major pipelines (IP and Tapi), though political conditions are conducive, the purpose of levying the cess shall be deemed to have been frustrated. At the same time, the GIDC Act 2015 will become permanently inoperational and considered dead for all intents and purposes. “So, the North-South Pipeline is the most feasible project for Sui gas companies for transporting the imported gas,” remarked an official. Pakistan and Russia have been working on the RLNG pipeline since 2015 but they have not been able to sign a commercial deal because of US sanctions on Russian companies.

Companies setting up new LNG terminals require the creation of pipeline capacity for gas transmission from Karachi to Lahore and in the absence of such a capacity, they are in an uncertain situation. The North-South Pipeline would enhance gas supply to Punjab (which had been facing acute shortages), he said, adding that Sui companies would also fetch more revenue in the form of gas transportation fees. The ex-MD said the building of pipeline infrastructure would also prove good for the country as it would help enhance the imported gas supply for tackling the energy crisis.

Work on the North-South Pipeline will be a top priority of the government and it has already decided to auction the surplus capacity of existing LNG terminals to private companies. New LNG terminal projects are also in the pipeline. This will create a significant load on the current gas transmission network; hence, LNG will be transported from the Karachi port to upcountry through the North-South Pipeline. Universal Gas Distribution Company CEO Ghiyas Abdullah Paracha was of the view that the tariff of North-South Pipeline, being built by government companies, would be lower and the project would be completed in the stipulated time frame. “The gas price will come down due to enhanced LNG supply; it will give a boost to economic activity,” he added.

https://tribune.com.pk/story/2260321/work-on-north-south-pipeline-set-to-kick-off

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Gazprom Neft profit slumps 80 per cent in Q2, pledges dividend later this year

Russia’s Gazprom Neft, the oil business of state gas company Gazprom, said on Thursday (Aug 20) weak oil prices had driven a near 80 per cent slump in second-quarter net profit to 22 billion roubles ($297 million).

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The group said it still planned to pay an interim dividend later this year as profits improve. Russia’s third biggest oil producer swung into a net loss in the first quarter of this year, suffering like many of its peers from a drop in crude prices. Its chief executive Alexander Dyukov said in a statement on Thursday that a deal to cut output between the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies had since helped boost prices, helping erase the group’s first-quarter losses. Brent crude prices have climbed to nearly $45 per barrel from their more than 20-year-lows below $16 per barrel seen in April, thanks to the deal which Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak called a “success” this week. The earlier loss meant Gazprom Neft earned a modest 8 billion roubles for the first six months of this year. It plans to pay dividends on nine-month results to make the payment stronger, a company official told a conference call on Thursday. The same official said the company plans to cut its capital expenditure by around 20 per cent this year. Annual capex had been seen at around 380 billion roubles for the next two to three years, according to plans released last year. Gazprom Neft said on Thursday its revenue had fallen 37 per cent year-on-year in the second quarter to 398.3 billion roubles, while free cash flow had turned negative at 76.9 billion roubles versus 34.2 billion roubles a year ago.

https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/oil-and-gas/gazprom-neft-profit-slumps-80-per-cent-in-q2-pledges-dividend-later-this-year/77666020

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Hurkey finds energy in Black Sea as Erdogan vows a new era

Turkey has discovered energy in the Black Sea, most likely natural gas, two people with direct knowledge of the matter said Wednesday (Aug 19), but gave no indication of the size and

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depth of the find, nor how difficult it will be to extract. The two spoke after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan promised to deliver Turks “good news” on Friday that would usher in a new era for the nation. He has also vowed to pursue energy exploration in contested Mediterranean waters that has triggered rows with the European Union. The president’s office declined to comment. The lira extended gains against the dollar after the news and was trading 1.2% stronger late Wednesday local time. The benchmark Borsa Istanbul 100 Index also rose 3% after Erdogan spoke, while shares of refiner Turkiye Petrol Rafinerileri AS, or Tupras, and petrochemical manufacturer Petkim Petrokimya Holding AS jumped 7.6% and 9.9% respectively. Energy Minister Fatih Donmez said last month that the drilling ship Fatih had started exploration in the so-called Tuna-1 zone, off the Turkish town of Eregli. “There have been gas discoveries in the Black Sea before but of a limited scale,” Timothy Ash, a strategist at BlueBay Asset Management LLP in London, said on Twitter. “Given its $35-50 billion annual energy import bill, Turkey needs something big to be a game changer.” Tuna-1, some 150 kilometers from Turkey’s coast, is close to an area where maritime borders of Bulgaria and Romania converge and not far from Romania’s Neptun block, the largest gas find in the Black Sea in decades discovered eight years ago by Petrom and Exxon. The Fatih has been carrying out drilling operations in Tuna-1 area since around mid-July according to a Turkish Navy website.

Romania has shallow-water gas projects, but a major deep-water find by OMV Petrom SA eight years ago has still to be exploited. A company backed by the Carlyle Group is also exploring off Romania, aiming to get gas in 2021. Rosneft has explored in the Russian part of the Black Sea but without concrete results. “I don’t think it is that surprising more findings coming from there,” said Christoph Merkel, managing director of Merkel Energy consultancy. “Bulgaria, Ukraine, Greece might be among the ones very interested in buying that gas, if Turkey decides to export it.” “Depending on the size of the discovery, I expect at least a tranche of TurkStream to be idle,” he said. “Why would Turkey want to keep importing gas from Russia?” Gas giant Gazprom PJSC opened the TurkStream pipeline under the Black Sea to increase its market share in Turkey and reduce Russia’s dependence on Ukraine as a transit route. The Turkish discovery comes amid territorial disputes with Greece and Cyprus in the eastern Mediterranean, where Turkey is actively searching for oil and gas in contested waters. France has temporarily increased its military presence to ward off Turkish steps, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday said the EU was concerned over the increased tensions. Ankara resumed its search of the Mediterranean waters last week after German-mediated negotiations with Greece collapsed when Athens announced a maritime delimitation agreement with Egypt — in retaliation for a similar deal between Turkey and Libya. Erdogan said the European pressure wouldn’t make him change direction.

Turkey is especially at loggerheads with Cyprus over offshore gas reserves around the island. The Republic of Cyprus is an EU member state and officially has sovereignty over the entire island. But it has been effectively divided since Turkey’s military captured the northern third in 1974, following a coup attempt in which a military junta in Athens sought to unite Cyprus with Greece. The Turkish minority’s self-proclaimed state in the north, recognized only by Ankara, claims rights to any energy resources discovered off its coast.

EU leaders already planned an emergency meeting in September to discuss the situation in the eastern Mediterranean, and have underscored the need to deescalate matters. During a video call on Wednesday, the 27 heads of state and government expressed “full solidarity with Greece and Cyprus and recalled and reaffirmed our previous conclusions on the illegal drilling activities.” The spat is one of several as Erdogan seeks to reassert Turkey as a regional power. From conflicts in Syria and Libya to strikes in Iraq, NATO’s second-largest army has intervened with armed drones, warplanes and tanks. Erdogan has also urged Mediterranean countries to come together and solve disputes. “Turkey’s struggle from the eastern Mediterranean to Libya is not about its rights but its future,” he said Wednesday, as the Turkish Navy said it started back to back exercises in the northwest of Cyprus through Aug. 28.

Source: LNG Global/Bloomberg

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BHP to put its Australian Bass Strait oil and gas assets up for sale

BHP Group said on Tuesday it plans to sell its Australian Bass Strait oil and gas stake as it seeks to focus on its higher value petroleum assets.

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The Bass Strait joint venture is co-owned and operated by Exxon Mobil Corp  which has also put its 50% stake up for sale, which analysts have estimated could fetch up to $3 billion. “We continue to optimise our petroleum portfolio through the exit of later life assets, including an intended exit from Bass Strait,” the company said in its annual results statement.

https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/oil-and-gas/bhp-to-put-its-australian-bass-strait-oil-and-gas-assets-up-for-sale/77603536

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Global LNG Development

Global LNG-Asian LNG prices jump; expectations of more supply check gains

Asian spot liquefied natural gas (LNG) prices jumped to a multi-month high earlier this week, although they eased slightly towards the end of the week on expectations of more supply from the United States.

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The average LNG price for October delivery into northeast Asia LNG-AS was estimated at about $4.10 per MMBtu this week, up 40 cents from the previous week, but down about 10 to 20 cents from earlier this week. Prices for cargoes to be delivered in September were estimated at about $3.90 to $4 per MMBtu, several traders said. “Expectations of more cargoes from the U.S. as well as news that the maintenance at Gorgon will not be as extensive as initially thought will weigh on prices,” a Singapore-based LNG trader said. Chevron Corp plans to shut Train 1 at its Gorgon LNG plant in Australia in early October and Train 3 in January 2021 for inspections on key equipment in the processing units, Western Australia’s industrial regulator said. Its train 2 is expected to restart production in early September after maintenance was extended for two months. Meanwhile, buyers are expected to cancel up to 10 LNG cargoes for October loading from the United States, the lowest number in months as prices in Asia and Europe recover, several trade sources said. n tenders, Russia’s Sakhalin LNG plant likely sold a Sept. 28 loading cargo at about $4 to $4.20 per MMBtu, while Kufpec could have sold a Wheatstone cargo at about $4 to Chevron on a free-on-board basis, traders said. Gail India offered a cargo for October loading while Exxon and Woodside Petroleum offered cargoes for September and October, traders said. Indonesia’s Pertamina likely awarded two cargoes at a slight premium to Henry Hub prices, while APLNG partially awarded its three cargo tender at a premium to North Asia prices, traders said.

Source: LNG Global/Reuters

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China starts trial run of online int’l LNG trade

Shanghai Petroleum and Natural Gas Exchange (SHPGX), a national energy trading center, started the trial run of its online platform for international liquefied natural gas (LNG) trading on Friday (Aug 28).

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China’s oil giants Sinopec and CNOOC respectively reached LNG purchase deals with their foreign counterparts through the trading platform, with total trading volume at 130,000 tonnes. Given China’s market size and weight in the sector, China is well placed to establish a liquid and relevant market for LNG, said Laurent Vivier, president for the gas division of Total. As China’s largest LNG importer, CNOOC will actively participate in the online trading, and will support more domestic new players in the natural gas sector to enter the international market, said Wu Wenlai, chairman of CNOOC Gas and Power Group. With the establishment of the national oil and gas pipeline company China Oil & Gas Pipeline Network Corporation (PipeChina), China has accelerated market-oriented reforms over its oil and gas market, creating favorable conditions for the launch of the online international LNG trading business, noted Ye Guobiao, chairman of the SHPGX. SHPGX will seize the opportunity and make use of digital technology to build an open, transparent, safe and efficient online trading platform for the market players at home and abroad, added Ye. 

http://www.china.org.cn/business/2020-08/29/content_76649364.htm 

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Warmer weather, supply woes push Asian LNG prices to pre-virus levels

Asian liquefied natural gas (LNG) prices have reversed course and are on track to hit their highest since January, when the coronavirus pandemic first

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hit demand, as sweltering weather in north Asia fans demand just when supply remains constrained. Major cities in Japan, the world’s top importer of LNG, are experiencing warmer than usual weather this month, with the weather agency issuing alerts against heatstrokes as temperatures soar to records. As more people turn to cooling strategies, such as air-conditioning, this is expected to boost electricity demand and, in turn, prompt Japanese utilities to draw down gas inventory and possibly import more LNG, trade sources said. “The Japanese holiday season just ended and investors are expecting electricity demand to come back this week while hot weather is also pushing prices up,” a Tokyo based LNG trader said, referring to electricity rates. In the last two days, power prices on the Japan Electric Power Exchange have hit their highest this year. Over the next two weeks, South Korea’s capital of Seoul is also expected to experience warmer weather than usual, data from Refinitiv Eikon showed. An extended maintenance period at a production train at Australia’s Chevron-operated Gorgon LNG plant has curbed supply and is also supporting prices, as project off-takers could be buying cargoes in the spot market to fulfill contracts, traders added. For instance, Australia’s Woodside Petroleum this week sold a September-loading cargo at about $3.90 per MMBtu, trade sources said. That is the highest since late January, when the World Health Organisation declared COVID-19 a public health emergency of global concern. Asian spot LNG prices on Friday were estimated to be about $3.70 per MMBtu. “On top of Gorgon, U.S. and Europe (gas) prices are up, so that also helps to improve the price in Asia,” a Singapore-based LNG trader said. U.S. gas prices hit an eight-month high on Friday as hot weather boosts air-conditioning demand. Still, traders expect price surges to be temporary, tapering off with the start of autumn, cooling temperatures, and as new waves of coronavirus hit the region. In South Korea, the world’s third largest LNG importer, gas inventory levels are higher than normal despite warmer weather, a trader said, as the country battles its worst coronavirus outbreak in months.

Source: LNG Global/Reuters

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Australia’s Viva Energy aims to begin designing LNG terminal by year-end

Wyatt added that operating losses in the refining business were “unsustainable” and that Viva was continually assessing the short- and long-term viability of this part of the business. 

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Viva Energy Group said on Monday (Aug 10) it hoped to start preliminary design work on Australia’s first gas import terminal before the end of this year as it worked to diversify away from a refining market that it expected to remain difficult. The owner of Australia’s second-largest refinery had said in June it wanted to diversify earnings at its Geelong refinery site in Victoria, beginning with a liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal. Chief Executive Scott Wyatt acknowledged in a statement that the refining business had been very challenging throughout 2020 so far and warned that margins would remain “uncertain and challenging” over the remainder of the year and 2021. Wyatt added that operating losses in the refining business were “unsustainable” and that Viva was continually assessing the short- and long-term viability of this part of the business. His comments came as Viva reported a near 33% slump in first-half underlying net profit after tax on a replacement cost basis to A$34.3 million ($24.6 million), as fuel demand was battered due to the coronavirus crisis. The company also confirmed its intention to return all remaining proceeds from the divestment of its interest in Waypoint REIT to shareholders, including a capital return and special dividend worth A$530 million. ($1 = 1.3930 Australian dollars)https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/oil-and-gas/australias-viva-energy-aims-to-begin-designing-lng-terminal-by-year-end/77582482

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Indonesia’s Panbil Group eyes LNG import facility at Karimun

SINGAPORE – Indonesia’s Panbil Group is conducting a feasibility study on building a liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal on Karimun Island of the Riau province in the next five years, a company executive said.

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The proposal comes at a time when Asia’s spot LNG prices <LNG-AS> have hit multi-year lows this year as the coronavirus pandemic depressed demand for the power fuel. The proposed terminal could cost $600 million to $800 million and would be located at Pulau Asam, which is about 33-kilometres away from Singapore’s oil and gas hub Jurong, Executive Director Patrick Aritonang told Reuters. “We wanted to propose certain options to accommodate our energy security,” he said, as Indonesia is forecast to be short on natural gas in the next decade while the government has set targets to build more gas-fired power plants. Capacity of the terminal, he said, adding that it would also look at the economics of building a 55-km pipeline to supply gas to PT Trans Gas Indonesia (PGI). The terminal could have a storage capacity of up to 170,000 cubic metres, which would be used for refuelling ships and breaking up big cargoes into smaller ones to be distributed in the region, Aritonang said. Prospective gas supply sources include Indonesia’s Tangguh Train 3, PT Donggi Senoro, and Cheniere Energy’s <LNG.A> Corpus Christi terminal, Aritonang said. The study is expected to be completed by end-2020 while the terminal would take about three years to build. Panbil operates an industrial estate in Batam, which houses a 60-megawatt gas-fired power plant. REUTERS

https://www.todayonline.com/world/indonesias-panbil-group-eyes-lng-import-facility-karimun

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Rule allowing LNG rail shipments in US challenged in court

A coalition of six environmental advocacy groups asked a federal judge on Tuesday to block a new Trump administration rule to allow rail shipments of liquefied natural gas,

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a new front in the movement of energy products backed by both the natural gas and rail freight industries. The groups will argue in court that, among other things, the administration did not adequately study the new rule to ensure that the activity it is authorizing is safe for workers, communities and the environment, said Jordan Luebkemann, a lawyer for Earthjustice, which is representing the groups court. The rule, they said, would allow shipments of the flammable and odorless liquid known as LNG by rail in tanker cars that are untested and that cannot withstand high-speed impacts. “Under this new rule, it’s only a matter of time before we see an explosion in a major population center,” said Emily Jeffers, an attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity. The U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration declined comment. The agency published the rule late last month in the Federal Register and it takes effect in the coming days. The rule comes amid foundering prices for natural gas in the U.S., as court and regulatory battles over pipeline projects have slowed movement of the nation’s world-leading gas production to markets. The country’s natural gas boom has fueled massive growth in LNG exports, growing last year by more than 65 times the amount exported in 2015, according to federal figures. The rule requires enhancements – including a thicker outer tank made of steel with a greater puncture resistance – to the approved tank car design that, for decades, has been approved for shipments of other flammable cryogenic materials, such as liquid ethylene and liquid ethane. Previously, federal hazardous materials regulations allowed shipments of LNG by truck, but not by rail, except with a special permit. Fifteen states also objected to the rule during the comment period. Those states included Pennsylvania and New Jersey, where the Trump administration issued a special permit in December to ship LNG by rail from northern Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale natural gas fields to a yet-to-be-built storage terminal at a former explosives plant in New Jersey, along the Delaware River near Philadelphia. From there, the LNG is expected to be exported to foreign markets for electricity production, although the applicant, a subsidiary of New Fortress Energy, has told federal regulators that some domestic industrial use is possible.

https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/oil-and-gas/rule-allowing-lng-rail-shipments-in-us-challenged-in-court/77625081

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Greece, Bulgaria hail deal targeting Russia gas dominance

Greece and Bulgaria sought to reduce their reliance on Russian gas with the signing Monday (Aug 24) of an agreement that will allow Bulgaria to participate in a

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planned liquefied natural gas terminal in northeastern Greece. The project, which has strong support from the United States, is aimed at boosting energy diversification in southeastern Europe, a region largely reliant on Russian natural gas. Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and his Bulgarian counterpartBoiko Borisov, were present for the signing of the agreement under which Bulgaria’s state-controlled Bulgartransgaz will acquire a 20% stake in the Greek company, Gastrade, that is developing the LNG terminal outside the Greek city of Alexandroupolis. “This large investment will help our ultimate goal of turning our easternmost port into a global energy hub,” Mitsotakis said. “The benefits are also geopolitical: A new axis of diversification of natural gas routes is being created not only for Bulgaria but also for central Europe which will no longer have a single source of energy.” Bulgarian participation in the venture is tied to a separate pipeline project that will be used to transport the gas northward. Monday’s ceremony was also attended by the U.S. ambassador to Greece, Geoffrey Pyatt. The terminal at Alexandroupolis is due to start operating in 2022.

https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/oil-and-gas/greece-bulgaria-hail-deal-targeting-russia-gas-dominance/77732689

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Mexico’s LNG imports fall sharply in July

Mexico’s LNG receipts more than halved in July compared with a year earlier, despite a fall in pipeline gas deliveries from the US. Mexico imported 203,500t of LNG in July,

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down from 507,700t a year earlier and 260,300t in June, data from oil analytics firm Vortexa show. But receipts in July were higher than the average of 171,400 t/month in January-June, which was down from 425,100 t/month in the same period last year.

Lower pipeline deliveries from the US failed to boost LNG receipts in July. Mexican pipeline imports from the US through the country’s Sistransgas network — which handles most US pipeline imports — slipped to 3.1bn ft³/d (87.7mn m³/d) last month from 3.28bn ft³/d (92.8mn m³/d) a year earlier, but were up from 2.9bn ft³/d (82mn m³/d) in June, Cenagas data show. Weaker gas demand owing to the Covid-19 pandemic may have reduced the need for brisk LNG imports. Demand on the Sistrangas network fell to 4.5bn ft³/d (127mn m³/d) in July from 5.1bn ft³/d (144mn m³/d) a year earlier, although it was up from 4.29bn ft³/d (121mn m³/d) in June.

Mexico entered its final phase of lifting virus-related restrictions on industry and movement in June, but has since struggled to contain the coronavirus. The country’s traffic light warning system shows that for 17-30 August, 31 out of the country’s 32 states remain either on a high or maximum health alert, which could curb demand recovery and the need for LNG and US pipeline gas imports. The start-up of the final leg of the 5bn ft³/d (141.5mn m³/d) Wahalajara pipeline system will boost US pipeline exports to Mexico, but the launch could be slowed by the virus, the US EIA said. Construction of the 886mn ft³/d (25mn m³/d) Villa de Reyes-Aguascalientes-Guadalajara leg was completed on 31 March but has not begun flows because of ongoing arbitration, Mexican state-owned utility CFE told Argus. Once the final leg of the pipeline system is completed, LNG deliveries to Mexico’s 3.8mn t/yr Manzanillo import facility are expected to be restricted to providing periodic back-up supply. The first two legs — El Encino-La Laguna and La Laguna-Aguascalientes — started up in December.

Source: LNG Global 

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World’s largest floating LNG factory remains in shutdown — at just three years old

Shell’s massive floating LNG factory off the Kimberley coast has been in shutdown since February and industry analysts are divided on whether the $12-17 billion facility has a future. Prelude FLNG is the largest floating object ever built and billed as the solution to getting gas out of Australia’s most remote undersea gas fields.

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With five times the steel of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and half a kilometre long, it certainly is big. But as it sits idle 400 kilometres north of Broome, it risks becoming the world’s biggest white elephant. Tim Treadgold is a resources industry analyst who writes for US business magazine Forbes, and says Shell is trying to keep Prelude’s predicament under wraps. “It is a big deal, and it’s also a big embarrassment, and that’s one of the reasons why you’re not hearing much from Shell,” he said. “It was hoping to reinvent the way remote gas fields are developed, and you would have to say at this stage that they haven’t succeeded.” Curtin University energy economist Roberto F Aguilera said Mr Treadgold’s assessment was too pessimistic. “There is no doubt the facility has had trouble. It’s a unique technology, very complex,” Dr Aguilera said. “It would seem unlikely that they would cut their losses after so much effort and so many billions of dollars in investment.”

The floating solution

Prelude was born out of the ashes of Woodside Petroleum’s attempts to bring the undersea gas in north-west Australia’s Browse Basin to an LNG processing hub on the Kimberley coast at James Price Point. When Woodside pulled the pin on James Price Point in 2013 as forecast costs went stratospheric, Shell was already building Prelude in a Korean shipyard. Shell have never revealed the cost of construction, but even at the estimated figures of $12-17 billion, and with no land-based approvals needed, floating LNG seemed to solve the problems that plagued building new onshore facilities. But even with a vessel that dwarfs the massive LNG ships it is supposed to offload to, cramming an LNG facility, staff accommodation, and all the other services onto Prelude, has been troubled. Prelude was moored over the Browse Basin in November 2017 and production began in December 2018. It was expected to export 3.6 MMT of LNG each year, but full capacity has never been reached. The first shipment of LNG left Prelude in June 2019, while another left shortly before the platform was put into shutdown in February. In a statement, Shell did not specify how many shipments of LNG had taken place, but said “regular offtake of LNG, LPG and condensate cargoes” had occurred up until January.

‘Dangerous occurrences’ led to shutdown

Shell declined to be interviewed by the ABC, but said in a statement that the facility was shut down in February this year due to “an electrical trip”. No further explanation was provided about the problem or why it has now kept Prelude shut down for six months. Shell also declined to say when Prelude would restart production, but said a process was in its final stages. “This is the final phase in the multi-stage, multi-faceted, restart process,” the statement read in part. “We will be in a stronger position to talk about timing of production and cargo once that has been completed.” The February shutdown followed three incidences that the offshore energy regulator NOPSEMA described as “dangerous occurrences” — two of which involved “loss of hydrocarbon containment”. The ABC understands NOPSEMA is now assessing Prelude’s revised safety management systems, required before work that risks these dangerous leaks resumes.

Teething or fundamental problems?

The oil and gas industry has a history of rough beginnings for new facilities, and Dr Aguilera said Prelude will recover from a trifecta of challenges. “It was not just the technical electrical problems, but also industrial action, and then the pandemic which had that devastating effect on natural gas and LNG demand,” he said.

“That has given a serious hit to the project, but the same is true of LNG all over the world.” Dr Aguilera said that with many projects deferred globally, LNG prices are set to rise when world economies emerge from the pandemic downturn. But Tim Treadgold says Prelude was in trouble well before the pandemic and has shown floating LNG is not viable. “I don’t think this is a teething problem, I think this is a fundamental underlying problem with the technology,” he said. “It wouldn’t surprise me at all if at some stage Prelude is towed back to where it was built in Korea.”

‘It just hasn’t worked’

Shell rejected the idea that Prelude could be decommissioned in their statement, saying it was too early to judge the success of the project. “Prelude is a multi-decade project and its success will be measured by delivering sustained performance over the long-term,” the statement read. But the long-term remains uncertain with Shell releasing a statement in April saying it was delaying a final investment decision on developing a gas field that would be needed to backfill Prelude in years to come “due to the global economic downturn, including the sharp drop in oil price, declining markets and uncertainties with regard to the COVID-19 pandemic.” Mr Treadgold said it meant Prelude may hold its record as the world’s largest floating object ever built for all the wrong reasons. “Prelude is obviously not profitable, no-one’s going to build another one like it until it’s proven to be profitable,” he said. “It just hasn’t worked. There’s a very real chance that Prelude will leave the coast and we’ll never hear of it again.

Source: LNG Global\

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Philippine energy chief says 4 LNG projects still on track despite virus delays

Four LNG import terminal projects in the Philippines are currently in various stages of approvals and financial closures, still on track despite “minor delays” caused by

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the coronavirus restrictions, the country’s energy chief said on Thursday (Aug 27). The Southeast Asian country will rely on imported liquefied natural gas to feed some of its power plants running on supply from its Malampaya gas field in western Philippine waters, expected to dry up within the next few years, and new units. Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi told Reuters in a text message that he was closely monitoring the activities of four proponents of LNG import and storage facilities to ensure that they meet commissioning targets. “These projects are moving in varying stages of permitting from other government agencies, and/or financial closing prior to filing an application for the permit to construct,” he said. The projects of First Gen Corp, U.S.-based Excelerate Energy LP, Batangas Clean Energy Inc, and Australia-listed Energy World Corp were still in the pipeline. First Gen has had talks with Tokyo Gas Co Ltd to build a LNG terminal in Batangas province, near its four 2,100-megawatt gas-fired units. Excelerate plans a floating LNG terminal, while Batangas Clean Energy of billionaire Lucio Tan has proposed a 1,100-MW power plant alongside a LNG import terminal. Energy World aims to put online next year a 650-MW LNG-fuelled power plant in Quezon province, near its LNG receiving plant. However, projects proposed by Phoenix Petroleum Philippines Inc, which had partnership talks with CNOOC Gas and Power of China, and SMC Global Power Holdings Corp, a unit of San Miguel Corp, were excluded from the government’s list. Plans for Phoenix’s $2 billion LNG hub has been put on hold, while San Miguel’s project has yet to get government approval. San Miguel, which operates a 1,200-MW gas-fuelled unit, is partnering with Atlantic Gulf & Pacific for its LNG project.

Source: LNG Global/Reuters

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Natural Gas / LNG Utilization

Germany: blockchain-based small-scale LNG platform will support a decentralized vehicle fuel supply

Wipro Limited, a global information technology, consulting, and business process services company, announced the successful implementation of a blockchain-based small-scale LNG (ssLNG) trading/fulfillment platform for Uniper,

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headquartered in Germany, and its 100% LNG-for-trucks subsidiary Liqvis GmbH. The platform built in collaboration with Uniper utilizes a consortium model for all ssLNG market participants to help transform the trading market space resulting in market efficiencies and significant cost savings for traders. Uniper selected Wipro to build the blockchain platform to address the complexity of the European ssLNG market. As a result of the implementation, commodity flow management is simplified in a market characterized by extensive manual and paper-based transactions and high operational cost. The platform implemented by Wipro involves multiple peer-to-peer trading cycle participants, enables order and supply placement, delivery of goods, validation of the state of goods and bill settlements. It further helps Uniper streamline trade by reducing turnaround time, effort and inefficiencies, enables scalability and brings visibility, transparency and trust in all stages of LNG trade. Strategically, it paves the way for Uniper to become the market maker for low-carbon modern supply of alternative fuels and decentralized energy solutions. “Uniper’s strength is its customer-centricity, product creation and market development. Building upon that when we enter more downstream logistics-heavy markets, we encourage the use of innovative technologies to optimize our processes and operations. Blockchain will enable business volume growth without needing a lot of additional headcount to manage transactions. This will be true for us and our counterparts that will engage with Uniper through the paperless blockchain platform. The ssLNG trading platform provides for easy scalability and enhancements based on the growing marketplace. To achieve this, we jointly deployed the required building blocks such as security, distributed computing and node network,” said Dr. Grigory Shevchenko, Senior Account Manager Gas Supply and Origination, LNG Business Development, Uniper. “We are delighted to build and implement the small-scale LNG blockchain platform for Uniper and support their initiative to promote LNG as an advanced and environmentally friendly fuel alternative. The platform helps Uniper’s LNG-for-trucks subsidiary Liqvis ensure that LNG is always available when and where it is needed and achieve price security through Uniper’s long-term LNG supply contracts and seamless supply chain execution. This is a landmark partnership between Wipro and Uniper. Our Utilities ETRM business competency combined with industry leading blockchain expertise has enabled Uniper to modernize its trading platform, reduce friction, improve process efficiency and simplify settlements in business processes,” commented Sarat Chand, Vice President and EMEA Utilities Business Head, Wipro Limited. Krishnakumar N Menon, Vice President – Service Transformation and Blockchain Theme Leader, Wipro Limited added, “The trading/fulfillment platform for ssLNG market leverages blockchain to simplify the LNG trade process with greater efficiency, transparency and security.  Smart contracts used in the platform automate processes such as demand creation, trade confirmation, shipment creation, bunkering, invoice generation and settlement, leading to lesser manual interventions. The blockchain-based platform benefits Uniper and its customers in their trade cycles by enabling digitization and exchange of documents; real-time sharing of information and alerts for an immutable audit trail of activities performed.”

http://www.ngvjournal.com/s1-news/c7-lng-h2-blends/germany-blockchain-based-small-scale-lng-platform-will-support-a-more-decentralized-vehicle-fuel-supply/

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More Argentine companies choose CNG with Scania Demo Truck plan

After testing for 15 days in July and August a CNG G 410 4×2 tractor unit from Scania Argentina’s Demo Trucks fleet, Transporte LD SA – a subsidiary of Molinos Tres Arroyos,

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one of the main producers of dry pasta in the country, located in the city of the same name- acquired its first two natural gas-powered trucks from the Scania Green Efficiency line. “The experience exceeded the expectations I had, since the refueling is done in less time than expected. In addition, the fuel costs are 40% lower than those of diesel engines, which is what we had been informed by Scania. This reduction implies a 50% saving in our operating costs,” explained one of the two partners of the company Jorge López. At the same time, the low emissions of the vehicles, which comply with Euro 6 standards, will allow Transporte LD to deepen its environmental programs of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), under which it must reinforce the care of the planet every year. The company has 44 trucks, of which 36 are Scania. “It can be used in any transport application because it has no cons,” added López and reported that the drivers noticed a ride similar to units of equal power or, even better, thanks to the air suspension and the low vibrations of the natural gas engine. Recently, the Argentine company Pascua began testing a natural gas truck, also through the Demo Trucks program. In this case, the Scania vehicle is being used for the long-distance transport of cement. Demo Trucks is Scania Argentina’s program designed for transporters to see, first-hand, the benefits of the brand’s New Generation (#NextGenScania) of trucks. It includes a fleet of 26 units with different configurations, which are loaned to clients or potential clients to be used in their daily operations. Options include vehicles for long-haul, transport of grain and fuel, off-road and construction, as well as natural gas alternatives for long-haul and urban distribution.

http://www.ngvjournal.com/s1-news/c3-vehicles/more-argentine-companies-choose-cng-with-the-scania-demo-trucks-program/

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Spain: HAM builds new natural gas station for Petrem in Girona

HAM Group, through its company HAM Criogénica, was in charge of designing, building and commissioning the new Petrem filling station, which will allow refueling of CNG and LNG.

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The new facility is located at Petrem Trucks, in Santa Llogaia d’Àlguema, Girona, very close to exit 3 of the AP-7, the N-2A and the N-2, a radial road that connects Madrid and the border crossing of the municipality of La Junquera,

passing through towns such as Alcalá de Henares, Guadalajara, Zaragoza, Lérida, Barcelona and Gerona. The project has been possible thanks to Petrem Distribución S.A. (company that sells fuels and lubricants) commitment to NGV. The station has a 98 m3 vertical tank and has two single-hose LNG dispensers for refueling trucks and heavy vehicles and two double-hose CNG dispensers for refueling cars, light vehicles and trucks. The design made by HAM allows an easy expansion of the service station, allowing a maximum of four jets to fill LNG (two doubles + two singles) and a maximum of six jets to fill CNG (four doubles + two singles). The site it is open 24/7 and is freely accessible to all clients. The new Petrem facility will allow its customers to enjoy all the environmental and economic benefits of using natural gas. CNG and LNG are clean fuels, respectful with the environment and that reduce the environmental impact, thanks to the reduction of CO2 emissions, NOx and fine particles. In addition, both fuels will allow their customers to save 30-50% compared to other less environmentally-friendly fuels. HAM Cryogenic has years of experience in the LNG sector with more than 300 projects around the world, both in design and construction of facilities for all kinds of industries and the naval sector.

http://www.ngvjournal.com/s1-news/c4-stations/spain-ham-builds-new-natural-gas-station-for-petrem-in-girona/

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DISA puts into operation first natural gas station in Canary Islands

The new DISA El Mayorazgo service station is the first in the Canary Islands where the company offers natural gas for vehicles. The European Union promotes the use of this fuel

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due to its environmental qualities and benefits compared to other traditional fuels. In addition, it is cheaper, which makes it especially advantageous for professionals and companies that are dedicated to road transport and logistics. With this opening, the Canary Islands energy company aims to diversify its offer of products and services. The objective is to promote the energy transition in the Archipelago, facilitating companies and individuals that can actively participate in reducing emissions through the use of greener technologies, which allow them to reduce the carbon footprint that their professional and private activities generate. The new natural gas station has staff to cover the on-track refueling service, bottled gas and the DISA store. It has a small supermarket open from 6 am every day of the year, with a wide range of products and services. The opening involved the creation of seven direct jobs, in addition to the 3,800 people who are part of the DISA Group. Moreover, the DISA station has a strategic position in the El Mayorazgo industrial estate in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, very close to the Merca Tenerife facilities. This industrial estate is one of the pillars of the distribution and supply of products for the entire island, crossed by one of the north-south connecting roads with the highest density of heavy transport. Natural gas is leading a revolution in the professional transport sector, being the only large-scale alternative to diesel and the next step on the transition to sustainable transport. It is the most efficient and sustainable fuel since it combines important economic and environmental advantages.

http://www.ngvjournal.com/s1-news/c4-stations/disa-puts-into-operation-first-natural-gas-station-in-the-canary-islands/

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Total puts into operation its largest CNG filling station in France

Total has opened its largest natural gas station in France’s port of Gennevilliers, Europe’s second largest river port. 100% dedicated to the distribution of CNG,

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Total will operate the station under its own brand on behalf of the energy syndicate SIGEIF SEM, reports Gaz Mobilité. Open to the public 24/7, Gennevilliers CNG station is equipped with four filling tracks for heavy-duty vehicles. It features NGV1 and NGV2 pumps allowing up to four simultaneous fill-ups. CNG, CNG20, CNG50 and CNG100 – depending on the biogas mix rate – will be available at the station. The new facility, accessible to all types of vehicles, has a credit card payment terminal and will also authorizes payments via the Total and AS24 Eurotraffic cards. Total station at Gennevilliers is connected to the GRTgaz network.

http://www.ngvjournal.com/s1-news/c4-stations/total-puts-into-operation-its-largest-cng-filling-station-in-france/

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GO TOP

LNG as a Marine Fuel/Shipping

LNG bunkering expands to German ports of Emden and Brunsbüttel

Titan LNG chartered the Engie Zeebrugge and loaded LNG in Rotterdam. Then the vessel arrived in the port of Emden where Titan LNG delivered just over 1,000 tons of LNG

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to the car carrier Siem Confucius, owned by Siem Car Carriers and chartered by Volkswagen. Siem Car Carriers is the first owner to deploy LNG-powered vessels for cross Atlantic Ocean trade. After the first bunkering in Emden the LNG bunker vessel sailed on to deliver 150 tons to the DEME-owned dredger Scheldt River in the port of Brunsbüttel. Titan has supplied the Scheldt River regularly before, and now for the first time also in Brunsbüttel. This port on the entrance to the Kieler Channel is well positioned to become an LNG bunkering hub due to its strategic location. “The LNG bunkering operations in both Emden and Brunsbüttel mark the growth in Titan’s ambitions into different locations and shows the availability of LNG in the ports of Europe. We are proud that these operations were executed safely and efficiently thanks to the excellent cooperation between all parties. We aim to deliver LNG anywhere and will add both bio-LNG and synthetic LNG, when available to decarbonize further,” said Michael Schaap, Commercial Director Marine at Titan LNG. Titan LNG thanked the port of Emden, the port of Brunsbüttel, DEME, Volkswagen and Siem Car Carriers for placing their trust to carry out the LNG bunkering operations. The collaboration with the owners of the Engie Zeebrugge was also imperative in the success of these milestone operations.

http://www.ngvjournal.com/s1-news/c7-lng-h2-blends/lng-bunkering-network-expands-to-german-ports-of-emden-and-brunsbuttel/

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Shipbuilder: LNG vessel to be delivered soon

Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding Co, a unit of China State Shipbuilding Corp, said on Wednesday that it will deliver the third liquefied natural gas carrier under the 3.9 billion-yuan ($551.62 million) deal with

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Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOT) and Chinese shipping giant COSCO Shipping by the end of this month. The LNG carrier, the Tianjixing, will have a capacity of 174,000 cubic meters and is proof of the shipbuilder’s ability to build vessels of high standard, despite the novel coronavirus epidemic, said experts. The vessel is 295 meters long, has a width of 45 meters and a depth of 26.25 meters. According to Song Wei, technical expert for LNG carriers at Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding, the first and second vessels under the deal were delivered in October and January. The last carrier in the deal has completed its sea trials and will go for gas trials soon, he said. “The vessel represents Chinese shipbuilders’ most advanced technologies and is also one of leading state-of-the-art LNG carriers in the world in terms of performance,” said Song.

According to Song, the vessel can save energy by an additional 16% when compared with the previous generation of LNG vessels. Besides, it has been designed in such a manner that it can berth at more than 100 major LNG ports across the world. Due to the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic, global new shipbuilding orders fell to the lowest during the first six months of this year since 1996, according to data provided by market tracker Clarkson Research Service, Yonhap News Agency said in a report. From January to June, new shipbuilding orders stood at 5.75 million compensated gross tons (CGTs) globally, or 269 ships, according to the global market researcher. On a country by country basis, Chinese shipbuilders accounted for the lion’s share of up to 61%, or 3.51 million CGTs, or 145 ships, in the first half, followed by South Korean shipbuilders with 1.18 million CGTs, or 37 ships, and Japanese peers with 570,000 CGTs, or 36 ships. Experts said China’s effective epidemic containment measures will help in the steady resumption of shipbuilding activities across the nation. In April, the biggest export deal in China’s shipbuilding sector was inked between China State Shipbuilding Corp, the world’s largest shipbuilder, and Qatar Petroleum, the world’s largest LNG supplier. Lei Fanpei, chairman of CSSC, said that CSSC’s Shanghai-based Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding will build LNG tankers for the Qatari energy giant under a 20-billion-yuan deal. The Shanghai-based shipbuilder said that it has put in place a complete marine LNG industrial equipment chain after more than two decades of research and development. “We started the research and development work as early as 1997 and from scratch. Till date, the company has delivered 23 LNG tankers and is currently the world’s fourth-largest LNG vessel maker,” said Song.

http://global.chinadaily.com.cn/a/202008/20/WS5f3dc8b9a310834817261792.html

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

 

New hydrogen station in Tokyo

ENEOS Corporation and JERA Co., Inc. have opened the Tokyo Oi Hydrogen Station, a joint project to promote the use of hydrogen located on the site of the JERA-operated Oi Thermal Power Station in Shinagawa-ku,

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Tokyo. ENEOS and JERA continue to seek ways to cooperate across a wide range of fields including the hydrogen business, thereby contributing to the stable supply of energy and the realization of a low-carbon society. In preparation for the opening of the facility, JERA provided the Oi Thermal Power Station site and constructed pipelines to carry city gas, while ENEOS constructed the commercial filling station equipped with on-site equipment to generate hydrogen from city gas. The site will be one of 42 commercial hydrogen stations operated by ENEOS in Japan. The station produces hydrogen using city gas from Ohgishima City Gas Supply Co., Ltd. and supplies hydrogen to fuel cell passenger cars and buses being introduced by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government. It also has a delivery facility and will ship hydrogen to ENEOS hydrogen stations in the Tokyo metropolitan area. Furthermore, since the filling station is located at the center of the physical distribution network that sustains the Tokyo metropolitan economy, it can also play a role as a hydrogen supply base for fuel cell trucks in the future.

http://www.ngvjournal.com/s1-news/c4-stations/new-hydrogen-station-opens-in-tokyo/

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Northeast Asia speeds up transition to zero-emission hydrogen mobility

A key automotive company for fuel cell vehicles in Northeast Asia has nominated Hexagon Purus, a subsidiary of Hexagon Composites, for the serial supply of composite cylinders for their current zero-emission fuel cell SUVs.

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Hexagon Purus’ first prototypes of the 700 bar high-pressure cylinders are due to be delivered by the end of this year. The scope of the nomination is over a two-year period with an estimated sales value of 25 million euros. The nomination also positions Hexagon Purus for further projects within a large range of vehicle applications with this Asian OEM. The supply contract is subject to final negotiations of terms and conditions. Northeast Asia is among the largest automotive markets in the world in terms of size. Today the region dominates the global hydrogen economy with hydrogen-fueled cars, refueling stations and fuel cell applications. The shift to zero emissions vehicles is driven by the desire to improve air quality and reduce CO2 emissions, as well as to support energy independence. “The push for decarbonization is gaining momentum. We see game-changing market opportunities and we are mobilizing to accelerate the development of zero emission mobility solutions,” said Morten Holum, President Hexagon Purus. “Our extensive experience in Type 4 cylinder technology and deep systems understanding makes us well-prepared to meet the accelerated demand we expect for zero-emissions solutions.” “Northeast Asia is among the leading regions in the world promoting hydrogen energy. We are excited about this opportunity to engage in the region and support efforts to drive energy transformation,” commented Michael Kleschinski, EVP Hexagon Purus. “Hydrogen is the main focus of Hexagon Purus. We are pleased to become an approved supplier to a major OEM in this large market, and to bring our Type 4 cylinder technology to a new innovative collaboration.”

http://www.ngvjournal.com/s1-news/c7-lng-h2-blends/northeast-asian-speeds-up-transition-to-zero-emission-hydrogen-mobility/

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Tennessee biogas project expected to power Republic Services’ refuse fleet

Republic Services and energy partners Aria Energy and bp announced the startup of a landfill-gas-to-renewable-natural-gas project at South Shelby Landfill, in Tennessee, one of 189 active,

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modern-day landfills managed by Republic Services. Aria operates the project, processing and purifying biogas from the landfill into biomethane. bp will transport the biofuel into the interstate natural gas pipeline grid and market it to renewable energy customers. This is Aria and bp’s fourth biomethane project at a Republic Services landfill. “The South Shelby renewable natural gas project upholds our ongoing commitment to converting low carbon fuel sources like landfill gas into clean, useful renewable energy for vehicles, homes and businesses,” said Richard DiGia, Aria Energy president and CEO. With a production capacity of 4,000 MMBtu per day, the South Shelby facility can produce the equivalent of nearly 33,250 gallons of gasoline daily. Across the country, Republic is involved with 69 landfill gas projects. Moreover, the project directly supports Republic’s commitment to send 50% more landfill gas to beneficial reuse by 2030. The South Shelby biomethane can be used to fuel natural gas vehicle fleets, such as Republic’s refuse collection trucks. “Renewable energy is a key element of our long-term sustainability platform,” commented Pete Keller, Republic Services vice president of recycling and sustainability. “Expanding our renewable natural gas portfolio supports bp’s ambition to become a net zero company by 2050 or sooner since it further reduces the carbon intensity of our products and can help local governments and cities lower their carbon footprint,” added Sean Reavis, senior vice president, bp low carbon trading. 

http://www.ngvjournal.com/s1-news/c1-markets/new-biomethane-project-will-power-large-fleets-such-as-republic-services-vehicles/

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