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2021

Gas Matters Today | news roundup | w/c 11 October 2021

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South Asia

Pakistan – Pakistan LNG Limited’s (PLL) latest LNG supply tender seeking eight cargoes over the December-January period failed to attract bids. The tender result was pinned on the PLL including a 15-day validity period for the bids, with the result raising concerns over power shortages this winter.

PLL does not intend to relaunch its LNG tender seeking cargoes for the December-January period as current spot prices are “not feasible” for the company, a source at the state-owned firm told Gas Matters Today.

International

Cheniere signed a sales and purchase agreement (SPA) with a subsidiary of China’s ENN – marking the first term LNG deals signed between a US LNG firm and Chinese buyer since the start of the US-China trade war in 2018.  ENN LNG has agreed to purchase 0.9 mtpa under a 13-year deal starting in July 2022.

Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) has announced it has acquired Norway-based solar panel manufacturer REC Solar Holdings for USD 771 million and a 40% stake in solar EPC contractor Sterling and Wilson Solar. The deals come four months after RIL pledged to invest over USD 10 billion in clean energy over the next three years.

The International Energy Agency’s (IEA) latest World Energy Outlook (WEO) suggests upstream spending will rise considerably through to 2030, according to all three scenarios of the outlook. The Paris-based organisation reiterated that investment in renewables must be increased substantially in order to limit global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Australasia

Australia – Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) along with the Queensland government announced plans to build “the world’s largest” hydrogen electrolyser production plant as part of a Global Green Energy Manufacturing Centre (GEM) at Gladstone, Queensland. FFI will initially invest of AUD 114 million (USD 83.9 million) for the multi-gigawatt-scale electrolyser factory.

Australia's New South Wales (NSW) government unveiled its new hydrogen strategy, offering AUD 3 billion (USD 2.2 billion) in incentives to make the state a major H2 producer and exporter.

Asia Pacific

China – Li Keqiang, Premier of China's State Council and chairman of the National Energy Commission, urged the country to ramp up production of fossil fuels and continue the roll-out of modern and efficient coal-fired power plants. The remarks, coming amid surging coal prices in China, raise concerns that the nation may not reach its target of peaking emissions by 2030.

Singapore – One of Singapore’s largest independent electricity suppliers will exit the retail market next month, with others expected to follow amid record wholesale power prices – due in part to lower pipeline gas imports from Indonesia.

North America

US – Chevron announced its net zero pledge, adopting an “aspiration” to cut operational emissions to net zero by 2050. Chevron’s revised targets are still less ambitious than many of its European competitors as and the target will allow the US oil major to continue growing production.

The US Energy Information Administration’s latest short-term energy outlook (STEO) suggests heating bills for US households will increase substantially this winter, with gas bills expected to increase by 30% compared to last winter.

US industrial gas firm Air Products revealed plans to build a USD 4.5 billion “clean energy complex” in Louisiana to produce blue hydrogen. The project, capable of producing over 750 MMcf/d of blue hydrogen, will be Air Products’ largest-ever investment in the US.

Europe

The European Commission unveiled its ‘toolbox’ aimed at alleviating the effect of high energy prices for households and industries. The proposals include authorising temporary deferrals of bill payments and allowing for national bailouts of companies and industries under EU states aid rules. Brussels will also explore member states jointly purchasing gas stocks on a voluntary basis.

The European Commission published a revised strategy for the Arctic, which highlights the need to limit oil and gas exploration in the region. While most of the LNG produced in the Russian Arctic is exported to EU countries, the EU said it is “pushing for oil, coal and gas to stay in the ground” and is looking to ban purchases of hydrocarbons produced from the Arctic.

Netherlands – Shell announced that its head of gas and renewable energy, Maarten Wetselaar, will leave the company after 25 years of service. Wetselaar, who many thought would go on to replace Ben van Beurden as Shell’s CEO, is joining Spanish refiner Cepsa as CEO. Shell named current upstream director Wael Sawan as Wetselaar’s replacement, and Zoë Yujnovich, Shell’s executive Vice President, as Sawan’s replacement.

Moldova – The Eastern European country introduced a state of emergency in the energy sector amid gas supply shortages after it failed to agree a new supply deal with Gazprom. Moldova is planning to import more expensive spot gas volumes from neighbouring Romania and Ukraine as an interim solution as it looks to secure a new term deal with Gazprom.

UK – Yorkshire-based firm CNG Group, which provides wholesale gas to 15-20 retail energy suppliers, will exit the wholesale gas market and stop supplying its customers, according to reports.

Germany – Preliminary negotiations between the three parties likely to form the country’s new coalition government  indicate that Germany’s coal phase-out may come in 2030, eight years earlier than previously planned. The proposed coalition government led by the Socialist Democrats (SPD), and including the liberal democrats (FDP) and the Green Party has been pressured by the latter for an expedited coal-fired power phase-out.

Turkey – Fatih Dönmez, Turkey’s Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, announced that the nation signed a contract to import 11 Bcm of “additional” gas from Azerbaijan until 2024. Dönmez said the government has made “significant progress” in sourcing additional gas amid soaring domestic demand and the expiry of several long-term supply contracts.

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