20
Sep
2021

Gas Matters Today | news roundup | w/c 13 September 2021

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International

The EU and US were expected to unveil the Global Methane Pledge, the first global political initiative aimed to cutting methane emissions, at the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate last week. The document, although not yet publicly available, is reportedly setting a 30% methane emissions cut by 2030 compared with 2020 levels.

BP and UAE-based pair ADNOC and Masdar have signed three agreements that could spark billion-dollar investments in hydrogen, CCS and low-carbon fuels in the UK and the UAE. Under the first agreement, the trio will collaborate to develop 2 GW of “low carbon hydrogen” – most likely blue hydrogen – and expand as the project progresses.

Australasia

Timor-Leste – Australia’s largest domestic gas supplier Santos has taken a step forward in its aim to launch three CCS projects after signing an MoU with the Timor-Leste mining regulator to examine repurposing the offshore Bayu-Undan gas field.

Central & South America

Chile – Ten companies including Engie and GNL have placed bids in Chile’s maiden tender for firms to develop green hydrogen production facilities, the country’s economic development agency Corfo has announced.

Europe

Germany – Energy regulator Bundesnetzagentur says it has up to four months to assess Nord Stream 2 AG’s application to become an Independent Transmission Operator before submitting the draft decision to the European Commission, raising doubts over the proposed 2021 start-up of the pipeline.

Netherlands – Shell has announced FID on a CCS-equipped 820,000 tonnes/year biofuels facility at the Shell Energy and Chemicals Park Rotterdam, with the aim of producing sustainable aviation fuel and renewable diesel from waste.

Norway – The country’s energy ministry has opened an application round for CO2 injection and storage in two areas on the Norwegian Continental Shelf amid increasing interest from developers of CCS projects.

Norway’s Labour party is expected to form a coalition government supportive of continued drilling in mature areas on the Norwegian Continental Shelf after defeating the ruling Conservative-led coalition in last week’s general election.

Norwegian firm Yara last Friday became the latest fertiliser producer to announce it will curtail production at several plants across Europe due to high gas prices, with the move coming days after US-based CF Industries said it was shutting its two fertiliser plants in the UK.

UK – Activist investor Elliott Management is reportedly looking to shake-up SSE after acquiring a stake this summer, suggesting the US-based hedge fund would like the firm to unlock further value by spinning-off or selling its renewable energy unit.

Fertiliser producer CF Industries has halted operations at its two UK production facilities due to soaring European gas prices, which hit fresh record highs last Wednesday, marking the first sign of industry in Europe shuttering due to eye-watering gas prices.

Middle East

Saudi Arabia – Saudi Aramco is reportedly looking to split its upstream gas business in two in a bid to bolster production to support an expansion of its chemicals business and position the firm to be a major hydrogen producer.

North Africa

Egypt – State-owned duo EGAS and ECHEM have signed an MoU with Japan’s Toyota Tsusho to assess opportunities for the production of blue ammonia in Egypt, in a move that could benefit the business agenda of all parties involved.

North America

Mexico – Four Japanese firms, including JERA, have sold their entire stakes in MT Falcon Holdings, operator of 2.23 GW of gas-fired power in Mexico, to British fund Actis GP, as Mexico’s government moves to prioritise state-owned firms in the power sector.

US – The US Department of Energy has approved an emergency order permitting the California Independent System Operator to connect additional gas-fired plants by relaxing air-pollution requirements in a bid to avoid blackouts as the state faces extreme heat.

All three liquefaction trains at the Freeport LNG plant in Texas are offline, most likely due to power issues related to Hurricane Nicholas, a Freeport LNG spokesperson told Gas Matters Today last Tuesday.

Chevron says it aims to invest USD 10 billion through 2028 – more than triple the company’s previous guidance – to grow its lower-carbon business including hydrogen, CCS and renewable gases, but this is unlikely to appease activist shareholders.

The Railroad Commission of Texas, oil and gas regulator in the Lone Star state, has proposed rules for public comment on critical designation of gas infrastructure during energy emergencies following blackouts caused by winter storm Uri this past February.

Iberdrola-linked JV Vineyard Wind’s 800 MW project off Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts has become the largest offshore wind farm to reach financial close in the US and first power from the wind farm is scheduled for delivery in 2023.

Eleven companies including Chevron and ExxonMobil said last week they have jointly “expressed an interest” in large-scale deployment of CCS in the Houston area to capture around 50 million metric tons of CO2 annually by 2030 and 100 mt by 2040.

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