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Aug
2021

Gas Matters Today | news roundup | w/c 16 August 2021

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International

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has been found to affect surface water quality, according to a study published in Science Magazine. Researchers found that surface water at a number of US fracking sites had small increases in concentration of certain salt compounds associated with fracking.

​Africa

Nigeria – Shell’s oil and gas operations in Nigeria face continued security risks after gunmen opened fire against a convoy that was transporting staff to a Shell gas project site in the state of Imo, the company told Gas Matters Today last Wednesday.

​Australasia

Australia – Woodside last week confirmed discussions on a potential merger with BHP involving the Australian miner’s entire petroleum business. Days later, Woodside and BHP entered into a “merger commitment deed” to combine their oil and gas portfolios with an all-stock merger, creating a major new global independent energy company.

​Central & South America

Guyana / Suriname – The presidents of Suriname and Guyana, Chandrikapersad Santokhi and Mohamed Irfaan Ali respectively, last week said the two nations will collaborate on developing their gas sectors with an eye on exports to Brazil.

Brazil – Political uncertainty looms on the liberalisation of the Brazilian gas sector moving forward, experts have told Gas Matters Today, as rumours surfaced that the energy ministry is moving to promote investments by extending tax breaks to gas projects.

Chile – The country has made great strides in recent years in developing its renewables energy sector, but its ambition to become a leader in production and supply of green hydrogen at home and abroad has drawn the world’s attention.

​Europe

EU – European carbon futures approached record highs again last week after a period during which investors appeared to lose confidence in price rises, with the benchmark December contract trading up to EUR 57.60/t (USD 67.80/t) on Monday.

Denmark – An Ineos-led consortium has signed an agreement to support the next phase of the Greensand CCS pilot project in the Danish North Sea, which would inject CO2 injection into a former oil field from 2022 pending financial support from the government.

Germany – Wintershall Dea and VNG have signed a cooperation agreement which includes plans to build a production plant for low-carbon turquoise hydrogen made from gas using pyrolysis technology in a pilot project scheduled to come online in 2023.

The 55 Bcm/y Nord Stream 2 pipeline is now 99% complete, with Gazprom saying it may ship 5.6 Bcm through the pipeline linking Russia with Germany later this year, however, regulatory hurdles remain before the pipeline begins commercial operation.

Norway – Leading Norwegian firms Yara International, Aker Clean Hydrogen and Statkraft have established a new company HEGRA to produce green ammonia and boost the country’s nascent hydrogen sector.

UK – The government has launched a Hydrogen Strategy aimed at developing a “twin track” of blue and green hydrogen production and replicating the country’s success with offshore wind via a contracts for difference (CfD) framework. Despite broad industry support for the plan, more can be done to accelerate development of the UK’s hydrogen industry, sources told Gas Matters Today last week.

​Middle East

Saudi Arabia – Saudi Aramco is reportedly looking to raise at least USD 17 billion from selling a stake in its gas pipeline network, significantly higher than the USD 12.4 billion raised from its recent oil pipeline deal.

​North America

US – The Department of Treasury has said the US will not support new investments in most coal and oil projects while keeping the door open for investment in midstream and downstream natural gas.

​Russia & CIS

Russia – Gazprom subsidiary Gazprom Neft has completed final testing of Russia’s first LNG bunkering vessel, which is expected to fuel merchant and passenger ships at ports in the Gulf of Finland and Baltic Sea, including St Petersburg.

Tight LNG supply in the Asia Pacific regions may loosen, after Sakhalin Energy announced that Train 1 at the Gazprom-led 11.5 mtpa Sakhalin 2 liquefaction plant in Russia’s Far East has resumed operations after it was shut for maintenance in mid-July, however, Train 2 is still undergoing maintenance.

​South Asia

India – State-owned power generator NTPC has launched an expression of interest for a pilot project to blend hydrogen and gas in a city gas distribution network, but sources said this could be challenging as India’s networks typically supply gas for CNG, domestic heating and industry.

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