23
May
2022

Gas Matters Today | news roundup | w/c 16 May 2022

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North America

US – Poland’s PGNiG has come back in for volumes from Sempra’s proposed Port Arthur LNG project in Texas, with the pair announcing the signing of a heads of agreement on Monday. Under the terms of the HoA, PGNiG is eyeing 20-year deals for volumes from Port Arthur and Cameron LNG, with the agreement coming 10 months after PGNiG terminated an SPA for 2 mtpa from Port Arthur.

BP has become the latest energy major to announce plans for a carbon capture storage (CCS) project on the US Gulf Coast, by teaming up with Linde for the project. The CCS project in Texas will enable “low carbon” hydrogen production at Linde’s existing facilities, with BP suggesting the CO2 storage site could become operational by 2026.

UK

UK energy regulator Ofgem has proposed that the energy price cap for retail customers be reviewed every quarter instead of every six months. According to Ofgem, which is hoping to implement the changes from October 2022, this will make the cap more responsive to price swings in international gas markets.

UK gas TSO National Grid Gas will limit entry capacity of LNG at Milford Haven, Pembrokeshire in order to better manage the higher gas volumes expected to flow through the national transmission system (NTS) over the summer. The announcement comes amid a gas glut in the UK, which is only just showing signs of easing due to record gas and electricity exports to continental Europe and LNG cargoes diverting.

International

TotalEnergies is in the process of rolling out a drone-based emissions detection and quantification campaign across all its operated upstream oil and gas sites worldwide. The French major says the campaign is an important step towards achieving its methane reduction targets for 2025 and 2030.

Action against climate change could be losing momentum among big oil and gas companies amid the energy supply crisis and higher commodity prices. A majority of shareholders at companies including BP and ConocoPhillips have recently voted against measures to cut emissions faster, put forward by Dutch activist investor group Follow This in a move to stay aligned with the Paris Agreement.

Europe

EU – The European Commission is set to release an updated sanctions-compliant guidance for paying for Russian gas, under which European gas firms would not be barred from opening accounts at Gazprombank as per Russia’s requirement to receive gas payments, according to reports.

Engie has set up a system to pay Gazprom in euros for the gas it received in April, the French firm’s CEO confirmed on Tuesday, in a move to make payments compatible with EU sanctions. Running parallel, Finland’s gas company Gasum said it will take legal action against Gazprom over its demands for gas payments to be made in rubles.

The European Commission said on Wednesday that limited additional gas infrastructure, estimated at around EUR 10 billion (USD 10.5 billion) of investment, is needed to complement the existing Projects of Common Interest (PCI) list and fully compensate for the future loss of Russian gas imports.

Consumption of natural gas in the EU is expected to fall faster than previously anticipated – “limiting the role of gas as a transitional fuel” – in proposals published yesterday by the European Commission to reduce imports of gas and oil from Russia “as soon as possible”.

The European Commission has proposed a number of measures to tackle concerns over volatile energy prices including a possibility for member states to extend price regulations for households and industry and to reallocate windfall profits to protect consumers. Running parallel, the European Parliament and member states in the EU have reached a political agreement to back the EC’s proposal for gas storage obligations.

Russia’s deputy Prime Minister has confirmed that half of Gazprom’s clients have opened accounts at Gazprombank – as requested by the Kremlin in order pay for supplies. The announcement comes as payment deadlines loom, with European buyers still unsure if opening ruble accounts at Gazprombank will breach EU sanctions.

Germany – Germany could begin receiving LNG from a US export facility majority-owned by QatarEnergy as soon as 2024, when the first of three production trains at the Golden Pass project is due to come online. The news follows the signing of a joint declaration by Germany’s economy minister, Robert Habeck, and Qatar’s Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, for an energy partnership between the two countries.

Italy – Eni has opened two accounts with Gazprombank, one in euros and a second one in rubles, in order to pay for Russian gas deliveries, the company confirmed last week. Eni said the accounts set up with Gazprombank is a temporary measure, it has rejected Russia’s demand for amendments to existing contracts, and that it is considering taking legal action against Gazprom.

Snam has secured one of two floating storage regasification units (FSRU) that it has been instructed to obtain by the Italian government, after signing an agreement with Golar LNG – which will convert its existing Golar Arctic LNG carrier. The FSRU will purchased by Snam and located in Portovesme, Sardinia for the supply of natural gas to the island.

Romania – Romania’s parliament has finally approved a long-mooted tax law covering offshore oil and gas projects, with Bucharest hoping the tweaked law will be enough to spur licence holders to finally pull the trigger on Black Sea projects – which could unlock much-needed volumes for Europe as the EU looks to phase out Russian gas imports.

Finland – Finland has secured a floating storage regasification unit (FSRU) after TSO Gasgrid penned a 10-year charter deal with Excelerate Energy. Running parallel to the announcement, Finland’s Gasum confirmed on Friday that Gazprom will cease gas exports to the country starting on Saturday 21 May.

Africa

The Cairo-based African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has signed a memorandum of understanding with the African Petroleum Producers Organisation (APPO), under which the pair have agreed to establish an energy bank to fund oil and gas projects in Africa. The pair said the new bank is “viable” and of “paramount importance” to the continent as many international investors are turning their backs on fossil fuel projects.

Russia & CIS Region

Russia – South Korean shipbuilder Daewoo Shipbuilding (DSME) has cancelled an order for an LNG carrier linked to Novatek’s Arctic 2 LNG project over failure by the shipowner, believed to be Russia’s largest shipping company Sovcomflot, to pay on time. The vessel cancellation could represent another setback for Novatek’s Arctic LNG project which now looks unlikely to be fully completed by the middle of the decade.

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