Gas Matters Today | news roundup | w/c 20 March 2023

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German utility RWE’s total adjusted EBITDA stood at EUR 6.3 billion (USD 6.8 billion) in 2022, up from about EUR 3.7 billion the previous year, the company confirmed last Tuesday. The financial results exceeded expectations and the higher earnings were partly due to contributions from the gas, hydro and biomass business, RWE said. 

Achieving the climate goals of the Paris Agreement while maintaining a growing global economy will be “extremely challenging” but remains “technically possible”, according to scenarios published last week by Shell. However, Shell warns that “the window for success is quickly closing” and that governments will need to deliver much bigger pledges when they update their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement.

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has suggested Russia is close to a deal with China concerning the Power of Siberia 2 (POS-2) pipeline project which was a hot topic during Xi Jinping’s three-day visit to Moscow last week. However, the Chinese side seems to be in no rush to commit to the project as it knows Russia has limited export options for pipeline gas and as it wants to secure a good price before signing a deal. 

TotalEnergies last Tuesday announced stronger greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction targets as part of a broad strategy addressing investment, sustainability and climate action, ahead of a vote on the strategy at its annual shareholder meeting on 26 May. Central to the strategy is TotalEnergies’ intention to grow its natural gas and LNG businesses to support global coal-to-gas switching.

Asia Pacific

China – Danish shipping giant Maersk has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Shanghai International Port Group (SIPG) to develop a green methanol vessel-to-vessel bunkering operation at the world's busiest port. The agreement is a part of Maersk’s fast-tracked sustainability ambitions, as it seeks to reach net zero by 2040, ten years earlier than its previous goal. 

South Asia 

Bangladesh – Bangladesh is reportedly set to offer international oil companies new contractual terms with an enhanced output share and more liberal export rights in a bid to attract new investment in the country’s offshore and onshore sectors. US major ExxonMobil is believed to have a particular interest in the country's deepwater gas resources, but potential long lead times means production is not expected to commence anytime soon. 

North America 

US – The US is on track for LNG liquefaction capacity of at least 152 mtpa by 2028 after news last Monday that the Sempra-led Port Arthur project has reached final investment decision (FID), with notice to proceed on construction issued to Bechtel. The first of two 6.5 mtpa trains is due onstream in 2027, with the second following a year later.


Mozambique – ExxonMobil has invited Expressions of Interest (EOIs) in front end engineering design (FEED) work for the first phase of its proposed Rovuma LNG onshore plant in northern Mozambique, the company said a couple of weeks ago. The announcement – which revealed that liquefaction capacity may be bigger than previously planned – comes as the security situation in northern Mozambique improves.


The European Parliament and Council of the EU have reached a provisional agreement on an EU regulation to reduce shipping emissions intensity by 2% to 2025, and as much as 80% by 2050 compared with 2020 levels as part of the European Green Deal. The regulation, dubbed FuelEU Maritime, aims to promote the use of clean shipping fuels like hydrogen and e-fuels.

Norway – Norwegian exploration and production company Aker BP has greenlit nine of the ten USD 20 billion investment projects it submitted to the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy in December, the company said last Tuesday. Aker BP said the nine projects – which exclude the Troldhaugen oil project – present an average break-even price of USD 35-40 per barrel.  

Italy – A renewables JV between Italian energy firm Eni, investment vehicle CDP Equity and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) has committed to developing three floating offshore wind projects in Italy’s Latium and Sardinia regions, with a combined installed capacity of 2 GW. 

Germany – Germany’s success in avoiding gas shortages this winter leaves no room for complacency regarding the winter of 2023/24, according to the head of the Bundesnetzagentur (Federal Network Agency), Klaus Müller, as the country probably faces its first winter without any imports of Russian pipeline gas


Operators of oil and natural gas platforms in the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) last week faced a “tsunami of industrial unrest”, according to the Unite union, as 1,400 offshore workers demand better pay and conditions. Unite said strikes by its members will bring platforms and other offshore installations to a standstill because of the specialist roles they undertake.

Centrica has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to jointly develop an offshore green hydrogen production site with European hydrogen player Lhyfe in the southern part of the North Sea. The pilot project could pave the way for Centrica to transform its Rough gas storage site into a 16 TWh hydrogen storage facility to support the UK’s net zero ambitions.  

Crown Estate Scotland last Friday announced the results of a leasing round designed to attract investment in offshore wind projects to supply oil and gas platforms in the North Sea with electricity.  A total of 13 companies were selected for exclusivity agreements targeting up to 5 GW of wind power projects to directly supply offshore platforms and about 500 MW of innovative projects.

Contact the editor:

Kostya Tsolakis
[email protected]

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