28
Jun
2021

Gas Matters Today | news roundup | w/c 21 June 2021

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International

Ministers are to take charge of negotiations ahead of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Glasgow this November, after informal talks failed to yield any breakthroughs. After last year’s conference was cancelled due to Covid-19, delegates are under increasing pressure to decide how to implement parts of the 2015 Paris Agreement.

Schlumberger says it has become the first oil services firm to set a Scope 3 GHG emissions reductions target in a bid to tackle end-user emissions from its customer base. The announcement was made along with a pledge to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

​Africa

Mozambique – The Southern African Development Community has agreed to deploy troops to help tackle a rising Islamist insurgency in northern Mozambique, two months after Total declared force majeure on the Mozambique LNG project amid the “evolution of the security situation”.

South Africa – The environment ministry has refused approvals to Turkey’s Karpowership for three planned LNG-to-power projects to alleviate chronic domestic power shortages, despite the firm having emerged victorious in a South African electricity auction.

Tanzania – Energy minister Medard Kalemani told stakeholders last week that the government is aiming to conclude negotiations with Shell and Equinor over key agreements underpinning the proposed Tanzania LNG development by October.

​Asia Pacific

Japan – Shareholders in Sumitomo have rejected a climate-focused proposition by activist fund Market Forces to align its business with the Paris Agreement, after the Japanese trading house revised its climate policy in a bid to quell the activist threat.

Japan pledged USD 10 billion in support for energy projects in Asia – including LNG and renewables – at a meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations last week, during which participants also endorsed developing a regional gas market and CCUS.

Japanese utility KEPCO last week launched the process of restarting its 826-MW Mihama Nuclear Power Plant, after the facility was forcibly shut down more than a decade ago in the wake of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.

​Australasia

Australia – Developers of the USD 36 billion AREH green hydrogen export mega-project in Western Australia have said they will proceed with design and engineering work despite the federal government having rejected an application for environmental permits.

​Central & South America

Suriname – Qatar Petroleum has extended its footprint in the prolific Guyana-Suriname Basin after winning exploration rights for two offshore blocks in Suriname’s latest upstream licensing round as part of a consortium with operator TotalEnergies and Staatsolie.

​Europe

EU – A proposed directive under the FuelEU Maritime initiative has set out emissions targets that appear to promote LNG as a bunker fuel, according to a draft leaked from the European Commission.

Germany – Gazprom’s Switzerland-based holding company for the Nord Stream 2 pipeline has submitted a request to German regulator Bundesnetzagentur for a “precautionary certification” as an independent system operator.

Ireland – New Fortress Energy is reportedly seeking to reapply for planning permission for the proposed 5 Bcm/year Shannon LNG import terminal, weeks after Ireland’s environment minister said it would be inappropriate for such projects to proceed pending a review of national energy security.

Norway – Seven companies including Equinor, Shell and OMV were offered stakes in four production licences in Norway’s 25th licensing round last week, however, the round saw less interest from oil and gas companies than in previous years.

​Middle East

Qatar – Qatar Petroleum has received double the bids required for its 32 mtpa North Field East LNG expansion project both for equity and SPAs, Qatari energy minister and CEO of QP Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi told a televised panel debate last Wednesday.

​North America

US – ExxonMobil is expected to place 5-10% of its US workforce on performance review plans, under which employees may be forced to leave their jobs if they fail to meet their manager’s targets, according to reports.

Devon Energy – one of the 10 largest methane and CO2 emitting US producers in 2019 – has set targets to reduce emissions by 2030 with a view to achieving net-zero Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2050.

US LNG player Tellurian has filed an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to construct and operate a 37-mile interstate pipeline to serve growing demand in Louisiana.

​South Asia

India – Top domestic LNG importer Petronet and compatriot Indian Oil have reportedly returned to the LNG spot market after a two-month hiatus amid spiralling Covid-19 cases, signalling an improving demand outlook in the world’s fourth largest LNG import market.

Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries has outlined plans for an electrolyser giga-factory to support green hydrogen production as part of a USD 10 billion energy investment over the next three years, which also encompasses solar energy, battery storage and fuel cells.

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