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2021

Gas Matters Today | news roundup | w/c 26 July 2021

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International

Higher European and US gas prices helped Equinor achieve nearly USD 2 billion of net income in Q2’21, compared to a USD 0.25 billion loss a year earlier. Company CEO Anders Opedal said strict capital discipline, net cash flow of more than USD 4.5 billion and reduced debt has made Equinor “robust for volatility in commodity prices going forward.”

TotalEnergies has become the latest European major to announce share buybacks following a strong second quarter performance with USD 2.2 billion of net income, buoyed by higher oil and gas prices amid over USD 1 billion losses after transferring its stake in a Venezuelan crude consortium to state-owned PDVSA.

Shares in Royal Dutch Shell soared last week after the Anglo-Dutch oil major raised its dividend by 38% and pledged to buy back USD 2 billion worth of its own shares, after posting 71% higher adjusted earnings in Q2’21 versus the first quarter of the year, on the back of rebounding oil and gas prices.

Chevron and ExxonMobil both beat analysts’ expectations, posting strong Q2’21 results on the back of higher commodity prices and recovering hydrocarbon demand, in line with the global recovery from Covid-19. Chevron said it planned to resume share buybacks and launch a new low-carbon unit, while Exxon plans to boost capital spending and cut debt.

​Africa

Morocco – Phase one of Sound Energy’s proposed Tendrara onshore gas project appears a step closer to FID after the company announced a 10-year LNG SPA and a USD 18 million loan agreement with Morocco’s top LPG distributor Afriquia Gaz.

Mozambique – The security situation in Cabo Delgado in northern Mozambique remains tense despite troops from South Africa, Botswana and Angola being deployed in the area, amid reports of fighting between Rwandan forces and insurgents linked to Islamic State.

​Asia Pacific

China – No coal projects received financing or investments under China’s Belt and Road Initiative in H1’21, according to a report by the International Institute of Green Finance, which noted that most Chinese energy investments went into gas.

Japan – Regional utility Hokkaido Electric Power has set out plans to use “surplus electricity,” from a 112-MW offshore wind farm in Japan’s northernmost prefecture to produce up to 550 tonnes/year of green hydrogen, with output starting as early as 2024.

​Europe

France / Italy / Spain – Italian major Eni has taken another step towards its goal of owning 5 GW of installed renewables capacity by 2025 after it picked up a number of wind and solar assets in Spain and France in two separate deals last week.

Germany – Shell, Equinor, Gasunie and RWE have agreed to carry out a feasibility study for an offshore wind park in the German North Sea with 300 MW electrolyser capacity for green hydrogen production.

Netherlands – Infrastructure companies should hold off expanding hydrogen transport capacity until customers are willing to buy the fuel, Dutch competition regulator ACM said in a paper, adding that companies should invest with caution to avoid potentially stranded assets.

UK – The Health and Safety Executive has given the go-ahead for Northern Gas Networks and partners to supply a village in north-east England with gas blended with up to 20% hydrogen via the public network in a 10-month pilot project slated to start in August.

​Middle East

Iraq – The country has approved four major energy projects involving TotalEnergies in a bid to boost supply and lessen dependence on Iranian gas imports, possibly involving higher associated gas production and developing a 1 GW solar PV plant.

​North America

Canada – LNG player Pieridae Energy has kicked off a formal strategic review process, under which the firm is considering a corporate sale, merger or sale of a material portion of its assets after its proposed Goldboro LNG project failled to meet its June FID target.

TC Energy has threatened to suspend construction on the Coastal GasLink pipeline, which links north-east British Columbia to the Shell-led LNG Canada liquefaction plant, due to a dispute over rising costs and the schedule of the feed gas pipeline.

US – Shell has taken FID on its latest deepwater development in the US Gulf of Mexico, marking the Anglo-Dutch major’s first major project since a Dutch court ruled in May that the firm must cut its emissions at a faster pace.

Poland’s state-owned PGNiG has deepened its dependency on US LNG developer Venture Global after the pair signed another 20-year SPA, under which PGNiG will take another 2 mtpa from the US firm’s Gulf Coast LNG projects.

LNG developer Tellurian is turning its attention to financing its proposed Driftwood LNG plant after concluding 10-year SPAs with Shell, which agreed to take a combined 3 mtpa from the facility in Louisiana.

​South Asia

Pakistan – Pakistan LNG last week bought four cargoes at ~USD 15/MMBtu for September delivery from Gunvor and PetroChina, marking the highest prices paid since the nation began LNG imports in 2015, according to reports.

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