Gas Matters Today | news roundup | w/c 22 June 2020

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Algeria – In an effort to revive its economy, Algeria has named new energy and finance ministers and plans to create a national energy council that will be charged with designing and carrying out future energy policy.

French major Total has signed up for more LNG from Algeria after penning a three-year deal for up to 2 mtpa with Sonatrach, 50% less than the previous contract between the parties, the pair confirmed last Thursday.

Mozambique – Total and partners in the Mozambique LNG project have accepted a guarantee from Mozambique’s government to cover state oil company ENH’s share of equity investment in the USD 20 billion-plus liquefaction project.

Asia Pacific

China – Shell has expanded its ‘carbon neutral’ LNG sales in Asia after signing a deal with CNOOC for two cargoes, marking the first ‘zero carbon’ LNG cargoes to be delivered and consumed on the Chinese mainland.

Shanghai energy company Shenergy is planning to build a second LNG terminal, after the Chinese government unveiled plans to issue billions of dollars’ worth of “infrastructure bonds” for transport, energy, industrial and digital infrastructure projects.

China’s ‘Big Three’ national oil and gas companies have been instructed by the government to share LNG terminals, according to reports, with the move marking the latest effort by Beijing to reform the nation’s gas sector and strengthen energy security.

Thailand – State-owned power firm EGAT has paved the way to increase spot LNG purchases after lowering gas purchases from the country’s state-run oil company PTT under a new 10-year gas sales agreement, according to reports.

Central & South America

Argentina – Exmar has received a force majeure claim from Argentina’s state-owned firm YPF for the charter and services agreements for the Tango floating liquefaction vessel, the Belgian shipping firm revealed last week.


EU – Industry voices are calling on the European Commission to take a “technology-neutral” approach to the growth of Europe’s hydrogen economy that would support “blue hydrogen” made using methane paired with carbon capture utilisation and storage (CCUS).

Hungary – The country is entering negotiations with Russia’s Gazprom to secure 6.2 Bcm/year over 15 years, divided over three five-year periods, Hungarian foreign minister Peter Szijjarto said in Moscow last week.

Ireland – The country’s new coalition government has vowed to withdraw Shannon LNG terminal from the EU’s Projects of Common Interest list, meaning the New Fortress Energy project will no longer be eligible to tap EU’s Connecting Europe Facility fund for subsidies.

Ukraine – The country is taking advantage of the current gas glut, with foreign firms storing 2.8 Bcm so far this month – triple the amount compared to the year-ago period, according to storage operator Ukrtransgaz.

Middle East

United Arab Emirates – ADNOC has struck a landmark USD 20 billion deal with leading infrastructure investors, sovereign wealth and pension funds to invest in some ADNOC gas pipelines, unlocking value and forging new strategic relationships for the NOC.

North America

Mexico – The government has intervened to effectively nationalise a CCGT project, after Spanish utility Iberdrola walked away from the development, telling local officials that it had been unable to secure feed gas supply.

US – Feed gas deliveries to US liquefaction plants surged last week as European hubs and Asian spot LNG retained small premiums to US benchmark Henry Hub, but spreads remain too weak to support lifting cargoes.

Tellurian has named Charif Souki its new executive chairman, which will see the influential LNG personality step back into the breach after sitting in an advisory role as chairman since co-founding the US LNG developer in 2016.

Houston-based engineering firm KBR is set to exit LNG “construction and EPC areas within our energy business” and refocus on government contracts and technology businesses, the firm’s CEO told staff this week.

US regulators have issued a final rule permitting the bulk transport of LNG cargoes by rail, marking the end of a prolonged struggle between regulatory bodies and the Trump administration.

US shale players are restarting shut-in wells in response to recovering oil prices, according to the latest survey conducted by Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, with most of the 115 participating E&P firms expecting to restart the majority of their curtailed wells in June and July.

Pennsylvania’s attorney general has released a damning report into the shale gas industry that uncovers “systematic failure by government agencies” to regulate the “destructive” fracking industry and protect citizens.

Alaska Gasline Development Corp has shaved 12% off the estimated cost of its proposed 20 mtpa Alaska LNG project, which is now expected to cost USD 38.7 billion, the company said last Thursday.

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