30
Nov
2020

Gas Matters Today | news roundup | w/c 23 Nov 2020

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International

Europe’s biggest oil and gas companies and others have agreed a new framework for methane emissions reporting and reduction that aims to establish a “gold standard” for transparency in what has hitherto been a highly opaque area lacking consistency and credibility.

Africa

Ghana – Ghana is poised to join the LNG importers’ club after its maiden regasification project Tema LNG reached financial close by securing a loan from an Africa-focussed development fund.

Australasia

Australia – The second train at the Chevron-operated Gorgon LNG plant has recommenced production, several months later than scheduled after weld quality issues were discovered on T2’s propane heat exchangers in July.

ExxonMobil has called off the multi-billion-dollar sale of its oil and gas assets in the Bass Strait after apparently failing to attract sufficiently high bids.

Tasmania can meet 100% of its power demand using renewables, the island’s energy minister Guy Barnett claimed last week, as he announced state plans to double clean power capacity by 2040, expand the hydrogen industry and export more electrons to mainland Australia.

Europe

EU – Gas-fired power plants will not qualify as “sustainable” investments unless they feature carbon-capture technology or run on hydrogen under new European Commission rules, potentially undermining gas as a bridge fuel towards the EU goal of ‘net-zero’ emissions by 2050.

Denmark – A prominent CCS project has cleared the first regulatory hurdle after independent certification body DNV GL and Danish authorities confirmed the offshore reservoir of the proposed Greensand CCS project is feasible for CO2 injection.

Italy – TSO Snam has set out a strategic plan to achieve operational carbon neutrality by 2040 and invest USD 8.8 billion over the next three years in decarbonisation, with a heavy emphasis on preparing its network to carry zero-emissions hydrogen.

Norway – Certification specialist DNV GL has halted work on Nord Stream 2, the Gazprom-sponsored pipeline between Russia and Germany, citing the threat of recently-tightened US sanctions.

Spain – Repsol has unveiled its 2021-25 strategic plan that will see the Spanish firm cut its dividend and direct more capital towards its low-carbon business in a bid to meet its 2050 target of net-zero carbon emissions.

UK – France’s EDF is looking for commercial partners to help develop hydrogen production and direct air capture demonstrator projects at its proposed Sizewell C new nuclear power station in Suffolk, England.

Shell Energy Europe and Ørsted have signed separate 15-year power purchase agreements covering a large chunk of the electrical output from the first two phases of the 3.6 GW Dogger Bank wind farm in the North Sea – the world’s largest project of its kind.

Middle East

Israel – Delek Group painted a stable portrait of itself in its third-quarter 2020 results, citing a tripling in revenue and operating profit despite a tough year that saw it sell off numerous assets in order to assuage creditors.

United Arab Emirates – Abu Dhabi’s Supreme Petroleum Council has announced the discovery of 22 billion barrels of recoverable onshore shale oil, with the regulator also confirming the Emirate’s conventional oil reserves have increased by 2 billion barrels.

North Africa

Egypt – Barcelona-based Naturgy is closing in on a new deal to sell its 50% stake in Union Fenosa Gas to Italy’s Eni, in a move that could finally see the mothballed SEGAS LNG facility in Egypt return to service.

North America

US – Venture Global has awarded KBR the engineering, procurement and construction contract for the first phase of the Plaquemines LNG plant in Louisiana, five months after KBR stated it was exiting lump sum EPC contracts in the LNG sector.

Midstream outfit Williams has reached a provisional settlement with bankrupt producer Chesapeake Energy over disputed gas transport and gathering contracts, with Williams agreeing to take ownership of some upstream assets in exchange for lower fees.

Russia & CIS

Russia – Gazprom believes it can capitalise on the “slowdown” in the US shale gas industry and global LNG sector, which could impact the “long-term development prospects” of these sectors.

South Asia

India – PM Narendra Modi has raised energy targets, with gas now expected to cover 25% of the Indian energy mix by 2030 and oil refining capacity to double to 8 million barrels/d over the next five years.

India’s largest gas distributor GAIL has submitted an expression of interest to the country’s energy regulator to build a 450-km gas pipeline across the gas-starved east coast state of Andhra Pradesh.

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