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LNG tanker transport natural gas liquefied at -161°C which is subsequently supplied to an import terminal where the LNG gets regasified by using heat exchangers (ambient and combustion vaporisers). During this regas process much cold energy gets set free which can be utilised, and monetized, shows an analysis from Ranjan Saxena and Rohit Nayek, Department of Oil and Gas, University of Petroleum and Energy Studies, Dehradun, India. 

Cheniere Energy has told regulators that Train-1 of its Corpus Christi LNG export project in Texas will reach substantial completion in March 2019, followed by completion of Train-2 in September 2019.

Prumo Logística has said that its subsidiary, Gás Natural Açu (GNA), has hired a consortium formed by Siemens and Andrade Gutierrez to build a 1,238-MW thermal power plant, based on imported LNG, in the Port of Açu in the Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro. Construction is expected to start in Q1-2018. 

The US oil major ExxonMobil has joined a group of eight International Oil Companies (IOCs), led by the European majors Shell and BP, to jointly put forward proposals to curb methane emissions from upstream operations, notably shale gas fracking. For Exxon, this is the first time the company joins an environmental initiative alongside industry peers. 

Gravitating away from importing LNG on a take-or-pay contract basis, China’s exceptional gas demand growth in winter 2017/18 not only increased incremental supply from longterm contracts by nearly 40% but also propelled up imports of spot LNG cargoes. Indirectly, this puts China into a position of soaking up excess US gas exports shipped to AsiaPacific – if the price is right. 

Strong seasonal gas demand this winter for power generation and heating, along with high spot LNG prices in Asia and Europe, are forecast to push up US LNG export volumes. Utilization at Sabine Pass is projected to remain well above 90% in winter 2017–2018, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) anticipates.

China’s new '2+26' cities policy – a pledge to cut emission in the country’s 28 northern cities by 15% year-on-year in the winter months – is limiting the use of coal for power generation and in industries. As an alternative to coal, gas demand could rise by 23 bcm in winter 2017/18 compared to previous winters, according to WoodMackenzie projections. In fact, Chinese LNG imports almost doubled last month, surging 95.7% compared to October 2016, to reach 3.57 million tonnes, according to data from the General Administration of Customs. 

Speedy approval of new mines in China has the potential to lower demand for seaborne coal imports by up to 50 million tons (Mt), sending down coal prices from levels above 80$/t towards to just 60$/t in 2018. EnergyAspects cautions, however, that such a dramatic fall in prices, caused by replacing higher-priced imported coal with cheap domestic production, is highly unlikely given that the government in Beijing had been content with higher prices as a driver for electric utilities to replace coal with cleaner-burning natural gas. 

Global petrochemical manufacturer INEOS has struck a long-term supply agreement with SP Chemicals which will see ethane, derived from US shale gas, being shipped to China for the first time. The deal also stipulates the construction of a 95,000cbm Very Large Ethane Carrier (VLEC) which is expected to be delivered in 2019.

Exports of natural gas from the United States to Mexico – both by pipeline and shipments of LNG cargoes – have reached an all-time high of just under 7.8 Bcf/d this week, following record high Lower 48 gas production at around 77 Bcf/d at the start of the week. Amid healthy fundamentals, it will now by weather patterns that determine winter gas trading patterns and volumes of US gas exports. 

Pemex, Mexico’s national oil company, has made the biggest onshore find of oil and associated natural gas in 15 years in the eastern state of Veracuz. The find near the Ixachi-1 well, believed to hold some 1.5 billion barrels of oil equivalent, will help reduce Mexico’s reliance on importing LNG and pipeline gas from the United States. 

Chart Industries’ latest compact LNG regasification station is now fully operational in Mexico, bringing natural gas to fuel an off-grid power station. The regas project is a first for the country, Chart pointed out, and mimics a familiar fuel model that is already in use for diesel or propane.

Iran’s deputy oil minister Ali Kardor, who also heads the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) has signed an energy roadmap with Gazprom chairman Alexey Miller that will see the Russian energy major conduct a proof-of-concept study on implementing integrated projects in Iran. Gazprom said it aims to work with NIOC along the entire gas value chain, from extracting gas in Iran to monetizing the product – ideally via the Iran LNG project. 

Attending the inauguration of Novatek’s landmark $27-billion Yamal LNG plant on December 8, the Saudi Arabian Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih confirmed the Middle East oil nation is considering investing in future LNG projects in the Russian Arctic. Talks are being held about setting up a $1 billion energy fund, aimed at fostering future supply of Russian LNG as part of a Saudi government plan to use more gas for power generation. 

News Nudges

Commissioning cargo departs from Corpus Christi Train-1

The first commissioning cargo has loaded and departed from Train-1 at Cheniere Energy’s Corpus Christi LNG export terminal in Texas. The LNG was loaded onto the 174,000 cubic metres capacity carrier “Maria Energy”, charted by Houston, Cheniere’s marketing unit. Start-up of Train-1 marks the first export of LNG from the state and from a greenfield liquefaction facility in the lower 48 states. All three Corpus Christi trains combined will produce up to 13.5 mtpa. The first two Trains are fully contracted and Train 3 is mostly contracted. Any excess capacity will be available for Cheniere Marketing to sell. Corpus Christi is being constructed at a cost of $15 billion.