In this issue

 

Chart Industries, the US LNG and energy equipment maker, has returned to a first-quarter profit following internal restructuring and amid a rise in its order-book. Order activity has risen 53%, or $111.4 million ($74.4 million excluding Hudson Products) above the first quarter of 2017,” said Chart with reference to its acquisition of rival Hudson.

Lake Charles LNG, the liquefaction project owned by the U.S. pipeline company Energy Transfer, has asked regulators to extend the deadline for the start of construction to November 2019. 

Australian commodities company BHP Billiton is continuing to exit its onshore assets in the southwest of the United States, and is awaiting bids. “We expect to receive bids by June 2018 and proceed with negotiations to potentially announce one or several transactions in the first half of the 2019 financial year,” BHP said.

Dominion Energy, owner of the Cove Point LNG facility in Maryland, is pulling out all the stops to acquire Scana Corp and its South Carolina natural gas and power assets. Regulatory approval for the merger is still pending. Now Dominion put forward a study, saying the merger would bring a $18.7 billion boost to the economy of South Carolina. 

Gauging incremental gas demand, derived from new gas-fired power plant projects worldwide, Energy Aspects pointed out that most of Asia’s new capacity is “supportive of additional LNG demand,” while North American projects are “all likely to be fed by local shale gas. Most new CCGTs, however, are being built in gas-rich countries.

CLP Power, developer of a new unit at Black Point Power Station (2,500 MW) in Hong Kong, has selected Shell to supply LNG to fuel the mega plant. The new 600 MW unit is scheduled to start operations by 2020, according to CLP Power’s latest annual report, with LNG to be imported via a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) moored just south of Hong Kong.

Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil producer, is about to join Kuwait and the UEA in buying attractively-priced LNG. Khalid Al-Falih, the Saudi energy minister, did not rule out buying LNG from Russia although he sees it as “not the most economical option.” Rival and possibly more attractively-priced supply could come from East Africa and the United States. 

Tellurian Inc, developer of the Driftwood LNG project, has confirmed Bechtel Oil, Gas and Chemicals had made a $50 million investment in the company. The investment was made on the basis of a preferred equity investment with an implied Tellurian common share price of $8.16 per share. 

Record results in shale oil and gas output in Appalachia and the Permian basin have been helped by President Donald Trump’s latest changes to the US corporate tax law. Several shale gas drillers reported hundreds of millions in savings after being allowed to re-measure their net tax liabilities, and are now budgeting less tax expenses for the future. Production among American shale drilling companies, sampled by the consultancy Energy Aspects, grew by 1.6 Bcf/d, or 5% year-on-year and 0.5 bcf/d, or 2% quarter-on-quarter in Q4-2017. 

In 2018, three cargoes - each providing around 0.1 billion cm of liquefied gas - have come directly to British regas facilities from Yamal LNG in Russia. But as the UK is preparing for another cold snap, and there’s talk that the country is too reliant on Russia for LNG. Murray Douglas, research director, Europe Gas, evaluates if fears are overstated and where British gas buyers can turn to secure top-up supplies. 

The Panama Canal Authority said it expected LNG carrier traffic to increase by around 50% by the fourth quarter of 2018 as more US cargo export capacity comes on stream.

Open Season bidding for the second capacity extension on TransCanada’s Nova Gas Transmission Ltd. (NGTL) system has oversubscribed, with contracts awarded for an average term of 22 years. The NGTL system allows gas transport from the low-cost Montney shale gas play in northeastern British Columbia to the Empress-McNeill export delivery point and onward to the US border.

Tellurian Inc., developer of the Driftwood LNG export project in Louisiana, has launched an open season to secure shippers for a proposed Permian Global Access Pipeline (PGAP), connecting the Permian Basin in Texas to Southwest Louisiana.

Since the U.S. shale oil and gas revolution ended the need to import crude oil from Mexico, the trade balance shifted and U.S. energy exports have been exceeding imports from Mexico for each of the past three years. In 2017, overall U.S. energy exports to Mexico hit a record high of $25.8 billion in 2017, more than twice as much as the $11.1 billion value of imports from Mexico.

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.