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Energy / Natural Gas

  • This Week in Energy: Global LNG Race Heats Up

    As Qatar delivers a large shipment of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to China’s national oil company, the global race is on in earnest, with Iran promising to out-produce Qatar by 2018 and analysts predicting that Malaysia will also give the Qataris a run for their money.This month, Qatargas—the largest LNG producer in the world—delivered a new cargo of LNG to China National Oil Corps (CNOOC) at the Hainan terminal, China. In turn, this LNG will be used to commission CNOOC’s new LNG terminal, which should begin operations soon. This is the third time Qatargas has provided LNG to CNOOC’s terminals…

  • LNG Exporters Struggling to Find Customers

    Competition between exporters of liquefied natural gas is heating up. In fact, the competition is getting so fierce, that suppliers are actually beginning to see their advantage erode – buyers are finding themselves increasingly comfortable turning to the spot market to meet their energy needs, eschewing long-term contracts so coveted by exporters. The reason is that more LNG capacity is nearing completion, and that pace will accelerate over the next two to five years. And the shifting dynamics boil down to the developments in two countries – Australia and the United States.Major gas suppliers invested top dollar in Australia in…

  • Is a UK Fracking Revolution Inevitable?

    Ten years ago, the idea of the U.S. exporting its gas and oil was unthinkable. Dwindling domestic production meant energy supplies had to be topped up from abroad, leaving the nation at the mercy of foreign producers. Today, however, the U.S. energy market is booming. It surpassed Russia in 2009 to become the world’s largest producer of natural gas and is soon expected to overtake both Russia and Saudi Arabia as the largest oil producer in the world. The shale gas revolution is the key to America’s future, and a similar revolution is on the verge of taking place in…

  • China‚Äôs Natural Gas Demand Set to Triple by 2040

    China’s demand for natural gas will more than triple over the next 25 years, according to a new report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Natural gas demand in China is projected to hit 17.5 trillion cubic feet (tcf) in 2040, a greater than three-fold increase from the 5.2 tcf of demand in 2012. There is a big question mark over how the country will meet that need, but the EIA says the vast majority of it will come from two sources: domestic production and liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports. China is potentially sitting on 1,115 tcf of technically recoverable…

  • Natural Gas As A Trucking Fuel Fails To Deliver

    Much has been made of the potential for natural gas as a fuel for the trucking and rail industries.The dramatic fall in natural gas prices in recent years has spurred investment in refueling stations for the road trucking industry and forced the rail industry to review their position regarding the economics of using natural gas either as compressed natural gas (CNG) or as liquefied natural gas (LNG) to replace diesel fuel.So far, though, in spite of US natural gas prices that are a third of global levels, substitution has been limited. Presently, natural gas used as transportation fuel constitutes only…

  • How The Worsening Ukraine-Russia Crisis Will Affect Energy Markets

    The confrontation between Ukraine and Russia has entered a potentially dangerous new phase that could increase the likelihood of a dispute over energy supplies.On Aug. 15, Ukrainian authorities reported that they destroyed a convoy of armored vehicles that had pushed into Ukraine from Russia. The details were murky, but armored vehicles apparently entered Ukraine from Russian territory close to where a convoy of Russian aid trucks was located. Tensions over Russia’s attempt to send aid to eastern Ukraine had been brewing for days, as Ukraine suspected it was a cover for a shipment of military supplies to pro-Russian rebels. Ukrainian…

  • Marcellus Shale Continues to Prove Analysts Wrong

    The impact of the Marcellus shale formation on domestic natural gas supply is difficult to overstate. The speed and volume in developing this formation is astonishing. In 2007, Marcellus supplied only 2 percent of domestic supply in the U.S. By the end of 2013 it accounted for nearly 20 percent of total supply. The EIA predicts the formation will produce an average of 15.9 billion cubic feet of gas per day in September, nearly a quarter of all U.S. production. If Marcellus had one constant trait, it would be that it has continued to prove ‘experts’ wrong or extremely conservative…

  • Fracking Fluids More Toxic Than Previously Thought

    A new study of the fluids used in the controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, shows that several of them may not be as safe as the energy industry says they are, and some are downright toxic.A team of researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and University of the Pacific looked at more than just the process of fracking – which involves injecting water mixed with chemicals into underground rock formations to extract gas and crude oil. In their report, the researchers list the chemicals that are most often used, based on industry reports and databases. Among them…

  • Why Natural Gas Prices Collapsed

    Today I want to provide an update on the natural gas picture, as prices declined sharply at the end of July. I have laid out the argument since last winter that because of the deep inventory hole that developed over the course of the exceptionally cold winter, natural gas prices would remain high relative to last year, and that as a result natural gas producers would likely report higher year-over-year profits. (For background on the inventory picture, see my February column Natural Gas Inventories are Headed Toward Zero).First, let’s look at what natural gas prices have done since winter. The…

  • Panama Canal Turns 100 With Renewed LNG Ambitions

    The Panama Canal turns 100 years old this week, marking a century for the engineering feat considered by many to be one of the great wonders of the industrial world. Since its inauguration in August 1914, the canal has redefined global trade. And as international shipping has continued to grow, the waterway connecting the world’s two largest oceans – the Atlantic and Pacific – remains no less vital today. But Panama’s centennial celebrations offer a chance not just to reflect on the past 100 years, but also to look forward. One hundred years on, the Panama Canal is poised to…