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Energy / Natural Gas

  • Israel and Egypt: A Natural [Gas] Match

    Israel’s newfound natural gas wealth is moving the country from energy importer to potential exporter, altering the energy balance of the region in the process. Even more interesting is that Israel’s most promising export market just slipped from energy exporter to importer—that country is Egypt. Israel has historically been a natural gas importer, but recent offshore discoveries will likely change that. Concentrated in the Tamar (estimated 10 trillion cubic feet) and Leviathan (estimated 19 trillion cubic feet) fields, Israel’s Mediterranean natural gas holdings could make the country a significant natural gas exporter. This could be good news for Egypt, which…

  • Lithuania Asks US to Expedite Gas Exports

    Lithuania's energy minister has joined Central European calls for Washington to expedite approval for US natural gas exports to Europe to reduce dependence on Russia. In a statement last week to the US Senate, Lithuanian Energy Minister Jaroslav Neverovic said his country was paying a “political price” for its dependency on Russian gas, and urged members of the Senate to use their power to release natural gas resources into the world market. "A law enacted in your country some 75 years ago denies us access to your abundant and affordably priced energy resources," Neverovic said.Related Article: Lithuania Files Second Lawsuit…

  • Obama Hops on LNG Train, but is that Train Even Leaving?

    U.S. President Barack Obama said a trans-Atlantic trade deal under review could help break Russia's grip on the region's energy sector. New LNG leeway in the United States could help the cause, though any meaningful relief for Europe may arrive long after the immediate crisis is over. "Once we have a trade agreement in place, export licenses for projects for liquefied natural gas destined to Europe would be much easier, something that is obviously relevant in today's geopolitical environment" the president said. U.S. policymakers have said more energy exports could help European allies, Ukraine in particular, who are struggling to break Russia's…

  • China Eyes Massive Production from First Shale Project

    China’s Sinopec is planning to develop a production capacity of 10 billion cubic meters per year by 2017 at the Fuling shale gas field, making it the country’s first commercial shale gas project. Sinopec (the state-run China Petroleum and Chemical Corp.) has spent some $322 million on the Fuling project in China’s southwest, with the first breakthrough commercial discovery hit last year, and production capacity on track for significant yearly increases that could lead to fast-tracked large-scale development.Capacity is currently at 0.6 bcm/year, but with 21 demonstration wells drilled, Sinopec plans to reach 1.8 bcm/year by the end of 2014…

  • DOE Approves West Coast LNG Terminal

    The Department of Energy issued its conditional approval for a liquefied natural gas export terminal in Oregon on March 24. This marks the seventh overall LNG export terminal to receive the regulatory green light, and the first on the west coast. The Jordan Cove export terminal would be situated near Coos Bay Oregon, and would allow the export of 0.8 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day. It still needs other regulatory and environmental permits before it can be constructed. The Jordon Cove terminal would export a mix of Canadian and U.S. natural gas, and would be in a…

  • US Energy Boom vs Russian Energy Influence

    It is with incredible equanimity that the media has digested the announcement of a 5 million barrel ‘test’ release from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve on Wednesday, but the market certainly hasn’t – WTI crude plummeted $2.30 on the news.It doesn’t take much analysis, however, to see that this is a weak attempt to flex some muscle to use the US energy boom as a wedge against Russian energy influence in Ukraine and the rest of Eastern Europe.  This ridiculous meme has gained traction in the last week and a half from mostly GOP leaders in Washington, suggesting that the United…

  • Levant Basin Energy Advisory

    As Israel takes its newly earned place among the world’s gas exporters, we are focusing this week on the Levant Basin region, where there is a flurry of interest and accompanying activity, and where investors should be keeping track and taking score.Deals in Motion•    Italy’s Edison utility (owned by France’s EDF) is in talks to buy two Israeli gas fields from US explorer Noble Energy (behind Israel’s massive Levant Basin discoveries) and Israel’s Delek Drilling. The interesting part of this story is that Noble and Delek own the Leviathan gas field—the largest in the area—and now have to sell their…

  • This Week in Energy: How Would LNG Get to Ukraine?

    With all the talk about using US natural gas exports as a weapon to fight Russian aggression in Ukraine, what no one’s asking is how this liquefied natural gas (LNG) would get to Ukraine (or Europe in general) in the first place. The answer is Turkey—if Turkey is willing to play ball. The potential for LNG exports to Europe without a deal between Turkey and Ukraine for the transport of LNG through the Bosphorus will fall flat. This, in turn, makes the Black Sea region potentially the next major geopolitical game venue.As the crisis in Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula escalates, the…

  • Shell's American Woes Highlight Difficulty of Cracking Shale

    Shell's new boss, Ben van Beurden, said bets on U.S. shale plays haven't worked out for his company. Its North American performance was already hit by pessimism over offshore Alaska, but its latest move shows Big Oil hasn't quite mastered how best to capitalize on the U.S. oil boom. "Some of our exploration bets have simply not worked out," Shell’s Chief Executive Officer Ben van Beurden said. Van Beurden said it was bad management policy to commit close to $80 billion in capital on its North American portfolio and still lose money. Now, he said, it's time to cut the loss and…

  • Ukraine fallout: how to deal with South Stream and Nord Stream

    A new report from the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies (OIES) contends that, in light of the Ukraine crisis, the EU should allow Gazprom to use its great new pipelines South Stream and Nord Stream for itself and not be required to grant access to third parties. But the Center for Security Studies (CSS) ETH Zürch, argues the opposite in a new report of its own. It says the EU should adopt a strict regulatory policy towards South Stream and subject all of Gazprom’s activities to intense legal scrutiny. Energy Post editor Karel Beckman believes CSS is right that the…