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 specifically, and the sixth time Qatargas has supplied China in total since 2009.
Now Iran is claiming that it will outpace Qatar in terms of natural gas extraction in the South Pars field by March 2018. Between March 2017 and March 2018, Iran’s Oil Ministry says it will complete five phases of gas field development that will boost production by 400 million cubic meters and gas condensate production by 600,000 barrels per day.
Right now, Iran is producing just over 300 million cubic meters per day of gross gas at South Pars, along with around 0.4 million barrels per day of gas condensate.
Then we have Malaysia emerging on this scene. According to Wood Mackenzie, within 10 years, Malaysia could overtake Qatar as the leading supplier of flexible (uncontracted) LNG to the global market. Malaysia is already the biggest LNG supplier in the Asia Pacific region, and Wood Mackenzie predicts its uncontracted supply capacity will grow from 2.5 mtpa in 2013 to 26 mtpa by 2022. Last year, Qatar estimated it would have 20 mtpa of flexible volumes, and faces a moratorium on new developments in its North Field.
At the same time, Malaysia is planning some significant expansion projects, including at its main LNG complex and two floating LNG projects, as well as agreements with Gladstone LNG in Australia.
In other global oil and gas market developments, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) is predicting that Mexico’s move to end the state monopoly on oil and gas and open the playing field up to foreign investors will result in an increase in the country’s oil production by about 75% by 2040.
In the meantime, there has been no movement on Russian gas for Ukraine as winter approaches, with Russian gas giant Gazprom on Friday, refusing to budge as EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger arrived in Moscow to try to broker a deal over the ongoing gas price dispute.
Ukraine has about 15.2 billion cubic meters of gas in storage, and will need around 5 billion cubic meters more in order to make it through the winter season. It’s only this situation that makes Europe sit up and recognize Ukraine. The EU depends on Russian gas through Ukraine for about 15% of its demand, and so far all attempts to broker a deal over the crisis with Russia (which claims $4.5 billion in unpaid bills) have failed. In June, Russia cut off supplies to Ukraine entirely, though transit to the EU continues—for now.
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That’s it from us this week. I hope you enjoy the below report and have a great weekend.
By. James Stafford of Oilprice.com