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Energy / Natural Gas

  • Europe Overtakes Asia As LNG’s Hottest Market

    The gravity of liquefied natural gas (LNG) demand shifted westwards over the past year. For several years now, LNG demand – and as a result, the price of LNG – has been the highest in Asia. Japan is responsible for about one-third of total LNG imports worldwide, and China, although a smaller player, is projected to be one of the key drivers of growth for LNG imports. But the Fukushima meltdown forced Japan to scramble for imported energy to replace its shuttered nuclear reactors. It turned to much higher imports of oil, coal, and LNG to make up for the…

  • Could Iranian Gas Be The Solution For Europe?

    Russia, beware, Iran is trying to get into the European gas market. In recent months, Iranian officials have been signaling to potential customers in Europe, potential suppliers in the Caspian Basin, and transit country Turkey that Iran is not only ready to get into the game but that without Iranian participation the European Union's Southern Gas Corridor will take many years to realize, or might never be realized. Of course, the Southern Gas Corridor is all about decreasing Russian gas exports to Europe, an increasingly important issue for European governments as ties with the Kremlin continue to deteriorate over events…

  • Is The EU Finally Breaking Free Of Russia’s Energy Grip?

    Gazprom’s dominance over European energy supplies may be beginning to slip. The collapse of oil prices has punished Gazprom’s revenues, but in a new development that is further damaging to the Russian state-owned company, the European Union is also beginning to shake itself of Russian gas. Russian exports of natural gas through the Nord Stream pipeline – which runs from Russia to Germany across the Baltic Sea – have dropped by more than half in February from the same period last year, according to Reuters. Average daily deliveries have declined from 98 million cubic meters to 45 million cubic meters.…

  • Could Germany Become The Next Shale Hotspot?

    Nuclear power is out in Germany, but could shale gas soon be included in the historic German energiewende? The German government has taken bold steps to move its electricity generation mix towards renewable energy, having put in place a groundbreaking feed-in-tariff years ago to provide strong incentives for solar and wind. Germany kicked its plan to shift to renewable energy into overdrive after the nuclear meltdown at Fukushima. Germany’s strong environmental ethos has made the transition possible – opposition to nuclear power is fierce, and the broad desire to shutter nuclear reactors among the populace helped overcome entrenched interests and…

  • As IMF Extends $17.5 Billion Credit To Kiev, Gazprom Demands Debt Repayment

    No sooner had the International Monetary Fund (IMF) extended $17.5 billion over four years in new credit to Ukraine, Russia’s private gas giant Gazprom was claiming $2.4 billion of it to settle Kiev’s gas debt. That’s not exactly what the IMF had in mind. The international lender’s mission chief for Ukraine, Nikolay Gueorguiev, issued a statement on Feb. 13 saying the credit was meant to address “immediate macroeconomic stabilization as well as broad and deep structural reforms to provide the basis for strong and sustainable economic growth over the medium term.” At the same time, Gazprom sent a letter to…

  • Oil Prices May Recover, But Not LNG

    One major knock on effect from the oil bust is the collapse in prices for liquefied natural gas (LNG). Unlike oil, which largely trades on an open market and fluctuates depending on supply and demand, natural gas trades differently in different places. In the U.S., natural gas trades much more openly than in Europe and Asia, which have historically linked the price of gas to the price of crude oil. That created a huge opportunity for natural gas producers in the U.S., who wanted to profit off of their cheap supplies by exporting to Europe and Asia where prices were…

  • Ukraine To Disappear From EU Energy Picture By 2019

    The modest installment payments that Ukraine is making on its $2.440 billion debt to Gazprom are not enough to restore the reputation of that country as a reliable transit partner. Since Russian gas is being persistently redirected south and east, Kiev’s role as an intermediary for Europe’s gas might slowly wane between now and 2019. The “Turkish Stream” - the alternative route that the Western business press has described as “just another attempt to blackmail the EU” - is beginning to take tangible shape. The longer of two potential routes of the new pipeline has been selected. It will follow…

  • Gazprom Confident In European Future Despite ‘New Cold War’

    As oil companies fret over meager quarterly earnings because of the low price of oil, Russia’s gas monopoly, the government-controlled Gazprom, says it will be increasing its deliveries to Europe during the next three years and is looking to Asia for more opportunities to sell gas and attract investment. Aleksandr Medvedev, Gazprom’s deputy CEO, said at an investor conference in Hong Kong on Feb. 3 that the company will increase its exports to Europe by between 5 percent and 8 percent to a level of 155 to 160 billion cubic meters through 2017 because of “continuing, gradual reduction of gas…

  • Leaked Document Could Shatter UK Shale Dreams

    U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron’s hopes for a British-style shale gas revolution recently took a major hit. Cameron has promised that his government will be “going all out” to develop Britain’s shale gas resources, which he argues will create new jobs and cut dependence on imported gas. But a committee made up of members of parliament (MPs) from several political parties issued a damning new report on the state of “fracking” in the United Kingdom. The Environmental Audit Committee published a report that called for a 30-month moratorium on fracking, citing “huge uncertainties” regarding the environmental fallout from widespread drilling.…

  • New England Growing More Dependent On Natural Gas

    New England may avoid a spike in natural gas prices this winter, but the region is becoming increasingly dependent on the fuel, ensuring that price spikes in future years are not out of the question. A year ago, the polar vortex brought several bouts of low temperatures and heavy snow to the northeast, causing demand for heating and electricity to jump. Temporary shortages in natural gas flows due to pipeline constraints led spot prices to shoot up. Prices at Algonquin Citygate, a marker for the Boston area, hit an all-time high of $77.595 per million Btu (MMBtu) on January 23,…