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The 3 Most Important Numbers in Energy - 21st March 2014

The Insider’s weekly run-down of critical figures and happenings from around the energy world.

3,941. Calorific value reportedly being considered by the Chinese government as a cut-off for coal imports.

Traders interviewed by Platts last week suggested that a Chinese ban on low-quality thermal coals may once again be in the works. With one unnamed source telling the service, “The government is serious this time due to rising pollution and public anger.”

If implemented, the import ban would mainly hit coal shipments coming from Indonesia—the world’s biggest shipper of low-calorie coal. Such a move could create a rush for higher-quality blends, as Chinese buyers struggle to fill the supply gap. Look for exporting nations like Australia and South Africa to benefit.  

7%. Proposed level of “tier two” tax for future LNG projects in western Canada—reportedly the subject of intense negotiations with Japanese developers during recent meetings in Tokyo.

Officials from Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry met with British Columbia’s deputy minister of Natural Gas Development. And asked the province to reconsider the tax rate it has put forward for planned developments on the coast aimed at shipping Canadian gas to Asia.

The government is in final planning for the LNG tax regime, with several proposed projects waiting to see what the final numbers look like. Current proposals have taxes starting at 1.5% and scaling up to 7%.

The British Columbia government has so far maintained that 7% is a fair rate—noting that the key question is when in the project cycle rates are increased. The decision here may go a long way toward developers making final investment decisions. Ultimate legislation on the matter is expected later in 2014.

$2 billion. Sale price that major gas producer EnCana (TSX: ECA) is reportedly seeking for its Jonah natural gas field in Wyoming.

Reports surfaced this week that the major is looking to offload the field to private equity firms possibly including Carlyle Group and NGP Energy. Jonah produced 323 million cubic feet of gas and 4,700 barrels of gas liquids per day after royalties during 2013.

The news is significant for a couple of reasons. First, as a sign that big producers are looking to pare down assets—especially in dryer gas fields. And conversely, as an indicator that investment interest…




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