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Just two weeks after signing a US LNG supply deal with Chesapeake Energy, Swiss commodity trader Gunvor has said it is planning to expand its trading operations in the United States, with the development of a major power trading arm, Reuters reports in an exclusive interview with Gunvor’s CEO.
After banking big profits since 2020–along with other commodities traders–Gunvor is now keen to replicate its European power-trading practice in the U.S., where it set up a power desk in 2022 that it has been gradually staffing.
"Power is clearly something for the future,” Gunvor CEO Torbjorn Tornqvist told Reuters on the sidelines of a Financial Times Commodities Global Summit. “ I think it forms a very important part of our future strategy. At this stage, it’s very new,” he was quoted as saying.
Additionally, Gunvor said it would begin gasoline blending in the U.S.
Gunvor is also focusing heavily on LNG. Earlier in March, Chesapeake Energy Corp said it would supply Gunvor with up to 2 million tonnes per year of U.S. LNG for 15 years as exports to Europe soared following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
"Europe was taking about 110 billion cubic meters per year from Russia. That’s about 1,000 LNG cargoes. We think Europe was able to cover about half... and the rest is demand destruction, close to 20%. Some of it is weather related," Tornqvist told Reuters.
However, at the same time, there are concerns that more than half of Europe’s LNG import capacity could end up being stranded assets by 2030 as buildout plans soar beyond projected LNG demand for the time period, the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) said earlier this week.
Tornqvist told Reuters that Gunvor’s traded oil and LNG volumes are more than 3 million barrels per day of oil equivalent. And the Swiss trader is fairly confident about the power market, but “power is clearly something for the future”.
"As long as the price stays between 30 and 40 euros (per megawatt hour), demand will probably creep up. As it stands now, there is a surplus that needs to be cleared in the LNG market,” Reuters quoted the Gunvor CEO as saying.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com