Gastech Insights is an online platform which delivers unique content, analysis and online discussions on the most important issues, from the perspective of those within the global gas and LNG community. It also gives gas professionals a voice and encourages them to become active contributors by sharing their knowledge, ideas and opinions on a vast range of industry topics.
Will market forces be enough to ensure security of gas supply this winter and into the medium term for the UK, or should the government introduce additional support measures to beef up storage and flexibility since the closure of its main storage facility Rough? That is the question under consideration by a government select committee following a meeting with major energy users at the end of October.
Nord Stream 2 is going ahead despite concerns that it will leave Europe dependent on Russian gas supply and leave Ukraine vulnerable to a hostile political regime.
Long-term contracts for LNG can still be secured according to US LNG exporter Cheniere, who announced a new 24-year deal with Polish state oil and gas company, PGNiG, at the EAGC/CEE Conference in Berlin last week. Cheniere has delivered 475 cargoes as of the end of October, said Andrew Walker, Cheniere’s VP of Strategy. “Long-term contracts are not dead. We are continuing to sign them, so they don’t look dead to us. Eight of our 18 buyers are European, ten if you count trading houses based there.”
Faced with a ‘growing crescendo’ in the media against gas, the industry is faced with a tough challenge to cut methane leaks and develop green gas technologies while keeping costs down to remain competitive.
The electric vehicle market continues to grow, with IEA’s 2018 Global Electric Vehicle Outlook reporting that over 1 million EVs were sold in 2017 and by 2040 55% of new car sales and 33% of the global fleet will be electric. At the 2018 Gastech Exhibition and Conference in Barcelona, Gastech Insights spoke with Chairman and Chief Analyst at Wood Mackenzie, Simon Flowers, to hear views on the global energy industry and what crucial developments we can expect to see in the coming years.
In order to navigate through the rapidly changing energy landscape, it is crucial for organisations to have a strong understanding of key trends and technological advances so they may best capture the arising opportunities. A.T. Kearney Energy Transition Institute provides leading insights on global trends in the energy transition which is why Gastech Insights spoke to Managing Director and speaker at GPEX 2018, Romain Debarre, to hear his expert views on the market.
With growing international concern over energy and environmental security, natural gas, and more specifically LNG, has long been considered a game-changer in the market and a catalyst for development. The Group of Experts on Gas at UNECE looks further into the role of gas in achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and provides best practice guidance on how the industry can reduce methane emissions along gas value chains.
Being described by Mr Wetselaar as the “backbone for the changing energy system”, it is clear that natural gas has a crucial role to play going forward in the energy transition. From reducing emissions and improving air quality to becoming a reliable partner for renewable energy sources, natural gas will continue to be a central component in the global energy mix.
LNG project developers are looking for innovative ways to secure financing as long-term sales contracts that traditionally underpinned borrowing are becoming harder to procure. Most LNG projects were typically built in places with an overabundance of gas by oil majors or supported by sovereign-backed international oil companies (IOCs). Independents without the balance sheet of IOCs have been attracted by improved economics, but at the same time buyers are demanding greater flexibility.
With the world turning towards renewables, Total identify gas-fired power plants as an ideal complement to facilities that generate electricity from these sources. With neither wind nor solar able to ensure an uninterrupted supply of power, gas-fired power plants allow the industry to respond to rising energy demand while keeping emissions to a minimum.
As the industry searches for alternatives to fossil fuels, natural gas continues to grow, dominating the American energy scene. With the expansion of LNG projects in North America, either operating, under construction or approved for construction, the EIA forecasts that US LNG capacity will rise from 14 bcm per annum to 110 bcm per annum by 2020.
Small-scale LNG (SSLNG) is one of the hot topics in the LNG arena, mainly due to its focus on substitution fuel for the industry, residential, and recently, transport. SSLNG value changes have shaken up the energy markets as a disruptor; first by entering previously unserved segments and then competing with existing energy value chains. LNG enters as a new fuel for remote locations and a substitution fuel for transport.
The LNG industry is reshaping and small-scale LNG activities have been growing at an impressive rate. These activities include the use of LNG as a marine fuel, although LNG bunkering is challenging due to the plurality of vessels, containment technologies as well as operational profiles.
LNG is gaining interest for marine propulsion applications thanks to its low emissions. In terms of performance and durability, LNG is the best fuel for gas turbines. What about using other fuels such as Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) or ethane for maritime propulsion? Is technology available today to allow ship owners to switch to burning hydrogen? GE’s marine gas turbines burn alternative fuels employing the same technology that has been used in the power generation and oil and gas sectors for 45 years.
Many cities are promoting the use of natural gas vehicles and electric energy in their mass transit systems in an effort to decrease pollution. One organisation helping to reach cleaner air targets in Colombia is Grupo Energía Bogotá, who promotes and supplies the clean fuel to the only public transportation system in the region that has a fleet running entirely on natural gas.
New technologies driving operational performance: Connecting smart stations to distribution networks
Gas distribution companies have a lot on their plates. They must manage entire natural gas grids with diversifying sources (pipelines, LNG, biomethane, fracking gas) and expand the customer base (more users, new usages such as natural gas vehicles) while improving their operation, making it safer, more reliable, productive and emission-free. These critical strategies often come with execution challenges that cost operators unnecessary expenses and lost product. However, applying smart station solutions can help operators overcome these challenges to reach their strategic goals.