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Friday, June 22, 2018

Wood Mackenzie News

Tokyo Gas Takes First LNG Cargo from Cove Point

© Dexter / MarineTraffic.com

Japan received its first shipment of liquefied natural gas (LNG) on Monday from Dominion Energy Inc's newly completed Cove Point export plant, the beginning of a jump in imports from the United States by the world's biggest buyer of the fuel.The docking of the tanker LNG Sakura at Tokyo Gas Co's Negishi terminal near Tokyo is another marker of shifting global energy flows as the United States ramps up exports of gas and oil from shale formations.The cargo is the first of 2.2 million tonnes of LNG a year Japanese companies are purchasing under long-term contracts from Cove Point in Maryland.

China and Shifting Seaborne Iron Ore Dynamics

Photo: © icarmen13/Adobe Stock

The seaborne iron ore market appears to be in something of a sweet spot currently, with largely steady demand and prices that have been flatlining for the past couple of months. Of course, another way of saying that a market is enjoying relatively stable and good times is that it's boring, but in iron ore there is plenty of action bubbling beneath the seemingly calm exterior. It's not so much that iron ore prices or volumes are expected to shift dramatically in the coming months, it's more that structural changes in the world's biggest importer, China, are re-shaping how the industry works.

U.S. LNG Seen Destined for Europe

Image: Kawasaki Shipbuilding Corporation

According to Wood Mackenzie Ltd, Europe is set to be the key destination for liquefied natural gas supplies from the U.S. after prices fell in Asia, the world’s biggest consumer of the fuel says a report in Bloomberg. The U.S. is forecast to ship about 55 percent of its total LNG production, or 32 million metric tons a year, to Europe by 2020, according to Alex Munton, the Houston-based principal analyst for Americas LNG at Wood Mackenzie. That’s because Europe is so close, has ample import capacity and liquid markets, and now has prices nearer to those in Asia.

New Rules on Ship Emissions Herald Sea Change for Oil Market

© xy / Adobe Stock

New rules coming into force from 2020 to curb pollution produced by the world's ships are worrying everyone from OPEC oil producers to bunker fuel sellers and shipping companies.The regulations will slash emissions of sulfur, which is blamed for causing respiratory diseases and is a component of acid rain that damages vegetation and wildlife.But the energy and shipping industries are ill-prepared, say analysts, with refiners likely to struggle to meet higher demand for cleaner…

China to Cut US Oil Imports Amid Trade Spat

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Chinese oil buyers will keep taking crude from the United States through September, but plan to reduce future purchases to avoid a likely import tariff amid a trade spat between the world's two largest economies, multiple industry sources said.Beijing has put U.S. energy products, including crude oil and refined products, on lists of goods that it will hit with import taxes in retaliation for similar moves by Washington.Beijing did not specify when it will impose a 25 percent tax on oil…

Oil Traders Ready for Musical Chairs as China Tariffs Loom

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Oil markets are bracing for a reshuffle of global trade flows as China threatens to impose tit-for-tat tariffs on imports of U.S. energy products, including crude.China, which has bought an average 330,000 barrels per day (bpd) of U.S. crude oil this year, is threatening to place a 25 percent tariff on various U.S. commodity exports, including crude oil, although it is so far unclear when such a measure would come in place.The decision came in response to U.S. President Donald…

Australian LNG Projects Face Delays, Benefiting US Producers

Shell's Prelude floating LNG production vessel (Photo: Shell)

Australia's plans for a huge increase in its production of liquefied natural gas are being dealt a big blow by a series of production delays, as energy companies struggle with technical problems and cost overruns. The country is still likely to become the world's biggest LNG exporter, dispatching about 85 million tonnes a year by the end of the decade, up from 30.7 million tonnes in 2015 and 45.1 million tonnes last year. But the pace of growth is much slower than expected because…

Shell Approves New Gulf of Mexico Project

Royal Dutch Shell has given the go-ahead to develop its Kaikias deepwater field in the Gulf of Mexico, the first such project the oil and gas company has approved in 18 months. Oil companies around the world are emerging from one of the longest downturns in recent decades amid warnings that the drop in investment in recent years may lead to a supply deficit by the end of the decade. Shell said the Kaikias oil and gas project, located some 210 kilometres (130 miles) from the Louisiana coast, will start production in 2019 and generate profits with oil prices lower than $40 a barrel after the company slashed its costs by around 50 percent due to simplified design plans. Oil prices were around $56 a barrel on Tuesday.

Peak Gasoline Demand Looms with Engine Efficiency Gains

Demand for gasoline in the United States, which accounts for a tenth of global oil consumption, is expected to peak next year as engines become more efficient, WoodMackenzie analysts said. Global demand for gasoline, which accounts for more than a quarter of the world's oil consumption, is set to peak as early as 2021 even in the face of relentless growth in the vehicle fleet, according to the Edinburgh-based consultancy. A rise in the number of hybrid and electric cars such as the Nissan Leaf, Toyota Prius and Tesla as well as tighter fuel standards in Europe and the United States will contribute to a historic shift in consumption.

Top LNG Buyers Form Alliance to Push for Flexible Contracts

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The world's biggest liquefied natural gas (LNG) buyers are clubbing together to secure more flexible supply contracts in a move that further shifts power to buyers rather than producers. Japan, China and South Korea are the world's biggest LNG importers, accounting for about 55 percent of global purchases, according to data from energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie. The countries' biggest respective buyers are joining together to extract concessions from producers that would give them supply flexibility such as having the right to re-sell imports to third parties…

Flex LNG signs deals to buy six new vessels

Image: Flex LNG

Oslo-listed Flex LNG has signed contracts to buy six new liquefied natural gas (LNG) vessels for its fleet by 2019, as it bets on increasing fuel demand from Britain and other countries, its chief executive told Reuters. The gas shipping company said earlier this year it was considering buying the six vessels, each with around 170,000 cubic metres of capacity, subject to securing funding for the $1.2 billion transaction. Geveran Trading, the private investment vehicle of billionaire shipping tycoon John Fredriksen…

Latest Gulf of Mexico Auction Signals Offshore Return

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Major oil producers pushed up high bids at a Gulf of Mexico offshore auction to $121 million on Wednesday, a nearly seven-fold increase from a year ago, as their return to deep water exploration gained momentum. This compared with $18 million in high bids at the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management's (BOEM) Outer Continental Shelf auction last summer. Winners will be announced after a 90-day review. Some producers have signaled that they expect Gulf of Mexico projects to become more profitable now that they have trimmed operations to adapt to low oil prices.

Turkey Sets Import Tax on Thermal Coal

Turkey imposed a tax this week on imports of thermal coal from Colombia, Russia and other major exporters, for use in power generation, to support domestic coal production. The Turkish cabinet decided to impose the tax of $15/tonne on imports from the United States, Colombia, Russia and South Africa on July 18 and announced it in the Official Gazette this week. The tax hits the biggest exporters of thermal coal but does not apply to imports from the European Union, Israel, Macedonia, Bosnia, Morocco, West Bank, Tunisia, Egypt, Georgia, Albania, Jordan, Chile, Serbia, Kosovo, South Korea, Mauritius and Malaysia, the government said. The levy is equal to around a quarter of the current month's physical South African coal price of around $63.65 a tonne.

S.Korean Refiners Look to Cash in on 2020 Mandate

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Sharrif Che'Lah)

Three refiners to spend more than $5 bln to upgrade or add units. South Korean refiners are planning to spend over $5 billion on plant upgrades in response to tighter rules on shipping fuel, boosting production of low-sulphur fuel oil as well as other high-end products. The refiners hope the investment, which comes ahead of the 2020 introduction of the new rules, will make them one of the biggest beneficiaries of the new regulations, with many competitors still waiting to commit to new spending. "Not many refiners are doing so.

China Rises to World's No.2 LNG Importer

File Image: A typical LNG Carrier at Sea (CREDIT: QGTC)

China's 2017 LNG imports to top South Korea's for first time; becomes key driver of spot LNG prices. China will become the world's second-biggest importer of liquefied natural gas (LNG) this year as it overtakes South Korea, shipping data in Thomson Reuters Eikon showed. This is a huge boost to Asia's emerging spot market as Chinese buyers rely much more on short-term purchases to meet their needs than their counterparts in Japan and South Korea. Shipping data in Thomson Reuters…

China to top Japan as World's Biggest LNG Importer

File Image: A typical LNG Carrier at Sea (CREDIT: QGTC)

Pollution fight drives surge in pipeline, LNG imports but Japan remains world's biggest importer of LNG. Beijing's crackdown on pollution has put China on track to overtake Japan this year as the world's biggest importer of natural gas, used to replace dirtier coal. China - already the biggest importer of oil and coal - is the world's third biggest user of natural gas behind the United States and Russia, but has to import around 40 percent of its total needs as domestic production can't keep up with demand.

Oil Rises on Record Indian Imports, Hopes of Output Caps

Oil prices edged up on Wednesday, supported by record Indian crude imports and talks between OPEC producers and other oil exporters on curbing output to end a glut in the global market. Global benchmark oil futures, the Brent and U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) contracts, have both risen more than 10 percent since the end of September on prospects major crude producers would freeze or cut production to stem an oversupply in the market. However, doubts remain as to the intentions of major suppliers such as Saudi Arabia and Iran and the effectiveness of any agreement in reining in output from record highs. Brent crude futures were up 26 cents at $52.67 a barrel by 1115 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 23 cents to $51.02 a barrel.

Shale Growth could Overwhelm U.S. Refiners, Fuel Exports

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Leeylutung)

Rising U.S. shale oil production will overwhelm the nation's refining capacity, with three-quarters of the additional oil produced in the United States by 2023 shipped to Europe and Asia, according to a new study by consultancy Wood Mackenzie. The research points to the continued impact of U.S. shale on global markets and the mismatch between domestic refining capacity and rising crude output. The oil could bottleneck at U.S. Gulf Coast ports unless new infrastructure is built, researchers said. U.S.

BP Expects 90% Compliance for Marine SOx Emissions Caps

© Jordi de Rueda / Adobe Stock

Oil major BP Plc expects more than 90 percent of the world's shipping fleet will comply with new regulations slashing sulfur levels ships are allowed to burn starting 2020, a company executive said on Tuesday. Coming International Maritime Organization (IMO) rules will cut the amount of sulfur emissions that ships worldwide are allowed from 3.5 percent to 0.5 percent by 2020. "Potential non-compliance is a significant issue that the market has been contending with," Jason Breslaw, who leads BP's distillate trading origination across the Americas, said at an industry conference in New Orleans.

Record-size US Offshore Oil Lease Sale Draws Modest Bidding

© Mike Mareen / Adobe Stock

Oil and gas drillers bid modestly on Gulf of Mexico acreage in the largest lease sale in American history on Wednesday, dealing a setback to the Trump administration's efforts to rapidly pump up investment in the region. The Interior Department had offered up a record 77 million acres (31.2 million hectares) for development in the Gulf with discounted royalty rates on the shallower tracts as part of a broader effort by President Donald Trump's administration to ramp up U.S. fossil fuels output.

Canada's First LNG Export Terminal Seen as One-off

Woodfibre LNG, Canada's first liquefied natural gas export project, will be a "nice-to-have" fillip for the country's gas producers but does not signal the start of a west coast LNG boom, industry watchers said on Monday. Privately held Woodfibre LNG Ltd said on Friday it will start building its C$1.6 billion ($1.2 billion) project in Squamish, British Columbia, next year after its Singaporean parent company authorized the funds last week. It is the first of more than a dozen LNG projects proposed for British Columbia to get the final go-ahead, but analysts say Woodfibre is unlikely to herald an investment surge from other developers given the challenging economics of an oversupplied LNG market.

Shipping Fuel Costs to Spike 25% on Sulphur Cap

© Kara / Adobe Stock

Costs to rise from roughly $100 bln today; just 2 pct of global fleet to have scrubbers in 2020. Global shipping fuel costs are likely to rise by a quarter, or $24 billion, in 2020 when new rules limiting sulphur kick in, consultants Wood Mackenzie said on Wednesday. The ballooning costs will come as the change in regulations forces a portion of the world's fleet to switch to lower sulphur, but higher cost, fuels such as marine gasoil (MGO) and ultra low sulphur fuel oil. The…

BP's Mad Dog Major FID in Gulf of Mexico

Photo: BP p.l.c

Sole standalone in a sea of tiebacks: BP's Mad Dog is the only major final investment decision (FID)  in deepwater Gulf of Mexico this year, says Wood Mackenzie. On 1 December 2016, BP (60.5% and operator) sanctioned the Mad Dog Phase II development in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico (GoM). BP and partners BHP Billiton (23.9%) and Chevron (15.6%) operate the Mad Dog field, which began production in January 2005. The second phase commercialises southern segments of the field that were discovered in 2009 and 2011.

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