Marine Link
Tuesday, August 14, 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.

China's Stricter Ship Emissions Rules a Boon for IMO 2020 Compliance

© donvictori0 / Adobe Stock

Tighter rules on shipping emissions around China's coastlines from the start of next year is a clear sign the world's No.

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…

Woodside Mulls Texas Sempra LNG Exit

The chief executive officer of Woodside Petroleum Ltd said on Tuesday that Australia's biggest independent oil and natural gas company will soon decide whether to continue to invest in Sempra Energy's Port Arthur liquefied natural gas (LNG) export project in Texas. "We've got to make some decisions pretty soon about our continued pursuit (of Port Arthur) with Sempra," said Coleman, noting that Woodside has been paying part of the project's development costs. "What we've been doing is just paying our way (with Port Arthur), and whether that is going to give us an adequate return, I would say today that is very challenged," Coleman said.

For the Global LNG Industry, is the FSRU Honeymoon Over?

(Photo: Höegh LNG)

A giant vessel docked at the port of Moheshkhali in Bangladesh two months ago, propelling the populous but poor nation into the fast-expanding club of liquefied natural gas (LNG) buyers.The Excellence is the latest floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU), a type of carrier that has proliferated since 2015 as many countries switch to a cleaner and increasingly cheaper fuel than oil and coal.But the young FSRU industry has been beset by more project delays than successes in the past 12 months as fluctuating energy prices…

Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale to Test Response to Trump-era Regulations

(File photo: Shell)

A federal auction of exploration leases in the Gulf of Mexico next week will test energy companies' appetite for acreage after the Trump administration left royalty rates for deepwater parcels unchanged, bucking an industry call to lower them.The U.S. Gulf of Mexico has faced waning interest in recent years as competition stepped up from other basins globally, as well as from onshore shale basins and Mexico's waters in the Gulf.Oil companies had lobbied for lower royalty payments for deepwater acreage because of the projects' high cost and long lead time before production can begin.

S.Korea LNG Imports Set to Ease from Record

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South Korean imports of liquefied natural gas are set to ease from record levels racked up in the first-half of the year, with appetite for the fuel from utilities seen fading as a raft of nuclear power stations come back online.The country's imports of the commodity jumped nearly 16 percent year-on-year to a record 22.7 million tonnes in the first six months of 2018, according to customs data in mid-July, boosted by demand from power firms as around half the nation's 24 nuclear…

Plans for Another South Australia LNG Import Plant in the Works

A private firm is looking to import liquefied natural gas (LNG) to South Australia starting in 2020, around the same time as two other proposed import projects, looking to fill a supply gap as domestic gas gets sucked into LNG exports.Venice Energy, set up by former BHP Billiton executives, plans to submit a development application to the South Australian government within the next month to park a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) in Port Adelaide, Managing Director Kym Winter-Dewhirst said.If regulatory approvals come through by March, construction could begin by June 2019, he told Reuters in an interview. The project would be funded partly by Venice's owners…

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…

Petronas Buys Stake in Canadian LNG Export Project

(File photo courtesy of Shell)

Malaysia's state-owned oil and gas company Petroliam Nasional Bhd said on Thursday it is buying a 25 percent stake in a Canadian liquefied natural gas (LNG) export project, nearly a year after cancelling its own planned terminal.The company, known as Petronas, scrapped plans to build a $36 billion ($28 billion) LNG export terminal in British Columbia last year over concerns of a glut in the market that led to depressed fuel prices.But surprisingly strong demand from China, South Korea and India has erased those concerns…

Corpus Christi Gearing Up to Handle US Shale Export Boom

(File photo: Port Corpus Christi)

Port officials on Tuesday are expected to consider $300 million in financing that would prepare the country's largest oil-export port - Corpus Christi, Texas - to handle a surge in U.S. shale production over the next five years.International buyers would like more U.S. crude but are unable to get it because of infrastructure constraints along the U.S. Gulf Coast. Terminals originally designed for imports only recently have revamped operations to handle exports including accepting…

Oil Traders Ready for Musical Chairs as China Tariffs Loom

© Haris / Adobe Stock

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…

LNG Tankers Divert to China as Winter Demand Spikes

file Image: In a photo taken earlier this Autumn, an LNG tanker transits the Med (CREDIT: Robert Murphy)

China's LNG demand soars as tankers from the Americas divert to China. Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is being re-exported to China from Japan and tankers are being diverted from as far away as Brazil, with traders rushing to find cargoes in the face of a supply crunch in the world's No.2 economy as winter bites. Following an unprecedented drive to switch millions of households to natural gas from coal for heating, China's imports of LNG have surged as utilities struggle to meet soaring demand as winter gets off to a colder start than usual.

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.

Asian Coal Prices Spike Amidst Shipping Congestion

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Lidian Neeleman)

Over 500 ships waiting to load or unload coal; strong winter demand has driven coal, LNG and oil prices. Asian benchmark thermal coal prices have pushed to their highest levels since 2016, fuelled by demand in China and loading delays in Indonesia that have ramped up shipping congestion outside major coal ports. Spot cargo prices for Australian Newcastle coal have risen nearly 15 percent from lows in late November after China loosened import restrictions to help meet a winter fuel shortage.

Mexico's Oil Reform a Boon for Hard-hit Oil Service, Seismic Firms

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Oil service and mapping firms still emerging from an industry recession have received a boost from about $800 million of data sales to energy firms considering bidding for Mexican oil and gas blocks. Mexico will on Wednesday hold its most important auction since a 2013 reform ended the 75-year monopoly on the energy sector held by state-run oil firm Pemex. The government of President Enrique Pena Nieto hopes the deepwater sale will attract tens of billions of dollars of investment to turnaround a slump in the country's oil output. Seven previous auctions drew investment pledges of $61 billion.

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.

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…

Shell, Inpex Race to Export Aussie LNG

Shell's Prelude FLNG (Credit: Trelleborg)

Shell aims to start exports from Prelude LNG this year; Inpex hopes to commence shipments from Ichthys LNG. Shell and Inpex are on the final stretch of a years-long race to export gas from offshore northern Australia, where both have spent billions of dollars building the world's biggest maritime vessels to grab a slice of Asia's booming LNG market. Anglo-Dutch energy major Royal Dutch Shell and Inpex, Japan's biggest oil and gas producer, are vying for first gas from two overlapping fields after delays and cost overruns that have plagued both projects.

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