Showing posts with label US LNG. Show all posts
Showing posts with label US LNG. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Oil market's OPEC meeting tantrum & global LNG

On June 2nd, OPEC+ decided to adopt a pensive position rather than a defensive or offensive one and it promptly sent the oil market into a tizz. Quite frankly, it needn't have. According to data aggregators, OPEC+ members are currently cutting production by 5.86 million barrels per day (bpd). 

The figure includes 3.66 million bpd of group-wide cuts and "voluntary cuts" by eight members of 2.2 million bpd. They include Saudi Arabia, Russia and six others - Algeria, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Oman and the United Arab Emirates.

The latter cuts were due to expire at the end of June 2024 while the group-wide ones were due to end in December 2024. Following a part-online, part-physical meeting, OPEC+ extended the cuts of 3.66 million bpd until the end of 2025. But it only prolonged the cuts of 2.2 million bpd by three months until the end of September 2024. After which these voluntary cuts will be gradually phased out over the course of a year from October 2024 to September 2025.

As the markets opened for trading the following, a crude carnage ensued with Brent shattering its $80 per barrel floor and heading lower to $77. While the OPEC+ decision can be construed as bearish, it wasn't the only reason for the slide in prices. As this blogger told Reuters, a number of factors came into play and OPEC's mild surprise merely served as a catalyst. Economic uncertainties persist both in US and China - the world's two leading crude consumers. Neither country offered consistently positive data the month before. 

Both the IEA and OPEC have now revised their demand growth forecasts lower, albeit to varying degrees. The IEA's (at 1.1 million bpd) is half of what OPEC now predicts (2.2 million bpd). Traders looked at all that and went net short for the week.   

However, all things being equal, Brent under $80 did appear to be oversold, as yours truly wrote on Forbes. That's why merely a calendar week later, prices are back above $80 and about right too. What OPEC did (or didn't) matters, but only to a point.

And now from oil to LNG, where yours truly has been doing a deep dive into the state of affairs and the general direction of the global market. 

That's after the latest outages in Norway and Australia triggered yet another spike in prices. As the Oilholic said in a recent CGTN interview, only high levels of storage in Europe have stopped prices from overshooting. It all bottles down to Asia (the world's largest LNG importing region) regularly competing with Europe (the second-largest) for cargoes. This year, Dutch TTF gas prices have risen by 40% over the past three months to trade at around $11 per million British thermal units (mmbtu) levels. 

However, here's the Oilholic's latest market analysis via Forbes on why a change may be on the horizon. Overall, future Asian demand, pace of the energy transition and new supply coming onstream (in the US and Qatar) will likely influence a calmer direction of near-term travel as the end of the current decade approaches. (Full report here). 

That's a wrap for now. More musings to follow soon. Keep reading, keep it here, keep it 'crude'! 

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© Gaurav Sharma 2024. Photo I: OPEC logo at its Secretariat in Vienna, Austria. © Gaurav Sharma 2018. Photo II: Gaurav Sharma on CGTN Europe for commentary on the natural gas market. © CGTN, June 2024. 

Friday, January 11, 2019

Moroccan perspective on natural gas market

The current situation in the natural gas market has several variables as we enter the first quarter of 2019. But before anything else, what price levels we are at would be a good conversation starter. Using the US Henry Hub as a benchmark, it remains stuck around $3/mmbtu. For Europe, adding an average $2+ mmbtu would be about par.

After a late December collapse, natural gas prices were seemingly being held down by higher than normal winter temperatures, before a big freeze hits several parts of Europe and North America. As for the market itself, most of the chatter these days is about how US LNG - both small and large scale - will add to the global supply pool with the country's capacity tipped to cap 40 million tonnes per annum (tpa) in 2019. 

As the Americans increasingly tussle with other major LNG exporters such as Qatar, Malaysia and Australia for a slice of the global market, Morocco - a net energy importer, albeit with substantial natural gas reserves - is in a reasonably positive position. 

The country has proven reserves of some 1.44 billion cubic meters (bcf) of natural gas, according to the CIA World Factbook, but domestic production is not even a tenth of that volume. Rabat is attempting to alter that dynamic via several independent upstarts led by SDX Energy, and accompanied by the likes of Sound Energy (which recently said it would focus exclusively on Morocco) and Chariot Oil & Gas. 

Seeing potential, the government is offering attractive terms to exploration and production companies (refer to the Oilholic's previous post on the subject). But until Morocco meaningfully discovers its domestic production mojo, the US shale gas bonanza couldn't have come at a more opportune time, as Rabat looks ensure security of supply over the medium-term. In October 2018, Energy Minister Aziz Rabbah confirmed that Morocco is preparing to invite bids for a LNG project in Jorf Lasfar worth $4.5 billion.

It includes construction of a jetty, terminal, pipelines and gas-fired power plants, ultimately leading to the import of up to 7 billion cubic metres of gas by 2025, in a very competitive global gas buyers' market. 

The announcement follows state-owned power utility ONEE announcement in 2017 that it had picked HSBC Middle East as a financial adviser for its plan to boost imports of LNG. The scenario provides plenty of talking points, which is why the Oilholic is heading to Morocco in February to speak and deliberate at the 2nd Morocco Oil & Gas Summit in Marrakesh, February 6-7, 2019, being organised by IN-VR Oil & Gas

It's all set up nicely, and this blogger early awaits the summit. But that’s all for the moment folks! Keep reading, keep it ‘crude’!

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© Gaurav Sharma 2019. Photos: Cairn Energy / IN-VR Oil & Gas

Friday, March 09, 2018

Frackers on the side of geopolitical angels?

IHS CERA Week 2018’s day two and three whizzed by with plenty of more talking points, some predictable, and well some not so predictable, with the oil price seesawing in the backdrop. 

Both benchmarks spent much of Monday and Tuesday on the up, and all of Wednesday and Thursday shedding those gains, with speaker after speaker suggesting US shale and the country's oil and gas exports were not a fad. 

Among them was US President Donald Trump's emissary – Energy Secretary Rick Perry – who emphatically declared on Wednesday that American producers were now allies of energy deficient nations craving energy security. 

Here’s the Oilholic’s report for Forbes with Perry’s...er...Trumped up soundbites. That said the US Energy Secretary is right – even the most pessimistic of shale decline rate forecasts suggest elevated oil and gas production volumes are here to say for at least another 10 years. 

"The U.S. has now become a net natural gas exporter. Our producers export liquefied natural gas (LNG) to 27 nations on five continents. In the coming years, you can expect more of the same," Perry reminded CERA Week delegates and you can expect more of the same. 

On a related note, here’s the Oilholic’s Forbes research into what incremental volumes of US LNG exports mean for the market, and the profound changes new players on the scene are bringing about. It has the thoughts of experts from Baker McKenzie, S&P Global Platts, KPMG, IHS Markit and ABB. 

Switching tack to some interesting soundbites over the last couple of days, Qatar's Oil Minister Mohammed Al-Sada said both oil producers and consumers were losing due to oil price volatility either side of the price slump in 2014. "Neither very high nor very low prices are good for global GDP. So OPEC had to intervene responsibly," he said of the ongoing OPEC and non-OPEC oil production cuts.

Bob Dudley, CEO of oil giant BP, admitted: "Our downstream business effectively funds the billions of dollars we pay in dividends."

Additionally, he noted that the UK oil & gas industry was going through "a renaissance; after remarkable, painful restructuring in the North Sea was behind it."

Dudley, also reiterated his stance from IPWeek a fortnight ago that his company and the rest of the energy industry is in a race to lower carbon emissions, not a race to lower emissions. ‏

Elsewhere, here's the Oilholic's Forbes interview with BP's Chief Scientist Dame Angela Strank on the crucial topic of gender diversity in the oil and gas business, and the vital need for the industry to continue to promote and emphasise the importance of STEM career pathways. 

And before one takes your leave, here's a glimpse of a Formula E car (above right) on display at the CERA Week tech floor. Pretty slick, bring on the electric car revolution! That's all for the moment from Houston folks! Keep reading, keep it 'crude'!

To follow The Oilholic on Twitter click here.
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© Gaurav Sharma 2018. Photo 1: US energy secretary Rick Perry at an IHS CERA Week 2018 press briefing. Photo 2: Formula E car on display at CERA Week's technology floor, Houston, Texas, USA. © Gaurav Sharma 2018.