All posts tagged GAS MONETISATION


Moza’s Floating LNG Facility Nears Completion

By Fred Akanni

Construction of the Coral-Sul FLNG facility, Mozambique’s first Liquefied Natural Gas facility is almost completed. The floating plant will sail-away to the south east African country in 2021 to begin natural gas extraction in the vast offshore Rovuma Basin.

The lifting and installation of the last of the 13 topside modules, “configuring the entire gas treatment and liquefaction plant”, was announced by ENI, the Italian energy company which will operate the facility.

With this milestone, first gas from Coral-Sul FLNG is on course for 2022. “The massive 70 thousand tons topside was lifted onto the hull one module at a time and is now complete. However, construction continues with integration and commissioning activities” declares Roberto Dall’Omo, ENI’s General Manager on the Rovuma Basin project.

ENI discovered the Coral field in Area 4 licence Mozambique in 2012, a year after it encountered the Mamba field in the same basin: Rovuma. It estimates 16Trillion cubic feet estimated recoverable reserves of gas in the former.

The Coral Sul FLNG (meaning Coral South) is one of two projects on the field; farther down the line, the company expects to also develop the reserves in the north of the field under a project christened Coral North. ENI’s partners in Area 4 include ExxonMobil and CNP), Galp, KOGAS and the Mozambican state hydrocarbon company Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos (ENH) E.P.

These same partners are also involved in another project: the 15MMTPA Rovuma LNG facility, a much bigger, onshore plant which will be operated by ExxonMobil. The Final Investment Decision for that project has stalled.

ENI claims that the Coral-Sul FLNG, with a capacity of 3.4Million tons of liquefied gas per year (MMTPA) is the world’s first newly-built deepwater floating liquefaction plant.

It is based on six ultra-deepwater wells in the Coral Field, at a water depth of around 2,000 metres, feeding via a full flexible system the Coral-Sul FLNG.

 

 


Natural Gas Base Price Inches Up in Nigeria, according to the PIB

By Toyin Akinosho

The domestic base price, the price at which Nigerian gas producers are to sell to Power Plants, will be $3.2 per Million British Thermal Units (MMBtu), beginning from January 1, 2021, if the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) is passed into law in its current form.

But the price at which the gas-based industry, comprising companies which produce methanol, fertilizer (urea, ammonia), polypropylene, etc., will purchase natural gas, can be as low as $1.5 per MMbtu, the incoming law says. That price is special and it is calculated from a formula.

Gas users outside the power sector and the gas-based industry will pay at least $0.5 higher than $3.2 per MMbtu, and their cost of purchase will depend on negotiations with their suppliers.

The domestic base price -$3.2per MMBtu- which is specified in the third schedule of the bill, currently being debated at the Nigerian National Assembly, shall be increased every year by $ 0.05 per MMBtu until 2037, when a price of $ 4.00 per MMBtu will apply for that year and future years.

The Midstream and Downstream Regulatory Authority, “may, by regulations, change the domestic base price and the yearly increase) to reflect changed market conditions and supply frameworks”, says the bill, submitted two weeks ago by President Muhammadu Buhari.

“The objective is to establish a fully functioning free market in natural gas for domestic supplies. This is to be achieved through the voluntary supplies. Where insufficient voluntary supplies are occurring, the Authority may increase the domestic base price and, or the yearly increases. At the same time, the Authority shall monitor the gas prices in other major emerging countries and ensure that Nigeria continuous to have a price level for natural gas that is less than the average of these emerging countries in order to promote the non-oil sectors in the Nigerian economy”.

Timipre Sylva, Minister of State for Petroleum, had given hint of the gas pricing framework last August during a conversation with the Nigeran Association of Petroleum Exlorationists (NAPE). The bill, he explained, “will establish a gas base price that is higher than current levels (The current domestic base price is $2.5 er MMbtu)  for producers and this base price will increase over time”.

Sylva said: “This price level should be sufficiently attractive to increase gas production significantly since this gas price will be comparable with gas prices in other emerging economies with considerable gas production.

“The price will be independent of all gas prices for LNG export and is therefore a stable basis for enhanced domestic gas development, regardless of international oil or energy development”.

 


Volkswagen Pushes for Incentives to Join Egypt’s Autogas Plan

By Toyin Akinosho, Publisher

German car maker Volkswagen is asking for tax breaks and localization incentives before it agrees to produce natural gas-powered vehicles in Egypt.

It wants the opportunity to bring in foreign staff to work on the local assembly lines it would use to manufacture the vehicles in North Africa’s largest economy.

If the government gives the nod, the company will produce natural gas -powered versions of Crafter and Caddy 5 vans for the Egyptian market.

Volkswagen has been more enthusiastic to be part of Egypt’s Autogas plan than any other automaker. It announced last year that it was planning to invest in the countrywide effort. Japanese car making giants Toyota and Nissan have also expressed interest, but Nissan has withdrawn, while Toyota is, like Volkswagen, pushing for incentives. Toyota’s plan is to manufacture 240,000 minibuses running on dual fired engines. The Russian car maker Skoda is not in on the local assembly plan. But natural gas-powered versions of its Octavia and Rapid models will be imported into Egypt by local agents.

More than any African country, Egypt is big on domestic use of its natural gas deposits, the third largest in Africa. It holds 76Trillion cubic feet of reserves, less than half of either Nigeria’s or Algeria’s, but it produced 2.3Trillion cubic feet from those tanks in 2019, way higher than Nigeria’s production of 1.74Trillion cubic feet and, more importantly, over 80% of it was for domestic consumption, primarily through the country’s 40,000MWof gas fired electricity supply.

Egypt’s Autogas plan is to convert two million vehicles into dual fired engines that could be fueled by both gasoline and natural gas in the next three years.

Vehice licencing will be conditional on cars being equipped with natural gas engines.

Through the initiative, owners of vehicles over 20 years old will receive low interest loans through Egypt’s MSME Development Agency to purchase new dual-fueled vehicle. Owners of newer vehicles can access zero interest finance to outfit them with new engines.

 

 


Cairo Based East Mediterranean Gas Forum Finally takes Off

By Toyin Akinosho, Publisher

Six of the seven founding states of the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum signed its charter September 22, 2020, marking the official commencement of the body.

The East Mediterranean region has flashed brightly on the global hydrocarbon map in the last ten years, with the discoveries and development of over 50 Trillion of cubic feet of gas off Egypt (Zohr, 30Tcf, 2015, discovered by ENI); Israel (Leviathan, 22Tcf, 2010, discovered by Noble Energy) and Cyprus (Aphrodite, 5Tcf, 2011, discovered by Noble Energy).

Egypt, Greece, Cyprus, Italy, Israel, Jordan, and Palestine have all signed. Palestine was absent and will sign later. France has formally requested to be a member and the United States has registered intention to be a permanent observer. While Turkey is keen, its politics has appeared to rile up some members.

Turkey has been exploring for hydrocarbons in contested areas of the eastern Mediterranean, Cyprus and Greece have argued.

For Egypt, whose capital Cairo is the forum’s headquarters, it was a major step in the ambition to be the region’s energy hub.

The organization will serve as a market platform for natural gas producers, consumers, and transit countries in the region to develop existing resources and develop the infrastructure for future exploitation, in addition to regulating natural gas policies in the region that protect the rights of member states to preserve their resources, the signatories said in a joint statement after the online ceremony.

Member states will exchange information and seismic data studies on potential gas wells and delineate new gas finds that straddle maritime borders. Member states could even get preferential rates on each other’s gas supplies, as well as preferential access to liquefaction facilities, he said.

The forum had a launch meeting in 2019, during which the founding members agreed to move ahead with creating a regional market to develop the eastern Mediterranean’s estimated 122 Trillion cubic feet of gas reserves.

 


Nigeria to Continue Price Control of Natural Gas in the New PIB, Minister Says

By Fred Akanni, Editor in Chief

Producers and consumers of natural gas alike can agree on gas prices on a willing seller willing buyer basis, the Nigerian Minister of State for Petroleum has said.

“However special protections are built in to ensure supply to wholesale customers in strategic sectors which are the power sector, gas-based industries and commercial sectors with significant offtake possibilities”, he declared.

Timipre Sylva told a webinar hosted by the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE) last weekend that the proposed Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), expected to be engaged at the National Assembly within a few weeks, “establishes an attractive fiscal framework for gas that allows low royalty and corporate income tax and a variety of small taxes and levies.”

The bill, he explained, “will establish a gas base price that is higher than current levels for producers and this base price will increase over time. This price level should be sufficiently attractive to increase gas production significantly since this gas price will be comparable with gas prices in other emerging economies with considerable gas production.

“The price will be independent of all gas prices for LNG export and is therefore a stable basis for enhanced domestic gas development, regardless of international oil or energy development”.

Sylva said the proposed bill also will establish a flexible and comprehensive framework for midstream gas development. “Gas pipelines and gas processing plants can be built on own account of the investor. In addition, a midstream gas infrastructure fund Is being proposed in the PIB with the narrow focus of unleashing private investment to process gas and transport by pipelines”.

The webinar was part of the series of engagement by the 7,000-member strong NAPE, the largest umbrella group of technical professionals in Africa, with industry regulators and policy makers. NAPE has hosted, since April, Mele Kyari, Group Managing Director of the state hydrocarbon company NNPC, Sarki Auwallu, Chief Executive Officer Department of Petroleum Resources, the regulatory agency and Timipre Sylva, Minister of State For Petroleum Resources.

 


Cameroon Exported 6Billion Cubic Feet of LNG in Five Months

Cameroon shipped 158,000Tons of liquefied natural gas in the first five months of 2020, according to the National Hydrocarbons Corporation Société Nationale des Hydrocarbures (SNH) du Cameroun.

Converted to standard cubic feet, the volume is 6.1Billion cubic feet of gas, or 6.2Trillon British Thermal Units (BTU).

The molecules were exported in seven cargoes to markets in Asia, notably India, China, and Taiwan, an SNH report indicated.

Since 2018, Cameroon has been producing LNG from the Sanaga South field, northwest of the coastal town of Kribi in the northern part of the Douala basin.

The gas is liquefied in a floating facility, Hilli Episeyo, located off Kribi. The capacity is 1.2Million tonnes per year.

Small as it is, Hilli Episeyo Floating LNG project is the first floating natural gas liquefaction plant in the world to be built as a result of the conversion of an LNG carrier.

The project is operated by Perenco, the French-British independent, with the state hydrocarbon company as partner. The sole offtaker is Gazprom Marketing & Trading, a unit of Russian energy giant Gazprom.

Output increased in 2019 compared with 2018. In 2019 Cameroon shipped 19 loads of LNG (7 more than in 2018) to Asia.

 

 


Egypt to Triple Natural Gas Stations, as it Converts 1.8Million Cars

The Egyptian government plans to triple the number of natural gas filling stations in the country from 190 to 556 in 2020.

It is part of the five-year national programme, announced earlier this year, to convert 1.8Million cars to run on both natural gas and gasoline.

Ultimately, President Abdel Fatah el-Sisi has said, Vehice licencing will be conditional on cars being equipped with natural gas engines.

Through the initiative, owners of vehicles over 20 years old will receive low interest loans through MSME Development Agency to purchase new dual-fueled vehicle. Owners of newer vehicles can access zero interest finance to outfit them with new engines.

A key player in the government’s implementation of this programme is the Egyptian International Gas Technology (Gastec), a joint stock company affiliated to the Egyptian Ministry of Petroleum, established on June 1996 pursuant to the Egyptian Investment Law # 8 of year 1997 on the Investment Guarantees and incentives with 60% participation of Egyptian companies and 40% of ENI International B.V.

Gastec runs 100 out of the 190 natural gas filling stations currently in the country. It plans to open 23 new natural gas filling stations and five integrated natural gas and gasoline stations in 2020.

Manufacturers in the country have shown interest in the scheme. Toyota agreed to manufacture 240,000 natural gas-powered minibuses. Volkswagen said it was keen to produce natural gas cars locally. 11 global auto companies were approached by The Arab Organisation for industrialization to partner on replacing diesel buses with natural gas-powered vehicles.

The national conversion project follows up on a 2009 scheme that sought to replace 70,000 old taxicabs with zero- interest loan new vehicles fitted with dual fuel engines

Although the programme fits into the standard Egyptian government’s effort to utilize natural gas in the country, officials say that this scheme is targeted at ameliorating the cost of living. Whereas a litter of 80-octane gasoline, (the cheapest) fetches $0.39, the same volume of natural gas can be purchased for $0.21, at any of Egypt’s filling stations.


Where is the Gas Market, in Africa Itself?

Egypt couldn’t get enough natural gas, before COVID-19 intruded, to fire its power turbines, feed its methanol plants and heat the boilers in its industries.

A 30 Trillion cubic feet (30Tcf) discovery, made five years ago, in 2,000 metres of water, is already producing over 2Billion cubic feet a day for the local economy.

That kind of absorptive capacity is not comparable with anywhere else in Africa.

South Africa is a potentially large market for gas, but we won’t find out until the country, boldly takes actions, to invite inward investment that allow natural gas inflow into the economy.

That not many countries in Africa can consume even midsize volumes of these light hydrocarbon molecules, is the reason why the continent’s highly populated countries are forever scurrying around the globe looking to export either by LNG or piped gas.

We’ve been tracking the domestic gas markets all over Africa for over five years and what we get is creeping increases, not a surge.

Construction is underway at the 13Million Tonnes per Annum (MMMTPA) Mozambican LNG, the 8MMTPA Nigerian LNG Train 7 and the 600MMscf/d ANOH gas projects, because the Financial Investment Decisions were taken on these projects last year.

We are inclined to single out the ANOH project for salutation because it is dedicated to the domestic market, but pulling off the deals for those two large LNG projects are also, in themselves, the stuff of true grit.

Let us take a survey of what’s exciting in African Gas. Click here.

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Natural Gas at a Turning Point: Notes From Gas Cartel Workshop

Increased cooperation between producers and buyers, digitalisation across the value-chain, investment in infrastructure and research and development in innovative technologies will play a pivotal role in positioning natural gas as a fuel of choice for the 21st century global economy.
These were some of the key messages of the distinguished line-up of international gas industry leaders and panellists who participated in the 3rd GECF Annual Workshop on Promotion of Natural Gas Demand.

The widely attended workshop, held virtually, was organised by the GECF (Gas Exporting Countries Forum) at a critical time for the gas industry which is facing unprecedented levels of complexity and market upheaval brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and persistently mild winter. In spite of this, the speakers opined that natural gas is the fuel that can achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the objectives of Paris Agreement as its credentials far outweigh that of other energy sources such as coal and oil.

Welcoming the audience, Yury Sentyurin the GECF Secretary General, outlined the salient points that leverage gas industry’s growth and highlighted the Forum’s efforts in promotion of natural gas, in line with the GECF Statute, the GECF Long-Term Strategy, and the Declaration of Malabo at the conclusion the 5th GECF Summit of Heads of States and Government, all of which guide the GECF to advocate for the versatility of natural gas based on fair pricing policies and a level playing field, amongst other factors.

“We recognise the vital role that natural gas has to play in energy transition and sustainable development as we strive for energy security for all nations. Now more than ever, there must be a spirit of collective collaboration amongst industry players in order to sustain existing markets, and more so to create new promising ones,” said Mr. Sentyurin.

“We also recognise the crucial role of digitalisation as we strive to reduce cost across the natural gas value chain and enhance the competitiveness of natural gas.”

The Secretary General noted that the workshop was instrumental in increasing awareness of natural gas within the framework of global energy security and provided potential strategies to promote natural gas demand, some of which include the crucial role of advocacy for natural gas, government policies that need to encourage natural gas utilisation, cooperation amongst market stakeholders, the role of technological disruptions, importance of robust pricing mechanisms to secure sustainability of supply, investment in infrastructure in consumer countries, and other actions that will be studied further in the GECF Secretariat for future actions.

The keynote speakers included Joe M. Kang, the President of International Gas Union (IGU), N. J. Ayuk, Executive Chairman of African Energy Chamber Magdy Galal, Chairman of Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS), and Shamsairi Mohd Ibrahim, Vice President LNG Marketing & Trading of Petronas.

The session was followed by two immersive panel sessions.

In his intervention, Mr. Kang referred to the messages published in the IGU’s latest report, ‘Gas Technology and Innovation for a Sustainable Future’, and focused his remarks on the potential that technology can offer in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving energy access. He also highlighted the urgency of investment decisions to be made if this potential is to be realised.

Mr. Ayuk thanked the GECF for bringing the natural gas agenda to Africa, particularly by hosting the Forum’s Summit in Equatorial Guinea, and thereby in Africa for the first time, in 2019. He also appreciated the GECF’s work in promoting further cooperation with African countries to use gas as the core source of energy in the development programmes and climate change policies, in delivering energy to the continent’s consumers, more broadly in alleviating energy poverty. Mr. Ayuk emphasised the crucial need for development of the gas industry in Africa through investment in infrastructure and industries.

Following this, Dr. Galal pointed out the steps taken by the Egyptian government in stemming the decline in consumption in Egypt due to the COVID-19 impact, which has seen a drop in demand by 13% between January and May 2020 compared to last year. According to him, whilst the government lowered the price of gas in the industrial sector, more incentives needed to be provided by it, especially in the upstream activity by providing flexible terms in the concession agreements. Over the long-term, he said, serious actions should be considered by the gas industry in terms of adapting new strategies to ensure sustainability of the business. This might include significant structural and organisational changes.

Mr. Ibrahim of Petronas pointed out that the rising number of LNG importing countries from merely 15 in 2005 to 39 countries in 2019 shows that LNG is well positioned to prosper as the most significant source of energy in the future. He also highlighted some creative LNG solutions including LNG bunkering, virtual pipeline system, small-scale break-bulking and vertical integration that will create new and niche markets. Furthermore, Mr Ibrahim stated that the value of natural gas should be preserved while creating a level-playing field between producers and consumers.

The GECF Gas Market Analysis Department Head Ms Mahdjouba Belaifa then spoke about the importance of this annual workshop for the industry and the GECF’s role in aligning many voices as one voice. She explained that in the previous two workshops the key identified areas for natural gas were held with a focus on cost competitiveness, policy advocacy, importance of long-term oil indexed contracts for the security of supply, development of infrastructure, and new business models. She highlighted some of the proposed actions after the workshops such as reinforcement of dialogue, role of R&D, fair access to technology, engagement of policymakers in advocacy for fair policies towards natural gas, the role of social media to sensitise various segments of the public, as well as digital technologies to improve productivity.

In the first panel discussion, ‘Improving the competitiveness of natural gas through Cost Optimisation and Digitalisation’, the participants discussed a number of themes affecting the global gas and LNG markets. Moderated by Stuart Elliot, Senior Writer of European Gas & LNG at S&P Global Platts, joining this debate were Robbin Mills, CEO of Qamar Energy and Vincent Demoury, General Delegate of International Group of LNG Importers (GIIGNL).

Mr. Mills focused his views on the Middle East region, where he mentioned that gas demand growth is expected to shift from power to the industrial sector in the long-term due to increasing renewables deployment and improved efficiency. As it relates to a gas surplus in the region, this could bring several opportunities, including new lighter industries, intra-regional export projects (gas, LNG and electricity), enhanced oil recovery, hydrogen production, and expansion of e-vehicles, which will support a growth in electricity demand.

Mr. Demoury held the view that although LNG has been growing at a healthy pace over the last few years it faces several challenges in a post-COVID-19 world, including economic growth, volatility, affordability, and environmental policies. As such, there is a need that producers, consumers, and policymakers work together to develop methodologies and invest in technology for decarbonising the gas industry and innovation to improve its competitiveness and sustainability.

The second panel, ‘Adapting to new gas market realities in a post-COVID-19 situation: Low Prices and Weakened Demand’, was moderated by Nikolay Kozhanov, Research Associate Professor at the Gulf Studies Centre at the Qatar University, and featured the presentations of Mr Ayuk, as well as Sergei Komlev, Head of Contract Structuring and Pricing Directorate from Gazprom Export and Mike Fulwood, Senior Research Fellow at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies.

Mr. Fulwood maintained that while there are opportunities for growth in gas demand in Sub-Saharan Africa and emerging Asian LNG markets, gas will continue to face competition from coal in Asia. On the other hand, Mr. Sergei drew the audience’s attention to spot prices which he believed tended to overreact to even minor market imbalances while in his opinion oil-indexation provided a more stable gas price.

NJ Ayuk reiterated the issue of lack of infrastructure in Africa, in particular, a deficit in regasification facilities. He signalled out the huge potential of gas monetisation in Africa, where gas industry development will trigger social and economic growth and create jobs.

Throughout the workshop, regular Q&A sessions took place whilst a few real-time polls were also conducted.

The Annual Workshop on Promotion of Natural Gas Demand is a premier industry event and is designed to empower professionals and observers in the field of gas market to gain a deeper understanding of the market conditions, look at the common challenges,  and think collectively on ways to promote natural gas to enhance its prospects as the fuel of choice for sustainable development.

This report was written by the public relations department of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum

 


Ghana’s Gas Master Plan is “Outdated”, Critic Claims, and “No Longer Fit for Purpose”

Ghana’s four-year-old Gas Master Plan has been dragged into the national conversation around whether the country’s Gas Company should be subsumed into the flagship state hydrocarbon company, the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), as a subsidiary.
“The infrastructure plan is obsolete and needs revision”, submits Ernest Owusu Bempah, a public policy analyst, “and none of the supply and demand data in the plan are applicable.”
Mr. Bempah was responding to a presentation by the Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP), a policy think tank that is highly revered in the West African country. ACEP had, in that presentation, revisited the lingering debate over whether the Ghana Gas Company should be, like in the Nigerian model, a subsidiary of GNPC or, like in the Egyptian model, be an entity by itself.
But it is the submission that Bempah makes about the Master Plan that the Africa Oil+Gas Report considers most crucial. Part of his summary:
• Gas Master Plans (GMPs) are meant to address two issues: Design Optimization and Operational Optimization.
• The current Gas Master Plan addresses only the former. Ghana Gas Team and their counterparts from Trinidad and Tobago have addressed the latter. Furthermore, a GMP is also a working document, which requires regular update. None of the supply and demand data in the GMP are applicable.
• The infrastructure plan is also obsolete, and needs revision. However, some of the recommendations and procedures are still worth considering. It will also require an expanded scope to include operational optimization
• Ghana Gas’ core business has three key components – Daily operations, which takes about 80% of the life-cycle time, periodic Maintenance which takes about 10% of the time and occasional expansion which takes the remaining 10% of the life cycle time.
• So, Ghana Gas’ key job description is to deliver gas for power generation for Ghanaians, through reliable and uninterrupted operations. Not necessarily expansion projects.
• Ghana’s Gas industry still riddled with legacy that; and Ghana Gas is owed the most by sister agencies. This is a very unusual circumstance by any standard. ACEP should be providing ideas to address this recurring legacy problem in the sector, instead of espousing short sighted band-aid solutions.
• It is important not to base lasting policy decisions, including Institutional Arrangements, just on ability to Finance new facilities or expansion of existing ones or someone’s Balance Sheet as suggested by ACEP.
• The 4 year-old GMP is hardly fit for purpose and requires an update and therefore cannot be used as bases for recommendation by ACEP.

The full article by Mr Bempah was published in The Ghanaweb and the June 2020 edition of Africa Oil+Gas Report.

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