Markets

Steep rise in the deployment and use of new Floating Regasification and Storage Units (FSRUs) – notably in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa – will substantially increase the supply of natural gas for decentralised power generation projects worldwide. From 2019 onwards, Energy Aspects anticipates the deployment of three to four new FSRUs per year, with a combined LNG import capacity of some 12-15mtpa, as “the maximum level of uptake.”

Worldwide markets for battery energy storage systems (BESS) are expected to grow exponentially due to its grid, generation, and consumer-side applications – reaching more than 14 GW by 2020, up from about 1.5 GW in 2015, according to GlobalData analysis. The United States is leading the BESS market followed by Japan, Germany and China.

Falling natural gas and renewable energy prices have altered the fuel mix for power generation over the past ten years. The shift away from coal due to cheaper competing energy sources, not from regulation, yields economic benefits, argues Philip Rossetti, analyst at the American Action Forum.

The 28 member states of the European Union collectively used 7% more gas in 2016, compared with 2015, according to gas lobby group Eurogas.

Algeria's energy minister will seek more investment from European Union states and discuss the renewal of long-term gas supply contracts with EU members during talks this week in Brussels, according to the ministry.

Global traded LNG volumes rose 5% last year to reach 258 million tonnes, according to a new report from the International Gas Union (IGU).

US gas storage capacity increased slightly in 2016, according to the US Energy Information Agency, after a couple of years of marginal falls (see chart).

Singapore Exchange (SGX) and broker Tullett Prebon have launched an LNG spot index for Dubai, Kuwait and India (known as the DKI Sling), which should enhance price discovery and risk management in one of the fastest-growing regions for LNG spot trading, according to SGX.

Royal Dutch Shell plans to double the capacity of its LNG import facility at Hazira on India's west coast to 10 million tonnes a year, a top company executive said on March 31st.

An ice-breaking tanker docked for the first time at Russia's Arctic port of Sabetta to test a new route that could open the ice-bound Arctic Ocean to ships carrying LNG, including from the prolific Yamal peninsular.

A new report from the Partnership for Affordable Clean Energy (PACE) highlights the positive impact gas hedging is having in protecting electricity customers from price volatility over the long term.

The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) says growing LNG trade could support the development of an Asian LNG benchmark.

The world's biggest LNG buyers are clubbing together in an attempt to secure more flexible supply contracts in their negotiations with producers. Flexibility is becoming critical for many LNG buyers, as the rise of solar capacity makes consumption of LNG more seasonal.

Shell says its QGC joint venture in the Australian state of Queensland is to drill up to 161 additional wells - a move that enables further supply for both domestic customers and exports. The announcement comes just over a week after Australia’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull threatened to curb LNG exports unless big producers did not provide more gas for the domestic market.

Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) is launching its first-ever US LNG futures contract in May, as exports from the US begin to rise sharply.