Markets

Sino-Russian ties have warmed considerably under Xi Jinping and there is some synergy between Moscow's 'Pivot to Asia' and Beijing's 'Belt and Road Initiative', finds Hugo Brennan, Asia analyst, Verisk Maplecroft. Hence, the trade mission of U.S. President Trump to China might not be overly successful when it comes to selling US LNG. “The economics of US supplies to China are challenging,” he warned, suggesting “Chinese LNG buyers might find cheaper deals elsewhere.”

China and India will continue to lead world nuclear growth as their impetus is expected to offset declines in nuclear capacity in the United States, Japan, and countries in Europe. According to the EIA’s International Energy Outlook 2017 (IEO2017), global nuclear capacity will grow at an average annual rate of 1.6% from 2016 through 2040.

Fourth quarter revenue came in below target at Siemens, Europe’s biggest industrial conglomerate, while earnings dropped 10% to €2.2 billion – largely caused by its Power & Gas (PG) division and higher costs at its Digital unit. “For years now we’ve been seeing a steady decline in orders for large turbines owing to a booming renewable segment,” CEO Joe Kaeser told investors in Munich, announcing steps to “restructure and resize the business.”

Oversupply of LNG throughout Asia is boosting spot trade – a trend that has been strengthening the case for smaller and more distributed LNG receiving terminals for combined-cycle gas generation. Such projects, according Jim Schnieders, Black & Veatch’s Country Manager Indonesia, give operators “greater flexibility to manage peak and off-peak grid demands while advances in technology also allow a scale up for baseload generation.”

The UK’s “Big Six” energy companies may soon become five, if the agreed merger between SSE and Npower will be permitted by the regulator. SSE, the UK’s second largest energy supplier, confirmed it wants to combine its British domestic business with Npower, forming a new company.

Texas LNG, the export project under development in Brownsville, has confirmed it is taking part in a two day U.S. presidential trade mission to China that started today. Led by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, the mission is intended to help promote U.S. exports to China which is why top executive from General Electric, Honeywell and Westinghouse, amongst others, are also accompanying the President.

Pemex, Mexico’s national oil company, has made the biggest onshore find of oil and associated natural gas in 15 years in the eastern state of Veracuz. The find near the Ixachi-1 well, believed to hold some 1.5 billion barrels of oil equivalent, will help reduce Mexico’s reliance on importing LNG and pipeline gas from the United States.

Uncertainty about future battery technology, government policies, consumer preferences make it difficult to predict the long-term effects that both battery electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles (EVs) may have on worldwide energy consumption. In 2015, sales reached 1.2 million worldwide which is less than 1% of all vehicles used globally, but this level could almost double by 2040, according to EIA analysis.

Whitehall’s recently published Clean Growth Strategy has highlighted a desire to build and extend heat networks across the UK. Helping to turn this aim into reality, AECOM, commissioned by the Energy Technology Institute (ETI), has mapped eight solutions that could result in a capital cost reduction of up to 40% for heat networks in the UK, saving up to £30 billion of investment.

In Ireland, Germany and the United Kingdom, the share of wind and solar in total generation will exceed 25% over the next five years. Come 2050, the International Energy Agency (IEA) expects that by 2050 up to 32% of electricity generated will be variable, putting greater stress on reliability.

Demand for natural gas in Spain has ended October with an 8% growth, reaching approximately 29,300 GWh. In the year to date, natural gas demand was up 9%, largely due to the industrial sector which accounts for two thirds of the national demand, Enagas figures show.

India is at the forefront of the shift toward a profitable renewables industry in Asia, as the country’s solar belt has the potential to supply an estimated 749 GW of power generation capacity. In 2017, solar tariffs in came in lower than what it costs India’s largest utility NTPC to produce electricity from coal.

Making use of its regained powers to certificate pipelines, the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has approved five new natural gas pipelines in the Northeast in October, the first projects to be approved since February. FERC regained its quorum in August after the Senate confirmed two new commissioners – Neil Chatterjee and Robert F. Powelson.

More active drilling rigs and higher initial production rates per well in the Haynesville Shale region have pushed up marketed gas production to 6.9 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in September. This marks a new high for Haynesville shale gas production after output hovered around 6.0 Bcf/d for the previous three years, according to figures by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).

US Energy Secretary Rick Perry sees Sub-Saharan Africa as a new export market for America’s growing shale gas production. At the Africa Oil Week in Cape Town, Perry discussed with government officials from the Ivory Coast, Nigeria and South Africa about the potential to use US LNG as a fuel for decentralized power plants in a bid to improve electrification levels.