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US Senate passes landmark bill to tackle climate

  • Market: Biofuels, Coal, Crude oil, Electricity, Emissions, Hydrogen, Natural gas, Oil products
  • 07/08/22

The US Senate has voted to approve a budget bill that includes an estimated $369bn in spending for climate change and energy security, putting Democrats on the verge of enacting the largest climate bill in US history.

The Senate passed the bill today in a 51-50 vote, with vice president Kamala Harris delivering the tie-breaking vote. The vote marks the culmination of more than a year of on-again, off-again negotiations — which were revived just two weeks ago — to persuade all 50 senators who caucus with Democrats to vote for a budget with substantial climate-related spending.

"This bill will kickstart the era of affordable clean energy in America," Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) said. "It's a game changer. It's a turning point, and it's been a long time in coming."

Over the last year, the measure was pared down from initial plans to spend $3.5 trillion on a range of social programs and climate spending, in large part to meet demands from US senator Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia). The Senate approved the bill after an all-night "vote-a-rama" where lawmakers exempted private equity firms from a new 15pc minimum tax on corporations that earn more than $1bn/yr. The US House of Representatives intends to take up the bill later this week.

The budget bill is President Joe Biden's last realistic chance before the approaching midterm elections to use his party's unified control of Congress to approve a major climate bill. Biden has set a goal for the US to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50pc below 2005 levels by 2030. Outside analyses have found the measure would put the US on track for a 40pc reduction.

Republicans have attacked the budget package as being out of touch with the priorities of the US public. Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) argues the bill would not adequately deal with inflation, while raising taxes on corporations and "giving rich people money to buy $80,000 electric cars."

The bill, dubbed the Inflation Reduction Act, aims to support the use of renewable energy, carbon capture, biofuels, energy efficiency and other clean energy efforts by offering tax credits, grants and other support over the next decade. The bill would also direct billions of dollars to nuclear power, clean energy manufacturers, energy efficiency and electric vehicles.

That incentive structure aligns with the demands of Manchin, who wanted to use the bill to spur "innovation, not elimination." Manchin successfully stripped out an earlier program that would have penalized electric utilities that failed to transition to clean sources. Manchin also was able to negotiate for continued federal oil and gas leasing, the revival of a major lease sale in the US Gulf of Mexico and a side deal for a separate bill intended to speed energy permitting.

The bill would provide a short-term extension, through 2024, of a suite of expiring federal tax credits worth about $70bn that benefit wind, solar, biofuels and other energy sources. From 2025-2031, it would switch to a technology-neutral approach that would spend nearly $65bn on clean electricity and biofuels.

The measure includes other novel programs, including an estimated $13bn for a first-time tax credit for clean hydrogen, $30bn for existing nuclear power plants, $3bn for expanded carbon capture support and a sustainable aviation fuel credit expected to cost $49mn — a tiny amount by Washington standards — from 2023-25.

Democrats used the measure to push through an overhaul to federal oil and gas leasing, including raising minimum royalty rates to 16.7pc from 12.5pc, higher minimum bids and other policies meant to deter speculative leasing. Another provision will impose in 2023 a 16.4¢/bl tax on oil that would pay for hazardous waste cleanups under the Superfund program. One of the parts of the bill closely watched by the oil and gas sector is a first-time fee on excess methane emissions set to start at $900/metric tonne in 2024.


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18/07/24

Australia’s Santos delays FID on Dorado oil field

Australia’s Santos delays FID on Dorado oil field

Sydney, 18 July (Argus) — Australian independent Santos will now target a 2025 final investment decision (FID) on its 80pc-owned Dorado oil project in Western Australia (WA), after deferring it in 2022 and last year indicating a 2024 decision. Dorado's 10pc stakeholder Australian independent Carnarvon Energy said the joint venture (JV) will evaluate a lower capital expenditure (capex) option by reducing capacity below the previously guided 75,000-100,000 b/d and phasing development wells, targeting front-end engineering and design re-entry later in 2024 "once the JV secures the best option vessel or hull". Carnarvon said overall capex prior to the first oil from the offshore field will now be below its previous guidance of $2bn. Dorado JV's other shareholder is Taiwan's state-owned CPC with 10pc. Santos reported higher April-June oil and gas output than the previous quarter on 18 July, with production from the 7.8mn t/yr Gladstone LNG (GLNG) in Queensland state up on a year earlier. It produced 22.2mn bl of oil equivalent (boe), up by 2pc from 21.8mn boe during January-March because of the return of WA's Devil Creek gas plant following a maintenance shutdown, as well as higher liquids production following cyclone-related disconnections during January-March. But output was 3pc below the year-earlier figure of 22.8mn boe. GLNG is on track to swap 18PJ (480mn m³) of gas into the domestic market over April-September 2024, Santos said, with the project maintaining its guidance of around 6mn t of LNG shipped for the year to 31 December. Production at the 6.9mn t/yr ExxonMobil-operated PNG LNG in Papua New Guinea (PNG) was down on January-March with natural decline at the Hides field, partially offset by high compression reliability from the Santos-operated Gobe and Kutubu fields. Finalisation of drilling and completion of operations activities at PNG LNG's Angore C1 and C2 wells has been achieved with both wells perforated for production. Angore project teams are now starting tie-in execution with production of 350mn ft³/d (10mn m³/d) expected during October-December. The $4.6bn Barossa backfill project in the Timor Sea is 77pc complete, Santos said, with pipeline testing completed in June and on track for its first gas in July-September 2025 within its cost guidance. Santos' 1.7mn t/yr Moomba carbon capture and storage project in South Australia is mechanically complete and on track to raise injection of Cooper basin gas plant carbon dioxide during July-December. Santos maintained its 2024 production guidance of 84mn-90mn boe and will release its half-year results on 21 August. By Tom Major Santos results Apr-Jun '24 Jan-Mar '24 Apr-Jun '23 y-o-y % ± q-o-q % ± Volumes ('000 t) GLNG (100pc) 1,338 1,649 1,263 6 -19 Darwin LNG (100pc) 0 0 134 100 0 PNG LNG (100pc) 2,001 2,009 2,065 -3 0 Santos' equity share of LNG sales 1,264 1,352 1,333 -5 -7 Financial LNG sales revenue ($mn) 762 901 838 -9 -15 Total sales revenue ($mn) 1,313 1,398 1,336 -2 -6 LNG average realised price ($/mn Btu) 11 13 12 -4 -10 Oil price ($/bl) 89 89 83 7 0 Source: Santos Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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Climate finance goal is top priority: Cop 29 president


17/07/24
News
17/07/24

Climate finance goal is top priority: Cop 29 president

London, 17 July (Argus) — Addressing and aiming to finalise a new climate finance goal will be the "centrepiece" of the UN Cop 29 climate summit, the event's president, Mukhtar Babayev said today. Cop 29 is scheduled to take place in Baku, Azerbaijan, on 11-22 November. Babayev — officially Cop president-designate until the summit begins — is the country's ecology and natural resources minister. The Cop 29 presidency's "top negotiating priority is agreeing a fair and ambitious" new climate finance goal — known as the new collective quantified goal (NCQG) — Babayev wrote in a letter to countries and other stakeholders. He had previously been clear that finance will be a key topic at Cop 29. The NCQG represents the next stage of the $100bn/yr of climate finance that developed countries agreed to deliver to developing countries over 2020-25. But much is still up for discussion and must be finalised at Cop 29, including the amounts involved and timeframe. Babayev noted "disagreements", flagging that "the politically complex issues will not be solved by negotiators alone". The Cop 29 presidency has appointed Egyptian environment minister Yasmine Fouad and Danish climate minister Dan Jorgensen to lead consultations on the NCQG, Babayev said today. Announcements on ministerial pairs for other issues are expected in September, he said. "Adopting the NCQG will be a pivotal moment for whether parties can make progress on the means of implementation and support, and the Paris Agreement more broadly", Babayev said. Climate finance needs a "substantial increase", and the presidency "will spare no efforts to act as a bridge between the developed and developing nations", he added. Babayev also called for more financial pledges to the loss and damage fund , which countries agreed at Cop 27 to establish, to address the unavoidable effects of climate change in vulnerable countries. He encouraged all countries to submit national climate plans — known as nationally determined contributions (NDCs) — aligned with the Paris agreement, which seeks to limit the rise in global temperature to "well below" 2°C above pre-industrial levels, and preferably to 1.5°C. "The Cop 29 presidency will lead by example", Babayev said. Azerbaijan and its "Troika" partners, Cop 28 host the UAE and Cop 30 host Brazil, are working on 1.5°C-aligned NDCs, he said. The Article 6 mechanism of the Paris agreement, which relates to international carbon trading, will also be a priority at Cop 29, Babayev said. The presidency "is committed to finalising the operationalisation of Article 6 this year", he added. Cop 28 ended without a deal on Article 6, but "in recent months… there was clear will to advance work" on the topic, Babayev said. By Georgia Gratton Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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TotalEnergies agrees to sell stake in Nigeria SPDC JV


17/07/24
News
17/07/24

TotalEnergies agrees to sell stake in Nigeria SPDC JV

London, 17 July (Argus) — TotalEnergies has agreed to sell its 10pc stake in Nigeria's SPDC onshore oil and gas joint venture to Africa-focused independent Chappal Energies for $860mn. Other partners in the SPDC joint venture comprise operator Shell with a 30pc interest, state-owned NNPC with 55pc and Italy's Eni with 5pc. Shell agreed to sell its stake in the joint venture to a consortium of five companies for up to $2.4bn in January. That deal remains subject to a due diligence process by regulators. The joint venture's assets include around 50 producing oil and gas fields across 18 licences. TotalEnergies will transfer its 10pc interest and all its rights and obligations in 15 of the licences to Chappal. These licences mainly produce oil and netted TotalEnergies around 14,000 b/d of oil equivalent last year. The other three licences — OML 23, OML 28 and OML 77 — mainly produce gas and account for 40pc of supply to the Nigeria LNG (NLNG) joint venture, in which TotalEnergies has a 15pc stake. TotalEnergies will also transfer its 10pc stake in these licences to Chappal but it will retain "full economic interest" in them, it said. The divestment "allows us to focus our onshore Nigeria presence solely on the integrated gas value chain and is designed to ensure the continuity of feed gas supply to Nigeria LNG in the future", said TotalEnergies' exploration and production president Nicolas Terraz. Chappal specialises in taking over and operating mature fields. It agreed a deal in November last year to acquire Norwegian firm Equinor's stake in Nigeria's OML 128 block, a transaction that was finally approved earlier this month . The company said last month that it is contemplating issuing a bond to raise up to $450mn to help it finance acquisitions. By Jon Mainwaring Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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China’s CNOOC gets record gas results from Bohai well


17/07/24
News
17/07/24

China’s CNOOC gets record gas results from Bohai well

Singapore, 17 July (Argus) — Chinese state-controlled oil firm CNOOC has achieved what it described as record gas production results from a test well at its Longkou 7-1 (LK7-1) oil and gas field in the eastern region of China's Bohai Sea. The LK7-1-1 exploration well could produce almost 1mn m³/d of natural gas and about 210m³/d (1,320 b/d) of crude oil, the company said on 15 July. The former set a record for natural gas tested productivity in the Bohai Sea, according to CNOOC. China produced 123.6bn m³ of natural gas in January-June, up by 6pc from a year earlier, according to the National Bureau of Statistics of China (NBS). The country produced 4.15mn b/d of crude in 2023, NBS data showed. The potential output adds to CNOOC's reserves and production in the Bohai Sea, which stood at 1.97mn b/d of oil equivalent (boe/d) and 599,847 boe/d as of the end of 2023, according to CNOOC. The region represents 29pc of the company's total reserves and approximately 32pc of its production. CNOOC, along with other state-controlled firms like PetroChina and Sinopec, dominates China's domestic oil and gas production. CNOOC has also separately started production at an oilfield offshore China. The Wushi 23-5 oilfield development project — located in the Beibu Gulf of the South China Sea — is expected to produce light crude, and achieve peak production of 18,100 boe/d in 2026. "The project will realise full-process recovery and utilisation of the associated gas through integrated natural gas treatment," the company said on 1 July. CNOOC in November 2023 started production at its Bozhong 19-6 condensate gas field in the Bohai bay. The gas field is currently producing an estimated 37,500 boe/d, exceeding an initial expectation of peak production of about 37,000 boe/d, the company said on 11 July. CNOOC in March 2023 discovered the Bozhong 26-6 field with over 100mn t of oil equivalent reserves, also in the Bohai Sea. By Joey Chan Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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EU must review 'overly ambitious' H2 targets: Audit


17/07/24
News
17/07/24

EU must review 'overly ambitious' H2 targets: Audit

Hamburg, 17 July (Argus) — The EU needs a "reality check" on "overly ambitious targets" for renewable hydrogen production and imports, the European Court of Auditors (ECA) has said. The European Commission's RePowerEU targets of producing 10mn t/yr renewable hydrogen by 2030 and importing the same amount were based on "political will" rather than "a robust analysis," the ECA said in a report on EU renewable hydrogen policy. The bloc is "unlikely to meet" the targets "based on available information from member states and industry". Some industry participants have for a long time criticised the EU goals as unrealistic . In a response to the ECA's report, the commission said it "acknowledges the challenges" associated with reaching these "aspirational targets". The commission said it will "assess whether the aspirational targets can be reached," but noted it "cannot commit to any update at this stage". It said the underlying objectives "are still valid" and that "a downward review of the targets" could increase uncertainties for investors. But earlier this year, an assessment in which the commission set out scenarios for the energy sector anticipated much lower domestic renewable hydrogen production of around 3mn t/yr by 2030 . The commission told Argus at the time that the RePowerEU projections for 2030 would be reviewed once member states have submitted updated national and energy climate plans (NECPs). These were due by the end of June, but only a few member states submitted them on time . Responding to the ECA report, the commission said it would accept a recommendation to review its hydrogen strategy more broadly — including incentive mechanisms, the prioritisation of funds and the role of imports compared with domestic production — noting it would take the NECPs into account for this. EU funding could amount to €18.8bn in 2021-27, based on the ECA's estimates. But the commission itself "does not have a full overview of needs or of the public funding available," the ECA said. Funding opportunities are "scattered between several programmes," which makes it "difficult for companies to determine the type of funding best suited for a given project," it said. The ECA acknowledged that progress has been made on key regulatory areas, including a definition of renewable hydrogen. But the body notes that this took a long time, leading to investment decisions for projects being delayed. By Stefan Krumpelmann Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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