Central Petroleum signs Australian NT gas supply deal

  • Market: Electricity, Natural gas
  • 12/04/24

Australian independent Central Petroleum has announced a gas supply agreement with Northern Territory (NT) government-owned utility Power and Water Corporation (PWC) to the end of 2024.

The Mereenie gas project will supply 8.6PJ (230mn m³) to PWC, which is struggling for supplies from Italian energy firm Eni's Blacktip field offshore the NT that supplies the NT's gas-fired power generation and to private-sector customers, Central said on 12 April.

The lack of oversupply in the NT, Australia's smallest jurisdiction by population, means insufficient flows exist to operate the Jemena-operated 90 TJ/d (2.4mn m³/d) Northern gas pipeline linking the NT and Queensland state.

Mereenie has effectively curtailed production by 10-15 TJ/d, Central said, but it expects tail gas from Australian independent Santos' offshore Bayu-Undan field to fall in the coming months, enabling Mereenie to increase supplies.

Bayu-Undan exported its final cargo through the 3.7mn t/yr Darwin LNG (DLNG) late last year, ahead of preparatory works for backfill through Santos' delayed Barossa project that is currently 70pc complete. DLNG was supplying about 25-35 TJ/d to domestic customers in the NT last month from the depleting Bayu-Undan.

A unit of Australia's Macquarie Bank owns 50pc of Mereenie in the NT's onshore Amadeus basin, with operator Central holding 25pc, while 17.5pc is controlled by upstream firm New Zealand Oil and Gas and the remaining 7.5pc by domestic independent Cue Energy.

Blacktip started production in 2009 and has an agreement with PWC for an initial 23 PJ/yr, increasing to 37 PJ/yr or nearly 750PJ across its production life of 25 years, which means it should produce up until 2034.


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27/05/24

US against EU push to censure Iran for nuclear activity

US against EU push to censure Iran for nuclear activity

Dubai, 27 May (Argus) — US president Joe Biden's administration is opposing a European push — spearheaded by France — to rebuke Iran for advances in its nuclear program at the UN nuclear watchdog the IAEA's board of governors meeting in June, a diplomatic source with knowledge of the matter told Argus . "The US isn't enthused about the European effort to censure Iran at the IAEA's member state board meeting in early June," the diplomat said. "But there is a general European atmosphere that is exploring options and measures regarding Iran's nuclear program." The Biden administration is concerned about the need to manage tensions with Tehran, particularly at what is a highly sensitive moment, the source said. "Bear in mind, this board of governors meeting is happening around 10 days after the helicopter crash killed (Iran's president Ebrahim) Raisi and (foreign minister Hossein) Amir-Abdollahian" both of whom were primary interlocutors with IAEA director General Rafael Grossi on the nuclear file, the source said. "There is currently a vacuum in Tehran. Timing is bad," the source said, explaining the US position. A US State Department spokesman could not be reached for immediate comment. Concerns among western officials have grown over Iran's nuclear activity in recent years. Former US president Donald Trump in 2018 pulled the US out of a 2015 nuclear deal, resulting in an erosion of strict limits that the agreement had placed on Iran's nuclear program. Iran, in 2019, began breaching the restrictions and then pushed far beyond them. Tehran has enough highly enriched fissile material for three nuclear weapons, according to the IAEA. Iran is enriching uranium to up to 60pc purity, close to the near 90pc considered to be weapons grade, according to the IAEA. Grossi in March said inspections in Iran were not what they should have been and called for additional monitoring capabilities, given the depth and breadth of the program. "On Iran, recent negative developments haven't gone unnoticed. Nuclear threats by Iranian officials, and Grossi's recent interview all sent negative signals," the source said. The Biden administration has always maintained that it is seeking a diplomatic solution for Iran's nuclear program. And since the conflict between the Gaza-based Palestinian militant group Hamas, backed by Iran, and Israel broke out, the US has attempted to stop the spillover of the conflict into the wider region. US and Iranian officials have met at least twice for indirect talks in Oman this year. What are the options? "There is real concern nowadays within the international community that no one exactly knows where Iran is at the moment when it comes to nuclear enrichment," the source says. The IAEA has lost its "continuity of knowledge" in relation to the production and inventory of centrifuges, rotors and bellows, heavy water and uranium ore concentrate. "But the options are limited," the source said. The most the IAEA can do if a state is out of compliance with its obligations under the Non-Proliferation Treaty Safeguards Agreement is to report its concerns to the UN Security Council. Since June 2020, The IAEA's board of governors has adopted three resolutions regarding Iran's cooperation regarding the non-proliferation agreement. "Two reports are to be published ahead of the meeting in June. Their outcome will set the scene on whether another resolution will adopted or not," the source said. By Bachar Halabi Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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Q&A: Oman Shell to balance upstream with renewables


24/05/24
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24/05/24

Q&A: Oman Shell to balance upstream with renewables

Dubai, 24 May (Argus) — Shell has been in Oman for decades now and had a front row seat to its energy evolution from primarily an oil producing nation to now a very gas-rich and gas-leaning hydrocarbons producer. Argus spoke to Oman Shell's country chairman Walid Hadi about the company's energy strategy in the sultanate. Edited highlights follow: How would you characterize Oman's energy sector today, and where do new energies fit into that? Oman is one of the countries where there is quite a bit of overlap between how we see the energy transition and how the country sees it. Oman is clear that hydrocarbons will continue to play a role in its energy system for a long period of time. But it is also looking to decrease the carbon intensity to the most extent which is viable. We need to work on creating new energy systems or new components of energy system like hydrogen and EV charging to facilitate that. It is what we would like to call a 'just transition' because you think about it from macroeconomic perspective of the country and its economic health. Shell is involved across the energy spectrum in Oman – from upstream gas to alternative, clean energies. What is Shell's overall strategy for the country? In Oman, our strategic foundation has three main pillars. The first is around oil and liquids and our ambition is to sustain oil and liquids production. At the same time, we aim to significantly reduce carbon intensity from the oil production coming from PDO. The second strategic pillar is gas, and our ambition here is to grow the amount of gas we are producing in Oman and also to help Oman grow its LNG export capabilities. The more committed we are in unlocking the gas reserves in the country, the more we can support Oman's growth, diversification, and the resilience of its economy through investments and LNG revenue. Gas also offers a very logical and nice link into blue and green hydrogen, whether in sequence or as a stepping stone to scale the hydrogen economy in the country. The last strategic pillar is to establish low-carbon value chains, predominantly centered around hydrogen, more likely blue hydrogen in the short term and very likely material green in the long term, which is subject to regulations and markets developing. How would you view Oman's potential to be a major exporter of green hydrogen? When examining the foundational aspects of green hydrogen manufacturing, such as the quality of solar and wind resources and their onshore complementarity, Oman emerges as a highly competitive country in terms of its capabilities. But where we are in technology and where we are in global markets and on policy frameworks — the demand centers for green hydrogen are maturing but not yet matured. I think there will be a period of discovery for green hydrogen globally, not just for Oman, in the way LNG started 20-30 years ago. When it does, Oman will be well-positioned to play global role in the global hydrogen economy. But the question is, how much time it is going to take us and what kind of multi-collaboration needs to be in place to enable that? The realisation of this potential hinges on several factors: the policies of the Omani government, its bilateral ties with Japan, Korea, and the EU, and the technological advancements within the industry. Shell has also been looking at developing CCUS opportunities in the country. How big a role can CCUS play in the region's energy transition? CCUS is going to be an important tool in decarbonising the global energy system. We have several projects globally that we are pursuing for own scope 1, scope 2 emissions reductions, as well as to enable scope 3 emissions with the customers and partners In Oman, we are pursuing a blue hydrogen project where CCUS is a clear component. This initiative serves as a demonstrative case, helping us gauge the country's potential for CCUS implementation. We are using that as a proof point to understand the potential for CCUS in the country. At this stage, it's too early to gauge the scale of CCUS adoption in Oman or our specific role within it. However, we are among the pioneers in establishing the initial proof point through our Blue Hydrogen initiative. You were able to kick off production in block 10 in just over a year after signing the agreement. How are things progressing there? We have started producing at the plateau levels that we agreed with the government, which is just above 500mn ft³/d. 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Has exploration work there begun? We did have a material gas discovery which is being appraised this year, but it is a bit too early to draw conclusions at this stage. So, after the appraisal campaign is completed, we will be able to talk more confidently about the production potential. Exploration is a very uncertain business. You must go after a lot of things and only a few will end up working. We have a very aggressive exploration campaign at the moment. We also expect by the end of 2025, we would be in a much better position to determine the next wave of growth and where it is going to come from. Shell is set to become the largest off taker from Oman LNG, how do you view the LNG markets this year and next? 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We have been historically and predominantly focused on east and we continue to see east as core LNG market with focus on Japan, Korea, and China. Europe has also emerged on the back of the Ukraine-Russia crisis as growing demand center for LNG. Over time we might focus on different markets to a certain extent. It will be driven on maximising value for the country. By Rithika Krishna Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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India’s AMNS signs 10-year LNG supply deal with Shell


23/05/24
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23/05/24

India’s AMNS signs 10-year LNG supply deal with Shell

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Shell to step up gas exploration in Oman


23/05/24
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23/05/24

Shell to step up gas exploration in Oman

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