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South Australia eyes more gas exploration

  • Spanish Market: Natural gas
  • 21/10/20

South Australia's (SA) state government is targeting more exploration as part of its energy and minerals policy, unveiled this week as part of a broader economic recovery plan to counter the downturn from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Private-sector exploration expenditure will increase from A$158mn ($112mn) a year in 2018 to a sustainable average of A$300mn a year by 2025, the SA government said. The exploration spending target covers upstream and minerals activity. The state is also a producer of minerals such as copper, uranium and gold.

The state's oil and gas sector is experiencing an increase in exploration and production activity in the Cooper and Otway basins, as well as emerging opportunities for opening new onshore and offshore frontiers, the government said. The onshore Cooper-Eromanga basin has produced more than 5 trillion ft³ (141bn m³) of gas and more than 340mn bl of petroleum liquids since it was opened in 1969. Early indications are that the Cooper basin could produce considerably more oil and a further 200 trillion ft³ of gas, it said.

Upstream exploration in SA rose to A$135mn in the 2019-20 fiscal year to 30 June, which was the highest spending in three fiscal years.

The Haselgrove 3 gas discovery has rekindled interest in the onshore Otway basin by Australian independent Beach Energy, which has also made further drilling at wells at Haselgrove 4 and Dombey 1. It has developed a gas processing facility to replace the Katnook gas plant, which operated between 1991 and 2013.

Gas continues to play a significant role in SA electricity generation with supplies from the onshore Cooper Basin in the northern part of the state and revived production from the Otway basin. Gas fuels around 50pc of South Australia's electricity generation. But this share is expected to fall as solar and wind power continue to increase their share of generation.

Greenhouse gas emissions associated with oil and gas production will need to be addressed, the government said, with technology such as carbon capture, utilisation and storage a promising solution.

"Central to South Australia's future in energy and mining will be an even stronger investment in our clean energy transition and more modern, lower impact development of our natural resources," said its minister for energy and mining Dan van Holst Pellekaan.

SA's ruling Liberal-National coalition state government has set a renewable energy target of 100pc by 2030. The state has also targeted electric vehicle sales penetration of 15-50pc by 2030.


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Trump taps Vance as running mate for 2024


15/07/24
15/07/24

Trump taps Vance as running mate for 2024

Washington, 15 July (Argus) — Former president Donald Trump has selected US senator JD Vance (R-Ohio) as his vice presidential pick for his 2024 campaign, elevating a former venture capitalist and close ally to become his running mate in the election. Vance, 39, is best known for his bestselling memoir Hillbilly Elegy that documented his upbringing in Middletown, Ohio, and his Appalachian roots. In the run-up to the presidential elections in 2016, Vance said he was "a never Trump guy" and called Trump "reprehensible." But he has since become one of Trump's top supporters and adopted many of his policies on the economy and immigration. Vance voted against providing more military aid to Ukraine and pushed Europe to spend more on defense. Trump said he chose his running mate after "lengthy deliberation and thought," citing Vance's service in the military, his law degree and his business career, which included launching venture capital firm Narya in 2020. Vance will do "everything he can to help me MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN," Trump said today in a social media post. Like Trump, Vance has pushed to increase domestic oil and gas production and criticized government support for electric vehicles. President Joe Biden's energy policies have been "at war" with workers in states that are struggling because of the importance of low-cost energy to manufacturing, Vance said last month in an interview with Fox News. Trump made the announcement about Vance on the first day of the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and just two days after surviving an assassination attempt during a campaign event in Pennsylvania. Earlier today, federal district court judge Aileen Cannon threw out a felony indictment that alleged Trump had mishandled classified government documents after leaving office. By Chris Knight Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Polish gas reforms still needed: Energy Traders Europe


15/07/24
15/07/24

Polish gas reforms still needed: Energy Traders Europe

London, 15 July (Argus) — Recent government plans to amend Poland's onerous gas storage legislation are positive, but more serious reforms are necessary to foster increased competition, industry association Energy Traders Europe told Argus . The Polish government last month said it plans to amend the Act on Stocks in November , removing importers' obligation to maintain mandatory gas storage reserves and placing it on state-owned strategic reserves agency Rars instead. Energy Traders Europe welcomed the move but recommended several further steps to bolster competition and liquidity. The Act on Stocks "needs to be revised first and fast" before addressing other issues in the market, the association's gas market manager, Pawel Lont, told Argus . While shifting the obligation to Rars is a positive first step, Poland would still have "state-enforced storage filling with hardly any capacity left for commercial use", which removes an important flexibility source for the market, he said. Ultimately, storage needs to be reformed to a point at which commercial filling becomes not only possible but desired, Lont said. The government needs to ensure that the system provides an incentive for the storage operator to offer products that are attractive to users, Lont said, noting that currently "this incentive simply does not exist, and this set-up can only inflate the costs of gas consumption in Poland". Energy Traders Europe previously suggested that the strategic reserve should be calculated against the demand of vulnerable customers only, as opposed to all consumers, which would significantly reduce the overall burden and free up space for commercial use. It would also be desirable to move the start date of the draft storage legislation to 1 April 2025 and ensure that licence applications declaring the intention to start commercial activity after this date are tested for compliance with these new rules. It can take a year or more for licence applications to be approved, so "the sooner we start, the better", Lont said, adding that the licensing procedure in Poland is "undoubtedly the most problematic in all of Europe". Applications involve a long list of documents that are difficult to complete in a timely manner. There are also issues on the reporting side, with "an impressive list of 20+ positions reported to different bodies at different points in time" on top of standard EU reporting, Lont said. These obligations create exposure and considerable costs for companies, so it would be beneficial to run a critical review on their necessity, he said. And Polish transmission tariffs are high, although this is understandable given Gaz-System's construction of interconnectors with several neighbouring countries over the past few years. Polish tariffs are decided yearly, while entry/exit splits can also be adjusted, which is problematic for trading companies that would like to book longer-term products. The multipliers and seasonal factors "definitely deserve some rethinking as they severely inflate the costs of short-term capacity products, while booking yearly products in Poland can be quite a bet", he said. But even if these other issues are addressed, "We will [still] be looking at a largely monopolised country, with the dominant player having exclusive access to LNG terminals", Lont said. While the gas release programme is positive for the market, it would be beneficial to see whether Orlen's dominance could be challenged at import terminals. Orlen has booked all capacity at the Swinoujscie terminal, as well as at the planned Gdansk terminal, meaning it continues to be the sole beneficiary of the 100pc discount on entry to the grid from LNG terminals. Several measures could be taken to open other companies' access to the terminals, such as secondary capacity trading, use-it-or-lose-it rules or set-aside rules and limits when allocating capacity to a single entity, Lont said. But these measures would be ineffectual without a guarantee that other firms are ready and willing to book this capacity, so the reforms discussed above need to come first so as to ensure that these participants can actively trade in Poland beforehand, Lont said. In general, it is not unusual to have a dominant company in a given country, but "one just needs an environment in which the group cannot abuse its position and its offer can be challenged", he said. Orlen had a 91pc share of the Polish retail market last year, according to regulator URE. Poland has "all the cards" to develop a liquid gas market, but this takes time, so reforms must get going as soon as possible. Since the change of government, it has at least become "much easier to approach the ministries in Poland", which "helps a great deal on the transparency side", Lont said. By Brendan A'Hearn Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Singapore LNG bunker sales post fresh highs in June


15/07/24
15/07/24

Singapore LNG bunker sales post fresh highs in June

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Australia’s Snowy, Lochard ink Iona gas storage deal


15/07/24
15/07/24

Australia’s Snowy, Lochard ink Iona gas storage deal

Sydney, 15 July (Argus) — Australian state-owned utility Snowy Hydro has signed a 25-year deal to store gas at the country's largest domestic gas storage in Victoria state to support its gas-fired power stations. The agreement with the 26PJ (694mn m³) Iona site, owned by domestic gas storage firm Lochard Energy, will commence in January 2028. This will be ahead of the permanent closure of the 1,480MW Yallourn brown coal plant, operated by Hong Kong-owned utility EnergyAustralia, in mid-2028. "The gas storage agreement with Lochard Energy will support the operation of our gas-fired power stations in Victoria," Snowy Hydro chief executive Dennis Barnes said on 15 July. Snowy Hydro, which owns and operates three gas-fired power stations totalling 1,290MW at present, is building the 750MW Kurri Kurri gas-fired plant , of which the initial 660MW stage is scheduled to come on line in late 2024. Snowy's 320MW Laverton North and 300MW Valley Power generators are located in Victoria. The deal is expected to underwrite the Heytesbury underground gas storage project , Lochard's chief executive Tim Jessen said, which will expand the capacity of Iona by approximately 3PJ. Australia's southeastern states are expected to face significant shortfalls of gas later this decade as fields supplying Victoria's 1,150 TJ/d (30.7mn m³/d) Longford gas plant deplete. A mixture of pipeline expansions to bring more gas south from Queensland state, LNG import terminals, and reducing demand have been floated to bridge this gap. Two LNG import terminals are proposed for Victoria but both require environmental approvals from the state government. Snowy Hydro is facing significant pressure from the federal government over its delayed Snowy 2.0 pumped hydroelectric project, which has suffered significant cost overruns and delays. Snowy last year said the scheme's costs had doubled to A$12bn ($8.1bn) from a previous A$5.9bn estimate , which was itself higher than the original guidance. By Tom Major Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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