Shell, PetroChina take $900mn hit on Australia gas

  • Spanish Market: Natural gas
  • 24/05/21

Shell and state-controlled PetroChina's Australian natural gas upstream venture Arrow Energy has taken a A$1.17bn ($902mn) impairment charge, reflecting the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on oil and gas prices and gas and electricity demand.

Arrow, which produces coal-bed methane for domestic users and is developing a gas project that will provide feedstock for Shell's 8.5mn t/yr Queensland Curtis LNG (QCLNG) project in Queensland, took the charge in its 2020 results. It comes after Shell reported a $22bn impairment charge in June 2020 including $8bn-9bn of impairments in its integrated gas division, mainly related to Australian LNG assets.

Arrow said its 2020 results reflect the continuing operation of its gas supply and electricity-generating businesses, the beginning of project execution on the first phase of the Surat gas project and other work in the Surat and Bowen basins in Queensland.


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24/04/24

EU adopts sustainability due diligence rules

EU adopts sustainability due diligence rules

Brussels, 24 April (Argus) — The European parliament has formally approved a Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD), which will require large EU companies to make "best efforts" for climate change mitigation. The law will mean that relevant companies will have to adopt a transition plan to make their business model compatible with the 1.5°C temperature limit set by the Paris climate agreement. It will apply to EU firms with over 1,000 employees and turnover above €450mn ($481mn). It will also apply to some companies with franchising or licensing agreements in the EU. The directive requires transposition into different EU national laws. It obliges member states to ensure relevant firms adopt and put into effect a transition plan for climate change mitigation. Transition plans must aim to "ensure, through best efforts" that business models and company strategies are compatible with transition to a sustainable economy, limiting global warming to 1.5°C and achieving climate neutrality by 2050. Where "relevant", the plans should limit "exposure of the company to coal-, oil- and gas-related activities". Despite a provisional agreement, EU states initially failed to formally approve the provisional agreement reached with parliament in December, after some member states blocked the deal. Parliament's adoption — at its last session before breaking for EU elections — paves the way for entry into force later in the year. Industry has obtained clarification, in the non-legal introduction, that the directive's requirements are an "obligation of means and not of results" with "due account" being given to progress that firms make as well as the "complexity and evolving" nature of climate transitioning. Still, firms' climate transition plans need to contain "time-bound" targets for 2030 and in five-year intervals until 2050 based on "conclusive scientific" evidence and, where appropriate, absolute reduction targets for greenhouse gas (GHG) for direct scope 1 emissions as well as scope 2 and scope 3 emissions. Scope 1 refers to emissions directly stemming from an organisation's activity, while scope 2 refers to indirect emissions from purchased energy. Scope 3 refers to end-use emissions. "It is alarming to see how member states weakened the law in the final negotiations. And the law lacks an effective mechanism to force companies to reduce their climate emissions," said Paul de Clerck, campaigner at non-governmental organisation Friends of the Earth Europe, pointing to "gaping" loopholes in the adopted text. By Dafydd ab Iago Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Libya eyes progress on Eni-led oil and gas project


24/04/24
24/04/24

Libya eyes progress on Eni-led oil and gas project

London, 24 April (Argus) — Libya intends to move ahead with a $4bn-5bn oil and gas project proposed by Eni, months after putting the project on hold because of widespread opposition. The country's Supreme Council for Energy last month essentially cleared the way for block NC-07 to be awarded to a consortium of Italy's Eni, France's TotalEnergies, Abu Dhabi's Adnoc and Turkey's state-owned Turkish Energy after a technical review found Libyan institutions lacked the financial means to develop the project alone, according to leaked minutes of the meeting seen by Argus . More recently, Turkey's energy minister Alparslan Bayraktar said on 19 April that an agreement on NC-07 was close. "We are about to sign," he said. On 16 April, Libya's acting oil minister Khalifa Rajab Abdulsadek signalled the project was still on the cards. Eni did not comment. State-owned NOC could not be reached. Tripoli-based prime minister Abdelhamid Dbeibeh and NOC had been on the cusp of awarding NC-07 to the Eni-led consortium in January before widespread opposition forced Dbeibeh to order a review addressing concerns . Plans envisage at least 200mn ft³/d of gas and an unspecified amount of oil. The moves reflect a growing impetus by Libya's oil leadership to drive forward long-delayed projects as it seeks to boost oil production capacity from 1.2mn-1.3mn b/d to 2mn b/d and double gas output to around 3.5bn ft³/d over the next three to five years. Libya is also set to begin negotiations with TotalEnergies and ConocoPhillips in Paris next month over their demand for better terms at Waha Oil Company in return for investing in expanding production capacity, an oil industry source told Argus . This is also likely to prove controversial as many in the industry and beyond are opposed to altering contractual terms. The apparent fresh push comes just weeks after the ousting of oil minister Mohamed Oun , who had opposed awarding NC-07 to the consortium and rejected several other oil and gas deals pursued by the Tripoli-based government and NOC. Opponents of the deal have said that the consortium was set to receive a share of production that is too high and that current operator state-owned Agoco could develop the field for a fraction of the cost. The oil ministry under Oun had also suggested that NC-07 could have been put to a public tender rather than be the subject of direct negotiations. Proponents of the NC-07 deal said Libya must rapidly move ahead with projects to ensure domestic demand is met and the country can continue to export gas. The Supreme Council for Energy said Libya will face a severe gas shortage by 2026 on its current trajectory and become a gas importer unless development projects are implemented. While Libya's political divisions persist, its oil sector has enjoyed a greater level of stability over the past two years. Forced production shutdowns have been few and far between while interest from international oil companies has grown. But accusations of improper conduct in the oil industry have increased in tandem. One of the key challenges facing Libya's oil sector is project implementation. A landmark $8bn deal for Eni to develop offshore gas fields was signed in early 2023, but Argus understands that there has been little progress on implementation. By Aydin Calik Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Oman latest to insist that oil, gas is 'here to stay'


24/04/24
24/04/24

Oman latest to insist that oil, gas is 'here to stay'

Muscat, 24 April (Argus) — Omani and Oman-focused energy officials this week joined a growing chorus of voices to reiterate the pivotal role that hydrocarbons have in the energy mix, even as state-owned companies scramble to increase their share of renewables production. Some producers cite the risk of leaving costly, stranded oil and gas assets as renewable energy alternatives become more favoured. "This is a common concern among producers who are focusing on short-term developments to maximize cash flow — [but] if we continue to do that, with the clean energy transition, will we be left with stranded assets in the long-term", state-controlled PDO's technical director Sami Baqi told the Oman Petroleum and Crude Show conference in Muscat this week. "We need to redefine and revamp our operation model to produce in a sustainable manner." "We are in an era where most of the production does not come from the easy oil but comes from difficult oil," Oman's energy ministry undersecretary Mohsin Al Hadhrami said. "It requires more improved and enhanced oil recovery (EOR) type technologies to extract it." Oman is heavily reliant on tertiary extraction technologies like EOR given its maturing asset base and complicated geology. "We know that most of the oil fields [in the region] are maturing and costs are going to escalate, so we need to be mindful of it while discussing cleaner solutions going forward," Hadhrami said. PDO, Oman's largest hydrocarbon producer, aims for 19pc of its output to come from EOR projects by 2025, and has said it is looking at 'cleaner' ways to implement the technology. PDO in November started a pilot project to inject captured CO2 for EOR at its oil reservoirs. Baqi's concerns were echoed by PDO's carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) manager Nabil Al-Bulushi, who said even solutions like CCUS can be expensive and come with their own challenges. There is a need for a proper ecosystem or regulatory policies to avoid delays in executing such projects, he said. When it comes to challenges associated with commercialising green hydrogen, Saudi state-controlled Aramco's head of upstream Yousef Al-Tahan said higher costs already make hydrogen more expensive than any other energy sources. "Not only should the costs go down, but the market has to be matured to take in the hydrogen," he said. "We also need pipelines and facilities that are able to handle hydrogen, especially when it gets converted to ammonia." Gas here to stay Oman, like many of its neighbors in the Mideast Gulf, insists gas needs to be part of the global journey towards cleaner energies. "Asia-Pacific is still heavily reliant on coal, this is an area where gas can play an important role," Shell Oman's development manager Salim Al Amri said at the event. "I think there is no doubt that gas is here to stay." Oman is a particularly interesting case as it "has moved from a position of gas shortage to surplus", Al Amri said, enabled by key developments in tight gas. "Output from fields like Khazzan and Mabrouk will continue to produce nearly 50pc of output even by 2025, which is indicative of how important tight gas developments are," he said. The Khazzan tight gas field has 10.5 trillion ft³ of recoverable gas reserves. Mabrouk North East is due to reach 500mn ft³/d by mid-2024. But even as natural gas is touted as the transition fuel, executives from major producers like state-owned OQ and PDO warned there are technical risks associated with extracting the fuel, including encountering complex tight reservoirs, water production and difficult geology. By Rithika Krishna Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Australia’s Woodside pledges extra domestic gas in 2025


24/04/24
24/04/24

Australia’s Woodside pledges extra domestic gas in 2025

Sydney, 24 April (Argus) — Australian independent Woodside Energy has promised to increase gas flows to domestic customers with a predicted national shortfall. The firm promises to make an extra 32PJ (854mn m³) available to the Western Australia (WA) domestic market by the end of 2025, Woodside chief executive Meg O'Neill said at its annual meeting in Perth on 24 April, following criticism of the state's LNG projects' contribution to WA supplies . Woodside produced 76PJ for the WA market in 2023. The company has initiated an expression of interest process for an additional 50PJ of gas from its Bass Strait fields offshore Victoria state for supply in 2025 and 2026 when a tight market is expected for east Australia . Woodside also said its Sangomar oil project offshore Senegal is 96pc complete with 19 of 23 initial wells complete. WA's Scarborough project is 62pc complete with trunkline installation and well drilling having started in the offshore Carnarvon basin. It last month awarded the sub-sea marine installation contract for its 100,000 b/d Trion project offshore Mexico, which is targeting its first oil in 2028. Woodside's 2023 operating revenue was $14bn , resulting in a profit of $1.7bn. Climate tensions Woodside's climate transition action plan saw 58.36pc opposition from shareholders at the annual meeting but is non-binding on the company. Woodside's 2021 climate report also faced significant opposition with 48.97pc voting against its adoption. The company did not put its 2022 climate report up for vote at last year's annual meeting. Its new emissions abatement target aims to reduce Woodside's customers' scope 1 and 2 emissions by 5mn t/yr by 2030, along with a $5bn investment in new energy projects by the same date. Net equity scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions rose to 5.53mn t carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) in 2023 from 4.61mn t CO2e in 2022 because of its merger with BHP Petroleum in mid-2022. Several major institutional shareholders including large domestic and international pension funds had already flagged their vote against Woodside's climate report, citing an insufficient urgency to reduce the firm's emissions. By Tom Major Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

US oil and gas deals slowing after record 1Q: Enverus


23/04/24
23/04/24

US oil and gas deals slowing after record 1Q: Enverus

New York, 23 April (Argus) — US oil and gas sector mergers will likely slow for the rest of the year following a record $51bn in deal in the first quarter, according to consultancy Enverus. Transactions slowed in March and the second quarter appears to have already lost momentum, according to Enverus, following the year-end 2023 surge in consolidation that spurred an unprecedented $192bn of upstream deals last year. The Permian shale basin of west Texas and southeastern New Mexico continued to dominate mergers and acquisitions, as companies competed for the remaining high-quality inventory on offer. Acquisitions were led by Diamondback Energy's $26bn takeover of closely-held Endeavor Energy Resources . Others include APA buying Callon Petroleum for $4.5bn in stock and Chesapeake Energy's $7.4bn takeover of Southwestern Energy . The deal cast a spotlight on the remaining private family-owned operators, such as Mewbourne Oil and Fasken Oil & Ranch, which would be highly sought after if they decided to put themselves up for sale. "However, there are no indications these closely held companies are looking to exit any time soon," said Andrew Dittmar, principal analyst at Enverus. "That leaves public explorers and producers (E&P) looking to scoop up the increasingly thin list of private E&Ps backed by institutional capital and built with a sale in mind — or figuring out ways to merge with each other." Deals including ExxonMobil's $59.5bn takeover of Pioneer Natural Resources, as well as Chevron's $53bn deal for Hess, have attracted the attention of anti-trust regulators. The Federal Trade Commission has also sought more information on the Chesapeake/Southwestern deal. "The most likely outcome is all these deals get approved but federal regulatory oversight may pose a headwind to additional consolidation within a single play," said Dittmar. "That may force buyers to broaden their focus by acquiring assets in multiple plays." By Stephen Cunningham Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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