Australia’s Woodside pledges extra domestic gas in 2025

  • Spanish Market: Crude oil, Natural gas
  • 24/04/24

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.


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14/06/24

S Africa's ANC, DA agree to form government

S Africa's ANC, DA agree to form government

Cape Town, 14 June (Argus) — South Africa's African National Congress (ANC) and Democratic Alliance (DA) political parties today agreed to form a government while the first sitting of the new parliament was underway. The agreement, which includes the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), paves the way for ANC leader Cyril Ramaphosa to be re-elected president. The parties will assume various positions in government broadly in proportion to their share of seats. The government of national unity (GNU) agreement is the result of two weeks of intense negotiations after the ANC lost its long-held majority in the national election on 29 May. It secured 40.2pc of the vote, and the centre-right, pro-market DA retained its position as the official opposition with 21.8pc. The deal scuppers the possibility of an alliance between the ANC and the two largest left-wing parties, MK (uMkhonto weSizwe) and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), which credit ratings agency Fitch warned could pose risks to macroeconomic stability . MK party unseated the EFF in the election to come third, winning 14.6pc of the vote. The EFF secured 9.5pc, and the IFP came a distant fifth with 3.85pc. The MK and EFF are populist parties that campaigned on agendas including wide-scale land expropriation without compensation, nationalisation of economic assets — including mines, the central bank and large banks and insurers — halting fiscal consolidation and aggressively increasing social grants. The GNU parties agreed the new administration should focus on rapid economic growth, job creation, infrastructure development and fiscal sustainability. Other priorities include building a professional, merit-based and non-partisan public service, as well as strengthening law enforcement agencies to address crime and corruption. Through a national dialogue that will include civil society, labour and business, parties will seek to develop a national social compact to enable South Africa to meet its developmental goals, they said. The GNU will take decisions in accordance with the established practice of consensus, but where no consensus is possible a principle of sufficient consensus will apply. By Elaine Mills Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Renewable natural gas not ‘major’ for climate: Chevron


13/06/24
13/06/24

Renewable natural gas not ‘major’ for climate: Chevron

New York, 13 June (Argus) — The growth of renewable natural gas (RNG) production is great news for the climate, but "to say that it is having a major impact by itself is difficult," the president of Chevron's global gas division said this week at an industry gathering. The US oil major, which has invested in RNG facilities in California , Michigan and elsewhere in recent years, has also boosted its conventional gas production on the heels of a crude-focused acquisition of a Denver-based producer. "I don't want to get called out (for) greenwashing or whatever because the volume is just very small compared to the overall portfolio," Chevron gas division president Freeman Shaheen said at the Northeast LDC Gas Forum in Boston, Massachusetts. Advocates for RNG hail the fuel, comprising methane from landfills and animal waste projects that is processed into pipeline-quality gas, as a boon for the climate. This is not only because its use displaces conventional natural gas produced in hydrocarbon drilling — so-called ‘fossil gas' — but because its production takes methane that would have been released directly into the atmosphere and burns it as fuel, releasing CO₂ — a less potent greenhouse gas — instead. But RNG today comprises just 0.5pc of the North American gas market. Even with continued policy support and technological development, Wood Mackenzie projects it will grow to just 4 Bcf/d (113mn m³/d), or 3pc of the market, by 2050. This is why some policymakers, such as Massachusetts' utilities regulatory, have rejected gas distributors' calls to decarbonize the gas system with RNG. The energy industry simply has not invested enough in RNG over the past several decades for it to reach the scale needed to play a bigger role in cutting emissions, Shaheen said. By Julian Hast Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

UK political parties repeat existing stances on energy


13/06/24
13/06/24

UK political parties repeat existing stances on energy

London, 13 June (Argus) — The two main UK political parties have set out their plans, including on energy and climate change, with just three weeks until the general election. Energy security and the cost to consumers is a recurring theme for both, but the manifestos present some marked differences in approach to the energy transition. Both the incumbent Conservative and opposition Labour parties doubled down on existing positions in their respective manifestos. The Conservative party said that it remains committed to the UK's 2050 net zero emissions target, but promises a "pragmatic and proportionate" route. The party's manifesto guarantees "no new green levies or charges while accelerating the rollout of renewables". The UK's net zero goal is legally-binding, and was passed with significant cross-party support under a Conservative government in 2019. The Conservatives have been in power since 2010, and fielded five prime ministers in that time. Recent polling data show a substantial lead for Labour, which performed well at local elections in May. Labour placed strong focus on the opportunity the transition offers, saying that it would place the UK at the "forefront of climate action by creating the green jobs of the future at home and driving forward the energy transition on the global stage". The party has committed to zero-carbon power by 2030, although it would "maintain a strategic reserve of gas power stations to guarantee security of supply", it said. The Conservative manifesto reiterates the party's plans to build new gas-fired power plants. The party had previously committed to a decarbonised power grid by 2035, in line with a G7 pledge, although that is not mentioned in its manifesto. The two main parties clearly diverge on their approaches to North Sea oil and gas production. The Conservatives aim to keep the windfall tax — which effectively results in a 75pc rate — on oil and gas producers in place "until 2028-29, unless prices fall back to normal sooner". Labour confirmed plans to lift the rate to 78pc and run the tax until the end of the next parliament, which is likely to be mid-2029. Labour is also clear that it "will not revoke existing licences" in the North Sea, but it will not issue any new licences — for oil, gas or coal. The Conservatives restated the party's aim to legislate for annual North Sea licensing rounds . Both parties back nuclear energy, including small modular reactors — though those are unlikely to be operational until after 2030. And both pledge to cut planning bureaucracy and tackle grid connections. Labour's plans to "double onshore wind, triple solar power, and quadruple offshore wind by 2030" would result in installed capacity of 31GW, 48GW and 59GW, respectively, from a baseline of end-2023. The Conservatives' target to triple offshore wind by the end of the next parliament would put installed capacity at 44GW in 2029 — below the 50GW target for 2030 set in 2022 — while it said it supports solar and onshore wind in some circumstances. Finance in focus Both parties are keen to pull in private-sector investment, while Labour took up an original Conservative pledge to "make the UK the green finance capital of the world". And both pledge to address the cost of energy for consumers — Labour through local power generation projects and home insulation upgrades, and the Conservatives by ruling out any further "green levies". The latter plans to reverse London's expansion of the ultra-low emissions zone — originally planned by Conservative then-mayor and later prime minister Boris Johnson. Labour said that it would restore a phase-out date of 2030 for new internal combustion engine cars — which prime minister Rishi Sunak in September pushed back to 2035 . On an international level, both parties mention climate leadership at summits such as UN Cops. The Conservatives pledged to "ring-fence" the UK's climate finance commitments, while Labour committed to restore development spending to 0.7pc of gross national income "as soon as fiscal circumstances allow". By Georgia Gratton Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

TTF front-month trades at highest since December 2023


13/06/24
13/06/24

TTF front-month trades at highest since December 2023

London, 13 June (Argus) — The Netherlands' TTF front-month gas price was trading near the highest level since last year this morning and afternoon as LNG supply outages contribute to market tightness. The price traded at €36.12/MWh ($38.88/MWh) on the Intercontinental exchange at 15:00 London time today. If the price holds around this level until the close it would be the highest front-month assessment since 8 December 2023. The contract opened at €35.43/MWh on the exchange, up from Argus' Wednesday assessment of €35.20/MWh, and climbed in the morning on the news of an extended shutdown at an Australian LNG terminal. Operations at Chevron's 8.9mn t/yr Wheatstone LNG export terminal in Australia may be disrupted for several weeks , the firm announced today. Loadings from the terminal have been halted since 10 June because of unplanned maintenance. The outage was previously expected to last until 14 June and disrupt delivery of 3-4 cargoes, but could now last until 19-26 June, according to market sources and loading schedules. Although Europe rarely imports cargoes directly from Australia, the reduction in deliveries to northeast Asia will mean prices in that region have to increase to attract more Atlantic-basin cargoes, pulling up the TTF at the same time. Quantities of US LNG on the water have risen sharply since mid-May according to Vortexa data, despite no incentive for floating storage, suggesting that more vessels are taking the longer route to deliver cargoes to northeast Asia ( see US LNG on the water graph ). The Wheatstone shutdown comes on top of a second quarter of planned and unplanned outages at other export terminals. High utilisation rates at terminals mean any downtime translates directly into lower deliveries than expected and contributes to LNG market tightness. The US' 33mn t/yr Sabine Pass terminal may be undergoing maintenance this month, based on reductions in feedgas deliveries. An unplanned outage last month cut deliveries from Australia's 15.6mn t/yr Gorgon terminal, while Peru's 4.4mn t/yr Peru LNG terminal is down for two weeks of maintenance. In addition to LNG supply disruptions, unplanned constraints at Norwegian offshore infrastructure at the beginning of this month removed supply from the European market and pushed up prices. A crack in a pipeline in an offshore hub discovered on 2 June caused a shut-in at the Nyhamna processing plant. The cut in gas production from connected fields over the five days that it took for the plant to restart was equivalent to 2-3 LNG cargoes. Although Norwegian gas production and global LNG loadings have been lower than previously expected, demand in Europe remains muted. Stocks in the EU are higher than ever for the time of year, while industrial demand remains low. Temperatures have held well below normal in much of western Europe since the beginning of the month. Heating demand has been higher than normal for the period, but the weather is already so warm that conditions much cooler than normal can only spur small increases in heating demand. Gas-fired generation was weak in May as increased renewables capacity, strong nuclear output and low aggregate demand cut into the incentive for power sector gas burn. By Rhys Talbot TTF front-month US LNG on the water, mn t Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Opec reopens rift with IEA on peak demand


13/06/24
13/06/24

Opec reopens rift with IEA on peak demand

London, 13 June (Argus) — Opec today reopened a rift with the IEA about the future need for oil, calling the Paris-based agency's forecast for peak demand this decade a "continuation of [its] anti-oil narrative." Opec secretary-general Haitham Al Ghais said the IEA's projection , made earlier this week, is a "dangerous narrative" that "will only lead to energy volatility on a potentially unprecedented scale." He made his case in a commentary for consultancy Energy Aspects that Opec made publicly available. This is not the first time the two organisations have clashed over the future trajectory for oil demand growth. When IEA executive director Fatih Birol first floated the idea of a peak demand this decade in 2023, Al Ghais said this was "extremely risky and impractical". Birol and the IEA have been keen to stress that there will be no sharp demand fall beyond its predicted peak year of 2029, and have repeatedly said there will be a gradual decline perhaps over as long as 20 years. Al Ghais said Opec does not see peak oil demand by the end of the decade — he said in January that the scenario "is not showing up in any reliable and robust short- and medium-term forecasts" — and took issue with the IEA's forecasts for demand growth to 2030. The watchdog projects a sharp drop off in growth in 2026 to almost nothing in 2029 and a small contraction in 2030. Al Ghais called this unrealistic. The two bodies' demand estimates have been moving further apart in recent months, with Opec's forecast for growth this year now 1.3mn b/d more than that of the IEA. Birol this week acknowledged this is a "big gap", but was diplomatic when pressed for reasons. "We respect all institutions' forecasts," he said. "We will see at the end of the year what the numbers will be." Criticism of the IEA from the upstream industry has magnified since 2021, when the agency said that 2050 climate goals exclude the need for any new oil and gas fields. Saudi oil minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman described this as "la la land" analysis. This year the IEA has come under fire from Republicans in the US Congress who have said the agency is veering into climate advocacy. US industry body API chief executive Mike Sommers said earlier this year the IEA "has become, unfortunately, so politicized that it's just not a reliable source of data any more." By Ben Winkley Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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