Australia pauses pro-upstream offshore oil, gas reforms

  • Spanish Market: Crude oil, Natural gas
  • 21/05/24

Australia's federal resources minister Madeleine King acknowledges the political situation in the nation's upper house of parliament the Senate prevents any deal to clarify consultation requirements for the nation's offshore oil, gas, carbon capture and storage (CCS) and renewables sectors.

The Senate last week passed the Labor party-led federal government's legislation on changes to deductions permitted under the Petroleum Resources Rent Tax (PRRT) and a new fuel efficiency standard for light commercial and passenger vehicles. But the deal struck with the Greens party and two independent senators meant the government withdrew amendments designed to specify which stakeholders must be consulted under law before receiving environmental permits.

King blamed the Greens for her government removing the amendments from the agenda.

"My disappointment is not for the industry but the community that will remain subject to inadequate and inappropriate consultation requirements for longer," King said on 21 May at the Australian Energy Producers conference in Perth. "The Greens political party and the crossbench independents and others promoted widespread misinformation in relation to the proposal that would ensure the community had the benefit of clarity and certainty in consultation."

Environmental lawyers delayed field drilling and pipeline laying for Australian independent Santos' $4.6bn Barossa backfill project from late 2022 until early 2024, citing insufficient consultation with traditional owner groups, in a case ultimately dismissed by the Federal Court of Australia.

Changes to offshore laws were promised by the federal government in January with concerns legal tactics could lead to further lawsuits aimed at driving up costs for LNG backfill, offshore wind power projects or CCS. Climate campaigners saw the changes as a vehicle for easing scrutiny on developers and its politicians promised to oppose any changes.

But having dealt with the Greens instead of the Liberal-National coalition on legislation for fuel efficiency and the PRRT because of the latter's demands that the approvals process for oil and gas be expedited, Labor is less likely to now receive support for changes to consultation ahead of next year's federal election.

The future gas strategy released by the federal government this month said new supplies are urgently needed, as gas-fired power generation will likely replace firming capacity provided by retiring coal-fired power plants.

The report also found multiple reasons for Australia's low gas exploration investment, including difficulties with the approvals processes, legal challenges and market interventions that may lead international companies to focus on lower cost and lower risk fields in other jurisdictions.


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18/06/24

Tropical storm warning for South Texas coast: Update

Tropical storm warning for South Texas coast: Update

Updates with closure of Galveston, Texas City ports. New York, 18 June (Argus) — A tropical storm warning has been issued for parts of south Texas and northeastern Mexico, bringing with it the risk of heavy rainfall and flooding. The warning is in effect for the Texas coast from Port O'Connor south to the mouth of the Rio Grande, as well as the northeastern coast of Mexico, according to the National Hurricane Center. "The disturbance is very large with rainfall, coastal flooding, and wind impacts likely to occur far from the center along the coasts of Texas and northeastern Mexico," the center said overnight. Maximum sustained winds this morning remained near 40 mph and the disturbance is forecast to become a tropical storm by Wednesday. The system has been classified as a potential tropical cyclone by the center since it has not yet become better organized, but is expected to become the first named storm system of the year by early Wednesday. The port of Corpus Christi in South Texas and the Houston Ship Channel remained open as of Tuesday morning, but the nearby ports of Galveston and Texas City closed to inbound and outbound shipping traffic at 10pm ET Monday due to heavy weather, the US Coast Guard said. The system was expected to disrupt ship-to-ship transfer operations off the Texas coast as of Monday evening because of heavy seas. In the Gulf of Mexico, the transfer typically is from an Aframax or Suezmax onto a very large crude carrier (VLCC) at designated lightering zones near Corpus Christi, Galveston and Beaumont-Port Arthur. Prolonged lightering delays can prevent crude tanker tonnage from becoming available and exert upward pressure on freight rates, while also adding to demurrage fees. The storm is expected to turn towards the west-northwest and west tonight and Wednesday, with the system forecast to approach the western Gulf coast late Wednesday, the NHC said. Rainfall totals of 5 to 10 inches are seen across northeast Mexico into South Texas, with maximum totals of 15 inches possible. Flash and urban flooding are likely to follow with river flooding. By Stephen Cunningham and Tray Swanson Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Tropical storm warning for South Texas coast


18/06/24
18/06/24

Tropical storm warning for South Texas coast

New York, 18 June (Argus) — A tropical storm warning has been issued for parts of South Texas and northeastern Mexico, bringing with it the risk of heavy rainfall and flooding. The warning is in effect for the Texas coast from Port O'Connor south to the mouth of the Rio Grande, as well as the northeastern coast of Mexico, according to the National Hurricane Center. "The disturbance is very large with rainfall, coastal flooding, and wind impacts likely to occur far from the center along the coasts of Texas and northeastern Mexico," the center said overnight. Maximum sustained winds this morning remained near 40 mph and the disturbance is forecast to become a tropical storm by Wednesday. The system has been classified as a potential tropical cyclone by the center since it has not yet become better organized, but is expected to become the first named storm system of the year by early Wednesday. The system was expected to disrupt ship-to-ship transfer operations off the Texas coast as of Monday evening because of heavy seas. In the Gulf of Mexico, the transfer typically is from an Aframax or Suezmax onto a very large crude carrier (VLCC) at designated lightering zones near Corpus Christi, Galveston and Beaumont-Port Arthur. Prolonged lightering delays can prevent crude tanker tonnage from becoming available and exert upward pressure on freight rates, while also adding to demurrage fees. The storm is expected to turn towards the west-northwest and west tonight and Wednesday, with the system forecast to approach the western Gulf coast late Wednesday, the NHC said. Rainfall totals of 5 to 10 inches are seen across northeast Mexico into South Texas, with maximum totals of 15 inches possible. Flash and urban flooding are likely to follow with river flooding. By Stephen Cunningham Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Shell buys Singapore LNG firm Pavilion Energy


18/06/24
18/06/24

Shell buys Singapore LNG firm Pavilion Energy

Singapore, 18 June (Argus) — Shell has bought from state-controlled investment firm Temasek the Singapore-based LNG firm Pavilion Energy, which currently has about 6.5mn t/yr of term contracted supplies. The deal is expected to be finalised by next year's first quarter, subject to regulatory approvals and fulfilment of other conditions, Shell said on 18 June. Financial details of the acquisition were undisclosed. Pavilion's term LNG supplies come from producers including Cheniere's 11.5mn t/yr Corpus Christi liquefaction facility in the US, the 22mn t/yr Bonny export terminal in Nigeria and Norway's 4.2mn t/yr Hammerfest export terminal. The firm also operates in the LNG bunker market, tracking the growing number of LNG bunker vessels operating in Singapore. It supplied over 16-17 February the dual-fuel bulk carrier Mount Api with LNG through the firm's 12,000m³ Brassavola LNG bunkering vessel. The Pavilion acquisition puts Shell in a position to capitalise on the growing LNG bunkering market. Demand for LNG as a bunker fuel in May at the port of Singapore touched a record high of 48,800t, on par with biofuels, according to the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore. Pavilion Energy and Shell each hold one term LNG import licence for Singapore, granted by regulator the Energy Market Authority. The other two licence holders are ExxonMobil and Singapore's Sembcorp Fuels. By Rou Urn Lee Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Iran rebukes G7 over nuclear warning: Update


17/06/24
17/06/24

Iran rebukes G7 over nuclear warning: Update

Adds quotes from IAEA director general Dubai, 17 June (Argus) — Iran's foreign ministry has called on the G7 to distance itself from "destructive policies of the past" after the group issued a statement condemning Tehran's recent nuclear programme escalation. "Unfortunately, some countries, driven by political motives and by resorting to baseless and unproven claims, attempt to continue their failed and ineffective policy of imposing and maintaining sanctions against the Iranian nation," the foreign ministry's spokesperson Nasser Kanaani said on 16 June. Kanaani advised the G7 "to learn from past experiences and distance itself from destructive past policies". His comments were in response to a joint statement from G7 leaders on 14 June warning Iran against advancing its nuclear enrichment programme. The leaders said they would be ready to enforce new measures if Tehran were to transfer ballistic missiles to Russia. The G7's reference to Iran comes on the heels of a new resolution passed by the board of governors of the UN's nuclear watchdog the IAEA . The resolution calls on Iran to step up co-operation and reverse its decision to restrict the agency access to nuclear facilities by de-designating inspectors. Kanaani said "any attempt to link the war in Ukraine to the bilateral co-operation between Iran and Russia is an act with only biased political goals", adding that some countries are "resorting to false claims to continue sanctions" against Iran. Tehran will continue its "constructive interaction and technical co-operation" with the IAEA, Kanaani said. But the agency's resolution is "politically biased", he said. Not an "anti-Iran" policy In an interview with the Russian daily newspaper Izvestia published today, IAEA director general Rafael Grossi refused claims of political bias. "We do co-operate with Iran. I don't deny this. This is important for inspection. My Iranian colleagues often say that Iran is the most inspected country in the world. Well, it is, and for good reason. But this is not enough," Grossi said, adding that the IAEA does not adhere to an "anti-Iran policy". Grossi also stressed the need for countries to return to diplomacy with Iran, while expressing concerns over the expansion of its nuclear programme. "Russia plays a very important role in this diplomacy, trying to keep the Iranian programme within a predictable and peaceful framework. But again, everything needs to be controlled," he said. The IAEA's new resolution and the reference to Iran in the G7 statement could be the start of a more concerted effort to raise pressure on Tehran over its nuclear programme. "What is happening right now is the process of accumulation of resolutions, so that when the day comes and the IAEA makes a referral to the UN Security Council, there will be enough resolutions to make a case for action at the security council level," a diplomatic source told Argus . Iran is enriching uranium to as high as 60pc purity. Near 90pc is considered to be weapons grade, according to the IAEA. By Bachar Halabi Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Japex takes control of Norway-focused upstream venture


17/06/24
17/06/24

Japex takes control of Norway-focused upstream venture

Tokyo, 17 June (Argus) — Japanese upstream firm Japex has acquired a majority stake in Longboat Japex from London-listed independent Longboat Energy to take full control of the Norwegian oil and gas joint venture. Japex spent $2.5mn to buy the 50.1pc stake, which will completed during July-September this year, Japex said. It bought a 49.9pc stake in Longboat Japex from Longboat Energy in May last year, with the UK firm last year looking to raise extra funds through asset sales, farm-down deals or issuing new equity. By Reina Maeda Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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