Jera to invest $1.4bn in Australia's Scarborough gas

  • : Natural gas
  • 24/02/23

Japanese LNG importer Jera has decided to invest $1.4bn in the Scarborough gas project being developed by Australian independent Woodside Energy off the northwest coast of Western Australia, in a deal that will give it up to 1.2mn t/yr of LNG.

Jera on 23 February agreed with Woodside Energy through its subsidiary Jera Australia to acquire a 15.1pc stake in the Scarborough gas field. The $1.4bn is Jera's biggest investment in any gas field by monetary value. The transaction is likely to be completed in the latter half of 2024, subject to conditions including obtaining permits and approvals.

The Scarborough gas project aims to produce 8mn t/yr of LNG at Woodside's 4.9mn t/yr Pluto LNG facility from 2026, where it is building a second 5mn t/yr train 2 facility. Jera plans to secure LNG for around 20 years on an fob basis, basically for its own use. It could consider chartering a new LNG vessel in the future, while leveraging its existing fleet, the company said.

Jera has decided to get involved in the Scarborough gas development, as the project is in relatively close proximity to Japan and has already passed its final investment decision in November 2021. The percentage of CO2 in gas in the field is at less than 0.1pc, which has also encouraged the company to invest. Jera will not consider installing carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology in the project. It could purchase carbon credits, if CO2 emissions rise above the baseline set for the project.

Jera also agreed on 23 February to buy six LNG cargoes per year (around 400,000 t/yr) from Woodside's portfolio over 10 years beginning in April 2026. The deal is on a des basis, with the price formula undisclosed.

Combined LNG quantities in the last two deals account for around 4.6pc of Jera's current LNG handling volumes of 35mn t/yr. It is unclear whether handling quantities would increase in the future, which is dependent on demand, Jera said. But the company sees LNG playing a vital role in Asia to balance stable energy supply, to support economic growth with decarbonisation and back up unstable renewable power output.

Jera looked for a new LNG supply source, while the US in late January decided to temporarily pause new licences for gas export. Jera said it is monitoring the US situation, without clearly adding that this has influenced its recent investment decisions.

Jera and Woodside also agreed on 23 February to explore collaboration in areas such as ammonia, hydrogen and CCS. More details such as timelines for discussion are yet undisclosed.


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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.

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


24/04/23
24/04/23

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.

USGC LNG-VLSFO discount to steady itself


24/04/23
24/04/23

USGC LNG-VLSFO discount to steady itself

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