LNG & Natural Gas News

Mar 24 - World's top LNG buyers form alliance to push for flexible contracts 

The world's biggest liquefied natural gas (LNG) buyers, all in Asia, are clubbing together to secure more flexible supply contracts in a move which shifts power to importers from producers as oversupply grows. Korea Gas Corp (KOGAS) said on Thursday it had signed a memorandum of understanding in mid-March with Japan's JERA and China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC) to exchange information and "cooperate in the joint procurement of LNG." Click here to read full stories.

Mar 23 - ICE to offer first U.S. Gulf Coast LNG futures contract

With the United States about to become a net exporter of natural gas for the first time in 60 years, Intercontinental Exchange Inc said on Wednesday it would begin trading the first-ever U.S. liquefied natural gas futures contract in May. ICE said the contracts would be cash-settled against the Platts LNG Gulf Coast Marker price assessment and use Platts-derived U.S. GCM LNG forward curves for daily settlement purposes. The curves will have an initial term of 48 months. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 22 - U.S. oil and gas industry reaps the benefits of international trade: Kemp 

Rising exports have thrown a lifeline to U.S. shale producers and refiners, giving them an additional outlet at a time when the domestic market has been at risk of becoming saturated. The United States exported record quantities of natural gas, propane, gasoline, distillate fuel oil and light crude last year while continuing to import the heavy oils needed by its refineries. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 14 - Utilities consider closures, M&A as gas storage sites struggle

European utilities are losing billions of euros from gas storage facilities, potentially triggering site closures and divestments in a market suffering from oversupply and weak demand. Around 5 percent of European storage capacity has been closed this decade and other sites are at risk of closure because weak gas price spreads do not allow operators to cover their fixed costs. Click here to read full stories.

Mar 08 - Low volatility hampers trade of TTF, NBP seasonal gas contracts (ICIS)
  Reduced liquidity on the front two seasonal-delivery contracts continued to restrict traded volumes at the NBP and TTF in February, which fell by 23% year on year at both hubs.
  According to brokered trade data collated by ICIS and exchange trade reported by ICE and PEGAS, a total of 1,525TWh was dealt at the TTF, 71% of which was traded over-the-counter (OTC). At the NBP, trade totalled 1,412TWh, 43% of which was dealt OTC.
  The key factor behind the downtrend at both hubs was lower trade on the front two seasons, as was the case in January. Liquidity early in 2017 has fallen compared to 2016 due to low volatility and a persistently tight forward summer/winter price spread.
  Brent crude has traded sideways within a $4/bbl range since the beginning of December 2016 and only a $3/bbl range in February. In 2016, Brent traded within a $7/bbl range as it began to stage a recovery from a decade-low. With oil falling to provide the European gas curve with any clear direction, volatility has slumped at the key hubs. ICIS’ TTF front summer and winter volatility indices averaged 42% and 39% in February 2016, but only 20% and 17% in 2017. The front calendar year volatility index was down from 40% to 14%.
  The front winter premium to the front summer at the NBP and TTF was also lower than in February 2016, despite fresh uncertainties about the summer injection capability of Rough in Britain. According to ICIS price assessments, the front summer/winter spread at the NBP and TTF averaged 5.76p/th and €1.66/MWh in February 2016, but only 5.52p/th and €1.02/MWh in the same month this year.
  The impact on curve trade was felt in both the brokered and exchange markets. According to OTC data collated by ICIS, liquidity on the front two seasons was down 38% at the NBP and 47% at the TTF, while total curve volume was down 31% and 29% respectively.
  On the ICE exchange, trade of NBP quarters and seasons were down 21% and 37%, while at the TTF the drop was 42% and 19% respectively, with a 52% slump on calendar year products.
  At the TTF, strong trade of monthly delivery contracts partially offset declining trade further out. Strong winter demand, a hefty draw down on gas stocks and the resulting low storage levels have supported volatility and trade on shorter-term products this winter. The average TTF day-ahead and front-month volatility indices were up 14 and one percentage point respectively in February 2017, year on year.
  Trade of TTF monthly contracts was up 82% at the ICE at 127TWh and up 31% at 283TWh in the OTC market. Trade of NBP months via the ICE were up 11% at 397TWh but down 21% in the OTC market at 174TWh, and therefore down 1% overall.

Mar 06 - Pipe dream? China faces daunting task to suck in gas and wean itself off coal 

China has set itself a staggering task to cure its smothering pollution: switching coal-fired boilers and heating systems in at least 1.2 million households in 28 of its smoggiest northern cities to run on gas or electricity. By October. Beijing's latest crackdown on pollution, outlined in a policy document dated Feb. 17 and seen by Reuters this week, dangles a potentially game-changing carrot for the country's saturated global natural gas market. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 23 - China's soaring LNG demand to help rein in global glut 

China's soaring demand for liquefied natural gas is sparking industry hopes that a supply overhang causing a slump in prices will end sooner than initially anticipated. China's imports of LNG in January rose 39.7 percent from a year earlier to 3.44 million tonnes, data from the General Administration of Customs showed on Thursday. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 23 - China state firm in preliminary deal to buy Chevron's Bangladesh gas fields 

China's state-run Zhenhua Oil has signed a preliminary deal with Chevron  to buy the U.S. oil major's natural gas fields in Bangladesh that are worth about $2 billion, two Beijing-based Chinese oil executives said. Zhenhua is a subsidiary of China's defence industry conglomerate NORINCO. A completed deal would mark China's first major energy investment in the South Asian country, where Beijing is competing with New Delhi and Tokyo for influence. Click here to read full stories.

Feb 20 - U.S. natural gas market tightens despite exceptionally mild winter: Kemp

Warm weather has masked how much the underlying supply and demand picture for U.S. natural gas has tightened this winter thanks to lower production and strong exports. The winter heating season of 2016/17 has so far been even milder than that of 2015/16, which was itself the warmest winter on record.Click here to read full stories.

Feb 17 - Germany’s gas storage capacity market at turning point (ICIS)
- Two storage capacity allocation platforms are set to fill a gap after the closure of Germany’s dominant platform store-x at the end of 2016. It remains to be seen whether the market will consolidate with one provider or if the market will be carved up by a number of auction platforms.

PRISMA in focus
PRISMA is Europe’s dominant cross-border capacity allocation platform and has been venturing out into the storage capacity auctioning business after the closure of store-x at the end of 2016. Germany’s astora and EWE Gasspeicher, along with Austrian energy company OMV, were the first storage operators to sign up for the pilot auctions at the beginning of the year. On Friday, astora is offering capacity for the upcoming gas year for its Haidach facility and the Jemgum site in week 8 on the PRISMA platform. It would be PRISMA’s second storage auction. The first one was hosted by OMV at the beginning of the month.

ICE, ICE maybe
The Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) Endex is mostly known as an exchange operator and clearing house but has more recently expanded into the storage allocation business. It currently hosts auctions for virtual storage with delivery at the Dutch TTF natural gas hub for wholesaler GasTerra. ICE also currently offers capacity for the German Innogy Gas Storage for its two facilities with a central delivery point.

Third option
Besides ICE ENDEX and PRISMA, a third option exists. Some major German storage operators including VNG, Storengy and Uniper all offer their capacity at their individual platforms. These however require large IT investments and are not necessarily viable for smaller players. Energy company Uniper, which was a 32% shareholder in store-x, set up its own storage capacity platform in September 2016, around the same time store-x announced its closure by the end of 2016. When store-x announced its plans to end its service it cited competition from technological advances and alternative platforms as some of the factors behind the decision. “Several store-x users simply built their own platform which was the main reason the customer base shrank so much,” said Jorg Albers, senior manager at innogy Gas Storage NWE. In contrast to cross-border capacity, storage capacity does not have to be allocated via platforms and operators are occasionally also approached directly by customers.

The store-x option
Germany-based store-x was founded in 2006 as a secondary storage capacity allocation platform but many storage operators used it during the last years as a primary tool, predominantly for the German market, explained Andre Janssen, head of storage marketing at EWE Gasspeicher. “Store-x had a claim to become a European-wide storage capacity platform and was seen by some as a model project. It was however dominated by German storage offerings from its start and could not leave this niche for the German market over the past years,” Albers said.

Market participants contacted by ICIS are in conversations with both providers and continue to weigh their options whether to side with ICE Endex or PRISMA. If a single platform was to come out on top, it might further pull in storage operators from other countries as the pool of potential customers is likely to grow.

Feb 16 - Spot European gas prices match Asia LNG on cold snap (ICIS)
 The ICIS March East Asia Index (EAX) for spot LNG cargoes was assessed for the final time at $7.125/MMBtu on 15 February, down $1.200/MMBtu since becoming the front month on 16 January. As a front month, the contract had peaked on its first day of assessment at $8.325/MMBtu on 16 January and was at its low on the final assessment day.
 During its period as front month, the March EAX assessment averaged at a price of $7.716/MMBtu, which was down 19% from the rolling front-month average, but up 49% from the March EAX assessment average the year before. The ICIS EAX is the arithmetic average of the daily delivered ex ship (DES) assessments for China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.
 EAX prices moved steadily downwards over the course of the month, continuing the trend seen since late December, when the March EAX had peaked at $9.200/MMBtu on the back of demand for replacement cargoes to cover an outage at train one of Australia’s Gorgon liquefaction project. Gorgon returned to production at the start of 2017, and supply received a further boost as west Africa’s Angola LNG resumed spot cargo tenders in January after a halt in the second half of December.
 Improved output eased pressure in the market, while major buyers such as Japan, South Korea and China had sufficient inventories to avoid entering the market in any force during the latter part of winter. They were also able to meet extra requirements by turning up volumes from their long-term suppliers. Trading activity in the region also quietened at the end of January due to the Chinese New Year holidays.
 The strong year-on-year gain of 49% reflects higher oil prices this year. Although spot-traded LNG is priced according to individual deals between buyers and sellers, spot supplies compete against volume available through long-term oil-indexed contracts, and oil therefore exerts an important influence on the market.  

 High prices in Europe
 Unexpectedly high prices in Europe during the past month made the region an attractive alternative destination for spot cargoes. A cold snap sent spot gas and near-curve prices in southern France and Spain to the highest in the world. The Spanish PVB gas price for March, for example, hit $9.460/MMBtu in late January, around $1.500/MMBtu above the March EAX at the same time. Spain, southern France and Portugal all received spot-tendered cargoes from Angola.
 In early February, meanwhile, prices in northern Europe almost reached EAX levels when the UK NBP March contract approached $7.500/MMBtu on concerns over a late-winter freeze that was then predicted for late February and March. Prices soon fell back, however, as the weather outlook changed.
 Major deals during the period included Italian producer Eni winning a 15-year contract to supply Pakistan LNG with 180 cargoes from July 2017 to July 2032 at a price of 12.29% of Brent crude and Swiss-based trading house Gunvor agreeing to supply the same company with 60 cargoes from July 2017 to July 2022 at 11.62% of Brent. Egypt’s EGAS agreed with Russia’s Rosneft, Oman’s OTI and France’s Engie for the delivery of up to 45 cargoes during April-December 2017. Argentina’s ENARSA procured 16 cargoes for its southern hemisphere winter demand, agreeing to take 11 from trader Trafigura, three from trader Glencore and two from US exporter Cheniere for April-September this year.

 Cargo moves

 Notable voyages recorded on ICIS analytics platform LNG Edge during mid-January to mid-February included the arrival of the first commercial delivery to France’s new Dunkirk LNG terminal aboard the 210,000cbm Murwab from Qatar on 22 January and the departure from Peru on 6 February of the first cargo from that country headed towards the UK, aboard the 134,000cbm Gallina.
 The strong prices in the south of France were evidenced by highly unusual shipments from the north to the south of France. The 154,000cbm GDF Suez Point Fortin and the 75,000cbm Global Energy both picked up cargoes from the Montoir terminal in northwest France, sailed around Spain, then unloaded them at Fos Cavaou in southern France a few days later, as France’s onshore pipeline network struggled to pump gas southwards fast enough to keep up with demand.
 Some 14 cargoes departed the southern US Sabine Pass export project over the January 16-February 15 period, for varied destinations including Japan, Mexico, India, Turkey, Portugal and Spain. US exports will soon build on their growing contribution to the market with the expected loading of the first commercial cargo from Sabine Pass Train 3 in March. First LNG from Train 3 at Australia’s Gorgon project is, meanwhile, expected to follow early in the second quarter of the year.

Feb 03 - Seasonal gas trade pulls NBP, TTF liquidity down in Jan17 (ICIS)
- The volume of gas traded at the Dutch TTF and British NBP hubs dropped year on year in January, according over-the-counter (OTC) and exchange trade data collated by ICIS. A total of 1,727TWh was dealt at the TTF, of which 73% was OTC, representing a 15% drop compared to January 2016. At the NBP, 1,392TWh was traded, 42% OTC, which was down by 29% year on year.
- Declining interest on the front two seasons was the key driver behind the downtrend at both hubs, with less trade on the far curve beyond these contracts also factoring in. The lower curve volume was likely due to particularly strong trade at the start of 2016, when shippers were adjusting gas positions in light of oil’s fall to decade-low prices.
- Trade of the front two seasons at the TTF early in 2017 may also be suffering from a tight forward summer/winter price spread, with some counterparties likely to be waiting for a better opportunity to hedge storage capacity for the upcoming 2017/18 cycle. According to ICIS assessments, in January the TTF Summer ‘17 contract closed on average €1.08/MWh below Winter ‘17, down 12% compared to the equivalent products one year before.
TTF increases lead
- Trade of the front-month contract in January was symptomatic of the divergent growth trends at Europe’s two biggest hubs. At the TTF a record volume of front-month trade was recorded via the ICE Endex exchange and OTC at 448TWh, representing a 27% year-on-year increase. At the NBP the volume traded fell by 9% to 380TWh.
- Trade of the four ICIS-assessed prompt-delivery contracts rose to a year-high 90.4TWh at the TTF, driven up by unseasonably cold temperatures and strong demand. The 58.6TWh dealt on the same four NBP contracts was the highest since May 2016.
Volume splits
- OTC trade at the TTF fell by 17% year on year in January to 1,268TWh, according to ICIS data. Trade via the ICE Endex and PEGAS bourses fell by 8% to 458TWh, split approximately 82:18 in favour of the former.
- Monthly contracts were the only products to post significant year-on-year growth, as trade on the rest of the curve slumped. Trade on the prompt was little changed, as strong demand and storage withdrawal optimisation supported liquidity.

Jan 27 - Australia's LNG projects face major delays, benefiting U.S. producers

Australia's plans for a huge increase in its production of liquefied natural gas are being dealt a big blow by a series of production delays, as energy companies struggle with technical problems and cost overruns. The country is still likely to become the world's biggest LNG exporter, dispatching about 85 million tonnes a year by the end of the decade, up from 30.7 million tonnes in 2015 and 45.1 million tonnes last year. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 26 - Gazprom says Poland transit deal delay endangers gas exports to EU

Kremlin-controlled Gazprom, Europe's largest gas supplier, has warned of risks to its deliveries to Europe via Poland as Warsaw has yet to accept new terms for gas transit. "We've heard that Poland does not intend to prolong the transit deal. This puts at risk supplies to European countries, including Germany," Gazprom's deputy chief executive Alexander Medvedev said in an interview cleared for Wednesday publication. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 25 - LNG demand, prices surprise, but wave of new supply yet to crest: Russell

China's record imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in December, and the doubling in spot Asian prices in the past six months, appear to contradict the prevailing market view that supply is overwhelming demand for the super-chilled fuel. But while demand for LNG has definitely firmed in recent months, and not just from China, it's still likely the case that the wave of new projects will push the market into surplus - just perhaps not by as much as some observers had feared. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 25 - U.S. LNG exports shift to Europe from Asia

U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporters have shifted their focus to Southern Europe from Asia as cold weather and problems with Algerian gas supply have driven Europe's gas prices higher. Gas prices in Europe are at their highest premiums to U.S. gas prices for three years. Several cargoes have already made their way to Europe, and analysts expect more to come. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 24 - What’s in store for the global LNG markets in 2017 ? (ICIS)
- 2017 will be another year of big change for the global LNG market as more new Australian production starts up and the momentum then swings to the US.
- Concerns will persist on demand from East Asia, with nuclear plants likely to come back in Japan and South Korea while India will remain an alluring destination for LNG sellers as infrastructure develops and independent buyers come to the market.
- In the Atlantic, the increased role of Henry Hub-linked LNG will influence pricing in the global market.
- South American demand will remain volatile while Europe will offer a market of last resort, albeit with strong competition from Russian and Norwegian pipe gas.
- Africa will continue be an exciting region with new production planned from Cameroon and progress expected in Mozambique. The Middle East is set to absorb spot and short-term volumes.

Jan 19 - Global oil, gas discoveries drop to 70-year low -Rystad Energy

Oil and gas discoveries around the world dropped last year to their lowest since the 1940s after companies sharply cut back in their search for new resources amid falling oil prices. The decline in discoveries means companies such as Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell will struggle to offset the natural depletion of existing fields, reinforcing forecasts of a supply shortage by the end of the decade. Click here to read full stories.

Jan 06 - TRS natural gas premium over PEG Nord soars on LNG shortage (ICIS)
  The premium held by the southern French TRS natural gas hub over the northern French PEG Nord has soared and could increase further in the coming days, as a shortage of LNG supply puts stress on southeastern France’s gas network. “The spread could increase to €5.00-8.00/MWh, but it’s difficult to see it going past €8.00/MWh,” a trader at a utility said on Tuesday. “There’s a danger of a gas shortage but it is too soon to say what the full impact will be, as people are just coming back from the holidays,” he added, a reference to how a less liquid market generally gives off poorer pricing signals.
  The TRS Day-ahead contract closed €5.65/MWh above PEG Nord on 30 December 2016, its highest premium since 12 September. And forward prices indicate a wide spread could persist, with the TRS January ‘17 contract assessed €4.40/MWh above PEG Nord on the same day.
  A lack of LNG supply to southern France has led system operator GRTgaz to make requests of shippers to bring more LNG into the Fos LNG terminals, which are used to supply the TRS zone.

More LNG needed
“All it takes is the goodwill of the two or three main players to solve the problem. But it has to make financial sense for them [to bring in LNG cargoes],” said a second trader. The TRS Day-ahead price is currently more than €4.00/MWh above most other European hubs, including the liquid TTF and NBP, indicating southern France may be an attractive destination for cargoes. On the flip side, high Asian prices will continue to act as a draw on LNG cargoes, which may otherwise have been bound for Europe.
“I’m not sure about the physical restraints [of bringing LNG in], but it is unlikely to be in the short-term. Maybe by next month – it depends where they can divert cargoes from,” the second trader added.

The quickest way to get LNG supplies into France is from Algeria.
  The only vessel currently scheduled to arrive at Fos is the 76,000cbm Cheikh El Mokrani, according to ICIS LNG Edge. Send-out from the terminals is projected at 9 million cubic metres (mcm)/day until 5 January, 2mcm/day shy of GRTgaz’s requested level. Between 6-15 January, send-out is forecast to fall to 4mcm/day.

25mcm/day deficit
  The TRS zone as a whole is running at a deficit of around 25mcm/day, operator data shows. Total consumption is pegged at around 115mcm/day, with an additional 10mcm/day exported to Spain. On the supply side, around 35mcm/day is being imported from northern France via a set of pipelines called the north-south link, just shy of maximum capacity. Storage withdrawals have ramped up to around 46mcm/day, but are likely to dip due to maintenance at the Manosque site. The Manosque facility will be fully offline until between 3-5 January, while the operator undertakes maintenance work to guarantee the availability of full withdrawal capacity. Capacity had been restricted to just 50% since the start of the gas winter. Colder weather and associated higher weather-driven consumption could deepen the mire. Temperature in southern France is forecast at 2-4°C below seasonal norms this week, according to meteorologist WSI.

Due to the particular characteristics of the TRS zone and its relative disconnection from neighbouring markets, the price impact had not spread to other European hubs on Tuesday morning.

Jan 05 - Russia's Rosneftegaz closes Rosneft privatisation deal

Russian state holding company Rosneftegaz on Wednesday closed a deal with the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) and commodities trader Glencore to sell a 19.5 percent stake in state-owned oil major Rosneft, Rosneft said. The privatisation deal, which Rosneft Chief Executive Igor Sechin called the largest in Russia's history, was announced by Rosneft in a meeting with President Vladimir Putin in December. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 29 - Our best wishes for a serene (and decisively less turbulent) New Year 2017 to all friends, tweeps, readers, followers and clients.

Dec 20 - Asian spot LNG in largest monthly surge since Feb'13 peak (ICIS)
  LNG demand from China and South Korea, as well as Australian supply outages, helped raise East Asian spot LNG prices to the largest month on month gain since the peak of the last super cycle in February 2013.
  The ICIS January ’17 East Asia Index (EAX) was assessed for the final time at $9.20/MMBtu on 15 December, climbing $1.95/MMBtu since becoming the front month on 16 November. It was the largest month on month gain in almost four years, harking back to a time when the EAX peaked at $21.43/MMBtu.
  The front-month EAX in 2016 has, to date, averaged $5.59/MMBtu, but has been on the ascendency since mid-September. Appetite from South Korea, which has sought spot LNG to replace the loss of nuclear power generation, has been central in pushing up prices from below $5.50/MMbtu in mid-September, to above $7.00/MMBtu by mid-November.
  LNG demand from China and South Korea, as well as Australian supply outages, helped raise East Asian spot LNG prices to the largest month on month gain since the peak of the last super cycle in February 2013.
  The ICIS January ’17 East Asia Index (EAX) was assessed for the final time at $9.20/MMBtu on 15 December, climbing $1.95/MMBtu since becoming the front month on 16 November. It was the largest month on month gain in almost four years, harking back to a time when the EAX peaked at $21.43/MMBtu.
  The front-month EAX in 2016 has, to date, averaged $5.59/MMBtu, but has been on the ascendency since mid-September. Appetite from South Korea, which has sought spot LNG to replace the loss of nuclear power generation, has been central in pushing up prices from below $5.50/MMbtu in mid-September, to above $7.00/MMBtu by mid-November.
  In theory, as spreads between the EAX and the ICIS Northwest Europe Index (NEX) widened, European re-exports can be used as a marginal supply source to the market. However, traders cautioned there was little LNG volume available in tank to re-export. With Europe seemingly well supplied from local production or nearby pipeline imports, LNG initially intended for Europe but diverted from source may be more likely. The arbitrage between the EAX and NEX for Feb ‘17 delivery rose from $1.60/MMBtu on 16 November, to $4.10/MMBtu on 15 December.
  Data from LNG EDGE shows that Europe’s largest receiving terminal, South Hook in the UK, has received five less cargoes in the 30 days to 15 December 2016 than over the same period last year.

Dec 15 - U.S. oil industry cheers Trump energy pick, seeks gas export boost

The U.S. oil and gas industry on Wednesday welcomed President-elect Donald Trump's choice of former Texas Governor Rick Perry to head the U.S. Department of Energy, and wasted no time making its first specific request of him: to support increased exports of America's natural gas overseas. Trump named Perry as his pick for the top U.S. energy job on Wednesday morning, handing the portfolio to a climate change skeptic with close ties to the oil and gas industry, and who previously proposed abolishing the department. 

Dec 06 - Dutch gas hub continues to build traded-volume lead over NBP (ICIS)
  Total traded volume at the TTF pulled further clear of the British NBP in November, according to data collated by ICIS. Liquidity at both hubs rose by around 4% month on month, but declining interest on the NBP curve saw total volume in Britain fall by nearly a third compared to November 2015.
  TTF volume grew by 6% over the same period, as a result of increased brokered trade of the day-ahead and near-curve contracts. A total of 1,783TWh of trade was recorded at the TTF in November, comprising 1,357TWh (76%) of brokered deals and 426TWh (24%) via the ICE Endex and PEGAS exchange platforms.
  In the over-the-counter (OTC) market, volume traded at the TTF dipped 2% compared to October 2016, but was up 10% year on year.
  Trade of the Day-ahead contract hit a record high of nearly 34TWh in November, bettering the previous record of 32TWh set in February 2016. This was driven by unseasonably cold weather across the month, as evidenced by a combined 5.5 billion cubic metres of demand for Dutch low-calorific natural gas – equal to 116% of the November average between 2012-2015.
  The TTF Day-ahead held a premium to the front-month contract on all but two days during November, according to ICIS closing price assessments, boosting the incentive for storage shippers to withdraw gas to trade on the spot market. Additional demand from Britain – satisfied via exports on the BBL pipeline and via Belgium – also helped to lift trade of the Day-ahead contract.
  The volume traded on other TTF prompt contracts fell in November however and this, together with a significant drop in trade of monthly contracts and the front year, helped to drive OTC volumes lower compared with October ’16. Greater interest in quarterly and seasonal delivery contracts meant the overall month-on-month drop was only marginal.
  Year-on-year growth at the Dutch hub was driven by increased trade of the front month, quarter and season, offsetting smaller drops on other contracts.
  In contrast, TTF exchange trade was down 3% year on year, but volumes rose by 34% compared to the previous month. The year-on-year trend was driven by a 19TWh drop in volumes on seasonal contracts traded via the ICE Endex bourse. A small reduction in trade was also seen on ICE’s quarterly products, offsetting an increase in trade of monthly and yearly contracts.
  ICE Endex accounted for around 82% of TTF exchange trade, with the remaining 18% traded via PEGAS. This split was unchanged compared to November 2015.
  The picture was very different at the NBP, where total volume fell by 33% year on year, despite rising 4% compared to the previous month. The 1,123TWh total comprised 601TWh (54%) of exchange trade and 521TWh (46%) of brokered trade.
  OTC volume at the NBP hit a two-year low, driven by reduced trade on key curve contracts. The volume dealt on the far-curve – longer dated quarterly and seasonal contracts – and the prompt partially arrested the trend at the British hub, but the NBP still fell to a record 836TWh OTC deficit to the TTF in November.
  The NBP Day-ahead recorded a 19-month high 24TWh of trade amid unseasonably cold weather and strong imports from mainland Europe via its two interconnectors.
  Exchange trade – predominantly through the ICE – was down 37% year on year but up 16% compared to October 2016, like at the TTF. Traded was down on all products compared to November 2015, but seasonal-delivery contracts in particular.
  Uncertainty stemming from Britain’s vote to leave the EU – particularly concerning currency volatility – has been cited by market sources as a key factor behind the recent downtrend. The euro-denominated TTF hub is currently regarded as a safer option for many European energy companies.
  The TTF has increased its combined volume lead over the NBP in every month since July, following the Brexit vote at the end of June. The Dutch hub’s 661TWh lead in November ’16 was a new record.

Dec 05 - Peru would face 'huge sum' if it scraps Odebrecht contract - junior partner 

Odebrecht SA's junior partner on a natural gas pipeline project in Peru told Reuters Friday that the government would have to pay $1.2 billion to $1.4 billion in compensation if it decides to rescind the current contract as financing is stuck on corruption concerns. Resuming construction on the $5 billion project could take up to three years if the Odebrecht-led group misses a January financing deadline and the government holds a new auction, said Mario Alvarado, corporate general manager of Peruvian construction group Grana y Montero. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 25 - Asian exchanges set to hit the gas on LNG trading

Asia may be the world's biggest consumer of liquefied natural gas, yet its LNG trading activity is minuscule as no exchange has managed to establish itself as a benchmark. That might be about to change. Following years of unfulfilled promises, two of Asia's leading exchanges - Singapore's SGX and Japan's TOCOM - this week announced they would join forces to create Asian LNG and electricity futures. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 24 - Global LNG buyers, sellers meet as Japan probes contract clauses

A new Japanese regulatory probe into sales restrictions for liquefied natural gas (LNG) contracts will be at the forefront of discussion as the industry's biggest buyers and sellers gather in Tokyo this week. Representatives from major LNG producers Qatar, Australia and Malaysia will meet with buyers from companies including Japan's Jera Co, the world's biggest buyer of the fuel, and Taiwan's CPC Corp to find ways to address a market where demand is only about 76 percent of supply, Thomson Reuters Eikon data shows. The overhang is leading the industry to question everything from how the fuel is priced to how it is sold. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 22 - Singapore Exchange (SGX) and Japan's Tokyo Commodity Exchange (TOCOM) said on Tuesday they have signed a memorandum of understanding to jointly develop Asia's liquefied natural gas (LNG) market, as well as electricity futures.
  As part of the accord, the exchanges plan to explore opportunities like co-listing LNG derivatives, as well as synergies between the pair's market distribution networks.
  SGX, which listed Asia's first electricity futures in 2015, will also share its experience with its Japanese counterpart, Loh Boon Chye, SGX's Chief Executive Officer, said in a statement.
  "We also look forward to drawing on SGX's experience in electricity futures, as a liquid electricity market is closely linked to the development of the LNG market," said Takamichi Hamada, President and Chief Executive Officer of TOCOM.
  SGX began pricing LNG in October 2015 when it launched its Singapore Sling index, assessing cargoes on a free-on-board Singapore basis. In September this year it launched a second index, the North Asia Sling.
  The latter index, which will price the super-cooled fuel for the Japanese, South Korean, Taiwanese and Chinese markets, was seen by market participants as a signal that the market continues to take pricing signals from traditional buyers in North Asia.
  Singapore, already Asia's main trading location for oil and refined fuel products, and Japan, the world's biggest consumer of LNG, had previously been in competition to establish Asia's main LNG hub.

Nov 21 - Australia to import LNG ? When the illogical makes sense: Russell 

Sometimes the seemingly illogical actually makes sense. Take the case of Australia, which will become the world's largest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG), but also may start importing the super-chilled fuel at the same time. Australia is in the final stages of completing more than $180 billion of LNG projects that will see it overtake Qatar as the world's largest supplier by the end of next year. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 17 - Asia absorbs steady increase in LNG as NBP volatility rises (ICIS)
  Spot LNG prices in East Asia have inched higher over the last 30 days while European gas hubs have been more volatile.
  The ICIS December East Asia Index (EAX) was assessed for the final time at $7.21/MMBtu on 15 November, having risen $0.36/MMBtu since becoming the front month on 17 October. The second front month contract, the January ‘17 EAX, closed at $7.33/MMbtu, representing a small $0.18/MMBtu rise.
  A larger-than-expected round of purchases from South Korean incumbent, KOGAS set the tone in the second half of October. It purchased around 15 deliveries across December to February, up from only four that it had initially sought. Prices which were said to average around $7.00/MMBtu, appeared to be at a market discount for January but this was due to extra flexibility granted to sellers regarding discharge dates. Sellers were able to maintain East Asian offers in the mid $7.00s/MMBtu for outstanding demand until the end of October but had to abandon ideas of a $0.25/MMBtu contango between December and January as market attention turned to the second front month at the beginning of November.

  The prospect of greater production as plants in Australia and the US ramp up after a string of maintenance outages was cited as one factor keeping a lid on the contango. Another was the mild winter weather forecasts for Japan. On the other hand, traders also pointed to possible weather-driven demand in late December and January from the Beijing and northern China markets.
  Taiwan too, has so far been more active this winter than in previous years. Though not a typical seasonal spot importer, lower-than-expected nuclear power generation, like in South Korea, encouraged its state-owned buyer to purchase a December delivery around $7.20/MMBtu at the beginning of November.
  As the EAX across both front months narrowed into the low-mid $7.00s/MMBtu range, various discussions for incremental supply to India also helped support the EAX. Indian buyers transacted for spot December and January volumes at or close to EAX levels in early November.
  Around this period, large tenders for supplies to Egypt and Pakistan over the mid-term forward curve consumed significant attention from traders. Opportunities for optimisation among traders for near-term deliveries to Egypt, India, Pakistan, and South Korea were also present however. One example from analytics platform, LNG Edge, being the churn involved in these two deliveries to India and South Korea.
  Image showcases diversion of Nigeria-sourced cargo afer approaching Ain Sukhna, EgyptRe-exports, or diversions, from Europe appear still to have been in the money with the EAX Dec’16 holding a premium at or above $1.50/MMBtu to the Northwest Europe Index (NEX) for most of the period.
  European gas hubs however, have been volatile with prices jumping, and then falling back, as winter supply profiles ease concerns over demand.
  The front months on the British NBP jumped by around $0.50/MMBtu in early November, widening premiums to the Dutch TTF to about $0.60/MMBtu on 2 November.
  The British premium over neighbouring Netherlands has been supported by a lack of available storage withdrawals over winter from the large-scale Rough site which has suffered extended outages in recent months.
  There is currently only one Qatari cargo due to arrive in the UK over the coming weeks, according to ICIS LNG Edge. The platform shows as many as six Qatari vessels that usually deliver to the UK are either en route to, or from, East Asia.

Nov 11 - ConocoPhillips aims to sell up to $8 billion in gas assets

ConocoPhillips, the largest U.S. independent oil producer, will sell up to $8 billion in natural gas assets and trim its capital budget by 4 percent next year to provide funds to bolster operations, executives said on Thursday. The moves highlighted not only the energy industry's increasing push for efficiency gains that reduce the cost of drawing oil and natural gas from the earth but also low commodity prices, which have hampered Conoco and peers the past two years. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 08 - French nuclear crunch causes European CCGT gas demand surge (ICIS)
- Demand for gas in power generation at many key European gas hubs surged in October, in response to nuclear supply problems in France and favourable clean spark spreads. This was a key factor in pushing Day-ahead contracts at many European gas hubs around 40% higher month on month.
- The main factor behind gas-fired generation demand rocketing in October was a series of outages at French nuclear generation facilities, which are the country’s dominant source for electricity. These supply concerns led to spikes in many European wholesale power markets.
- Looking ahead, the French Nuclear Safety Authority has said that four reactors will be taken offline between mid-December and mid-January, meaning nuclear availability will be restricted during a key demand period. A fifth reactor has already been taken offline.
- The supply crunch has impacted not only France, but neighbouring markets, and caused gas-fired generation in surrounding countries to ramp up in order to fill the supply gap.
- The combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) demand increase was a key factor in higher Day-ahead contracts at many European gas hubs, including the British NBP, Dutch TTF and French PEG Nord. Most Day-ahead contracts leapt by around 40% in October, with the TTF surging from €12.56/MWh on 3 October to €16.925/MWh on 28 October.
- Other factors contributing to the price rises included lower than normal temperatures across much of northern Europe, low send-out from British LNG terminals and uncertainty over British gas storage.

Nov 04 - Chesapeake Energy expects to exit 2017, 2018 with higher output 

U.S. natural gas producer Chesapeake Energy Corp reported a surprise adjusted profit, helped by lower expenses, and said it expects to exit the next two years at higher production rates. Shares of Chesapeake, which also kept its 2017 budget nearly unchanged, rose as much as 9 percent to $5.80 on Thursday. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 04 - Japan's beleaguered utilities seek salvation in trading 

Forced into action by falling customers due to market liberalization and a shrinking population, Japan's utilities are ditching old long-term coal and gas supply contracts in favour of more short-term, opportunistic trading. The move represents a sea change for the traditionally risk averse utilities as they seek to cut costs, but will make life harder for liquefied natural gas (LNG) producers who have relied on long-term sales to underwrite costly new projects and expansions. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 31 - Chevron Wheatstone LNG cost blowout to $34 bln hits Woodside 

Woodside Petroleum said on Monday it faces an 8 percent rise in its expected costs on the Wheatstone LNG (liquefied natural gas) project in Australia, after operator Chevron Corp flagged total costs would jump to $34 billion. Chevron said last Friday delays in module deliveries to the Wheatstone project had resulted in a $5 billion blowout in costs from its estimate in 2011. It still expects the plant, which will have two production units, to start output in mid-2017. 

Oct 26 - China is more than LNG's best hope, it's a microcosm: Russell 

China stands out as a bright spot for oversupplied liquefied natural gas (LNG) markets, but it's much more than just a beacon of demand hope, it's the microcosm of how the global market is likely to develop. China's imports of the super-chilled fuel almost doubled to 2.53 million tonnes in September from the same month in 2015, according to customs data. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 26 - Singapore takes more steps to become LNG trading hub 

Singapore is boosting efforts to establish itself as Asia's liquefied natural gas (LNG) trading hub, looking at third party spot imports and a second LNG terminal, while LNG bunkering services will start next year. The city state, already one of the world's leading oil trading centres, is vying with Tokyo and Shanghai to become Asia's main pricing hub for the emerging LNG market as the fuel moves away from being traded almost exclusively through long-term contracts. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 21 - NBP bulls in charge but front-summer momentum wanes (ICIS)
- Technical analysis of ICIS data suggests that the bulls remain in control of the NBP Summer ’17 contract but that upwards momentum has fallen in recent sessions, indicating a possible plateau or downturn. The NBP is one of Europe’s largest gas markets and is a key price driver for numerous European gas and power markets. NBP prices can influence other gas hubs including the Dutch TTF and German NCG markets along with British, French and Dutch power markets. The NBP is also the key reference price for LNG in Europe.
- The graphs demonstrate the price of the contract since 30 June 2016; its simple moving average (SMA); upper and lower bollinger bands; moving average convergence-divergence (MACD) and signal line; and traded volume on the contract on a given day.

Through July and August, the contract was caught in a steady downward trend, drifting between its lower bollinger band and simple moving average (SMA) a number of times as volatility slowly left the market.
On 22 August, the MACD line crossed below the signal line, typically a sell signal for a trader as it suggests that the market has entered a bearish trend.
Summer ’17 then started to stage a recovery in value from 12 September, after bottoming out at 35.45p/th three days prior.
The uptick became a trend, rather than a correction, when the contract’s MACD crossed above its corresponding signal line on 15 August – typically interpreted as a buy signal for traders.
Four days later, the contract broke above its SMA, further cementing its bullish trend.
The MACD line leapt above the zero line on 23 August, another technical buying signal.
These three indicators helped to propel Summer ‘17 to life-of-contract highs, climbing 21% in a little over a month
- Flagging momentum
The MACD histogram, which measures the difference between the MACD line and signal line, peaked at 0.5071 on 6 October when the contract was at its most bullish. By 19 October, the histogram had dropped by over 50% to 0.2242. This indicates the upwards momentum in the market is beginning to wane as the MACD threatens to cross below the signal line.
At 1.429, the MACD is just 8% below its 1.55 high point during its last bullish run in July 2016, which preceded the contract’s summer down-trend.
A falling histrogram, as the MACD approaches a historical peak, are indicative of a market where the bulls are running out of steam.

Oct 20 - Asian LNG demand lifts spot prices as winter approaches (ICIS)
- A number of buyers across East Asia and India have tapped the LNG spot market causing marginal supply to appear increasingly scarce as the northern hemisphere winter approaches.
- The ICIS November East Asia Index (EAX) was assessed for the final time at $6.45/MMBtu on 14 October, having risen $1.06/MMBtu since becoming the front month on 16 September. The second front-month contract, the December EAX, closed at $6.80/MMbtu, representing a $1.25/MMBtu rise.
- Renewed appetite from South Korean state-owned buyer KOGAS has been key in the upward price direction. Four nuclear units at Wolsong in South Korea went offline following earthquakes that hit the country in mid-September. Korea was deprived of more than a quarter of its 22GW nuclear power capacity on the back of a long and hot summer of heightened electricity demand for air conditioning.
- As Korean gas inventories dwindled, KOGAS went from being relatively long in LNG to short, and after having nominated to take as many incremental deliveries through its long-term contracts as commercially viable, the company issued its third short-term buy tender of the past five weeks on 12 October. KOGAS had awarded three cargoes through the first tender in mid-September and issued a subsequent tender for five shipments in late September. Its latest tender, which is expected to be awarded by 27 October, seeks four deliveries from November 2016 to February 2017.

Oct 18 - Even at $100 for coal, Asia's LNG industry struggles to compete

The liquefied natural gas (LNG) sector has watched with joy how thermal coal prices have soared this year, hoping that the unexpected spike would at last make LNG price competitive in Asia. Although much cleaner than coal in terms of pollution and carbon emissions, natural gas has struggled to make inroads in Asia's power generation mix since it is typically more expensive to produce electricity from gas than coal. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 13 - South Korean shipbuilders eyed for LNG carriers deal worth $3.8 billion

A little-known investment company said it intends to order up to 20 liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers, probably from South Korean shipbuilders. The contracts would be worth as much as $3.8 billion, two people with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters. CBI Energy and Chemical, which is controlled by Australian and Canadian investors and has offices in Hong Kong, also said in a statement to Reuters that it would be seeking to buy floating LNG production and import facilities as part of an ambitious plan for Africa and Asia. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 07 - LNG prices enjoying seasonal gains, but joy may be short-lived: Russell 

It's around about now that liquefied natural gas (LNG) spot prices usually start rising in Asia ahead of winter demand, and this year looks set to hold to the pattern, although any relief for producers is likely to be short-lived. While the LNG market is heading for structural oversupply next year, and for several years thereafter, there are several short-term factors that have been supporting prices, and should continue to do so for a little while. Click here to read full stories.

Oct 06 - Qatar diverts LNG from Britain to more lucrative Asia 

Britain's top sea-borne gas supplier Qatar has stopped sending new shipments for several weeks as restocking demand from long-standing customer South Korea drains supply. The drought underscores the precariousness of Britain's access to liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplies from the world's biggest producer at a time when UK gas traders deal with volatile markets and the approach of peak winter demand.

Sep 28 - Britain's first U.S. shale gas delivery arrives in stormy Scotland 

Britain's first shale gas delivery from the United States sailed into a heated European political debate on fracking on Tuesday and immediately ran into its first practical problem - the Scottish weather.The huge "Ineos Insight" tanker had entered the Firth of Forth at sunrise, a lone Scots piper playing on its bow, as it headed for the Grangemouth refinery, west of Edinburgh. Click here to read full stories.

Sep 27 - Japan's Jera sells first LNG resale cargo to South Korea 

Japan's Jera Co, the world's biggest importer of liquefied natural gas (LNG), has re-sold an LNG cargo to South Korea, marking the first actual delivery to a customer outside of Japan, a crucial step toward expanding its trading business. Jera agreed to resell about 60,000 tonnes of LNG to the Gwangyang terminal in South Korea for December delivery to a storage tank that trading house Itochu Corp has leased from Posco, Jera's Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Fuel Transactions Officer, Hiroki Sato, told Reuters in an interview on Monday. Click here to read full stories.

Sep 21 - Bearish European gas hubs keep re-load option open (ICIS)
- Stronger bearish pressure at European gas hubs has trumped world-wide falls in spot LNG prices allowing LNG re-exports in an already well-supplied LNG market.
- The ICIS October South America Index (SAX) was assessed for the final time at $5.31/MMBtu on 15 September, having fallen $0.33/MMBtu since becoming the front month on 16 August. It went from being assessed at a premium to a discount to both the ICIS East Asia Index (EAX) and Middle East North Africa Index (MENAX).
- Only gas hubs in Europe fell by more providing scope for LNG traders to still re-export at a profit, particularly to destinations in the Middle East. Volatility in month-ahead European gas, as well as LNG markets, saw the MENAX premium to the ICIS Northwest Europe Index (NEX) range from $1.23/MMBtu to $1.77/MMBtu.
- Supply from most LNG production centres around the world held steady, while plants in Indonesia, Australia, and Papua New Guinea held tenders over the period to sell excess into the October market. A force majeure on feedgas supplies to the Nigeria LNG plant since 10 August was lifted on 7 September. Data from ICIS LNG Edge shows that, as of 16 September, four more cargoes have been loaded from Nigeria within the last 15 days compared to the previous 15 days. Despite lengthening supply and spot prices falling, LNG traders in Europe could still consider Europe as an economically competitive source of supply in the October market. With the Dutch TTF October ’16 contract trading around €12.00/MWh ($3.95/MMBtu), at least one trader has probed the shipping market to re-export from northern Europe in early October.

Sep 14 - Front-month trade lifts TTF gas volumes as NBP slumps
A seven-month high in traded volume on the TTF contract for delivery in September helped to lift total trade at the Dutch hub in August. TTF trade during August was up 22% year-on-year, and was 42% higher than at the British NBP hub. This is part of a wider trend which has seen the Dutch hub overtake its British rival to become the most liquid gas hub in Europe.

Sep 14 - Pipeline exports to Europe dip due to low Norwegian flows
Pipeline gas imports to Europe fell to a 14-month low in August, driven almost entirely by reduced supply from Norway. According to data collated by ICIS, just shy of 23 billion cubic metres (bcm) of Russian, Norwegian and North African gas was shipped to the continent in August, down by 1.6% year on year and by nearly 5% compared to the previous month.

Sep 14 - Ukraine may decommission part of gas network on lower Russian supplies - paper 

Ukraine may decommission part of its gas transit system due to a sharp fall in the amount of Russian gas being pumped to Europe via Ukraine, the head of Ukraine's gas transport monopoly Ihor Prokopiv was quoted on Tuesday as saying. Around 40 percent of Russia's gas exports to Europe currently pass through Ukraine but several new gas pipelines elsewhere and an uncertain future for Ukrainian gas deals with Russia could leave Ukrainian transit pipelines redundant within a few years. Click here to read full stories.

Sep 09 - Bloated, glutted and static, Asia's LNG market keeps disappointing

The liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry has morphed from energy's golden child to black sheep in the last two years, with demand slumping just as supplies soar.While low prices are a boon for consumers, the lack of demand and lowered revenue will threaten the efforts of companies to recoup investments in LNG export terminals in the United States and Australia. Further, future projects will have a hard time gaining approval. Click here to read full stories.

Sep 05 - Woodside buys half of BHP's stake in Australian gas fields for $400 mln

Woodside Petroleum has agreed to buy half of BHP Billiton's stake in the Scarborough area gas fields off Western Australia for $400 million, in a move that could help speed a decision to develop the long delayed project.The sale fits with BHP's effort to shift its petroleum focus to the United States and more on oil, while boosting Woodside's resources without any exploration spending at a time when weak oil and gas prices have dented earnings. Click here to read full stories.

Sep 02 - Argentina reworks LNG import deals as mild weather hits demand 

Argentina is diverting or cancelling incoming shipments of liquefied natural gas (LNG) after mild late winter temperatures curbed fuel demand and forced state-run buyer Enarsa to rework some deals. South America's biggest LNG importer launched back-to-back tenders in June and July after a cold start to winter, lining up dozens of cargoes at bargain prices as global output continued to outpace demand.

Aug 30 - Australian state to permanently ban onshore gas fracking 

The state of Victoria plans to ban shale and coal seam gas fracking in what would be Australia's first permanent ban on unconventional gas drilling, citing the concerns of farmers and potential health and environment risks.However the government left the door open to allowing onshore conventional gas drilling after 2020.Click here to read full stories.

Aug 15 - Australia's gas paradox: supply crunch looms despite rich reserves 

Australia is on track to become the world's biggest liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporter by 2019 yet faces a looming shortage at home as states restrict new drilling onshore and cash-strapped oil and gas companies cut spending. The paradox has led to urgent calls from everyone from Australia's energy minister to petroleum giant Royal Dutch Shell and big industrial users like Dow Chemical and fertiliser group Incitec Pivot for action to spur new supply. Click here to read full stories.

Aug 03 - Sinopec to sell gas pipeline stake to no more than 15 investors 

China's Sinopec Corp will sell a stake in the Sichuan-East China gas pipeline to no more than 15 investors, the company said in an announcement in Beijing Equity Exchange on Wednesday. Sinopec, the country's second-largest oil and gas group, said late on Tuesday that it would sell half of its premium natural gas pipeline business to investors. 

Aug 01 - First U.S. LNG shipment goes to China as Panama Canal opens markets -data 

The first liquefied natural gas vessel from the lower 48 U.S. states is on its way to China, according to a Reuters interactive map on Friday, the latest sign that the expanded Panama Canal is allowing U.S. exports to reach the world's top LNG buyers in Asia. Royal Dutch Shell's Maran Gas Apollonia loaded up with gas at Cheniere Energy Inc's Sabine Pass LNG export plant in Louisiana, the map showed. It passed through the canal earlier this week and was moving northwest up the west coast of Mexico on Friday afternoon.

Jul 22 - Chevron's giant Australia LNG plant facing union calls for safety checks 

Forced to shut its $54 billion Gorgon liquefied natural gas (LNG) export plant twice in its first five months, Chevron Corp now faces calls from union officials for a probe into the site's safety. Chevron denies there have been any safety breaches at the plant but is under pressure to resolve problems that have limited exports to just two cargoes since starting operations in March. click here .

Jul 21 - Oil Search bows to ExxonMobil in battle for InterOil 

Australia's Oil Search Ltd has cleared the way for ExxonMobil Corp to take over InterOil Corp for $2.2 billion, giving the U.S. giant access to a rich new gas field to expand its exports from Papua New Guinea. The move could lead ExxonMobil and French giant Total SA to tie together their competing gas interests in the South Pacific nation, cooperating to reduce costs as they battle cheap oil and liquefied natural gas (LNG) prices. click here .

Jul 18 - U.S. gas prices must rise to rebalance market: Kemp

The U.S. natural gas market is on an unsustainable course as low prices stimulate strong growth in consumption while production is flat or falling. U.S. power producers burned a record amount of gas last winter despite mild weather as cheap prices and stricter environmental regulations encouraged a shift away from coal. click here.

Jul 15 - ExxonMobil launches bidding war for InterOil in PNG gas push 

ExxonMobil Corp has made a bid worth at least $2.2 billion for InterOil Corp and its stake in a rich Papua New Guinea gasfield, winning the support of its target and topping an offer from Australia's Oil Search Ltd. The bid pits ExxonMobil, the world's biggest oil company, against Total SA, which is backing Oil Search, as the French giant looks to push forward with its planned Papua LNG project to rival ExxonMobil's existing PNG LNG project. click here.

Jul 01 - California probes oil refiners for gas price manipulation 

California has issued subpoenas to Valero Energy Corp and Chevron Corp as part of a probe into whether oil refiners in the state have manipulated gasoline prices since 2014, the companies said on Thursday. Shell, Tesoro Corp, Phillips 66, and Exxon Mobil and other major refiners are also under investigation, the Wall Street Journal first reported on Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter.  click here.

Jun 30 - China needs market reform, emission rules to boost gas use-industry 

China needs broader market reform and tighter emission regulations to promote natural gas as the most effective fuel to cut its emissions, industry executives said on Wednesday. The world's largest energy user's ambition to spur gas use is hitting snags because of an inflexible pricing mechanism, lack of market access by independent players and infrastructure limitations, they said. click here.

Jun 29 - Fire at Mississippi gas plant halts two U.S. Gulf Coast platforms 

At least two offshore oil platforms halted operations on Tuesday in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico after a fire at a natural gas processing plant in Mississippi shut a crucial pipeline that brings output onshore, several companies said. The fire at the Enterprise Products Partners LP plant in Pascagoula was brought under control, but officials were forced to close the 225-mile (362 km) Destin gas pipeline system that can carry 1.2 billion cubic feet per day from offshore fields to Pascagoula.  click here.

Jun 21 - How gas could warm relations between Israel and Turkey 

On the sidelines of a nuclear security summit in Washington in March, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan held a private meeting with Israel's energy minister, Yuval Steinitz. It was the highest level contact between Israel and Turkey since diplomatic relations broke down six years ago after Israeli forces raided a Turkish ship bound for Gaza, killing 10 Turkish activists. The meeting, which lasted 20 to 30 minutes and whose details have not been previously disclosed, discussed the war in Syria, Iran's presence there, terrorism – and natural gas. That last item is a key driver of efforts to forge a rapprochement between Israel and Turkey: At stake are reserves of natural gas worth hundreds of billions of dollars under the waters of Israel and Cyprus. To exploit them Israel will likely require the cooperation of Turkey. click here.

Jun 15 - India seeks better LNG deal by teaming up with South Korea and Japan 

Energy-hungry India has restarted talks on a liquefied natural gas (LNG) purchasing alliance with Japan and South Korea and may also include China as Asian demand for the fuel grows. "For the next two to three decades, gas is going to be a major part of the energy basket for Asian energy consumers," Dharmendra Pradhan, Indian minister of petroleum and natural gas told reporters in Mumbai on Tuesday.  click here.

Jun 09 - No new Australian LNG projects doesn't mean no new LNG: Russell 

Conventional wisdom in the liquefied natural gas (LNG) sector is that no new projects will be built for several years, given the vast cost can't be reconciled with the current low prices. This view has led some in the industry to predict that the market will flip back to a structural shortage sometime in the early to mid-2020s, once again sending prices soaring as new supply takes so long to be built and become operational. click here.

Jun 09 - Cheap Canadian gas imports may prolong U.S. energy industry's rout 

U.S. utilities and merchants are embarking on their biggest buying spree for Canadian natural gas since the start of the U.S. shale boom, taking advantage of record low prices and raising concerns about the U.S. industry's deepening crisis. Traders have been scooping up more gas from Canada, the world's fifth largest producer, in recent months after prices at the AECO hub in Alberta sank to a big discount to the U.S. benchmark. click here.

Jun 07 - Saudi Aramco could import gas to boost use in energy mix - min
Saudi Aramco could invest in importing gas into the kingdom, but the priority would be on finding new sources of gas domestically through exploration, Saudi Arabia's energy minister said on Tuesday. Even though it is the world's largest oil exporter, Saudi Arabia has struggled to keep pace with domestic gas demand in recent years as increased use from industry and power generation put pressure on supplies.click here.

Jun 02 - Cheap gas fuels emerging markets’ new-found appetite for LNG
Cheap gas is tempting out new importers in Africa and South America, helping stave off a deeper price rout hurting producers' bottom lines. A near 80 percent drop in spot liquefied natural gas (LNG)prices since February 2014 comes as Asian demand falls and competing new supply from the United States and Australia attracts poorer countries for long shut out of the gas trade. click here.

May 26 - LNG industry tension to rise as price breaks link to crude oil: Russell
The price of spot cargoes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in Asia has broken its long-standing link to crude oil this year, a development likely to fuel tensions in an already unsettled market. Spot LNG was assessed at $4.65 per million British thermal units (mmBtu) in the week to May 20, which is 35 percent down from $6.90 at the end of last year, although slightly higher than the low so far this year of $4, reached in mid-April. click here.

May 25 - Record U.S. LPG exports to Asia hit naphtha when it's already down
Asian petrochemical makers will use around twice as much liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) in June as in the previous two months, undercutting already weak margins being earned on traditional chemical feedstock naphtha, trade sources said. U.S. exports of LPG to Asia are hitting their highest rates ever this year and exacerbating the usual seasonal May-July pick-up in use of the fuel in cracking plants. click here.

May 20 - Oil Search boosts LNG push in PNG with $2.2 bln InterOil bid
Australia's Oil Search Ltd agreed a $2.2 billion deal to acquire InterOil Corp on Friday, aiming to pave the way for two rival liquefied natural gas projects led by global majors to work together in Papua New Guinea. In the face of weak oil prices, PNG is considered one of the best locations for LNG projects, thanks to its high quality gas and low costs. click here.

May 19 - Australia's Gorgon LNG export facility restarting operations - Chevron
Chevron has begun to restart its Gorgon liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facility in Australia following an unplanned shutdown in April, the U.S. energy major said. "We confirm start-up activities are underway on Gorgon train one with a plan to safely resume production in the coming weeks," a Chevron spokesman told Reuters on Wednesday. click here.

May 13 - Macquarie advises Origin to weigh spin-off after LNG project done - sources
Australia's Origin Energy hired Macquarie Capital to advise on a potential spin-off of its gas production businesses, including a $25 billion liquefied natural gas plant, two sources familiar with the matter said on Friday. Macquarie has advised that any spin-off should occur only after Origin's debt-saddled Australia Pacific LNG project is in full production, due in 2017, said one of the sources who was briefed on the advice. Following project completion, guarantees to lenders will be satisfied, making the split easier. click here.

May 12 - Oil refiners, gas producers face higher costs from climate laws - report  
Oil refiners and gas producers could face higher production costs if countries use a high carbon price to follow through promises made at last year's global climate summit in Paris, research showed on Thursday. The landmark Paris Agreement was a commitment by nearly 200 countries to cut greenhouse gas emissions from 2020 with the aim of limiting the rise in the global average temperature to less than 2 degrees Celsius. click here.

Apr 18 - Chevron puts Myanmar gas block stakes worth $1.3 bln up for sale -sources
U.S. oil and gas major Chevron Corp has put all of its Myanmar gas block stakes up for sale, which at a combined likely valuation of $1.3 billion, would be the biggest deal involving Myanmar assets to date, financial sources familiar with the matter said. The sale, part of Chevron's efforts to preserve cash and retreat from non-core assets in the wake of sliding oil prices, is seen as setting the tone for future deals in a country that is opening up for business after historic elections last year. click here.

Mar 15 - Debt deadlines loom for SandRidge, Venoco and Energy XXI
The first major upstream oil and gas bankruptcy filing of the year could occur this week as SandRidge Energy Inc, Venoco Inc and Energy XXI Ltd reach the end of grace periods following millions in missed interest payments.The three oil and gas exploration and production companies with operations across the United States, said they would skip a total of $44.2 million in interest payments last month, as they negotiated debt restructurings with creditors.  click here.

Feb 29 - LNG needs new pricing, rules to realise its golden age: Russell
In theory these should be great days for the liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry as new plants are commissioned to supply the clean-burning fuel to energy hungry markets across rapidly developing Asia. But in reality the industry is facing uncertainty as low prices damage the economics of multi-billion dollar investments and the expected demand growth fails to materialise. As is normally the case in complex markets, there is no single villain. Rather there are several factors hurting the industry's fortunes and casting doubts over whether natural gas and LNG will ever see the golden age predicted a few years ago.click here.

Feb 26 - As U.S. shale exports begin, Australia readies world's costliest gas project
The timing couldn't be worse for the first production of natural gas from Australia's $54 billion Gorgon project - the world's most expensive. Prices for liquefied natural gas (LNG) have collapsed, global demand is faltering and the first of what is likely to be a wave of competing shipments has just set sail from the unlikeliest of exporters, the United States. click here.

Feb 25 - U.S. exports first shale gas as LNG tanker sails from Sabine Pass terminal
The United States has exported its first liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargo from the lower 48 states, after a tanker set sail from Cheniere Energy's Sabine Pass export terminal in Louisiana. The Asia Vision LNG tanker left the dock at the Sabine Pass terminal at 0139 GMT (7.39 p.m. on Wednesday local time), shipping data on Reuters showed. click here.

Feb 25 - U.S. commodity agency advised to drop plan to limit futures contracts - NYT
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission's advisory committee has recommend the regulator end its plans to limit the number of futures contracts a trader can hold on certain commodities, including oil and natural gas, the New York Times reported. The CFTC Energy and Environmental Markets Advisory Committee, which largely includes representatives from the energy and trading industries, is to release a report on Thursday saying the regulator should not make the proposed limits final and that it finds "scant evidence" they are necessary, the newspaper said late Wednesday. click here.

Feb 15 - Noble Group's LNG traders leaving to join Glencore – sources
Three liquefied natural gas (LNG) traders at Asia's biggest commodity trade house, Noble Group Ltd, including two co-heads of the team, are leaving to join rival trader Glencore, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.The sources said that Noble will continue to trade LNG, having restarted its London-based trading desk in 2014. Noble will still have about five people involved in the LNG business. click here.

Feb 10 - El Nino unites unlikely bedfellows in UBS play: cocoa and natural gas
Natural gas investors, used to trading on big freezes and scorching temperatures across the United States that can whipsaw prices, may have to extend their weather watch to west Africa if the latest trading call by UBS Group AG catches on. In an unlikely pairing of two vastly different markets, the bank has launched a new relative value trading strategy: go long cocoa and short U.S. natural gas. click here.

Jan 18 - LNG looks poised to follow crude oil's plunge: Russell
In contrast to the carnage in crude oil markets, liquefied natural gas (LNG) prices in Asia have enjoyed relative stability for the past three months, but it's unlikely the calm will persist much longer. Spot Asian LNG prices ended last week at $5.60 per million British thermal units (mmBtu), about 28 percent below the recent peak of $7.80 reached on Nov. 22. In contrast, Brent crude oil has dropped 46 percent from its recent peak in early October to trade currently around $28.55 a barrel. click here.

Jan 12 - PetroChina-Chevron sour gas project begins production in China
PetroChina and Chevron began production at an onshore natural gas field in China's southwest at the end of 2015, PetroChina's parent said on Monday, after years of delays. The Luojiazhai field, whose 'A' well began operating on Dec. 30, has an annual production capacity of 3 billion cubic metres of gas, the state-controlled China National Petroleum Corporation said in a statement on its website. click here.

Dec 21 - LNG shippers brace for wave of consolidation as freight rates sink
Shippers who ply the seas to deliver liquefied natural gas in massive tankers are likely to face a wave of consolidation and asset sales, with freight rates plunging as a growing fleet clashes with tepid demand. Companies that manage to weather the shakeout in one of the key sectors in the global shipping industry should be in a prime position, however, to benefit from a string of new LNG projects expected to start trickling online by the end of next year. click here.

Dec 03 - LNG buyers seize upper hand in global gas contract reviews
Global oversupply and sliding prices are pushing big natural gas buyers of LNG from India to China to look at reworking long-term agreements in what was for long a producer-controlled market.Banking on a tide of new liquefied natural gas (LNG) supply from the United States, Australia and Russia hitting markets through 2021, importers are seizing the chance to wring concessions from existing producers wary of losing market share. click here.

Dec 02 - America's biggest gas field finally succumbs to downturn
The drilling rigs are gone from the hills surrounding this Pennsylvania town of 30,000. The hotels and bars are quieter too, no longer packed with the workers who flocked in their thousands to America's newest and biggest gas field.The drilling boom of the past seven years is over, even though thousands of existing wells in the Marcellus region still produce a fifth of U.S. natural gas supply. Now, exclusive data made available to Reuters points to a slump in drilling that could hit production next year, defying government and industry expectations of a further rise in output. click here.

Nov 27 - Saudi Aramco to invest more in Indonesia's oil and gas sector
Saudi Aramco is looking for further investment opportunities in Indonesia's downstream refining and petrochemicals industry, the company's CEO said on Thursday, after initiating a $5.5 billion project to upgrade the country's largest refinery.The Saudi Aramco CEO's comments are positive for Indonesian President Joko Widodo's efforts to attract investment after a clean-up of the country's oil and gas sector that followed a series of scandals.  click here.

Nov 25 - Cheap coal threatens LNG's toehold in fast expanding Philippines 
The Philippines is set to import liquefied natural gas (LNG) for the first time next year as it bids to replace fast-fading local gas supplies, but cheap coal is blowing off course Manila's vow to lift the use of cleaner fuels.With 100 million people and one of the world's fastest growing economies, the country aims to double its power generation capacity by 2030, hoping to put an end to daily blackouts that crippled its economy in the 1990s. click here.

Nov 20 - In Shell-BG review, China wants concessions on huge gas deals
Chinese regulators vetting Royal Dutch Shell's  proposed merger with BG Group  are pressing the Anglo-Dutch company to sweeten long-term gas supply contracts in a move that could cast new doubt over the near-term benefits of the $70 billion tie-up. For China, the opportunity to re-negotiate existing liquefied natural gas (LNG) supply contracts with Shell, which combined with BG would supply around 30 percent of its imports by 2017, comes at an ideal time because the world's top energy consumer faces a large surfeit over the next five years. click here.

Nov 17 - Warm weather worsens glut of US gas, heating oil: Kemp
Unusually mild weather across the United States this autumn has sharply reduced heating demand and contributed to the substantial oversupply of both natural gas and heating oil. Heating demand has been 27 percent lower than the long-term average so far this heating season according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Temperatures have been above normal every week since the beginning of September and heating demand has been correspondingly lower than usual. click here.

Nov 05 - New buyers seen fueling Asia Pacific oil and gas M&A
A new breed of buyers and a handful of cashed-up energy firms are set to pounce on oil and gas producers and assets in the Asia Pacific next year, as a prolonged plunge in oil prices deepens the pain of an industry loaded with debt.Some $14 billion worth of deals have already been launched in Australia this year, but with oil prices forecast to stay around $50 a barrel for at least another year, companies are paring back the value of their assets and those short of funds or struggling to pay down debt may look to sell, bankers say. click here

Nov 04 - Natural gas losing its shine as Asia holds faith in coal power
The shine is coming off once bright prospects for natural gas as the future fossil fuel of choice in Asia as power companies in India and Southeast Asia tap abundant and cheap domestic coal resources to generate electricity.Asian loyalty to coal is shrinking the space available for natural gas just as supplies are ramping up after massive investments in U.S. and Australian output. Demand growth for natural gas is also slowing in top energy consumer China, further dampening the fuel's prospects. click here.

Oct 30 - LNG glut to steal coal market share
A wave of liquefied natural gas due to hit energy markets over the next couple of years is expected to displace tens of millions of tonnes coal demand globally, helped by government initiatives to move away from polluting power generation. Both coal and LNG are oversupplied after higher prices during the past decade triggered investments in new projects and expansion plans. At the same time the gap between their prices has narrowed as LNG has become more competitive, particularly where governments penalise coal via taxes or emissions trading schemes. click here.

Oct 28 - Coming LNG wave more likely to head to Europe than China: Russell
What's well known is that a wave of new liquefied natural gas is about swamp already well-supplied markets, what's less known is how exactly these new cargoes will be absorbed. The consensus assumption has always been that China would soak up vast quantities of the super-chilled fuel, driven by rising energy demand and the need to switch away from more polluting coal. click here.

Oct 27 - Singapore to liberalize gas market to bolster Asia LNG trading hub plans
Singapore plans to establish a domestic natural gas trading market to help support plans to become a centre for trading liquefied natural gas and take advantage of the growing importance of the fuel in Asia's energy markets. Singapore, already a global oil trading hub, is aiming to take advantage of rising LNG supplies in the region, particularly from Australia, and an increasing numbers of buyers especially in China, but also India and other parts of Asia. click here.

Oct 23 - Singapore Exchange eyeing Asian LNG benchmark
Singapore Exchange is planning to create an Asian benchmark for liquefied natural gas and break a decade-long reliance on oil-linked pricing, hoping to take a greater role in an expanding spot market, a senior official said. Spot LNG trading in Asia is set to rise as a wave of new supply comes online, but participants have few options to hedge risks amid a lack of a liquid derivatives market. click here.

Oct 09 - Amid commodity crisis, LPG emerges as accidental bright-spot
Liquefied Petroleum Gas, long a niche product used by the poor to cook and the rich to barbecue, has become a rare bright spot amid a broad commodities rout, riding on the wave of strong economic growth in India and parts of Southeast Asia. LPG is best known to consumers as propane or butane used in heating appliances and vehicles. But it is also used in the petrochemicals industry and the electricity sector, acting as a replacement for diesel in generators and power stations. click here.

Oct 02 - Iran invites foreign firms to develop its oil, gas industry (Reuters)
Iran is inviting foreign investors to actively develop its energy industry after sanctions are expected to ease in 2016, under a nuclear deal between Iran and six global powers, deputy Oil Minister Rokneddin Javadi told Reuters on Thursday. "We welcome all oil companies, including the Americans, that meet Islamic Republic’s requirements to invest in Iran. We welcome competition among foreign oil companies," Javadi said in a telephone interview from Tehran.