Carbon & Power Markets News

Nov 29 - World to reckon with future of fossil fuels at COP28 climate summit
Delegates from nearly 200 countries will convene this week for the COP28 climate summit in Dubai, where conference host and OPEC member the UAE hopes to sell the vision of a low-carbon future that includes, not shuns, fossil fuels. That narrative, also backed by other big oil producer nations, will throw the spotlight on international divisions at the summit over the best way to combat global warming: countries are split over whether to prioritize phasing out coal and oil and gas, or scale up technologies like carbon capture to scrub away their climate impact.

Nov 29 - High cost of capital a bane for energy transition ahead of COP28
Advocates for the energy transition are concerned ahead of the COP28 summit in Dubai about the high cost of capital available to make change happen, as policymakers ratchet up their rhetoric on the need for tight monetary policy. COP28 is widely expected to focus on climate finance, specifically to build on the G20 nations' commitment to triple renewables deployment to about 11,000 gigawatts by 2030, which will need funds of around $4.5 trillion.

Nov 28 - Australia Pacific LNG deliveries disrupted due to tanker outage
Origin Energy said on Tuesday it had reduced gas supply to the Australian Pacific LNG (APLNG) facility and liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargoes would be delayed as a loaded tanker docked at the site had lost power and was unable to leave. As a result of the vessel blocking other tankers from entering, APLNG, operated by ConocoPhillips, has so far deferred two LNG cargoes and Origin warned "it expected that more LNG cargoes will be deferred".

Nov 28 - Delfin signs 15-year LNG supply agreement with Gunvor
Delfin Midstream Inc said on Monday it had entered into a long-term liquefied natural gas (LNG) supply agreement with global commodity trader Gunvor. Delfin said in a news release its LNG plant in Louisiana will supply between 500,000 to 1 million tonnes of LNG per annum to Gunvor on a free-on-board basis at Delfin Deepwater Port for at least 15 years.

Nov 27 - Biden's clean energy agenda faces mounting headwinds
Canceled offshore wind projects, imperiled solar factories, fading demand for electric vehicles. A year after passage of the largest climate change legislation in U.S. history, meant to touch off a boom in American clean energy development, economic realities are fraying President Joe Biden’s agenda. 


Nov 27 - China's thermal coal imports jump, crowding out India: Russell
China's imports of thermal coal in November are poised to surge to the second-highest monthly total this year, helping drive prices higher for the grades most commonly sought by the world's biggest buyer of the power station fuel. Thermal coal imports are expected to be around 29.21 million metric tons in November, up from October's 24.62 million and second only to the 30.21 million in May, according to data compiled by commodity analysts Kpler.

Nov 24 - Global fossil fuel subsidies on the rise despite calls for phase-out
World governments agreed at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow two years ago to phase out "inefficient" fossil fuel subsidies to help fight global warming. Since then, however, global fossil fuel subsidies have risen $2 trillion to $7 trillion, according to the International Monetary Fund, as governments around the world moved to protect consumers from rising energy prices.

Nov 24 - Indonesia launches first carbon storage project in West Papua
Indonesia's President Joko Widodo on Friday launched construction of a carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS)project in West Papua province operated by BP Plc, the country's first carbon storage project. The CCUS project has the potential to store up to 1.8 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide, energy minister Arifin Tasrif said in a statement on Friday.

Nov 23 - Federal regulator green-lights Freeport LNG's full operations
U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) company Freeport LNG received approval to return part of its export plant in Texas to full operation, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) said on Wednesday. The FERC authorized the U.S. second largest LNG export facility to return to service its Phase II infrastructure, which include LNG Loop 2 and Dock 2 for ship loading.

Nov 23 - Carbon capture and storage hopes are pipe dreams, for now – Russell
Carbon capture and underground storage (CCUS) is touted by proponents of fossil fuel production and consumption as the technology that will keep oil and gas in the global energy mix. It is, and at the same time it isn't. The International Energy Agency (IEA) delivered a dose of reality on whether CCUS can be deployed at sufficient scale and with viable economics in its latest report, released on Thursday.

Nov 22 - US approves Equinor and BP's Empire Wind offshore project, country's sixth
The U.S. Department of the Interior on Thursday approved the Empire Wind offshore project, owned by Equinor and BP, the sixth commercial-scale wind farm to be greenlit under President Joe Biden's administration. Empire Wind is among several offshore wind projects facing construction and financing cost blowouts that the troubled industry says would not be covered by existing power sales contracts, but it could be helped by a new auction planned by New York state. 

Nov 22 - India wants private money for coal-fired plants despite Western opposition
India on Tuesday asked private firms to ramp up investments in new coal-fired power plants to meet a dramatic rise in electricity demand and bridge nearly 30-gigawatts of additional requirement by 2030, despite international pressure to stop building such facilities. India's power and renewable energy minister R K Singh in New Delhi asked private companies to invest in coal projects and "not miss the growth opportunity," according to three sources present in the meeting.

Nov 21 - First Quantum plans maintenance for Panama copper mine amid protests
Canada's First Quantum Minerals will carry out maintenance at its Panama mine from Nov. 23 due to coal supplies being blocked by protestors opposing the government's contract with one of the world's biggest and newest copper mines, two sources familiar with the discussions said on Monday. This move would effectively suspend production at the Cobre Panama mine until coal supplies resume as the mine cannot operate without power, one of the sources said. The sources declined to be identified as the information is not public.

Nov 21 - China's MMG seals $1.9 bln deal to buy Khoemacau copper mine in Botswana
Chinese miner MMG Ltd's share price jumped on Tuesday to a near eight-week peak after it agreed to buy Canada-based Cuprous Capital, the parent company of the Khoemacau copper mine in Botswana, with an enterprise value of $1.88 billion. MMG has been hunting for copper assets for more than a year, amid a surge in demand for the metal needed in green energy transition.

Nov 20 - EU poised to propose extending energy crisis measures – official
The European Commission wants to extend emergency energy measures passed last year to cope with Europe's gas crisis to guard against future price shocks and quickly build-out renewable energy, a senior EU official said. Europe's former top gas supplier Russia slashed deliveries last year, plunging the continent into an energy crisis of record-high prices and soaring inflation. 

Nov 20 - Under new CEO, Enel seen more focused on Italy, selective on renewables
Italy's Enel, the world's largest listed renewable energy developer, is expected to announce a greater focus on its home country and a more selective approach to green investments when its new CEO presents his strategy on Nov. 22. A slight improvement in the dividend policy could also be in prospect as Flavio Cattaneo - who previously led telecom group TIM and power grid operator Terna - stamps his mark on the 64-billion-euro group, analysts and energy experts said.

Nov 17 - EBRD backs 4 bln euro plan to wean North Macedonia off coal power

International lenders including the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the World Bank are backing a 4 billion euro ($4.35 billion) plan to wean North Macedonia off coal-fired power, the head of the EBRD told Reuters. The deal, which is expected to be announced at the COP28 climate talks in Dubai beginning on Nov. 30, will lay out a plan to close the country's two coal power plants and replace them with 1.7 gigawatts of renewable energy.


Nov 17 - NY offers new offshore wind auction, may revive troubled projects

New York State will issue a new offshore wind solicitation on Nov. 30 with bids due in January 2024, the state government said, in a move that should support the troubled industry. European energy companies Orsted, Equinor and BP have taken a combined $5 billion of writedowns on U.S. offshore wind projects that are not even completed, in part because their existing power sales contracts would not cover the cost of building and financing the projects.

Nov 16 - Poland's Orlen prepares arbitration claim against Venture Global LNG

Polish oil and gas firm Orlen is preparing to file for arbitration against U.S. exporter Venture Global LNG for failing to supply contracted cargoes, three sources familiar with the matter told Reuters. "I know that this is being considered, I know that there were preparations to file a claim," one person said on condition of anonymity. Two other people confirmed that Orlen is considering a claim. 


Nov 16 - Tougher EU methane rules mean US gas sector must clean up act - Maguire

As Europe's top supplier of liquefied natural gas (LNG), the United States has been the main beneficiary of the pivot by utilities to replace sharply lower Russian pipeline gas supplies with imports from other origins and in the form of LNG. But following the European Union deal on Wednesday to place methane limits on Europe's oil and gas imports from 2030, U.S. LNG shippers will be anxious that their lucrative European market may be at risk due to the enduring high levels of methane emissions throughout the U.S. natural gas supply chain.

Nov 15 - China's October coal output slips on mine safety push

China's October coal output slipped by 1.1% from September's six-month high, official data showed on Wednesday, as mine safety inspections limited production. The world's largest coal producer mined 388.8 million metric tons of the fuel last month, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics, though that was still up 3.8% from the year-earlier level.


Nov 15 - EU agrees law to hit fossil fuel imports with methane emissions limit

The European Union reached a deal on Wednesday on a law to place methane emissions limits on Europe's oil and gas imports from 2030, pressuring international suppliers to clamp down on leaks of the potent greenhouse gas. Methane is the second-biggest cause of climate change after carbon dioxide, and in the short term has a far higher warming effect. Rapid cuts in methane emissions this decade are crucial if the world is to avoid severe climate change.


Nov 14 - US needs more pipeline capacity for reliable gas supply - trade group

The U.S. needs more natural gas pipeline capacity to maintain reliable gas supply during extreme cold weather, a trade group representing pipeline companies said on Monday in support of regulators who last week urged sought new rules to prevent a repetition of last winter's power outages. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the North American Electric Reliability Corp (NERC) urged lawmakers to fill a regulatory blind spot to maintain reliable supply of natural gas that was highlighted by an inquiry into power outages during Winter Storm Elliott in December 2022.


Nov 14 - Uptick in LNG demand in Asia, Europe insufficient to drive prices: Russell

Rising demand for liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the top importing regions of Asia and Europe hasn't been enough to spark an increase in spot prices, which continue to languish. The price of spot LNG for delivery to north Asia slipped to $16.50 per million British thermal units (mmBtu) in the week to Nov. 10, down from $17.00 the prior week.

Nov 13 - Top LNG importer China re-selling more cargoes, eyes trading gains

China, the world's top importer of liquefied natural gas (LNG), is increasingly re-selling some of the super-chilled fuel to other Asian buyers as it looks to profit from price swings. Armed with a growing portfolio of long-term supply deals recently struck with Qatar and U.S. exporters, as well as extensive terminal capacity, Chinese companies led by state giant PetroChina are more actively trading LNG, but still lag far behind global majors such as BP, Shell and TotalEnergies.


Nov 13 - BP, Edison, Shell ask US, EU to intervene in Venture Global LNG dispute

BP, Edison and Shell pressed a U.S.-EU energy group to intervene in a dispute with liquefied natural gas exporter Venture Global LNG over the U.S. firm's failure to deliver contract supplies of the fuel. The companies appealed to the U.S.-EU Task Force on Energy Security last month, and a Shell executive urged them to require Venture Global LNG to "immediately begin to perform" under their signed contracts.

Nov 10 - ConocoPhillips' $8 billion Willow project approvals upheld by US judge
A federal judge in Alaska on Thursday upheld U.S. approvals for ConocoPhillips’ multibillion-dollar Willow oil and gas drilling project in the state’s Arctic, rejecting environmental and tribal groups' concerns that the project poses too large of a climate threat. U.S. District Judge Sharon Gleason in Anchorage dismissed a lawsuit filed by environmental and tribal groups challenging the $8 billion project's approvals, which the U.S. Interior Department had issued in March. Opponents claim the project would release hundreds of millions of tons of carbon pollution into the atmosphere, aggravating climate change and damaging pristine wilderness. 

Nov 10 - France sees no big risk to European gas from sanctions on Russian LNG project
U.S. sanctions against a major Russian liquefied natural gas project in which French oil major TotalEnergies is a shareholder do not appear to pose a big risk to European gas supplies, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told Reuters on Thursday. Le Maire, who said France was in contact with U.S. authorities over the impact of the new sanctions announced last week, was speaking from Paris to the Reuters NEXT conference in New York.

Nov 09 - Mideast conflict dims prospect of more Egyptian LNG exports to Europe
The prospect of the EU receiving more liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Egypt in the short and medium term looks unachievable due to tight gas balances and reduced imports form Israel, Oxford Institute of Energy Studies (OIES) said. Egypt shipped 80% of its liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports to Europe last year as the continent sought to replace Russian pipeline gas after Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.  

Nov 09 - How shipping more US natural gas to Europe helped fuel CO2 pollution
Carbon dioxide emissions from U.S. liquefied natural gas facilities have jumped to 18 million tons per year, up 81% since 2019, adding a volume of greenhouse gas to the atmosphere equivalent to that produced by several big coal plants, according to United States government data. They could more than double to 45 million tons per year by the end of the decade as new facilities, encouraged by soaring overseas demand for the super-cooled fuel, come online, according to company projections provided to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission tallied by Reuters.

Nov 08 - China gives utilities more leeway in 2024 coal term contracts
China will give power utilities more flexibility on signing long-term thermal coal supply contracts with domestic miners for 2024, as supply concerns have waned amidst surging output and imports. The world's top coal consumer has driven production to a record high this year after approving dozens of new mines, in a bid to improve energy security and avert a repeat of power shortages in 2021 and 2022. 

Nov 08 - Europe's record gas stocks start to pressure prices: Kemp
Europe's record gas inventories continue to climb even higher as a warm start to autumn delays the onset of heating demand while high prices discourage industrial use and encourage continued imports. But prices for gas delivered at the height of winter in January 2024 have started to slide as the record levels of inventory weigh on the market.

Nov 07 - White House says Orsted remains 'committed' to US offshore wind
Denmark's Orsted is still "committed" to developing offshore wind farms in the United States despite the company's cancellation of two projects off the coast of New Jersey, White House senior advisor John Podesta told Reuters on Monday. Podesta spoke with the company after its shock decision last week, he said in an interview. The discussion underscores the Biden administration's keen interest in offshore wind to further the nation's climate change goals by adding zero-emissions power generation.  

Nov 07 - Kinder Morgan to buy NextEra Energy Partners' Texas pipelines for $1.82 bln
U.S. pipeline operator Kinder Morgan said on Monday it would acquire NextEra Energy Partners' gas pipelines in South Texas for $1.82 billion. The oil and gas pipeline business has seen increased consolidation this year as U.S. production grows and persisting problems related to permits for new pipelines have made existing operators more valuable.

Nov 06 - Energy giants' LNG trading results reveal diverging regional bets
Energy giants offered a rare glimpse into their liquefied natural gas (LNG) trading strategies in recent days, with Shell's and TotalEnergies' bets on rising Asian demand paying off while BP's bet on a European deficit turned sour. The contrasting outcomes highlight the risky nature of trading divisions, at times notching up spectacular profits as traders quickly exploit price swings and supply and demand disruptions around the world to make money, but at other times losses have been just as spectacular.

Nov 06 - Ship shortage dealt death blow to Orsted's NJ offshore wind hopes
Danish energy firm Orsted's shock decision to cancel two offshore wind farms off New Jersey this week was based in large part on big delays securing the ship it needed to build the project, company officials said. The world's biggest offshore wind farm company on Tuesday said it would cease all development on the Ocean Wind projects even as it moves forward with developments off neighboring New York, triggering an angry response from New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy.

Nov 03 - Chevron struggles to exit Myanmar gas project after nearly two years
Nearly two years after U.S. energy company Chevron condemned violence and human rights abuses in Myanmar and announced it would leave, the company said it still holds assets there, including a portion of an offshore gas field in a venture with the state energy company. Chevron said in January 2022 it would exit Myanmar and in February 2023 said it had agreed to sell its assets there, including a 41.1% stake in Myanmar's Yadana gas field, to Canada's MTI Energy for an undisclosed price. 

Nov 03 - German power mix may get dirtier for 1st non-nuclear winter: Maguire
Germany's power producers are preparing for their first winter without nuclear power, after the country closed its last remaining reactors in early 2023 amid ongoing efforts to modernize its energy system. German officials opted to shut the country's last remaining reactors in April, as although they generated steady volumes of power with little to no emissions, authorities preferred to expand supplies of renewable energy rather than make additional investments in the nuclear fleet.

Nov 02 - US October LNG exports climb to second highest level on record
U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) producers ramped up exports in October, to 7.92 million metric tons, according to data provider LSEG, the second-highest monthly level on record. Exports were just shy of the record 8.01 million metric tons in April this year, and were up from 7.12 million metric tons in September, when plant maintenance reduced U.S. production.  

Nov 02 - Australia court halts Santos' $3.6 bln Barossa gas pipeline works
Santos said on Thursday an Australian court has granted an interim injunction preventing it from starting work on laying undersea pipelines on its $3.6 billion Barossa gas project off northern Australia. The ruling comes after Simon Munkara, a traditional land owner from the Tiwi Islands, lodged proceedings with the Federal Court of Australia to halt the pipeline works until its impact and risk to underwater cultural heritage were properly assessed.

Nov 01 - US offshore wind writedowns seen soaring with Orsted earnings
European energy companies, including Denmark's Orsted, will likely write down more of their U.S. offshore wind investments this week after BP and Equinor booked $840 million in impairments in recent days. Orsted, the world's largest offshore wind developer, said in August it may see impairments of $2.3 billion on its U.S. offshore developments due to supply chain problems, soaring interest rates and a lack of new tax credits. 

Nov 01 - US climate envoy demands 'public responsibility' from fossil fuel firms
Fossil fuel companies must face up to their responsibilities to cut the CO2 emissions fuelling climate change, the U.S. Climate Envoy John Kerry said on Tuesday, as countries prepared to debate the future of fossil fuels at this year's U.N. COP28 climate summit. The oil and gas industry is expected to be in focus at the COP28 summit from Nov. 30 to Dec. 12 in the United Arab Emirates, a major oil producer. Dozens of countries plan to push for the world's first deal to phase out CO2-emitting coal, oil and gas.

Oct 31 - BP explores forming joint ventures to boost US shale -sources
BP is seeking to form joint ventures around its U.S. onshore natural gas fields to expand production and cut costs as rival energy giants rush to scale up shale businesses, three sources with direct knowledge of the talks told Reuters. London-based BP has held talks in recent weeks with several companies about tying up operations in the Haynesville shale gas basin, the three sources said. 

Oct 31 - Tracking the emissions impact of China's economic recovery: Maguire
China's power demand this winter may increase by over 12% from last year's peak as the economy continues to recover from a construction-led slump, a National Energy Administration official said this week. Following a slew of stimulus measures, industrial output and retail sales rose by more than expected last quarter, raising hopes that the world's largest manufacturer and exporter may be over the worst effects of a prolonged property crisis.

Oct 30 - Germany's Scholz calls Siemens Energy 'very important' amid intensive talks
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Friday called Siemens Energy "very important" and the economy ministry said it was conducting "intensive talks", statements that came as the company's shares halted their plunge on news that it was seeking state guarantees. The power engineering company has suffered big setbacks at its wind unit, the world's largest, and said on Thursday it was in talks about aid, spooking investors. 

Oct 30 - Three Baltic pipe and cable incidents 'are related', Estonia says
The three incidents that resulted in damage to a gas pipeline and two telecom cables between Estonia, Finland and Sweden "are related", Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said. Finland on Friday said it had raised its risk assessment for gas supply security as a result of the damage to the Balticconnector Finland-Estonia pipeline, which operator Gasgrid has said could be out of commission until April or longer.

Oct 27 - Siemens Energy shares slide 39% after company seeks state guarantees
Siemens Energy shares plunged nearly 40% on Thursday, wiping 3 billion euros off its market value, after the group said it was in talks with the German government about state guarantees following big setbacks at its wind unit. A spokesperson for the German economy ministry also confirmed the talks, describing them as "close and trustworthy". 

Oct 27 - Europe's wind power goal hits new snag: security
Developers like Orsted think governments should take the lead and help provide the billions of dollars needed to protect their infrastructure. But even as North Sea countries alone plan to install enough wind power for more than 100 million homes by 2030, governments are still considering how much they can spend to safeguard such offshore assets.

Oct 26 - EU executive proposes methane emissions limit on gas imports
The European Commission has proposed imposing methane emissions limits on EU gas imports from 2030, a move that would pressure the bloc's international fossil fuel suppliers including the U.S. to cut leaks of the potent planet-warming gas. The proposal seen by Reuters on Wednesday and dated Oct. 23 comes in response to pressure from the European Parliament and some big EU countries including France in ongoing talks on a law addressing methane emissions inside the bloc. 

Oct 26 - Are iron-flow batteries the solution to variable renewables?: Russell
For the first time Australia's main electricity grid reached a share of over 70% for renewable energy this week, an achievement that showcases the rapid rise of solar and wind generation, but also highlights several challenges. Australia is a world leader in renewable electricity generation and has the world's highest penetration of rooftop solar systems per capita.

Oct 25 - EDF price row sparks fears boss may resign
Luc Remont's future as head of France's state-owned nuclear power giant EDF is in question due to an escalating row over future power prices, raising concern he may resign, two high ranking company officials told Reuters on Tuesday. Remont was appointed by President Emmanuel Macron less than a year ago to turn around EDF, which runs the world's second-biggest nuclear fleet after the U.S. and is central to France's renewed bet on cheaper atomic energy as it seeks to gain a competitive advantage for its industry. 

Oct 25 - EU on track to quit Russian fossil fuels - report
The European Union is on track towards its goal of ending Europe's reliance on Russian fossil fuels within this decade, the European Commission said on Tuesday. European countries are heading into their second winter with scarce Russian gas, after Moscow slashed deliveries last year following its invasion of Ukraine - inflicting an energy crisis of record-high gas prices in Europe.

Oct 24 - Qatar signs 27-year gas supply deal with Italy's Eni
State-owned QatarEnergy said on Monday it would supply Italy's Eni with gas for 27 years, following similar deals this month to supply the Netherlands via Shell and France through TotalEnergies. Affiliates of QatarEnergy and Eni signed a long-term sale and purchase agreement for up to 1 million tons per year (mtpa) of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Qatar's North Field expansion project. 

Oct 24 - EU not ready for formal probe into China's wind industry
The European Union still lacks "very clear evidence" of unfair practices to launch a formal probe into China's wind power industry that has become a cut-price competitor to Europe's, an EU official said. In a leaked wind energy proposal last week, the Commission said it would scrutinise foreign subsidies as part of a broader action plan to support its struggling wind industry that is fast losing its leadership position.

Oct 23 - S&P Global launches Southeast Asia's first LNG price assessment
Platts, part of S&P Global Commodity Insights, on Monday launched Southeast Asia's first price assessment for liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargoes amid growing demand for the super chilled fuel. The Southeast Asia LNG (SEAM) cargo assessments are published as a differential to the Platts JKM, as well as on an outright basis, and reflect the value of cargoes delivered to Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam and the Philippines, said S&P in a statement. 

Oct 23 - Russia's Gazprom to supply extra gas to Hungary and China this year
Russia's Gazprom will supply extra gas to Hungary through the coming winter and will also provide China with an additional 600 million cubic metres this year on top of contractual obligations, TASS news agency quoted its boss Alexei Miller as saying. Russian President Vladimir Putin met the leaders of both countries during a trip to China last week and Miller was among the business chiefs who accompanied him on the trip.

Oct 20 - US LNG companies race to build export plants while natgas prices are high
Two U.S. natural gas exporters are racing to complete construction of the country's first liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant since 2022, hoping to cash in on booming demand for the superchilled gas before it fades later this decade, two analysts said this week. Golden Pass LNG, owned by Qatar Energy and oil major Exxon Mobil, expects to start production on the first of three Texas processing units in the second half of 2024.   

Oct 20 - LNG tanker diverts from Egypt terminal as gas flows from Israel ebb
A tanker seeking to fill up liquefied natural gas (LNG) at a terminal in Egypt left empty and diverted to another port, after an Israeli pipeline supplying gas was halted due to Israel-Hamas conflict, analysts said on Thursday. The Seapeak Catalunya tanker has changed course from Egypt's Idku LNG plant and is now heading to the Algeria's Arzew LNG facility instead, LSEG analyst Olumide Ajayi said citing shipping data.

Oct 19 - Qatar supplies gas to Europe, vying with US to replace Russia supply
Qatar has agreed to supply Shell in the Netherlands with gas for 27 years, the second such deal with a European buyer in a week, as the Gulf state competes with the United States to help Europe replace lost Russian supplies. Shell's agreement is identical to a TotalEnergies deal last week with QatarEnergy to supply France. Both are Qatar's biggest and longest gas supply deals with Europe. 

Oct 19 - EU to scrutinise foreign subsidies for wind energy sector
The European Union plans to boost financial support for the wind energy sector and scrutinise subsidies of foreign wind product imports, as local manufacturers face increased competition from China, a document seen by Reuters showed. The draft measures, which the European Commission plans to publish next week, would see the EU and its lending arm, the European Investment Bank, launch a scheme this year to counter-guarantee banks' credit exposures to wind industry suppliers.

Oct 18 - EU countries break deadlock on power market subsidies
European Union countries' energy ministers struck a deal to reform power market subsidies, Spain's energy minister said on Tuesday, defusing a stand-off between France and Germany over the future competitiveness of industrial sectors. The European Commission proposed changes to the EU's electricity market in March after EU power prices soared to record levels last year as Russian gas supplies were cut following the invasion of Ukraine.  

Oct 18 - Natgas producer Chesapeake explores buying Southwestern Energy
U.S. natural gas producer Chesapeake Energy Corp has approached Southwestern Energy, a peer valued by the stock market at $12 billion including debt, about a potential acquisition, people familiar with the matter said. Were the two companies to combine, they would overtake EQT Corp as the largest natural gas-focused exploration and production company in the U.S. by market value, at a time when shale companies are seeking scale and efficiencies.

Oct 17 - EU to push for COP28 deal on phasing out fossil fuels
EU countries' climate ministers on Monday approved the bloc's negotiating position for this year's U.N. COP28 climate summit, agreeing to push for a world-first deal to phase out CO2-emitting fossil fuels. The agreement sets up the 27-country European Union to be one of the most ambitious negotiators at the annual United Nations climate talks, where nearly 200 countries negotiate efforts to fight global warming.  "We will be at the forefront of the negotiations to show the EU's strongest commitment to the green transition and encourage our partners to follow our lead," Spain's Climate Minister Teresa Ribera said. 

Oct 17 - Marathon Oil signs deal with Glencore for Alba gas in Equatorial Guinea
Marathon Oil said on Monday it has entered into a five-year liquefied natural gas (LNG) sales agreement with a unit of Glencore for a portion of its natural gas produced from the Alba Field in Equatorial Guinea, boosting its presence in the European LNG market. The Houston-based firm, which has a 64% working interest in the Alba Unit, said the sales deal is effective Jan. 1, 2024.

Oct 16 - Romania seeking to postpone shutdown of lignite power plants (Reuters)
- Romania will seek European Commission approval to postpone the closure of its lignite-fired power plants by up to two years, Energy Minister Sebastian Burduja said on Monday. The government has committed to phasing out lignite - or brown coal - from 2026 under its European Union-funded recovery aid package, although Burduja said he would temper expectations for now on a change to the date.

State-owned lignite power holding CE Oltenia has partnered with three private companies - OMV Petrom , Tinmar and Alro Slatina  - to build solar parks and gas-fired power plants as part of Romania's energy shift.

The company has already received 1.2 billion lei ($254.85 million) in EU-approved state aid under a restructuring plan which includes clear deadlines to phase out coal. It has shut down some 950 MW worth of coal-fired power units.
"Unfortunately, because of delays, the lignite shutdown will not coincide with the coming online of these new projects, which might create difficulties for the national power grid," Burduja told a news conference.

The minister said he would go to Brussels for talks on the postponement this month.
Burduja also said Romania's gas stores are filled beyond capacity and the country could avoid having to import supplies this winter if the weather remains temperate.

Romania relies less on Russian gas than neighbours in the region, producing about 90% of its required gas locally through state producer Romgaz , oil and gas group OMV Petrom  and Black Sea Oil & Gas.

Burduja also said that he was in favour of keeping in place a government support scheme which caps power and gas prices for households and other consumers to avoid price fluctuations, particularly given conflicts in the Middle East.

The European Union state has been capping gas and power bills for various users and compensating suppliers for the difference since November 2021. Under current legislation the price caps are in place until March 2025.

($1 = 4.7087 lei)

Oct 16 - Chevron Australia LNG unions stick to strike plan even as pay talks continue
Unions at Chevron's liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities in Australia reaffirmed their plan to resume strikes this week as mediated talks continued on Monday, sparking angry comments from the company saying workers were being unreasonable. An in-principle deal that ended weeks of strikes in September fell apart earlier this month after unions said Chevron had reneged on commitments and vowed to resume strikes at the Gorgon and Wheatstone sites, which supply around 6% of the world's LNG.

Oct 16 - Analysts lower EU carbon price forecasts on weak industry, power demand
Analysts have lowered price forecasts for EU carbon permits for 2024 and 2025 on expectations of lower demand from the power sector as generation from renewable sources such as wind and solar grows and amid a weak outlook for European industry. EU Allowances (EUAs) are forecast on average at 83.55 euros a metric tonne in 2024 and 88.95 euros in 2025, a Reuters survey of seven analysts showed.

Oct 13 - China Sept coal imports jump 27.5% on year ago
China's September coal imports surged 27.5% on the prior year, customs data showed on Friday, as buyers continued to bring in cheaper supplies from abroad ahead of the winter peak season. Imports came to 42.14 million metric tons, close to August's record 44.3 million tons.

Oct 13 - Japan has serious work cut out with carbon cutting ambitions: Maguire
Japan rolled out a carbon credit trading scheme this week as part of efforts to cut emissions and tackle climate change, but likely faces a tougher challenge than most peers when it comes to transitioning energy systems to fully run off clean power. The world's third largest economy ranks fifth in greenhouse gas emissions, spewing roughly 1.1 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide annually from energy generation and process emissions, according to the Energy Institute.

Oct 12 - NATO to respond if Baltic Sea pipeline damage deliberate - alliance chief
NATO will discuss damage to a gas pipeline and data cable running between member states Finland and Estonia, and will mount a "determined" response if a deliberate attack is proven, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Wednesday. Damage to the Balticconnector pipeline and telecommunications cable was confirmed on Tuesday after one of the two pipeline operators, Finland's Gasgrid, noted a drop in pressure and possible leak on Sunday night during a storm.

Oct 12 - Hydrogen hubs located in Pennsylvania among winners of $7 bln in US grants
Two hydrogen hubs projects partially located in Pennsylvania- one in the mid-Atlanic region and one in the Appalachian region - will receive part of $7 billion in U.S. federal grants that will be announced on Friday, sources familiar with the plan told Reuters on Wednesday.President Joe Biden's administration plans to announce the winners of up to $7 billion in federal dollars from the Department of Energy that would to set the U.S. on a path to produce 50 million metric tons of clean hydrogen fuel by 2050, a key part of its plan to decarbonize the U.S. economy by mid-century.

Oct 11 - Chevron halts gas exports via EMG pipeline from Israel to Egypt
Chevron has halted natural gas exports through a major subsea pipeline between Israel and Egypt and is supplying gas via an alternative pipeline through Jordan, the company said on Tuesday. The decision to halt exports via the East Mediterranean Gas pipeline came as fighting has intensified between Israel and militants in the Gaza Strip. 

Oct 11 - Finland says 'outside activity' likely damaged gas pipeline, telecoms cable
A subsea gas pipeline and a telecommunications cable connecting Finland and Estonia under the Baltic Sea have been damaged in what may have been a deliberate act, the Finnish government said on Tuesday. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said NATO was sharing its information over the damage and stands ready to support the allies concerned. Finland joined the military alliance in April, while Estonia has been a member since 2004.

Oct 10 - Australia LNG unions threaten fresh strikes next week, Chevron says deal possible
Chevron has asked Australia's industrial tribunal to help resolve a "small number" of issues blocking a deal with unions at its two liquefied natural gas facilities in Western Australia as workers announced plans to resume strikes next week. Chevron said on Monday it was committed to a deal with unions at its Wheatstone and Gorgon facilities and had asked the Fair Work Commission to help resolve a handful of sticking points, including how travel and meal expenses are reimbursed and cabin sharing on the offshore platform. 

Oct 10 - Global natgas demand set for slower growth to 2026, IEA says
Global natural gas demand is expected to experience slower growth to 2026 after peaking in mature markets such as Europe and North America in 2021, a report by the International Energy Agency (IEA) said. The IEA's annual medium-term gas market outlook said global gas demand was on course to increase by an average of 1.6% a year from 2022 to 2026, more slowly than the average annual rise of 2.5% between 2017 and 2021.

Oct 09 - Fortescue secures initial renewable energy for Gibson Island project
Australia's Fortescue will secure 337.5 megawatts (MW) of new solar energy as part of its renewable energy requirements for its proposed Gibson Island project from a unit of local electric utilities firm, Genex Power, the companies said on Monday. A unit of the world's fourth-largest iron ore miner inked a renewable power purchase deal with a subsidiary of Genex as Fortescue progresses with the renewable power required for the Brisbane project. 

Oct 09 - Repairing Finland-Estonia gas pipeline may take months, operator says
Repairing a subsea gas pipeline connecting Finland and Estonia that was shut on Sunday due to a suspected leak could take months or more if a puncture is confirmed, Finnish gas system operator Gasgrid said. The Balticconnector pipeline suffered a sharp drop in pressure, and work is ongoing to confirm the exact location and cause of the outage in the coming days, the company said in a statement.

Oct 06 - Chevron Australia LNG workers threaten to resume strikes after talks breakdown
Efforts to finalise a pact that ended strikes at Chevron's two Australian liquefied natural gas plants stumbled on Thursday, when workers voted to restart stoppages after unions accused the U.S. energy major of reneging on commitments. Workers called off major strikes in late September after unions and Chevron accepted proposals on pay and conditions proposed by the country's industrial arbitrator, the Fair Work Commission. 

Oct 06 - 'Europe isn't profitable' - Solar industry warns of hurdles to EU's green tech drive
Europe's bid to expand its green tech industry faces a host of challenges, including high energy costs and supply chain issues, solar industry representatives gathered in Madrid warned on Thursday. The comments come as the European Commission and European governments weigh tougher action on imports while aiming to boost clean tech manufacturing in Europe and reduce the reliance on China for products needed for the green transition.

Oct 05 - Climate change-related droughts dent progress on energy emissions
Droughts limiting hydro-electric generation globally prevented a fall in the energy sector's overall carbon emissions in the first half of 2023 despite the growth of wind and solar power, climate think tank Ember said in a report. Total power sector emissions rose by 0.2% in the first half of the year despite wind and solar's share of the global electricity supply rising to 14.3% over the same period, up 1.5% compared to the first half of 2022, Ember data showed. 

Oct 05 - New England states join to buy offshore wind power as US industry struggles
Three U.S. states in New England - Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut - on Wednesday agreed to jointly procure offshore wind power as soaring interest rates and rising equipment and labor costs have made some projects uneconomic. By joining forces, the states hope to counter the pain rippling across the nascent U.S. offshore wind industry, which is expected to play a key part in decarbonizing the power sector and revitalizing domestic manufacturing.

Oct 04 - Freeport LNG seeks to restart more of export plant in Texas
U.S. liquefied natural gas company Freeport LNG sought permission from federal energy regulators to take more steps to return its export plant in Texas to full commercial operation. Federal approval would allow the plant, which shut for about eight months from June 2022 to February 2023 after a fire, to supply more LNG to global markets ahead of the winter heating season when demand for natural gas soars in the northern hemisphere.

Oct 04 - EDF's trial electricity contracts auction for 2027-28 makes slow start
A trial EDF launched last month for a new wholesale model of auctioning electricity to be delivered in 2027 and 2028 has so far met little success, with just one contract sealed amid uncertainty over future regulation of French nuclear power, data from the state-owned power group showed on Tuesday. EDF launched the trial on Sept. 27 in a bid to get better visibility on its revenues, targeting the sale of power to competitors like oil major TotalEnergies, gas company Engie and traders.

Oct 03 - US LNG exports slump in September as plant outages pare output
U.S. exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) fell modestly in September from August as scattered outages at four gas-processing plants led to lower shipments, LSEG vessel tracking data showed. A total of 7.12 million metric tons of the superchilled gas left U.S. ports last month, down from the 7.32 million metric tons exported in August, LSEG data showed.  

Oct 03 - Lawmakers delay decision on new EU climate policy chief
The European Parliament's environment committee on Monday delayed a decision on whether to accept former Dutch foreign minister Wopke Hoekstra as the EU's next climate change policy chief, after he sought their backing in a three-hour hearing. The decision on Hoekstra, a centre-right conservative, is now due on Tuesday afternoon following a hearing of Maros Sefcovic, a social-democrat who is the nominee to take on the job of coordinating the EU's overall green policies.

Oct 02 - Europe's solar industry warns against tariffs on imports
Europe's solar power industry has warned policymakers not to impose tariffs on imports, amid fears that disrupting supplies of products from China would seriously damage Europe's ability to rapidly install clean energy. The call comes as Brussels and European governments consider tougher action on imports as they seek to expand clean tech manufacturing in Europe and reduce the reliance on China for products needed for the green transition. 

Oct 02 - Big Oil, heavy industry discuss emission curbs ahead of COP28
Major oil and gas company chiefs held discussions with heavy industry bosses on Sunday in the United Arab Emirates in an effort to agree a firm commitment to reduce carbon emissions ahead of a United Nations climate summit next month. It is seen as a crucial opportunity for governments to accelerate action to limit global warming with reports so far showing countries are off track to meet promises to limit the rise in global temperatures to 1.5 degrees Celsius.  

Sep 29 - EIA cuts US hydropower generation forecast for 2023The Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Thursday lowered its forecast for U.S. hydropower generation in 2023 by 6% as warm weather led to reduced water supply. The northwest, which produces almost one-half of the country's hydropower, experienced above-normal temperatures in May that melted snow rapidly, resulting in a significant loss of water supply.

Sep 29 - US carbon capture pipeline setbacks reflect challenges in climate fight
A series of permit rejections for two high-profile carbon pipeline projects in the U.S. Midwest could bode poorly for carbon capture and storage (CCS) as a widespread solution to climate change, reflecting deep-seated public concern about its risks and environmental impacts. Iowa-based Summit Carbon Solutions and Nebraska-based Navigator CO2 Ventures have both proposed huge pipelines to move carbon siphoned from Midwest ethanol plants to underground storage sites in other states, the most ambitious projects of their kind to date.

Sep 28 - China moves to modernise power grid, but coal looks set to stay
China's plans to create a unified national power market should boost consumption of renewable power, analysts say, but the impact could be diluted by factors such as flexibility given to provinces in adopting the system and greater support for coal. In the bid to reform a rigid and disjointed system that has contributed to severe power outages in recent years, the powerful state planner aims to set up a national power system by 2030. 

Sep 28 - Wind power industry drifts off course
A perfect storm of supply chain delays, design flaws and higher costs in the offshore wind industry has put dozens of projects at risk of not being delivered in time for countries to meet climate goals, industry executives, investors and analysts said. The race to reduce reliance on fossil fuels is putting pressure on manufacturers and supply chains to keep pace with demand for more clean energy, especially in the European Union which is finalising a legally binding goal to produce 42.5% of energy from renewables by 2030.

Sep 27 - UK and Germany sign hydrogen energy collaboration agreement
Britain said on Tuesday it would work closely with Germany to underpin the international trade in hydrogen under a new partnership, which the government hopes will support its net zero target and bolster energy security. The countries will also collaborate to speed up the role of low-carbon hydrogen in their energy mix, the British statement added.

Sep 27 - Asia's coal sector sees long, prosperous life despite energy transition: Russell
Asia's coal sector has gone from thinking they are in terminal decline as the world shifts to a net-zero carbon future to seeing themselves as being a part of the energy mix for decades to come, while raking in profits. What has changed for the coal industry is that they no longer believe that renewable energies can be deployed fast enough, cheaply enough and at sufficient scale to push fossil fuels out of Asia's energy mix.

Sep 26 - US says to complete offshore wind auctions on schedule next year
The Biden administration will complete its ambitious offshore wind leasing schedule on time next year, the Interior Department told Reuters, despite delays to preparatory work for the auctions and sagging demand from the industry. President Joe Biden’s White House is depending on rapid adoption of offshore wind to help decarbonize the U.S. power sector to fight climate change, with a goal to install 30 gigawatts by the end of this decade.

Sep 26 - US thermal coal exports jump to 5-year highs on Asian demand: Maguire
United States thermal coal exports hit their highest levels since 2018 during the first eight months of 2023, climbing 20% from the same period in 2022 thanks to strong demand from key consumers including China, India and South Korea. Total U.S. exports of coal used for power generation hit 22.5 million tonnes through August, up from 18.3 million in the same period in 2022, according to ship tracking data from Kpler.

Sep 25 - China, India lead Asia's biggest hydropower crunch in decades (Reuters)

- Hydropower generation in Asia has plunged at the fastest rate in decades amid sharp declines in China and India, data shows, forcing power regulators battling volatile electricity demand and erratic weather to rely more on fossil fuels. The two countries, which account for about 3/4 of Asia’s power generation and most of its emissions, are also to a lesser extent using renewables to make up for the hydropower shortfall and address rising electricity use. Major Asian economies have faced power shortages in recent years due to extreme weather conditions, including intense heat and lower rainfall over large swathes of northern China and Vietnam, as well as in India’s east and the north.

- Higher use of polluting fuels such as coal to meet electricity demand spikes and supply shortages underscore the challenges of lowering emissions. Asia’s hydropower output fell 17.9% during the seven months through July, data from energy think tank Ember showed, while fossil fuel-fired power rose 4.5%.
“Despite a strong growth in solar and wind power generation in Asia, supply from fossil-fuel thermal power plants has also increased this year as a result of a large decline in hydropower generation,” said Carlos Torres Diaz, Rystad Energy’s director of power and gas markets.
“Intense and prolonged heatwaves across the region have resulted in low reservoir levels and the need for alternative sources of power to help meet demand,” he added.

- China’s hydroelectricity generation during the eight months ended August declined at the sharpest rate since at least 1989, falling 15.9%, an analysis of National Bureau of Statistics data showed.

- In India, hydropower generation fell 6.2% during the eight months ended August in the sharpest decline since 2016. Its share of power output plunged to 9.2%, the lowest in at least 19 years, according to an analysis of government data.

Sep 25 - China climate envoy says phasing out fossil fuels 'unrealistic' (Reuters)

- The complete phasing-out of fossil fuels is not realistic, China's top climate official said, adding that these climate-warming fuels must continue to play a vital role in maintaining global energy security. China is the world's biggest consumer of fossil fuels including coal and oil, and its special climate envoy Xie Zhenhua was responding to comments by ambassadors at a forum in Beijing on Thursday ahead of the COP28 climate meeting in Dubai in November. Reuters obtained a copy of text of Xie's speech, and a video recording of the meeting.

- Countries are under pressure to make more ambitious pledges to tackle global warming after a U.N.-led global "stocktake" said 20 gigatons of additional carbon dioxide reductions would be needed this decade alone to keep temperatures from exceeding the critical threshold of 1.5 degrees Celsius. The stocktake will be at the centre of discussions at the COP28 climate meeting, with campaigners hoping it will create the political will to set clear targets to end coal and oil use. Xie, however, said the intermittent nature of renewable energy and the immaturity of key technologies like energy storage means the world must continue to rely on fossil fuels to safeguard economic growth.
"It is unrealistic to completely phase out fossil fuel energy," said Xie, who will represent China at COP28 this year.

- At climate talks in Glasgow in 2021, China led efforts to change the language of the final agreement from "phasing out" to "phasing down" fossil fuels. China also supports a bigger role for abatement technologies like carbon capture and storage. While ending fossil fuel use would not be on the table at COP28, Xie said China was open to setting a global renewable energy target as long as it took the divergent economic conditions of different countries into account. He also said he welcomed pledges made to him by his U.S. counterpart John Kerry that a $100 billion annual fund to help developing countries adapt to climate change would soon be made available, adding it was "only a drop in the bucket".

- China and the United States, the world's two biggest greenhouse gas emitters, resumed top-level climate talks in July after a hiatus brought about by U.S. politician Nancy Pelosi's visit to the self-governing island of Taiwan, which China claims. China has rejected U.S. attempts to treat climate change as a diplomatic "oasis" that can be separated from the broader geopolitical tensions between the two sides, with U.S. trade sanctions on Chinese solar panels still a sore point.

- Xie said protectionism could drive up the price of solar panels by 20-25% and hold back the energy transition, and called on countries not to "politicise" cooperation in new energy. He also reiterated China's opposition to the E.U. Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism, which will impose carbon tariffs on imports from China and elsewhere.

(This story has been corrected to read 'to keep temperatures from exceeding the critical threshold...' instead of 'rising below the critical threshold...' in paragraph 3)

Sep 25 - Western nations not ready to finance Indonesian coal plant retirements
Western countries are not ready to finance the early retirement of Indonesian coal-fired power plants under the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP), a government official said, based on talks held with the partnership countries. The partnership will deliver $20 billion in funds from a coalition of developed countries to help reduce its dependence on fossil fuels, but investment plans have been delayed. 

Sep 25 - US grid-scale energy storage installations hit new quarterly record
The U.S. grid-scale energy storage installations hit a new record in the second quarter of 2023, a report by Wood Mackenzie and the American Clean Power Association (ACP) said. Grid-scale energy storage is essential in helping balance and regulate energy supply in a grid that is increasingly reliant on intermittent wind and solar power.

Sep 22 - Strike ends at Chevron's Australian LNG facilities
An Australian union alliance on Friday called off strikes at Chevron's two major local liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects, agreeing to resolve disputes that had threatened to disrupt around 7% of global LNG supplies. The union alliance and Chevron accepted proposals on pay and conditions from the country's industrial arbitrator for the Gorgon and Wheatstone LNG facilities, and workers were set to end strikes that began two weeks ago. 

Sep 22 - China, India lead Asia's biggest hydropower crunch in decades
Hydropower generation in Asia has plunged at the fastest rate in decades amid sharp declines in China and India, data shows, forcing power regulators battling volatile electricity demand and erratic weather to rely more on fossil fuels. The two countries, which account for about 3/4 of Asia's power generation and most of its emissions, are also to a lesser extent using renewables to make up for the hydropower shortfall and address rising electricity use.

Sep 21 - Australia tribunal pushes Chevron, LNG unions to resolve wage fight
Australia's industrial arbitrator pushed Chevron and unions to resolve a long-running dispute over pay and conditions at two liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects and bring to an end strikes that have roiled world gas markets. The Fair Work Commission (FWC), which has the power to impose a settlement, said it "strongly recommended" parties accept its proposals to end work stoppages that began on Sept. 8 at the Gorgon and Wheatstone LNG operations, which supply around 7% of the global LNG market.

Sep 21 - Europe's power industry warns ageing grids risk green goals
Europe's electricity industry has warned that unprecedented investments are needed to upgrade ageing electricity grids, or the EU will fail to meet its clean energy targets. Electricity industry association Eurelectric said on Thursday that to support those goals, average annual investments in Europe's electricity grids from now to 2050 need to be at least 84% higher than they were in 2021.

Sep 20 - Power costs, patchwork rules hinder global energy transition, Repsol says
High electricity costs and patchwork regulations are holding back global efforts to reduce reliance on oil and gas, such as clean hydrogen, the CEO of Spanish oil major Repsol said on Tuesday. Carbon capture technology, however, is already cheap enough to justify large-scale construction in some places, CEO Josu Jon Imaz said at the World Petroleum Congress in Calgary.

Sep 20 - Clean energy investing loses lustre despite climate crisis: Maguire
Despite the heat waves, wildfires and floods that have amplified calls to accelerate the global energy transition away from fossil fuels, investors withdrew record funds from the world's largest clean energy investment vehicles so far this year. Investors withdrew a net $765 million through August from the world's largest clean energy exchange traded fund, the iShares Global Clean Energy ETF (ICLN), which is by far the largest net outflow on record of investor money from that fund during any January-August period, LSEG data shows.

Sep 19 - Coal from Russian-annexed Ukraine sold in NATO member Turkey - data, sources
At least $14.3 million worth of coal produced in areas of Ukraine annexed by Russia has been exported to NATO member Turkey this year, according to Russian customs data reviewed by Reuters. Between February and July 2023, about 160,400 tonnes of coal from the annexed eastern Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Luhansk arrived in Turkey, the data showed. Three producers listed in the customs data confirmed to Reuters they had shipped coal from the two regions to Turkey during that period.

Sep 19 - Orsted CEO says US offshore wind targets still possible but not easy
U.S. President Joe Biden's plan to deploy 30,000 megawatts (MW) of offshore wind by 2030 is still possible, although not easy, the CEO of Orsted, the world's largest offshore wind developer, said on Monday at the Climate Week NYC event in New York. The remarks by Orsted CEO Mads Nipper come as soaring costs and supply chain delays have increasingly cast doubt on the Biden administration's goal, a cornerstone of its plan to fight climate change.

Sep 18 - Chevron Australia says full production resumes at strike-hit Wheatstone LNG plant
Chevron said full production had resumed at its strike-hit Wheatstone liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility in Western Australia after a fault last week cut production by about one-fifth. Workers began 24-hour strikes over the weekend at Chevron's Gorgon and Wheatstone LNG facilities, which account for over 5% of global supply, escalating what had been six days of brief work stoppages and limited bans on certain tasks.

Sep 18 - Biden’s offshore wind target slipping out of reach as projects struggle
President Joe Biden’s goal to deploy 30,000 megawatts of offshore wind along U.S. coastlines this decade to fight climate change may be unattainable due to soaring costs and supply chain delays, according to forecasters and industry insiders.The 2030 target, unveiled shortly after Biden took office, is central to Biden's broader plan to decarbonize the U.S. economy by 2050. It is also crucial to targets of Northeast states hoping wind will help them move away from fossil fuel-fired electricity.

Sep 15 - China coal output rises in August but restrained by safety steps
China's August coal output rose 2% from a year earlier, rebounding modestly after tightened safety measures reined in operations at the major mining hubs the month before, although analysts expected the curbs would continue to constrain production. China, the world's biggest coal producer, churned out 382.17 million metric tons of the fossil fuel last month, equivalent to 12.33 million tons per day, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed. 

Sep 15 - Freeport LNG cancels four cargoes since feedgas intake fell
Freeport LNG, the second-largest U.S. liquefied natural gas exporter, has cancelled four cargoes since its feedgas intake dropped below normal capacity, industry sources told Reuters on Thursday. The cargoes cancelled included ones for a major portfolio player and a Japanese firm, the sources said.

Sep 14 - Freeport LNG feedgas intake cut for fifth day -LSEG data
Freeport LNG's natural gas intake at its plant in Texas was well below capacity for a fifth straight day, according to LSEG data, suggesting a persistent outage at the plant, analysts said. The second-largest liquefied natural gas producer in the U.S. was today at 334 million cubic feet compared to a typical draw of about 2 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas, LSEG data showed. 

Sep 14 - Chevron Australia LNG workers escalate strikes, 24-hour stoppages possible
Workers at Chevron's two liquefied natural gas projects in Australia plan to escalate industrial action from Thursday to anything from a total strike to hours-long work stoppages, their union said, increasing the risk of disrupted output from facilities accounting for over 5% of global supply. Workers at the Gorgon and Wheatstone facilities have been stopping work briefly for the past six days, after talks with Chevron over wages and working conditions broke down.

Sep 13 - Freeport LNG gas intake cut for a fourth day to about a third -LSEG
Freeport LNG's natural gas intake on Tuesday remained well below capacity for a fourth day, at about 695 million cubic feet per day, or about a third of its normal rate, according to LSEG data. The second largest liquefied natural gas producer in the U.S. typically draws about 2 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas, but since Saturday has absorbed significantly less, the data showed. 

Sep 13 - US regains crown as world's largest LNG exporter -EIA
The U.S. regained its crown as the world's largest exporter of liquefied natural gas in the first six months of this year, according to the U.S. Energy Information Agency. US exports of the superchilled gas, particularly to Europe, have jumped in the last year as buyers looked for alternatives to Russian gas imports and to fill Europe's storage inventories, the EIA said.

Sep 12 - Feedgas flows to U.S. Freeport LNG drop sharply -LSEG data
Feedgas flows to Freeport LNG, the second-largest U.S. liquefied natural gas exporter, dropped sharply over the weekend and remained down for the third day in a row on Monday, LSEG data showed. Input levels on the pipeline serving the facility showed feed levels had fallen to 702.9 million cubic feet per day on Sept. 9 and dropped further to 284.3 mcf/day on Sept. 10, down from 1,640.3 mcf/day Sept. 8, LSEG data showed.  

Sep 12 - Colombia mulls making Ecopetrol mandatory partner in offshore wind farms
Colombia's government is considering revising rules to make majority state-run energy company Ecopetrol an obligatory partner in every offshore wind project, three people familiar with the matter told Reuters. The Ministry of Mines and Energy will consult businesses interested in taking part in Colombia's first-ever offshore wind auction about the proposal, one of the sources said in recent days, adding that feedback so far has been positive.

Sep 11 - Chevron, LNG Workers At Loggerheads. Oil giant no longer expects a deal with unions (Reuters)

Australia is one of the largest producers of liquefied natural gas (LNG), and impending strikes could take out about 5% of world supply.

The ongoing labor dispute in Australia between Chevron and workers at liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants is getting more heated. Unions are set to strike at two facilities that account for roughly 5% of the world’s supply of the super-cooled fuel – and Chevron no longer expects a deal with unions, as Lewis Jackson and Roushni Nair report.  
Instead, they are pursuing an untested legal strategy to stop the action at its Gorgon and Wheatstone facilities - by applying to Australia's industrial umpire, the Fair Work Commission, for what is known as an "intractable bargaining" declaration. That would end the strikes and allow an arbiter to impose an agreement after five days of last-minute negotiations went nowhere. The strikes are meantime expected to begin Thursday without some kind of agreement, with unions saying that they were “bunkering down for a long dispute.” 

Chevron Australia no longer expects to reach a deal with unions and will instead pursue an untested legal strategy to stop industrial action at its Gorgon and Wheatstone liquefied natural gas facilities as unions prepare for full scale strikes. Hundreds of workers at the facilities, which account for over 5% of global supply, started short strikes on Friday after five days of last-minute negotiations broke down without a deal. Unions have said they will escalate to two weeks of 24-hour strikes from Thursday.

Sep 11 - Europe’s gas storage must peak early this autumn: Kemp
Europe’s natural gas inventories are at a record high for the time of year, but storage additions have slowed sharply, significantly reducing the risk storage sites will become full before the main winter heating season arrives. Inventories across the European Union and the United Kingdom had climbed to 1,071 terawatt hours by Sep. 6, according to Gas Infrastructure Europe (“Aggregated gas storage inventory”, GIE, Sep. 8).

Sep 08 - Strikes to start at major Chevron Australia LNG projects
Workers at Chevron's liquefied natural gas projects in Australia will start strike action after mediation talks between unions and the energy major ended without a deal, potentially disrupting output from facilities that account for over 5% of global supply. Australia is the world's biggest LNG exporter, and its main buyers are in Asia. The dispute over wages and conditions at Chevron's Gorgon and Wheatstone operations had supported British and European gas prices, as traders fear lower Australian supplies would intensify competition for other sources of the super-chilled fuel. 

Sep 08 - US wind power generation breaks out of summer doldrums: Maguire
After months of low wind speeds in several key wind farm areas, U.S. wind power generation hit its highest levels in nearly five months in early September as wind speeds picked up. Unusually low wind speeds caused U.S. wind generation to slump by more than 4.5% over the first eight months of 2023 from the same period in 2022, according to data compiled by LSEG.

Sep 07 - Shell ditched major works on giant LNG facility in favour of quick fix
Shell considered shutting its flagship Prelude liquefied natural gas facility off Australia for a year to fix issues that have plagued its operations, but instead opted for shorter maintenance period to allow it to capture strong gas demand, three industry sources said. Prelude, whose deck is longer than four soccer fields, was the world's first floating LNG facility to use novel technology and cost over $12 billion, according to estimates. 

Sep 07 - India seeks more natural gas amid emergency measures to end blackouts
India is seeking additional volumes of natural gas and has asked utilities to expedite completion of power plant maintenance, as part of emergency steps to stop electricity outages, according to a government note seen by Reuters. The move follows extension of an emergency law that forces power plants running on imported coal to maximise output, as record power demand in August due to unusually dry weather, and a sharp decline in hydro and wind energy output resulted in the country's widest electricity shortage in 16 months.

Sep 06 - Chevron, unions in final talks ahead of planned Australia LNG strikes
Chevron and a union alliance will hold a final round of talks ahead of planned strike actions at two major liquefied natural gas facilities in Australia as ongoing disputes over pay and conditions remained unresolved. Workers are set to begin brief work stoppages and ban certain tasks from Thursday at Chevron's Gorgon and Wheatstone facilities and plan to escalate to a total strike for two weeks from Sept. 14 if their terms are not met.  

Sep 06 - Enbridge set to be top US gas supplier with $14 bln bid for Dominion utilities
Enbridge will buy three utilities from Dominion Energy for $14 billion including debt, the Canadian pipeline operator said on Tuesday, creating North America's largest natural gas provider and doubling its gas distribution business. The deal is seen as a bet on the future of natural gas in a regulated market even as energy companies and consumers are transitioning to a greener future by phasing out fossil fuels.

Sep 05 - Chevron faces two-week total strike at Australia LNG projects
Workers at Chevron's Gorgon and Wheatstone liquefied natural gas projects in Australia plan a total strike for two weeks from Sept. 14, a union alliance said, a significant escalation on disputes over pay and conditions. The decision comes amid mediation talks hosted by the Fair Work Commission, Australia's industrial arbitrator, which began on Monday and is scheduled to run every day this week, and ahead of brief work stoppages called by the union from Thursday.

Sep 05 - Hundreds of millions of dollars pledged for African carbon credits at climate summit
An initiative to boost Africa's carbon credit production 19-fold by 2030 drew hundreds of millions of dollars in pledges on Monday, as Kenyan President William Ruto opened the continent's first climate summit. In one of the most anticipated deals, investors from the United Arab Emirates committed to buying $450 million of carbon credits from the Africa Carbon Markets Initiative, which was launched at Egypt's COP27 summit last year.

Sep 04 - Chevron begins mediation talks to avert Australia LNG strike
Mediation talks to avert strikes at U.S. energy major Chevron's two major liquefied natural gas facilities in Australia began after workers rejected the company's offer on wages and working conditions last week. A senior member of the Fair Work Commission, Australia's industrial umpire, will host the talks from 9 a.m. in the Western Australia state capital of Perth through this week, a schedule of hearings showed. 

Sep 04 - India steps up coal use to stop outages triggered by unusually dry weather
India has stepped up the use of coal to generate electricity in a bid to stop outages caused by lower hydroelectricity output, and as an increase in renewables is struggling to keep pace with record power demand. It is unusual for India's electricity use to spike in August, when temperatures are lower due to the annual monsoon that runs between June and September. Demand typically peaks in May, when Indians crank up air-conditioners to beat the heat, and industries operate without rain-related disruptions.

Sep 01 - Equinor, BP seek 54% hike in US offshore wind power price, filings show
Norway's Equinor and its partner BP are seeking a 54% increase for the price of power produced at three planned offshore U.S. wind farms, according to a filing made by a New York state regulatory authority. The two partners in recent years won the rights to build the Empire Wind 1, Empire Wind 2 and Beacon Wind wind farms off the New York coast, which have a combined capacity of 3,300 megawatts, capable of powering millions of homes.

Sep 01 - Gazprom accounts for more than half of increase in China's gas imports - CEO
Alexei Miller, the chief executive of Russian gas giant Gazprom, said on Thursday that the company accounts for more than half the increase in China's gas imports this year, without providing figures. Gazprom's natural gas exports, mainly to Europe, almost halved last year after the West responded with economic sanctions to Moscow calls a "special military operation" in Ukraine, and unexplained blasts on the Nord Stream gas pipelines under the Baltic Sea.

Aug 31 - GLOBAL LNG-Asian spot prices flat amid more certainty over Australia strike action (Reuters)

- Asian spot liquefied natural gas (LNG) prices held steady this week as more certainty over potential strike action at LNG facilities in Australia kept buyers on the sidelines from seeking replacement cargoes. The average LNG price for October delivery into north-east Asia LNG-AS remained at $13.00 per million British thermal units (mmBtu), industry sources estimated.
“A greater degree of certainty has emerged regarding strike action at Australian liquefaction terminals — specifically the Gorgon and Wheatstone facilities,” said Samuel Good, head of LNG pricing at commodity pricing agency Argus.
“General expectations from Asian buyers are for only limited impact on cargo availability... Little interest has so far emerged for replacement cargoes, with terminal inventories in northeast Asia largely remaining high as power sector cooling demand begins to wane with the seasonal fall in temperatures across much of the region.”

- He added that based on weather forecasts, winter heating demand in northeast China is also unlikely to begin until late October, and even further into winter for South Korea and Japan.

- Two major LNG production facilities operated by Chevron could face daily work stoppages of up to 10 hours next week after unions on Tuesday threatened labour action in a dispute over pay and conditions. Workers at Gorgon and Wheatstone downstream facilities plan to stop work for seven hours in two-time blocks on Sept. 7, escalating to 10 hours on Sept. 8 and 11 hours on Sept. 9. A smaller stoppage of three hours is planned at the Wheatstone production platform from Sept. 7.

- Rising inventories in East Asian consumers have also kept a lid on prices.
“After concerns of Japan sitting on low stockpiles and potential supply disruptions on the horizon, Japan has finally snuck above the 5-year average for this time of the year,” said Dominic Gallagher, head of LNG broking at Tullett Prebon.
“China is also looking well stocked with some forecasts suggesting it could reach 90% of total capacity next month.”

- In Europe, S&P Global Commodity Insights assessed its daily north-west Europe LNG Marker (NWM) price benchmark for cargoes delivered in October on an ex-ship (DES) basis at $12.082/mmBtu on Aug. 30, a $0.40/mmBtu discount to the October gas price at the Dutch TTF gas hub, said Allen Reed, managing editor, Atlantic LNG.
“After weeks of Atlantic price reactions and market focus on Australia, the market saw muted response following the announcement of industrial action at Chevron facilities,” he said.
“European traders have said the expectation of the strikes was already priced in and that high gas inventory levels in Europe and Asia have been the primary reason prices haven’t risen on the news.”

Argus assessed the north-west Europe DES price at $11.75/mmBtu.

- Meanwhile, spot LNG freight rates rose this week, with Atlantic rates gaining $7,500 week-to-date to $121,750/day on Thursday. Pacific rates are up $4,500 to $127,250/day, said Henry Bennett, head of pricing at Spark Commodities.
“Rates are significantly higher than at this time last year when the Atlantic and Pacific (rates) were just at $81,750/day and $71,750/day respectively,” he said.

Aug 31 - US LNG projects win higher processing fees as interest rates climb
Long-term buyers of U.S. liquefied natural gas are willingly agreeing to higher liquefaction fees at newer export projects, according to analysts and developers familiar with the matter. The U.S. emerged in 2022 as the world's second largest LNG exporter on plentiful supplies of natural gas and relatively low processing costs per metric ton of LNG. But rising interest rates and higher construction costs have pushed up liquefaction fees, also known as tolling fees.  

Aug 31 - Prospect of strong El Niño weighs on U.S. gas prices: Kemp
Rapidly forming El Niño conditions over the central and eastern Pacific Ocean have increased the probability of a strong episode this winter that would likely raise temperatures and cut gas consumption in the United States. Sea surface temperatures in the most critical region of the ocean have warmed rapidly and have been almost +1.3°C above the long-term seasonal average so far in August having started the year -0.7°C below average in January.

Aug 30 - First US offshore wind auction in Gulf of Mexico attracts paltry interest
The Biden administration's first ever auction of offshore wind development rights in the Gulf of Mexico ended with a single $5.6 million winning bid on Tuesday, reflecting meager demand for the clean energy source in a region known for oil and gas production. Germany's RWE won rights to 102,480 acres off Louisiana - the lowest winning bid for a federal offshore wind lease at auction since the Obama administration - while the other two lease areas on offer off Texas received no bids, according to results posted online by the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.

Aug 30 - Japan's Mitsui, others to jointly study hydrogen, ammonia supply chain in Osaka
Japan's Mitsui & Co, Mitsui Chemicals, IHI Corp and Kansai Electric Power Co will conduct a joint study for establishing a hydrogen and ammonia supply chain in the Osaka coastal industrial zone, the companies said. The announcement comes a day after Eneos and Osaka Gas said they would study the construction of a large e-methane facility - based on green hydrogen - and to be located in the Osaka Bay area.

Aug 29 - Chevron's Australia LNG ops could face daily 10-hr stoppages as union fight escalates
Chevron's two major liquefied natural gas production facilities in Australia could face daily work stoppages of up to 10 hours next week after unions threatened labour action in a dispute over pay and conditions. Chevron's Gorgon and Wheatstone projects account for more than 5% of global LNG capacity, and news of the possible strikes sent European natural gas prices surging.  

Aug 29 - Exxon says world set to fail 2°C global warming cap by 2050
Oil and natural gas are still projected to meet more than half of the world’s energy needs in 2050, or 54%, Exxon Mobil said on Monday, with the world failing to keep global temperature increases below 2 degrees Celsius. The largest U.S. oil producer projects the world will reach 25 billion metric tons of energy related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in 2050, according to its energy outlook published on Monday.

Aug 28 - Asia LNG loses some strike froth, but fundamentals are supportive: Russell
Spot prices of liquefied natural gas retreated in Asia as the threat of imminent strike action at three Australian plants eased, but solid fundamentals are keeping prices elevated for future deliveries. The LNG spot price for delivery to North Asia slipped to $13.00 per million British thermal units (mmBtu) for the week ended Aug. 25, down from $14.00 previously, but still 44% above this year's low of $9.00 from early June. 

Aug 28 - India’s massive renewables deployment helps meet record power demand: Kemp
India’s electricity consumption hit a new high this summer but the transmission grid has been much more stable because of increased generation from renewables as well as plentiful fuel stocks at coal-fired power plants. Electricity consumption peaked at a record 223 Gigawatts (GW) in June, up from a peak of 212 GW in June 2022, according to the Grid Controller of India.

Aug 25 - Australia union threatens strikes at Chevron LNG facilities
Unions at Chevron's liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities in Australia warned on Friday that work stoppages could cost the U.S. energy major billions of dollars if demands over wages and conditions were not met. The warning came even as workers at a nearby Woodside facility voted to approve a deal struck by the same unions.

Aug 25 - Total spending on fuel subsidies topped $7 trillion in 2022, IMF says
Global subsidies for fossil fuels rose by $2 trillion over the past two years to reach a record $7 trillion in 2022, according to new estimates from the International Monetary Fund. The soaring costs, driven by post-pandemic consumption growth and by rising energy costs stemming from Russia's 2022 invasion of Ukraine, are straining budgets, adding to pollution and exacerbating global warming, the IMF said in a report.

Aug 24 - Woodside, unions reach deal at Australian LNG facility, workers meet to ratify
Woodside Energy on Thursday reached an in-principle agreement with unions at Australia's largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) project, potentially averting a disruption to supplies from the world's biggest exporter of the super-chilled fuel. Both Woodside and the union alliance representing workers at the offshore platforms of its North West Shelf facility announced the initial deal in separate statements after a round of talks both sides deemed positive. 

Aug 24 - EU to open third round of joint gas buying in September
The European Union will open its third round of joint gas buying next month, as the bloc moves to secure supplies in preparation for another winter with scarce Russian gas. The EU started collectively buying gas this year, as part of its response to Russia slashing gas deliveries in 2022 following its invasion of Ukraine.

Aug 23 - Asian buyers may seek U.S. LNG if Australia worker disputes worsen, analysts say
Major Asian buyers of liquefied natural gas (LNG) could seek U.S. cargoes in the coming weeks if worker-related disputes at key LNG facilities in Australia escalate, analysts said, as electricity demand continues surge due to warm weather. Uncertainty over labour disputes at western Australian facilities run by Woodside Energy Group and U.S. major Chevron have spurred Asian LNG prices to their highest in five months, and analysts say they could rise further. 

Aug 23 - Woodside, unions to meet for key talks as strike threats loom over Australia LNG facilities
Woodside Energy and unions will meet for a key round of talks on Wednesday in a bid to avoid strikes at Australia's largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility as disputes over wages and conditions remained unresolved. Any disruption to work could slow the exports of the super-chilled fuel from Australia, the world's biggest LNG exporter, which would force Asian buyers to outbid European buyers to attract cargoes.

Aug 22 - Woodside says takes 'two to tango' on LNG strike talks, union warns 'ready to go'
Woodside Energy is proceeding with respect in its talks with unions to avert any strike at Australia's largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility, its CEO said on Tuesday, while a union alliance warned its members were "primed and ready to go". The comments come a day ahead of a crucial meeting between the management and the unions to avoid industrial action at the Woodside-operated North West Shelf offshore gas platforms.   

Aug 22 - Shippers bet on green methanol to cut emissions, supply lags
Container shippers are ordering vessels powered by methanol to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but it will take years for renewable methanol output to meet demand and for costs to fall, industry executives said. The first green methanol-fuelled container ship, owned by A.P. Moller-Maersk, sailed from South Korea in July.

Aug 21 - China LNG buyers expand trading after adding more US, Qatari contracts
China's liquefied natural (LNG) gas importers are starting up or expanding trading desks in London and Singapore to better manage their growing and diversified supply portfolios in an increasingly volatile global market. The beefed-up trading presence of Chinese importers puts them in direct competition with such global heavyweights as Shell, BP, Equinor and TotalEnergies for a market that the International Energy Agency says doubled in value to $450 billion last year.  

Aug 21 - Australian LNG strike looms, impact likely limited for now: Russell
The likelihood of industrial action at three Australian liquefied natural gas facilities is increasing, but the question for the market is what is the potential impact on the supply of the super-chilled fuel. Unions at Woodside Energy Group's North West Shelf offshore gas platforms announced plans on Aug. 20 to strike as early as Sept. 2, the latest escalation in a long-running dispute over pay and conditions.

Aug 18 - Workers begin strike vote at Chevron's LNG facilities in Australia
Chevron faces the prospect of work stoppages or even an all-out strike at Australia's second largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant at Gorgon and at its Wheatstone operations after voting opened on Friday for a union ballot. Australia is one of the largest exporters of LNG to the world along with Qatar and the United States, and concerns about a strike have spurred volatility in European gas prices over fears the move would fuel competition between Asian and European buyers for cargoes. China and Japan are the top lifters of Australian LNG, followed by South Korea and Taiwan.  

Aug 18 - Texas grid operator issues voluntary power conservation call due to heatwave
The main grid operator in Texas said on Thursday it had engaged its emergency system after electricity reserves dropped below the critical 3,000 MW level due to increased power usage amid a heatwave. The Electric Reliability Council Of Texas (ERCOT), which operates the grid for more than 26 million customers which use about 90% of the state's power load, said it had operating reserves of 2,929 MW as of 8:37 p.m. CDT.

Aug 17 - Ukraine has no plans to talk with Russia on gas transit contract renewal ( VOA & Reuters )

- Ukrainian Energy Minister German Galushchenko said on Wednesday Kyiv will not join in talks with Russia about a renewal of the contract for the transit of Russian gas through Ukrainian territory which is due to expire next year.
"We will not be a party at the talks with the Russians for sure, it's absolutely obvious," he told the Ukrainian service of U.S. broadcaster Voice Of America.

- Russia has said that it would consider extending the contract that allows it to send gas to Europe via Ukraine beyond 2024, if the European Union - that has pledged to quit Russian gas by 2027 - still needs such supplies. Galushchenko said that chances were high that there would be no demand for Russian gas in European countries.
"The next year will show if Europe can function without Russian gas at all," Voice Of America quoted him as saying.
"I see all preconditions for that to happen."

Aug 17 - One year on, Biden still needs to explain his signature clean energy legislation
U.S. President Joe Biden on Wednesday marks the first anniversary of signing his signature clean energy legislation called the Inflation Reduction Act by leading a campaign to better explain to Americans what, exactly, it does. The climate-focused bill provides billions of dollars in tax credits to help consumers buy electric vehicles and companies produce renewable energy, as Biden aims to decarbonize the mighty U.S. power sector. It also helps seniors pay for prescription drugs, expands some elements of Obamacare and asks wealthy Americans and corporations to pick up the tab.

Aug 17 - India's coal emissions set for new highs on low-grade imports - Maguire
India's annual coal emissions are on track to scale new highs in 2023, after the power sector discharged record volumes of carbon dioxide in the first half and lifted imports of low-quality and high-polluting coal on world markets. India's power producers discharged over 500 million tonnes of CO2 from burning coal over the first half of 2023, a 4% rise over the same period in 2022 when a new annual record for coal power emissions was set, data from think tank Ember shows.

Aug 16 - Colombia's potential renewables boom short circuits on Indigenous resistance
In May, a forum bringing together leaders debating wind and solar development in Colombia's La Guajira province was disrupted by a chorus of passionate opposition. "La Guajira is not for sale!" exclaimed one attendee, a member of the area's Wayuu Indigenous community, who led the chant with others as the then-energy minister and local officials looked on. 

Aug 16 - Woodside, unions remain at odds over wages at Australia's largest LNG facility
Woodside Energy said on Wednesday "positive progress" was being made on wage disputes at Australia's largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility even as a union alliance said key differences remained. Woodside's North West Shelf, along with Chevron's Australian LNG operations of Gorgon and Wheatstone, supply about 10% of the global LNG market.

Aug 15 - China's July daily coal output falls to 9-month low
China's average daily coal production fell in July to the lowest since October, as ongoing safety inspections at mines put a lid on production, while high inventory and declining domestic prices also discouraged mining operations. China produced 377.54 million metric tons of coal last month, equivalent to 12.18 million tons per day, which was down 6.3% from June but was around the same month last year, National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) data showed. 

Aug 15 - Yellen warns of risks of over-concentration of clean energy supply chains
The United States is working to build resilient, diversified clean energy supply chains to protect its economic security, while guarding against the risks posed by over-concentration in a handful of countries, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in remarks prepared for an event in Las Vegas on Monday. Yellen will touch on the challenges of transitioning away from fossil fuels in a major speech she will deliver after touring a union facility where workers are learning skills to work on clean energy projects.

Aug 14 - US awards $1.2 bln to carbon air capture hubs by Oxy, Climeworks
The U.S. Department of Energy on Friday announced that projects in Texas and Louisiana to remove more than 2 million metric tons of carbon emissions per year will get over $1 billion in federal grants, a key step in scaling up direct air capture (DAC) technology. The Department of Energy (DOE) selected Project Cypress in Louisiana, run by Battelle, Climeworks Corporation and Heirloom Carbon Technologies; and the South Texas DAC Hub in Kleberg County, Texas, proposed by Occidental Petroleum's (Oxy) subsidiary 1PointFive and partners Carbon Engineering Ltd and Worley.  

Aug 14 - Germany economy ministry supports 'fair' distribution of wind power expansion costs
Germany's economy ministry is in favour of distributing the network costs of expanding renewable energies "fairly" among the country's federal states, a spokesperson for the ministry said on Sunday. A dispute between the northern and southern states has intensified recently, with northern-state residents complaining about higher electricity prices in their region despite cheaper wind power production there. 

Aug 11 - Australia regulator clears way for strike vote at Chevron LNG plantsAustralia's labour regulator has issued an order allowing a workers' union to check with employees about whether to go on strike at Chevron's Wheatstone and Gorgon liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities. The Fair Work Commission in the order dated Thursday said the union can hold a protected action ballot of employees on any decisions over an industrial action.

Aug 11 - Indonesia's gas ambition faces investor test with Shell, Chevron exits
Indonesia hopes the recent exit of global giants Shell and Chevron from two long-delayed natural gas projects will jumpstart their development, as it races to more than double gas production by 2030. The Masela and Indonesia Deepwater Development (IDD) projects, together estimated to cost $27 billion, are test cases for Indonesia to show its commitment to attracting oil and gas investment and reversing a decade-long output decline before climate change kills demand for its fossil fuels.

Aug 10 - Bulk of UK corporate carbon emissions not covered by reduction target
Two-thirds of UK corporate emissions are not covered by decarbonisation targets while a fifth or more of companies with 2030 targets are not on course to meet them, a report from disclosure platform CDP and consultants Bain & Company showed. In the UK Climate Report released on Thursday, CDP and Bain said the number of companies lagging was likely even greater when counting those which do not disclose to CDP or which have yet to set an emissions-reduction target.

Aug 10 - Chevron, Woodside in talks to avert strikes at Australian LNG operations
Chevron and Woodside Energy Group said on Thursday they are holding talks with unions to avert threatened strikes at gas facilities that together supply about 10% of the global liquefied natural gas (LNG) market. Concerns over potential industrial action at three Australian LNG operations - North West Shelf, Gorgon and Wheatstone - sent European gas prices to a nearly 2-month high on Wednesday.

Aug 09 - Biden's carbon proposal is unworkable, US power sector warns
U.S. power plant owners warned the Biden administration on Tuesday that its sweeping plan to slash carbon emissions from the electricity sector is unworkable, relying too heavily on costly technologies that are not yet proven at scale. Top utility trade group the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for revisions of the proposed power plant standards, which hinge on the widespread commercial availability of carbon capture and storage (CCS) and low-emissions green hydrogen, adding the agency's vision was "not legally or technically sound."

Aug 09 - Defying war risk, European traders store gas in Ukraine
European gas traders have begun storing natural gas in Ukraine to take advantage of lower prices and available capacity there, regardless of the risks from the ongoing war, three traders and company officials said. Following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, begun in February last year, the European Union (EU) has sought high levels of gas storage to compensate for reduced Russian supply, especially during the peak demand winter months.

Aug 08 - China's July coal imports surge as heatwaves drive power use
China's coal imports remained at elevated levels in July after overseas purchases nearly doubled in the first half of 2023, as utilities continued to bring in cheaper supplies to meet peak summer power demand, data showed on Tuesday. The world's top coal consumer imported 39.26 million metric tons of coal last month, a touch below the 39.87 million metric tons in June and compared with average monthly amounts of 37 million metric tons between January and June, data from the General Administration of Customs showed.

Aug 08 - Australia's Woodside to sell 10% stake in Scarborough to LNG Japan for $500 mln
Woodside Energy Group said on Tuesday it had entered a deal with LNG Japan to sell a 10% participating interest in its $12 billion Scarborough liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in Australia for $500 million. Australia's No.1 independent oil and gas producer, which owns 100% of the project since merging with BHP in 2022, has long flagged its interest to sell down its stake in the venture.

Aug 07 - Asia spot prices ease slightly as demand remains tepid
Asian spot liquefied natural gas (LNG) prices fell slightly this week, as demand in the region remained weak. The average LNG price for September delivery into northeast Asia was $10.90 per million British thermal units (mmBtu), industry sources estimated, edging down from $11/mmBtu the previous week.

Aug 07 - Japan to start Fukushima water release as early as late Aug -media
Japan plans to start releasing treated radioactive water from the tsunami-wrecked Fukushima nuclear power plant into the ocean as early as late August, Japan's Asahi Shimbun daily reported on Monday, citing unidentified government sources. The release will most likely come shortly after Prime Minister Fumio Kishida meets with U.S. President Joe Biden and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol in the United States next week and explains to them how the water release will be safe, it said.

Aug 04 - Japan's nuclear restarts this year to accelerate LNG import decline
Kansai Electric Power's plan next month to relaunch the last idle reactor at its flagship nuclear plant, capping a year-long series of restarts, will mark an energy shift in Japan with the sharpest drop in LNG imports since the Fukushima disaster. Japan, the world's top buyer of liquefied natural gas (LNG), was forced to sharply increase its purchases of the super-chilled fuel after the 2011 disaster, which led to the shutdown of all 54 of its nuclear reactors.

Aug 04 - Mission possible? Power companies more hopeful of Trudeau climate goal than Alberta premier
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is aiming to turn Canada's power grid net-zero by 2035, a goal that the premier of oil and gas-producing Alberta says she will defy, charging it is unrealistic before 2050. But power-generating companies in the country's highest greenhouse gas-emitting province are more optimistic and say they are looking to eliminate or offset direct emissions well ahead of Alberta's target, even if they are not committing to Trudeau's either.

Aug 03 - China's energy-security push drives up fossil-fuel approvals, Greenpeace research shows (Reuters)

- China approved more than 50 gigawatts of new coal power in the first half of 2023, research by environment group Greenpeace showed, with the world's top carbon polluter focused on energy security rather than cutting fossil fuel consumption. As scientists and environmentalists urge governments to make deeper emission cuts after record-breaking heatwaves across the globe, the impact of extreme weather has spurred China to build even more coal-fired plants as it tries to counter the effects of drought on hydropower production and avoid power outages.
"China's government has put energy security and energy transition at odds with one another," said Greenpeace's Gao Yuhe, who led the research published on Thursday.

- Beijing has promised to bring carbon emissions to a peak before 2030, but another pledge made by President Xi Jinping to start cutting coal use over the 2026-2030 period is now under threat, Gao said.
"Beijing has clearly stated that coal power will still grow at a 'reasonable pace' into 2030," she said.

- China's National Energy Administration (NEA) did not immediately reply to a fax sent requesting a comment on the coal plants and their power generation policies. Coal output in China surged 9% to 4.5 billion tons last year, more than half the world's total, and continued to rise this year, government data showed, with coal plants under pressure to offset a 22.9% decline in hydropower generation during the first half.

- The increase in China's coal usage reflects a worldwide pattern. The International Energy Agency said last week that global coal consumption reached a record 8.3 billion tons in 2022, with strong growth in Asia offsetting declines elsewhere. In March, the National Development and Reform Commission, China's state economic planner, said it would "strengthen" coal's supporting role in the overall energy mix.

- China has built more than 1,000 GW of coal-fired capacity from 2000 to 2022, enough to power the entire European Union and amounting to 69% of total global additions, according to data compiled by the Global Energy Monitor think tank.

- Officially, many of China's new coal-fired power plants are designed to provide back-up for clean but weather-dependent power sources like wind, solar, and hydro, especially during droughts or peak consumption periods. But China's "built-in bias to coal" is preventing it from investing more in critical energy storage infrastructure that could make renewable power more reliable, Gao said.
- The scale of the new builds also suggests the main motivation is economic growth and the argument that they are backing renewables is becoming less convincing, said Jorrit Gosens, a climate researcher at the Australian National University.
"The story has long been that capacity does not matter so much, as long as these plants are not also run at high rates of utilisation, but you have to be quite an optimist to repeat that by now," he said.
- While coal power inches up, China's renewable installations have also continued to soar, with capacity rising 109 GW in the first half, according to NEA data.
"The good news, as always, remains that renewables keep getting more competitive, and are being built at a record pace," said Gosens. "That will start to eat into coal's market share fairly soon."

Aug 03 - US doubles renewable subsidies to $15.6 billion in last seven years -EIA
U.S. subsidies for renewable energy producers more than doubled between 2016 and 2022, forming nearly half of all federal energy-related support in that period, a U.S. government report released on Tuesday showed. Renewable subsidies jumped to $15.6 billion in fiscal year 2022 from $7.4 billion in fiscal year 2016, according to the Energy Information Administration's Federal Financial Interventions and Subsidies in Energy report. 

Aug 03 - China's energy security push drives up fossil fuel approvals – research
China approved more than 50 gigawatts (GW) of new coal power in the first half of 2023, research by environment group Greenpeace showed, with the world's top carbon polluter focused on energy security rather than cutting fossil fuel consumption. As scientists and environmentalists urge governments to make deeper emission cuts after record-breaking heatwaves across the globe, the impact of extreme weather has spurred China to build even more coal-fired plants as it tries to counter the effects of drought on hydropower production and avoid power outages.

Aug 01 - US LNG feed gas at record high in first half as Freeport restarts
U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facilities brought in a record amount of natural gas in the first six months of this year after the Freeport LNG terminal returned to service, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Monday. Natural gas delivered by pipeline to LNG export facilities, called LNG feed gas, averaged 12.8 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) in the first half of 2023, 4% more than the same six-month period in 2022 and 8% higher than the full 2022 average. 

Aug 01 - Britain commits to hundreds of North Sea oil and gas licences
Britain on Monday committed to granting hundreds of licences for North Sea oil and gas extraction as part of efforts to become more energy independent, drawing criticism from environmental campaigners. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak confirmed plans for more than 100 such licences, which attracted bids earlier this year and said hundreds of future licenses could also be granted.

Jul 31 - GLOBAL LNG-Asia spot prices edge up as higher temperatures lift demand
Asian spot liquefied natural gas (LNG) prices edged up this week, buoyed by stronger demand due to above-average temperatures in east Asia, but gains were capped as inventories remained high. The average LNG price for September delivery into northeast Asia was $11 per million British thermal units (mmBtu), industry sources estimated, up from $10.80/mmBtu the previous week. 

Jul 31 - Asia's LNG demand ticks higher, but Europe's slips, leaving prices muted: Russell
Asia's demand for liquefied natural gas (LNG) ticked up to the most in six months in July but the small increase was partially offset by declining demand in Europe. Asia's imports of the super-chilled fuel were estimated at 21.85 million metric tons in July by commodity analysts Kpler, up from June's 21.28 million and the most since January.

Jul 28 - Global coal consumption hit all-time high in 2022, IEA says
Global coal consumption hit a new record high in 2022 and will stay near that level this year as strong growth in Asia outpaces declines in the United States and Europe, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Thursday. Coal consumption last year rose by 3.3% to 8.3 billion tonnes, according to the IEA's mid-year Coal Market Update.  

Jul 28 - Bunkering hub Singapore conducts first bio-methanol refuelling for Maersk ship
A container ship has refuelled with bio-methanol at the world's largest bunkering hub Singapore, the first such operation to have taken place at the city-state, its port authority said on Thursday. The vessel, owned by Denmark-based A.P. Moeller-Maersk, was filled with about 300 metric tons of bio-methanol supplied from Hong Lam Marine Ltd's tanker, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore said in a statement.

Jul 27 - Energy-hungry Europe to brighten profit at US solar equipment makers
Solar equipment makers are expected to post higher quarterly profit, benefiting from strong demand in Europe for critical components that convert energy from the sun into electricity. The continent is emerging as a major market for solar firms as it looks to reduce its dependence on the Russian energy supply and accelerate its clean energy transition, brightening up businesses of companies such as Enphase Energy and SolarEdge Technologies, which make solar inverters. 

Jul 27 - Most European firms have no revenue or capex aligned with EU green criteria
Nearly two-thirds of European companies do not have any revenue that meets the EU's list of climate-friendly activities, and half have no planned capital expenditure that can be considered green, according to a new analysis published on Thursday. The European Union's taxonomy classifies economic activities that can be marketed as sustainable to improve transparency and encourage investment towards fighting climate change.

Jul 26 - Indonesia's big gas projects to proceed after global majors sell stakes
Shell and Chevron's agreements to sell stakes in major Indonesian gas projects to Pertamina, Petronas and Eni will unleash development at the fields, enabling the country to boost its flagging output, the buyers said. Indonesia has seen declining oil and gas production in recent years due to depleting reserves, and as major new projects face delays due to oil majors' exits. 

Jul 26 - Equinor Q2 profit down 57% as oil and gas prices fall
Equinor on Wednesday posted a 57% year-on-year decline in second quarter core profit, in line with expectations as oil and gas prices fell, while maintaining its dividend and share buyback levels. The Norwegian energy group's adjusted earnings before interest and tax for April-June fell to $7.54 billion from $17.6 billion a year earlier, broadly in line with the $7.64 billion predicted in a poll of 21 analysts compiled by Equinor.

Jul 25 - Pertamina, Petronas to pay up to $650 mln for Shell's Masela gas stake
Indonesia's Pertamina and Malaysia's Petronas signed an agreement with Shell on Tuesday to buy its 35% stake in the Masela natural gas block for up to $650 million, moving the project forward after years of delay. Pertamina Hulu Energi (PHE) will take 20% and Petronas Masela Sdn Bhd will take a 15% stake in the Indonesian gas block, the companies said at a signing ceremony at the Indonesia Petroleum Association conference. 

Jul 25 - Chinese petchem firms betting big on energy transition products
Chinese oil refiners and petrochemical companies are investing tens of billions of dollars to produce high-end chemicals for solar panels and lithium-ion batteries to profit from growing demand for energy transition technologies. The investments illustrate China's drive to reduce its import dependence and further cement its dominance of renewable energy and electric vehicle supply chains. The move pits the Chinese companies against Dow Chemical, Exxon Mobil and BASF in making key materials.

Jul 24 - Asia spot LNG prices remain flat on limited demand for summer supply
Asian spot liquefied natural gas (LNG) prices were flat this week, as buyers continue to focus on early winter deliveries with limited need for late summer supply, while high inventories in Europe are putting pressure on prices. The average LNG price for September delivery into northeast Asia LNG-AS remained stable at $10.80 per million British thermal units (mmBtu), unchanged from the previous week, industry sources estimated. 

Jul 24 - Venezuela expects to sign gas licenses by year-end, oil minister says
Venezuelan expects to sign licenses by year-end for developing the nation's vast natural gas reserves, oil minister Pedro Tellechea said on Friday, even amid U.S. sanctions. Most of the South American country's gas reserves remain undeveloped after decades of insufficient investment, contract changes and - in recent years - U.S. sanctions to oust President Nicolas Maduro.

Jul 21 - Wary of 2022 crisis, Asian buyers to build strategic gas reserves
Governments across Asia are formulating strategic natural gas reserve policies, building new terminals and storage tanks as buffers against supply disruptions following last year's energy crisis that sent global prices soaring to a record. The push to develop storage illustrates that Asian gas consuming nations are taking steps to avoid repeating the pitfalls that arose from last year's crisis, which left buyers flatfooted in their response to the surging prices.  

Jul 21 - India aims to trade electricity with Southeast Asia
India is considering trading power with Southeast Asian countries through Myanmar and Thailand, five sources briefed on the matter said, as New Delhi looks to use its growing renewables capacity to boost regional diplomatic engagement. The grid linkages, which an industry official said could take at least four years to complete, follow India's effort to begin trading power with Middle Eastern countries such as the United Arab Emirates.

Jul 20 - Oman fund invests in Italian lithium-free energy storage (Reuters)

- Oman's sovereign wealth fund and Dutch multinational Vopak are among new investors betting on Italian renewable energy storage firm Energy Dome, whose technology does not rely on strategic raw materials. As the European Union races to meet ambitious green goals, industry analysts say Energy Dome's technology could be one way to increase storage of intermittent wind and solar electricity so it is available when required.

- The Milan-based company's storage system is based on turning carbon dioxide (CO2) gas into a liquid and vice versa, which it says is cost-effective. The method has no need for minerals, including lithium and copper, that are currently central to much clean technology. This is particularly compelling when Brussels is concerned about China's dominance of the mineral supply chain.

- Energy Dome announced on Thursday it had raised 15 million euros under the second tranche of its Series B funding round, bringing total funds so far to around 70 million euros ($78.65 million).
"Our challenge is precisely to prove to the financial world that this technology translates into sustainable cash flows," founder and CEO Claudio Spadacini told Reuters.

- Energy Dome, which lists Barclays and energy group Eni (ENI.MI) among its existing backers, said new investors included the growth stage technology investment arm of the Omani fund, Vopak Venture , and investors represented by impact investing advisory firm Sagana. It also signed a memorandum of understanding with the Omani fund to explore areas of collaboration in the Gulf state, which announced in December it would allocate close to $5 billion for investment projects in 2023. Spadacini said Energy Dome's commercial pipeline was worth "well over" 9 gigawatt/hour, and it was working with Italian utility A2A and several larger groups abroad, including two in the United States.

- Encircled by sun-scorched grassland in the centre of the island of Sardinia, Energy Dome's pilot plant rises in the shape of an elliptical white balloon from parts of an old industrial hub near the town of Ottana. Two plastic membranes - the outer one painted in white and akin to those used to cover indoor tennis courts - form the CO2-filled dome the company is named after.

- The battery storage system works somewhat "like charging your mobile at home," its co-founder and Chief Product Officer Francesco Oppici said. During a "charge phase", the plant draws electricity from the grid and uses it to power a compressor that helps to turn the CO2 stored in the dome into a liquid. This generates heat that is used to make the liquid CO2 evaporate as a hot, high-pressure gas that powers a turbine for a generator. This injects the electricity back into the grid before the gas fills the dome again, in a closed cycle.

- The company said that storing electric energy using its technology cut costs by 40% compared with lithium batteries. By the end of 2024, Energy Dome aims to deliver its first full-scale plant in Sardinia, with a 24-hour cycle and a 20-megawatt capacity able to power 13,000-15,000 houses. It will cover four-to-five hectares, about 7% of the area needed for a solar farm with a 20 MW capacity.

- Analysts say lithium-free solutions are likely to have a growing role in the energy transition.
"At the moment these technologies appear to be small niches in the market ... but they may develop more quickly than we imagine," said Michele Governatori, head of the power and gas programme at Italian climate change think-tank ECCO.

Jul 20 - China's June Australian coal imports ease but demand remains strong
China's coal imports from Australia eased in June from May's 33-month-high but remained supported by attractive prices and strong demand from utilities for high-quality thermal coal amid a scorching summer. June imports totalled 4.83 million metric tons, of which 4.61 million metric tons was thermal coal and 217,275 metric tons was coking coal, data from the General Administration of Customs showed on Thursday. 

Jul 20 - Green groups demand US end talks on natural gas certification
A group of nearly 150 environmental justice groups urged the Biden administration on Wednesday to abandon talks with global energy companies on standards for certified natural gas, a form of the fuel that producers market as climate friendly, but that critics say undermines the transition from fossil fuels. The United States has held talks with energy companies and foreign officials on gas certification as it ships large amounts of liquefied natural gas, or LNG, to Europe to displace Russian gas amid the ongoing war in Ukraine.

Jul 19 - Global power demand growth to rebound in 2024 after slowdown, IEA says
An ongoing energy crisis and an economic downturn is expected to slow global power demand growth in 2023, but a probable rebound in 2024 means more renewable capacity needs to be developed, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Wednesday. The global growth rate for energy consumption is set to slow to slightly less than 2% in 2023, down from 2.3% in 2022, which was also down from the five-year pre-COVID 19 average of 2.4%.

Jul 19 - EU lawmakers push for tougher crackdown on energy market abuse
European lawmakers are pushing for a tougher crackdown on manipulation in gas and electricity markets by giving an EU agency the teeth to investigate and impose fines, the lead lawmaker on the file and two sources said. The European Commission, the EU's executive body, proposed the regulation against the manipulation of the wholesale energy market (REMIT) in March this year as part of a wider reform of the EU's power markets.

Jul 18 - BP, Azerbaijan's Socar make maiden bid for Israeli offshore gas
BP and Azeri national oil company Socar have taken part for the first time in an Israeli licencing round for natural gas exploration, the latest sign of growing international interest in the Eastern Mediterranean basin, sources said. BP and Socar jointly placed a bid along with Israel's NewMed Energy for two offshore blocks in the fourth licencing round that closed on Sunday, according to four company and industry sources. 

Jul 18 - US solar contract prices stabilize on improved panel supplies
U.S. solar energy contract prices logged their first quarterly decline in more than three years, according to a report published on Monday, as challenges securing panel supplies eased and projects enjoyed strong demand tied to President Joe Biden's landmark climate change law. The 1% drop in the second quarter from the first quarter, though small, marks a possible turning point for an industry that has struggled with supply chain disruptions, inflation and the threat of import tariffs since 2020, according to LevelTen Energy, which tracks renewable energy deals.

Jul 17 - Kerry Goes to China. Climate talks focus on methane.

- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimated that in 2020 methane emissions from natural gas and petroleum systems, along with abandoned oil and natural gas wells, were responsible for about a third of U.S. methane emissions and about 4% of overall greenhouse gases.  
- Much of China’s methane emissions come from coal mines, which account for about 28% of the world’s biggest methane emissions points, according to Antoine Halff, who co-founded the environmental research outfit Karryos. Overall, methane accounts for about 30% of global warming.

Jul 17 - USA LNG Cargoes Poised to Shift to Asian Ports (Rigzone)

- LNG cargoes from the U.S. are poised to shift to Asian ports as prices fall in Europe, a new Rystad Energy gas and LNG market update, which was sent to Rigzone on Wednesday, stated.
“Gas prices on the Netherlands-based Title Transfer Facility (TTF) fell 14 percent to around $9.4/MMBtu as of 11 July due to weak demand and healthy supply,” Rystad Energy Senior Analysts Masanori Odaka and Ade Allen said in the update.
“In Asia, spot LNG prices are fluctuating around $11/MMBtu for August delivery as of 11 July, with the monthly average expected to settle at $12/MMBtu or slightly below. This has incentivized some players with U.S. free on board LNG cargoes to direct their LNG towards Asia rather than Europe,” they added.
“However, finding Asian importers may be difficult as some countries still face high inventory, subject to demand fluctuation during summer,” the analysts continued.

- In the report, the analysts highlighted that spot LNG prices for northwest Europe delivery were about $8.9 per MMBtu on July 11, which they noted was 18 percent lower on the week. The analysts also pointed out that Europe continues to inject gas into storage, “with storage levels well above 2021 and 2022 for this time of the year”.
“Storage facilities are currently 80.1 percent full at roughly 90.9 billion cubic meters, well positioned to reach the 90 percent target before November,” the analysts stated in the update.
“The withdrawal rate is currently around 29.8 million cubic meters per day at an injection rate of 279 million cubic meters per day,” they added.

- The analysts noted in the update that, in the Asian spot LNG market, several sell tenders emerged from Indonesia’s Bontang LNG for September and October delivery, “with deadlines on 11 July”.
“On the buy side, pockets of demand emerged from South Asia, while buying interest from East Asian importers remained limited despite strengthening downstream demand in some countries,” the analysts said in the update.
“China and South Korea’s LNG inventories … stay high, prompting some importers to delay the delivery of cargoes. Higher than normal inventory levels in East Asia could dissuade major purchasers in Northeast Asia from spot market purchases,” they added.
“At the time of writing on 12 July, players with U.S.-origin LNG cargoes are likely to bring their volumes to Asia rather than Europe as the arbitrage is open for September and October delivery, even when considering total shipping cost. Consequently, we will likely see more U.S.-origin LNG in Asia in the coming months,” the analysts continued.

- In a portion of the update penned by Allen alone, the Rystad analyst said U.S. LNG exports averaged 1.75 Mt last week but warned that the figure could be reduced this week “due to potential issues at Sabine Pass Train 3”.
“We expect exports to average close to 13 billion cubic feet per day in July, barring unforeseen circumstances,” Allen said in the update.
“Robust exports will be necessary to keep the market balanced, especially since production remains resilient,” Allen added.

LNG Exports, USA-EU Task Force

- In its latest short term energy outlook (STEO), which was released earlier this month, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) projected that gross U.S. LNG exports would come in at 12.04 billion cubic feet per day in 2023 and 13.31 billion cubic feet per day in 2024. In its previous STEO, which was released in June, the EIA anticipated that gross U.S. LNG exports would be 12.07 billion cubic feet per day in 2023 and 12.73 billion cubic feet per day in 2024.
- The EIA’s latest STEO highlighted that gross U.S. LNG exports were 10.59 billion cubic feet per day in 2022.
- In a joint statement on the U.S.-EU task force on energy security published on April 3, the White House and the European Commission said the task force has made major progress in meeting its goals to reduce the EU’s reliance on Russian energy.
“The United States more than doubled its target to ensure delivery of an additional 15 billion cubic meters of liquefied natural gas to the EU,” the statement noted.
“Last year, U.S. exports to the EU were 56 billion cubic meters, up from 22 billion cubic meters in 2021. The EU was the largest destination for U.S. LNG exports, accounting for more than 52 percent of supplies,” it added.
“At the end of 2022, Russian gas accounted for only 16 percent of the EU’s gas imports, down from 37 percent in March 2022,” it continued.

- The statement noted that task force priorities for 2023 will include continuous assessments of LNG markets and ensuring U.S. LNG deliveries to Europe of 50 billion cubic meters this year.
“In the coming months, the Task Force will continue to work on keeping a high level of U.S. LNG supplies to Europe in 2023 of at least 50 billion cubic meters,” the statement said.
“This is necessary given the challenging supply situation and the need to ensure storage filling for the next winter 2023-24,” it added.

Jul 17 - Iraq-Iran gas-for-oil barter would likely violate US sanctions
A barter of Iranian natural gas for Iraqi oil as described by the Iraqi prime minister this week would likely violate U.S. sanctions on Tehran unless the U.S. issued a waiver permitting it, three former U.S. officials said on Thursday. Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani on Tuesday said Iraq would begin trading crude oil for Iranian gas to end recurring payment delays to Tehran due to required U.S. approval for such transactions. 

Jul 17 - U.S. launches $20 bln in 'green bank' programs to curb climate change
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Friday launched two competitive grant programs with $20 billion in funding that aim to spark clean energy investments across the country especially in low-income communities. The programs, part of the overall $27 billion Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund established by President Joe Biden's Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) last year, are the latest move by his administration to support projects that reduce planet warming emissions.

Jul 14 - Exxon to buy Denbury for $4.9 billion in carbon storage bet
Exxon Mobil Corp on Thursday agreed to buy Denbury Inc for $4.9 billion to accelerate its energy transition business with an established carbon dioxide (CO2) sequestration operation. The acquisition, which sent both companies' shares lower, gives Exxon ready-made CO2 transportation and highlights its bets on making carbon capture a profitable business.  

Jul 14 - Wind and solar to produce over a third of global power by 2030
Wind and solar projects are on track to account for more than a third of the world's electricity by 2030, signalling that the energy sector can achieve the change needed to meet global climate goals, a report by the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) said on Thursday. Sultan al-Jaber, president of the next UN climate summit, COP28, earlier this year called for a tripling of renewable energy generation by 2030 to curb greenhouse gas emissions and help reach goals set under the 2015 Paris climate agreement.

Jun 13 - BP, Total win in $14 billion German offshore wind site tender
Oil majors BP and TotalEnergies emerged as the winners in a 7 gigawatt (GW) offshore wind site auction in Germany worth 12.6 billion euros, highlighting the appeal of renewable assets across Europe. The move comes as European oil giants seek to grow their low-carbon businesses by entering the renewables sector, a market traditionally dominated by utilities, even though returns for solar and wind projects have come under pressure in recent years due to supply chain constraints and rising interest rates. 

Jun 13 - Shell, BP pursue arbitration claims against Venture Global LNG
Top LNG traders Shell and BP have separately filed for arbitration against U.S. exporter Venture Global LNG for failing to supply contracted cargoes, even as it sold to non-contract customers as prices soared, four people familiar with the matter said. A Venture Global LNG spokesperson did not comment on the Shell and BP claims. Last month, the company said it was in full compliance with terms of its long-term contracts and cited a need for extensive commissioning of its modular facility.

Jul 12 - US natgas output, demand to hit record highs in 2023
U.S. natural gas production and demand will rise to record highs in 2023, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in its Short Term Energy Outlook (STEO) on Tuesday. The EIA projected dry gas production will rise to 102.35 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) in 2023 and 102.40 bcfd in 2024 from a record 98.13 bcfd in 2022. 

Jul 12 - Spain makes new proposal for EU power market reform as seeks deal, sources say
Spain has drafted a new proposal on the reform of the European Union's electricity market as it seeks to push the bloc towards an agreement in principle by the end of July, two people familiar with the matter said on Tuesday. The draft was sent to EU member states last Wednesday, one of the sources said, and the countries were now analysing it. The sources could not be drawn into giving details of the proposal.

Jul 11 - Next wave of North American LNG export projects to face labor challenges
A coming wave of North American liquefied natural gas (LNG) export projects faces staffing challenges that are prompting some of the biggest developers to expand training and coordinate projects to keep construction workers. There are eight export projects now under way that when completed would add 86 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) capacity of the chilled natural gas. The projects have already created thousands of construction jobs and are soon to employ hundreds of operators.  

Jul 11 - Europe's surging solar sector set for cannibalization risk: Maguire
Europe's utilities generated a record 10.4% of electricity from solar sources in June, according to Ember, marking a more than doubling in solar's share of the generation mix since 2018 and a key milestone for the continent's energy transition efforts. However, the rapid growth in solar supply capacity throughout Europe's electricity grids is already starting to erode producer profitability, as surplus power from solar sites depresses wholesale electricity prices and results in utilities earning shrinking revenues from renewables.

Jul 10 - Shell warns of big drop in gas trading results
Shell, the world's biggest liquefied natural gas (LNG) trader, said on Friday second-quarter gas trading results were expected to come in "significantly lower" quarter-on-quarter, though in line with the previous two years' second quarters. Wholesale gas prices were volatile in April-June, driven by maintenance in key supplier Norway, where Shell unexpectedly extended an outage at its Nyhamna processing plant. 

Jul 10 - Siemens Energy deepens in-house probe into turbine problems
Siemens Energy's management board has set up a task force to establish the scope of deepening problems at its crisis-ridden wind turbine division, including quality issues at its two most recent onshore platforms, two supervisory board sources said. The investigation into the problems, which were unveiled in June and caused Siemens Energy's shares to plunge by 37%, is flanked by a separate special committee consisting of members of Siemens Energy's supervisory board, the sources said.

Jul 07 - China miners seek coal import curbs to ease glut
China's coal inventories are so bloated and coal prices so depressed that some of the country's miners have cut production and called for a halt to imports, despite a scorching heatwave stoking power demand for cooling. Scarred by a coal supply crunch and power crisis in 2021 and wary of energy insecurity risks triggered by the Ukraine war, Beijing urged miners to boost production, approved new mines and encouraged imports, which has led to record stockpiles. 

Jul 07 - Europe’s gas storage is filling too fast: Kemp
Europe’s gas storage is filling more slowly after prices fell sharply in the first half of the year, but a further slowdown will be needed to prevent space running out before the start of winter 2023/24. Stocks were already relatively high and the rate of accumulation ahead of winter is likely to keep nearby gas futures prices under pressure over the rest of this northern hemisphere summer.

Jul 06 - Mexico Pacific signs 20-year LNG supply deal with China's Zhejiang Energy
Mexico Pacific Ltd has struck a 20-year deal to sell a million metric tonnes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) a year from its Saguaro Energia export plant in Sonora state to China's Zhejiang Energy, it said on Wednesday. The contract is the latest in a series signed by Chinese LNG importers with producers including Qatar and the U.S. after market volatility last year pushed Asian spot LNG prices to record highs.  

Jul 06 - India in talks to supply green hydrogen to EU, Singapore - sources
India has discussed a possible deal to supply more than 11 million metric tons a year of green hydrogen to the European Union and Singapore, who in turn would invest in these Indian clean energy projects, three government officials and one industry source said. Reuters reported on Tuesday that New Delhi will consider bilateral agreements which would allow countries to use carbon credits linked to producing so-called green hydrogen, which is made using renewable energy.

Jul 05 - Weak gas prices worsen outlook for Gazprom's revenues from sales to Europe
Weak gas prices have lowered expectations for Gazprom's revenues, which the Kremlin-controlled energy giant generates from sales to Europe, according to analysts and Reuters calculations. The fall in exporting revenues may exacerbate Russia's budget deficit, already 117% of the annual plan due to heavy outlays to support Moscow's military campaign in Ukraine and Western sanctions on its oil and gas exports. 

Jul 05 - India mulls bilateral deals for green hydrogen-linked carbon credits
India is considering bilateral agreements with countries such as Japan to allow them to use carbon credits linked to green hydrogen production in India in exchange for investment and purchase deals, two government sources and one industry source told Reuters. New Delhi this year approved a 174.9 billion rupee ($2.13 billion) incentive plan to promote green hydrogen in a bid to cut carbon dioxide emissions and become a major exporter in the sector.

Jul 04 - Russia cuts LNG exports in January-June by 9.4%, flows to Europe steady
Russia's total exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) have declined by 9.4% in the first half of the year to around 14.4 million tonnes, while supplies to Europe have remained steady at some 9 million tonnes, Refinitiv Eikon data showed on Monday. Europe has been ramping up purchases of sea-borne LNG in a move to compensate significant decline in Russian gas flows, supplied via the network of pipelines. 

Jul 04 - Italy behind schedule in meeting EU green goals, document shows
Italy needs to invest more and step up efforts to meet a European Union 2030 target for lower carbon emissions, a government document showed, highlighting the country's challenges to keep up with EU green ambitions. The Italian government has already found itself at loggerheads with Brussels about several green directives including one regarding energy efficiency of buildings.

Jul 03 - Britain planning to overhaul planning to meet net zero targets
Britain is planning to overhaul the country's planning system to make it easier to install overhead cables and pylons, the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero said on Sunday, a move to help the government reach its net zero targets. A spokesperson for the department said the government had increased the amount of renewable energy capacity connected to the grid by 500% since 2010 but wanted to do more. 

Jul 03 - Australia's exports of energy transition metals to top thermal coal: Russell
Australia's exports of new energy metals are expected to rise in value above those of thermal coal, the polluting fuel that has been the mainstay of electricity generation across much of Asia. Exports of metals used in the energy transition are forecast to remain above A$40 billion ($26.6 billion) in the fiscal year that started on July 1, according to the latest quarterly report from the Australian government's Department of Industry, Science and Resources.

Jun 30 - EU countries eye tighter subsidies in hunt for energy market deal
European Union countries are considering stricter limits on state aid for power plants in an upcoming revamp of Europe's electricity market, after disagreements between Germany and France over the issue sunk a deal last week. EU energy ministers failed to agree the reforms last week, after countries including Germany, Austria and Luxembourg opposed plans to grant fixed-price power contracts with the state to existing power plants, which they said could distort the EU market by giving some states a competitive edge. 

Jun 30 - in solar provides a ray of hope for Dutch green goals
A pandemic push and a subsidy surge have transformed the Netherlands from renewable energy laggard to Europe's leading per capita user of solar panels, putting it on course to meet green goals after years of struggling. While it faces growing infrastructure challenges to maintain the momentum, in May more than half of Dutch electricity and 20% of national energy was supplied by renewable sources. Both were firsts.

Jun 29 - European wind developers play down Siemens Gamesa turbine troubles
Major wind power developers including Iberdrola, RWE, EDP Renovaveis and Orsted played down the impact of potential problems with Siemens Gamesa onshore wind turbines. Siemens Gamesa parent Siemens Energy last week said problems with its more recent onshore platforms could affect up to 15 to 30% of its installed turbines worldwide, triggering a 37% fall in its share price. 

Jun 29 - EU renewable energy law clears first vote after French nuclear assurances
A European Parliament committee on Wednesday backed new EU renewable energy targets, but criticised last-minute changes offering France and other countries possible carve-outs for ammonia plants and greater recognition of nuclear energy. The law significantly raises the European Union's renewable energy targets, requiring 42.5% of EU energy to be renewable by 2030, replacing a current 32% target for that date.

Jun 28 - Asia LNG buyers rush to lock in long-term deals as market remains tense
Asian buyers have rushed to lock in long-term liquefied natural gas (LNG) deals in the past months after prices eased, for fear of sudden price spikes as the global market remains tense after last year's crisis, industry executives said at a conference. Spot LNG prices in Asia last traded at $12 per million British thermal units (mmBtu) on Friday after touching two-year lows due to high inventories and a mild winter at the start of the year. Just a year ago, prices hit record of $70 per mmBtu after Russia cut gas supplies to Europe and sparked a global scramble for LNG.

Jun 28 - Britain loses status as global climate leader, advisers say
Britain has lost its position as a global leader on climate action and is not doing enough to meet its mid-century net zero target, the country's climate advisers said on Wednesday. Britain in 2019 became the first member of the Group of Seven wealthy nations to set a target to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, requiring major changes in the way Britons travel and use electricity.

Jun 27 - Siemens Energy sell-off continues, takes market value loss to $8.2 billion
Siemens Energy shares fell for a second consecutive session on Monday, hit by a raft of target price cuts and rating downgrades in the wake of deeper-than-expected problems at its wind turbine division that emerged last week. It share price was down 3.3% at 1252 GMT, at the bottom of Germany's blue-chip DAX index, taking the group's loss in market valuation to 7.4 billion euros ($8.1 billion) since it scrapped its profit outlook late on Thursday. 

Jun 27 - Cheniere signs LNG supply deal with China's ENN
Cheniere Energy said on Monday it will supply 1.8 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) per annum to China's ENN Natural Gas for over 20 years. The United States has emerged as the world's largest LNG exporter after Western sanctions on major supplier Russia left Europe scrambling to find alternate sources for the commodity.

Jun 26 - Renewables growth did not dent fossil fuel dominance in 2022-Statistical Review
Global energy demand rose 1% last year and record renewables growth did nothing to shift the dominance of fossil fuels, which still accounted for 82% of supply, the industry's Statistical Review of World Energy report said on Monday. Last year was marked by turmoil in the energy markets after Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which helped to boost gas and coal prices to record levels in Europe and Asia. 

Jun 26 - Power group EDF signs 10-year contract with aluminium firm Trimet France
EDF, the power company that has been fully taken over by the French state and de-listed from the stock market, has signed a 10-year contract with aluminium company Trimet France, said the French government. The contract will see EDF provide 22TWH volumes worth of power to Trimet France from 2024 onwards, and it will be formally signed on Monday.

Jun 23 - US climate change lawsuit seeks $50 billion, citing 2021 heat wave
An Oregon county on Thursday sued Exxon, Chevron, other major oil and coal companies, and industry groups, seeking over $50 billion to counter the harms caused by extreme weather fueled by climate change. Multnomah County said in the lawsuit filed in state court in Portland that fossil fuel companies and trade groups like the American Petroleum Institute intentionally deceived the public about the dangers of burning their products for decades. It said the companies and trade groups must now help pay for past and future harms from the extreme weather that has resulted, including a 2021 heat wave in the Pacific Northwest that killed dozens.  

Jun 23 - Senegal seals $2.7 bln green energy deal with richer nations
Senegal struck a deal with wealthier countries on Thursday that will see it get an initial 2.5 billion euros ($2.74 billion) in finance to develop renewable energy and speed up its transition to a low-carbon economy. The Senegal Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP), backed by France, Germany, the European Union, the United Kingdom and Canada, comes as richer countries are urged to do more to help poorer peers in the fight against climate change.

Jun 22 - Cheniere signs LNG supply agreement with Equinor for Sabine Pass expansion
Cheniere Energy has entered into a long-term agreement with Norway's Equinor to supply 1.75 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) of liquefied natural gas (LNG), it said on Wednesday. The contract will help build commercial momentum for the proposed Sabine Pass LNG expansion, which will add 20 MTPA when completed, Cheniere said. It is the second contract for the expansion, after a deal with Korea Southern Power (KOSPO). 

Jun 22 - Mexico's heat wave strains energy grid with record demand
Soaring temperatures in Mexico are driving record electricity consumption that has prompted the country's energy authority to issue a rare alert over grid capacity, as the government played down reports of blackouts. With temperatures reaching above 45 Celsius (113 Fahrenheit) in parts of the country, the grid briefly entered a state of emergency, the National Center for Energy Control (Cenace) said late Tuesday, reaching an operating reserve margin of under 6%.

Jun 20 - Qatar set to strike second big LNG supply deal with China
Qatar is set to secure its second large gas supply deal with a Chinese state-controlled company in less than a year, sources familiar with the deal told Reuters on Tuesday. China National Petroleum Corporation(CNPC) and QatarEnergy are expected to sign a 27-year agreement later on Tuesday, under which China will purchase 4 million metric tons of LNG a year from the Gulf Arab state, two sources briefed on the matter told Reuters. 

Jun 20 - Eastern Germany's brown coal belt tries to go green
Eastern Germany's historic mining belt could get a new lease of life thanks to plans to build the country's largest battery park at the site of Boxberg, a communist-era coal-fired power plant on the Polish border. The project, unveiled by the Czech-owned mining and power company LEAG last week, involves building a 200 million euro ($218 million) facility to store for wind and solar energy that will gradually replace the sprawling coal pits of the Lusatia region.

Jun 19 - Iraq invites foreign bids for 11 gas blocks in new areas - oil ministry
Iraq on Sunday invited foreign companies to bid for contracts to explore and develop natural gas reserves in 11 new blocks as the OPEC member seeks to produce much-needed natural gas for power stations and cut imports that weigh on the country's budget. Eight blocks are located in western Anbar province, one in the northern city of Mosul and two others are located along province borders, including one between Anbar region with Mosul and another with Iraq's southern city of Naja, the oil ministry said in a statement on Sunday. 

Jun 19 - Late push for coal subsidies upsets EU deal on energy reforms
A late proposal to extend subsidies for coal plants has upset European Union countries' plans to on Monday approve a reform of the bloc's power market, which was designed to shift the electricity system towards cleaner energy. EU countries' energy ministers meet in Luxembourg on Monday to agree a joint stance on new EU power market rules, aimed at expanding low-carbon power and avoiding a repeat of last year's energy crisis, when record-high gas prices left consumers with soaring energy bills.

Jun 16 - EU to vote on extension for coal subsidies beyond 2025 Monday, draft shows
European Union countries are considering a proposal that would let member states prolong capacity mechanism support for coal plants by ducking CO2 emission limits, a draft document seen by Reuters showed. EU countries' ambassadors will discuss the draft proposal on Friday, before their energy ministers vote on it on Monday. 

Jun 16 - U.S. proposes to formalize deep fee reductions for wind, solar on federal land
A new regulation will formalize a roughly 80% cut in project fees for wind and solar energy developments on federal lands under a proposal by the Biden administration on Thursday as part of a strategy to boost renewable energy to fight climate change. The Interior Department's U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) last year had lowered rent fees and lease rates for solar and wind by about 50%, using departmental authority, after developers complained they were too high to draw investment.

Jun 15 - EU lawmakers approve legislation to make batteries greener
The EU parliament approved on Wednesday new rules to make batteries more durable, more sustainable, and better performing. The new rules, which will come into force once the European Council has formally endorsed the text, affect the design, production and waste management of all types of batteries sold in the EU. 

Jun 15 - China's May daily coal output dips on high stocks, weak demand
China's daily coal output fell in May from April, data showed on Thursday, as miners lowered production to ease inventory pressure amid tepid demand. China produced about 385.5 million metric tons of coal last month, National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) data showed, equivalent to 12.44 million metric tons per day.

Jun 14 - EU tries to pass renewable energy deal, sources say ammonia exception eyed
EU countries hope to pass a deal on new renewable energy targets on Wednesday and are considering options including an exemption for certain ammonia plants, in an attempt to win over countries sceptical of the final law, diplomatic sources said. The European Union is attempting to finalise a key pillar of its climate agenda. If passed by EU countries and lawmakers, the renewable energy law will enshrine a binding goal for the EU to get 42.5% of its energy from renewable sources by 2030. 

Jun 14 - Renewable transition still lagging in fuel, heating sectors
The share of renewable energy in global power generation hit 30% last year after record growth in solar, but little progress has been made when it comes to decarbonising the heat and fuel sectors, according to a research report published on Tuesday. Though heating and fuel account for more than three quarters of global energy use, both remain heavily dependent on fossil fuels, with renewable sources accounting for just 3.6% and 9.2% respectively, the Paris-based REN21 think tank said.

Jun 13 - Britain puts coal plant on standby as warm temperatures ramp up demand
Britain’s National Grid has asked Uniper to ready a unit at its Ratcliffe coal-fired power plant in case extra electricity is needed on Monday amid warmer temperatures. Britain has a target to close its coal-fired power plants by October 2024 as part of efforts to cut fossil fuel emissions and meet its 2050 net-zero target. 

Jun 13 - East Asia heat wave to crank up coal use & emissions: Maguire
A heat wave across China, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea looks set to drive coal use for electricity generation to new highs over coming weeks, priming the region that accounts for more than 60% of world coal emissions to boost pollution further. Authorities in Japan and southern China have recently called on households and businesses to curb power use to shield electric grids from further stress, but soaring temperatures are expected to bring greater use of power-hungry air conditioners throughout the region.

Jun 12 - EU to try again for renewable energy deal after nuclear row
European Union countries will try again next week to pass a deal on new renewable energy targets, which have been stalled by concerns from France and other states that the law sidelines nuclear energy. A group of countries including France lodged last-minute opposition to the EU's law on more ambitious renewable energy goals last month, putting on hold a main pillar of the bloc's plans to tackle climate change. 

Jun 12 - China's installed non-fossil fuel electricity capacity exceeds 50% of total
China's non-fossil fuel energy sources now exceed 50% of its total installed electricity generation capacity, state media outlet Xinhua said on Monday, citing an official at state planner the National Reform and Development Commission. Non-fossil fuel power sources, such as wind and solar power, account for 50.9% of the country's total installed capacity, marking the early completion of a government target proposed in 2021, under which renewable capacity was planned to exceed fossil fuel capacity by 2025.

Jun 09 - Lower European gas prices encourage switch from coal
Lower European wholesale natural gas prices due to swelling inventories and weak industrial demand have encouraged utilities to switch to gas from coal to generate electricity in a reversal of behaviour last year. A surge in European gas prices to record highs caused by reduced Russia supplies after Moscow invaded Ukraine in February last year led utilities to switch to carbon-heavy coal even as the European Union (EU) seeks to meet climate targets that depend on increased use of lower carbon fuel. 

Jun 09 - Tokyo Gas to spend $1.4 bln on renewable power at home and abroad
Japan's Tokyo Gas is shifting its overseas focus to renewable energy and away from regional upstream gas projects as it seeks to combat climate change, its president said, although it will invest in liquefied natural gas (LNG). In common with global peers, Japanese energy companies are changing their portfolios as they pursue 2050 carbon neutrality targets.

Jun 08 - US solar power installations soar in Q1 on easing panel import gridlock
U.S. solar energy installations soared 47% in the first quarter, according to an industry report published on Thursday, as easing panel supplies alleviated industry gridlock and allowed many stalled big projects to be completed and connected to the grid. The solar industry had its best first quarter ever, installing 6.1 gigawatts (GW), an analysis by research firm Wood Mackenzie and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) trade group found. 

Jun 08 - Hydro power hotspots hit by hot and dry weather: Maguire
The failure of the Nova Kakhovka dam in southern Ukraine this week has brought sharp focus on the important role that hydroelectric dams play in energy generation around the world, and the struggles many are under in 2023 due to harsh weather. The breach of the Kakhovka dam came after the facility had been dealing with historically high water levels in recent weeks, but a majority of global hydro facilities have had the opposite problem of depleted water levels in recent months, which was hampered electricity generation potential.

Jun 07 - China May coal imports fall on tepid demand, high inventories
China's coal imports dropped in May from the previous month, Reuters calculations based on official data showed on Wednesday, as weak demand from power and steel sectors and high inventories led buyers to scale back shipments. The world's top coal consumer brought in about 39.52 million tonnes of the fossil fuel in May, up from a low base of 20.55 million tonnes in the year-ago period. 

Jun 07 - U.S. natgas output and demand to hit record highs in 2023
U.S. natural gas production and demand will rise to record highs in 2023, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in its Short Term Energy Outlook (STEO) on Tuesday. The EIA projected dry gas production will rise to 102.74 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) in 2023 and 103.04 bcfd in 2024 from a record 98.13 bcfd in 2022.

Jun 06 - Germany launches $53 bln scheme to help stricken industry decarbonize
Germany is launching a programme that will make available tens of billions of euros for firms facing substantial energy costs, in a bid to help its challenged industrial sector fund a shift towards carbon-neutral production techniques. The programme, which according to sources will have a volume of around 50 billion euros ($53.45 billion) over the next 15 years, comes as European industry faces pressure due to high costs for raw materials, energy and labour. 

Jun 06 - EU puts an end to its electricity market crisis measures
The European Commission said on Monday it had decided not to prolong emergency measures introduced last year to shield consumers from soaring energy prices, adding those measures had helped to contribute to a calming of European electricity markets.At the end of 2022, the 27-member European Union was in the midst of an acute energy crisis fuelled by Russia's invasion of Ukraine, with member states then ploughing hundreds of billions of euros into tax cuts, handouts and subsidies to tackle the crisis.

Jun 05 - Tardy energy projects face losing grid connection spot, National Grid warns
Energy generation projects not meeting development milestones could lose out on a grid connection, helping to speed up overall grid development, Britain's power transmissions system Operator National Grid ESO said on Friday. "If energy generators are not progressing their project, they will have to either move backwards in the queue or leave, making space for other projects ready to progress and connect," National Grid ESO announced. 

Jun 05 - U.S. LNG exports fall in May on lower output and changing demand trends
U.S. exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) fell in May to 7.66 million tonnes from a record 8.01 million tonnes in April as plant maintenance curbed some output and weaker prices in Europe cut flows to the region, shipping data showed. U.S. LNG exporters reduced cargoes to Europe last month while more LNG was delivered to Asia and Latin America, partially offsetting the European weakness, according to Refinitiv Eikon preliminary vessel tracking data.

Jun 02 - China Energy starts operations at Asia's largest coal carbon capture facility
Chinese state-owned power generator China Energy Investment Corporation has started operations at Asia's largest coal-linked carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) facility, according to a report in state media outlet CCTV on Friday. The facility, adjoined to the group's Taizhou thermal coal power plant in the country's eastern Jiangsu province, has the annual capacity to store 500,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide, the report said. 

Jun 02 - Poland defies big polluter expectations with coal use cuts: Maguire
Poland is expected to soon surpass Germany as Europe's top power polluter due to aggressive planned reductions in fossil fuel use across Germany and assumptions that Poland will have no choice but remain Europe's most coal-reliant nation for years to come. But so far in 2023 Poland has defied expectations by cutting coal use and pollution to the lowest since at least 2014, and by raising clean power output to record highs just as Germany cut its clean generation by shutting nuclear reactors.

Jun 01 - New global renewables capacity additions to rise by a third this year – IEA
Global additions of renewable power capacity are expected to rise by a third this year, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Thursday, as stronger government policies and energy security concerns drive more clean energy deployment. In its Renewable Energy Market update report, the IEA said additions of renewable capacity worldwide are set to jump by 107 gigawatts (GW), the largest absolute increase ever, to more than 440 GW in 2023. 

Jun 01 - JERA says on track to meet 2025 renewable energy goal
Japan's biggest power generator JERA is on track to meet its 2025 target of holding five gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy assets after its recent acquisitions of two energy companies, Chairman Yukio Kani said on Wednesday. JERA said it has agreed to buy Parkwind, Belgium's largest offshore wind platform, in March, and announced a deal this month with Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT) to jointly purchase local renewable energy firm Green Power Investment.

May 31 - India considers cutting solar panel import tax to make up domestic shortfall
India is considering cutting its import tax on solar panels by half and is seeking a rollback in goods and services taxes on the devices to make up a shortfall in local output amid rising demand for renewable energy, three government sources said. India's renewable energy ministry has held talks with the finance ministry to approve its request to cut the import tax on solar panels from 40% to 20%, said the three sources, who declined to be identified as the decision has not yet been finalised. 

May 31 - Portugal's first offshore wind auction aims for more than 1 GW
Portugal's first auction of licenses to build offshore wind farms, set to be launched by year-end, is aimed for projects with a total installed capacity of more than 1 gigawatt (GW), Energy Secretary Ana Fontoura said on Tuesday. In January, the government announced a public hearing to propose five areas off the Atlantic coast where wind farms could potentially be built.

May 30 - Wind industry aims to provide a third of Japan's power by 2050
Japan's wind power body has set a mid-century goal to increase capacity to 140 gigawatts (GW) from less than 5 GW now, it said on Monday, to meet a third of the country's electricity demand and help it to hit its 2050 carbon neutrality target. Offshore wind is meant to be central to Japan's expansion of renewable energy, but progress has been delayed and a government goal of up to 45 GW of offshore wind power in 2040, looks less ambitious than the new Japan Wind Power Association (JWPA) targets. 

May 30 - Asia's seaborne thermal coal imports hit record high as prices slip: Russell
Asia's imports of seaborne thermal coal surged to the highest on record in May as cheaper prices tempted buyers in the region's developing economies. A total of 78.38 million tonnes of the fuel used primarily to generate electricity is likely to be offloaded across Asia in May, according to data compiled by commodity analysts Kpler.

May 29 - Biden, McCarthy debt deal would speed up Mountain Valley gas pipeline
U.S. energy company Equitrans Midstream Corp's long-delayed $6.6 billion Mountain Valley natural gas pipeline could win federal approval as part of Washington's debt limit deal. Streamlined federal approval for the 303-mile project was placed into the text of the budget deal between U.S. President Joe Biden and House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy that may end the debt limit crisis. 

May 29 - Carbon removal industry challenges findings of skeptical UN body
Carbon removal industry representatives have challenged a document a United Nations scientific body released this week that casts doubt on the nascent technology's usefulness in efforts to limit global warming. The Carbon Capture Coalition represents over 100 member companies, NGOs and labor groups working on direct air capture, carbon capture and storage technologies, into which governments such as the United States and the private sector have poured billions of dollars to help the technology's commercialisation.

May 26 - Global thermal coal prices settling into $200/T range after volatile 2022
Global thermal coal prices are stabilising this year in a range near $200 a tonne that is less than half of 2022's record highs, analysts and industry officials say, with rising supplies providing respite to consumers roiled by last year's volatility. Analysts expect the benchmark Newcastle coal index to average $175-$212 a tonne this year, a steep premium to the $86 average for the ten years preceding Russia's 2022 invasion of Ukraine, but down more than 50% from September's highs at $440.  

May 26 - Singapore's Keppel signs deals to ramp up green hydrogen, ammonia output
Singapore's Keppel Corp said on Friday it has signed two deals to intensify its efforts in the development of green hydrogen and ammonia production for use in Australia and export to Asia. The Singaporean conglomerate has signed up to join the Central Queensland hydrogen (CQ-H2) project consortium, which is developing a hydrogen production facility, among other related infrastructure.

May 25 - Solar power due to overtake oil production investment for first time - IEA
Investment in clean energy will extend its lead over spending on fossil fuels in 2023, the International Energy Agency said, with solar projects expected to outpace outlays on oil production for the first time. Annual investment in renewable energy was up by nearly a quarter since 2021 compared to a 15% rise for fossil fuels, the Paris-based energy watchdog said in its World Energy Investment report.

May 25 - The 'Big 4' drivers of coal imports and power emissions:  Maguire
Just four countries account for over half of all thermal coal imports and more than 70% of global power sector emissions from coal use, data shows, underscoring the extent of global dependence on these nations when it comes to cutting pollution. China, India, The Philippines and Vietnam accounted for 53% of world thermal coal imports during the first four months of 2023, compared to 40% for the same period in 2022, showed data from ship tracking firm Kpler.

May 24 - Climate activists storm Shell shareholder meeting
Shell shareholders overwhelmingly supported the energy giant's strategy at a raucous annual general meeting disrupted by climate activists who tried to storm the stage. Tuesday's meeting highlighted the growing tension Shell and its peers face as they try to navigate growing investor pressure to accelerate their shift away from oil and gas while other shareholders focus on profit after record earnings last year.

May 24 - Methane hunters tap new technology to reshape policing of U.S. greenhouse emissions
Charlie Barrett, who works for environmental group Earthworks, is hunting for methane - a greenhouse gas accounting for about a third of global warming that has become a focus for the oil industry's and the Biden administration's climate agenda. Methane emissions, which come from oil and natural gas production, plant decay and agricultural waste, are 25 times more potent in warming than carbon dioxide.

May 23 - EU Parliament delays renewable energy vote after late backlash
The European Parliament has delayed a planned vote to approve new EU renewable energy targets, after France and other countries lodged last-minute opposition to the law last week, according to an internal email seen by Reuters. The vote in the Parliament's energy committee had been due to take place on Tuesday. The email said the vote was postponed until June, without specifying a date.

May 23 - Italy's Enel to invest more than $1 bln in Oklahoma solar panel factory
Italy's Enel SpA said on Monday it will invest more than $1 billion in a solar cell and panel factory in Oklahoma, seeking to capitalize on a U.S. push to build a homegrown clean energy manufacturing sector to compete with China. The facility will be among the largest to produce solar equipment in the United States, where most projects are built with imported panels. It is also one of the first U.S. factories to produce silicon-based solar cells on a large scale.

May 22 - China's April Australian coal arrivals jump, but import profit declines
China's coal arrivals from Australia in April returned to a level last seen before Beijing's unofficial ban in September 2020, as traders took advantage of cheaper Australian cargoes and strong demand for high-quality coal from Chinese end users. China imported 3.89 million tonnes of Australian coal last month, comprising 3.72 million tonnes of thermal coal and 171,067 tonnes of coking coal, data from the General Administration of Customs showed on Saturday.

May 22 - G7 brings gas investments back in 'temporary' solution, to dismay of climate activists

The Group of Seven rich nations put support for gas investments back into their communique on Saturday, calling it a "temporary" step as they try to de-couple from Russian energy, in a move climate activists say may hurt climate goals. The April meeting of G7 climate ministers eventually agreed, despite tussles between Japan and European nations, that gas investments "can be appropriate to help address potential market shortfalls" following Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the disruption it has caused in global energy markets.

May 19 - Britain awards 20 offshore carbon storage licences
Twelve companies were awarded a total of 20 licences to develop carbon dioxide (CO2) storage offshore, in Britain's first licensing round for such projects, the North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA) said on Thursday. Britain aims to use carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology, which involves filtering planet-warming carbon from industrial smokestacks before it hits the atmosphere and storing it underground, to hold 20 million to 30 million tonnes of CO2 by 2030.

May 19 - World can't afford US-style home energy consumption habits:
The U.S. is hoping to play key leadership roles in an array of areas tied to the global energy transition, from developing corporate champions that drive emissions reductions to funding research and development of clean-burning fuels. But while the global community will welcome American ingenuity being deployed to help solve climate-related challenges, many will be wary of following the United States' example in terms of electricity use per household, which on a per capita basis is by far the highest of any major economy.

May 18 - US EPA tightens rules to clean up toxic coal ash at power plants
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency plans to force some utilities to clean up older piles of toxic coal ash at their power plants to prevent contamination of groundwater, the latest in a series of rules to reduce pollution in the sector. The proposed rule follows a legal petition by environmental groups last August asking the EPA to end exemptions to its 2015 coal ash rule that had enabled utilities across the country to sidestep responsibility for handling up to a half a billion tons of cancer-causing toxic waste.

May 18 - Chevron, Exxon seek state backing for Australia carbon capture, hydrogen projects

Chevron Corp and Exxon Mobil Corp, the two largest U.S. fossil fuel companies, are seeking Australia's backing for carbon capture and storage (CCS) and hydrogen projects as they look to increase investment in a bid to slash intensity of carbon emissions. Scaling up CCS projects and generation of hydrogen from renewable energy are crucial for Australia, the world's largest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG), to wean its economy off carbon, even as it seeks to meet LNG demand from top buyers such as Japan and South Korea.

May 17 - Biden administration announces $11 bln for rural clean energy projects
Rural electric cooperatives, utilities, and other energy providers will soon be able to apply for nearly $11 billion in grants and loans for clean energy projects, funded by the $430 billion Inflation Reduction Act signed into law last August, the Biden administration said on Tuesday. Expanding clean energy to rural communities is critical to meeting the administration's goal of net-zero emissions by 2050, officials told reporters on a Monday press call.

May 17 - Pro-nuclear countries pitch atomic role in Europe's green transition
Pro-nuclear countries made the case the energy form is central to Europe's transition to a low carbon economy on Tuesday, against a background of deep disagreement in the European Union over its role in meeting climate commitments. Long-standing divisions over nuclear energy in the 27-member bloc deepened this year after countries clashed over whether low carbon nuclear power should count towards renewable energy goals.

May 16 - China April coal output eases from record high in March
China's average daily coal production dipped in April from a record level a month ago, official data showed, as some miners trimmed output because of harsh weather and as demand fell. China produced 381.45 million tonnes of coal last month, up 4.5% from a year earlier and down 8.6% from March, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed.

May 16 - France to host pro-nuclear meet to push for EU recognition of climate benefits

France will host a meeting of ministers from 16 pro-nuclear European states aimed at coordinating expansion of atomic power and urging the EU to recognise its role in meeting climate goals for 2050, the country's energy ministry said. The meeting in Paris will include EU Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson and representatives from 14 EU countries including France, Belgium and the Netherlands, plus Italy as an observer and the United Kingdom as a non-EU invitee.

May 15 - US Treasury takes middle road on solar panels 'Made in the USA'
The U.S. Treasury Department on Friday clarified that developers of solar energy projects can claim a new subsidy for facilities built with American-made products even if the system's panels contain cells made entirely with Chinese materials. The long-awaited rules around how companies can claim a new tax credit for clean energy projects built with domestic equipment represented a compromise between conflicting proposals by solar project developers, which rely on cheap imports to keep costs low, and manufacturers that want to expand and compete with China to supply the U.S. market.

May 15 - Biden's power plant proposal poses huge test for carbon capture
The Biden administration's plan to decarbonize the U.S. power sector envisions the first-ever large-scale use of carbon capture and green hydrogen over the next decade - raising questions about whether the climate-fighting technologies can rise to the challenge. The issue could emerge as a legal vulnerability for the plan, one of President Joe Biden’s biggest steps in his strategy to combat global warming, as fossil fuel companies and their representatives explore challenging it in court on the basis the technologies are unproven.

May 12 - Biden's EPA proposes crackdown on power plant carbon emissions
The Biden administration on Thursday unveiled a sweeping plan to slash greenhouse gas emissions from the U.S. power industry, one of the biggest steps so far in its effort to decarbonize the economy to fight climate change. The proposal would limit how much carbon dioxide power plants, which are the source of more than a quarter of U.S. emissions, can chuff into the atmosphere, putting the industry on a years-long course to install billions of dollars of new equipment or shut down.

May 12 - Europe’s gas prices slide on swollen inventories:
Europe has made a relatively slow start to rebuilding gas inventories but stocks were so high at the end of last winter that storage sites are still on course to be full well before summer ends, putting downward pressure on prices. Stocks in the European Union and the United Kingdom increased by +73 terawatt-hours between March 31 and May 9, according to data compiled by Gas Infrastructure Europe (“Aggregated gas storage inventory”, May 11).

May 11 - Turkey defers $600 million Russian energy payment under deal
Turkey has deferred payment to Russia of a $600 million natural gas bill to 2024, two sources said on Wednesday, the first such postponement under a deal announced last week that underlines deepening ties between Ankara and Moscow. Under the terms of the agreement, up to $4 billion in Turkish energy payments to Russia may be postponed until next year, both sources told Reuters under condition of anonymity. 

May 11 - South East Asia set to enter coal importer big leagues: Maguire
Southeast Asia only accounts for around 12% of global thermal coal imports, so is often overshadowed by China and India in discussions about key coal consumer markets and the associated impact on emissions. However, the region routinely imports well over 100 million tonnes of coal annually, and has outpaced other major importers in terms of annual growth rates since 2018, expanding at an average rate of 14% per year, flows data from Kpler shows.

May 10 - Trump abuse ( Bloomberg )
- Former President Donald Trump has been found liable for sexual abuse and forcible touching of author E. Jean Carroll, who accused him of attacking her in the dressing room of a Fifth Avenue department store in the 1990s and then harming her reputation by saying she’d fabricated the story when she went public with her account in 2019.
- Trump has been mandated to pay her $5 million in damages, $3 million of which for defamation. The trial brings fresh attention on Trump’s fraught history with women as he embarks on another run for the White House.

May 10 - US power use to slide in 2023 on slower economic growth
U.S. power consumption will ease in 2023 from last year's record high as slower economic growth and milder weather depress usage, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in its Short-Term Energy Outlook on Tuesday. EIA projected power demand will slide from a record 4,048 billion kilowatt-hours in 2022 to 4,031 billion kWh in 2023, before rising to 4,081 billion kWh in 2024 as economic growth ramps up. 

May 10 - EU set for tough talks after lawmakers back stricter methane rules
The European Parliament voted on Tuesday in favour of rules that would force companies selling oil and gas in Europe to cut their methane emissions, setting itself up for tough negotiations with EU countries seeking weaker limits on the potent greenhouse gas. Methane is the second-biggest cause of climate change, after carbon dioxide.

May 09 - Vanguard overcomes Republican challenge to US utility stakes
Vanguard Group, the largest provider of mutual funds, has secured regulatory approval to continue to own big stakes in U.S. power utilities, overcoming Republican concerns over its environmental, social and governance policies. Various Republican politicians and officials had questioned the company's application to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, including a group of 13 state attorneys general who sought a hearing on whether granting Vanguard's request to renew its right to own more than 10% of voting securities of publicly listed power utilities would be in the public interest.  

May 09 - India's pledge to stop new coal power plants to hit key states: Maguire
India's plans to stop building new coal-fired power plants beyond those already under construction mark a significant victory for climate campaigners keen to cap pollution from the second-largest coal user after China. The new draft policy, which still has to be approved by the federal cabinet, would signify more aggressive climate targets by the world's fifth-largest economy, and would leave China as the only major nation openly adding new coal capacity.

May 05 - EU joint gas buying scheme attracts demand from 65 firms
More than 60 companies have submitted demands to buy gas through the European Union's scheme for joint purchases, with the bloc aiming for the first deals to be signed within months. The EU is launching a joint gas buying scheme to help fill gas storage ahead of winter - and avoid a repeat of the record-high energy prices and fears of energy shortages in Europe last year after Russia slashed gas deliveries. 

May 05 - India amends power policy draft to halt new coal-fired capacity
India plans to stop building new coal-fired power plants, apart from those already in the pipeline, by removing a key clause from the final draft of its National Electricity Policy, in a major boost to fight climate change, sources said. The draft, if approved by the federal cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, would make China the only major economy open to fresh requests to add significant new coal-fired capacity.

May 04 - Global gas markets rebalancing, to remain tight in 2023 - IEA
Global gas markets are gradually rebalancing but are expected to remain tight in 2023 amid lower Russian pipeline gas deliveries to Europe, the International Energy Agency said on Thursday. The European and global gas markets suffered a major supply shock in 2022 when Russia reduced its pipeline gas deliveries to the European Union by 80%, triggering a global energy crisis. 

May 04 - Uniper swings to quarterly profit, maintains 2023 guidance
German utility Uniper on Thursday swung to a first-quarter profit of 6.7 billion euros from a loss of 3.1 billion a year earlier. The company maintained its expectations for positive group adjusted net income and adjusted earnings before interest and taxes in 2023.

May 03 - India, China propose 'multiple pathways' on cutting use of fossil fuels
India, backed by China, is trying to build a consensus within the G20 group to let countries choose a roadmap to cut carbon emissions instead of setting a deadline to end the use of fossil fuels, three Indian government officials said. India, the current G20 president, is keen on introducing the phrase 'multiple energy pathways' in a communique to be released at a group summit in September and has been supported by countries including China and South Africa, one of the officials said.  

May 03 - French court clears nationalisation of EDF
A French appeals court rejected on Tuesday a complaint filed by minority shareholders against the terms of a government buyout of power giant EDF, clearing the way for a full nationalisation of the company to go ahead. The court of appeals "rejected all of the plaintiffs' demands", according to a document summarizing the ruling seen by Reuters.

May 02 - U.S. LNG exports go full steam ahead, sales to Latin America rise
U.S. producers of liquefied natural gas exported at top capacity in April for a second consecutive month, with over two-thirds of shipments bound for Europe and rising volumes to Latin America, Refinitiv Eikon data showed on Monday. Following the full restart of a key Texas export facility in February, U.S. LNG producers are taking advantage of firm prices overseas and increasing demand in some markets. 

May 02 - China's manufacturing wobble may drive coal use even higher: Maguire
China is already on track to emit the most coal-fired power emissions in history in 2023, but may now push coal use up another gear after the manufacturing sector unexpectedly contracted in April following a strong start to the year. The softer manufacturing data is expected to trigger fresh stimulus measures designed to spur increased industrial output, as well as steps to help the country's ailing property sector, which will lead to greater energy use throughout the world's largest manufacturer, exporter and polluter.

May 01 - Analysts raise EU carbon price forecasts after reform agreement
Analysts have increased their average price forecasts for EU carbon permits for the next three years after EU countries this week approved plans to revamp the bloc’s carbon market, but warned prices could remain volatile along with swings in European energy costs. EU Allowances are expected to average 86.17 euros a tonne in 2023 and 96.19 euros in 2024, a Reuters survey of seven analysts showed. That is up 5.9% and 2.2% respectively from forecasts made in January.  

May 01 - The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday voted to repeal President Joe Biden's suspension of tariffs on solar panels from four Southeast Asian nations, a move aimed at supporting a domestic supply chain but that solar project builders say would stall clean energy development. The resolution passed in a 221-202 vote. It will now be sent to the Democratic-controlled Senate for consideration, where its fate is uncertain.

Jan 09 - Market Talk Roundup: Latest on Trump, U.S. Politics (WSJ DJ Reuters)

- U.S. oil prices hit their highest since 2015 again as speculators bet on further price rises amid OPEC-led production cuts and a dip in American drilling activity, though some warned the rally could run out of steam.
- Gold prices inched down amid expectations for more U.S. interest rate hikes this year.
- London copper inched up in early trade as an advancing U.S. dollar lost steam, while Shanghai copper recovered from a drop in the previous session to trade marginally higher.
- Chicago wheat fell for a fourth consecutive session with prices pressured by improved weather conditions in the U.S. southern Plains although a lack of protective snow cover kept a floor under the market.
- The yen jumped after the Bank of Japan trimmed its buying of long-dated Japanese government bonds in market operations, helping to stoke speculation about a future exit from its massive stimulus policy.   
- As a result of tax reform, Visa is improving 401(k) benefits for its U.S.-based employees, according to a company spokeswoman. Visa will increase its 401(k) match beginning in February. Currently Visa contributes $2 for every $1 an employee contributes, up to 3% of base pay. Visa will raise that to 5% of base pay. The company is also "exploring other global employee benefits and investments...which [it] hope[s] to unveil in the near future," says a spokeswoman.
- Former lawmakers urged President Donald Trump to preserve Nafta, citing withdrawal from the trade agreement as the fastest way to undermine any tax benefits or regulatory relief farmers might otherwise see from his administration. As Mr. Trump addressed farmers at an annual meeting in Tennessee, former Senators Max Baucus (D., Mont.) and Richard Lugar (R., Ind.), now co-chairs of a non-profit organization advocating for free trade for farmers, warned that withdrawing from Nafta would be akin to levying a new tax on farmers. They cautioned that U.S. farmers would suffer retaliatory action if the U.S. imposes tariffs on its trading
partners and said American growers already are disadvantaged since Trump pulled the U.S. from a key Pacific trade agreement.
- President Trump used a speech to farmers to highlight benefits of the GOP's tax overhaul, tout his deregulatory agenda and sign executive orders aimed at improving broadband access across rural America. Addressing farmers at an annual convention of the American Farm Bureau Federation, Trump called the recently-passed tax cut "historic relief for farmers," saying family farms would be spared from a "deeply unfair estate tax," and told a welcoming crowd that he was "putting an end to the regulatory assault on your way of life." Signing two orders to expand internet connectivity in rural areas, he said: "You are going to have great, great broadband."
- United Natural Foods CFO Mike Zechmeister says the tax policy changes are impacting how it assesses returns on potential investments. The natural foods distributor saw a four percentage point difference in returns on a recent investment before and after the tax bill, for example. "The tax savings are real," Zechmeister tells investors gathered at the annual ICR Conference. "You could take a project that may be unattractive in the past or one you would have passed on, and it becomes a project you could go forward with."
- US auto industry stands to benefit from the recently passed tax legislation, which will likely boost earnings per share by an average of 5%-6%, Barclays estimates. The tax reforms are expected to cut nominal tax rates for most US auto manufacturers and parts suppliers, even though the reduction in actual taxes paid will be "slightly less impacted" due to widespread use of losses carried forward, Barclays says. Auto parts suppliers domiciled overseas for tax purposes, such as Adient, Aptiv and Delphi Technologies, won't gain much from lower US corporate tax rates, but also may face lower risk from another part of the tax legislation--a hike in levies targeting unremitted foreign earnings, it says.
- United Natural Foods, up more than 5% as its CFO outlines "significant" financial benefits from the tax bill. The Providence-based natural food distributor expects the taxes it pays overall to fall to around 28% in its 2019 fiscal year from 40% currently. CFO Mike Zechmeister tells investors gathered at the annual ICR Conference that the reduced corporate tax will result in around $17M in savings during its current fiscal year, and it will also benefit from a one-time boost on deferred liabilities. The company expects an aggregate rate reduction of as much as 17 percentage points this year, and 13 percentage points in 2019. "That is a meaningful increase to our free cash flow," Zechmeister says.
- Changes to the US tax code could help push Caterpillar's stock price to $200 by the end of the year, JPMorgan analyst Ann Duignan says. The recently passed federal tax law's provision allowing 100% depreciation on new and used equipment will likely prolong the replacement cycle in US construction, she says. That's in addition to a lower corporate tax rate that will boost free cash flow. "As a result of our analysis, we believe that the stock remains undervalued, despite the significant outperformance last year," she said in a note. Caterpillar stock was up about 70% in 2017. Caterpillar shares were up 2.6% to $166.13.
- USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue touted accomplishments of the Trump administration and his own agency ahead of a planned presidential address to farmers at an annual trade convention. Perdue listed what he sees as trade victories, including opening China to American beef and rice, for farmers worried about the fate of Nafta. Speaking at a meeting of the American Farm Bureau Federation, he said USDA has begun rolling back burdensome regulations, targeting 27 rules that will save $56M annually, and urged farmers to flag the "silliest, most onerous rules" they think should be ditched. As for farmers' tax burden, Perdue tells the crowd that thanks to Trump's recent tax overhaul, "Help is not only on the way. It's already here."
- The parent of Alaska Airlines, like Southwest Airlines, American Airline and JetBlue Airways before it, said it plans to award $1,000 bonuses later this month to 23,000 employees, in celebration of the new federal tax bill. The corporate tax-cut windfall will reduce the tax rate to 21% from 35%, effective this year, which should save millions in tax liabilities and allow airlines to invest more in planes, products and their employees, although some of the savings may also go toward share buybacks. Alaska Air shares are down 1% to $72.97.
- Former Navy acquisition chief and acting Navy secretary Sean Stackley joins L3 Technologies, complementing the deal-hungry defense company's M&A team and continuing the run of Obama-era Pentagon officials who've popped up on corporate boards and management teams. Former defense secretary Ash Carter joined the Delta Air Lines' board while his deputy, Bob Work, is now a Raytheon director. Ex-Air Force secretary Deborah Lee James is now on the Textron board while Leidos added former Pentagon acquisition chief Frank Kendall to its director roster, with his deputy Katharina McFarland joining Engility.
- Eli Lilly (LLY) CEO David Ricks said the U.S. tax overhaul will cause American companies to make investments based more on business factors than taxes. "On the next decision you face it really re-balances the calculus on where to build a plant or make hires," he tells the WSJ on sidelines of JP Morgan healthcare conference in San Francisco. He expects Lilly to have "more infrastructure" in the US within the next 7 years as a result of the overhaul. In September the drug maker announced plans to cut 8% of its work force including many jobs in its home state of Indiana. Ricks also sees the mix of Lilly acquisition targets shifting to more US companies than foreign firms. Though Lilly already had a lower tax rate than the former top US corporate rate due to operations abroad, he sees Lilly's total tax bill coming down.
- J.P. Morgan says the introduction of the U.S. tax reform has done very little to lift the market's downbeat view of potential U.S. growth," which is expected to be smaller compared with other countries or areas around the world. This explains why the U.S. dollar hasn't benefited much from either the introduction of the tax reform or from good economic data, it says. "The global economic activity surprise index is at a post-GFC high," J.P. Morgan says, highlighting eurozone, as well as German growth, which for the first time ever "outpaced the U.S. for four consecutive years." J.P. Morgan adds: "This lack of economic exceptionalism ... is turning out to be more of a drag on the currency."