Jul 2020

Trend of Natural Gas and LNG Prices

Short-term trend

  • The assessed spot LNG price for Northeast Asia (JKM) for delivery in the next month remained in the low of USD 2 per million Btu since late June to middle July, with the cancellation of cargoes from the United States and expectations of a demand recovery in some countries that had eased lockdown measures not being a major price driver. JKM for delivery in September 2020 went up to USD 2.47 on 16 July and remained in the middle-USD 2 range at USD 2.56 as of 24 July. Although JKM is expected to rise with economic activities recovering in some areas in Asian countries and predicted increase of electric power demand for summer, there is possibility that price increase may be suppressed by concern over a second wave of COVID-19. The average spot LNG prices published by METI was USD 3.8 for June delivery (USD 1.2 higher than May 2020).
  • The Henry Hub price for delivery in next month was at USD 1.81 as of 24 July 2020, with a range of USD 1.6-1.8 in July. It has been below USD 2 since 20 January except for USD 2.13 on 2 May. It fell to USD 1.48 on 26 June, the lowest during the past decade, as in addition to lower-than-expected LNG export volumes with the cancellation of cargoes, the increasing number of new cases of COVID-19 resulted in concern over restarting business activities. Afterward, HH has recovered to about USD 1.8 due to relatively modest natural gas production and predicted an increase of electric power demand for summer. Meanwhile, the TTF price for delivery in the next month briefly surpassed USD 2 in June as the European region also began to ease its lockdown, however, it has fallen since mid-July and stood at USD 1.71 as of 24 July 2020. Underground storage level has already exceeded 80%, which will be a factor to suppress future price increases.
  • Japan's average LNG import price of USD 8.40 in June 2020 was 3.98 times as high as JKM for delivery in June 2020 (assessed between mid-April 2020 and mid-May 2020) at USD 2.11. The gap was even wider than 3.37 in May. The average landed prices of LNG to Japan from the ASEAN and Russia in June were USD 7.01 and USD 7.93, respectively, to undercut the overall average of USD 8.40. On the other hand, the average landed price of LNG to Japan from the United States during the month was USD 8.69, higher than the overall average for the first time in a year. Most of the long-term contract prices to buy LNG in Japan link to oil index except for LNG from the United States, therefore, the collapse of international crude oil prices, especially after 9 March, is expected to affect long-term contract LNG prices. Reflecting on the downward trend of crude oil prices, the average landed LNG price fell to the USD 8 range for the first time since January 2019. The average crude oil import price in Japan for June was under USD 25 per barrel, further down from the previous month. LNG prices imported into Japan are expected further fall later. Meanwhile, Japan imported 5.261 million tonnes of LNG in June 2020, 1.2% higher than one year ago. The country's cumulative LNG import during the first half of 2020 amounted to 36.40 million tonnes, the lowest since 2010.

LNG and Spot Gas Prices, 2019-2020

Mid- to long-term trend

  • Japan's average LNG import price has fallen over the last decade from a peak in the USD 18 range in 2012 to USD 8.40 in June 2020, largely due to the downward trend in crude oil prices, to which long-term contract LNG prices are pegged. Except in August 2019, when it rose to USD 10.13, the average price has since April 2019 largely stayed below USD 10. With the collapse of crude oil prices after March 2020, Japan's average LNG import price is expected to further go down, especially from July.
  • After JKM for delivery from November 2019 to January 2020 briefly stayed at around USD 6, JKM declined dramatically to below USD 2 in late April for June 2020 delivery. This is a remarkable decline to a historically low level. JKM, which in recent years moved in the range between European spot gas prices at the lower end and crude oil equivalent at the higher end, have stayed near the lower end since 2019.
  • Japan's average LNG import price for May-June 2020 was three times higher than the average JKM for delivery in each month (assessed between one-and-half and half-a-month prior to delivery), representing the largest relative gap between the two since 2011. This seems to be due to ongoing massive LNG supply capacity expansions mainly from the United States, weaker appetite for LNG in Asia, particularly Japan and Korea, the traditional LNG markets in Northeast Asia, and uncertainty of gas demand amid COVID-19 spread. The time lag between crude oil price fluctuation and its reflection in contracted LNG prices has also played a role. However, Japanese LNG buyers have not been able to take advantage of cheaper spot cargoes due to the declining demand. Combined LNG imports by Japan, Korea and Chinese Taipei during the first six months of 2020 increased year-on-year by only 0.1%, or 0.08 million tonnes, although they were still smaller by 9.2%, or 6.73 million tonnes than those during the same months in 2018 and remain weak. China imported 5.79 million tonnes of LNG in June 2020, surpassing Japan as the largest importer in the world for two consecutive months. LNG imports by China during the first six months of 2020 increased by 10.8% year-on-year to 31.18 million tonne, returning to a relatively strong growth trend.

LNG and Spot Gas Prices, 2010-2020

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(source)
Henry Hub price: NYMEX Futures and Options, CME Group
NBP price: ICE Futures Europe, Intercontinental Exchange
TTF price: ICE Futures Europe, Intercontinental Exchange
JKM: LNG Japan/Korea Marker© 2020 by S&P Global Platts, a division of S&P Global Inc.
METI spot price: Spot LNG Price Statistics, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
Japan’s average LNG import price: Trade Statistics of Japan

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Trend of Natural Gas and LNG Inventories

Japan

  • Japan's LNG inventory as of the end of March 2020 stood at 4.73 million tonnes, an increase of 6.4% from the preceding month, and an increase of 1.1% from one year earlier. It was 0.8 million tonnes higher than the last five-year average and was the highest in March since the start of statistics in 2008. LNG consumption for city-gas stood at 2.90 million tonnes, decreasing by 3.8% month-on-month in March 2020, and was lower than 3.31 million tonnes received by city-gas companies by 0.41 million tonnes. As a result, the LNG inventory for city-gas supply in the month was 2.30 million tonnes, 21.7% higher than February 2020, and 5.5% higher than March 2019. The LNG inventory for power generation fuel in March 2020 was 2.43 million tonnes, decreasing by 4.9% from February 2020 and 2.8% lower than March 2019, as gas-fired power generation output by incumbent electric power companies decreased by 8.1% month-on-month in March 2020. At the end of March, no significant impact from the COVID-19 crisis was felt on LNG inventories, as it was just before the national emergency declaration in Japan. However, after April when economic activities were restricted, LNG inventories are likely to be affected by a decrease in city-gas demand and LNG demand for power generation.
  • City-gas demand is the highest during the winter months (November - March). This is because air and water temperatures are lower, and hot water supply and heating loads increase. In summer (July - August), although both air and the water temperatures are high, city gas demand is the second highest during the year with the widespread use of city-gas air-conditioning in the commercial sector. On the other hand, city-gas demand is the lowest during the shoulder periods (spring and autumn) when there is less demand for air conditioning. Therefore, generally speaking, the LNG inventory is built up from April to October and is withdrawn from November to March. However, LNG inventory levels vary greatly from year to year, as Japan does not have natural gas underground storage facilities unlike the United States and Europe.

Japan end of month LNG inventory, 2019-2020

Japan end of month LNG inventory, 2010-2020

(Source)
Compiled based on data from Gas Business and Thermal Power Generation Statistics, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.As the inventory data is available for the period only after January 2008, the five-year average is applicable only after January 2013.

United States

  • As of 17 July 2020, working gas in underground natural gas storage in the United States was 3,215 Bcf, an 9.9 % increase in one month, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Gas inventories were 25.1 % or 646 Bcf higher than those at the same point in 2019 and were 436 Bcf higher than the past five-years average of 2,779 Bcf. Gas inventories were still within the range for the past 5 years but were approaching the maximum of the range.
  • According to EIA's Natural Gas Weekly Update on 16 July 2020, the net injections into natural gas storage totaled 45 Bcf for the week ending on 10 July, and it was lower than the average of the past five-year (2015 - 19) net injections of 63 Bcf and last year's net injections of 67 Bcf during the same week. However, since the amount of inventories in storage at the start of the injection season in April were more than usual, and the amount of injection into storage since April was about 15% higher than the average for the past five years, the EIA's Short-Term Energy Outlook released in early July 2020 forecasts that inventories at the end of October to reach a record high of 4.04 Tcf, even if the amount of injection is equivalent to the previous five-year average.
  • The maximum inventory of working gas in underground natural gas storage in the United State over the past 10 years has been around 4 Tcf. However, according to the EIA database, natural gas production increased by more than 20%, natural gas consumption increased by more than 14%, and natural gas exports increased by more than 45% between 2017 and 2019 in the country, changing gas supply and demand dynamics dramatically. According to EIA, August 2019 held the record for the most natural gas consumed in the electric power sector in a single month and both electric-power-sector natural gas consumption and total natural gas consumption reached their highest-ever annual levels in 2019, hence this growing trend would generally encourage more storage capacity. In addition, increasing exports of natural gas also could create a need for additional natural gas storage capacity in the Gulf Coast region to support pipeline exports of natural gas to Mexico and LNG exports.

U.S. Natural Gas Underground Storage(Jul 2019 - Jul 2020)

U.S. Natural Gas Underground Storage, 2010-2020

(Source)
Compiled based on data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)

Europe

  • As of 25 July 2020, the stored volume of natural gas in European underground storage facilities operated by the Aggregated Gas Storage Inventory (AGSI +) members (including European Union (EU) member companies and non-EU (Serbia and Ukraine) member companies) was 934 TWh. The inventories were 6.8 % higher than one month ago and 52 TWh or 5.9 % higher than one year earlier, and 218 TWh higher than the five-year average. The stored volume on 25 July 2020 represented 84% of the working capacity, significantly higher than the past five-year range of 56% - 79% at the time of the year. Germany, which has the largest storage capacity in Europe, has a high filling rate of about 89%. In Belgium, Austria and Portugal, the filling rates are over 88%. In those countries, where the filling rates reached the upper limit in the fall of last year, the timings will be even earlier this year.

European Natural Gas Storage, Jul 2019 - Jul 2020

European Natural Gas Storage, 2010-2020

(Source)
Compiled based on data from Gas Infrastructure Europe, Aggregated Gas Storage Inventory (AGSI). As the inventory data is available for the period only after January 2011, the five-year average is applicable only after January 2016.

Latest Developments in Major Natural Gas and LNG Projects

July Highlights

  • According to the early July 2020 monthly SHORT-TERM ENERGY OUTLOOK by EIA (Energy Information Administration), U.S. LNG exports declined by 17% in May from the average level of the first four months of 2020. More than 70 LNG export cargoes from the United States were cancelled for June and July deliveries, and more than 40 were cancelled for August deliveries. EIA estimates that as a result, utilization of LNG export capacity will go down to 25% in July and August. In addition, the outlook for gas demand recovery remains grim due to concerns about a second wave of COVID-19 and cooler-than-usual weather in Japan. In July, it was reported that two Australian LNG companies expected to post impairment losses for the April-June quarter of the year, Berkshire Hathaway acquired Dominion Energy's gas assets including the Cove Point LNG facility, and Chevron acquired Noble Energy.

 

Asia and Oceania

  • KOGAS (Korea Gas Corporation) and five companies (Busan Port Corporation, POSCO International, S-Oil, Daewoo Logistics and, Hyundai Glovis) agreed to launch an LNG bunkering joint venture by October 2020, KOGAS announced on 14 July 2020. KOGAS plans to supply 1.36 million tonnes of LNG to ships by 2030.
  • China's LNG imports surpassed Japan's for the second month in a row to be the world's largest, at 5.79 million tonnes in June 2020, according to the country's trade statistics. LNG imports during the first half of the year were 31.18 million tonnes, up 10.2% from the same period last year. On the other hand, pipeline gas imports fell 7.4%, resulting in an overall natural gas import volume of 48.36 million tonnes, up 3.3% year-on-year.
  • CNOOC Gas & Power Group Co., Ltd. (CNOOC) signed an agreement with Shell Eastern Trading (Pte) Limited in the middle of June 2020 for delivery of two cargos of the first carbon neutral LNG to Chinese Mainland. These cargoes are "carbon neutral" which means that all emissions from exploring for and producing the natural gas, to the use by the final consumers are offset by credits from a variety of nature-based projects including Shell supported afforestation projects from Qinghai and Xinjiang provinces in China. CNOOC also plans to auction these two carbon neutral LNG cargoes through the Shanghai Petroleum and Gas Exchange.
  • bp on 9 July 2020 signed a gas supply agreement with ENN to provide ENN with 300,000 tonnes per year of pipeline gas regasified from LNG for two years from January 2021 in Guangdong through the LNG receiving terminal of Guangdong Dapeng LNG.
  • Guangdong Energy Group and Diamond Gas International (DGI, Mitsubishi Corporation subsidiary) held an online signing ceremony of an "LNG Purchase and Sale Agreement" on 9 July 2020. The SPA is the first term contract for the purchase of international LNG resources by Guangdong Energy Group and the first term contract for DGI to sell LNG to China.
  • Singapore's Energy Market Authority (EMA) issued on 9 July 2020 a Request for Proposal (RFP) to appoint up to two new LNG term importers for Singapore. Having more LNG term importers in the market will enhance competition and provide more options for gas buyers, EMA said. Proposals must be submitted by 9 November 2020. The current LNG term importers are Pavilion Energy and Shell Eastern Trading, who were appointed in 2017 via an RFP.
  • VPower Group announced that the power station in Thaketa Township of Yangon, Myanmar built by the 50-50 CNTIC VPower joint venture of VPower Group and CNTIC (China National Technical Import and Export Corporation) started generating electric power with LNG in early June 2020. The power station, with an installed capacity of 477.1 MW, was built on a fast-track basis for one of the Myanmar Government's shortlisted critical projects to boost power supply for summer 2020. The LNG infrastructure is located in Thanlyin of Yangon.
  • Marubeni, Sumitomo Corporation, Mitsui & Co. and Eden Group announced on 27 July 2020 that they have received a notice (NTP) from Myanmar's Ministry of Electricity and Energy (MOEE) granting them exclusive development rights for the Thilawa LNG To Power Project in the Yangon Division of Myanmar. The project will construct, own and operate a 1,250 MW gas-fired power plant and an onshore LNG storage and evaporation facility, which will sell electricity to the state-owned Electric Power Generating Corporation (EPGE), a MOEE affiliate, for 25 years after commercial operation under a long-term power purchase agreement. The scope of the project is expected to include LNG procurement, transportation, storage and vaporization. Under the NTP, the four companies will conduct a feasibility study.
  • According to PPAC's Snapshot of India's Oil & Gas data, the country's LNG import in May 2020 was 2.383 Bcm, 0.5% higher year-on-year. The cumulative import during the first five months of the year was 13.429 Bcm, 13.9% higher year-on-year.
  • Elengy Terminal Pakistan Limited (ETPL), a joint venture between Vopak LNG Holding B.V. and Engro Corporation intends to design, build, own and operate a multi-functional onshore LNG terminal at Port Qasim, Karachi, Pakistan. Since late June 2020, the project has invited Expression of Interest from parties that intend to secure regasification, storage, and other operational services. The terminal is planned to be developed under an open access business model, with a send-out capacity of up to 1,200 million standard cubic feet per day (up to 9.11 million tonnes per year) and storage capacity of up to 480,000 cubic meters. The terminal is expected to start its commercial operations from 2023.
  • Australia's Santos announced on 14 July 2020 that commenced a concept study on a hydrogen future for the Cooper Basin. The study was awarded to GHD. Santos said that natural gas can be de-carbonised at its source to make "zero-emissions" or "blue" hydrogen. Santos' proposed Moomba CCS Project in South Australia would capture the 1.7 million tonnes per year of carbon dioxide separated from natural gas at the Moomba Gas Plant and reinject it into the same geological formations. Santos and GHD aim to complete the concept study by the end of 2020.
  • Australia's Woodside said on 14 July 2020 it expected to recognise non-cash, post-tax impairment losses of USD 3.92 billion for the half-year ending in June 2020, including USD 2.76 billion for oil and gas properties, and USD 1.16 billion for exploration and evaluation assets. The Financial Statements are also expected to include a non-cash, post-tax onerous contract provision for the Corpus Christi LNG sale and purchase agreement of USD 447 million. The combined impact of the impairments and the onerous contract provision is a post-tax loss of USD 4.37 billion.
  • Australia's Origin Energy revealed on 15 July 2020 that the company expects to recognise non-cash post-tax charges in the range of AUD 1.16-1.24 billion in the FY2020. These include Australia Pacific LNG impairment of AUD 720-770 million and onerous contract provision related to Cameron LNG of AUD 440-460 million post-tax (USD 300-315 million). Origin agreed in 2013 to purchase from Cameron LNG 0.25 million tonnes per year of LNG (3-4 cargoes) Free-On-Board for 20 years with the first cargo delivered in June 2020. Origin buys the LNG at a Henry Hub-linked price plus a fixed tolling fee and assumes it will sell it at a JKM-linked price.

 

North America

  • 57 bulk LNG cargos were shipped from the United States in May 2020, from Sabine Pass (25), Cameron (10), Corpus Christi (8), Freeport (8), Cove Point (6), and Elba Island (0), compared to 62 and 75 cargos in April and March 2020, respectively, 46 and 42 cargos in May and April 2019, according to July 2020 | LNG Monthly Report / Office of Fossil Energy, Department of Energy. In volumes, 182.2 Bcf (3.791 million tonnes) was exported in April 2020, decreasing by 13.4% from April 2020 and increasing by 25.9% from May 2019. Top five countries of destination, representing 49.1% of the total in May 2020 include Spain (29.3 Bcf), Korea (20.9 Bcf), China (14.5 Bcf), Japan (13.7 Bcf), and Chile (11.1 Bcf).
  • According to SHORT-TERM ENERGY OUTLOOK by EIA, LNG exports from the United States averaged 7.7 Bcf/d through the first four months of 2020 but declined by 17% between April and May. In summer 2020, more than 70 LNG export cargoes from the United States were cancelled for June and July deliveries, and more than 40 cargoes were cancelled for August deliveries. EIA estimates that as a result, U.S. LNG exports averaged 3.6 Bcf/d in June and forecasts that they will average 2.2 Bcf/d in July and August 2020, implying a 25 % utilization of LNG export capacity.
  • Pennsylvania's attorney general in late June 2020 released a report into the shale gas industry that uncovers "systematic failure by government agencies" to regulate the "destructive" fracking industry. According to the report, residents near unconventional drilling sites suffered "severe health consequences".
  • Chevron announced that it had reached an agreement with Noble Energy to acquire all of Noble Energy's outstanding shares. The total value of the transaction is USD 13 billion. Chevron will acquire Noble Energy's low-cost, cash-generating offshore assets in Israel. The Noble Energy acquisition also strengthens Chevron's unconventional gas position in the United States, including its de-risked assets in the DJ region and the Permian field in the United States.
  • New Fortress Energy (NFE) announced on 6 July 2020 that the company agreed with Centrica LNG to terminate NFE's obligation to purchase any additional LNG from Centrica for the remainder of 2020 in exchange for a payment of USD 105 million. NFE will be able to purchase LNG in the open market at prices that are significantly lower than the price previously agreed to with Centrica.
  • Dominion Energy announced on 5 July 2020 that it executed a definitive agreement to sell most of its Gas Transmission & Storage segment assets to an affiliate of Berkshire Hathaway. Assets covered by the sale agreement include a 25% operating interest in the Cove Point bidirectional LNG facility in Maryland. Retained assets include a 50% passive and unlevered interest in the facility. The transaction is expected to close during the fourth quarter of 2020.
  • On 24 July 2020, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) authorized Cameron LNG's request to commence service for liquefaction and export activities from Train 3.
  • NextDecade announced on 14 July 2020 that the company is optimizing its Rio Grande LNG project. Multiple optimizations have been identified that will lead to an LNG project capable of producing 27 million tonnes per year of LNG with just five LNG trains instead of six in the original front-end engineering and design (FEED). These optimizations will result in several benefits including (i) 21% lower CO2e emissions, (ii) shortened construction timeline for the full project, (iii) reduced facility footprint, and (iv) an expected reduction in traffic on roadways.
  • U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) issued on 6 July 2020 a final long-term order authorizing the export of domestically produced LNG from the proposed Jordan Cove LNG Terminal in Oregon. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) authorized the siting, construction, and operation of the Jordan Cove LNG Terminal and the related Pacific Connector Pipeline in March 2020. Jordan Cove Energy Project L.P., owned by Canada's Pembina Pipeline Corporation, will have the authority to export up to 1.08 Bcf/d of natural gas as LNG (8.20 million tonnes per year). The Project's natural gas will be sourced from both Canada and the United States.
  • The Alaska Gasline Development Corporation (AGDC) in late June 2020 released an updated USD 38.7 billion cost estimates for the Alaska LNG Project. The estimate reflects a USD 5.5 billion (12.4%) cost reduction off the previous USD 44.2 billion estimate, which was compiled in 2015 by the project's previous joint venture leaders, which included BP Alaska, ExxonMobil Alaska, ConocoPhillips, and AGDC. Along with AGDC staff, participants included representatives from BP, ExxonMobil, and Fluor.

 

Europe and Russia

  • Equinor said on 1 July 2020 it is leading the Hydrogen to Humber Saltend (H2H Saltend) project to develop one of the world's - first at-scale facilities to produce hydrogen from natural gas in combination with carbon capture and storage (CCS). The project will be located at Saltend Chemicals Park near the city of Hull in Northeast England, and its initial phase comprises a 600 megawatt auto thermal reformer (ATR) with carbon capture, the largest plant of its kind in the world, to convert natural gas to hydrogen. It will enable industrial customers in the Park to fully switch over to hydrogen, and the power plant in the Park to move to a 30% hydrogen to natural gas blend. As a result, emissions from Saltend Chemicals Park will reduce by nearly 900,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.
  • Total and Algeria's Sonatrach in late June 2020 signed an agreement to renew their partnership in the field of LNG. The agreement extends the existing supply contracts for 3 years to provide 2 million tonnes per year of Algerian LNG to the French market, primarily through the Fos Cavaou terminal. The agreement also includes the sub-charter of an LNG tanker of Total by Sonatrach.
  • RWE and German LNG Terminal, the joint venture developing Germany's first LNG terminal in Brunsbüttel, signed a Memorandum of Understanding in the middle of June 2020 to promote the use of hydrogen produced from renewable sources.
  • Polskie LNG from the GAZ-SYSTEM Group and Szczecin and Świnoujście Seaport Authority in late June 2020 signed agreements with the consortium of companies PORR S.A. and TGE Gas Engineering GmbH for the Lech Kaczyński LNG Terminal expansion. The project includes a new LNG tank with a capacity of 180,000 m3 and a new berth intended for LNG loading, unloading and bunkering. By the end of 2023, with the completion of the project, the regasification capacity will reach 8.3 Bcm per year.
  • Poland's refiner PKN Orlen signed a letter of intent (LOI) to take over its compatriot oil and gas exploration and production company PGNiG, PKN Orlen said on 14 July 2020.
  • GTT in late June 2020 received an order from Korea's Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) for the tank design of two Floating LNG Storage Units (FSUs) for Russia's GTLK. Each FSU will have a capacity of 361,600 m3 and will be fitted with the NO96 GW membrane cryogenic containment system. Their delivery is scheduled for the end of 2022. These two FSUs will be located respectively in the Murmansk region and in the Bay of Kamchatka. They will be employed in NOVATEK's Arctic LNG 2 project.
  • GTT received, at the end of June 2020, an order from the Russian shipyard Zvezda Shipbuilding Complex for the tank design of five ARC7 ice-breaking LNGCs on behalf of a Russian ship-owner. This represents the first order after GTT signed a Technical Assistance and License Agreement (TALA) with the shipyard allowing Zvezda to construct the membrane technologies developed by GTT. These ARC7 vessels will contribute to the Arctic projects of NOVATEK. The delivery of the vessels is planned between the first and last quarters of 2023.
  • NOVATEK announced 24 July 2020 that NOVATEK Gas & Power Asia Pte. Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary, shipped the first cargo from the Yamal LNG project to Japan transported eastbound via the Northern Sea Route. The LNG cargo was delivered under a spot contract and unloaded at the Ohgishima LNG Terminal in Japan by the contract’s delivery schedule.
  • Gazprom said on 14 July 2020 that its net sales of gas to Europe and other countries decreased by RUB 378 billion, or 45%, to RUB 459 billion for the first three months of 2020 compared to the same period of 2019. The change was mainly due to the decrease in average prices in RUB by 36% and the decrease in volumes by 17%, or 10.8 Bcm (from 62.4 to 51.6 Bcm).

 

Other regions

  • On 19 July 2020, the Israeli government approved the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Pipeline Project Agreement signed with the Greek and Cypriot governments in January. It is a 1,900 km-long natural gas pipeline project that extends from Israel to Greece and then to Italy.
  • The Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) signed on 15 July a project financing agreement for the Mozambique LNG project amounting up to USD 3 billion (JBIC portion) with MOZ LNG1 FINANCING COMPANY LTD in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE). It is co-financed with the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Export-Import Bank of the United States (US-Exim), UK Export Finance (UKEF), the Export-Import Bank of Thailand (Exim Thailand) as well as 21 private financial institutions, bringing the total co-financing amount to USD 14.4 billion. Part of the co-financing loans provided by private financial institutions is insured or guaranteed by Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI), UKEF, SACE of Italy, the Export Credit Insurance Corporation of South Africa Soc Ltd (ECIC), as well as Atradius Dutch State Business N.V. NEXI said it would underwrites insurance for USD 2 billion financing provided by private financial institutions. Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC) announced that it had signed the agreements on the completion guarantee in connection with the project finance.
  • EXMAR in late June 2020 received notification of force majeure from YPF under the Charter Agreement and Services Agreement for the TANGO FLNG. YPF claims that the effects of COVID-19 both worldwide and in Argentina have hindered YPF's ability to perform its obligations under the Agreements, including but not limited to its ability to pay the invoices due for services performed for the period starting the second half of March 2020. EXMAR considers the Notice to be unlawful.
  • Golar Power, the joint venture between Golar LNG and Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners, has announced that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Norsk Hydro to develop its LNG terminal in northern Brazil. The project is proposed to supply LNG to the Alunorte refinery, owned by Norsk Hydro, near the Vila do Conde port in Barcarena, Pará state, via the FSRU, which Golar Power plans to start operating in the first half of 2022. The terminal also aims to supply gas to the Centrais Elétricas Barcarena 605 MW thermal power plant, a Golar Power subsidiary that already has a 25-year power purchase agreement. Once the terminal is operational, Golar Power will operate a comprehensive LNG distribution network in and around the state of Para and the surrounding area. The project will also satisfy Norsk Hydro's 2017 commitment to the Pará State government to pursue natural gas-based energy supply solutions for one of the world's largest aluminium refineries.
  • The Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI) announced on 15 July 2020 a target to reduce the collective average carbon intensity of member companies' aggregated upstream oil and gas operations to between 20 kg and 21 kg CO2e/boe by 2025, from a collective baseline of 23 kg CO2e/boe in 2017. The target covers both carbon dioxide and methane emissions from OGCI member companies' operating upstream oil and gas exploration and production activities, as well as emissions from associated imports of electricity and steam. OGCI will be working on specific actions on emissions from liquefied natural gas (LNG) and gas-to-liquids (GTL), to take their collective ambitions further. OGCI includes BP, Chevron, CNPC, Eni, Equinor, ExxonMobil, Occidental, Petrobras, Repsol, Saudi Aramco, Shell, and Total.

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