The Week in Review (March 13 – 20)

The Monitoring Team: Aaron Wood, Pierre Jouvellier

Rocket Strike. Gas infrastructure out of commission in Algeria.

Algerian Gas Infrastructure Suffers Rocket Strike

A Statoil and Sonatrach joint venture in Algeria suffered an as of yet unidentified rocket strike. In Sallah suffered damage to its central processing system on March 18th, although luckily no staff have been reported harmed. The station has been powered down to assess damage, conduct repairs, and improve security. This attack follows one earlier this month in Nigeria where oil infrastructure was attacked, severely cutting in to the production abilities of the country.

 Powell, W., 2016. Rocket Attack Hits in Salah, Natural Gas Europe, 18 March.

Gazprom Changes Game. Auctions to augment long-term contracts.

Gas Auctions in the Baltic

Following a trial run earlier this month, Russian gas giant Gazprom has successfully sold gas at auction to the Baltic States. Stating that it was a complement to the long term contract system already preferred, Gazprom sold 420 million cm of gas to be delivered throughout the from Q2-4 of the FY 2016. Gazprom’s export boss, Elena Burmistrova, stated that, “The results of the auction demonstrate that there is a niche for gas trade via auctions, and this trading mechanism can successfully work on the Baltic market as well. We are satisfied with these results and will apply this model on other European gas markets.” What this could signal is a change in how business is conducted in the region in regards to gas, while staying in a framework in which Gazprom feels comfortable and at an advantage, i.e. long-term contracts.

Powell, W., 2016. Russia Auctions Gas to Baltics. Natural Gas Europe, 18 March.


Offshore Upset U.S. Republican legislators speak out.

Upset Over Offshore Ban

Republican lawmakers in the US are speaking out against the Obama administration’s policy reversal in blocking oil drilling off the Atlantic seaboard. Some claim that this follows a long line of lies from the President in keeping bi-partisan promises that he ran on. Louisiana Senator Gohmert (R) claims that he has the support necessary to force the presidents hand by taking action through the legislature. Environmentalists are celebrating this policy shift as a victory for protecting America’s aquamarine life. Some are skeptical however, as the President’s move coincides with the Navy reporting that off-shore drilling would interfere with the ordinance tests and maneuvers they need to remain prepared, they are not convinced that this move was done expressly or even slightly for environmental concerns.

Corombos, G.,2016. Republicans Fuming After Obama Breaks Oil Promise. WND, 19 March.

 New Generation Young Canadians concerned about fossil future.

Future for Canadian Fossil Fuels

Canada is undergoing a demographic shift in how the nation relates to fossil fuels and the perception of their importance to the Canadian economy. While older Canadians are more inclined to support fossil fuel expansion as part of developing the national economy, Canadians under 35 support stricter measures in regulation and environmental protection. Above 80% of Canadians between the ages of 18-30 support preference for green job development and environmental protection even if it means increasing energy costs for end-consumers. Some experts claim that the increasing skepticism for the future of fossil fuels for Canada is a result of the younger generation not having lived in times of great recessions in Canada in the 1980s and 1990s. As this generation grows older and begins to take a larger part in shaping the policy of Canada, high consensus opposing fossil fuel development could have dramatic effects on the energy economy of North America.

DeCillia, B., 2016. Young Canadians more likely to see a future without oil and gas. CBC, 19 March.

 Solar in Saudi Arabia. Post-oil future for the Kingdom?

The Kingdom Looks to Renewable Future

Saudi Arabia, despite pumping oil at record levels, is already searching for a future for the country in an “after-oil era”. Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi was a guest at a conference in Berlin on March 17, in which he stated that there is hardly a more ideal country for renewable development that Saudi Arabia. With its amble sunshine and open spaces, it could become an important player in the use and development of photovoltaic electricity generation. The Kingdom aims to increase its electricity generation via renewables by 54 gigawatts by 2040. In addition to speaking on oil and renewable possibilities, al-Naimi also confirmed talks in Doha in April, in which a production freeze with Russia would again be discussed. Smith, G., 2016. Saudi Arabia’s Oil Chief Prepares for a World After Fossil Fuels. Bloomberg, 17 March.


South Africa Atomic Russia to assist in development.

Weak Ruble Helps Russia to Win Nuclear Contract with the SAR

The Russian state nuclear agency is confident regarding the construction of several nuclear power plants in South Africa. Thanks to the weakness of the ruble and the oil price, the investment costs for such a project would be considerably reduced, reaching less than US$ 100 Billion. Moreover, considering that Russia has the best technology in terms of nuclear energy, South Africa could highly benefit from both price and quality. Rosatom said it would help to train staff in order to develop South Africa’s nuclear power industry via industry training programs. South Africa is currently producing 5% of its electricity generation with two nuclear reactors and would reach 25% by 2030.

CNBC team, 2016. Russia confident of winning South Africa nuclear power bid. CNBC Africa, 16 March 2016.


Fuel Flex New German engine runs on more fuel types.

The G50 Has Passed the Test to be the World’s First Ethane-Fueled Engine for Carriers

The German company Man Diesel & Turbo, a specialized engineering firm, has launched its first G50 engine running on LEG for Liquefied Ethane Gas. This new engine will allow the shipping industry to reduce production costs with a lower weight and shorter length. Moreover, the new engine design expands fuel flexibility as it can to run on HFO, MDO and MGO, improving the propulsion efficiency.

BI team, 2016. Engines for world’s first ethane-fuelled LEG carrier passes test. BunkerIndex, 17 March 2016.


No Stomach for Coal. Presidential contender weighs in.

Hillary Clinton Does Not Want Coal Anymore

With more than 175,000 coal workers in the US in the 1980’s, the coal industry was a large provider of employment, especially in several regions such as Boone County, West Virginia. Now, the coal industry is threatened by new ecological policies against CO2 and sulphur emissions. “We’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business,” Hillary Clinton said last week. Today, the number of coal workers in the US has drastically reduced, reaching 57,700 workers in 2016. This war against coal has generated huge unemployment rates in some regions of the country. The current runner for the US presidential elections plans to replace jobs generated by the coal industry with clean energy jobs, but will it be sufficient to convince coal workers who do not have the adequate training in solar energy and other environmentally friendly energies? Replacing entire fuels comes with risk. When France decided to choose nuclear energy as its main source of energy for electricity generation instead of coal, it was unable to adequately provide for retraining and assignment of workers in the coal industry. The current unemployment rate of former coal mining regions exceeds more than 12%.

Patrick Gellespie, 2016. Hillary Clinton can’t kill coal. It’s dying. CNN Money, 14 March 2016.


Executives Meet Pipe Plans in Africa

The Meeting Between Presidents of Uganda and Kenya for Oil Pipeline Construction

A new project for oil supply has been designed to move crude oil from Hoima (Uganga) to the Port of Lamu through Kenya’s own field at Lokichar. This new oil pipeline would be built with Uganda’s oil producers, the Irish company Tullow Oil, the French Total SA, and the Chinese CNOC. The aim of such a project is to “transform infrastructure and the way of life of the people in the towns and counties across its path” and of course it will deal with political and security developments in the region.

Nancy Agutu, 2016. Uhuru to host Museveni for talks on Uganda-Kenya oil pipeline. The star, 20 March 2016.


New LNG Possibilities Iran and Oman partner.

A Gas Pipeline Between Iran and Oman Could Bring New LNG Opportunities

The Korean gas corporation KOGAS is currently trying to build a new pipeline with a seabed section in order to deliver natural gas from Iran to Oman. The pipeline will be 400 kilometers long is estimated to cost US$ 1.5 billion. The two countries have already signed basic agreements, which mention that Iran will export a daily amount of 28 MCM of natural gas to Oman. Moreover, approximately 1/3 of this gas will be send to the Qalhat liquefaction terminal for European and Asian clients. The rest of the gas will be consumed in the Persian Gulf. The Qualat liquefaction plant can liquefy until 10.4 million tons per year, which means that Iran will be able to provide more natural gas to the international gas market.

PressTV team, 2016. KOGAS to build Iran-Oman gas pipeline. PressTV, 17 March 2016.


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