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Speculators boost U.S. natgas net longs to most since April 2014 -CFTC

U.S. natural gas speculators this week boosted net longs for a seventh week in a row to the most since April 2014, betting prices would keep rising on the possibility there would be less gas in storage at the start of next winter than usual due to low production and rising exports. Speculators in four major New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) and Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) markets added to bullish bets by 19,294 contracts to 388,708 in the week to April 18, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission said on Friday. ...

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GLOBAL LNG-South Korean tender stirs up market

Asian spot LNG prices jumped this week, buoyed by hopes Korea Gas Corp’s new tender would match past buying sprees and by emerging demand from China and Japan. Spot prices for June delivery rose to $5.70 per million British thermal units (mmBtu), a 20 cent jump over last week, but traders cited sharply divergent views on pricing, saying the disagreements contributed to market inertia. Still, Korea Gas Corp’s Thursday tender for June and July supply – set to close on April 26 – immediately stirred up bullish offers, rescuing an ...

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Falling Margins May Hurt Refiners; Explorers To Gain From Higher Crude Prices

Falling margins may hurt oil refiners while a rise in crude prices is expected to help oil and gas explorers post better earnings in the January-March quarter of the financial year 2016-17. The Singapore gross refining margins (GRMs), the Asian benchmark of profitability for refining companies, fell in the quarter-ended March over the previous three months. This will result in lower margins and inventory losses for downstream and oil marketing companies like Reliance Industries Ltd., (RIL) Indian Oil Corporation Ltd., (IOC) and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd. (BPCL). Brent crude, which ...

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Natural gas inventories end heating season above five-year average

Working natural gas in storage as of March 31, the traditional end of the heating season, totaled 2,051 billion cubic feet (Bcf), or almost 15% above the five-year average according to EIA’s Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report. The total inventory of U.S. natural gas in storage tends to follow seasonal patterns of injections through the summer and withdrawals during the winter. Unlike the 2015–2016 heating season’s extremely high levels of natural gas inventories due to mild weather, inventories during the 2016–2017 heating season closely tracked the five-year average (2012-2016) until ...

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East Asia LNG index falls 11% on strong supplies

The ICIS May East Asia Index (EAX) for spot LNG cargoes averaged at $5.475/MMBtu over its period as the front month index, falling 11% from the April average of $6.118/MMBtu, as global supplies remained untested by any major problems and ahead of any potential increases in electricity demand that might arise when east Asian and Middle Eastern consumers enter summer in the coming months. The May EAX reflects deliveries into China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. It was assessed for the final time at $5.463/MMBtu on 14 April, down $0.162/MMBtu ...

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UK GAS-Day-ahead prices firmer on cooler weather forecasts

British wholesale day-ahead gas prices edged higher on Friday morning, on expectations of cooler temperatures next week. * British day-ahead gas price up by 0.10 pence to 39.20 pence per therm at 0944 GMT. * Within-day contract up by 0.10 pence to 39.25 p/therm. * Traders said temperature was the key driver but that outages at coal and nuclear plants had also increased demand for gas from gas-fired power stations. * Britain’s Met Offices said temperatures could hit highs of 16 degrees Celsius in the south of the country on ...

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Russia’s Novatek to boost gas resources to keep output, market share steady

Novatek, Russia’s largest non-state natural gas producer, is seeking to increase its resource base to stabilise gas output and keep its domestic market share steady, Leonid Mikhelson, head of the company, said on Friday. Mikhelson also said import-export agencies from Germany and Sweden had agreed to help finance the Yamal LNG project, though he declined to disclose details. Yamal LNG, with total inward investment set at $27 billion, has almost completed fund-raising thanks mainly to investors from China. Novatek is the main shareholder in Yamal LNG, which is due to ...

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India: Oil refining capacity to be ramped up to 600 MT

India will augment its refining capacity to 600 million metric tonnes from the present 230 million metric tonnes to meet fast-growing demand for energy, according to Union minister of state for oil and natural gas Dharmendra Pradhan. Addressing inaugural session of 21st Refinery Technology Meet, jointly hosted by Centre for High Technology and HPCL, here on Thursday, Pradhan said his ministry has been emphasising on innovation and strengthening R&D to produce quality product. He said India being the third largest consumer of oil has been in the centre of world’s ...

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Santos’s Australian GLNG cuts back on third party gas amid political pressure

Australia’s Santos has ramped up gas production to feed its Gladstone LNG export facility in Queensland, while cutting back on third-party purchases after coming under increasing pressure to address a potential gas shortage in the region. “GLNG produced higher LNG volumes in the first quarter, as strong upstream field performance delivered higher volumes of equity gas to the LNG plant,” Santos CEO and managing director Kevin Gallagher said Thursday. Santos and the operators of Queensland’s two other LNG export terminals — Australia Pacific LNG and Queensland Curtis LNG — have ...

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Indian LNG demand to take a dip in the short term

Indian demand for imported liquefied natural gas (LNG) is expected to dip sharply after the government pulled the plug on a scheme supplying subsidised natural gas to power generating plants. Halting the supply of subsidised LNG is expected to shave off at least two-million tons from 22-million tons a year of natural gas currently imported into the country. In 2015/16, the government framed a scheme to provide completed power plant projects left stranded by lack of fuel with subsidised imports, which bailed out an aggregate 24 000 MW of power ...

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E. Coast refiner shuns Bakken delivery as Dakota Access Pipeline starts

Philadelphia Energy Solutions Inc, the largest refiner on the U.S. East Coast, will not be taking any rail deliveries of North Dakota’s Bakken crude oil in June, a source familiar with delivery schedules said – a sign that the impending start of the Dakota Access Pipeline is upending trade flows. At its peak, PES would have routinely taken about 3 miles’ worth of trains filled with Bakken oil each day. But after the $3.8 billion Dakota Access Pipeline begins interstate crude oil delivery on May 14, it will be more ...

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ConocoPhillips, partners weigh expansion of Darwin LNG

ConocoPhillips and its partners are considering expanding their Darwin liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant in Australia, with backing from other companies with undeveloped gas resources that could feed the plant. ConocoPhillips has previously talked only about developing a new gas field for around $10 billion to fill the plant’s single production unit, or train, when supply from its current gas source, the Bayu-Undan field, runs out around 2022. The U.S. oil major has also previously said an expansion in the current market would be challenging due to low oil and ...

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Huge appetite for petchem M&As despite geopolitical unknowns

Low organic growth, access to cheap finance and positive balance sheets have sparked a torrent of mergers and acquisitions in the petrochemicals industry which will continue in 2017-18 depite uncertainties, Paul Harnick, global chemicals chief operating officer at KPMG told S&P Global Platts. There has been a surge in M&A appetite in the chemicals industry in the past year with no let-up expected in 2017-2018, he said in an interview. Many chemical companies have seen low organic growth and are now looking for different avenues to access growth, taking advantage ...

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PNG LNG production surges 20% above nameplate capacity in Jan-Mar: Oil Search

Papua New Guinea’s LNG project continued to operate well above nameplate capacity during January-March 2017 and has ample feed gas to sustain the strong production levels, while discussions to increase capacity will take place later in the year, project partner Oil Search said Wednesday. PNG LNG operated at an annualized rate of 8.3 million mt/year during the quarter, which is some 20% above the nameplate capacity of 6.9 million mt/year, said Australian-listed Oil Search, which is a 29% equity holder in PNG LNG. “The recent independent recertification of the resources ...

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Total, JERA LNG deal signals move to offer flexible contracts

French oil and gas major Total has signed a short-term liquefied natural gas (LNG) supply contract with Japan’s JERA, signalling its willingness to offer flexible terms to traditional buyers amid a global glut and lower prices, the group’s President for Gas, Renewable and Power told Reuters. JERA, the world’s biggest single LNG buyer, will purchase six cargoes, or about 400,000 tonnes of LNG, four of them priced on a traditional oil-indexed formula and two others based on spot market gas prices, according to the deal signed last week. “We are ...

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