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GLOBAL-LNG-Asian prices fall on lower heating demand

Asian liquefied natural gas (LNG) prices fell this week, with less demand for heating in the region and expectations that exports out of the United States will normalize after the Texas storm. The average LNG price for April delivery into Northeast Asia LNG-AS was estimated at about $5.60 per million British thermal units (mmBtu), down about 80 cents from the previous week, industry sources said. Temperatures in Tokyo, Shanghai and Seoul are expected to be higher than average over the next two weeks, weather data from Refinitiv Eikon showed, reducing ...

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Why natural-gas prices underperformed oil prices in February by a long shot

It’s no surprise to see both oil and natural-gas prices finish higher for the month of February as frigid temperatures in the nation’s largest energy-producing state of Texas caused temporary output declines, but natural gas has pulled back significantly and is likely to see further losses in the month ahead. The extreme cold that covered most of the central and eastern U.S. in mid-February was the biggest reason for the rise in natural-gas prices this month, said Christin Redmond, commodity analyst, energy and sustainability services at Schneider Electric. The weather ...

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Valero Port Arthur, Texas, refinery restarts large crude unit – sources

Valero Energy Corp restarted the large crude distillation unit (CDU) at its 335,000-barrel-per-day (bpd) Port Arthur, Texas, refinery on Wednesday night after it was shut last week due to the effects of severe cold weather, sources familiar with plant operations said on Thursday. Valero did not reply to a request for comment. Valero is boosting production on the restarted units that were shut on Feb 15-16 because of below-freezing temperatures and utilities interruptions, the sources said. The 268,000-bpd AVU 146 CDU was operating at 30% of capacity on Thursday. The ...

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Hellenic Petroleum’s profits sapped by COVID-19

Greece’s biggest oil refiner Hellenic Petroleum was barely profitable last year, as the COVID-19 pandemic reduced global demand and led to record low refining margins. Stripping out oil inventory holdings – Hellenic said on Thursday net profit was 5 million euros ($6.1 million) last year, down from 185 million euros in 2019. Hellenic operates three refineries in Greece and exports more than half of its output to Mediterranean countries and the Balkans. The COVID-19 pandemic cut operating profit by more than 350 million euros last year, Chief Executive Officer Andreas ...

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Qatar says to fund $60 million pipeline from Israel to Gaza

Qatar on Thursday pledged $60 million to build a natural gas pipeline from Israel into the Gaza Strip that will end the energy crisis that has helped cripple the Gaza economy. The Qatari statement, published on its Foreign Ministry website, came two days after Reuters reported that closed-door negotiations on the pipeline had reached a breakthrough. Qatar coming on board publicly gives another boost to the project, which has a 2023 target date for completion. The plan is for natural gas from the deepwater Leviathan field operated by Chevron in ...

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Russia’s Novatek in long-term LNG deal with China’s Shenergy

Russia’s top producer of liquefied natural gas (LNG), Novatek, said on Thursday it had signed a long-term deal to supply the super-chilled fuel to Chinese state-owned firm Shenergy Group Company. Confirming a Reuters report earlier on Thursday, Novatek said its Gas & Power Asia unit would supply Shenergy more than 3 million tonnes of LNG over 15 years. This would be about three LNG cargoes each year, one industry executive has said. Shenerngy did not immediately comment. Novatek said the supply would come from LNG produced from its Arctic LNG ...

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US gas in storage posts second-largest weekly withdrawal on record at 338 Bcf

The US natural gas storage industry posted its second-largest draw on record last week, but the Henry Hub prompt-month contract continued to slip as the severe, country-wide cold retreated. Storage inventories decreased by 338 Bcf to 1.943 Tcf for the week ended Feb. 19, the US Energy Information Administration reported the morning of Feb. 25. The withdrawal was stronger than the 333 Bcf draw expected by an S&P Global Platts survey of analysts. The pull proved more than 200 Bcf stronger than the the five-year average. It was only the ...

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Severe cold spells bolster Japan’s heating oil, power fuel demand in Jan

The severe cold spells in Japan boosted domestic heating oil consumption and kerosene imports in January, while the country ramped up oil procurement for thermal power generation, driving up fuel oil and direct-burning crude purchases in the month. Japan’s oil demand for power generation shot up as the country faced a significant increase in its thermal power generation in early January because of severe cold spells, which had tightened the country’s power supply and demand balance, because of a sharp drop in LNG stocks and low solar power output from ...

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For Energy Security, Power Is The New Oil

The deep freeze that afflicted the center of the US last week caused massive power outages in Texas and surrounding states. The plight of millions without power and heat captured the headlines and attracted world-wide attention. In the meantime, other energy-related disruptions triggered by the same weather events remained largely unnoticed, despite the fact that any of one of them would be on the list of biggest US energy disruptions ever: • As much as 4 million barrels per day (Mb/d) of US oil production was shut-in, nearly 40% of ...

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Cold weather results in near-record withdrawals from underground natural gas storage

Significant demand for natural gas in mid-February led to the second-largest reported withdrawal of natural gas from storage in the United States, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report  (WNGSR). Weekly stocks fell by 338 billion cubic feet (Bcf) in the week ending February 19, 2021, nearly three times the average withdrawal for mid-February. A record amount of natural gas, 156 Bcf, was withdrawn during that week in the South Central region, which includes Texas. Colder-than-normal temperatures across much of the Lower 48 states, ...

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U.S. trade groups urge Biden to cap natural gas prices after Texas freeze last week

Trade groups representing U.S. public power and natural gas companies urged President Joe Biden to declare a gas emergency for last week’s extreme weather and authorize the secretary of energy to cap the price of gas. In a Feb. 19 letter to Biden, the American Public Power Association (APPA) and the American Public Gas Association (APGA) said the recent cold weather in the Midwest and Texas boosted demand for electricity at the same time power generation was constrained due to freezing gas wells and pipelines. That forced utilities and other ...

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Texas natural gas production fell by almost half during recent cold snap

During the cold snap that affected much of the central part of the country, U.S. dry natural gas production fell to as low as 69.7 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) on February 17, a decline of 21%, or down nearly 18.9 Bcf/d from the week ending February 13. Natural gas production in Texas fell almost 45% from 21.3 Bcf/d during the week ending February 13 to a daily low of 11.8 Bcf/d on Wednesday, February 17, according to estimates from IHS Markit. Temperatures in Texas averaged nearly 30 degrees ...

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Analysis: Reliance’s move to spin off oil may have cleared decks for Saudi Aramco deal

A strategic move by Reliance Industries to carve out an independent oil-to-chemicals subsidiary may take the country’s biggest private refiner one step closer to selling a stake to Saudi Aramco, as well as help draw investors keen to focus on specific businesses of the diversified group, analysts said. The proposal by the management of Reliance to create a wholly-owned subsidiary — called Reliance O2C Ltd. — is expected to be finalized by the second quarter of financial year ending March 2022, and will see the transfer of its refining and ...

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2020 LNG demand holds steady despite COVID-19, set for growth as global economies recover

Global liquefied natural gas (LNG) trade increased to 360 million tonnes in 2020, according to Shell’s latest annual LNG Outlook published today, despite the unprecedented volatility caused by the COVID-19 pandemic which resulted in lockdowns around the world. Though marginal, the increase in volume reflects the resilience and flexibility of the global LNG market in 2020, a year which saw losses to global GDP of several trillion dollars as economies large and small struggled to contain the COVID-19 outbreak. Demand in 2019 stood at 358 million tonnes. Global LNG prices ...

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Asia Distillates-Jet fuel cracks drop as pandemic-led aviation gloom persists

Asian jet fuel refining margins slipped further on Thursday, while cash discounts for the aviation fuel lingered close to a multi-week low touched in the previous session after Singapore middle distillate stocks rose to a 12-week high. Refining margins, or cracks, for jet fuel dropped 14 cents to $5.24 per barrel over Dubai crude during Asian trading hours. The jet fuel market continues to take a beating from COVID-19-related travel restrictions, and market watchers expect it to take months for passenger traffic to recover substantially. The airline industry would likely ...

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