Gas Business

A list of some of the gas business articles I have written about natural gas and shale gas exploration and development prospects around the world

Is Europe’s gas market ready for US imports?

The first shipment of American Liquid Natural Gas, from Cheniere’s Sabine Pass LNG plant on the coast of Louisiana, is expected to leave by early March, when loading of the Energy Atlantic, a 290 metre LNG tanker, is complete. European customers, who have signed LNG sale and purchase agreements with Cheniere Energy, include Centrica, a UK utility, energy company BG Group with a 20 year contract to buy most of Sabine Pass’s first train output, Spain’s Iberdrola SA and Gas Natural Fenosa and France’s Total. Cheniere’s Sabine Pass and Corpus Christi LNG export terminals have signed contracts  to ship the equivalent of around 700 million cubic feet of gas a day to Europe according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.


National Grid at Home and Abroad

National Grid is the sole owner and operator of the national gas transmission system (NTS) built after the onset of North Sea Gas supplies in 1967. The gas transmission system is comprised of 7,600 km of high-pressure pipe and 26 compressor stations, connecting to eight regional distribution networks and to third-party independent systems for onward transportation of gas to end-consumers.

Options for gas to power in South Africa

The problem is South Africa, at present does not have access to developed commercially significant gas fields to meet the extra demand for gas. It will have to import new gas supplies. The options include either bringing in gas from fields that come on-line in 2020 in northern Mozambique, by pipeline or using LNG tankers. and


Prospects for Australian oil and gas companies

Nicholas Newman Asia Oil & Gas Monitor (AsianOil) 5 August 2015 – Australia’s hydrocarbon resources and geographical position have allowed it to become the leading supplier of liquid natural gas (LNG)  to Asia-Pacific  markets and, with new LNG capacity coming on line in the next few years, it is expected to overtake Qatar as the current world leader.

Will Indonesia Become a Net Importer of Natural Gas by 2020?

Nicholas Newman Global Business Guide March 2015.

The notion that Indonesia could become a net importer of natural gas by 2020 may seem absurd because it has the eighth largest proven gas reserves in the world; some 108 trillion cubic feet (Tcf), which are enough to power the country at current rates of production for the next fifty years, reports the Review of World Energy 2014.

The decline in gas demand – a European problem?

Ever since the global financial crisis and the onset of recession the demand for gas in Europe – particularly from the power generation sector – has steadily declined. In 2010 gas consumption in the EU and Switzerland was equivalent to 522 billion cubic metres (bcm) but by 2013 demand had dropped to 462 bcm.


South Africa’s Gas Prospects

Driven by the recent gas discoveries in Namibia, Mozambique and Tanzania, major energy companies have turned their sights on South Africa. Modern seismic technology has indicated  South African  holdings of 390 tcf of technically recoverable shale gas reserves located in the Karoo basin and possibly a further 60 tcf  offshore  making South Africa’s potential  gas reserves , two and a half times,  greater than Nigeria’s.   This summer   heralded  the start of drilling South Africa’s  first offshore deep water well by French energy giant Total in the Outeniqua Basin, south of Mossel Bay off the Western Cape,  “  in  one of the few remaining under-explored offshore regions in Africa,”  reported Marc Blaizot, senior vice-president for exploration at Total in South Africa info July 2014.

 Investing in shale gas in South Africa

“There is much scepticism, amongst the South African public, of the existence of huge supplies of natural gas,” observed Simon Ashby Rudd, Global Head of Oil & Gas Investment Banking’ at Standard Bank, in a telephone interview on 4th May 2014. “Since the 1940s, geologists have been looking for significant oil and gas reserves both, on and off- shore, with little luck. However, news of success in neighbouring countries like Angola, Namibia and Mozambique has changed all that”.

LNG in the MENA Region

Since  the first two  LNG tankers carrying   5000 m³  of LNG   left the Algerian port of Arzew for the UK and France in  1958  the  global trade in LNG has grown in  value to  reach $150bn  accounting for  some 10 per cent of the global  trade in natural gas. Today 24 countries export LNG to around 29 countries. Qatar, Malaysia, Australia, Nigeria and Indonesia are in rank order the world’s top five LNG exporters.  Asia Pacific countries dominate the global market for LNG notably, Japan, South Korea, China and India.     The LNG trade is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 2.8% between 2013 and 2019 (Hellenic Shipping News, 11 July 2014) underpinned by rising Asian demand.


Following a string of large oil discoveries along Africa’s western coast –  most notably, the billion-barrel Jubilee field off Ghana and deep-water finds off Angola and Sierra Leone   – oil exploration fever arrived in Morocco in 2012.  Recent  deep-water oil discoveries  such as the Panuke field off Eastern Canada , two oil strikes in Newfoundland’s Flemish Pass basin and the massive oil discovery at Bay du Nord Field, have given oil companies hope  that Morocco’s  deep-water  cretaceous sandstone, which is geologically analogous , will yield up similar bounty. Such geological similarities have spurred oil companies to descend upon Morocco in the hope of finding another Ghana, Atlantic Canada or Brazil hydrocarbon treasure trove.

Shale Gas in the Middle East and North Africa

A look at prospects for repeating the American shale gas revolution in the region.  page 8

Known Unknowns

There are growing doubts about the economic viability of British shale gas!

A new direction for hydrocarbons

Despite supplies of petroleum and petroleum products under concessionary financing terms from Venezuela, oil and gas exploration work is taking place across the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) with the aim of addressing the energy supply deficit, while CARICOM has drafted a fresh energy policy   page 55.


Long Wait for the Big One

Valuable information for later use, if not commercial discoveries, are expected to result from this summer’s exploration activities offshore the Faroes, which kick into high gear with two prospects to be drilled — Brugdan II and Sula Stelkur.

One day the Faroe Islands could become successful oil and gas producers, just like their neighbour to the east, the Shetlands, which has already joined the ranks of North Sea regions producing oil and gas. Whilst oil and gas fields east of Shetland have faced decline, exploration to the west of Shetland has delivered a series of new oil and gas fields which are extending the lifespan of Britain’s oil industry by decades. As a result, the massive oil and gas terminal at Shetland’s Sullum Voe is being upgraded and is expected to operate for yet another fifty years, perhaps processing and exporting Faroese oil and gas in the future.

Flogging an Argentinian ‘dead cow’ could be profitable

Lack of foreign investment hampers Argentina’s efforts to jump-start Vaca Muerta shale development. The discovery of excellent shale oil and gas in Latin America’s second biggest economy offers an opportunity to reverse the downward trend in conventional oil and gas output as well as to transform Argentina’s economy. Industry insiders suggest that Argentina’s shale formations are checking many of the right boxes despite its political risk, energy policies, and regulatory environment, which at first sight appear daunting to potential investors and the foreign energy majors.

American gas exports are likely to quadruple

It looks like that by 2020; the United States is likely to be a significant supplier of LNG to Asia and Europe. Currently United States is exporting an average of 555,000 barrels of LNG per day. The highest since records began in 1981. One of the most significant Asian customers of American gas products is China. The Chinese economy is importing a mix of gas refined products such as propane, butane and butane for a variety of purposes including home heating, chemical manufacturing and refrigeration.


Are Russia and the EU planning a “zombie” pipeline network?

The question being raised in Europe is that many of the new gas pipelines being planned by both Moscow and Brussels may not be required. See pages 17 to 20   also

Mozambique gas discoveries could double its GDP

Following a number of huge natural gas discoveries off the coast of Mozambique, Tanzania and Kenya, East Africa is experiencing a “gas rush” in which Mozambique is, potentially, the greatest beneficiary. Mozambique is on the cusp of a long economic boom driven by the recent discoveries of vast deposits of coal and natural gas, which have stimulated economic growth rates to 7.5% during 2012, according to African Economic Outlook. See pages 18 to 21 of magazine.   rles/docs/ora_2_2013_fina   l?mode=window

UK gas fracking: given government go-ahead

The British government has just given permission to proceed, after an 18-month suspension, for the resumption of exploration of unconventional gas by the energy company Cuadrilla, using the fracking process. Energy and Climate Change Secretary Edward Davey gave permission to proceed, subject to stringent new controls to mitigate possible seismic activity.


Exploring the future for shale

Shale gas has had a huge impact on the United States energy market. Nicholas Newman explores the potential challenges and opportunities for pipeline companies in this developing market.

Shale gas: Risks, Rewards and Repercussions

The arrival of shale gas in Europe raises both opportunities as well as issues for European governments and energy companies operating in the European Economic Area.…/features/ shale-gas-risks-rewards-and-repercussions.html

Forecasting the future of UK gas supplies

The arrival of shale gas in Europe raises both opportunities as well as issues for European governments and energy companies operating in the European Economic Area. uk/Forecasting-the-future-of-UK-gas-supplies  .html

Bright Future for Australia’s CSG

Bright future for Queensland’s CSG With Investment and expansion on the rise, the future is looking up … These are the Australia Pacific LNG Project, Gladstone Liquefied Natural gas … csg/bright  -future-for-queenslands-csg

Australia powers up

Australia’s vast land is a treasure house of conventional gas and coal seam gas reserves, which is rapidly transforming the country into a major world gas exporter. The success of Australia’s gas sector is due in part to the relative ease of access to enormous resources and a well-developed western type economy and legal system that has encouraged foreign investment and competition. It is not surprising that many of the world’s major energy companies, including Shell, BP, Total and Chevron, are making long-term commitments in Australian gas,

Japan’s natural disaster will boost demand for LNG imports.

The Japanese Tohoku-Chihou-Taiheiyo-Oki earthquake and tidal wave that overwhelmed the North East coast of Japan, hit the Japanese power sector hard. It has resulted in substantial damage to the country’s electricity generation and distribution networks, which has resulted in cities throughout the country experiencing rolling blackouts.’s-natural-disaster-will-boost-demand-for-LNG-imports.html

Investing in Indonesia’s oil and gas industry

Indonesian gas production is set to grow from 72bcm in 2009 to a peak of 89bcm by 2012, before slipping back to 87bcm by 2019, reports Indonesia’s Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources’s-oil-and-gas-industry.html

Europe’s gas glut!

Despite Europe already being flooded with cheap gas supplies, there are proposals from major LNG producers to increase gas deliveries to the EU. It is very likely that wholesale gas prices will not return to pre-recession prices for some time to come.’s-gas-glut!.html

Time for a Gas OPEC?

Should Europe take seriously talk of a gas OPEC or should it form its own?

‘Gas-Opec’: alarm bells for Europe

EU President Barroso calls for a common European energy policy, as Russian president Putin amongst others propose a gas cartel

Russian Ukraine Gas Wars

The recent gas dispute between Russia and the Ukraine has less to do with being a European problem and more to do with being a domestic one, between the member states of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).


The European Union currently imports 44% of its natural gas, with Russia, Norway and North Africa as its main suppliers. Europe is linked by natural gas pipelines to gas fields in neighbouring non EU states, though some gas is transported by Liquid Natural Gas tankers from the Middle East, West Africa and the Caribbean.

Preparing For A Gas Nightmare

How Europe is getting ready for another gas crisis!


Real shortages will appear in a few years when Gazprom has to fill two more pipelines (Nord and South Stream), yet it is unable to develop new fields due to lack of current investment.

Power Shift in Central Asia

China could take over as Turkmenistan’s leading customer. Since the start of 2009, China has started to import gas through the first phase of the west-east pipeline network, which will link up with other gas fields in the region, eventually supplying some 30bcm per year for 30 years.

Europe’s shale gas question

It has been suggested that gas from shale deposits will rival conventional sources in the US in a few years, yet the emergence of shale gas as a significant force is still very new. So is it possible that the story will be repeated in Europe?

  Natural Gas Markets in the Middle East and North Africa

Recent events in Libya and Bahrain have been of great concern to many foreign investors, operators and governments concerned with the potential threat of disruption of gas supplies. So far, for Europe, it is fortunate that gas imports from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region have not been affected significantly.

Indonesian Gas could run out soon

Gas could run out by 2030? However, Coal Seam Gas discoveries could be seen as the long-term solution. Gas Production to Peak in 2012?