December 2020, Vol. 247, No. 12

Global News

Global News December 2020

First LNG Trains Delivered to Calcasieu Pass from Italy 

Venture Global LNG moved a step closer to startup of its Calcasieu Pass LNG export facility with Baker Hughes’ delivery of the first two liquefaction trains to the project site in Cameron Parish, La.  

The two midscale, modular liquefaction trains and mixed refrigerant compressor skids were shipped to Louisiana from Baker Hughes’s manufacturing facility in Avenza, Italy more than two months ahead of the contractual delivery date, Venture Global said.  

Each train, delivered complete and ready to install, was successfully unloaded, transported onto the Calcasieu Pass site and positioned on its foundations in less than a day. The first and second of the project’s 18 identical trains will be connected to their respective Chart brazed aluminum heat exchangers, or cold boxes, eight of which are already installed on site. 

The delivery of the highly optimized 0.6 MTPA LNG trains, fabricated in factories, less than 15 months after the project’s final investment decision represents not only a major project milestone but also a step-change in LNG construction,” Venture Global said. 

Baker Hughes spokesperson Nicolas Tures said the early delivery of the two trains reflects the company’s long heritage of LNG innovation, citing a reduction in installation time and costs of up to 30%. 

“The completion and delivery of our first two liquefaction modules demonstrates the first-class execution and collaboration inherent in our long-term relationship with Baker Hughes,” Venture Global LNG executive co-chairman Bob Pender said.  

Despite the effects of COVID-19 and multiple Gulf Coast hurricanes, we will now begin installing these trains ahead of the contracted schedule,” Pender added.  “This is a leap forward in LNG infrastructure development.” 

Judge Dismisses Defamation Claim by Dakota Access Protester 

A federal judge dismissed part of a lawsuit by a New York City woman who was injured in an explosion while protesting the Dakota Access oil pipeline in North Dakota four years ago.  

Sophia Wilansky, who was 21 at the time suffered an arm injury in a violent November 2016 clash between protesters and police during the unsuccessful months-long protest of the pipeline in southern North Dakota.  

Protesters allege the blast was caused by a concussion grenade thrown by officers, but law enforcement said it was caused by a pro- pane canister that protesters rigged to explode.  

Wilansky’s lawsuit filed two years ago also seeks millions of dollars for alleged excessive force, assault, negligence and emotional distress. Those parts of the law- suit are still pending.  

The court sided with government attorneys who argued statements about news events released to the public by law officers as part of their official duties are entitled to immunity.  

Energy Transfer Sues North Dakota for Return of Documents 

Dallas-based Energy Transfer and its Dakota Access subsidiary have filed a lawsuit seeking the return of thousands of documents held by North Dakota, saying the disclosure of those records could present a security risk.  

The lawsuit says that the state recently provided some 16,000 “confidential, proprietary, and privileged documents” to an unspecified third party under an open records request, according to a report in the Bismarck Tribune newspaper. Disclosure of such private information “puts the pipelineplaintiffs’ employees, and the citizens of North Dakota at risk,” the lawsuit contends. 

The lawsuit filed in mid-October names the North Dakota Private Investigative and Security Board and TigerSwan, the North Carolina-based company that handled security for the pipeline during protests over its construction. 

In September, the board and TigerSwan settled a two-year-long battle over whether the company operated illegally in North Dakota while the pipeline was under construction in 2016 and 2017. Energy Transfer’s lawsuit seeks the return of the documents that TigerSwan provided to the board in that dispute. 

Canada Opens Oil Taps In Late 2020 

Canadian crude producers are churning out extra barrels to finish their hardest year in decades on a higher note, after Alberta's government lifted restrictions and as demand for heavy oil improved. 

Producers cut 972,000 barrels per day (bpd) in spring when prices set new lows, dropping production to about 4 million bpd. They have since restored all but 270,000 bpd, according to the Canada Energy Regulator. 

Cenovus Energy is one of the Canadian producers that said it was likely to raise production this month, with volume depending on prices, and CEO Alex Pourbaix said he expected rivals to re-start their curtailed capacity, as well. 

"We're going to see a significant amount of that come back over the next few months," Pourbaix told Reuters. 

Explosion at Thai PTT Gas Line Kills Three, Injures 28 

Three people were killed and 28 injured in an explosion on a Thai PTT PCL gas transmission line in Samut Prakan province, southeast of Bangkok, the company said. 

"PTT joined local rescue teams to bring the wounded to the hospital," PTT said in a statement. 

Video from the scene showed flames leaping dozens of meters into the air and a large cloud of smoke hanging high above the facility. The charred remains of houses and cars can also be seen. 

PTT said the pipeline was shut down while the fire was brought under control and service to industrial customers and power plants was restored soon after. 

IEA Raises 2020 Gas Demand Forecast, Still Expects Record Fall 

The International Energy Agency (IEA) nudged up its global gas demand forecast for this year, but still sees the biggest fall on record due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.  

In its updated forecast, the Paris-based agency said it expectgas demand to drop by 3% year-on-year, or 120 Bcm, to 3,886 Bcm. In June, it had forecast a 4%, or 150 Bcm, fall. 

"Global gas demand has been progressively recovering since June, driven mainly by emerging markets," IEA director Fatih Birol said in a statement, after the agency published its "Global Gas Security Review 2020". 

However, he warned against assuming a return to "business as usual, as the current crisis could have long-lasting repercussions." 

IEA currently expects demand to rebound by 3% next year but warned that the resurgence of COVID-19 cases and the prospect of a prolonged pandemic clouded the outlook for 2021. 

Trans Mountain Agrees to Reroute Pipeline Around Indigenous Area 

The Trans Mountain pipeline has agreed to reroute a portion of its expansion project around an indigenous area, according to a filing with Canadian energy regulators.  

The company filed a revised plan with the Canada Energy Regulator (CER) detailing a new route, which would include adding about 2 more miles of pipeline to avoid the area.  

The original route would have crossed an area with an underground aquifer that is used by the Coldwater Indian Band, which joined other tribes in challenging the initial expansion plan filed in 2013 over environmental concerns. Trans Mountain was ordered to conduct additional environmental studies on the proposed route and said that, in doing so, found a new route that was technically feasible and unopposed by the Coldwater Community. 

Trans Mountain is tripling the capacity of the current crude oil pipeline to 890,000 bpd by adding a twin to the existing 715-mile pipe. It expects to have the expansion in service by December 2022. 

Russian Oil Companies Settle Dirty Oil Dispute with Total 

Russian oil pipeline monopoly Transneft and producer Rosneft have reached a settlement with Total over dirty oil supplies to the French company's Leune refinery in Germany, Transneft said. 

Up to 5 million tonnes of Russian oil en route to central Europe via the Druzhba pipeline were found to be contaminated last year. Total declared a force majeure in June 2019 on the production of jet fuel at its Leuna refinery in Germany following the supply of contaminated crude from Russia. 

Transneft previously said it would pay no more than $15 per barrel for the contamination, but terms of the settlement agreement were not disclosed. Transneft has already compensated Hungary's MOL and all the Kazakh companies affected by crude oil contamination in its pipelines.  

Firm Led by Former Alaska Governor Seeks to Take over LNG Project 

Former Alaska Governor Bill Walker said he was a founding member of Alaska Gasline & LNG LLC (AGLNG) that wants to take over the state's Alaska liquefied natural gas (LNG) export project and complete it by March 2028. 

The Alaska Gasline Development Corp (AGDC) is developing the LNG project, which includes an 807-mile (1,300-km) pipeline from the North Slope to a liquefaction plant in Nikiski on the Kenai Peninsula. 

AGLNG, which also includes former AGDC President Keith Meyer, said that AGDC has approved a plan to transfer the project to a private entity to be selected by the end of 2020, with the transition to be completed by June 2021. 

The state agreed in 2016, when Walker was governor, to take over the LNG project from North Slope oil producers. AGLNG said AGDC received 14 non-binding letters of interest in the project from Asian companies, including Tokyo Gas Co Ltd. 

Michigan Governor Seeks Shutdown of Great Lakes Oil Pipeline 

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer took legal action last month to shut down a pipeline that carries oil beneath a channel that links two of the Great Lakesnotifying Enbridge that it was revoking an easement granted in 1953 to extend a roughly 4-mile (6.4-kilometer) section of the pipeline through the Straits of Mackinac.  

The revocation was to take effect within 180 days, which would require that Enbridge stop the flow of oil through Line 5 pipeline by May 2021. Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said she filed a lawsuit to carry out Whitmer's decision and shut down the line 

Enbridge reached an agreement with then-Gov. Rick Snyder, a Republican, in 2018 to replace the underwater segment with a new pipe that would be housed in a tunnel to be drilled through bedrock beneath the Straits of Mackinac. 

The company is seeking state and federal permits for the project, which is not affected by Whitmer's shutdown order regarding the existing pipeline.  Enbridge says the existing underwater segment operates safely and has never leaked. 

Nord Stream 2 Sanctions Included in U.S. Defense Bill 

Sanctions that could hinder one of Moscow's most important projects in Europe, the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline, have been included in the annual U.S. defense policy bill. 

The sanctions in the compromise National Defense Authorization Act between lawmakers in the House and Senate would penalize companies facilitating the construction of the pipeline, including ships helping operations to lay pipelines or moving rock formations on the sea bed. 

The sanctions also target companies providing insurance or secondary insurance for its construction and certification for the pipeline in Denmark. The bill would become law only after being passed by both chambers in Congress and signed by the President. 

The $11 billion Nord Stream 2, led by Russia's state energy company Gazprom, would double its existing pipeline capacity to take gas undersea to Europe via Germany. It would bypass Ukraine, which depends on lucrative transit fees. 

Plans for LNG Terminal at German Port Being Reconsidered 

A German company said it is re-evaluating plans for a liquefied natural gas terminal in the North Sea port of Wilhelmshaven after failing to receive sufficient commitments from potential customers. 

Plans are being pursued for four LNG terminals in Germany, including Wilhelmshaven. But Uniper, the lead company on the Wilhelmshaven project, said that it will be re-evaluated “because of market players’ reluctance to make binding bookings for import capacities at the planned terminal in the current circumstances.” 

It said in a statement that the procedure for gauging market interest ended “without a sufficient response.” Numerous market players “expressed general interest,” but too few made binding commitments, it added. 

Gulf Energy Information Introduces Hydrogen Data with New Platform 

Gulf Energy Information has launched Global Energy Infrastructure (GEI), a comprehensive new dataset covering projects across the energy industry – the only commercially available hydrogen dataset covering the industry in detail. 

The service equips subscribers with detailed project data for key industry segments, including hydrogen, renewable energy, downstream, midstream, and LNG. With researchers based in Asia, Europe and North America, the service also covers the latest project news in an easy-to-digest, accessible format. 

GEI’s hydrogen data includes details on more than 1,300 locations throughout the globe and consists of both large-scale projects and downstream hydrogen utilization. The service will cover Green, Blue Brown, Grey, Yellow, and Turquoise along with designations for transportation, industry, biomass, and research.  

For more information about GEI visit 


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