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2015-11-18 19:30:00

U.S. GAS TO EUROPE

U.S. GAS TO EUROPE

The first export of U.S. gas to Europe will head for Lithuania, two industry sources say, a gesture to the Baltic states, reliant on Russia for supply, and the likely first shot in a price war over market share in Moscow's backyard.

The February delivery will be of U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) transported by sea to custom built terminals, challenging Russia's land locked pipelines, as producers turn from the wilting Asian market to Europe.

Europe has attained strategic importance for the United States, where companies that have already invested $60 billion in building four giant export schemes are offered a lifeline by the continent's deep markets and dozens of under-used import terminals.

Talks are ongoing on the inaugural U.S. shipment, though Lithuania's state-run Lietuvos Energija wants a discount to Russian piped deliveries, one source said.

With U.S. exports set to top 60 million tonnes/year in 2019, EU regulators see LNG as the solution to rising Russian market dominance as they challenge the legality of Russia's Gazprom's pipeline strategy.

The European Commission says it will also scrutinise Gazprom's planned Nord Stream pipeline expansion to Germany which is part of the company's plan to boost European sales by offering gas direct into freely-traded markets.

But for all the Commission's LNG enthusiasm, analysts and utility sources are split over how much U.S. gas will reach Europe.

"If you have massive U.S. LNG building up in 2017 and 2018, new Australian supply and Qatar - this means lots of LNG into Europe, at that point Russia will have to fight," senior gas analyst Thierry Bros of Societe Generale said.

The question is whether Gazprom will defend market share by upping output and lowering prices or by restraining production, as it did during the last gas market glut in 2008-2009, and waiting for prices to recover, Stephen O'Rourke, director of gas research at Wood Mackenzie, said.

He said Gazprom would need to bring spot gas prices below $4 per million British thermal units (mmBtu), versus around $5.65 per mmBtu now, to shut Europe off to U.S. imports - a level Goldman Sachs expects could be reached by 2018/2019.

Ukraine, which could lose its role as the main transit route to the EU if Gazprom pulls off its Nord Stream expansion to Germany, says Gazprom is well-placed to fight off rivals.

Western sanctions against Moscow over its annexation of Crimea and war in eastern Ukraine may delay but will not thwart Russian gas expansion in Europe, Ukraine's grid operator Naftogaz Ukrainy said in a letter, seen by Reuters, to the European Commission.

Gazprom declined to comment on strategy.

Flattered by a weak rouble, its production costs have shrunk while profits on dollar-denominated sales of gas to Europe have soared, making the producer more resilient to lower prices.

It is also sitting on huge new reserves and has spare pipeline capacity with which to boost exports.

But faced with more U.S. gas as well as low-cost Qatari LNG, a report by the Russian Academy of Sciences says "price dumping" will erode Gazprom revenues.

U.S. LNG's edge has already been blunted by plunging oil prices that make new Australian supply preferable to Asian buyers, who are gradually offloading their U.S. commitments in Europe.

Even if Russian gas retains its sway in Europe, the coming of U.S. LNG has already changed behaviour.

Gazprom held its first public auction for spot gas supplies in October, a U-turn on previous policy built around sticking with long-term deals.

It now plans to launch gas auctions next year for the Baltic region - which happens to be the first landing point of new U.S. LNG.

reuters.com

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Tags: USA, EUROPE, RUSSIA, GAS, LNG, GAZPROM
U.S. GAS TO EUROPE September, 20, 09:05:00

OIL PRICE: ABOVE $55 YET

U.S. GAS TO EUROPE September, 20, 09:00:00

GAS PRICES UP TO $3.146

U.S. GAS TO EUROPE September, 20, 08:55:00

ЦЕНА URALS: $51,81591

U.S. GAS TO EUROPE September, 20, 08:50:00

U.S. OIL + 79 TBD, GAS + 788 MCFD

U.S. GAS TO EUROPE September, 20, 08:45:00

RENEWABLE'S FUTURE

U.S. GAS TO EUROPE September, 20, 08:40:00

TOTAL BUYS RENEWABLE

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Chronicle:

U.S. GAS TO EUROPE
September, 20, 08:35:00

BP - AZERBAIJAN OIL DEAL

BP and its partners in Azerbaijan's giant ACG oil production complex agreed Thursday to extend the production sharing contract by 25 years to 2049 and to increase the stake of state-owned SOCAR, reducing the size of their own shares.

U.S. GAS TO EUROPE
September, 20, 08:30:00

U.S. DEFICIT UP TO $123.1 BLN

The U.S. current-account deficit increased to $123.1 billion (preliminary) in the second quarter of 2017 from $113.5 billion (revised) in the first quarter of 2017, according to statistics released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). The deficit increased to 2.6 percent of current-dollar gross domestic product (GDP) from 2.4 percent in the first quarter.

U.S. GAS TO EUROPE
September, 18, 12:35:00

OIL PRICE: ABOVE $55

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were trading up 41 cents, or 0.8 percent, at $50.30 by 0852 GMT, near the three-month high of $50.50 it reached last Thursday. Brent crude futures LCOc1, the benchmark for oil prices outside the United States, were at $55.91 a barrel, up 29 cents, and also not far from the near five-month high of $55.99 touched on Thursday.

U.S. GAS TO EUROPE
September, 18, 12:30:00

RUSSIA - CHINA - VENEZUELA OIL

“The principal risk regarding Russian and Chinese activities in Venezuela in the near term is that they will exploit the unfolding crisis, including the effect of US sanctions, to deepen their control over Venezuela’s resources, and their [financial] leverage over the country as an anti-US political and military partner,” observed R. Evan Ellis, a senior associate in the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ Americas Program.

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