U.S. GAS EXPORTS
BLOOMBERG - America's trade imbalance just got a wee bit smaller. The U.S. has now become a net exporter of natural gas on an annual basis for the first time since at least 1957.
Net exports averaged about 0.4 billion cubic feet per day last year, flipping from net inflows of 1.8 billion in 2016, according to Victoria Zaretskaya, a Washington-based analyst for the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The numbers will be officially released by the agency in a report Thursday, she said.
A "significant projected increase" in natural gas sent by pipeline to Mexico and a growing number of liquefied natural gas shipments to the rest of the world should guarantee the trend moving forward, Zaretskaya said by email on Wednesday.
Now the U.S. has a single LNG export facility operating, Cheniere Energy Inc.'s Sabine Pass terminal in Louisiana. Two others are slated to start this year.
"Never before has the global LNG market had such significant flexible LNG volumes as the volumes coming online in the next three years, mostly from the U.S., which will lead to a fundamental shift in how LNG is marketed and traded globally," Zaretskaya said.
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WNA - Apart from adding capacity, utilisation of existing plants has improved markedly since 2000. In the 1990s capacity factors averaged around 60%, but they have steadily improved since and in 2010, 2011 and 2014 were above 81%. Balakovo was the best plant in 2011 with 92.5%, and again in 2014 with 85.1%.
WNA - India has a flourishing and largely indigenous nuclear power programme and expects to have 14.6 GWe nuclear capacity on line by 2024 and 63 GWe by 2032. It aims to supply 25% of electricity from nuclear power by 2050.
WNA - Mainland China has 38 nuclear power reactors in operation, about 20 under construction, and more about to start construction. The reactors under construction include some of the world's most advanced, to give a 70% increase of nuclear capacity to 58 GWe by 2020-21. Plans are for up to 150 GWe by 2030, and much more by 2050.
PLATTS - "The domestic uranium mining industry needs US government assistance to survive the foreign onslaught -- particularly from Russia and Kazakhstan -- that has undermined the US uranium industry while new players -- particularly China -- will soon make the situation worse," Energy Fuels and Ur-Energy said in a petition they jointly filed with the department.