China's total oil imports rose about 20 percent on year to the highest ever on a daily basis in February, when near 10-year low global oil prices drove buying from a group of new importers and for state and commercial stockpiling.
Exploiting its proximity to northern Asia and the collapse of the rouble against the U.S. dollar, Russia has become the fastest growing oil supplier to Asia at a time when Middle East exporters are distracted by internal strife and competition from U.S. shale producers.
Looking at the outcome of the sensitivities Mr Tomnay offers in closing: “Russia's export strategy will be a key determinant of US LNG export capacity utilisation, but the Russian pursuit of European market share to drive out US LNG from Europe seems either uneconomic and/or impractical under different external conditions. Instead other factors such as the price of US gas, oil and European coal prices will likely be greater determinants of US LNG export capacity utilisation. Subject to these factors alone, average utilisation of US LNG export capacity between 2017-20 could vary from 54-100%. For US LNG exporters, the best thing to happen would be for global coal prices to rise, or for US gas prices to stay low."
The suppliers were chosen after a tender award. The tender covers 2,500 km of large-diameter pipes with a total weight of roughly 2.2mn metric tons. In an announcement on March 11, the consortium said that it had chosen three firms for the supply: Germany-based Europipe for 40% of the required steel pipes; Russia's United Metallurgical Company (OMK) for 33%; and Russian firm Chelyabinsk Pipe-Rolling Plant (Chelpipe) for the remaining 27%.
The United States is currently a net importer of natural gas, and gross imports represented nearly 10% of total supply in 2015, based on data through November. The United States imported 7.5 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of natural gas, mostly from Canada by pipeline, and exported 4.8 Bcf/d, mostly to Mexico by pipeline. For years, Alaska has exported LNG, mostly to Pacific Rim countries, but these volumes have been small. In addition to the Sabine Pass terminal that was the source of last week's LNG shipment, four other LNG export terminals are currently under construction.
Iran is working to regain market share after sanctions relief and exports had already risen by 500,000 bpd in February, Mohsen Ghamsari, director of international affairs at National Iranian Oil Co (NIOC), told Reuters on Tuesday.
Citing his support for development of a competitive natural gas market in Europe, Norway's minister of petroleum and energy, Tord Lien, said a well functioning market in Europe is crucial for the maximisation of Norwegian assets. “Gas is there if Europe needs it.”
Following the path started in 2015, U.S. commercial crude oil inventories have continued to build in early 2016 and are nearing record highs.
“Russia will have to struggle for its market share one way or another,” said Andrey Polischuk, an oil and gas analyst at Raiffeisenbank AO in Moscow. Gazprom is gaining market muscle due to low oil now but may need changes to keep the price in line with competitors when crude rebounds, he said.
LNG cannot reach every corner of Europe: there may be a lot of under-used capacity in import terminals in the Iberian peninsula but these are not useful for security of supply in mainland Europe except where they have reloading facilities. There is very little transport capacity overland into France.
Total imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) by Japan, South Korea, and China, the three largest global LNG importers, all located in North Asia, declined by an average of 1.0 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) (5%) in 2015.
India's oil imports from Saudi Arabia and Iraq hit the highest in more than a decade last month as OPEC's top producers gained at the expense of Latin American crudes, a validation of the OPEC policy of maintaining output and fighting for market share.
Such a strategy may be economically rational for Gazprom: already-low prices in the European gas market mean it could relatively easily push prices to a level at which it would be unprofitable to ship LNG from the US — and in doing so defend its market share in a region which accounts for the bulk of its profits.
The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 125.18 points, or 0.8 percent, to 16,069.64. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index picked up 10.41 points, or 0.6 percent, to 1,893.36. The Nasdaq composite index rose 38.51 points, or 0.9 percent, to 4,506.68. U.S. crude rose 92 cents, or 2.8 percent, to $33.22 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils, gained 79 cents, or 2.4 percent, to $33.89.
Currently Greece imports gas from Gazprom at a price of between $4.6 and 4.7 /mn Btu, Kitsakos said; from Turkey's Botas at $5.9/mn Btu; and from Algeria's Sonatrach at $6.5/mn Btu. Gas at the Dutch TTF is around $6/mn Btu. However, the price Cheniere will ask for gas is rumoured to be around $7/mn Btu.