What’s Behind Europe’s Skyrocketing Power Prices


Europe’s energy ambitions are clear: to shift to a low-carbon future by remaking its power generating and distribution systems. But the present situation is an expensive mess. A global supply crunch for natural gas, bottlenecks for renewable energy and wind speeds in the North Sea among the slowest in 20 years, idling turbines, have contributed to soaring electricity prices. As winter approaches, governments are preparing to intervene if needed in volatile energy markets to keep homes warm and factories running.

1. What’s the problem here?

Energy prices skyrocketed as economies emerge from the pandemic — boosting demand just as supplies are falling short. Coal plants have been shuttered, gas stockpiles are low and the continent’s increasing reliance on renewable sources of energy is exposing its vulnerability. Even with mild weather in September, gas and electricity prices were breaking records across the continent and in the U.K. Italy’s Ecological Transition Minister Roberto Cingolani said he expected power prices to increase by 40% in the third quarter. In the U.K., CF Industries Holdings Inc., a major fertilizer producer, shut two plants, and Norwegian ammonia manufacturer Yara International ASA curbed its European production because of high fuel costs, as the crunch started to hit industrial companies.

Tiếp tục đọc “What’s Behind Europe’s Skyrocketing Power Prices”

Asia’s oil refiners aren’t going away anytime soon


Predictions of peak oil and the impending demise of fossil fuels will hit Asian oil refiners especially hard. The region is home to three of the top four oil-guzzling nations, and more than a third of global crude processing capacity. Yet, Asian refiners are expanding at a breakneck pace, even building massive new plants designed to run for at least half a century.

What is going on?

After a century of powering the world’s vehicles, oil refiners are having to plan for an oil-free future in mobility as cars begin switching to batteries, ships burn natural gas, and innovation brings on other energy sources such as hydrogen. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. predicts oil demand for transportation will peak as early as 2026.

Yet, even as a slew of headlines announce oil major BP Plc selling its prized Alaskan fields or Royal Dutch Shell Plc pulling the plug on refineries from Louisiana to the Philippines, Asia’s big refineries are planning for a much longer transition. Chinese refining capacity has nearly tripled since the turn of the millennium, and the nation will end more than a century of U.S. dominancethis year. And China’s capacity will continue climbing – to about 20 million barrels a day by 2025, from 17.4 million barrels at the end of 2020. India’s processing is also rising rapidly and could jump by more than half to 8 million barrels a day in the same time.

Crude oil exports plunge as resource depletes

By Dat Nguyen   March 24, 2021 | 11:00 am GMT+7 vnexpressCrude oil exports plunge as resource depletesTam Dao 03 oil rig off Vietnam’s eastern coast. Photo by VnExpress/Quoc Huy.Vietnam’s crude oil export is plunging, partly because of depleting resources. An industrialist says the situation can only improve after new fields come online in several years.

Crude exports volume from January 1 to February 15 this year fell nearly 50 percent year-on-year to 354,700 tonnes, according to Vietnam Customs.

Most of Vietnam’s oil and gas fields have been harnessed for over 20 years ago and run their course, said Hoang Ngoc Trung, deputy director of Petrovietnam Exploration Production Corporation Ltd.

In the last five years, crude oil prices have been falling, which has affected investment in searching for new fields, he told the Tuoi Tre newspaper.

The corporation’s output was 3.8 million tonnes last year, down marginally from 2019, and the figure is set to fall another 10 percent this year.

However, Vietnam’s crude oil prices remain higher than the global average.

The global average price of Brent crude oil last year was $41.8 per barrel, but Vietnam sold them for $43.7, 4.5 percent higher.

In the first two months, Brent crude was $58.53 per barrel, compared to $59.94 percent in Vietnam.

Trung said exploitation volume is set to recover in the next two or three years with several new fields such as Dai Hung and White Lion coming online.Related News:

A Lesson from Physics on Oil Prices: Revisiting the Negative WTI Oil Price Episode

While the episode of negative WTI price is still being actively debated, its proper root cause is yet to be determined. This Comment contributes to the discussion and studies the event by modifying the theory of storage for an oil market with rigid operational infrastructure, where short-term supply and demand are price inelastic. We found that such pricing anomaly can be well characterized by a simple concept borrowed from the physics of extreme events.

The future prices are modelled as a financial derivative of the storage capacity. During normal market conditions, the spread between nearby futures contract is mostly determined by the carry trade and the cost of storage. However, if either inventory or the storage capacity is no longer available, the carry trade breaks down as the futures trader is unable to make or take the delivery of physical barrels. These events are akin to defaults in financial markets and prices leading to them are characterized by the financial squeeze.

We calibrate the model to inventory data at Cushing, Oklahoma and conclude that only a small fraction of the abnormal price move could be attributed to constraints on the storage capacity. The rest of the move was caused by the financial squeeze on long futures positions held against over-the-counter products. We detail the behavior of main market participants that led to negative prices. The Comment also points to several shortcomings of the recent CFTC report on this topic and suggests additional areas where a more granular look at the data could be helpful.

This comment looks at the announcement by the Danish government on 4 December to cancel the 8th offshore licensing round and all future rounds and to phase out all production of oil and gas by 2050. It describes the industry and political background to the announcement, including the ambitious legal target of a 70% reduction in GHG emissions by 2030 and climate neutrality by 2050, and the most recent official projections of offshore production. It concludes that it will shape operators’ investment and management of mature fields but its impact on Danish emissions and upstream production in 2030 and 2050 is likely to be much more modest than at first appears. However, if the reform galvanises the Danish authorities and investors to commit resources to the development of offshore COstorage in the period 2025-30, it may contribute significantly to Denmark’s climate objectives.

View full paper https://www.oxfordenergy.org/wpcms/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/A-Lesson-from-Physics-on-Negative-Oil-Prices.pdf

Vietnam Approves Pharos Energy’s Offshore Oil Project


OE Staff September 11, 2020

Armada TGT-1 FPSO - Image Credit: Pharos Energy

Armada TGT-1 FPSO – Image Credit: Pharos Energy

Pharos Energy said Friday it had received approval from the Prime Minister of Vietnam for the development plan of an offshore oil field in Vietnam.

Pharos, until recently known as Soco International, said that the approval of what is called the TGT Full Field Development Plan represented the “last stage of the required process.”

Pharos has previously said that the plan, which includes drilling of six producer wells, had been approved by all partners in the field, and was awaiting PM’s green light. The PM’s approval, announced Friday, follows the recently granted two-year TGT field license extension to December 7, 2026.

“Ordering of long-lead items can now proceed to enable the commencement of the drilling of six firm development wells contained in the FFDP in Q4 2021 as planned,” Pharos Energy said.

This infill-drilling program is targeted to increase gross production at TGT field off Vietnam from the current levels of around 15,000 boepd to around 20,000 boepd in 2022.
Credit: Pharos EnergyEd Story, President, and Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are pleased to have received approval from the Prime Minister of Vietnam for the TGT Full Field Development Plan. This final approval enables us to put plans in place to commence the drilling of the six new producer wells on TGT starting in Q4 2021, allowing us to realize further resources in the TGT field.” Tiếp tục đọc “Vietnam Approves Pharos Energy’s Offshore Oil Project”

Big Oil Took a Big Hit from the Coronavirus, Earnings Reports Show


Companies report billions in losses and decreased value of assets, but still plan to expand oil and gas production going forward.

Hydrogen and decarbonisation of gas: false dawn or silver bullet?

This Insight continues the OIES series considering the future of gas. The clear message from previous papers is that on the (increasingly certain) assumption that governments in major European gas markets remain committed to decarbonisation targets, the existing natural gas industry is under threat. It is therefore important to develop a decarbonisation narrative leading to a low- or zero-carbon gas implementation plan.

Previous papers have considered potential pathways for gas to decarbonise, specifically considering biogas and biomethane , and power-to-gas (electrolysis) . This paper goes on to consider the potential for production, transport and use of hydrogen in the decarbonising energy system. Previous papers predominately focused on Europe, which has been leading the way in decarbonisation. Hydrogen is now being considered more widely in various countries around the world, so this paper reflects that wider geographical coverage. Tiếp tục đọc “Hydrogen and decarbonisation of gas: false dawn or silver bullet?”

ExxonMobil petroleum projects in central Vietnam ongoing as planned

By Viet Anh   September 12, 2019 | 08:43 pm GMT+7

ExxonMobil petroleum projects in central Vietnam ongoing as planned
Ca Voi Xanh gas field is 88 kilometers to the east of central Vietnam shore. Graphics by Exxon Mobil.

Petroleum projects being executed jointly by PetroVietnam (PVN) and America’s ExxonMobil in central Vietnam are proceeding as scheduled.

“The Vietnam Oil and Gas Group (PVN) has said that petroleum projects in central Vietnam, including projects at sea and on land, are being carried out as planned by PVN, Petrovietnam Exploration Production Corporation (PVEP) and ExxonMobil,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang said at a press meeting Thursday.

Tiếp tục đọc “ExxonMobil petroleum projects in central Vietnam ongoing as planned”

Vietnam takes a stand in the South China Sea

Vietnam takes a stand in the South China Sea
A Vietnamese soldier stands watch overlooking the South China Sea. Photo: Facebook

After buckling in previous confrontations, Vietnam is finally facing down Chinese expansionism in its oil and gas-rich waters

Normally, Vietnam would have backed down. In July 2017 and March 2018, when China reportedly threatened military action if Vietnam did not stop oil exploration in contested areas of the South China Sea, Vietnam blinked and withdrew its vessels.

Last year, Vietnam scrapped a US$200 million oil and gas development project with Spanish energy giant Repsol situated within its own exclusive economic zone (EEZ) due to Chinese pressure. However, when a Chinese survey ship and coastguard vessels sailed last month to the contested oil-rich Vanguard Bank, which also lies well within Vietnam’s southeastern EEZ, Hanoi stood its ground. Tiếp tục đọc “Vietnam takes a stand in the South China Sea”

Diễn biến tại Bãi Tư Chính và lô 06-01 qua góc nhìn Luật quốc tế

Tác giả: Phạm Ngọc Minh Trang, nghiencuuquocte.org

Hôm 19/7, người phát ngôn Bộ Ngoại giao Việt Nam Lê Thị Thu Hằng đã cho công luận biết rằng nhóm tàu khảo sát Hải Dương 8 của Trung Quốc đã vi phạm vùng đặc quyền kinh tế và thềm lục địa Việt Nam ở khu vực phía nam Biển Đông.

“Đây là vùng biển hoàn toàn của Việt Nam, được xác định theo đúng các quy định của Công ước của Liên Hợp Quốc về Luật Biển 1982 mà Việt Nam và Trung Quốc đều là thành viên,” bà Thu Hằng phát biểu, theo truyền thông Việt Nam. Tiếp tục đọc “Diễn biến tại Bãi Tư Chính và lô 06-01 qua góc nhìn Luật quốc tế”

China Risks Flare-Up Over Malaysian, Vietnamese Gas Resources

July 16, 2019
July 16, 2019  |  AMTI Brief

China Risks Flare-Up Over Malaysian, Vietnamese Gas Resources

Twice in the last six weeks, the same China Coast Guard (CCG) vessel has harassed oil and gas operations by its neighbors in contested waters on opposite sides of the South China Sea. A Chinese state-owned vessel, meanwhile, has been undertaking a seismic survey of oil and gas blocks off the Vietnamese coast. This risks a confrontation between the contingent of CCG and militia boats escorting the survey ship and a group of Vietnamese vessels dispatched to the area. The situation also reveals a double-standard: Beijing appears to be committed to preventing new unilateral oil and gas activities by its neighbors anywhere in the “nine-dash line,” which demarcates its claims in the South China Sea, even as it explores and exploits hydrocarbons in contested waters. Tiếp tục đọc “China Risks Flare-Up Over Malaysian, Vietnamese Gas Resources”

Biển Đông: Cuộc chơi và luật chơi của ai?

  • 19.05.2018, 14:53

TTCT – Vụ một nhóm du khách Trung Quốc nhập cảnh vào Cam Ranh với áo thun in hình “lưỡi bò” trên lưng chỉ là một trong vô vàn âm mưu thôn tính lớn nhỏ.

Biển Đông: Cuộc chơi và luật chơi của ai?
Máy bay vận tải quân sự Thiểm Tây Y-8 của Trung Quốc trên đá Subi, ảnh công bố ngày 28-4. Ảnh: AMTI

Hôm thứ hai 14-5, Hãng thời trang GAP đã xin lỗi Bắc Kinh vì bán ra những áo thun in bản đồ Trung Quốc mà không thể hiện trên đó Đài Loan, Nam Tây Tạng và biển Nam Hải (cách Trung Quốc gọi Biển Đông). Hãng GAP cam kết trong một thông báo trên Hoàn Cầu Thời Báo rằng họ “tôn trọng chủ quyền và sự vẹn toàn lãnh thổ của Trung Quốc”.

Báo mạng chuyên về kinh tế – tài chính Business Insider của Mỹ, phát hành bằng 8 thứ tiếng Anh, Ba Lan, Đức, Hà Lan, Nhật, Pháp, Hoa, Ý, còn “lập công” khi cho biết “đến tối thứ hai, Business Insider vẫn tìm thấy áo thun gây tranh cãi của Hãng GAP được bán” ngoài thị trường. Vụ việc đó, cùng vụ mặc áo thun in hình “lưỡi bò” ở Việt Nam, thật điển hình cho “cuộc chơi” cùng “luật chơi” ở Biển Đông lúc này. Tiếp tục đọc “Biển Đông: Cuộc chơi và luật chơi của ai?”

China’s intimidation in the South China Sea poses an economic threat to Vietnam

Author: Bill Hayton, Chatham HouseVietnam has lost another sea battle: a US$200 million oil and gas development project — known as the ‘Red Emperor’ development — off Vietnam’s southeast coast has been suspended, possibly cancelled. Hanoi’s hopes of a hydrocarbon boost to its stretched government budget have been dashed. And the culprit is Vietnam’s ‘good neighbour, good comrade and good friend’ to the north.

A Chinese Coast Guard vessel passes near the Chinese oil rig, Haiyang Shi You 981 in the South China Sea, 13 June 2014 (Photo: Reuters/Nguyen Minh).

The project, many years in the making, was a joint venture between Repsol of Spain, Mubadala of Abu Dhabi and the state-owned energy company PetroVietnam. Commercial drilling was due to begin this April and oil and gas were expected to flow for at least 10 years. A specialised platform built in the port of Vung Tau lies idle, as do the contracted drilling rig and storage tanker. Tiếp tục đọc “China’s intimidation in the South China Sea poses an economic threat to Vietnam”