Here is what’s going on in the natural gas industry around the world:
State−run oil and natural gas explorer ONGC will next month tie up with U.S. energy firm ConocoPhillips for exploration of shale gas in India.
ONGC and ConocoPhillips have signed an MoU to explore and develop shale gas resources in India, North America and elsewhere.
In the first phase of exploration, ONGC plans to explore Damodar, Cambay, Krishna−Godavari and Cauvery basins.
ONGC has already drilled four exploratory wells in its Damodar Basin blocks, which have a potential of about 35 trillion cubic feet of shale gas.
The oil and gas producer has 33 deep water blocks on both coasts, of which 29 are in the east coast. The company also has a number of discoveries on the east coast in the Krishna Godavari and Mahanadi basins.
Gazprom clinched a long-term deal on Monday to export natural gas to private companies in Turkey, securing a growing market for the Russian gas export monopoly as it faces declines from its core consumers in the European Union.
Turkey’s energy market regulatory authority gave private energy companies Akfel, Bosphorus and Kibar licences to import gas from Russia’s Western Line over 30 years.
It also granted the Bati Hatti natural gas company a licence to import gas from the same pipeline for 23 years.
The four companies had previously agreed with Gazprom to import 6 bcm of natural gas a year on the Western line, which runs through Ukraine, Romania and Bulgaria to Turkey, with an annual capacity of 14 bcm.
There has been a one-year impasse in gas trade between Gazprom and Turkish companies after Turkey’s state gas company Botas did not renew an expiring 25-year contract at the end of 2011 due to a pricing dispute. Business has continued in the meantime only on a short-term basis.
Turkey, which is struggling to diversify its gas suppliers, is largely dependent on the fuel because it produces the majority of its electricity via natural gas.
Qatar is positioning itself to sell liquefied natural gas to Egypt as it uses its financial firepower to cement its ties with Egypt’s new Islamist leadership in a time of unprecedented economic instability.
The world’s biggest exporter of LNG signed a joint venture with Egyptian private equity firm Citadel Capital on Thursday to build a floating LNG storage facility and re-gasification unit to deliver natural gas to Egypt.
Oil-rich Gulf states such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have pledged funds as they seek to define their new relationships with Cairo but Doha is taking a more proactive approach, investing directly in Egypt’s energy sector and financial services.
Unlike its Gulf neighbours, who are more suspicious of the Muslim Brotherhood, Qatar has supported Egypt’s new order, hosting members of the group in Doha.
Qatar’s most recent announcement preceded the weekend’s large protests after Egypt’s president Mohamed Morsi broadened his political powers. The renewed political unrest wiped $5bn off the Egyptian stock market on Sunday.
Natural-gas extraction from shale is possible without destroying the environment, French Industry Minister Arnaud Montebourg said today, seeking to circumvent a presidential pledge to retain a ban on hydraulic fracturing.
Energy explorers in France, which with Poland is deemed by the International Energy Agency to have the greatest potential for recoverable shale gas in Europe, are pushing for a reversal of the ban on fracturing, or fracking. Opponents of the technique, which blasts a sand and chemical solution into rock to release gas, claim it contaminates underground water supply.
France is about to begin a national energy debate about President Francois Hollande’s plan to lower dependence on atomic energy. He has already pledged to shut the country’s oldest nuclear reactor at Fessenheim at the end of 2016.
The Senate this month requested a report on alternatives to fracking that may “allow the resources to be better evaluated”and developed under strict guidelines. The ban on fracking, a method widely used in the U.S., was passed last year by lawmakers before presidential and parliamentary elections.
Energy explorers have since lobbied the government to allow research to quantify shale reserves in the hope that prospects for job creation and cheaper energy would help lift the ban. While Montebourg has spoken favorably about shale, Energy Minister Delphine Batho has said the fracking ban should stand.