Here is what’s going on in the natural gas industry around the world:
Companies examining the energy potential in Lebanon are eager for the robust showing at a February natural gas auction, an executive said.
Lebanon is to have its first natural gas tenders next month. The Daily Star newspaper reports at least 40 international oil and natural gas companies are expected to take part in the auction.
“I think February is a very reasonable timing and oil companies are quite happy that Lebanon has finally decided to proceed with gas extraction projects,” David Rowlands, chief executive officer at energy company Spectrum, told the newspaper.
Spectrum said it has already carried out seismic surveys off the southern Lebanese coast to come up with a reserve estimate of 25 trillion cubic feet in an area encompassing 1,100 square miles.
Rowlands said Spectrum aims to conduct more surveys onshore within the next year. First gas from Lebanon is expected by 2017.
Roudi Baroudi, the top executive for the Lebanese Energy Council, told the newspaper that any company seeking to lay foundations in the country would need to invest at least $300 million for offshore development.
Two years ago when the Egyptian government began fully implementing taxis run on natural gas, there was much praise and fanfare. Air pollution was at monumental levels in the Egyptian capital Cairo and something was needed to curtail the growing problem that was leading to health hazards, including a dramatic rise in cases of asthma among young adults. While the country’s burgeoning taxis have largely made the switch to natural gas, congestion and poor maintenance continues to see air pollution one of the biggest problems facing everyday Egyptians.
In a report by the environment ministry in March 2009, Cairo is over 100 times more polluted than New York City. Today, it is estimated by the ministry of health that over 25,000 people die annually in Cairo from diseases related to air pollution.
The ambitious project to clean up the country’s polluted air, crowded streets and aging vehicles that contribute greatly to the dirtying of air began all the way back in 2008 with the Road Regulations Bill – which was passed by Parliament in September 2008, but did not go into full effect until January 2010. Still, it was not until late that year that older cars were supposedly forced off the road. Today, they are returning again to the streets as regulators are non-existent as Egypt moves forward in the post-revolution atmosphere, with politics trumping environmental concerns.
The government had offered loans for the drivers and installed a natural gas container in the trunk of every white taxi free of charge, but that process has stalled and has largely been forgotten since February 2011, when Hosni Mubarak was ousted from power.
Indonesia last year approved 47 proposals for the development of oil and gas blocks, from which it is likely to receive $18.9 billion in revenue, a government agency said.
The proposals involve a combined investment of $21.3 billion and could produce 216 million barrels of crude oil, 4.1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, and 7.6 million barrels of liquefied petroleum gas, SKMigas said in a press release Tuesday. SKMigas is a temporary unit of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources which oversees the upstream oil and gas sector.
The government typically receives 85% of oil revenue and 65% of natural gas revenue. The remainder is shared among contractors.
Indonesia is a major producer of natural gas, which it mostly exports to countries such as Japan, China, South Korea and Singapore; but it wants to reduce the proportion it exports and increase domestic consumption, to reduce reliance on petroleum products. Indonesia is the largest importer of petroleum products in Southeast Asia.
Saudi Arabia will develop its Midyan natural gas field in the Red Sea in 2013, Oil Minister Ali Naimi said in comments reported on Tuesday in local media.
“The Midyan field will be developed in 2013 and it would start production within a short period. It would boost electric power plants run by gas instead of diesel, and both electricity and gas would reach industrial zones,” he said in the northern city of Tabuk, Saudi Gazette reported.
Saudi Arabian Oil Co (Saudi Aramco) will drill seven deep sea and offshore wells and build facilities at nearby Duba, its chief executive Khalid al-Falih said in Tabuk, Saudi Gazette reported.
The world’s top oil exporter is attempting to boost its output of natural gas, which it needs to meet rapidly climbing domestic power demand and to supply its strategically important petrochemical industry with raw materials.
Midyan was discovered in the 1980s but has not yet been developed.