Trump Rips into Germany re Russian NatGas Pipe at NATO Meeting

Trump at NATO breakfast – credit: CNN

At first blush this story, which is an international story in the news yesterday and today, may not seem to have a tie-in with the Marcellus/Utica. But it does, very much so. President Trump, in addressing a NATO meeting yesterday in Brussels, Belgium, delivered a blistering verbal attack against Germany. He told those assembled that (1) the U.S. is done being the Europe’s piggy bank, we pay the lion’s share of the NATO budget to defend Europe against Russian aggression, and yet (2) Germany, whose defense bills we’ve been paying for, for more than a generation, insists on building a natural gas pipeline (the Nord Stream 2) that will further enrich Russia and make all of Europe virtual slaves to Russia via natural gas supplies. What’s wrong with this picture?! We’re paying to protect Europe from Russia, and they turn around and spit in our faces by deeply embedding Russia into their own economic futures. Enough. What’s worse is that a former German Chancellor, Gerhard Schröder, is a senior official in Russia’s state controlled energy companies Gazprom and Rosneft that will build the pipeline. He is enriching HIMSELF. It is totally disgusting. Trump told current German Chancellor Angela Merkle, ENOUGH! We will not stand for it. The not-so-subtle threat made by Trump at the NATO meeting is that if Germany persists in building the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, NATO can forget about our money to protect them. They will have to pay their own bills from now on. It’s about time somebody told Europe if they would rather get into bed with Russia rather than us, fine. You go right ahead. You’ll loose our $upport. How does all this relate to the Marcellus/Utica? Via our LNG exports to Europe…
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Europe Building New Cracker, to be Fed by Marcellus/Utica NGLs

Here’s some exciting news: The first ethane cracker plant to get built in Europe in the past 20 years has just been announced by INEOS. Based in Switzerland, INEOS is a young but rapidly growing chemical company with roughly $40 billion in sales per year. INEOS’ competitors would be companies like BASF, Bayer and Dow Chemical. INEOS has its fingers in a lot of pies. For example, the company currently has two ships that shuttle Marcellus and Utica Shale ethane from Philadelphia to Scotland and Norway (see Ineos Gets Ready to Begin Ethane Exports from Marcus Hook, PA). INEOS has also been tapped to provide the technology for an ethane cracker plant to be built in Belmont County, OH (see PTT Taps Swiss Company INEOS for OH Cracker Plant Technology). INEOS already owns their own cracker plant in Scotland (see Cracker Plant in Scotland “Brought Back to Life” Thx to Marcellus Ethane). Now the company plans to build a €2.7 billion (US$3.2 billion) cracker plant and propane dehydrogenation unit in northern Europe. A specific country/location has not yet been selected. An INEOS official said, regarding the new cracker facility: “All our assets will benefit from our ability to import competitive raw materials from the US and the rest of the world.” Our translation: We love cheap Marcellus/Utica NGLs, and this plant will use lots of it…
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Canadian Goldboro LNG Inches Toward Final Investment Decision

The Goldboro LNG export facility in Nova Scotia continues its march (shuffle?) toward construction. As we reported in February, Pieridae Energy (the builder) has enlisted the help of Morgan Stanley and Société Générale to help raise $10 billion to build it (see Pieridae Energy Hires Morgan Stanley, SG to Help Fund Goldboro LNG). Last May, MDN told you that Pieridae Energy had signed a labor agreement to build the Goldboro LNG export facility along the shore of Nova Scotia, Canada (see Update on Goldboro LNG – Labor Agreement Signed to Build). The U.S. Dept. of Energy approved the plant for exporting to non-free trade agreement counties in February 2016, an indication that Marcellus/Utica gas may flow to the plant (see Goldboro LNG Project Gets Final DOE Approval – Good for Marcellus). And in May, we told you the facility is lining up customers for its LNG in Europe (see Goldboro LNG in Nova Scotia Negotiating Deal to Sell LNG to Europe). It’s now time for Pieridae to decide. If they don’t begin construction on the project in the next nine months, they risk losing Nova Scotia environmental approval…
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DOE Publishes New LNG Export Study – Seeks Comments

How much American-extracted natural gas should get exported? That question is the focus of a newly published study, titled “Macroeconomic Outcomes of Market Determined Levels of U.S. LNG Exports” (full copy below). The study is the fifth in a series commissioned by the U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE). The study/research, performed by NERA Economic Consulting (NERA), looks at the impacts on the U.S. for various export scenarios. Export a lot? A little? Somewhere in between? There are 21 proposed LNG export facilities in the pipeline right now, requesting permission to export to “non-FTA” (non-Free Trade Agreement) countries. DOE wants to make the right decisions about how many of them to approve. This study and its numbers will help guide their decision-making. The study is now available for public review and comment, until July 27…
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Cove Point LNG Shutting Down for Maintenance This Fall

Cove Point LNG, built by Dominion Energy, began exporting Marcellus Shale gas in April (see First-Ever Shipment of Marcellus LNG Leaves Cove Point, Maryland). Even though it’s only been up and running for about two months, there’s already talk of shutting Cove Point down. You may recall that two countries have contracted for all of the exported LNG coming from Cove Point: India and Japan (see Dominion’s Cove Point LNG Facility Achieves Important Milestones). Dominion Energy CEO Tom Farrell is currently visiting Japan to commemorate the first two shipments of Marcellus LNG arriving there. Yesterday Farrell shared that although Cove Point is doing just fine, the plant will undergo “brief maintenance” of “a few weeks” in the autumn. Scheduled downtime. Does that mean LNG will quit flowing out of the facility each day? According to Farrell, it “depends” on how full the storage tanks are ahead of the planned downtime…
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The Battle for Dawn Hub Begins: M-U vs. Western Canada

Canadian natural gas customers in Ontario and Quebec can expect to begin paying less for their gas, courtesy of their American cousins. Starting last week, Marcellus/Utica gas is now flowing all the way to the Dawn Hub in Ontario, via the Rover Pipeline connected to the Vector Pipeline (see M-U Gas Now Travels to Dawn Hub in Canada via Rover Pipeline). Western Canadian producers beat Rover to the punch last year when TransCanada radically reduced prices to cart gas thousands of miles away to the Dawn Hub (see Canadian Lowball Shipping Works, Grabs Market Share from U.S.). Now that M-U gas is also hitting the Dawn Hub, there’s an abundance (over abundance?), which has driven prices to their lowest in 10 years. The battle for Dawn Hub, between M-U and Canadian gas, has begun, and Canadian gas customers are already winners…
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First Marcellus Molecules from Cove Point Arrive in Japan

On April 22, the LNG tanker Sakura left Dominion Energy’s Cove Point LNG export facility loaded with Marcellus molecules, heading for Japan (see Cove Point LNG Ships First Marcellus Cargo to Japan). It was the second-ever load of Marcellus molecules to depart the Cove Point facility. About a week later the ship transited the Panama Canal (see 1st Cove Point Marcellus Shipment to Japan Goes Thru Panama Canal). On Monday, the Sakura finally docked at the Negishi LNG terminal in Japan, closing the loop on the first of many such shipments of Marcellus gas that will go to the Land of the Rising Sun…
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LNG Exports to Add $1-$2 Trillion to U.S. Economy by 2050

Here are some numbers that are, frankly, hard for us to wrap our heads around. LNG Allies, a nonprofit trade group, recently issued a study they conducted showing that LNG exporters will add between $716 billion and $1.267 trillion in cumulative “direct, indirect, or induced value added” to the U.S. economy by 2050. Yes, trillion, with a “t”. During the same period of time, the study says value added to the economy from supplying the natural gas to those LNG plants (that is, all of the drilling and fracking), will be worth $948 billion to nearly (gasp) $2 trillion! No wonder President Trump is pushing hard to get more LNG export plants online. Here’s a quick overview, followed by a copy of the study/slide deck…
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Goldboro LNG in Nova Scotia Negotiating Deal to Sell LNG to Europe

The Goldboro LNG export facility in Nova Scotia continues its march toward construction. As we reported in February, Pieridae Energy (the builder) has enlisted the help of Morgan Stanley and Société Générale to help raise $10 billion to build it (see Pieridae Energy Hires Morgan Stanley, SG to Help Fund Goldboro LNG). Last May, MDN told you that Pieridae Energy had signed a labor agreement to build the Goldboro LNG export facility along the shore of Nova Scotia, Canada (see Update on Goldboro LNG – Labor Agreement Signed to Build). The U.S. Dept. of Energy approved the plant for exporting to non-free trade agreement counties in February 2016, an indication that Marcellus/Utica gas may flow to the plant (see Goldboro LNG Project Gets Final DOE Approval – Good for Marcellus). If the gas to feed the new export facility does come from the Marcellus/Utica, it will come via the Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline. However, Goldboro can also source gas from TransCanada’s pipeline system, from Western Canada. We remain hopeful that M-U gas will be the preferred feedstock. There is new news to report on this project. Pieridae announced earlier this week they are in the midst of negotiating a 10-year contract with a “European utility” to purchase up to 1 million tonnes per year of LNG…
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Canadian Lowball Shipping Works, Grabs Market Share from U.S.

TransCanada, one of Canada’s leading midstream/pipeline companies, cooked up a deal in 2016 to pipe natural gas from Canada’s West Coast to the East Coast in order to fend off cheap supplies of Marcellus/Utica gas that will flow into Canada from the NEXUS and Rover pipelines (see TransCanada Pipe Drops Price 42% to Compete with Marcellus/Utica). TransCanada dropped their pipeline price by 46% to lure drillers by (theoretically) making it less expensive to get gas from Western Canada, some 2,400 miles away, than from the Marcellus, just 400 miles away. Following a couple of open seasons and stiff regulatory hurdles, the plan was adopted and went into service last November (see TransCanada Pipe Begins Lowball Shipping to Compete with Marc/Utica). In February of this year, TransCanada announced a $1.9 billion plan to expand its Western Canadian pipeline system in a bid to gather up and send even more Western Canadian gas to the East Coast (see TransCanada Spending $1.9B to Bring More Canadian Gas to Northeast). Looks like TransCanada’s gamble paid off. According to records from the U.S. Dept. of Energy, Canada is using more of their own homegrown gas and less gas from the U.S….
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Dominion Energy 1Q18: Important Updates on Key Projects

Late last week Dominion Energy issued its first quarter 2018 financial and operational update. Dominion is not only a large utility company (electric and gas), but also a huge pipeline company. Dominion has it’s fingers in a lot of Marcellus/Utica pies, so we like to keep track of the company and what it says about various critical projects for our region. Dominion CEO Tom Farrell had a lot of interesting updates, including updates for: Atlantic Coast Pipeline, a $6.5 billion Dominion pipeline from West Virginia through Virginia and into North Carolina; Cove Point, the $4 billion LNG export facility that began commercial operations in April; Greensville County (VA) Power Station, a $1.3 billion natural gas-fired combined cycle power plant; and the proposed merger with SCANA Corporation, the main electric and gas company for much of South Carolina. Buckle up, there’s lots of news here…
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1st Cove Point Marcellus Shipment to Japan Goes Thru Panama Canal

LNG Sakura – now on its way to Japan

A sharp MDN reader recently emailed us to ask about that first shipment of Marcellus Shale LNG exported from Cove Point that is heading to Japan, wondering if the ship would transit through the Panama Canal to get to Asia. We had to say we didn’t know! But now we do know. And the answer is “yes”–that ship is going through the Panama Canal. Last week MDN reported that the second shipment of Marcellus molecules from Cove Point had been loaded onto the LNG carrier Sakura, and that the Sakura is heading to Japan (see Cove Point LNG Ships First Marcellus Cargo to Japan). Before June 2016, large LNG carriers could not pass through the Panama Canal. In 2016 new locks were installed to make it possible for larger ships, like the Sakura, to transit through. By using the Panama Canal, ships save an extra 7,800 miles, bypassing a trip around the tip of South America. Since 2016 more than 300 LNG carriers have used the Canal. Here’s the news that the Sakura is already through the Canal and now in the Pacific Ocean, steaming toward Japan…
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Cove Point LNG Ships First Marcellus Cargo to Japan

LNG Sakura

Last week MDN reported that a ship called Adam had departed the Cove Point LNG facility in Maryland with the very first shipment of Marcellus molecules (see First-Ever Shipment of Marcellus LNG Leaves Cove Point, Maryland). Although the first shipment of Marcellus LNG was/is owned by Japan, the destination for the cargo was/is still unknown. The second shipment, ever, of Marcellus LNG from Cove Point left port yesterday–also owned by Japan. However, the ship’s manifest indicates this second shipment IS heading to Japan…
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Half of India’s Contracted US LNG Won’t End Up in India

MDN brought you the great news earlier this week that late Sunday night the very first shipment of Marcellus LNG had left the dock at Cove Point, Maryland (see First-Ever Shipment of Marcellus LNG Leaves Cove Point, Maryland). We still don’t know where the first shipment will end up. In the world of Big Energy and LNG, sometimes the destination isn’t known until the ship is under way! The first shipment is owned by Japan. Between Japan and India, all of the Marcellus LNG produced at Cove Point is spoken for (i.e. contracted) for the next 20 years. However, that does not mean all of that LNG will end up in Japan or India. Far from it. Both countries are wheeler dealers, swapping LNG cargoes from around the world. Japan decided it could get LNG from a closer-to-home source and so has swapped/sold the first Marcellus Cove Point shipment to someone else (we’ll tell you who when we find out). It’s likely going to be the same for the first shipment owned by India. We recently spotted the following article from India which says HALF of India’s U.S. contracted LNG–from both Cheniere Energy along the Louisiana Gulf Coast, and from Dominion’s Cove Point facility–will NOT end up going to India but instead has already been swapped or sold, at least for the first year…
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First-Ever Shipment of Marcellus LNG Leaves Cove Point, Maryland

Finally. Finally! Finally!!! The very first cargo of Marcellus Shale gas has been liquefied, loaded and as of Sunday night, set sail from Dominion’s Cove Point LNG plant–heading for we’re not sure where yet. We’ve waited YEARS for this day! Let’s pop the cork on a bottle of the bubbly and celebrate. Last week MDN told you that a ship called the Patris was due to dock at Cove Point and load the first shipment of Marcellus molecules (see Dominion Announces Cove Point LNG Open for Business). It appears that information was incorrect. It was correct at the time! Either the Patris was redirected somewhere else, or we’re not sure what happened. But news has just broken that late Sunday night, close to midnight, a ship by the name of Adam departed Cove Point loaded with the very first Marcellus shipment. Several more ships are said to be headed for Cove Point now. International shipping isn’t our specialty, so we won’t quote chapter and verse for which ships and when. This first shipment that left Sunday belongs to Japan, but there’s no indication it will actually go to Japan. As we’ve noticed and have been reporting, both Japan and India (which will take all of the LNG Cove Point can produce) are in the game of swapping cargoes they own, sending Cove Point cargoes to customers closer to the point of origin in return for receiving cargoes that originate closer to their own shores. When we hear where the first Marcellus cargo lands, we’ll let you know. In the meantime, here’s the information we can find about the very first load of Marcellus Shale gas to get exported from Cove Point…
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Dominion Announces Cove Point LNG Open for Business

Dominion Cove Point LNG is open for business–so says Dominion in a press release issued yesterday. As MDN reported late last week, the Gemmata LNG carrier had returned to Cove Point to load a second commissioning cargo of LNG (see 2nd Commissioning Cargo Now Being Loaded at Cove Point LNG). The commissioning cargo was not Marcellus/Utica gas but gas brought to the facility to be used in working out all the kinks–to be sure the facility operates as advertised. That’s now done. The LNG carrier Patris was due to dock at Cove Point Monday morning. As far as we can tell, that did happen. According to Dominion’s statement, the facility entered commercial service as of yesterday, which we take to mean the Patris is getting loaded as you read this. One article about the opening of Cove Point seems to imply the natural gas feeding it may not all come from the Marcellus/Utica. That’s bunk. We have information showing 100% of the gas will come from Marcellus/Utica drillers…
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