PTTEP buys 20% stake in Oman gas field
PTT Exploration and Production Public Company (PTTEP) has bought a 20% participating interest in Oman’s Block 61, one of the largest gas developments in the Middle East, strengthening its upstream and midstream profile in the Sultanate.
The acquisition will immediately add to the company’s petroleum reserves and sales volumes, foster its long term growth, and open up further investment opportunities in the region.
Phongsthorn Thavisin, CEO of PTTEP, said subsidiary PTTEP MENA has signed a Sale and Purchase Agreement (SPA) with BP Exploration (Epsilon)) for a 20% participating interest in Oman’s Block 61 with a transaction value of US$2,450 million, subject to final net working capital and other closing adjustments per SPA at completion of the transaction following government approval expected within this year.
The value excludes potential contingent payments which are capped at a maximum amount of US$140 million, and subject to certain milestones stipulated under the SPA being accomplished. The acquisition will be funded from cash available on PTTEP’s balance sheet.
Block 61 is a producing onshore gas field with enormous resources and significant importance to Oman’s natural gas market. Block 61 has the capacity to deliver approximately 35% of total gas output in Oman. The investment will have an immediate effect of increasing PTTEP’s petroleum reserves and sales volumes. Furthermore, this will also open an opportunity for PTTEP to develop a high potential project in Oman in collaboration with world-class E&P companies.
“Since 2019, PTTEP has invested in key assets in Oman including PDO (Block 6), the largest onshore oil field in Oman, and Oman LNG, the only LNG gas liquefaction complex in the country. The investment in Block 61 is aligned with PTTEP’s direction of growth, focusing on highly prolific areas, and supports our strategy towards gas value chain investments as gas produced from the block will boost availability of gas supply for Oman LNG. This successful acquisition will further strengthen PTTEP’s foothold in Oman in the long run and pave the way for future investments in the Middle East,” said Phongsthorn.
Covering around 3,950sq kms in central Oman, Block 61 is comprised of two phases, Khazzan gas development which began production in 2017, followed by Ghazeer in October 2020 with a combined daily production capacity of approximately 1,500 million cubic feet per day (MMSCFD) for gas and more than 65,000bpd for condensate. The block is targeted at developing total gas resources of 10.5 trillion cubic feet.
After the acquisition is completed, BP will hold a 40% participating interest, while other partners including OQ (Omani national oil company), Oman’s national oil company; PTTEP MENA; and PC Oman Ventures Limited, a subsidiary of PETRONAS, will hold 30%, 20% and 10% participating interests, respectively.
At present, PTTEP has invested in upstream and midstream businesses in Oman, including PDO (Block 6), the largest onshore oil field in Oman; Mukhaizna (Block 53); Oman Onshore Block 12; and Oman LNG, the only LNG gas liquefaction complex in the country.
bp and Equinor recently completed the formation of their strategic US offshore wind partnership, which includes bp’s $1.1 billion purchase from Equinor of a 50% interest in two major lease areas off the US East Coast. The new partnership will develop up to 4.4GW through two projects – Empire Wind and Beacon Wind – and together pursue further growth in the US offshore wind market.
The completion of the partnership follows Empire Wind 2 and Beacon Wind 1 projects being selected to provide New York State with 2.5GW of power. Together with the existing award to supply 816MW from the Empire Wind 1 development, this represents a total commitment to provide 3.3GW of renewable offshore wind energy to the State of New York.
Form Energy receives funding power for iron-air batteries
Form Energy believes it has cracked the conundrum of commercialising grid storage through iron-air batteries - and some of the biggest names in industry are backing its potential.
The startup recently announced the battery chemistry of its first commercial product and a $200 million Series D financing round led by ArcelorMittal’s XCarb innovation fund. Founded in 2017, Form Energy is backed by investors Eni Next LLC, MIT’s The Engine, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Prelude Ventures, Capricorn Investment Group and Macquarie Capital.
While solar and wind resources are the lowest marginal cost sources of electricity, the grid faces a challenge: how to manage the multi-day variability of renewable energy, even in periods of multi-day weather events, without sacrificing energy reliability or affordability.
Moreover, while Lithium-ion batteries are well suited to fast bursts of energy production, they run out of energy after just a few hours. Iron-air batteries, however, are predicted to have theoretical energy densities of more than 1,200 Wh/kg according to Renaissance of the iron-air battery (phys.org)
The active components of Form Energy's iron-air battery system are some of the cheapest, and most abundant materials: iron, water, and air. Iron-air batteries are the best solution to balance the multi-day variability of renewable energy due to their extremely low cost, safety, durability, and global scalability.
It claims its first commercial product is a rechargeable iron-air battery capable of delivering electricity for 100 hours at system costs competitive with conventional power plants and at less than 1/10th the cost of lithium-ion and can be optimised to store electricity for 100 hours at system costs competitive with legacy power plants.
"This product is our first step to tackling the biggest barrier to deep decarbonisation: making renewable energy available when and where it’s needed, even during multiple days of extreme weather, grid outages, or periods of low renewable generation," it states.
Mateo Jaramillo, CEO and Co-founder of Form Energy, said it conducted a broad review of available technologies and has reinvented the iron-air battery to optimise it for multi-day energy storage for the electric grid. "With this technology, we are tackling the biggest barrier to deep decarbonization: making renewable energy available when and where it’s needed, even during multiple days of extreme weather or grid outages," he said.
Form Energy and ArcelorMittal are working jointly on the development of iron materials which ArcelorMittal would non-exclusively supply for Form’s battery systems. Form Energy intends to source the iron domestically and manufacture the battery systems near where they will be sited. Form Energy’s first project is with Minnesota-based utility Great River Energy, located near the heart of the American Iron Range.
Greg Ludkovsky, Global Head of Research and Development at ArcelorMittal, believes Form Energy is at the leading edge of developments in the long-duration, grid-scale battery storage space. "The multi-day energy storage technology they have developed holds exciting potential to overcome the issue of intermittent supply of renewable energy."
Investors in Form Energy's November 2020 round included Energy Impact Partners, NGP Energy Technology Partners III, and Temasek.
In May 2020, it signed a contract with Minnesota-based utility Great River Energy to jointly deploy a 1MW / 150MWh pilot project to be located in Cambridge, MN. Great River Energy is Minnesota's second-largest electric utility and the fifth largest generation and transmission cooperative in the US.
Last week Helena and Energy Vault announced a strategic partnership to identify additional opportunities for Energy Vault’s waste remediation technologies as the company begins deployment of its energy storage system worldwide. It received new investment from Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures (SAEV) in June.
Maoneng has revealed more details of its proposed 240MWp / 480MWh Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula in Australia (click here).
The BESS represents hundreds of millions of dollars of investment that will improve electricity grid reliability and network stability by drawing energy from the grid during off-peak periods for battery storage, and dispatching energy to the grid during peak periods.