Gazprom's natural gas monopoly to end
With new threats to Russia’s gas market dominance emerging from America’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports and international development of unconventional gas, the country’s LNG liberalization plan is a deliberate and timely response put in place to secure its standing in the world’s gas industry, says an analyst with research and consulting firm GlobalData.
Since 2006, Russia’s largest oil operator Gazprom has enjoyed a monopoly on the export of Russian gas through a clause in the Russian Federal Tax Code. However, the first stage of the LNG liberalization will take effect on January 2014, which will allow for LNG exports from approved developments by several companies only.
“While this may be perceived as a blow to Gazprom’s dominance, in which the Russian government controls the majority of shares, it will expand the Russian footprint in the global gas market with operators that complement the markets traditionally served by Gazprom,” says Anna Belova, GlobalData's lead analyst covering Upstream Oil & Gas.
“Furthermore, the plan will position Novatek and Rosneft, operators of the pre-approved LNG developments, as international gas exporters, alongside national champion Gazprom.”
Read more about the oil and gas industry:
In addition to the expedited development pace for pre-approved LNG projects, an upswing in licensing and exploration is expected in the two main gas-producing regions of Russia as a result of the new LNG law.
“Gas fields in the Russian Far East capitalize on the proximity to Asian demand centers, while fields in the Yamal Peninsula benefit from the Mineral Extraction Tax relief, where the first 8.8 trillion cubic feet of produced gas are not subject to the tax,” Belova says.
Under the current Rosnedra’s 2013-2014 plan, 11 blocks with significant gas reserves will be offered for auction in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Region, along with another four blocks in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia).
GlobalData expects the outcome of these auctions to provide a long view into Russia’s future gas market leaders.
Photo credit: Arapov Sergey / Shutterstock.com
Hydrostor receives $4m funding for A-CAES facility in Canada
Hydrostor has received $4m funding to develop a 300-500MW Advanced Compressed Air Energy Storage (A-CAES) facility in Canada.
The funding will be used to complete essential engineering and planning, and enable Hydrostor to plan construction.
The project will be modeled on Hydrostor’s commercially operating Goderich storage facility, providing up to 12 hours of energy storage.
Hydrostor’s A-CAES system supports Canada’s green economic transition by designing, building, and operating emissions-free energy storage facilities, and employing people, suppliers, and technologies from the oil and gas sector.
The Honorable Seamus O’Regan, Jr. Minister of Natural Resources, said: “Investing in clean technology will lower emissions and increase our competitiveness. This is how we get to net zero by 2050.”
A-CAES has the potential to lower greenhouse gas emissions by enabling the transition to a cleaner and more flexible electricity grid. Specifically, the low-impact and cost-effective technology will reduce the use of fossil fuels and will provide reliable and bankable energy storage solutions for utilities and regulators, while integrating renewable energy for sustainable growth.
Curtis VanWalleghem, Hydrostor’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are grateful for the federal government’s support of our long duration energy storage solution that is critical to enabling the clean energy transition. This made-in-Canada solution, with the support of NRCan and Sustainable Development Technology Canada, is ready to be widely deployed within Canada and globally to lower electricity rates and decarbonize the electricity sector."
The Rosamond A-CAES 500MW Project is under advanced development and targeting a 2024 launch. It is designed to turn California’s growing solar and wind resources into on-demand peak capacity while allowing for closure of fossil fuel generating stations.
Hydrostor closed US$37 million (C$49 million) in growth financing in September 2019.