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Daily Energy News

Policy & Regulatory

The Chinese Ministry of Justice has submitted a new draft legislation to the industry for consultation, intending to provide more support for Chinese nuclear companies to go overseas and strengthen their presence on the international market. The export of nuclear fuel, services and equipment will be encouraged, in particular reactor exports based on the development of the CAP1400 reactor and the Hualong One reactor.

25 energy ministers of the European Union have signed a non-binding agreement to back up efforts to increase the use of hydrogen for transport and power generation purposes as an alternative to fossil fuels to cut the EU's CO2 emissions by 40% by 2030. Existing gas grids could be used to distribute hydrogen produced with renewable energy sources.

Energy Markets

The 10th Joint OPEC-non-OPEC Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC) has rejected US calls for increasing crude oil output to drive global oil prices down. The JMMC, which included in particular Russia and Saudi Arabia, has agreed to maintain the current oil output level and made a formal recommendation that prices would not be cut.

Russian independent gas producer Novatek has shipped its first LNG cargo from the Yamal LNG project (Russia) to the Bahia regasification terminal in Brazil. Novatek aims at diversifying its supply geography and customer base.

Forecasts

The Indonesian Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry plans to boost the domestic electricity per capita consumption rate to 1,200 kWh in 2019, from 1,050 kWh at the end of the first half of 2018, through the increased use of environmentally friendlier electric vehicles and stoves. A new regulation concerning electric cars is expected to be issued shortly. The development of electric stoves is meant to reduce the volume of Indonesia’s liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) imports and mainstream affordable and sustainable power supply sources.

Saudi Aramco Trading Company (ATC) plans to ramp up its oil trading volumes by 50%, from the current levels of 4 mb/d to 6 mb/d in 2020. Besides, the company aims at developing its liquefied natural gas (LNG) trading capacity in the years to come. The key locations for the company's development will be Europe (Geneva or London) and East Asia (Singapore).

Infrastructure & Investments

German energy company E.ON and Norwegian energy group Equinor (formerly known as Statoil) have brought online the first turbine of the 385 MW Arkona offshore wind park project in the German part of the Baltic Sea. The remaining 59 turbines of the €1.2bn project will be launched into operation shortly and the whole power project is scheduled for commissioning in 2019. Arkona is a 50/50 joint venture (JV) between E.ON and Equinor. The sixty turbines are provided by Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE)

The US State Department has concluded that TransCanada's revised route for the 830,000 bbl/d Keystone XL oil pipeline would not have any significant impact on the environment. TransCanada now plans to make the final investment decision (FID) could be made in late 2018 or in early 2019, depending on the outcome of the current regulatory approvals and court challenges, and to start the construction phase in 2019.

The Punjab government (India) has approved a 4,000 MW supercritical coal-fired power plant project in the city of Rupnagar along with a 100 MW solar project and a 60 MW biomass plant. These new capacities are expected to replace 880 MW of subcritical thermal capacity in Bathinda and Rupnagar, which are scheduled to come offline shortly.

Companies

Spanish financial institution CaixaBank will sell its 9.36% interest in the Spanish oil and gas company Repsol through a disposal programme and two existing equity swaps for 1.91% and 2.7%. The market value of the stake is currently valued at more than €2.5bn. CaixaBank divested the stake because it is facing pressure from regulators and has to comply with harsher solvency requirement.