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Daily Energy News

Companies

The Italian energy company Eni has completed the sale of a 10% interest in the Shorouk concession (Egypt) to Mubadala Petroleum, a wholly owned subsidiary of the state-owned Mubadala Investment Company (UAE), for a total consideration of US$934m. The project is now undergoing its production ramp-up phase and is on track to reach plateau production of 2.7 bcf/d (76 mcm/d) by the end of 2019 (from the current 1.1 bcf/d or 31 mcm/d).

The French utility EDF Renewables (a subsidiary of EDF) has agreed to sell a 50% stake in several wind and solar projects in the United States to the Dutch infrastructure and pension fund PGGM. The concerned power plants are: Red Pine Wind (200 MW, Minnesota), Rock Falls Wind (154 MW, Oklahoma), Switch Station 1 Solar and Switch Station 2 Solar (234 MW, Nevada) and they have a total combined capacity of 588 MW.

The Sarawak State Financial Secretary (SFS), the investment arm of the Sarawak government (Malaysia), has completed the purchase of a 15% interest in the project company Malaysia LNG Tiga (MLNG Tiga) from Shell's subsidiary Shell Gas Holdings for a total consideration of US$750m. Shell divested the asset in order to streamline its portfolio and focus on its core assets.

The Brazilian state-run oil and gas company Petrobras has launched the non-binding phase of the sale of a 50% operating working interest in two deepwater offshore oil and gas blocks located in the Campos basin off Brazil, namely the Tartaruga Verde field (BM-C-36 Concession) and the Module III of Espadarte field. The company was negotiating the sale of the Tartaruga asset with Karoon Gas but court proceedings were initiated against the transaction under allegations that Petrobras did not follow the proper sale procedure.

Energy Markets

The Iranian state-held oil firm National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) aims at increasing the production capacity of its oil fields by 400,000 bbl/d, fitting into the Iranian government's objective of raising the domestic oil production to 4.2 mb/d. However, Iran is opposed with Saudi Arabia and Russia's proposition to raise OPEC's crude oil production by 1.5 mb/d in the third quarter of 2018, and is likely to veto any significant oil production increase across the OPEC.

Forecasts

The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) no longer forecasts gas shortage before 2030 under the expected market conditions. This stance is quite different from what was published a year ago, when warnings from AEMO prompted the government to threaten to cut LNG exports. AEMO projected that the growth in LNG exports could cut gas volumes for the domestic market by 20% between 2018 and 2021, thus leading Australia to a gas shortage that would threaten domestic power supply.

Infrastructure & Investments

The Mexican oil and gas regulator National Hydrocarbons Commission (CNH) has announced a new onshore oil and gas auction scheduled to start on 27 September 2018. Up to 37 onshore blocks will be available, along with nine development rights for shale projects located in the Tamaulipas state, near the US border. In addition, seven joint ventures (JVs) with the state-run hydrocarbon company Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) will be offered in October 2018.

The Turkish Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources has unveiled a new 1,200 MW wind offshore project, whose applications will be accepted until the end of October 2018. The bidding cap price has been set at US$8c/kWh (€6.9c/kWh) and the applicants are scheduled to compete for the lowest bid in a reverse auction. The winner will sign a power purchase agreement (PPA) for the first 50 TWh.

The Lousiana Public Service Commission (LPSC) has approved American Electric Power’s connection project for AEP's 2 GW Wind Catcher wind park project, which is currently under construction in Cimarron and Texas counties in the Oklahoma panhandle (United States). The project is developed by Invenergy and will be sold to Southwestern Electric Power (SWEPCO, a subsidiary of AEP) and PSO at completion, which is scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2020. SWEPCO will own 70% of the project, while Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO) will own the remaining 30% interest.

Policy & Regulatory

The revised Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) has been published in the European Union (EU) Official Journal and is scheduled to enter into force in July 2018. EU countries will have to transpose the new elements into their national legislation within a 20-month period. The endorsed changes are expected to speed up the rate of building renovation towards more energy efficient systems. The EP intends to support further links between buildings and e-mobility infrastructure to support the power grids modernisation and stabilisation.