A Tesla utility-scale battery block. (Tesla) Alternative Fuels

Lithium battery demand soars while supply lags behind

Soaring lithium demand for batteries has led to fears supply may fall short, prompting a surge in investment in production of the mineral.

By Peter Stewart 9 August 2017
Most of the world’s LNG is shipped via a small number of chokepoints. (Höegh) LNG

Choke points critical for global trade in LNG and NGLs

Most of the world’s LNG is shipped via a small number of strategic locations, which could affect prices if disrupted.

2 August 2017
The Point Fortin plant can deliver LNG to the Caribbean, but only at a comparatively high price. (Shell) LNG

Power to the islands in the Caribbean

The Caribbean is trying to develop its hydrocarbon potential while cutting dependence on refined product imports by boosting use of renewables. Gas may play a role in the transition, but it is likely to be a small one.

31 July 2017
Volvo plans to increase its focus on electric and hybrid vehicles. (Volvo) Gas for Transport

Hybrids will dominate in drive to electrify vehicle fleets

As emissions standards tighten, car manufacturers are promoting both hybrids and electric vehicles. This may slow the switch away from traditional fuels such as petrol and diesel.

19 July 2017
A platform at the South Pars field. (Statoil) Supply & Demand

Iran threatens big rise in oil and gas output and exports

Iran has thrown down the gauntlet to its Gulf neighbours, saying it will dramatically boost its hydrocarbon production and exports by 2021.

12 July 2017
Qatar plans to sharply increase liquefaction capacity at its Ras Laffan facility. (Statoil) LNG

Qatar’s liquefaction plans will extend LNG glut

Qatar’s decision to boost export capacity could limit the potential for a recovery in global LNG prices.

5 July 2017
Sinopec's LNG terminal in Beihai. Chinese LNG imports will also be squeezed by increasing volumes of piped supplies. (Sinopec) Supply & Demand

China’s delicate balancing act on gas market reform

The dichotomy between Beijing’s targets to boost gas use and the dynamics of a volatile world market was discussed at an Interfax breakfast seminar in London on Tuesday.

28 June 2017
Operations at the South Pars field in Iran. (Pars Oil and Gas) Global Markets

Iran’s response crucial in Saudi-Qatar spat

The move by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE and Egypt to isolate Qatar has thrown the Middle East’s geopolitical fault lines into stark relief. Everything hangs on Iran’s response.

22 June 2017
The Foster Creek oilsands project in Alberta, Canada. The global oil supply glut shows no signs of abating soon. (Cenovus) Global Markets

Oil prices continue to weaken as global glut grows

International crude oil prices have dropped to their lowest level in six months as the continuing global glut overshadows efforts by OPEC to shore up the market.

21 June 2017
Electricity pylons in China. (China Southern Power Grid) Alternative Fuels

More action needed on Asian grid integration

A panel at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum called for “more action rather than talking” on plans for regional electricity grid integration in the Far East.

7 June 2017
German utility E.On is turning its focus to new energy models. (E.On) Pipelines, Storage & Power

Companies need to get wise to smart power systems

Peter Stewart took part in a session on ‘The Coming Revolution in Hyper-smart Power Systems’ at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum this week.

1 June 2017
An oil rig in Permian Basin. The United States is exporting oil to world markets in increasing volumes. (Devon Energy) Global Markets

OPEC, non-OPEC align to back oil price status quo

Oil prices look set to remain moderate as OPEC gathers in Vienna to discuss extending – and even deepening – the latest round of output cuts.

24 May 2017
Wildervank station, Groningen gas field, Netherlands. (Skitterphoto) Global Markets

Gas trading slowdown may hit TTF

Gas trading on the Dutch TTF has been resilient as the prospect of Brexit causes volumes to move from the UK to the Continent. But this picture may be about to change.

10 May 2017
The US has seen a 17.5% increase in coal production so far this year. (PA) Global Markets

Coal is main beneficiary of Trump deregulation

While the revival of fossil fuel production in the United States has coincided with Donald Trump’s presidency, there is little evidence it has been driven by it.

3 May 2017
A Canadian oilsands refinery. OPEC production cuts and global political issues mean the supply of oil is starting to tighten. (Nexen) Global Markets

The oil and gas risk premium is back

After nearly three years in which geopolitical tensions have barely affected the pulse of the market, the last few weeks have seen a risk premium being built into the oil price. If this trend continues, it will have the potential to boost LNG prices.

19 April 2017
An oil rig in the Permian Basin. US production is offsetting OPEC cuts. (Devon Energy) Exploration & Production

OPEC should be worried about dollar strength

US oil production and the strength of the dollar could prove a double whammy for OPEC when the oil producers group meets in May.

5 April 2017
Thierry Bros, senior research fellow at the OIES, speaking at Interfax’s seminar. (Interfax) Supply & Demand

Brexit may harm UK energy security

UK gas supplies may be less secure when the country leaves the EU, Interfax Chief Energy Analyst Peter Stewart told a seminar at the Brussels Press Club hosted by Interfax on Wednesday.

29 March 2017
The IEA report says that, by 2050, seven out of 10 new cars will need to be electric. (Tesla) Supply & Demand

IEA at odds with industry consensus on EV growth

Divergent forecasts of fossil fuel demand over the next 20-30 years reflect sharply different perceptions of how many electric cars will be on the roads.

22 March 2017
Drilling for oil in the Permian Basin. (Devon Energy) Exploration & Production

Permian drives US oil and gas production growth

The Permian Basin is at the epicentre of oil and gas production growth in the US, accounting for nearly half the wells drilled in the country this year.

15 March 2017
A young girl cooking a meal in Lahore, 1979.  (UN) Global Markets

Gender may drive future gas demand growth

Women will account for a rising share of world primary energy use by 2050, and will be key to gas and power demand growth in Africa and other emerging markets.

8 March 2017
Cameron LNG plant. The US will become a leading exporter of both gas and liquids. (Sempra LNG) Exploration & Production

US ratcheting up exports of crude oil and NGLs

US NGL and crude oil exports may have an even bigger impact on global markets than US LNG, Interfax Chief Energy Analyst Peter Stewart told an LPG conference in London this week.

2 March 2017

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