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The United States remained Europe's top supplier of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the first 3 months of 2021 as it continued to gain market share at the expense of Russia and Qatar, Europe's second- and third-largest sources of LNG, according to the EU Commission's latest European Gas Market Report. The US supplied 24% (4.2 Bcm) of the EU's overall LNG imports (17 Bcm in Q1 2021); Russia placed second at 21% (3.7 Bcm); and Qatar was third at 18% (3.1 Bcm), the EU Commission reported in early July. When compared to Q4 2020, the US picked up 2% market share from January to March this year, while Russia bested Qatar to become Europe's second-largest LNG supplier. Nigeria placed fourth, followed by Algeria and Trinidad and Tobago. A review of EU Commission reports dating back to 2019 reveals a steady quarter-to-quarter decline in Europe's LNG purchases while it also documents the growing rivalry between the US and Russia, Qatar's fall from dominance, and the emergence of the US as Europe's top LNG supplier starting Q4 2019.
The US Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has issued a second Security Directive related to the ongoing cybersecurity threat against pipeline systems that requires owners and operators of TSA-designated critical pipelines to implement several protections against cyber intrusions. The second directive requires owners and operators of critical pipelines that transport hazardous liquids and natural gas to implement specific mitigation measures to protect against ransomware attacks and other known threats to information technology and operational technology systems, develop and implement a cybersecurity contingency and recovery plan, and conduct a cybersecurity architecture design review. "The lives and livelihoods of the American people depend on our collective ability to protect our nation's critical infrastructure from evolving threats," said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas. "Through this Security Directive, DHS can better ensure the pipeline sector takes the steps necessary to safeguard their operations from rising cyberthreats, and better protect our national and economic security. Public/private partnerships are critical to the security of every community across our country, and DHS will continue working closely with our private sector partners to support their operations and increase their cybersecurity resilience."
The Biden administration is poised to issue new cybersecurity regulations for pipelines and liquefied natural gas facilities in the aftermath of the April hack that temporarily paralyzed the nation's biggest liquid fuel conduit. The rules, which could be released as early as this week by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), are the second tranche by the agency since the attack on Colonial Pipeline. It represents a further move away from a system that until now had relied on self-reporting and other voluntary measures. "This Security Directive will apply to those pipeline systems that TSA has designated as critical to our nation's infrastructure and is urgently needed so as to better protect our critical pipeline infrastructure from cybersecurity threats," the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees the TSA, said in a statement that added that the directive would apply to liquefied natural gas facilities as well as pipelines. TSA officials were scheduled to brief the industry on the rules on 19 July, according to one person familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified discussing nonpublic information. Under the rules put in place in May, pipeline operators who fail to report cybersecurity attacks could be subject to fines and would also require pipeline companies to designate a representative to be available around the clock as a point of contact.
BP has entered a contract with Sempra Energy and Mexico's Infraestructura Energetica Nova for delivery of the company's first carbon-offset liquefied natural gas cargo. The cargo was delivered on 16 July to the Energia Costa Azul terminal, a joint venture between Sempra and IEnova, in Mexico's Baja California. The cargo will be sourced from BP's global LNG portfolio, and its estimated emissions will be offset using carbon credits sourced from a BP forest creation project in Mexico. "We are excited to advance our goal to lower GHG [greenhouse-gas] emission intensity at our LNG facilities," said Justin Bird, chief executive of Sempra LNG. "Sempra LNG continues to build a strong business portfolio focused on sustainability and the global energy transition."
Oil or gas wells produce a mixture of hydrocarbon gas, condensate, or oil; water with dissolved minerals, usually including a large amount of salt; other gases, including nitrogen, carbon dioxide (CO2), and possibly hydrogen sulfide (H2S); and solids, including sand from the reservoir, dirt, scale, and corrosion products from the tubing. For the hydrocarbons (gas or liquid) to be sold, they must be separated from the water and solids, measured, sold, and transported by pipeline, truck, rail, or ocean tanker to the user. Gas is usually restricted to pipeline transportation but can also be shipped in pressure vessels on ships, trucks, or railroad cars as compressed natural gas or converted to a liquid and sent as a liquefied natural gas (LNG). This chapter discusses the field processing required before oil and gas can be sold. The goal is to produce oil that meets the purchaser's specifications that define the maximum allowable water, salt, or other impurities. Similarly, the gas must be processed to meet purchaser's water vapor and hydrocarbon dewpoint specifications to limit condensation during transportation. The produced water must meet regulatory requirements for disposal in the ocean if the wells are offshore, reservoir requirements for injection into an underground reservoir to avoid plugging the reservoir, and technical requirements for other uses, such as feed to steam boilers in thermal-flood operations, or in special cases, for irrigation. The equipment between the wells and the pipeline, or other transportation system, is called an oilfield facility. An oilfield facility is different from a refinery or chemical plant in a number of ways.
US liquefied natural gas (LNG) developer Tellurian terminated a stock-and-LNG-purchase agreement with France's TotalEnergies related to Tellurian's proposed Driftwood LNG export plant in Louisiana. Tellurian said in its 8-K filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission that it had ended the agreements "because they are not consistent with the commercial agreements that Driftwood LNG ... has reached with other counterparties." The other counterparties include commodity traders Vitol and Gunvor Group, with whom Tellurian signed 10-year agreements in May and June to sell 3 mtpa of LNG. Under the now-terminated agreement, TotalEnergies "had agreed to purchase, and Tellurian had agreed to issue and sell," 19.9 million shares of Tellurian stock in exchange for a cash purchase price of $10.064 per share, with an option to buy as many as 1.5 million mtpa of LNG, subject to the satisfaction of certain closing conditions. One of those closing conditions, according to Reuters, was Tellurian's making a final investment decision to build the liquefaction plant within 24 months of a 10 July 2019 agreement.
Shell, through Shell Eastern Trading, has signed a 5-year contract to supply PetroChina with carbon-neutral liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargos, using carbon credits to offset emissions across the LNG value chain. Shell will use offsets from its own portfolio of nature-based emission-reduction projects, the company said in announcing on 13 July that it had made its first delivery to PetroChina at the port of Dalian. Shell's first carbon-neutral LNG delivery to the Chinese mainland occurred a year ago under a contract signed on 22 June 2020 to deliver two cargos to CNOOC Gas & Power Group Co. Ltd. (CNOOC), a wholly owned subsidiary of China National Offshore Oil Corporation, according to Shell's website. Shell noted that CNOOC planned to auction both of its carbon-neutral LNG cargoes through the Shanghai Petroleum and Gas Exchange. Other credits may come from Shell-supported reforestation projects developed with the Qinghai Forestry Bureau in Qinghai and Xinjiang provinces in China.
The well flowline, or simply flowline, is the first "pipeline" system connected to the wellhead. The flowline carries total produced fluids (e.g., oil, gas, and production water) from the well to the first piece of production equipment--typically a production separator. The flowline may carry the well-production fluids to a common production battery, a gathering pipeline system, process facility, or other. Interconnecting piping includes the piping between the various pieces of production/treating equipment such as production separators, line heaters, oil heaters, pump units, storage tanks, and gas dehydrators. The piping systems may also include headers, fuel systems, other utility piping, and pressure-relief/flare systems.
The oil and gas business has become as much about bytes as barrels in recent years. Artificial intelligence, the internet of things (IoT), big data, and the ongoing digitization of the industry have not only made it a more-efficient machine but also a target to unscrupulous sorts looking to con-found, cash in, and move on. As more information comes forward regarding the May 2021 ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline, it appears to have been a cash grab with the knock-on effect of physically crippling the company's flow of fuel to East Coast states. The outage was never the goal, but what it if had been? That question, or one similar, was part of what got the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) involved and the subsequent announcement of a Security Directive that will require critical-pipeline owners and operators to report confirmed and potential cybersecurity incidents to the DHS Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and to designate a cybersecurity coordinator, to be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Recently, global climate change and air quality have become increasingly important environmental concerns. Consequently, there has been a rise in collaborative international efforts to reduce the concentration of greenhouse gases and criteria pollutants. Greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O), occurring naturally and as the result of human activity. In addition, criteria pollutants (1970 amendments to the Clean Air Act required EPA to set National Ambient Air Quality Standards for certain pollutants known to be hazardous to human health) include emissions of nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, and total unburned hydrocarbons. International and national governments are implementing more regulations on air emissions.