Smaller loss may not spare embattled Lytton refinery

Original article by Lachlan Moffet Gray
The Australian – Page: 19 : 15-Jan-21

Ampol will still undertake a review of its Lytton refinery in Brisbane, despite the facility posting a lower-than expected loss for 2020. The refinery’s loss for the calendar year was $20m lower than the consensus forecasts of analysts, at $145m on a replacement cost of sales operating profit basis. The refinery produced 3.469 billion litres of fuel during 2020, compared with 5.8 billion litres in 2019. Ampol has cautioned that the economic outlook in 2021 remains uncertain due to the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on demand for fuel.

CORPORATES
AMPOL LIMITED – ALD

Gorgon LNG permits slashed by decade

Original article by Peter Ker
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 15 : 12-Jan-21

Chevron will be required to renew its permit to operate the Gorgon LNG export facility on Barrow Island more frequently after the Western Australian government decided to amend it. Chevron was granted an amended 20-year permit in July 2018, but Environment Minister Stephen Dawson has reduced this to just 10 years, arguing that this is sufficient. The Conservation Council of WA had lobbied for Chevron’s permit to be reduced to just three years. Shipments from the Gorgon project commenced in March 2016. Gorgon is expected to be operational for about four decades.

CORPORATES
CHEVRON CORPORATION, WESTERN AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF ENVIRONMENT AND CONSERVATION, CONSERVATION COUNCIL OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA INCORPORATED

Producers to reap windfall as LNG price soars

Original article by Perry Williams
The Australian – Page: 17 : 11-Jan-21

Australia’s revenue from LNG exports is likely to rise strongly after a surge in demand for LNG in Asia boosted the price of the commodity. Industry sources have stated that a Japanese utility has paid $US37 per million British thermal units for an LNG shipment from the Gorgon project in Western Australia. The benchmark for LNG spot prices in North Asia also recently rose to $US20.70 per mbtu, compared with just $US2 per mbtu in June. Cold weather in Asia has been the key driver of the surge in demand for LNG.

CORPORATES

Diesel storage contracts up for grabs in fuel-security move

Original article by Angela Macdonald-Smith
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 14 : 8-Jan-21

Oil refiners and fuel storage providers will be able to apply for grants of up to $33 million to build diesel storage facilities as part of the federal government’s fuel security package. Applications for the grants will open on 11 January and will close on 22 February, with companies that are likely to be interested in applying including Viva Energy, Ampol and ExxonMobil. The grants aim to support the construction of an additional 780 million litres of diesel storage.

CORPORATES
VIVA ENERGY GROUP LIMITED – ASX VEA, AMPOL LIMITED – ALD, EXXONMOBIL AUSTRALIA PTY LTD

High LNG price sends chill up buyers’ spines

Original article by Angela Macdonald-Smith
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 13 & 16 : 6-Jan-21

Credit Suisse energy analyst Saul Kavonic says it is possible that there will be a return to double-digit domestic gas prices in 2021. His comments are on the back of North Asian LNG spot prices rising to a six-year high, due to a combination of a supply squeeze and freezing winter temperatures, while the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission is predicting a LNG netback price in February of $15.52 a gigajoule, 78 per cent higher than January.

CORPORATES
CREDIT SUISSE (AUSTRALIA) LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, WOODSIDE PETROLEUM LIMITED – ASX WPL, ORIGIN ENERGY LIMITED – ASX ORG, SANTOS LIMITED – ASX STO

Beijing a buyer in Shell gas facilities

Original article by Perry Williams
The Australian – Page: 2 : 24-Dec-20

The deal for Global Infrastructure Partners to buy a stake in the Queensland Curtis LNG project’s infrastructure could potentially be vetoed on national interest grounds. It has been revealed that China Investment Corporation is a minority investor in the GIP fund that struck the $US2.5bn ($3.3bn) deal to buy part of Shell’s stake in the LNG infrastructure. The deal must be cleared by the Foreign Investment Review Board, although Treasurer Josh Frydenberg can override the FIRB under changes to foreign investment rules that were made earlier in 2020.

CORPORATES
GLOBAL INFRASTRUCTURE PARTNERS,QUEENSLAND CURTIS LNG PTY LTD,CHINA INVESTMENT CORPORATION,ROYAL DUTCH SHELL PLC,AUSTRALIA. FOREIGN INVESTMENT REVIEW BOARD,AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY

Woodside strategy queried as CEO flags exit

Original article by Angela Macdonald-Smith
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 21 : 9-Dec-20

Woodside Petroleum will consider both internal and external candidates to succeed CEO Peter Coleman, who has advised that he will step down in the second half of 2021. Potential external candidates are said to include Santos CEO Kevin Gallagher and ex-Shell Australia chair Zoe Yujnovich, while Meg O’Neill is widely regarded as the leading internal contender. Some observers have raised concern that Woodside is slated to make a final investment decision on its Scarborough LNG project at around the same time that Coleman will leave the oil and gas group.

CORPORATES
WOODSIDE PETROLEUM LIMITED – ASX WPL, SANTOS LIMITED – ASX STO

Santos sticks to gas, earmarking $1bn for Narrabri development

Original article by Perry Williams
The Australian – Page: 16 : 2-Dec-20

Santos CEO Kevin Gallagher says the oil and gas producer will not diversify into renewable energy or electricity generation. He contends that global demand for fuels will remain strong for a long time, while gas will play a major role in reducing carbon emissions over coming decades. Meanwhile, Santos expects to make a final investment decision on its Narrabri gas project in the first half of 2023, with the first phase of its development slated to cost $US650m. Santos has also advised that its Barossa LNG project will cost significantly less to develop than initially forecast.

CORPORATES
SANTOS LIMITED – ASX STO

Tough market sours outlook for resources

Original article by Perry Williams
The Australian – Page: 13 & 16 : 23-Nov-20

A new report from the federal government notes that Australia’s resource and energy sector made final investment decisions on $39bn worth of projects in the year to 31 October, which is 30 per cent higher than previously. The total value of the sector’s investment pipeline has risen to $334bn in 2020. However, the Department of Industry, Science, Energy & Resources’ latest Major Projects report warns that investment is unlikely to return to the levels seen during the last boom in the minerals and energy sector.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF INDUSTRY, SCIENCE, ENERGY AND RESOURCES

China fallout hits Woodside gas sale plan

Original article by Angela Macdonald-Smith
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 14 & 18 : 12-Nov-20

Woodside Petroleum CEO Peter Coleman says potential Chinese investors have abandoned talks to acquire a stake in Scarborough gas project due to the growing trade tensions between Australia and China. He adds that this contributed to Woodside’s decision to drop plans to reduce its stake in the Scarborough project and focus on selling a stake in the Pluto-2 project. Coleman has stressed that relations between Woodside and its existing Chinese customers and partners remain strong.

CORPORATES
WOODSIDE PETROLEUM LIMITED – ASX WPL