Cummins Westport announced it has begun development on the ISB6.7 G, a mid-range 6.7 liter natural gas engine designed to meet the increasing demand for on-highway vehicles powered by lower cost, cleaner and increasingly abundant natural gas. As a leading supplier of natural gas engines, Cummins Westport Inc. continues to expand its product range to supply the growing demand for natural gas engines.
The ISB6.7 G engine will be based on the Cummins ISB6.7 diesel engine and will use Cummins Westport’s proven spark-ignited, stoichiometric cooled exhaust gas recirculation (SEGR) technology. Exhaust aftertreatment will be provided by a simple, maintenance-free three-way catalyst.
The engine will run on compressed natural gas (CNG), however, the natural gas may be stored on the vehicle in liquefied natural gas (LNG) state or as CNG. The ISB6.7 G is expected to be in production by 2015 and will be designed to meet Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and California Air Resources Board (CARB) regulations in force at the time of launch.
“The addition of the ISB6.7 G will round out our family of high performance natural gas engines,” said Jim Arthurs, President of Cummins Westport. “It joins the 8.9-liter ISL G, with over 16,000 engines in service, and the 11.9-litre ISX12 G, which will start production in 2013, to give our customers a broad range of natural gas engines for on-highway applications.”
Spectra Energy Corp announced that the company has signed a Project Development Agreement with BG Group to jointly develop plans for a new natural gas transportation system from northeast B.C. to serve BG Group’s potential liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facility in Prince Rupert, on the province’s northwest coast. Spectra Energy and BG Group will each initially own a 50 percent interest in the proposed transportation project.
Spectra Energy will be responsible for construction and operation and BG Group has agreed to contract for all of the proposed capacity.
The approximately 850-kilometre (525 mile), large diameter natural gas transportation system will begin in northeast B.C. and end at BG Group’s potential LNG export facility in Prince Rupert. The new transportation system will be capable of transporting up to 4.2 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas. The project also will connect with the Spectra Energy system at Station 2 (southwest of Fort St. John), a growing natural gas hub that collects supply from multiple areas of the province and other supply basins in Western Canada.
“We are excited to be partnering with BG Group, a recognized world leader in natural gas and more specifically, LNG,” said Greg Ebel, president and chief executive officer, Spectra Energy. “This project offers B.C. a unique opportunity to access new markets, strengthen its energy infrastructure, engage stakeholders in economic growth and job creation, and ultimately secure the province’s position as a competitive energy leader.”
“Furthermore, today’s announcement initiates our next wave of investment opportunity in B.C. We are ideally positioned to create further value for our investors by leveraging surplus B.C. natural gas supplies and facilitating its export to high-demand markets in Asia. This, in turn, will provide multiple opportunities for further investment in our gathering and processing facilities in the province,” added Ebel.
“For more than half a century, Spectra Energy has been a part of communities in B.C.,” said Doug Bloom, president, Spectra Energy Transmission West. “This project will build on our expertise and track record of delivering natural gas responsibly, listening to the needs of Aboriginal and local communities, and protecting the environment, as we help deliver on B.C.’s energy potential.”
Working together with affected stakeholders and based on preliminary assessments of environmental, historical, cultural and constructability factors, early conceptual routes have been developed. Spectra Energy and BG Group will continue engaging with interested and affected stakeholders, including Aboriginal and local communities, environmental organizations and regulatory agencies, to further refine the project route.
In addition, the companies will spend the next several years closely conferring with stakeholders and working through the permitting process for the proposed transportation system. This work will include filing a project application with the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office. Based on the results of these efforts, project construction is currently expected to commence mid-decade, with service starting by the end of the decade.
As part of this commitment to transparently communicate and foster relationships in the province, Spectra Energy also announced “Energy for BC”. The new outreach initiative is designed to engage with stakeholders on the jobs, revenues and environmental benefits that natural gas can create in British Columbia.
- Spectra Energy to build pipeline for Canadian LNG exports (fuelfix.com)
- Spectra, BG partner in plan to build natural gas pipeline across B.C. (business.financialpost.com)
- USA: DTE Energy, Enbridge and Spectra Energy Team Up to Build Gas Pipeline (mb50.wordpress.com)
Stephen Doolan, Shell Canada spokesman said: “The exploration and development of shale gas is expected to grow in China and Shell’s investments, largely with Pet-roChina, are reflective of that growth. However, the demand for energy in China and through-out Asia is expected to exceed domestic production. This demand for energy, coupled with the wider demand for LNG in Asia which is likely to grow by more than 80 million tonnes per annum between now and 2020, underscores Shell’s intent to continue to progress the LNG Canada project.”
Apache Canada, Kitimat LNG terminal plan developer, also stated that Shell’s investment decision wouldn’t influence Kitimat LNG plans.
“We are going to proceed with our plans,” said Andree Morier, communications adviser at Apache Canada, the lead company in the Kitimat LNG project.
Kitimat LNG will include natural gas liquefaction, LNG storage and marine on-loading facilities. Natural gas will be delivered via a pipeline lateral of approximately 14 kilometres from the Pacific Trail Pipelines, which will connect to the existing Spectra Energy Westcoast Pipeline system. The proximity of Kitimat LNG to the existing natural gas transmission infrastructure is one of the advantages of this project and ensures supply is readily accessible to the facility.
- No relief for natural gas producers as Apache’s Kitimat plant delayed (mb50.wordpress.com)
- U.S. Expected to Approve Expanded LNG Exports to Japan (mb50.wordpress.com)
- USA: Golden Pass Files with DOE to Export LNG (mb50.wordpress.com)
The Alaska Pipeline Project (APP) announced that it will conduct a non-binding public solicitation of interest in securing capacity on a potential new pipeline system to transport Alaska’s North Slope gas.
The solicitation of interest will take place from August 31 through September 14, 2012.
The solicitation of interest is being conducted to identify parties potentially interested in making future capacity commitments on a pipeline system from the Alaska North Slope to a gas liquefaction (LNG) terminal at a tidewater location in south-central Alaska or to an interconnection point near the border of British Columbia and Alberta in Canada.
APP will conduct the solicitation of interest in accordance with the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act (AGIA), which requires TransCanada, as the AGIA Licensee, to assess market interest in a pipeline transportation system for Alaska North Slope gas every two years after its first open season.
APP has set a high priority on providing access opportunities for in-state natural gas to heat and power local homes, business and industry. All options being pursued under AGIA provide for a minimum of five delivery points for local natural gas connections in Alaska.
CNOOC Limited and Nexen Inc. announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which CNOOC Limited will acquire all of the outstanding common shares of Nexen for US$27.50 per share in cash.
The purchase price represents a premium of 61% to the closing price of Nexen’s common shares on the NYSE on July 20, 2012, and a premium of 66% to Nexen’s 20 trading-day volume-weighted average share price. Total cash consideration of approximately US$15.1 billion will be paid for Nexen’s common and preferred shares, and Nexen’s current debt of approximately US$4.3 billion will remain outstanding. The transaction, which will be completed by way of a plan of arrangement, is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2012.
The acquisition of Nexen expands CNOOC Limited’s overseas businesses and resource base in order to deliver long-term, sustainable growth. Nexen will complement CNOOC Limited’s large offshore production footprint in China and extends CNOOC Limited’s global presence with a high-quality asset base in many of the world’s most significant producing regions – including Western Canada, the U.K. North Sea, the Gulf of Mexico and offshore Nigeria – focused on conventional oil and gas, oil sands and shale gas. In addition, Nexen management’s current mandate will be expanded to include all of CNOOC Limited’s North American and Caribbean assets.
Nexen had average production of 207 mboe/d (after royalties) in Q2 2012. In accordance with SEC rules, Nexen had 900 mmboe of proved reserves and 1,122 mmboe of probable reserves as of December 31, 2011. In addition, as of December 31, 2011, Nexen had best estimate contingent resources of 5.6 billion boe in accordance with Canadian National Instrument 51-101, predominantly in the Canadian oil sands.
The transaction will be funded by CNOOC Limited’s existing cash resources and external financing.
Mr. Wang Yilin, Chairman of CNOOC Limited said, “The acquisition reflects our strong belief in Nexen’s rich and diverse portfolio of assets and world-class management and employees. This is an exciting opportunity for us to build on our existing joint venture relationship with Nexen in Canada, and to acquire a leading international platform in the process. We strongly believe that this acquisition will create long-term value for CNOOC Limited’s shareholders.”
Commenting on the acquisition, Mr. Barry Jackson, Chairman of the Board of Nexen, said, “This transaction delivers significant and immediate value to Nexen shareholders. The Nexen Board is unanimous in its view that the transaction is in the best interest of Nexen and recommends shareholders vote in favor of the transaction.”
With the addition, Statoil will control more than 350 leases in the Gulf of Mexico, further securing its significant leaseholder position
“We are very pleased with today’s outcome,” says Erik Finnstrom, senior vice president of Exploration for Statoil in North America.
“This addition of leases allows us to further build upon our broad-based strategy for exploration in the Gulf of Mexico and further upgrades our core position in this prolific and proven basin.”
As the world’s largest offshore operator and a leader in subsea technology, Statoil has been a partner in several major discoveries, including Jack, St. Malo, Julia, Vito and Logan.
“The lease additions underscore our commitment to increased investment in North America, which we see as a core region for long-term growth. Our strategy involves acquiring prospects across a full range of plays – from those at the frontier level to very mature, drill-ready plays,” Finnstrom says. “Statoil’s growth in North America has been methodical, based on best practices and technological innovation honed from operating for 40 years in some of the world’s harshest offshore regions.”
Statoil has six producing fields and has eight fields under development. At the moment the company is drilling the Bioko prospect in the central Gulf of Mexico region and plans to drill two to three more wells within the next 12 months offshore Gulf of Mexico, while also participating in an additional two to three wells drilled by its partners.
Statoil is the operator of three of 2011’s 10 largest oil and gas discoveries globally and has a strong safety and environmental record. The company has been active in North America for 25 years and, over the six years since it began operations, has acquired a broad portfolio with offshore and onshore assets in Canada and the U.S.
The lease sale on June 20 was conducted by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM).
Statoil’s winning bids are subject to review and final approval by the BOEM. This may take up to 90 days.
- USA: Nexen’s Kakuna Well Fails to Impress (mb50.wordpress.com)
- USA: API Upstream Director Calls for Expanded Five-Year Offshore Plan (mb50.wordpress.com)
Beleaguered natural gas producers in Western Canada are going to have wait a little longer for relief from severely depressed prices. Janine McArdle, the senior executive in charge of the Kitimat LNG project at Houston-based Apache Corp., said the facility’s planned startup will take an extra year as the company continues to look for firm contracts with buyers in Asia.
Apache’s proposed natural gas liquefaction plant on the northern British Columbia coast, which it owns with Encana Corp. and EOG Resource Inc., would be the first in line to ship large quantities of LNG to Asia.
The first cargo is now expected to leave Canada in 2017, a year behind the latest plans. The project has regulatory approval, but Apache needs to be sure it has a market for the gas and that the project is economic before taking a final investment decision, Ms. McArdle, senior vice-president for gas monetization at Apache, North America’s largest oil and gas independent producer, said Wednesday.
Construction of a 10-million tonnes a year plant would then take 50 to 60 months.
“We are moving as quickly as we possibly can given that Canada is new to these buyers, and we are relatively new to the buyers as Apache,” she said on the sidelines of an industry conference.
“We have been talking to multiple markets simultaneously and there is a lot of interest. I always have to remind people that these are 20, 30-year marriages. These things don’t happen overnight.”
Next in line is Royal Dutch Shell PLC’s B.C. LNG project, which is slated for startup in 2019. Shell gave the tentative go-ahead to the project last month with three Asian partners that will secure Canadian gas has customers — PetroChina, Mitsubishi Corp. and Korea Gas Corp. However, the project has yet to obtain regulatory approval.
- Apache discovers massive shale gas field in B.C.
- Alberta looking at ways to expand natural gas use, including in vehicles
A handful of other projects are also in various planning stages, but they are further behind.
It’s a tense time for Western Canadian natural gas producers, who are watching closely progress on LNG facilities on the B.C. coast so they can start monetizing reserves already found and look for new ones. The facilities will enable exports to Asia and help alleviate a massive shale supply glut in North America that has depressed prices to 10-year lows.
Asian demand for LNG is expected to increase to 35 billion cubic feet a day by 2020, from 20 bcf today, said Ed Kallio, director of gas consulting at Ziff Energy Group, a Calgary-based gas forecasting firm. He expects demand to outstrip supply in Asia by 2016/2017.
The good news is that there is plenty of gas to keep the projects full. Apache announced last week that it discovered in the Liard Basin a new shale gas field containing as much as 48 trillion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas which it characterized as one of the world’s best.
The find motivates Apache to develop an alternative market for Canada, Ms. McArdle said.
It also further boosts Canada’s 500-trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves, a number that has ballooned in recent years thanks to shale discoveries such as the Horn River, the Montney and the Cordova, all in British Columbia. To put it in context, the now-shelved Mackenzie Gas Project was underpinned by six trillion cubic feet of reserves in the Mackenzie Delta. The number seemed immense before shale gas was unlocked.
Mr. Kallio, who also spoke at the conference, said it will take a lot more than LNG exports to restore balance to the natural gas market and Western Canadian producers will be stuck in a low-price environment for several years. Demand will have to increase, and supply will come down as production of liquids-rich natural gas runs out of steam with weakening of liquids prices, as drilling promoted by land terms tapers off, and if producers do their part by being more disciplined, he said.
“We had such a rush and we had a bunch of cowboys out there, including Chesapeake [Energy Corp.] and Encana that drilled like crazy, [because] they had nice hedges on through the end of this year. But they have very little hedged next year, and that is why they are selling assets — they are selling fingers, toes, kidneys, prized assets to get the cash flows up” and hang in until the next rising market, Mr. Kallio said.
- Shell races Apache to export LNG from Kitimat to Asia (bizjournals.com)
- Apache discovers massive shale gas field in B.C. (business.financialpost.com)
- Natural gas producers pin hopes on Asian market as prices sink (business.financialpost.com)
The approval of the Development Plan now enables ExxonMobil Canada Properties Limited to proceed with development of the Hebron Field, which is estimated to contain 707 million barrels of of recoverable resources..
Hebron is a heavy oil field estimated to have 400 – 700 million barrels The field was first discovered in 1981, and is located offshore Newfoundland and Labrador in the Jeanne d’Arc Basin 350 kilometres southeast of St. John’s, the capital of Newfoundland and Labrador. It is approximately 9 kilometres north of the Terra Nova project, 32 kilometres southeast of the Hibernia project, and 46 kilometres from the White Rose project. The water depth at Hebron is approximately 92 metres.
The Hebron field will be developed using a stand-alone concrete gravity based structure (GBS). The GBS will consist of a reinforced concrete structure designed to withstand sea ice, icebergs, and meteorological and oceanographic conditions at the offshore Hebron Project Area. The preliminary GBS concept has a single main shaft supporting the topsides, encompassing all wells.
- Kiewit-Kvaerner JV Work on Exxon’s Hebron GBS in Canada (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Canada: WorleyParsons Wins Hebron Topsides Contract from ExxonMobil (mb50.wordpress.com)