This week in energy: gas is vital, CCUS picture takes shape and new ‘tricks’ for geothermal

Each week, the Asia Natural Gas and Energy Association (ANGEA) compiles stories from the energy world that have caught our eye.   

Given the region in which we operate – and our purpose – this collection of content is largely Asia-focussed. But we also look further afield, knowing that developments, trends and technology from around the world also have an impact across our region.   

Here’s what has resonated over the past week. 

Importance of gas highlighted at Energy Asia 2023
Kuala Lumpur played host to the inaugural Energy Asia event and if there was one theme that consistently emerged from the three days – it was the strong and ongoing role of gas (and LNG) in the Asian energy mix. 

The were a variety of viewpoints around this, including world-renowned energy expert Danie Yergin, who highlighted the way gas could help countries in Asia establish a balance between energy security, energy affordability, economic growth and emissions reductions. 

Read more: https://bit.ly/44fwzP5  

Meanwhile, numerous speakers – including Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim – stated that Asia’s energy transition should not come at the expense of economic growth (https://reut.rs/3JwWrOm), while the realities of competing for LNG with developed European nations was also laid bare (https://s.nikkei.com/3XrEir8).  

A stat that puts LNG competition into context
At the same time as Energy Asia was being held, it was revealed that 2022 marked the first time supply of LNG to Europe had overtaken the importing of natural gas by pipelines. 

While that’s probably not an unexpected outcome, it’s interesting to track the existing jump in Europe’s LNG imports from 2017 to 2021, before a very significant increase last year as pipe gas supply dropped by 35 per cent following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

Read more: https://bit.ly/46m48AN 

Energy Connects chats to ANGEA
On the subject of the importance of gas and LNG to Asia, many thanks to Energy Connects for taking the time to chat to ANGEA CEO Paul Everingham at the recent Future Energy Asia event in Bangkok. 

The 10-minute chat gave Paul the opportunity to outline ANGEA’s history, our growing role in the Asian energy landscape and the work we are doing to support countries and industries in their energy transitions. 

LNG future firming up for the Philippines
It was very encouraging to read a story in the Philippines press this week featuring our member company JERA and Aboitiz Power about the promising future for LNG imports in the country. 

As the Philippines looks to reduce its reliance on coal for power generation, it has become clear that increasing investment in renewables must be supported by other fuels that firm up baseline electricity stability – which is where LNG comes into play. 

Read more: https://bit.ly/3NKnacN 

Major Vietnam-Korea collaboration unveiled
Vietnam’s National Power Development Plan 8 – which outlines a significant jump in gas-fired power – always loomed as a strategy with potential for international collaboration. 

With that in mind, it is great to see Vietnam’s T&T Group partnering with Republic of Korea’s KOGAS and SK Group on a variety of initiatives, including LNG-to-power projects and the conversion of coal-fired power plants to gas. 

Read more: https://bit.ly/3Px7ISB 

More domestic gas production in the pipeline for Thailand
Energy security boosting announcements continue to come for Thailand, with PTTEP hoping to double gas production from the Erawan field over the next 10 months. 

This follows Chevron being awarded additional licences at the end of May for additional exploration and production. Maximising domestic gas production will limit Thailand’s exposure to the volatility of LNG spot markets. 

Read more: https://bit.ly/3NxMnWK  

Piece-by-piece, Asia’s CCUS picture is taking shape
It’s been a big couple of weeks for carbon capture, utilisation and storage announcements out of Asia and, while most weren’t strictly connected, it’s becoming easier to envision what future CCUS networks might look like. 

Mitsui O.S.K Lines received in-principle approvals for a liquefied CO2 vessel and a floating storage and offloading unit (FSO) from the American Bureau of Shipping – a key development given the need for captured carbon to be transported across borders (Read more: https://reut.rs/4430c6u) 

We’ve also seen national energy companies in Petronas, PTTEP and Pertamina targeting CCUS hubs (https://s.nikkei.com/445pEZb) and JX Nippon announcing plans to store 5 million tons a year of carbon by 2030, rising to 50 million by 2050 (https://bit.ly/3prcFlq). 

With continued collaboration between countries, industries and companies and foundational work to establish regulatory and legal frameworks, CCUS will unlock new industries and supply chains for Asia.  

Carbon capture at the flick of a switch?
We’re always on the lookout for new advances in the carbon capture space, the latest of which comes from Rice University in the US. 

Researchers are hopeful new technology could help lower the cost of capturing all emissions – from flue gas to direct capture from the atmosphere – by using electricity to induce a water-and-oxygen-based electrochemical reaction. 

This highlights an ever-evolving space that makes CCUS one of the world’s most exciting energy transition technologies. 

Read more: https://bit.ly/3PAcOxp 

‘Closing the loop’ on geothermal
Lastly, it might be one of the world’s oldest energy systems but geothermal power is still very much part of the mix – and it continues to be refined more than 500 years after  first being used for district heating in France. 

This week brought confirmation that Chevron and and Mitsui Oil Exploration Co are collaborating on a ‘closed loop’ geothermal pilot in Japan that does not require direct extraction of hot water (brine) or steam from an underground reservoir.

New methods of generating geothermal energy are among a suite of low-emissions solutions which ANGEA member companies are investigating to be part of Asia’s future energy systems. 

Read more: https://bit.ly/42VksWd

ANGEA is an industry association representing LNG and natural gas producers, energy buyers, suppliers and companies in APAC. Based in Singapore, it works in partnership with governments and societies across the region to deliver reliable and secure energy solutions that achieve national economic, energy security, social and environmental objectives and meet global climate goals.