This week in energy: more LNG for Vietnam, study shows benefits of US LNG and progress on major Australian projects

The Asia Natural Gas and Energy Association (ANGEA) regularly compiles a selection of 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-focused. But we also look further afield, knowing that developments, trends and technology from around the world also have an impact across our region. 

Major Vietnam terminal gets another LNG cargo
The past fortnight provided another milestone for Vietnam’s LNG journey – with the Thi Vai import terminal receiving its first shipment for 2024 and also the first that will be used for power generation.

After four years of construction and commissioning, Thi Vai – located southeast of Ho Chi Minh City – was officially opened in October 2023 to become Vietnam’s first operational LNG import facility.

LNG imports are central to Vietnam’s plans to reduce its current reliance on high-emitting coal and will provide for nearly 15 per cent of Vietnam’s power generation capacity by 2030. 

Read more: https://bit.ly/3Ul0of6 

New study shows cleaner emission benefits of US LNG for Asia
Vietnam is one of a number of fast-growing emerging economies in Asia seeking to access US LNG to help displace coal – and a new study points towards the emissions reduction benefits of that strategy. 

The research, undertaken by Berkeley Research Group and commissioned by LNG Allies, shows that lifecycle emissions from US LNG being used in Asia are far lower than for coal and pipeline gas.

The study, developed over four years, tracks lifecycle emissions from US LNG from upstream production, through liquefication, shipping and then use in power generation in China, India, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.

Read more: https://bit.ly/3xJVoI1  

JERA and Singapore’s EMA team up on LNG procurement
Positive news for Singapore-Japan energy collaboration, with ANGEA member company JERA and the Energy Market Authority announcing they will work together to “mutually strengthen their LNG supply chains.”

LNG has long been a critical aspect of Japan’s energy systems and it is increasingly essential to Singapore, where it is likely to eventually overtake pipelines as the country’s major source of gas supply. 

Read more: https://bit.ly/3JlWKv7  

Big Australian gas projects making progress
Pleasing to see positive progress reports this week from a couple of key Australian projects that will be operated by ANGEA member companies. 

Santos’ Barossa project is now more than 70 per cent complete and will help replace production from the Bayu-Undan field, which supplied LNG to Asia for more than 15 years before shipping its last cargo late in 2023. 

Meanwhile, the Scarborough project – being developed by Woodside Energy – is now past 62 per cent complete and targeting its first LNG cargo to Asian customers in 2026. 

Read more about Barossa: https://bit.ly/49HTHIi
Read more about Scarborough: https://bit.ly/3U10N4F 

Japanese investment in Australia reaches record levels
A very interesting report was published over the past week by Herbert Smith Freehills, showing Japanese investment in Australia reached a record $133.8 billion in 2023. 

Energy trade and decarbonisation patnerships were central to that, with significant investment in the long-time staple of LNG (particularly the Scarborough project) as well as development around low-carbon fuel sources such as hydrogen and ammonia. 

Read more: https://bit.ly/49Hio7z

Japan-US meetings end with encouraging statement on LNG
There was a strong focus over the past fortnight on meetings and discussions between US President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.  

Given public discourse about the current LNG export approvals pause, it was encouraging to see the joint statement from the meetings referencing future supply of US gas to Japan.  

“The United States remains unwavering in its commitment to support the energy security of Japan and other allies, including its ability to predictably supply LNG while accelerating the global transition to zero-emissions energy and working with other fossil energy importers and producers to minimise methane emissions across the fossil energy value chain to the fullest extent practicable.”

Read more: https://bit.ly/44bnUOY 

But uncertainty remains in global energy markets
While the language out of the Biden-Kishida forum was cause for optimism, the fact remains that the export approvals pause is still in place. 

As a result, Asian nations are still concerned about whether the world’s largest LNG exporter will continue to be a reliable energy supplier in the long term – and, as Reuters reported, their worries have been heightened by shipping disruptions caused by conflict in the Middle East. 

Certainty of supply from gas-producing nations around the world is a key requirement as nations in Asia plan their energy systems decades in advance.

Read more: https://reut.rs/3Jt357Y  

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.