Friday, November 12, 2010

Trend Spotting

It's always dangerous to imagine you've detected a trend in natural gas, but here are four data points that might line up to help the prospects for the Alaska Gas Pipeline:

1) Shale gas producers are shutting in wells and backing away from dry shale gas prospects (LINK1) (LINK2)

2) There's a current trend to export refined products from the US (Downstream Today "US Could Become Net Fuel Exporter")

3) There's a project underway to convert the Cheniere LNG import terminal into an export terminal. (Cheniere Working On Deal To Send Liquefied Natural Gas To China).

4) LNG prices are firming up in Asia, (LNG's Asia Premium to U.S. Gas Advances to 20-Month High: Energy Markets)

Global gas prices are diverging as U.S. customers switch to cheaper, domestically produced gas from shale deposits, while Asian importers continue to pay prices linked to oil. Shale gas will account for 34 percent of U.S. production by 2035, compared with 18 percent in 2008, Energy Department estimates show.
Maybe it's a trend, maybe it will bear out over time. On a BTU basis LNG is less expensive than oil. The resurgence of Asian demand and devaluation of the dollar may drive the economics for an LNG export terminal in Valdez - It's time to lock in some long term contracts. Something to look forward to when the open season agreements are made public. As always my glass is half full and my fingers are crossed.

Speaking of trends it looks like Lisa, or Leza Murkowski or Mercawski will retain her Senate seat. This is good news for the Alaska Gas Pipeline, Alaska may have dodged a bullet. (Comic)

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