October 6, 2022
Issue 16  |  View Past Issues
Inside Gas
Published by Global Energy Monitor

Editor's Note

Private finance momentum away from the gas industry has received a major boost with the unveiling of new policies from Spain’s second biggest bank by asset size and the world’s largest reinsurer. As has largely been the case with financial institutions’ policy moves on oil and gas to date, BBVA and Munich Re have taken their initial prompt from the International Energy Agency’s Net Zero Pathway and focused on exiting new oil and gas field production, with midstream and downstream untouched for now. New alarming research shows that, since the beginning of the year, Europe’s carbon emissions have already significantly ramped up due to new dependence on LNG imports, a data point that should be driving investors and other finance players to the midstream exit door. 

The fallout from Europe’s energy crisis continues to worsen, with the IEA’s latest global gas market outlook predicting that prices will remain high for several years. In various ways, rich countries are  throwing money at this new reality, while countries with much less fiscal room to maneuver are being caught in the market shockwaves. In August, analysts predicted that import-dependent Bangladesh was facing four years of blackouts due to gas price volatility. Its first major, nationwide power outage has duly arrived. As the World Bank gets ready to hold its Annual Meeting next week, campaigners have warned that chaining Vietnam to import dependency based on outdated energy modeling makes no sense in this new gas and climate crisis reality. 

Grieg Aitken


Is it enough? 

Europe’s gas storage volumes are at near-record levels, but this does not guarantee supply security, which instead depends on reducing gas consumption well below previous annual levels, writes John Kemp for Reuters.

Efforts to boost carbon capture, utilization, and storage in Asia Pacific are picking up

The development of CCUS across the region has been patchy so far, but momentum is picking up, and project delivery will rely on major state subsidies and appetite from national oil companies more than the private sector, writes Gavin Thompson for Wood Mackenzie.

Tellurian’s high-wire LNG act stalls

Fleeing customers, a share price collapse, and investor concerns over mismanagement and nepotism have left the US$30 billion Driftwood LNG project on the rocks, writes Clark Williams-Derry for the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis.

Majority of new homes in England reliant on carbon-intensive gas boilers

While ambitious strides are being made across Europe to get new housing stock off gas, thanks to lobbying by developers, two-thirds of new homes being built in England are still using gas for central heating, writes Ben Webster in openDemocracy.


Activist lawsuit leads to retraction of Korean energy giant’s LNG greenwashing

Following the recent invalidation by Australia’s Federal Court of Santos’ drilling approval for the Barossa gas development project after it was found that the company had failed to properly consult Tiwi traditional owners, a lawsuit lodged last year by South Korean group Solutions for Our Climate has contributed to another Barossa partner company having to withdraw greenwashing claims about the project. Concerns had been raised about Korea-based SK E&S choosing to market the gas from the project as “CO2-free” and “carbon-neutral”. In what is the first case of an energy company being held accountable for greenwashing by a regulatory authority in South Korea, SK E&S has now finally altered its marketing materials to mention “low-carbon” gas after being instructed by the Ministry of Environment back in March this year to rectify its misleading claims. (Bloomberg, Time)

Top News

Ten-hour power blackout hits gas-dependent Bangladesh: Following weeks of warnings about intermittent power outages being on the rise, on October 4, approximately 80% of Bangladesh’s population of 168 million people were left without power following the failure of the national grid. Investigations into the blackout, which lasted for ten hours, are ongoing. Three quarters of the country’s electricity is derived from imported gas. Government data showed that on the day of the outage, over a third of the country's 77 gas-powered units were short of fuel. (Reuters, Reuters)

IEA expects tight global gas supply, elevated prices for the medium-term: The International Energy Agency’s gas market report for the third quarter of 2022 has forecasted that high gas prices are here to stay for several years amid an ongoing tight supply situation and market turbulence that have been exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The agency also reiterated its increasingly green messaging, noting that “Faster development and implementation of clean energy transition policies, especially in mature gas markets, would ease price competition and help emerging markets access supplies that can contribute to short-term improvements in carbon intensity and air quality.” Separately, the CEO of Australian LNG exporter Woodside Energy told an industry audience that global LNG supply will remain “structurally short” until at least 2026. (International Energy Agency [Pdf], Reuters, Bloomberg) 

Rampant rise in emissions from LNG imports already threatening Europe’s climate targets: As had been widely anticipated, Europe’s new heavy reliance on LNG imports is bringing about a significant uptick in carbon emissions. Data from consultancy Rystad Energy covering the first eight months of the year show that the carbon footprint of European gas imports (both piped gas and LNG) has increased from just over 20 kilogrammes of carbon dioxide per barrel of oil equivalent (CO2 per boe) to almost 40 kilogrammes of CO2 per boe, with the high emission intensity of the LNG supply chain driving the rapid increase. Rystad also pointed to an accompanying rise in methane emissions compared to last year. (Upstream)

World Bank’s gas push in Vietnam is outdated and misguided: Ahead of next week’s World Bank Annual Meeting, a new report has put the spotlight on how the Bank, and in particular its private sector arm the International Finance Corporation, are driving the expansion of gas power and LNG import infrastructure in Vietnam through funding and policy advice. “Promoting LNG as a transition fuel is deceptive and dangerous. The World Bank should stop pushing LNG expansion in Vietnam and other countries in the Global South,” said Lidy Nacpil of the Asian Peoples Movement for Debt and Development. The Vietnamese government’s draft – and highly delayed – National Power Development Plan 8 for 2021-2030, which has been informed by a World Bank supported, gas-intensive roadmap from more than five years ago, currently foresees seven new LNG import terminals and 22 LNG-to-power projects. (Recourse, Friends of the Earth US, Asian Peoples Movement for Debt and Development)

Methane emissions from gas infrastructure five times worse than thought, finds Science study: A new peer-reviewed study, led by University of Michigan researchers who analyzed the effectiveness of methane flaring in the Permian, Eagle Ford, and Bakken oil and gas basins in the U.S., is the latest indicator of industry’s failings. The three-year research findings indicate, according to lead author Genevieve Plant, “that flaring is responsible for five times more methane entering the atmosphere than we previously thought.” If the 91% flaring efficiency found was enhanced to 98% percent efficiency, it would cut greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to removing 2.9 million cars from the road each year, the researchers noted. (Science, The Hill)

“Today’s record prices and supply disruptions are damaging the reputation of natural gas as a reliable and affordable energy source, casting uncertainty on its prospects, particularly in developing countries where it had been expected to play a growing role in meeting rising energy demand and energy transition goals,” 

said the International Energy Agency in its Gas Market Report, Q3-2022.


Australia: A new report has found that plans to extract gas from the onshore Lake Eyre and Cooper basins in Queensland are financially unviable.

France: Despite reports of continuing opposition in Paris, Spain and Germany are keeping up diplomatic pressure to advance the MidCat project, now being touted as “a sufficiently big hydrogen-ready gas pipeline across the Pyrenees to be operative by 2025.” A European Parliament resolution, which includes backing for the project, has also been adopted.

Greece: Shipping data suggests that the first cargo from Russia’s newly operational Portovaya LNG terminal has been bought by Mytilineos, an industrial company, and will shortly be received at DESFA’s Revithoussa import facility west of Athens.

Japan: The state-owned Japan Bank for International Cooperation is to provide low-interest loans to the nation’s electric power utilities and city gas companies to help with spot market LNG purchases amid soaring prices.

Lithuania: Polish and Latvian companies have separately secured regasification capacity at the Klaipėda LNG import terminal for the next ten years.

Malaysia: United Arab Emirates-based Mubadala Petroleum and its partners Shell and Malaysia’s Petronas have made a sizable gas discovery off the coast of Bintulu. 

Netherlands: ONE-Dyas, together with partners EBN and Hansa Hydrocarbons, has made a final investment decision worth €500 million (US$482 million) for the development of the N05-A gas field in the North Sea.

Pakistan: No suppliers responded to a government tender to buy LNG for four to six years starting next year, reflecting the lack of LNG supply in the mid-term. 

UK: Minister for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Jacob Rees-Mogg has alleged he would be “delighted” to see fracking for shale gas in his garden.

Companies + Markets

Two more major financial institutions restrict financing for oil and gas: Spain’s second biggest bank, BBVA, and the world’s largest reinsurer, German firm Munich Re, have announced stricter policies to significantly reduce their exposure to the oil and gas industry. BBVA will no longer finance any new projects directly related to oil and gas exploration, drilling and extraction. Meanwhile, Munich Re’s policy pledge will see it end insurance or investments in new oil and gas fields, new oil midstream projects, and new oil power plants starting in April 2023. Fossil fuel insurance campaigners expressed disappointment that the firm’s new policy does not yet cover insurance for gas pipelines, LNG plants, or gas-fired power plants. “We would have wanted to see bolder steps on gas,” said urgewald’s Regine Richter, “but at least with this policy the world's largest reinsurer has now shown that it's starting to take its own climate warnings seriously.” (Reuters, Reuters, Insure Our Future)

Shell boss – windfall taxes to protect the poor from soaring bills are “inevitable”: Ben van Beurden, who will step down as Shell’s CEO at the start of next year, told an industry event in London this week that “One way or another there needs to be government intervention. Protecting the poorest, that probably may then mean that governments need to tax people in this room to pay for it … There is a discussion to be had about it but I think it’s inevitable.” While the UK government has resisted calls for a windfall tax on energy companies to help cover its emergency price guarantee for consumers, EU leaders have now agreed to tax the excess profits of oil and gas companies. (The Guardian, CNN)

LNG remains central to revised TotalEnergies strategy: The French energy giant has outlined plans to boost its LNG production by 40% from 2021 to 2030, part of a boosted capital expenditure drive that it says will grow to U$14-18 billion per year over the 2022-25 period. In a presentation to investors, post-2027 was identified as the key period for TotalEnergies’ LNG business with long-planned projects in Qatar, the U.S., Papua New Guinea, and Mozambique cited. The conflict-affected Mozambique LNG project had originally been slated for commissioning in 2024, prompting speculation that it could now be running at least three years behind schedule. (LNG Prime)

Germany blasts open the financial taps to deal with gas crisis impacts: A proposed €200 billion (US$197 billion) economic “shield” to limit the impacts of surging gas prices on consumers and businesses has won plaudits domestically for the German government but caused consternation among other EU member states concerned that EU solidarity is being blown apart by the scale of Germany’s emergency measures. In a climbdown, Berlin is to offer its backing for an EU-wide, joint gas purchasing scheme in a potentially belated attempt to take the heat out of gas prices. Further billions of euros in state aid are also being lined up for Sefe, formerly Gazprom Germania, to enable the company to honor a major contract to supply gas to German importer VNG. (EURACTIV, Reuters)
Rental rates on “quicker, cheaper” floating LNG terminals have doubled: European countries’ rapid turn to floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) deployment at ports across the continent has resulted in an inevitable squeeze on the availability of the vessels, in turn sending FSRU costs soaring. According to Rystad Energy, the cost of chartering the vessels into Germany, where new FSRU activity is the most concentrated, has recently doubled year-on-year to US$200,000 per day. The shortage of the vessels is set to continue, and in the short-term may result in underutilized FSRUs in emerging countries, which are also struggling with exorbitant gas import prices, being grabbed by Europe. (Bloomberg)

“[COP 27] is also the place to advocate for the extended role of natural gas in sustainable development and in the energy transitions,” 

said Mohamed Hamel, the Secretary General of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum, the global gas lobby group.


Why gas is dirty and dangerous, Centre for Environmental Rights, October 4, 2022.

This 8-page fact sheet examines the recent push by companies and government officials to promote gas as a “just transition” fuel for South Africa and draws on global scientific evidence and expert local research to find that this dash for gas is unnecessary, economically risky and comes with a number of public health and climate change threats.
Coal-to-gas switching threatens energy, security, and global climate goals, Global Energy Monitor, October 4, 2022.

This 8-page briefing draws from the August 2022 update of the Global Gas Plant Tracker and shows that approximately 89,600 megawatts (GW) of gas plants in development around the world are coal-to-gas conversions or replacements, with East Asia, Europe, and North America the key regions developing these plans.  

Investing in Climate Disaster: World Bank Group Finance for Fossil Fuels, The Big Shift Global coalition, October 6, 2022.

This 30-page report finds that the organizations that make up the World Bank Group have provided US$14.8 billion to fossil fuels since the 2015 Paris Agreement, with investments in gas prominent, despite the institution’s pledges to act on climate. 

Hooked on Hydrocarbons: The UK’s risky addiction to North Sea oil and gas, Global Energy Monitor, October 6, 2022.

This 22-page report analyzes potential production at 21 of the largest undeveloped fields in the North Sea and finds that development of all or any of these fields would be incompatible with UK and global climate goals.