November 10, 2022
Issue 19  |  View Past Issues
Inside Gas
Published by Global Energy Monitor

Editor's Note

Notably gas-centric climate negotiations are underway in Egypt, which has provoked an impressive array of new research, analysis, and warnings on what expansion of the industry is cooking up for our collective future. The 1.5C global warming limit is facing new jeopardy as a result of the global dash for gas, primarily LNG, witnessed this year. In spite of the unceasing net-zero hype, a staggering 96% of upstream oil and gas companies are still expanding their operations according to new research. But the multiple gains to be had from rapid renewable energy deployment are emerging, including US$34 billion in fossil fuel cost savings for seven Asian countries in the first six months of 2022 alone. 

Yet the deals and alliances keep on coming, despite governmental moves to take into account the climate change impacts of gas expansion. Australia and Japan appear to be getting into bed – again – to potentially boost gas export projects that have languished for years. The UK’s new leader chose to show up in Sharm El Sheikh at least not openly waving his ambitions for a major new gas deal with the U.S., though negotiations are reported to be advanced. An announcement is expected to land once COP27 concludes. 

Grieg Aitken


Is Africa set to become Europe’s “gas station”?

Discussion on the exploitation of Africa’s gas resources at the COP27 climate summit in Egypt is fraught, but the necessary climate finance to allow the continent to expand its huge renewable energy potential and leapfrog fossil fuels is still not materializing from wealthy nations, writes Megan Rowling in Reuters.

Years of shortages and blackouts ahead as Europe sucks gas away from developing countries

In their move away from Russian piped gas, European countries have rushed to LNG spot markets and are outbidding mostly Asian markets, with potentially devastating economic consequences that could stretch into the 2030s, write Stephen Stapczynski, Anna Shiryaevskaya, and Faseeh Mangi in Bloomberg.  

Canadian hydrogen exports to Europe – “Lab experiments on an industrial scale” 

Equipment shortages and local opposition in eastern Canada are hampering plans to ship green hydrogen to Europe by 2025, write Rod Nickel and Nia Williams in Reuters.

Top News

Global LNG projects in development likely to send emissions past 1.5C: New analysis from the Climate Action Tracker (CAT) released at COP27 finds that efforts to respond to the energy crisis with expanded LNG production and import capacity in Europe, Africa, North America, Asia and Australia risk blowing up the 1.5C global warming limit. The research group’s analysis calculates the CO2 emissions from all the under-construction, approved and proposed production projects between 2021 and 2050. By 2030, LNG oversupply could reach 500 megatonnes on the current trajectory, with CAT pointing out this oversupply could lead to excess emissions of just under two gigatonnes of carbon dioxide a year in 2030, significantly above emission levels consistent with the Net Zero by 2050 scenario published by the International Energy Agency (IEA). (Climate Action Tracker, Reuters)

Rapid solar development in Asia brings major savings on fossil fuel costs: Solar generation has allowed China, India, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Thailand to avoid potential fossil fuel costs of approximately US$34 billion in the first half of this year, according to new research from the energy think tank Ember. With each of the seven countries still highly dependent on gas and other fossil fuel imports, the costs of which have soared throughout 2022, Ember notes that the major shift towards solar taken by these major economies ought to be just the beginning if they can implement policies and unleash financing to unlock their future renewable energy potential. (Ember)

Approval of major coal and gas proposals across Australia to be reassessed for climate impacts: In a break from the approach of the previous administration, Australia’s federal government is to accept public submissions on the climate change impacts of 18 coal and gas projects that are seeking federal approval. The gas projects that will now face greater environmental scrutiny are a proposed lifetime extension to 2070 of Woodside Energy’s giant 16.3 million tonnes per year North West Shelf LNG Terminal, one of Australia’s biggest industrial greenhouse gas emitters, and the Australia Pacific LNG joint venture’s proposal for additional gas wells in Queensland. (The Sydney Morning Herald)

LNG terminals and liquid hydrogen unlikely to mix at scale – study: With ten in development LNG terminals in Germany alone, project promoters and the German government have sought to downplay their greenhouse gas lock-in potential by touting their future use for renewable energy carriers such as liquid hydrogen or ammonia. Despite these assurances of potential hydrogen readiness, a study by the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research concludes that there is a huge amount of uncertainty surrounding these plans with terminal conversion for ammonia more likely than for liquid hydrogen. “The feasibility of converting LNG terminal infrastructure for alternative energy carriers depends highly on the individual characteristics of the terminal and its location and generalized conclusions applicable for all terminals cannot be drawn,” the study notes. (Fraunhofer Institute)

UK poised to announce major gas deal with U.S. after COP27: British media reporting has revealed that Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is confident of announcing a new import deal with U.S. gas companies in the coming weeks, although details remain uncertain, particularly regarding when the imports would arrive. Ten billion cubic meters of LNG over the coming year is reportedly London’s hoped-for import volume, yet doubts persist over the ability of U.S. suppliers to deliver such a quantity in the short term. Jess Ralston of the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit said that the UK government’s focus ought to be on improving home energy efficiency and insulation over a “stopgap” U.S. gas deal that represents a “sticking plaster solution”. (Reuters, The Guardian) 

Global Oil & Gas Exit List update – an industry willing to sacrifice a livable planet: Environmental NGO urgewald’s updated Global Oil & Gas Exit List (GOGEL) shows the reluctance of the oil and gas industry to transition away from its emissions-intensive business model, with 655 out of 685 upstream companies in the GOGEL database still expanding their operations. An innovation in this year’s release looks at to what extent companies are in line with the IEA’s Net Zero Emissions (NZE) scenario. urgewald’s analysis finds that 51.6% of oil and gas companies’ short-term expansion plans are not in line with NZE. (urgewald, urgewald)

“We’re not looking at contracts for gas for more than 15 years . . . We have a legally binding greenhouse gas target for 2045. We’ll actually peak our gas use earlier. The decisions that are made now are really going to decide whether or not the 1.5C [warming] goal stays in sight or not. That is the battle that’s happening, not only in the marketplace, but between companies and countries,”
said Jennifer Morgan, Germany’s special climate envoy.


Australia: Significant corrosion and leaking have been detected in a number of coal seam gas wells in Queensland, leading to concerns about the broader implications for groundwater contamination.

Indonesia: The former top LNG exporting nation is poised to become an LNG importer. 

Italy: Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has said that Rome intends to expand concessions to drill for gas in the Adriatic Sea in a bid to increase the nation’s gas production and lower prices.

Kazakhstan: The EU has struck a deal for supplies of green hydrogen with the Central Asian state.

Latvia: The proposed 6.2 billion cubic meters per year Skulte LNG terminal has received new political support and could be operational within two to three years.  

Mauritania: BP’s Greater Tortue Ahmeyim floating LNG project located offshore Mauritania and Senegal is approximately 85 percent complete, according to project partner Kosmos Energy.

Russia: LNG imports from Russia into the EU have increased by 46 percent year-on-year in the first nine months of 2022.

South Africa: Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana has said that the government's commitment to take on between a third and two-thirds of state-owned utility Eskom's debt will come with conditions, including that Eskom invests in gas and nuclear power.

Tanzania: Key agreements to pave the way for the US$40 billion Tanzania LNG export terminal are to be signed with Equinor, Shell, ExxonMobil in December. 

Trinidad and Tobago: The government has asked the U.S. to authorize Venezuelan gas imports to restart an idled liquefaction train at the Atlantic LNG project.

Tuvalu: The Pacific islands nation has joined Vanuatu in calling for a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty that would phase out the use of coal, oil and gas.

U.S.: Eight new natural gas-fired combined-cycle gas turbine power plants are set to come online this year as electricity generators add more gas-fired capacity, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.  

Companies + Markets

C$3.6 billion gas pipeline expansion announced in Canada: Energy infrastructure company Enbridge is planning a C$3.6 billion (US$2.65 billion) expansion of the southern segment of its British Columbia gas pipeline system as a result of strong demand from customers. The expansion of its system in western Canada, known as T-South, will add 300 million cubic feet per day of capacity by 2028, and comes in response to both supply growth and future demand from planned LNG export projects, including the proposed Woodfibre LNG terminal in which Enbridge bought a C$1.5 billion stake this year. (Reuters)

TotalEnergies accused of massively under-reporting its carbon footprint: Greenpeace France estimates that oil and gas major TotalEnergies reported only approximately one quarter of its real carbon emissions in 2019, chosen as a base year by the campaign group for its calculation to ensure there is no bias due to the Covid 19 pandemic. The findings pour doubt on the French company’s 2050 net-zero pledges, and have been shared with the French Financial Markets Authority,  which has the authority to issue sanctions against TotalEnergies for any contradictions, inaccuracies, or significant omissions in its carbon reporting. (Greenpeace)

New Australian-Japanese alliance could boost struggling LNG projects: A non-binding memorandum of understanding, intended to promote cooperation in the LNG sector and the development of new energy products and lower carbon services, has been signed between Australia’s Woodside Energy and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation. The deal has sparked industry hopes that Japanese companies could be willing to participate in Woodside’s various LNG export terminal projects – Scarborough, Browse, and Sunrise – that have stalled in recent years. Commenting on the new collaboration, Credit Suisse analyst Saul Kavonic said it “could be interpreted as a signal that Japanese companies are seriously looking at buying into Scarborough, and that they are able to utilise a lower cost of capital which can enable a higher price tag”. (Upstream, The Australian Financial Review)

Mexico’s state oil company abandons US$3 billion plan to fix flaring problem: The powerful state monopoly Pemex has given up on a 2016 commitment to curb gas flaring at its most productive oil fields in the Gulf of Mexico. The US$3 billion plan was abandoned half-way through its completion, according to sources, despite rising concerns over the environmental damage being caused in Mexico, which is the world’s eighth biggest gas flarer. President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who favours Pemex increasing its production, has said earlier this year that the company would invest US$2 billion to improve infrastructure to reduce flaring and methane emissions but has not provided details on when and how this will happen. (Reuters)

Germany's Uniper confirms new LNG focus: As part of plans to replace piped Russian gas, and in coordination with the federal government, Uniper has outlined its strategy of focusing strongly on LNG importing. The company will supply LNG to two new state-backed FSRUs at Wilhelmshaven and Brunsbuttel from their startup to ensure full capacity utilization and expects to book increased LNG capacity utilization under existing contracts with the Gate terminal in the Netherlands and the Grain terminal in England. (S&P Global)

Czech parliament’s windfall tax approval sees flight of energy giant: A bill to introduce a 60 percent windfall tax on the excess profits of Czech energy companies and banks awaits approval by the Czech Senate and president following its passing in the country’s lower parliamentary house. In reaction, EPH, the country’s largest energy conglomerate in terms of turnover and whose majority shareholders are billionaires Daniel Kretinsky and Patrik Tkac, announced that its trading branch EP Commodities will leave the country. EP Commodities specializes in the trading of energy commodities, transit and storage capacities, and deals in gas, power, emissions allowances, coal and structural products such as spreads across Europe. (Euractiv)

“The participants welcomed surpassing the commitment made in the Joint Statement by Presidents Biden and Von der Leyen, to increase LNG supplies to Europe by 15 bcm in 2022 as compared to 2021. This year alone, between January through October, approximately 48 bcm of LNG was exported from the U.S. to the EU, which is 26 bcm more than for the full year of 2021. Building on this trend, the participants committed to work on keeping a high level of LNG supplies to Europe in 2023 of an additional approximately 50 bcm as compared to 2021,”
declared an official readout following a November 3 meeting of the U.S.-EU Task Force on Energy Security. 


Crude Intentions: How oil and gas executives are still rewarded to chase fossil growth, despite the urgent need to transition, Carbon Tracker, November 4, 2022. 

This 22-page analyst note assesses the remuneration policies of the 35 largest listed oil and gas companies and finds that all but one still incentivise executives to boost production, and notes that growing numbers of companies reward executives for preparing for the energy transition but warns that this often conceals incentives to increase fossil fuel production.

Methane Corporates, Global Energy Monitor, November, 2022. (Pdf)

This eight-page briefing describes how only 30 fossil fuel companies are responsible for nearly half (43%) of the industry’s global methane emissions.

The Methane Platform, InfluenceMap, November 9, 2022.

This website resource tracks corporate engagement on methane policy as it relates to the oil and gas sector and the agricultural sector. It shows that only a small number of jurisdictions have formally introduced policies aimed at reducing methane emissions in the year since the Global Methane Pledge was announced and identifies the strong industry pushback ongoing to those plans.