November 24, 2023
Issue 62  |  View Past Issues
Inside Gas
Published by Global Energy Monitor

Editor's Note

As all eyes focus on the start of COP28 in the United Arab Emirates next week, it’s clear that the oil and gas industry’s otherworldly claims about the potential of carbon capture and storage technologies are uniting a diverse range of voices in informed opposition. The International Energy Agency’s fifth — and fiercest — warning to the industry in the last five months has seen its head publicly describe companies’ ambitions to continue with business as usual via the deployment of carbon capture as “fantasy.” Research in the UK shows that, regardless of almost universal doubts about the technology’s proven effectiveness and economics, vast sums of public money are in danger of being recklessly thrown at CCS to prolong the usage of gas. 

Raw market forces are taking effect, though, in the power sector where publicly subsidized gas plants are increasingly losing out to renewables backed by ever cheaper battery storage. The vagaries of the LNG industry keep on coming across the globe. In Ireland, the prospect of an emergency-only LNG terminal has drawn public attention away from the essentials of a new energy security strategy that explicitly commits to decrease gas demand and increase the country's reliance on renewables. A 2022 gas crisis panic move to increase longer-term LNG import capacity in Poland has failed, in what is — behind all the headline hype — another indicator of the terminal decline of gas demand in Europe.

Grieg Aitken


Texas, Abu Dhabi, everywhere — we have a carbon capture problem

The objective carbon maths plus expected mediocre economies of scale are among the reasons why carbon capture and storage and direct air capture technologies can in no way be seen as a panacea for meeting climate goals unless they are accompanied by deep cuts in fossil fuel production. And even then there are doubts, writes Philippe Roos in Energy Intelligence.  

Shock waves of the gas price crisis continue to linger for European industry

Industrial consumption in October drove the first year-on-year increase in European gas demand since late 2021. The rebound, though, looks far from certain in another indication that gas is in terminal decline across the continent, writes Peter Sainsbury in the Carbon Risk Substack.  

IEA’s latest wake up message to the oil and gas industry

In its eve of COP28 report on the role of oil and gas in the global energy transition, what the International Energy Agency wants to know is how the industry can continue to justify investments of close to US$1 trillion per year when “not all producers can be the last ones standing,” writes Adam Tooze in the Chartbook Substack.


What oil and gas companies want from COP28

Dubai will be awash with tactics to counteract urgent anti-fossil fuel demands and instead push favorite industry technologies. But the strategy — to avoid an equitable fossil fuel phaseout or even a phasedown — remains the same, write Jill Junnola, Noah Brenner, and Philippe Roos in Energy Intelligence

Top News

Mozambique LNG project financiers under pressure from groups and scrutiny from the Dutch parliament: More than 120 environmental groups have urged 28 financial institutions to withdraw their support for the TotalEnergies-led Mozambique LNG project as the French company looks to restart the US$20 billion project with backing from its financiers. Ongoing insurgent attacks and human rights violations were among the main reasons cited in the NGO letter to the group of funders. Roughly US$15 billion in project financing was agreed on in 2020 from eight export credit agencies (ECAs), 19 commercial banks, and the African Development Bank. While the project finance has remained in place since Total was forced to declare a force majeure suspension on the project’s construction in April 2021, certain institutions are known to be reassessing their involvement, including the Dutch ECA Atradius. On October 26, due to the catalog of human rights issues involved, members of the Dutch parliament from across the political spectrum voted to postpone a decision on Atradius’ provision of a previously agreed export credit insurance to Total. A parliamentary debate on the €1 billion (US$1.06 billion) financial support is required upon Atradius concluding its project reassessment, though the ECA has said this review has yet to begin. (BankTrack, Reuters, House of Representatives of the Netherlands [Dutch])

Falling battery storage costs are rapidly squeezing gas, say power sector participants: The plummeting costs of battery energy storage systems, devices that store energy from renewables for release when power is needed most, are dislodging the world’s previously assumed dependence on gas-fired power generation. That’s the view of more than a dozen power plant developers, project finance bankers, analysts, and consultants interviewed by Reuters who are increasingly seeing battery operators eat into the market share of gas plants, even where market mechanisms have been set up to subsidize — and prioritize — gas as a source of back-up power. The shifting economic realities are most pronounced in Europe for now, where wind and solar powered 22% of the EU's electricity in 2022, surpassing the share of gas generation for the first time, according to think tank Ember’s data. The boss of a UK power company, which has announced plans to build one of the world’s largest batteries in Manchester, said, “In the early 1990s, we were running gas plants baseload, now they are shifting to probably 40% of the time and that’s going to drop off to 11%–15% in the next eight to 10 years.” Global Energy Monitor research has also recorded that, globally, 68 gas power plant projects were put on hold or canceled in the first half of 2023. At the same time, in America, U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates of a 3% drop in energy-related emissions this year due to low coal burning at power plants also find that gas power is filling the gap. Gas-fired generation is up 8% over 2022 levels, according to the EIA, and is on track to account for 42% of U.S. power generation by year-end. (Reuters, E&E News)

Floating terminal part of Ireland’s new, pro-renewables energy security plan: The Irish government’s long-awaited energy security strategy, which lays out key measures to decarbonize the country’s power system including a commitment to reduce gas demand, has drawn mixed responses due to the inclusion in the 28 point action plan of a temporary, state-controlled “Strategic Gas Emergency Reserve.” To be used in case of global supply disruptions and deployed at a deepwater port facility that has still to be identified, this will involve a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) for handling LNG imports. The strategy maintains for now the government’s moratorium on fracked gas imports that was introduced in 2021. Extinction Rebellion Ireland and other groups reacted to the announcement from Minister for the Environment, Climate, and Transport Eamon Ryan — and Irish Green Party leader — by staging an “LNG tanker” leaking “methane” in the shape of smoke bombs outside a ministry building in Dublin. The groups slammed the FSRU plan as a U-turn on current government policy banning LNG terminals and fracked gas imports. Friends of the Earth Ireland shared concerns that the plan “could still pose gas lock-in risks without proper planning, conditions and oversight,” but more broadly welcomed the energy security package that, the group said in a statement, “commits to a renewables, not fossil fuel-led, energy system.” (RTÉ, RTÉ, Friends of the Earth Ireland)

Argentina’s election result sparks market and analyst speculation: The election of Javier Milei as Argentina’s new president saw an immediate 40% jump in the New York-traded share price of the country’s majority state-owned oil and gas company YPF as markets reacted to the potential privatization of the firm, a pledge made by the far-right libertarian during the election campaign. Milei, who takes office on December 10, has already talked of his government’s intention to “create value” at state-controlled companies such as YPF “so they can be sold in a very beneficial way for Argentines.” The President-elect has also moved quickly to appoint a new boss at YPF, though where Milei’s pro-oil and gas agenda is headed remains open to heated speculation amid concerns over his ability to govern. One likely casualty of Milei’s anti-state approach is thought to be the US$10–50 billion Argentina GNL LNG export facility that YPF is trying to develop in partnership with Malaysia’s Petronas. Milei has opposed proposed state support that the project’s proponents say is necessary for the terminal at the port of Bahía Blanca to proceed. (Reuters, Energy Intelligence,, Reuters)

UK carbon capture policy captured by oil and gas: Research from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) has found that the UK government’s recently inaugurated £20 billion (US$24.5 billion) incentive scheme for carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects is massively targeting gas-derived blue hydrogen production, placing in doubt attainment of the country’s net zero targets under the scheme. IEEFA’s assessment of eight initially selected projects, currently engaged in negotiations with the government for potential public money support, concludes that 81% of the captured emissions will come from processes that require long-term gas use. CCS projects aimed at decarbonizing the UK’s electricity supply — an intended focus of the scheme — are currently being overlooked in favor of CCS for hydrogen production. The group calculates that the dominance of blue hydrogen projects, promoted by oil and gas companies, would see CCS delivering 444% of its allotted emissions reduction target under the scheme. Ahead of COP28, analysis by Global Witness in the UK has provided a reality check on the carbon capture boosting of the climate summit’s president, Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber. The group estimates it would take 343 years to capture all the carbon emissions that the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, headed by Al Jaber, will produce between now and 2030. (IEEFA [Pdf], IEEFA, The Guardian) 

Study says U.S. fossil fuel production rises under IRA: Going one step further than recent warnings about how the planned expansion of U.S. fossil fuel exports is set to wipe out progress on reducing domestic greenhouse gas emissions, new analysis from the campaign and research group Oil Change International (OCI) finds that U.S. oil and gas production will grow under the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) despite the US$369 billion in clean energy spending provided by the Biden administration’s sweeping 2022 climate law. Drawing on previously unpublished data and modeling from the Rhodium Group, an independent research group, OCI’s study projects rises in U.S. oil and gas production of 13% and 7% respectively by 2035 even as domestic demand for oil falls by 10% and gas by 16%. Soaring fossil fuel exports explain the mismatch and, without a course correction, gas exports are expected to almost double by 2035 while gas consumption at export facilities is projected to grow by 140%. OCI also points to the IRA’s support for the fossil fuel industry via new federal oil and gas leasing mandates as well as generous incentives for carbon capture and storage and blue hydrogen production. This new infrastructure, along with proposals for a massive buildout of export facilities, will further intensify impacts on frontline communities, the report says, while prolonging the life of the oil and gas industry. (Oil Change International [Pdf], DeSmog) 

“It’s the U of CCUS that makes it viable … otherwise there’s no financial benefit in doing it … it’s the actual user of CO2, the oil and gas companies using CO2 for what we call EOR or Enhanced Oil Recovery, that are subsidizing those projects. That helps fund and deploy CCUS in multiple locations, and evolve to accelerate innovation,”

said Mounir Taleb, vice president of the engineering multinational Emerson, of the Middle East region’s plans to massively scale up carbon capture, utilization, and storage technology at its fossil fuel infrastructure. 


Algeria: As Türkiye looks to increase its LNG import capacity to boost energy security and to become an international gas hub, state-owned Botas has extended a 4.4 billion cubic meters per year (bcm/y) LNG supply deal with Algeria’s Sonatrach for three more years to 2027. 

Australia: Toowoomba Regional Council in southern Queensland has voted unanimously for a moratorium on new coal seam gas approvals within its local government area. Arrow Energy, a joint venture of Shell and PetroChina, has plans to drill 7,500 gas wells for its A$10 billion (US$6.5 billion) Surat Gas Project in some of the region’s most productive farmland.

Australia: Ahead of a return to Australia’s Federal Court on December 4 for a cultural heritage lawsuit brought by Tiwi Islanders, at an investor day Santos remained bullish about its Barossa gas project in the Timor Sea that the company says is 64% complete and remains on track for first gas in the first half of 2025.

Bulgaria: Just days after a controversial tax on Russian pipeline gas came into force, the government in Sofia has decided to withdraw estimated revenue of €1.2 billion (US$1.1 billion) from next year’s state budget over doubts that payments would be received from Gazprom. 

Canada: A study by a top climate lab at Carleton University has concluded that official government and industry estimates of methane emissions from Alberta’s oil and gas patch are underestimated by 50%. 

Canada: The federal government will introduce investment tax credits for CCS and net zero energy technologies, part of a plan worth around US$20 billion over five years.

Germany: A memorandum of understanding has been signed between Johannes Schuetze Energy Import and Nigeria’s Riverside LNG for the supply to Germany of 850,000 tons of LNG per year — 2% of the country’s total LNG imports — starting in 2026, with the volume expected to subsequently rise to 1.2 million tons. 

Iraq: Prime minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani has backed the accelerated development of a new LNG import terminal, for which the government has already allocated US$1.5 billion, in the southern port of Al-Faw. 

Malaysia: Japanese companies will partner with Petronas on developing an offshore CCS project, part of a drive from Japan to find destinations for its CO2 due to limited domestic storage sites. 

Mauritania/Senegal: A project contractor has disclosed that the first commercial production from BP’s 2.5 million tonnes per year (mtpa) Greater Tortue Ahmeyim LNG export terminal is further delayed until the third quarter of 2024.

Nigeria: Construction of the US$2.8 billion Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) gas pipeline, a 614-kilometer section of the Trans Nigeria Gas Pipeline, has been completed, according to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, and the project is set to be commissioned next month.  

UK: It has been revealed that a Shell-backed, 700 megawatt blue hydrogen project in southeast England was quietly shelved by its promoters more than a year ago due to cost and technical concerns.

UK: An investigation by Unearthed, Greenpeace UK’s journalism project, has found that more than a quarter of the North Sea oil and gas sites licensed by the UK government last month lie within areas designated to protect vital species. 

Companies + Markets

Second floating terminal in Gdańsk put on hold due to lack of market interest: Poland’s gas transmission system operator Gaz-System has shelved plans for a second floating LNG import terminal in the Gulf of Gdańsk following an insufficient number of bids from regional buyers in an open season procedure. The Czech state-owned ČEZ was one participant known to have declined interest in a 4.5 bcm/y FSRU that had been proposed in addition to a 6.1 bcm/y FSRU that is moving forward off the Baltic coast. Despite the failure, Gaz-System said in a statement that “the interest in the regasification services declared by the participants imply that discussions may be continued in the future.” The company has also shortlisted Japan’s Mitsui O.S.K. Lines and Norway’s BW LNG as potential suppliers of the first FSRU. Earlier this month, Greenpeace Poland launched a campaign against the project, arguing that it will increase the country’s dependence on external gas supplies, damage the climate, and threaten protected animal species given the FSRU’s proposed location in an area within the EU’s Natura 2000 nature protection network. (Upstream, Reuters,, CEENERGY News, Notes from Poland)

Italy’s Enel to cut renewables investments, remains vague on gas plans: In a new corporate strategy for 2024–26, state-controlled utility Enel has outlined its plans to reduce investments in renewable energy over the next three years while at the same providing few details about its existing gas assets or plans for gas expansion. The company, which currently derives 28% of its total power generation from gas, did, however, restate its goal of achieving both 100% renewable power generation and an exit from its gas retail business by 2040, although capital expenditure for renewables will now fall from €17 billion to €12.1 billion. This represents a 28% drop in spending for the 2024–26 period compared to Enel’s previous 2023–25 strategy under a more green-energy-friendly management team, which will mean a 42% cut in renewables capacity additions as new CEO Flavio Cattaneo looks to cut costs. During a capital markets day presentation, Enel executives mentioned the jettisoning of some gas assets in Spain without providing details. Cattaneo did make clear that the plan to build the Porto Empedocle LNG import terminal in Sicily awaits a still uncertain government decree to make the US$1.1 billion project a strategic asset for Italy. Speaking to Inside Gas, Antonio Tricarico from the campaign group ReCommon in Rome said, “Enel’s plans for new gas investments have not been spelled out and remain sketchy, but it appears likely that the company won’t be able to build any new gas infrastructure without further capacity payments or the introduction of state-backed investment guarantees for LNG.” (Enel [Pdf], Reuters,

Haisla Nation export terminal in Canada closes in on sanctioning: Cedar LNG, a partnership between the Haisla Nation and Pembina Pipeline Corporation, has said it is poised to take a final investment decision (FID) in the coming months on its 3 mtpa floating export terminal in Kitimat, British Columbia, within the Indigenous group’s traditional territory. The announcement followed an initial agreement with U.S. company Black & Veatch and Samsung Heavy Industries for construction of the project’s LNG production vessel, a latest milestone that would bring forward operational start-up to 2027, according to Cedar. Planned to take feed gas from the Coastal GasLink pipeline, the C$3 billion (US$2.4 billion) project is being touted as one of the world’s lowest carbon intensity LNG facilities with power to be supplied by the BC Hydro grid. Three other export projects in the western Canadian province are under development and eyeing Asian markets. LNG Canada and Woodfibre LNG, two post-FID terminals, are due online in 2025 and 2027 respectively. The US$10 billion Ksi Lisims offshore project is reckoned to be targeting a start date in 2027 but is facing opposition, including from First Nations. (Rigzone, VettaFi, 

Asian LNG buyers contend with market and climate forces: Japan and South Korea have announced contrasting approaches to LNG procurement as buyers continue to grapple with market uncertainty and external variables, which now include fast-encroaching problems for Asian markets as a result of drought-driven tanker disruption at the Panama Canal. The Japanese government is instructing the country’s LNG importers to look for decades-long supply deals as insurance against future supply shocks and potential repercussions from sanctions being imposed on Russian LNG exports. The development may upend recent survey estimations from the Japan Organization for Metals and Energy Security that annual long-term LNG supply contracted by Japanese buyers will decrease by 30% from 2022 levels by 2030. Some of the key issues weighing on the country’s LNG dependency, according to comments from a trade ministry official, are that while long-term contracts are needed for stable energy supply, they still have to be balanced by spot market buying, at the same time as carbon neutrality is being pursued. Faced with the prospect of two long-term contracts expiring in 2024, South Korea’s Kogas is planning to plug its supply gap in the short term with spot market purchases. The current price levels of long-term LNG agreements are viewed as too high by the state-owned company. At the same time, the future price of US LNG shipments to Asia has shot up since the end of October when the Panama Canal announced that it would further restrict passage for ships, a situation that is set to worsen for LNG tankers in the months ahead due to an unprecedented drought, say analysts. (Bloomberg, Bloomberg, Bloomberg) 

“Substantial” rise in costs muddies the waters for proposed Leviathan LNG project: A higher than expected cost estimate for the proposed NewMed floating LNG export terminal, which is linked to a major planned expansion of the Leviathan field offshore Israel, is giving the project partners — Chevron and two Israeli players — food for thought. Currently in the development stage, the approximately 5 mtpa project has recently taken center stage in plans to export East Mediterranean gas to Europe via two existing onshore LNG plants in Egypt. A “substantial change in cost estimates” may force a rethink. Referring to the option of increasing gas supplies to Egypt through additional pipelines, NewMed’s chief executive Yossi Abu told analysts on a recent webcast that “we’re continuing to look at alternatives.” A Chevron spokesperson said that while expansion concepts were still being evaluated, a concept selection process would be completed in the first quarter of 2024. If the floating terminal option proceeds, allowing the consortium partners exposure to international LNG prices that are potentially more lucrative than regional pipeline prices, first production is estimated for 2028 at the earliest. According to the spokesperson, the U.S. major “is pleased to partner with Israel, and we look forward to supporting the country’s strategy to develop its energy resources for the benefit of the country and the region.” (Upstream [Paywall], 

“At COP28, nations should commit to rapidly phasing down the use of all fossil fuels and reject the delusion that unlimited use of carbon capture can make continued high fossil-fuel production compatible with limiting global warming to a safe level,”

writes Lord Adair Turner, chair of the Energy Transitions Commission, a London-based international think tank. 


Deep Trouble: The Risks of Offshore Carbon Capture and Storage, Center for International Environmental Law, November 16, 2023. [Pdf]

This 66-page report discusses the range of threats posed by over 50 new projects that have been announced to inject carbon dioxide from various fossil fuel and industrial activities in storage hubs in oceans around the world. 

REPowerEU Tracker, Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University, November 16, 2023. 

This online dataset will monitor the EU’s progress towards meeting the targets of the REPowerEU plan published in May 2022, particularly those directly or indirectly impacting gas. 

Hydrogen Infrastructure Map, European Network of Transmission System Operators for Gas (ENTSOG) et al, November 16, 2023.

This newly updated interactive map shows the status of planned European hydrogen projects in 2030, 2040, and 2050, and covers hydrogen projects for gas distribution, transmission, import terminals, storage, demand, and production.

Global Methane Emitters Tracker, Global Energy Monitor, November 21, 2023. 

This new interactive database provides methane emissions estimates for 8,636 unique fossil fuel assets, including gas pipelines, oil and gas extraction sites, and oil and gas reserves.