The shape of things to come - Methanopolis

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Robert Kennedy said in a 1966 Cape town speech "There is a Chinese…

LNG startup companies and the investors game

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No cash - no business. That’s stone old wisdom. Any LNG venture…

The value of bad news - only good news is toxic

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Too much good news can kill an otherwise perfectly healthy project as it raises a lot of alarm bells. Those problems are not to be taken lightly and need careful planning and constant calibrating of the project. But denying that it’s there is not going to make things better as educated partners, customers, officials and investors will not miss out on it.

Forget hydrogen - here comes biomethane

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Hydrogen is often being touted the final solution to all our problems with vehicles and pollution. It does not produce CO2 (at least not directly) and for that fact alone its the darling of the tree huggers. But reality - as so very often - is much more complex. On balance hydrogen is not really the stuff you want in your tank and it comes at a very heavy price.

Why shale is good for mankind but bad for the US

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But America needs to fix its addiction to easy money and the current crisis could have been the best thing happening to the country in a long while for its curative properties. Its going to be bluntet by the shale gas boom as this puts new easy money at the fingertips of politicians.

America is the new energy El Dorado - what about Europe now?

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America rapidly transforms from the energy problem child to become the new el Dorado. The economy is pimped by all the investment going the other side of the Atlantic. The population is blessed with much cheaper fuel and lets not forget - the environment does better than any time after World War 2. Why cant we have that in Europe?

The taming of the shrew - vehicle owners and LNG

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LNG is a fringe fuel - or it still is because we can see it becoming mainstream very fast. The old fuelling world is staging a fierce defense battle. And they will not shy back from making it real ugly to switch. But as Victor Hugo once famously said "You can't beat ideas when their time has come".

The emerald factor - LNG from Colombia

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Many know Colombia for its Emeralds, even more for its wild past during the drug wars. The wars are over and visitors can enjoy one of the most beautiful counties on earth again. But to the energy man, Colombia rings for its huge super high quality coal reserves. But how is coal important to a LNG man?

The Lala-land factor and how greens exploit it

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The late 1970ies saw the rise of various green political movements in Europe. Today they are a fundamental feature of any European parliament. Ever since, they were known as those who would fight for Mother Nature and on the side for progressive politics. Do they?

Africas energy master plans - any good in them

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I have seen many of those plans and they have never worked. Not because they are African. This stuff cannot work if you put it in Europe or North America. Because grand Master plans generally are impossible to realize. They inherently lack flexibility, which is necessary to deal with unforeseen events or twists and turns in the market or the international energy scene.

You'll get what you are given - attitudes in LNG sales

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Its hard to get LNG if you need it - its even downright impossible if you are competing in a pipeline gas driven market. Much of the blame lies with the buyers as I have pointed out in many posts. But the sellers attitudes are not helpful.

The diesel engine - a driving garbage incinerator

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The diesel engine is the backbone of our transport economy. But diesel is also trash. It is a formerly unwanted by product of refining oil and its the disillate closest to the bottom of the barrel which is even worse. It is a very dirty fuel that produces a plethora of nasty byproducts, all of them deleterious to human health. Its a shame that the world of the 21st century is still hooked on it.

Leapfrogging - LNG for Africa

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Many African countries are oil producers but they are also beset by frequent power outages. At the same time they flare Natural Gas in huge volumes. Infrastructure to bring that gas to power plants and then further distribute electricity is weak or non existent. That could be a blessing in disguise as the continent is on the verge of an energy revolution.

Beyond the thunderdome - pigshit and LNG

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The pigshit produces methane which keeps Bartertowns lights going and vehicles fuelled in Mad Max. That huge tapestry of pigs is the films true moment to be remembered as this is innovation at its purest. Forget wind turbines and solar panels. In the future, we will get our fuel from hog-poo.

Whats so natural on natural gas - a contrasting juxtaposition

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From 2005 until now I had a lot of time to learn about the different sources of gas feedstock for pipelines and LNG liquefaction plants. But something strange occurred to me. Why the hell do we call Earth crust derived methane Natural Gas and treat everything else as some other form of the same molecular mix.

Natural Gas and Chaos theory - predicting unpredictability

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Scientific chaos is not the same as your ordinary chaos. It simply means that it is impossible to predict exactly what will happen in all but the very simplest systems, even if every detail of its past and current conditions is known.

European Natural Gas prices - where are we headed

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European natural gas prices are a shambles. The ones say that one can't make a living under those conditions as the price is to low for comfort. The others say that it's to high for gas to be competitive. Who is right? An off the beaten path analysis.
A couple of things were conveniently forgotten by those driving the portfolios. First gravity - everything that goes up eventually will come down. European energy utilities and gas traders deluded themselves into believing that the Bonanza would be never ending.

LNG on rails - networking fuel

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Road transport might offer ultimate flexibility as one can easily bring anything just about anywhere but when that flexibility is not even needed it comes at a horrendous price. The main difference between a network model and point to point transport is that the network is a loose system of different nodal points between which lumps of whatever (in our case LNG) zip zap around. These nodal points supply smaller satellite distributors which in turn are the backbone of the supply system.

Why terrorists will hate the new LNG world

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We cannot easily say that we did not try (in homeopathic doses) to wean ourselves off our addiction to imported hydrocarbons but who wants to take a reduction in lifestyle, even if that meant financing (directly or indirectly) some people that may wish to harm us. In simple words, we gave some of those who might want to kill us money - to increase their ability to do so. Plus our presence on their lands further stoked their ire. Not really smart but a reality we seemed had to live with so far. No more. The unconventional gas revolution has already done more for US national security than all nation building programs combined.

Nabucco is dead - but thats what fossils are

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Wouldn't it make sense to try bringing the incredible gas wealth of the Middle East and the Caspain Sea to well paying European customers? OK, back to the moment when OMV was in heavy labor, just about to give birth to the Nabucco idea. Europe was a big fat gas pie for the newly liberalized Gas market players. The market grew to infinite proportions (at least in our wet dreams) and it was believed that no matter what volume of gas one threw at it, the market would gobble it up voraciously.

The coming methane age - will it ever end?

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An offhand remark on my last post made me think a little more about how significant methane will become over the next decades and what will end the show - and when.

Lessons from Shtokman

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While the world was having a beauty sleep an earth moving event sent ripples through the Barents Sea - and made the infantile dreams of the classical energy monopolist in Europe (trust me - they are still an abundant species but they have learned to don the market gloves) a little less sweaty.

Diesel v/ LNG in European trucking - is EURO 6 leveling the field?

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Those going for LNG as a fuel were always on the exotic side…

Cheap oil is over - what that means for LNG

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Cheap oil is gone, expensive oil comes in. But that changes the architecture of the energy planet more than most would like to think.

LNG or emulsion fuels – whats it gonna be

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It's a thorny question. And not one with a clear-cut answer possible.…

Dancing stars with hippos - flex for regas

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LNG regasification has been a no-business for pretty much all of its history. The terminal owners/operators are pretty happy with this state of affairs as their life was real simple so far. Dont move and take in guaranteed returns - that was the mantra. All this will have to change if the LNG industry is serious about going normal.

Something is lurking beneath those waves

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Methane Hydrates are known to the world as burning ice. It is an oddity to the energy industry and easily shrugged off but they are more imminent than many executives like to think. The LNG projects under construction today will bear its scars.

We are the Borg - resistance is futile

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Many would be buyers are not very nimble when it comes to secure volumes of LNG. No surprise here, as many are behaving like the BORG from Star Trek. We are the BORG - resistance is futile. But is that really a recipe for success?

Why shale gas is great news for LNG

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Shale looks like LNG's nemesis - on the surface at least. Look harder. It sure killed THE big hope of the LNG world - namely the prospect of the US becoming a premium LNG buyer. But this also has jump started LNG as a fuel.

LNG is cold (when it should be cool)

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It’s incredible how misunderstood Natural Gas and especially LNG is by the general public. It’s the solution to many of our problems (at least energy wise) and still it has a bad name. That’s a shame as this stuff is so incredibly cool, it would have to be invented if it did not exist already.

A letter from Obama

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About 2 months ago I had written an open letter to president Obama. Here is his response. Right below it I explain why I think that LNG as a fuel is not just a blimp or a bridge technology as some like to call it. Its an energy earthquake and it will ring in a new paradigm shift.

Caribbean LNG - the steel pan paradigm

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The Caribbean would be the perfect region for LNGification. It has not happened yet which is a shame as the immaculate pearl it evokes in our phantasies has been tarnished. But things are about to change, very dramatically so.

Going nuclear - LNG's natural friend

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Nuke and LNG could not be more different. Nuclear power is the king of cheap baseload. Once built - it makes little sense to switch a nuclear power plant off just because of changes in the demand picture. LNG is the king of flexibility. It can be switched on and off very rapidly. And as said, as a liquid it stays nicely in a vehicles tank waiting to be regasified on demand and combusted in order to produce forward motion (or any other thing you do with internal combustion engines).

Beating the megatrains - the nimble revolution

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LNG has been a history of ever larger liquefaction trains. It all culminated in the construction of the Qatari supertrains. One of those monsters is able to satisfy the needs of more than the entire gas consumption of a small country such as Austria. But do they make economic sense?

Another option for Central Asian gas

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Central Asians are the strange region out of the Natural Gas world. They have lots of it. They would like to export it. But that's very hard. In the meantime, something much more worthwhile could be done with it.

LNG from the US - between drivel and miracle drug

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Does anyone still remember the US LNG import adventure? Seems to be a long way off. Today, everyone talks about the US becoming a huge LNG exporter. Asia of course looks like a big nice ice cream on a hot summer day to a distressed LNG terminal operator. But there is also big competition on this premium LNG buying region.

What your experience is worth in a wormhole

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Expertise can be a drawback. Sometimes it's outright deadly. Some things - sometimes - change so deeply, so radically that old experience does not even serve as a valid foundation for new learning anymore. It becomes so harmful - you must get rid of it - or else you face oblivion. In Natural gas - this happens right here - right now.

Is LNG - or is it not - a commodity?

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To those outside the nebulous Natural Gas world, LNG is the stuff that evokes phantasies of miracle trades and fast riches. LNG has been dubbed a commodity many times over the last 10 years alone. But is the status deserved? A demystification.