After a period of extensive growth in the 2000s, the Russian gas industry is now facing numerous challenges. Mounting competition by independent producers and the development of new production by Gazprom, combined with stagnating domestic demand and weakening export markets, have created a situation of overproduction, made worse by western sanctions and low oil and gas prices. Expansion to the East thanks to the recent China deal is not expected to provide much relief before 2024. The coming decade will be critical for the industry and its outcome will largely depend on the government’s pricing and institutional policies but the role of the state should remain essential.
The New CEDIGAZ report “Russian Gas Market: Entering New Era” by Tatiana Mitrova (Russian Academy of Sciences) and Gergely Molnar analyses the ongoing changes in the Russian industry and the challenges to be met.
In February 2015, Canada counted 22 LNG liquefaction plant projects – of which 17 are located in British Columbia – representing a total design capacity of 325 mmtpa. Canada has the potential to become a major LNG exporter but no project has received Final Investment Decision (FID) so far. Competition with US brownfield projects with innovative business models have limited the commercial appeal of many Canadian projects relying on oil indexation. More recently, plummeting oil prices have put into question their profitability and lead to several postponements of FID reviews. CEDIGAZ’s new report Waiting for the Next Train? An Assessment of the Emerging LNG Industry in Canada discusses the potential for Canada to export LNG, looking at the initial enthusiasm and wide support by public authorities and local communities but also at the economic challenges and commercial issues that are slowing the progress of these projects.
Japan’s energy policy is undergoing fundamental changes. The accident at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant questions the future contribution of nuclear power in the national energy mix. Growing imports of fossil fuels to replace the lost nuclear capacity inflated energy prices and raise economic and energy security challenges. At the same time, the US shale gas and oil revolution is reshaping the global energy scene. Japan expects to take advantage of the trend to eliminate the “Asian premium” on natural gas prices and expand cheaper natural gas consumption. These developments have driven the Government of Japan to review its energy policy from scratch and adopt a new Strategic Energy Plan. This new policy has far reaching implications for gas and coal development in Japan but also for the international markets as Japan is the world’s largest LNG importer and the second largest coal importer.