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OIL AND GAS
Russia's Gazprom examines LNG options in Japan
by Daniel J. Graeber
Washington (UPI) Sep 7, 2017


Russian energy company Gazprom said it signed preliminary agreements for small- and mid-sized liquefied natural gas projects in the Japanese market.

Economies in the Asia-Pacific region are expanding faster than developed nations and taking on more oil and gas resources as a consequence. Island nations like Japan, meanwhile, have few resources of their own and rely on imports from major producers like Russia.

Gazprom Chairman Alexei Miller met on the sidelines of a regional economic forum with Masami Iijima, the chairman of general trading group Mitsui & Co. to sign a framework agreement on liquefied natural gas.

"The document reflects the commitment of the parties to collaborate in producing, transporting and marketing small- and mid-scale LNG in Japan, as well as in LNG bunkering in the Sea of Japan," Gazprom said in a statement.

Bunkering is the ship-to-ship transfer of fuel. With international regulations calling for fewer emissions in the transportation sector, LNG serves a unique niche. Liquefied natural gas also offers more flexibility in terms of deliverability when compared with conventional natural gas, which is bound to transnational pipelines.

Gazprom and Mitsui are partners at the Sakhalin LNG project, Russia's only active LNG facility. Gazprom leads the operating joint venture. Last week, Gazprom's chairman said the "cornerstone" of its strategy was efforts in Eastern markets, but it was building a "formidable" position in the Asian market.

French energy company ENGIE moved early on the evolution in the LNG market by signing an agreement in 2015 with the Japanese shipping company NYK to build vessels powered by the super-cooled form of natural gas.

Demand for LNG in the Japanese market may be limited. With its weak economy, Japan's consumption of electricity has declined for five straight years.

OIL AND GAS
Oil tied to South Sudan and U.S. sanctions
Washington (UPI) Sep 7, 2017
The U.S. Treasury Department announced sanctions against officials in South Sudan, including those accused of inciting civil war and funding arms with oil. South Sudan gained independence from Sudan 2011, but has been mired in conflict described by the United Nations as an ethnic-cleansing campaign since 2013. Rivaling the genocide in Rwanda in 1994, around 1 million South Sudanese fled ... read more

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