Cheniere bets on Chinese demand for US gas exports
Asian demand for natural gas is set to drive growth in the LNG industry for “decades to come”, even as the world reduces its dependence on hydrocarbons, one of the biggest US exporters of the fuel has predicted.
Anatol Feygin, chief commercial officer of Cheniere Energy, said the company expected to approve a $7bn expansion to its liquefied natural gas facility in Texas next year to meet surging demand for LNG cargoes in China and Japan that have pushed gas prices to record highs.
“We think that Asia is the growth driver for our industry for LNG demand for decades to come, and China is the single biggest piece in that,” Feygin said.
Cheniere’s investment in Texas is one of several new LNG projects in the US set for approval as companies rush to bring on more supply.
The vote of confidence in long-term demand for the super-chilled fuel signals a rare area of potential growth for the oil and gas industry, which is otherwise under pressure to run down assets as the world shifts to cleaner fuels.
Read more here.
World’s biggest diamond miner warns that supplies will remain tight
Alrosa, the world’s largest diamond miner, warned that global supplies of the precious stone would remain tight for several years because of mine closures and a dearth of new projects.
Evgeny Agureev, deputy chief executive of the Russian group, said Alrosa’s inventories had hit historic lows as demand rebounded from last year’s Covid-19 disruptions.
“Our industry will work with limited supply,” he told the Financial Times. “There are projects, but these projects will not provide goods next year or the year after.”
Lockdowns and weak demand last year prompted diamond miners to slash production by about 20 per cent, according to Bain. Large pits — including Rio Tinto’s Argyle mine in Australia which produced a 10th of global supply before it shut in November last year — have also closed.
Bain expects production to remain flat over the next decade. Agureev said this could prove tough to manage, but would help to avoid a repeat of gluts that had caused diamond prices to tumble, such as in 2016 when the industry faced a downturn because of oversupply.
Read more about the world’s largest diamond miner here.
What to watch in Asia today
Earnings: The earnings season will be in full swing over the next seven days with 200 S&P 500 companies reporting results in the US and many others doing likewise in Europe. Facebook, HSBC, Michelin and POSCO report third-quarter earnings today.
Facebook: The social platform will be in the spotlight today not only because of its earnings figures, but because Frances Haugen, a former Facebook product manager, will give evidence to a UK parliamentary committee. Among the findings from internal documents Haugen released: Facebook’s services were used to spread religious hatred in India.
UK hints at compromise on Northern Ireland’s post-Brexit trade rules
Talks on resolving the EU-UK stand-off over post-Brexit trade rules for Northern Ireland resume in London on Tuesday, with the focus shifting to a row over the role of the European Court of Justice.
Language used by allies of UK Brexit minister Lord David Frost suggested there could be room for a compromise on the issue, although British officials said he stuck by his position of seeking the removal of the ECJ’s oversight role in the trade rules.
There has been media speculation that Frost could support a “Swiss-style” governance arrangement for the Northern Ireland protocol, the part of the UK’s withdrawal agreement that sets out the region’s trade rules and aims to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland.
Under such an arrangement, an arbitration panel would be set up to deal with disagreements about the protocol, with the ECJ retaining a role to interpret questions of EU law.
UK officials said Frost’s formal position had not changed. “The role of the European Court of Justice in resolving disputes between the UK and EU must end,” added one.
Read more about the talks here.
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