|2020-04-29 来源： 中国石化新闻网|
中国石化新闻网讯 据今日油价4月27日报道，当所有人都在关注原油市场的崩溃时，全球天然气市场也在面临巨大挑战。据路透社报道，亚洲和欧洲的买家取消了至少20批美国液化天然气(LNG)。全球对天然气的需求不断减少，美国主要液化天然气出口商Cheniere Energy估计，有10批货物被取消。
近年来，石油巨头们在液化天然气上押下了重注。2015年，看到市场对天然气需求不断飙升，荷兰皇家壳牌(Royal Dutch Shell)斥资逾500亿美元收购了英国天然气集团(BG Group)。4年多前，壳牌首席执行官范伯登(Ben van Beurden)在完成对英国天然气集团(BG Group)的收购后表示:“我们将打造一家更精简、更具竞争力的公司，充分发挥我们在深水领域和液化天然气方面的核心专长。”
液化天然气现在受到的冲击，可以说与原油一样严重。过去一个月发生了一系列引人注目的投资延迟或取消事件。例如，埃克森美孚 4月初推迟了对莫桑比克一个大型液化天然气出口项目的最终投资决定。然而，甚至在当前危机之前，该行业就面临着经济困境。克拉克·威廉姆斯-德瑞指出，这些公司把天然气市场危机归咎于新型冠状病毒的爆发，而忽视了液化天然气价格早在疫情爆发之前就已经开始下跌的事实，令人震惊的是，大大小小的公司都在取消业务——既有投机性初创企业，也有国有巨头和上市巨头。这将波及上游部门，由于供过于求，美国天然气行业在进入2020年之前也面临着问题。且出口可能无法像过去那样拉动天然气钻探企业的需求，Henry Hub的价格停留在1.8美元/百万英热。
王佳晶 摘译自 今日油价
The LNG Market Is “Imploding”
While everyone is understandably watching the meltdown in the crude oil market, the global market for natural gas is also cratering.
At least 20 cargoes of U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) have been cancelled by buyers in Asia and Europe, according to Reuters. The global pandemic and the unfolding economic crisis have slashed demand for gas worldwide. Cheniere Energy, one of the main exporters of U.S. LNG, has seen an estimated 10 cargoes cancelled by buyers halfway around the world, Reuters said.
The price for LNG in Asia was already crashing before the pandemic, owing to a substantial increase in supply last year. Prices for LNG in Asia for June delivery have recently traded at $2/MMBtu, only slightly higher than Henry Hub prices in the U.S.
As recently as October, LNG prices in Asia traded at just under $7/MMBtu.
The problem for American gas exporters is that after factoring in the cost of liquefaction and transportation, gas breakeven prices for delivering to Asia are around $5.56/MMBtu, according to Reuters. But prices are trading at less than half of those levels.
Gas exports tend to be conducted under rigid contracts, but cargoes are now facing cancellation.
“The financial prospects for [LNG] ? once one of the globe’s hottest energy commodities – seem to be imploding before our eyes,” Clark Williams-Derry wrote in a new report for the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA). He noted that LNG prices in the fall of 2018 were at around $12/MMBtu.
The oil majors have made large bets on LNG in recent years. Royal Dutch Shell spent more than $50 billion to buy BG Group in 2015. The move back then was made with an eye on surging demand for natural gas. “We will now be able to shape a simpler, leaner, more competitive company, focusing on our core expertise in deep water and LNG,” Shell’s CEO Ben van Beurden said after closing on the acquisition of BG Group more than four years ago.
The deal remade Shell into one of the largest traders of LNG on the planet. Several other oil majors – Total SA, ExxonMobil and Chevron, for instance – have also made massive bets on LNG.
LNG is now arguably getting hit just as hard as crude oil from the pandemic and the global slowdown. A series of high-profile investment delays or cancellations have occurred in the past month. ExxonMobil, for instance, delayed a final investment decision on a large LNG export project in Mozambique in early April.
However, the industry faced troubled economics even before the current crisis. “[C]ompanies pinned the delays on the novel coronavirus, while ignoring the fact that LNG prices were already deflating long before the worst impacts of the pandemic were being felt,” Clark Williams-Derry wrote in the IEEFA report. He wrote that what was striking was the fact that companies of varying sizes and corporate structures were cancelling decisions – speculative startups, but also state-owned giants and publicly-traded supermajors.
Delayed and cancelled cargoes could ripple back up to the upstream sector. The U.S. natural gas industry was also facing problems heading into 2020 because of oversupply. Exports may not provide the demand pull that it once did for gas drillers. Henry Hub prices are stuck at $1.80/MMBtu.
Ironically, however, the share prices of gas drillers have rebounded in recent weeks. Pittsburgh-based EQT has seen its share price double since March, for example. There are a few reasons for this. The Federal Reserve has funneled trillions of dollars into the financial sector, which has re-inflated financial assets of all types. Investors also seem to be trying to “buy the dip.”
But industry analysts are also predicting that a huge shortfall in gas production in the Permian will boost prices by next year. Goldman Sachs says that gas will jump to $3.25/MMBtu in 2021.
For now though, the economics for LNG are pretty dismal. “The LNG industry entered today’s crisis on shaky footing.