CNOOC Taps China’s First Offshore Shale Oil Well

China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) announced it has tapped commercial flows of oil and gas from a shale exploration well in the South China Sea. This marks China’s first successfully drilled offshore shale oil well. The exploration well, Weiye-1, at the Beibuwan basin tested daily production of 20 cubic meters (126 barrels) of oil and 1,589 cubic meters of natural gas.

The whole Beibuwan basin could hold about 1.2 billion tonnes of prospective shale oil resource.

Since Beijing’s call to ramp up domestic energy supply security, national oil companies have accelerated efforts to tap shale deposits despite geological challenges and higher costs.

By late 2021, China produced only 35,000 barrels per day (bpd) of shale oil, which is extracted from shale rocks and is more complex and expensive to produce than conventional crude, mostly in onshore northern Ordos basin and northwestern Jungar basin.

That equals less than 1% of its total oil output.

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TotalEnergies Will Supply LNG to Germany’s Newly Opened Lubmin Terminal

French energy major TotalEnergies, which sent last month one of its two floating storage and regasification units (FSRUs) to Germany’s Ostsee LNG import terminal in Lubmin, said it will also supply LNG to the terminal on the Baltic Sea coast. The deal will make TotalEnergies one of Germany’s main LNG suppliers, according to the French company. Last month, TotalEnergies delivered one of its two FSRUs to Deutsche ReGas, the operator of the Deutsche Ostsee LNG terminal. The vessel has an annual regasification capacity of 5 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas, enough to cover about 5% of German demand, TotalEnergies says.

Australia’s Fortescue Ventures into Green Steel with Japan’s Mitsubishi

Australia’s Fortescue Metals, one of the world’s biggest iron ore miners, is looking to develop zero-carbon iron using hydrogen at a plant in Austria, with Japan’s Mitsubishi and Austrian steelmaker Voestalpine. This is the first time the Australian miner ventures into “green steel”, which aims to exclude coal from the steelmaking process. Iron ore is the primary input for the majority of steelmaking. The project will use technology developed by Primetals Technologies, a venture involving another Mitsubishi company. It replaces coal-reliant blast furnaces with hydrogen and a smelter powered by electricity. If that electricity is entirely renewable, then in theory the process won’t emit any carbon.

Tripling Lithium Prices Force Consumers to Seek Longer Contracts

Consumers in the electric vehicle (EV) battery supply chain have been looking for longer term contracts for lithium, as shortages have caused lithium prices to their highest in three years. The price of lithium carbonate, a key material for rechargeable batteries, has seen a 276% increase since the start of this year, reaching $30,940/tonne. Accelerating sales of EVs has resulted in a booming demand.   

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