Saturday 26 May 2012

Japan opts for US shale gas

Japanese Buyers Line Up for U.S. Shale Gas
Loss of Nuclear Power Plants, Cheap Prices Bring Investors; Will Department of Energy Approve Exports Over Objections?

26 April, 2012

Japan's energy crisis is creating opportunity for U.S companies like Sempra Energy SRE +0.47% .

San Diego-based Sempra was facing a $5 billion or more tab to build a Louisiana plant to export natural gas. Then last month, two Japanese companies joined the project and agreed to pay part of the bill, with a French company footing some of the expense, too. Sempra says it anticipates reaping around $300 million a year in profits from the plant, while shedding much of the investment risk.

It is one example of how the U.S. energy industry, drawing on plentiful supplies of natural gas from newly developed shale-rock formations, is beginning to gain from a world-wide thirst for natural gas—particularly in Japan. Earlier this month, Japan shut down the last of its 50 nuclear reactors, switching off a power source that once produced 30% of the nation's electricity. Even if some reactors eventually restart, demand for natural gas to fire power plants is likely to remain strong for years in Japan, which imports almost all the natural gas it uses.

For article GO HERE

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