Marshall Hall

Senior Research Fellow

Marshall spent 35 years working in and around the European oil and gas industry between 1981 and 2016.  He began his career in oil trading and refining at BP, worked as an oil analyst at the IEA, an equity and commodity analyst at SG Warburg/UBS in the financial sector and then in gas and LNG markets analysis at BG Group until 2013. He then moved to Oil and Gas UK as Energy Policy Manager, dealing principally with EU energy and climate policy and gas market regulation until late 2016.

Since joining the OIES Gas Research Programme, he has contributed to research papers on the UKCS, Norwegian gas, emission reduction in the upstream industry and energy -related methane emissions.

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                    [post_content] => Across Europe, the tension between the pursuit of national emission reduction targets and global climate targets and between the competing objectives of energy and climate policy is becoming more evident. This is particularly apparent in the gas-producing countries of NW Europe, notably the Netherlands, which combines domestic gas production, state participation in the upstream, a high dependence on gas in end-use and very ambitious energy transition targets.

The geopolitical, financial and supply security consequences of the rapid rise in Dutch gas imports since the decision to phase out Groningen gas production has attracted much attention, but the environmental consequences have been harder to identify and much less discussed.  This paper looks at the mature ‘small fields’, examines the resource base, future production and GHG emissions and attempts to quantify the global emissions benefit of extending the life of these fields and of maximising their production over the next 20-25 years.  The carbon footprint or GHG emissions associated with the supply from the small fields is exceptionally low by international standards and much lower than all sources of imported gas except Norway.  Since the Netherlands will still be consuming natural gas well into the 2040s under the most ambitious projections of the energy transition, it makes environmental sense to maximise the supply from domestic resources.

The ‘small fields’ have suffered a period of accelerated decline in recent years due to an unfavourable investment climate, policy neglect and low gas prices. In 2020, production fell to 13.3 bcm, two thirds from offshore fields in the North Sea and imports rose to a new record level.  The re-use of part of the existing upstream infrastructure is central to current plans for CCS and offshore generation of renewable electricity and hydrogen. Extending production from existing gas resources through responsive government policy and avoiding premature decommissioning of this infrastructure should remain priorities of public policy well into the 2030s, or until all technology and economic options for decarbonisation have been thoroughly explored.
                    [post_title] => Dutch Gas Production from the Small Fields: Why extending their life contributes to the energy transition
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                    [post_content] => This comment looks at the announcement by the Danish government on 4 December to cancel the 8th offshore licensing round and all future rounds and to phase out all production of oil and gas by 2050. It describes the industry and political background to the announcement, including the ambitious legal target of a 70% reduction in GHG emissions by 2030 and climate neutrality by 2050, and the most recent official projections of offshore production. It concludes that it will shape operators’ investment and management of mature fields but its impact on Danish emissions and upstream production in 2030 and 2050 is likely to be much more modest than at first appears. However, if the reform galvanises the Danish authorities and investors to commit resources to the development of offshore CO2 storage in the period 2025-30, it may contribute significantly to Denmark’s climate objectives.
                    [post_title] => Denmark’s phase-out of upstream oil and gas: Effective climate policy or symbolic gesture?
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                    [post_content] => The recent adoption by the UK and Norway of ‘net zero’ and ‘climate neutrality’ targets by 2050 has galvanised the upstream oil and gas industry in both countries to adopt GHG emission reduction targets for 2030 and 2050 for the first time. Meeting these targets, ensuring an appropriate sharing of costs between investors and taxpayers and preserving investor confidence will present a lasting challenge to governments and industry.  The scale of the challenge on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS) is far greater than on the more mature UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) since the remaining resource base is much larger, the expected future production decline is less severe and the emission intensity on the NCS is already much lower (10 kg CO2e/boe) than on the UKCS (28 kgCO2e/boe).  Norway is expected to deliver future CO2 emission reduction through an extension of its existing power-from-shore electrification programme. The high cost of such investment, borne mainly by the state via the tax system, is a political and social choice made by Norway to reduce upstream CO2 emissions without giving up its commitment to develop its remaining offshore resources.

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                    [post_title] => Net Zero Targets and GHG Emission Reduction in the UK and Norwegian Upstream Oil and Gas Industry: A Comparative Assessment
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                    [post_content] => The OIES Natural Gas Quarterly aims to provide a regular insight into the thoughts of Research Fellows on topical issues as well as providing a different angle on trends in global gas pricing. In the pricing section, the Quarterly reviews the LNG Tightness measure, looks at the Russian gas export price to Europe versus the marginal cost of US LNG and also reviews prices on Gazprom’s Electronic Sales Platform (ESP). In Asia we compare the Japanese LNG import price with the LNG spot price and also look at Chinese domestic prices compared with JKM.

The Quarterly also outline our views on the Key Themes for 2020, including thoughts from Mike Fulwood on LNG project FIDs and how developers may need to accelerate plans if they are not going to miss the next window of opportunity in the mid-2020s. Mike Fulwood and Jack Sharples then question the availability of LNG for Europe and ask whether sufficient storage will be available to take all the possible supply. Anouk Honore then looks at a possible cause for optimism for European gas demand, highlighting key legislation that should be passed in 2020 concerning coal phase out in Germany. Continuing the European theme, Marshall Hall discusses likely further progress this year in the transformation of the Dutch gas market, while James Henderson considers the increasing diversity of Russian gas export flows via pipeline and LNG. Jack Sharples develops the theme of Russian gas exports further, suggesting that the Gazprom ESP can provide further evidence concerning the company’s export strategy in 2020. On a different, but still European, theme Anouk Honoré considers the potential impact of the new EU Green Deal and considers how it could be developed further during the year with potentially long-lasting consequences for the energy system. Martin Lambert then suggests that 2020 could be the year when we start to see more active progress in decarbonisation outside Europe, with Australia, Japan and even the US highlighted as possible sources of technology development and practical action in the decarbonisation of the gas sector. Michal Median then outlines her view on the outlook for the Chinese gas sector in 2020, suggesting that coal to gas switching could regain some momentum and that LNG could benefit as a result. Finally, Patrick Heather looks at the emergence of the JKM price marker as a benchmark for gas prices in Asia and suggests that further progress could be made this year towards it becoming the pre-eminent pricing tool in the region.

 
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                    [post_content] => The decline in indigenous gas production in Europe is an important issue as the region struggles to address its security of supply issues. Understanding the future of gas output is therefore of critical importance and having first addressed the future of the Norwegian Continental Shelf Marshall Hall now turns his attention to the UKCS. In this detailed and informative paper he not only provides an assessment of the resources still available in UK waters and the economics of their production, but also assesses regulatory issues and government policy that could promote increased output in future. He analyses projections of future UK gas production and provides important context for the assessment of the UK’s offshore gas potential. At a time when gas continues to play a vital role in the country’s energy mix, especially as coal is phased out, we believe that this paper is an important contribution to the debate around the future of gas in the UK.
                    [post_title] => Gas Production from the UK Continental Shelf: An Assessment of Resources, Economics and Regulatory Reform
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                    [post_content] => Norwegian net gas production reached a record high of 122 bcm in 2017, confounding many industry observers who had in 2016 and 2017 been sceptical of the ability of the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS) to maintain production at 110-115 bcm.  In January 2018, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) made significant upward revisions to its gas production projections which now show output of 121-123 bcm pa from 2018 to 2022, declining to 112 bcm in 2025 and then stabilising at 90-92 bcm pa in 2030-35. This paper examines the reliability of the NPD’s past projections and the plausibility of its updated projections based on published resource data, exploration activity, the capacity of onshore and offshore gas infrastructure, the demand for gas for improved oil recovery and published field development plans.  It concludes that the recent revisions reflect a confident appraisal of the resource base and the numerous options for new gas development of existing fields and discoveries. The risk of failing to meet the updated projections to about 2027 appears to be low.  Beyond 2027, the projections carry a progressively higher degree of geological, economic and political risk particularly in light of the recent lack of exploration success.  By 2035, 30 bcm of the projected 90 bcm of annual gas production is expected to come from currently undiscovered resources. The visibility of future gas production has diminished in recent years because of the reduction in future delivery commitments in Statoil’s gas sales portfolio. However, the reform of its gas sales since 2010 has conferred valuable new flexibility in future upstream investment decisions to develop and market NCS gas resources. The position of Norway as a reliable and competitive supplier of both contracted and flexible gas to NW Europe appears to be secure for the foreseeable future.
                    [post_title] => Norwegian Gas Exports - Assessment of Resources and Supply to 2035
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The geopolitical, financial and supply security consequences of the rapid rise in Dutch gas imports since the decision to phase out Groningen gas production has attracted much attention, but the environmental consequences have been harder to identify and much less discussed.  This paper looks at the mature ‘small fields’, examines the resource base, future production and GHG emissions and attempts to quantify the global emissions benefit of extending the life of these fields and of maximising their production over the next 20-25 years.  The carbon footprint or GHG emissions associated with the supply from the small fields is exceptionally low by international standards and much lower than all sources of imported gas except Norway.  Since the Netherlands will still be consuming natural gas well into the 2040s under the most ambitious projections of the energy transition, it makes environmental sense to maximise the supply from domestic resources.

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Latest Publications by Marshall Hall