Martin Lambert

Senior Research Fellow

Martin Lambert works as an independent consultant specialising in the international gas and LNG business.    His areas of expertise include commercial strategy, project development and structuring, economics, gas and LNG marketing and trading.

Martin’s 34 year career with Shell included several senior leadership positions in the gas and LNG businesses.    His overseas assignments included Japan, where he was responsible for marketing Shell’s LNG to gas and power companies, the Philippines where he was commercial manager during the development of the Malampaya gas field, and Australia where he was seconded to North West Shelf Australia LNG as Senior Vice President Marketing.     From his UK base, his career also included frequent international travel, and was a key member of the team which closed a major LNG project in the Middle East.

Martin’s career also included several years in related areas outside the core gas business: managing research teams developing products from Gas to Liquids and leadership roles in Shell’s biofuels business.

Martin holds an MA in economics and engineering from the University of Cambridge.

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                    [post_content] => This Insight continues the OIES series considering the future of gas. The clear message from previous papers is that on the (increasingly certain) assumption that governments in major European gas markets remain committed to decarbonisation targets, the existing natural gas industry is under threat.   It is therefore important to develop a decarbonisation narrative leading to a low- or zero-carbon gas implementation plan.

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Since the term ‘hydrogen economy’ was first used in 1970 , there have been a number of ‘false dawns’ with bold claims for the speed of transition to hydrogen.  This Insight argues that this time, for some applications at least, there are grounds for optimism about a future role for decarbonised hydrogen, but the lesson from history is that bold claims need to be examined carefully and treated with some caution. There are no easy or low-cost solutions to decarbonisation of the energy system and this is certainly the case for possible deployment of low-carbon hydrogen. A key challenge is to demonstrate the technical, commercial, economic and social acceptability of various possibilities at scale. Hydrogen will certainly play a role in decarbonisation of the energy system, although the size of the role may be more limited than envisaged in some more optimistic projections.
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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] => In the last couple of years there has been increasing recognition by key players in the European gas industry that to mitigate the risk of terminal decline in the context of a decarbonising energy system, there will need to be rapid scale up of decarbonised gas. This has led to several projections of the scale of decarbonised gas which could potentially be supplied by 2030, 2040 or 2050. This paper, joint with the Sustainable Gas Institute at Imperial College, London, considers the very significant rate of scale up and the significant cost reductions contemplated by such projections.  Based on a database of actual announced projects (both committed and in earlier stages of development) for production of decarbonised gas, it then considers the extent to which project activity is consistent with meeting the ambitious projections. It identifies a significant gap in current levels of activity, largely because there is not yet sufficient economic incentive for investors to develop the required projects. It is intended that this paper will form the basis of continued tracking of the level of activity over the coming years, to help inform industry players of further actions which may be required.
                    [post_title] => A mountain to climb? Tracking progress in scaling up renewable gas production in Europe
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                    [post_content] => Since the COP 21 meeting in Paris in December 2015, there has been a growing realisation that with the long-term objective that the energy system should be approaching carbon-neutrality by 2050, continuing to burn significant quantities of fossil-derived natural gas will not be sustainable. If existing natural gas infrastructure is to avoid becoming stranded assets, plans to decarbonise the gas system need to be developed as a matter of urgency in the next three to five years, given the typical life expectancy of such assets of 20 years or more. One of the options to decarbonise gas is “power-to-gas”: production of hydrogen or renewable methane via electrolysis, using surplus renewable electricity. This Energy Insight reviews the status of power-to-gas and makes an assessment of potential future development pathways and the role which it could play in decarbonising the energy system.
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                    [post_content] => The Caribbean has been described as a potentially ideal region for LNG imports due to its present dependence on diesel and fuel oil for power generation, high electricity tariffs and its proximity to regional LNG suppliers in Trinidad & Tobago and on the US Gulf Coast. Central America is also attracting investor interest as demonstrated by the construction of an LNG import terminal in Panama.

The region is of interest to the wider LNG industry, as some of the technical, commercial and logistical innovations being developed for the Caribbean may be useful models for developing smaller potential LNG markets elsewhere in the world (e.g. in Africa, SE Asia, Mediterranean islands). While other parts of the world have struggled to progress LNG import plans, new projects have been developed in the Caribbean, such as in Jamaica and Panama, both relying on supply to power plants and alternative business models appropriate to the local markets. The small size of the markets presents logistic and commercial challenges for the supply of LNG and for financing the projects.

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                    [post_title] => The potential market for LNG in the Caribbean and Central America
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                    [post_content] => With a current focus on the need to decarbonise the energy system, and increasing interest in decarbonising the gas industry[1], this short paper provides an overview of the current status and considers the potential for further growth in the production and use of biogas and biomethane. It focuses on key countries in Europe, which have been leading the way in commercial scale production, and touches briefly on the potential in the rest of the world. The paper includes a short overview of the feedstocks and technologies involved, an assessment of the potential supply growth, a review of the economics and comparison with alternative approaches towards decarbonising the energy system, and a consideration of the impact of government policy on the rate of growth of the industry.

[1] Stern 2017: The Future of Gas in Decarbonising European Energy Markets
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Latest Publications by Martin Lambert

Latest research by Martin Lambert