Mike Fulwood

Senior Research Fellow

Mike Fulwood joined the OIES in October 2017.  Mike has over 35 years of experience in the gas industry.  Before joining the OIES, Mike worked as a consultant, with Energy Markets between 1997 and 2008 and then with Nexant as Director, Global Gas & LNG.    Before working as consultant, Mike worked for British Gas from 1979, latterly as a Director at British Gas Transco, in charge of the price control review, and prior to that President of British Gas Americas during which time he oversaw many successful acquisitions and projects including the acquisitions of Metrogas (Argentina), NGC (now Dynegy), the Bolivia – Brazil pipeline and Trinidad LNG project.

While working as a consultant Mike undertook a wide range of projects in all areas of the gas chain, covering regulatory matters, gas pricing and tariffs, gas sales and transportation contracts, market studies and price forecasting, as well as helping develop Nexant’s World Gas Model.  Mike is currently Chairman of the International Gas Union’s Gas Pricing Group, which undertakes the Wholesale Gas Price Survey.  He also speaks widely at gas conferences all over the world, particularly on gas markets, gas trading matters and gas pricing.

Contact

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                    [post_content] => LNG spot prices in Asia have fallen sharply in the last 6 months as the supply coming on to the market has outstripped demand. With oil prices remaining above $70/b this has opened up a wide gap with oil linked long term contract prices. Are we seeing the beginning of a systematic decoupling of spot and contract prices as happened in Europe in 2009? In Europe this led to contract renegotiations and arbitrations with the result that oil indexed pricing has all but disappeared in the Northwest Europe market. If the decoupling in Asia is for a prolonged period, will the same pattern develop in that region, despite the slow pace of market liberalisation in the key LNG importing countries?
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                    [post_content] => The LNG business is in a period of considerable change as it moves from a structured to a traded market. The entry of new players has resulted in a more flexible value chain model, where the bilateral linkages between suppliers and buyers are no longer 'fixed'. The increase in spot purchases and short-term trading has resulted in a market that is increasingly liquid, but still not liquid enough to underpin new liquefaction plant FIDs without the support of medium/long-term contracts from high credit intermediaries. This OIES PowerPoint report discusses what LNG models could underpin the next wave of LNG liquefaction capacity, and asks if the market participants (aggregators, portfolio companies, and intermediaries) have the financial and commercial capacity to support such new models.

The report concludes that for new FIDs to happen, in the absence of a fully liquid market and the lack of availability of independent LNG pricing indices, long-term contracts or equity investment/offtake structures with high credit counterparties will still be required. Steps towards a market/traded LNG market have been taken although there is still a long way to go before a fully functioning traded market, but it is just a question of when, not if, it will arrive. The market needs to see compromise between buyers and sellers on contracts and lenders need to develop funding packages that support the move towards a fully traded market.

Executive Summary - New Players New Models
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                    [post_content] => Gas demand in Sub-Saharan Africa has largely been based on domestic production in specific countries such as Nigeria and Cote d'Ivoire. Outside South Africa, Botswana, and Zimbabwe there is little or no coal-fired power generation for gas to compete with, as power generation is dominated by oil and hydro. This Insight considers the opportunities for gas to displace oil-fired generation in key markets and also to drive the growth in power generation as the region provides more access to electricity to its rapidly growing population. The gas is likely to come predominantly from domestic production but also by importing LNG, with many countries looking at import schemes. There are still many challenges to overcome including geopolitical issues, lack of clear regulatory frameworks, quality and reliability of electricity networks, tariffs and revenue collection and creditworthiness. Notwithstanding these issues, there may be opportunities for LNG to break into some markets, albeit not on the scale and timing of the new Asian markets.
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                    [post_content] => With energy demand in Africa forecast to grow quickly in the coming decades, the prospects of LNG imports have been talked up by many commentators, with Ghana being thought of as one of the brightest prospects. Ghana first began developing its gas market by importing pipeline gas from Nigeria, along the West African Gas Pipeline, at the end of 2008, to replace the burning of expensive light crude oil in power plants.  However, the supply of gas from Nigeria has not lived up to expectations, with Nigerian suppliers failing to deliver the contractual amounts, the pipeline being occasionally breached and non-payment by Ghana becoming a problem in 2014.  At the same time, Ghana began to develop its own gas reserves, with the start-up of associated gas from the Tullow-operated Jubilee field in 2014, followed by the TEN field in 2016.  In 2018 the start-up of the Sankofa field will add significantly to the level of domestic production. However, even with optimistic projections on the growth in electricity generation, combined with an assumption that all power plants which can burn gas will do so, there appears to be no room in the market for LNG until after 2020 at the earliest.  Additionally, there have been a number of abortive attempts to develop Floating Storage Regasification Unit (FSRU) projects, with the lack of enforceable contracts, inability to put in place the necessary infrastructure and creditworthiness all being concerns. The IEA in WEO 2017 was relatively bullish on the prospects for gas demand growth in Africa, assisted in part by the deployment of FSRUs.  However, the experience of Ghana suggests that these prospects may be over-optimistic. If the LNG glut that so many are expecting does not materialise then Ghana, like Ivory Coast, may have missed the boat in terms of accessing cheap LNG via FSRU. African gas demand growth should be centred on using locally domestic resources. This will not help to foster FIDs for African LNG projects as they won’t get any regional customers and would therefore have to compete in the other regional markets (Asia, Europe and Latin America).
                    [post_title] => Future prospects for LNG demand in Ghana
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Latest Publications by Mike Fulwood

Latest research by Mike Fulwood