Energy/Automotive News| WTI Crude $73.48/bbl, Brent $78.72/bbl, Opec $77.47/bbl

London, 06 February 2024, (Oilandgaspress): -The consumption of natural gas in the United States reached a new record on January 16, 2024, the Energy Information Administration said on Tuesday. A record 141.5 billion cubic feet (Bcf) was consumed on that day, beating the previous record set on December 23, 2022, the EIA said, citing estimates from S&P Global Commodity

TotalEnergies and Vantage Drilling International have signed a binding agreement to create a new joint venture (JV) that will acquire from Vantage the Tungsten Explorer drillship. Pursuant to the terms of the agreement, TotalEnergies will pay $199 million for a 75% interest in the JV owning the rig, with Vantage owning the remaining 25%. Leveraging on Vantage’s deep offshore drilling experience and longstanding collaboration with TotalEnergies, the JV will contract Vantage to operate the Tungsten Explorer for 10 years.

“TotalEnergies is pleased to enter into this agreement with Vantage to take shared ownership of a drillship, the Tungsten Explorer, which we already used in exploration and development activities in Namibia, Cyprus and Congo. Through this innovative partnership, TotalEnergies will be able to hedge deep-offshore drilling costs: the JV will provide us with both value and flexibility. We look forward to continuing our journey together with the experienced Vantage team that will continue to oversee the rig’s operations”, said Patrick Pouyanné, Chairman and CEO of TotalEnergies. Read full article

Daimler Buses Solutions GmbH has reached an important milestone in one of its first major projects by kick-starting construction measures for an e-bus depot in The Hague. The 100% Daimler Buses subsidiary is electrifying the entire bus depot of HTM Personenvervoer NV, one of the local public transport operators in the Dutch city. The project covers the entire “e-system” and thus the installation of all 41 charging stations with a total of 122 charging points, providing the charging management, the software and the operating concept. Commissioning is scheduled for the third quarter of this year. As part of the overall package, Daimler Buses will be delivering at least 95 battery-electric Mercedes-Benz eCitaro city buses to HTM.

Dietrich Müller, Managing Director of Daimler Buses Solutions GmbH: “Our key expertise is the development of innovative and customized e-systems from a single source. Together with our customers, we create ideal conditions to operate electrified bus fleets directly on site. That’s why we operate throughout Europe.”

Customized E-System

The plan is to create “fast lanes” at HTM’s depot, enabling rapid charging of the electric city buses during the day, and thus during operation, using powerful charging stations with an output of 360 kW. In the evenings, when buses are not in use, the power can be split between several buses: This means that up to four buses per charging station can be charged overnight at 90 kW. A total of 28 charging stations will be installed at the depot in The Hague, capable of simultaneously supplying 109 electric buses with energy. In addition, the plan is to install 13 charging stations at three other sites run by the operator. In total, 122 charging points will be installed. Read full article

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI)’s technology is being deployed by leading global cement manufacturer Heidelberg Materials UK, for Front End Engineering Design (FEED), to further study the specifications of a CO2 capture plant at Padeswood Cement Works in Flintshire, UK.

This contract has been awarded in accordance with the progress made by the Padeswood CCS (carbon capture and storage) project planned for the site. MHI was selected after working on the initial competitive Pre-FEED (Note) project study awarded in 2022.

The project is part of the HyNet CCUS (carbon capture, utilization and storage) cluster in the North West of the UK, which plans to capture up to 800,000 tons of CO2 annually from flue gas produced during the cement manufacturing process and store it in a depleted gas field off Liverpool Bay. The CO2 capture plant could start operation in 2028. As well as the direct benefit of decarbonizing the industrial process, enabling the production of carbon neutral cement is key to supporting a low carbon supply chain to the construction industry. This project is a partnership between MHI and Worley, a global professional services company of energy, chemicals and resources experts, and will implement the basic design of the CO2 capture plant using the “Advanced KM CDR Process™” proprietary CO2 capture technology developed jointly with The Kansai Electric Power Co., Inc.. Read full article

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) today announced the following executive-level personnel changes effective March 31 and April 1, 2024 and made nominations for Directors to be proposed to the 99th Ordinary General Meeting of Shareholders scheduled for June 27, 2024. Read full article

The new Mercedes-Benz CLE Cabriolet, is continuing its long tradition of four-seater open-top dream cars. Expressive design, intelligent technology and upmarket equipment guarantee driving pleasure at an exclusive level. This new model is based on the sporty CLE Coupé. However, the classic fabric acoustic soft top and additional high-quality details give it a character of its own. The CLE Cabriolet combines dynamic driving characteristics with a high level of everyday comfort for year-round open-air enjoyment. It is now available to order from sales partners in Germany and online at prices starting at 66,402 euros[1]. Market launch in Europe begins at the end of April 2024, with other markets to follow.

Open-air fun any time of year
The AIRCAP® electric wind deflector system and the AIRSCARF® headroom heating system are standard equipment. Both systems have been further developed. They make open-top driving in cool outside temperatures more pleasant. AIRCAP® consists of two elements: the wind deflector on the windscreen directs airflow over the occupants’ heads. It extends at the touch of a button. The automatic wind deflector behind the rear head restraints reduces turbulence more efficiently. AIRSCARF® produces even warmer airflow around the necks and throats of front-seat occupants – even in unfavourable wind conditions. Read more

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI, TSE Code: 7011) announced that order intake rose 51.6% year-over-year to ¥4,496.6 billion in the three quarters ended December 31, 2023. Revenue rose 11.0% to ¥3,260.6 billion year-over-year, resulting in profit from business activities (business profit) of ¥191.6 billion, an 82.0% increase over the previous fiscal year, which represents a profit margin of 5.9%. Profit attributable to owners of parent (net income) was ¥138.0 billion, an increase of 107.8% year-over-year, with a profit margin of 4.2%. EBITDA was ¥296.4 billion, a 42.1% increase over Q1-3 FY2022, with an EBITDA margin of 9.1%, up 2.0 percentage points year-over-year. In Energy Systems, strong demand in Gas Turbine Combined Cycle (GTCC) as well as Nuclear Power served to increase order intake. GTCC booked ten large frame gas turbine units in Q1-3. Margin improvements in GTCC and Steam Power together with a YoY reduction in one-time items offset expenses in Aero Engines related to the PW1100G-JM Engine Program. All of these factors helped to boost segment business profit by ¥38.7 billion YoY.
P&I saw revenue grow by ¥95.2 billion YoY as Metals Machinery continued to work through its extensive backlog. This topline growth combined with enhanced profitability in Engineering and Machinery Systems led to a ¥20.1 billion YoY increase in segment business profit.
In LT&D, strong trends in Logistics Systems, Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning (HVAC), and Engines continued, resulting in an ¥86.4 billion increase in revenue. Higher units sold, successful price optimization, and the weak yen caused segment business profit to rise by ¥36.6 billion YoY.
In ADS, the booking of stand-off defense and other large projects from the Japan Ministry of Defense drove order intake to an all-time high of ¥1,204.1 billion. Segment revenue and business profit increased ¥94.9 billion and ¥18.0 billion YoY, respectively, due to increased business in both Defense & Space and Commercial Aviation, as well as foreign exchange effects. Read full article

Neste has achieved the Leadership level and A− rating for its climate actions by the global non-profit organization CDP, which annually assesses companies in their environmental transparency and performance on climate change, deforestation and water security. Neste has been included in the Leadership (A or A−) level in the Climate Change assessment for eight consecutive years. Neste has also received good results in CDP’s Forests and Water Security assessments. Neste achieved an A− rating from palm oil and an A− rating from cattle products in the Forests category. For Water Security, Neste received a B rating. All these results are based on Neste’s sustainability performance in 2022.

“We are very pleased with our acknowledgement in CDP’s assessments. At Neste, we have set ambitious targets for both climate and biodiversity, and we work persistently to achieve them. Being recognized among the most sustainable companies encourages us to continue on our path to provide more sustainable solutions for our customers,” says Carl Nyberg, Executive Vice President, Renewables Supply Chain and Sustainability at Neste. Read full article

TotalEnergies has published the third edition of its Human Rights Briefing Paper. In 2016, TotalEnergies was the first Oil & Gas company to publish an information document on human rights. With this new edition, the Company continues to pursue a path of transparency.

The Human Rights Briefing Paper describes TotalEnergies’ commitments with regard to internationally recognized human rights and reference texts, notably the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the International Labour Organization’s Fundamental Conventions, the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights (VPSHR). It also reports on how these commitments to stakeholders are put into action through our operations and projects. Read full article

Top 24 Electric Vehicles with Space, Safety, and Style. As a family, you may be considering electric cars to reduce your carbon footprint while enjoying the latest in automotive technology.

Family EVs come in various styles, offering comfort, safety, and affordability. In this guide, we will explore 24 best electric cars perfect for families like yours. Switching to an EV can result in lower fuel and maintenance costs. With the growing availability of charging stations, you’ll find it increasingly convenient to own an EV for your family.The 2024 Genesis Electrified GV70 is a top option for families looking for a luxurious, all-electric SUV. With a price starting at $66,450, it offers a great balance of power, purpose, and performance. This electric SUV provides an estimated range of up to 236 miles. Experience the perfect blend of luxury and sustainability in the 2024 Genesis Electrified GV70. The 2024 Kia EV6 is an all-electric crossover SUV perfect for families. With a range of up to 310 miles,. Read full article

JLR is today announcing it is opening up the entry requirements on an apprenticeship programme this year to attract candidates from a broader range of educational backgrounds. In a first for JLR, candidates with BTEC and T-Level qualifications can now apply for its Level Four Higher Apprenticeship in engineering, alongside candidates with A-level maths.

Ahead of National Apprenticeship Week (5–9 February), the UK’s largest luxury car manufacturer is also adding a further 50 places to its 2024 apprenticeship scheme bringing the total number of available apprenticeships to 350, to offer a JLR career to more candidates. In readiness for the company’s next generation electric vehicle value chain, JLR has also launched a new Supply Chain and Procurement Degree Apprenticeship to help revolutionise the planning, resilience and sustainability of the company’s future global supply network.

19-year-old, Suleman Ahmed, from Birmingham, a JLR Applied Professional Engineering degree apprentice, turned down a highly sought after place at the University of Cambridge in favour a JLR degree apprenticeship, because of the career prospects the company offers.

Suleman is involved in the development of JLR’s next generation electric vehicles. He tests the physical durability of parts and the functionality of car systems using a mix of software, hardware and coding to simulate a real-world environment. Read full article

TotalEnergies wished to detail its main contributions and commitments in France, both as a leading economic player in France and as a responsible company.

Since 2020, we have invested more than €6 billion in France, half of which for the energy transition in the country. At the same time, we are keen to act for purchasing power, to involve our employees in our results and to support the regions through economic support and patronage actions.

“ TotalEnergies’ commitment in France goes beyond its sole economic contributions. Our Company also has a strong social and societal impact of which we are proud. We invest in favor of the energy transition and industrial tools, thus promoting activity and employment, but we also support numerous initiatives in the territories in favor of the general interest “, commented Isabelle Patrier, Director France from TotalEnergies .

Our concrete actions in favor of our customers
Capping the price of gasoline and diesel at €1.99/L
With the energy price crisis, we are continuing the commitment made at the beginning of 2023 to motorists with the ceiling of €1.99/L on the price of diesel and gasoline in all of our 3,400 service stations for the whole of 2024.

The Consumption Bonus of €100 for our electricity & gas customers
Anxious to support our customers in a context of high energy prices and in order to support their energy savings, we have renewed our Bonus Conso system for winter 2023-24. In addition to the savings made thanks to reduced consumption of electricity and gas, they benefit from a bonus of up to €100.

Our initiatives in favor of our employees. Our contributions to the energy transition and the territories
Our contribution to the energy transition
We are supporting the growth of electric mobility since this year we exceeded 1,000 high-power charging stations installed, making TotalEnergies the leading player in ultra-fast charging on motorways and expressways in France. Thus, we have already equipped 200 stations in 2023 and are targeting 500 stations in France in 2026. In addition to these terminals in stations, we operate nearly 20,000 charging points (communities, company fleets, home terminals for individuals, public terminals on roads, parking lots). Read full article

Mercedes-Benz eSprinter Mercedes-Benz eSprinter

The new Mercedes-Benz eSprinter is the electrified pioneer of the large van segment. And for the first time, North American customers can make their fleet more sustainable with a locally CO₂‑emission-free, battery-electric van bearing the Mercedes-Benz star. In addition to optimized efficiency, the new eSprinter offers its customers a multitude of technical innovations that make driving more convenient and a multitude of commercial uses cases more sustainable. The new eSprinter is also highly versatile: depending on their needs, customers worldwide can now opt for more range or more payload thanks to a wide range of variants in most markets. Depending on the options available in their markets, customers have a choice of two body styles and lengths as well as three different sizes of battery.

“The new Mercedes-Benz eSprinter underlines our claim to ‘Lead in Electric’ and kicks off the next stage of our electrification strategy. Its versatility and flexibility make the new eSprinter the ideal vehicle for a wide range of applications.”
Mathias Geisen, Head of Mercedes-Benz Vans

The new eSprinter will initially be available as a long panel van and high roof in the U.S. and Canada with a 113 kilowatt hour (kWh) battery (usable capacity), while European markets will also receive a battery of 56 kWh as well as 81 kWh. In addition, the new eSprinter will also be available as an open model for the first time at a later date. This makes the eSprinter an attractive vehicle for numerous new industries as well as for upfitters. Read more

TSMC Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corporation (“SSS”), DENSO Corporation (“DENSO”) and Toyota Motor Corporation (“Toyota”) today announced further investment into Japan Advanced Semiconductor Manufacturing, Inc. (“JASM”), TSMC’s majority-owned manufacturing subsidiary in Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan, to build a second fab, which is scheduled to begin operation by the end of the 2027 calendar year. Toyota will also take a minority stake. Together with JASM’s first fab, which is scheduled to begin operation in 2024, the overall investment in JASM will exceed US$20 billion with strong support from the Japanese government.

In response to rising customer demand, JASM plans to commence construction of its second fab by the end of 2024. The increased production scale is also expected to improve overall cost structure and supply chain efficiency for JASM. With both fabs, JASM’s Kumamoto site is expected to offer a total production capacity of more than 100,000 12-inch wafers per month starting from 40, 22/28, 12/16 and 6/7 nanometer process technologies for automotive, industrial, consumer and HPC-related applications. The capacity plan may be further adjusted based upon customer demand. With both fabs, the Kumamoto site is expected to directly create more than 3,400 high-tech professional jobs.

With this investment, TSMC, SSS, DENSO and Toyota will hold equity stakes of approximately 86.5%, 6.0%, 5.5%, and 2.0% in JASM, respectively. The closing of the transaction among JASM, TSMC, SSS, DENSO and Toyota are subject to customary closing conditions. Read More

Range Energy (Range), the hardware company bringing powered trailers to the commercial trucking market, today announced that the California Air Resources Board (CARB) updated the point-of-sale incentive value for its 53-foot electric trailer, the RA, from the original $80,000/unit to up to $120,000/unit through the Clean Off-Road Equipment (CORE) Voucher Project. In July 2023, Range became the first trailer electrification platform to be accepted into CORE, marking a huge milestone for the commercial trucking industry as it looks to accelerate decarbonization efforts.Range is accelerating the electrification of commercial transportation through the development of powered trailers for the heavy duty freight market. Range’s electric-powered trailers hook up to any diesel-powered truck today, doubling its gas mileage while cutting NOx emissions by 67 percent.

CORE, part of the state-wide initiative California Climate Investments, is designed to help California fleet owners and operators deploy zero emissions equipment, providing a streamlined voucher process by which they can receive funding to offset the cost of cleaner off-road equipment as well as develop innovative ways to reduce pollution. As Range leverages the flexibility of its platform to include battery capacities up to 300 kWh, the CORE program voucher amount was extended to cover Range’s full product lineup. Read More

EIA increased its U.S. natural gas consumption forecast for the first quarter of 2024

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that U.S. natural gas consumption reached a record high in January at 118 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d). A burst of cold weather increased demand for heating and reduced natural gas production, which led to high inventory withdrawals.

According to its February Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), EIA expects natural gas inventories to remain above the previous five-year average, despite the high withdrawals in January. EIA expects about 15% higher U.S. natural gas inventories at the end of this winter compared with the previous five-year average because of forecast milder weather.

EIA expects U.S. natural gas production to increase in February, reach 105 Bcf/d in March, and stay close to that level for the rest of 2024. As a result, EIA expects prices to fall from January’s average of $3.18 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) to about $2.40/MMBtu in February and March. “The cold weather last month sent us into record-setting natural gas consumption territory for a few days, but we expect less-than-average consumption going into February and March,” said EIA Administrator Joe DeCarolis. “Any late-winter cold snaps could introduce significant volatility back into the natural gas market.” Read More

Oil and Gas BlendsUnitsOil Price US$/bblChange
Crude Oil (WTI)USD/bbl$73.48Up
Crude Oil (Brent)USD/bbl$78.72Up
Bonny LightUSD/bbl$78.53Down
Saharan BlendUSD/bbl$78.91Down
Natural GasUSD/MMBtu$2.03Down
OPEC basket 05/02/24USD/bbl$77.47Down
At press time 06 February 2024

Rig Count: U.S. -2 to 619 Canada +2 to 232
U.S. Rig Count is down 2 from last week to 619 with oil rigs unchanged at 499, gas rigs down 2 to 117 and miscellaneous rigs unchanged at 3.
Canada Rig Count is up 2 from last week to 232, with oil rigs down 3 to 141, and gas rigs up 5 to 91.

International Rig Count is up 10 rigs from last month to 965 with land rigs up 5 to 740, offshore rigs up 5 to 225. International Rig Count is up 64 rigs from last year’s count of 901, with land rigs up 65, offshore rigs down 1.

The Worldwide Rig Count for January was 1,784, up 45 from the 1,739 counted in December 2023, and down 115, from the 1,899 counted in January 2023.

RegionPeriodRig CountChange
U.S.A02 February 2024619-2
Canada02 February 2024232+2
InternationalJanuary 2024965+10
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