For years, US chemical companies have benefitted from the Obama administration’s efforts to make the shale gas boom the saviour of US energy security. With US companies forbidden to export gas, the chemicals industry, for whom natural gas is a major ingredient, has enjoyed artificially low prices.

The administration’s decision to end the ban on exports of US shale gas will let Asian suppliers back into the market for valuable plastics. Read more

A $3bn equity issue is a big achievement for any company in the current financial enviroment. So it’s a tribute to PTT Exploration & Production, Thailand’s biggest oil and gas explorer, that the rights issue announced on Friday has been welcomed in the markets, with the shares rising 3.6 per cent. Read more

Mozambique’s are the gas fields that just keep giving. Eni, the Italian state-controlled energy group, said on Wednesday it had made a significant find of gas in the Mamba offshore exploration block – an extra 10tn cubic feet to its previous finds.

The discovery confirms Mozambique as one of the key areas for LNG in Africa and one of the most exciting prospects for the world’s major energy companies. Read more

After a bidding war that has gone on almost all year, Shell has on Monday stepped out of the bidding war for Cove Energy. Which means the winner of the battle for the London-listed company is PTT of Thailand. The market was expecting a showdown, with shares opening on Monday at 278 pence, but as soon as Shell threw in the towel, they plunged and closed 14 per cent down at PTT’s offer price. Read more

Shell, over to you.

The bidding war for London-listed energy company Cove took another turn on Wednesday. PTT Exploration & Production, Thailand’s biggest oil explorer, raised its offer to 240p per share, or £1.22bn ($1.92bn), trumping Shell’s previous bid of 220p. Read more

Three months after it put itself up for sale, Cove Energy – the UK listed company with interests in Mozambique’s huge natural gas fields – said on Tuesday it had accepted a bid from Royal Dutch Shell of 220p a share, valuing the company at £1.12bn ($1.94bn).

In a joint statement, the companies said: “The formal sale process has now been concluded.” But they added: “Other potential offerors can still nonetheless announce competing offers for Cove.” Will PTT Exploration, the state-controlled Thai energy group which had already offered 220p a share, rise to the bait? Read more

The price tag on Cove Energy, the UK-listed oil and gas company that has a stake in Mozambique’s biggest gas field, just went up.

Cove, which has at least three potential buyers banging on its doors, said on Wednesday that it was “delighted” to confirm a big increase in proven reserves in Mozambique’s Rovuma offshore gas basin, where it has an 8.5 per cent stake.

Shareholders will be even more delighted if the bidders start raising their offers. With bids of $1.7bn bid, from Thailand’s PTT Exploration & Production, and $1.6bn from Royal Dutch Shell, and an expression of interest from India’s state-run resources companies, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation and GAIL India,  the auction is well under way.  Read more