MacBank looking to expand US energy trade  

Posted by Big Gav in , , ,

The SMH reports that shale gas from the drought stricken Eagle Ford area in Texas is expected to supply the US’ first LNG export project, which is being pushed by the Silver Donut’s US operation - MacBank looking to expand US energy trade.

Macquarie Bank is looking to expand its energy trading business in the physical North American crude, liquefied natural gas, and coal sectors in the coming years, says the head of the energy markets division.

Macquarie, Australia's largest investment bank and already one of the top traders of physical natural gas in the United States, has been looking into several new markets based on client requests and the expected leverage it will have with a planned LNG export terminal. ...

Trading of Canadian crude has surged in recent years due to rising production from the oil sands, and O'Kane says the bank has opened a 12 person Calgary office to help handle trade.
Overall, the bank has expanded its energy trading division from around 16 people when it started in late 2002 to currently employ around 240 people in the front office, with a strong focus on natural gas.

Macquarie entered the U.S. natural gas market in 2005 with the acquisition of Cook Inlet Energy Supply, and in 2009 acquired Constellation Energy's downstream natural gas trading platform. O'Kane said it now ranks fourth in physical U.S. natural gas trade, behind BP, Shell, and ConocoPhillips, trading 12 billion cubic feet per day.

With natural gas prices under looking under pressure and rangebound in the near future due to rising U.S. output from shale plays, O'Kane said the start up of its planned LNG export terminal with Freeport LNG in Texas in 2015 will lead to further opportunities to trade the fuel.

He said that even with Freeport and other LNG export options elsewhere under discussion, there probably will not be enough export projects built to tip the balance of U.S. markets and send prices strongly higher.

"We don't think ... the export projects that have been talked about at the moment will have a large impact on the price, particularly Freeport which is close to the Eagle Ford (shale reserves)," O'Kane said, adding that the company has been looking to lock in buyers for the project.

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