This week

Japanese energy reform and the
impact expected in LNG market

Japan relies on LNG imports for 97 percent of natural gas demand and the nation has built its pipelines primarily to connect LNG receiving terminals on the coast to high demand areas where there are 30 million residential, business and industrial users.

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Spain has received its first US liquefied natural gas delivery on board the 138 000 cubic metres capacity carrier “Sestao Knutsen” and delivered to the Reganosa import terminal…
Australian energy company Santos, operator of the Gladstone LNG plant in Queensland and with stakes in two other production facilities in Darwin and Papua New Guinea, said…
Gaztransport and Technigaz (GTT), the French owner of liquefied natural gas maritime and other storage technologies, said first-half profit rose as it broadened its offerings in the…
AEG Power Solutions, a supplier of industrial electricity systems, was awarded a contract to supply electrical equipment that will insure uninterrupted power for the Yamal LNG project…
French energy and liquefied natural gas engineering company Technip said it was awarded a master services agreement for the US Monkey Island LNG export project in Louisiana.
Oil Search, the Australian-listed company that bid $2 billion for InterOil Corp. and its Papua New Guinea liquefied natural gas project assets, said it would not be…
LNG Ltd., developer of two North American export projects and with a site in Australia to build a coal-seam-gas-to-LNG plant, has announced staff reductions as it aims…
US oil major Chevron Corp. signed a preliminary agreement to supply liquefied natural gas to the Singapore subsidiary of Chinese energy company Jovo Group from 2018.
French energy company Total said it was analysing the competing offers from ExxonMobil and Australian-listed Oil Search for LNG feed-gas stakeholder InterOil, a transaction that will decide…
Australian energy company and LNG operator Santos said its Chief Financial Officer Andrew Seaton would be retiring from the company by the end of 2016 following more than 11…
Liquefied Natural Gas Ltd, the Australian company developing LNG export plants in the US and Canada, is holding a roadshow in its native country to promote the…

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InterOil deal for $2.5Bln

July 22 (LNGJ) - ExxonMobil and InterOil Corp. confirmed their agreed transaction worth more than $2.5 billion, under which ExxonMobil will acquire InterOil and its Papua New Guinea LNG assets after Australian-listed Oil Search withdrew from the bidding. “This agreement will enable ExxonMobil to create value for the shareholders of both companies and the people of Papua New Guinea,” said Rex W. Tillerson, Chairman and Chief Executive of ExxonMobil. InterOil Chairman Chris Finlayson said: “Our board thoroughly reviewed the ExxonMobil transaction and concluded that it delivers superior value to InterOil shareholders. They will also benefit from their interest in ExxonMobil’s diverse asset base and dividend stream.”

Woodside LNG sales mixed

July 21 (LNGJ) - Australian energy company Woodside said its one-sixth share of second-quarter LNG sales revenue from the six-Train North West Shelf plant in Western Australia was down around 25 percent and amounted to US$152.8 million compared with US$200.3M in the same quarter a year ago. The nearby single-Train Pluto LNG plant, which Woodside operates alone, posted a second-quarter rise in sales revenue to US$449M compared with $US346M in the same three months of 2015. Woodside Chief Executive Peter Coleman said that the business was performing well in a challenging environment. “Lower sales revenue for the quarter largely reflects the three month lag in oil-linked LNG contract pricing structures. We will see higher realised LNG contract prices reflected in the third quarter,” Coleman said.

Hess third-party LNG plan

July 21 (LNGJ) - The North West Shelf LNG plant in Western Australia, whose shareholders include six major energy companies including Woodside and Shell, said it was continuing to progress with front-end engineering and design associated with the proposed development of resources from New York-based Hess Exploration’s permits in the Carnarvon Basin. The FEED study will enable a final investment decision on the proposed third-party feed-gas processing project with Hess.

LNG for India and Argentina

July 20 (LNGJ) - The 216,000 cubic metres capacity Qatari Q-Flex carrier “Al Thumama” will deliver a shipment on July 23 to India’s Hazira import terminal near Mumbai, according to shipping data. The “British Ruby”, operated by BP Shipping, is unloading a cargo from Nigeria at the Indian Dahej import facility, owned by Petronet LNG. The 155,000 cubic metres capacity “Gaslog Saratoga” is scheduled to deliver a cargo from Trinidad on August 1 to the Escobar import facility in Argentina, located north of Buenos Aires.

Cheniere LNG maintenance

July 19 (LNGJ) - Cheniere Energy will close its first Sabine Pass processing Train in September for scheduled maintenance when the second Train is scheduled for completion. The first Train was able to ship a commissioning cargo in February 2016. The Louisiana plant has a nameplate capacity of 4.5 million tonnes per annum from total planned output of 27 MTPA when the other five processing units are completed by US engineering and construction company Bechtel in the next couple of years.

Calor UK LNG fuel sites

July 19 (LNGJ) - Calor, the UK gas and energy supply company, said it was opening two new publically accessible liquefied natural gas refueling stations, bringing the total on the UK road and motorway network to nine. Both stations will be in the Midlands region of England at Donnington Park and Grantham on the M1 motorway. The LNG fuel systems are located at service and motorway stops owned by Moto Hospitality Calor is leasing the land from Moto and plans to open for business in the third quarter of 2016. “Each site will hold a single LNG refuelling system capable of supplying heavy goods vehicles travelling along this major stretch of the UK road network,” Calor said.

Indian LNG growth potential

July 19 (LNGJ) - India’s low use of LNG and natural gas has been highlighted by the Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Dharmendra Pradhan. He told parliament that the present natural gas share in the country’s fuel basket was just 6.5 percent compared with the world average of 23.8 percent. Pradhan said the country was taking measures to promote more natural gas and LNG use, including the approval of the new hydrocarbon and exploration licensing policy. “The government has also approved the auctioning of 67 discovered small fields through international competitive bidding for early monetization,” the minister said, in reference to plans for increasing domestic production. He also pointed to nationwide measures to increase natural gas use as fuel in small-scale distribution networks.

LNG firm changes dollars

July 19 (LNGJ) - Australian energy company Santos, with stakes in the Darwin, Papua New Guinea and Gladstone liquefied natural gas plants, will change its reporting currency from Australian dollars to US dollars, starting with its 2016 interim result. “This reflects the change in the group’s revenue mix, which is now predominantly US dollar denominated with PNG LNG and GLNG in production,” Santos said. “Reporting in US dollars will also enhance comparability with Santos’ industry peer group, the majority of which report in US dollars,” it added.

British Columbia permits

July 18 - The Canadian province of British Columbia, where LNG export ventures are planned, has held its July 2016 natural gas and petroleum rights sale with $488,789 in bids, according to the Ministry of Natural Gas Development. It sold 14 parcels covering 4,249 hectares, with an average price of $115 per hectare. Drilling licences provide the exclusive right to explore for petroleum and natural gas by drilling wells and are acquired by the successful bidder at the sale. Primary terms are three, four or five years, depending on location. Leases provide the exclusive right to produce petroleum and natural gas. The next sale is scheduled for August 10 when 24 parcels covering 12,243 hectares will be offered.

Pipeline-LNG competition

July 15 (LNGJ) - Russian and Norwegian natural gas pipeline exports to Europe, the main competition to LNG, are continuing at high levels amid the lowest prices since 2004, according to International Monetary Fund data. Russian natural gas pipeline prices at the German border reached a record low of $3.99 per million British thermal units in May 2016, the lowest level since September 2004, and averaged $4.04/MMBtu in March-June. “Russian pipeline export prices are generally linked to the prices of crude oil and petroleum products with a lag of several months, and with declines in crude oil prices, natural gas prices have also declined. At the same time, spot prices at the European natural gas pricing benchmark National Balancing Point in the UK averaged $4.86 per MMBtu in June,” the report said.

Gazprom auction dates

July 14 (LNGJ) - The export division of Russian natural gas giant Gazprom said it would conduct its third gas auction for Europe on August 31 and September 1-2, 2016. Gazprom Export’s auction is for the supply of Russian pipeline gas to Europe during the 2016/2017 winter period. As at the first auction in September 2015, gas will be supplied to the delivery points of Greifswald, Gaspool and Olbernhau in Germany. In addition, the buyers will have the opportunity to receive volumes at Baumgarten and Arnoldstein in Austria. Last year, the bidders were offered 127 lots with a total volume of 3.24 billion cubic metres.

LNG ship movements

July 14 (LNGJ) - The 138,088 cubic metres capacity “Berge Arzew” has just delivered a cargo from Algeria to the Huelva import terminal in southwest Spain, according to shipping data. The 155,000 cubic metres capacity “British Ruby”, operated by BP Shipping, will deliver a cargo from Nigeria on July 20 to the Indian Dahej import terminal, operated by Petronet LNG. The 138,000 cubic metres capacity carrier “British Trader”, owned by BP, is due to unload a shipment from the Trinidad export plant at Point Fortin on July 29 at the Quintero import terminal in Chile.

Puerto Rico and Brazil LNG

July 13 (LNGJ) - The 160,000 cubic metres capacity “Arctic Aurora” is scheduled to deliver a cargo on July 22 from the Norwegian export plant at Hammerfest to Penuelas import terminal in the US territory of Puerto Rico, located in the south of the island and in operation since 2000. The 162,000 cubic metres capacity vessel “Esshu Maru” is scheduled to deliver a Nigerian cargo from the Bonny Island liquefaction plant to Brazil on July 15.

Nova Scotia LNG advance

July 12 (LNGJ) - The Canadian Bear Head LNG project received the Nova Scotia Environment body’s approval for its Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Management Plan for its liquefaction and export facility planned for the Strait of Canso in Richmond County, Nova Scotia. The plan provides Bear Head’s strategy for managing emissions through technology selection, design and operations. “Approval of Bear Head LNG’s GHG management plan is welcome news,” said Greg Vesey, President of the project company.

Aker wins Vietnam contract

July 12 (LNGJ) - Aker Solutions, the Norwegian energy and LNG project engineering company, secured a contract from Japan’s Idemitsu Oil and Gas Co. to provide engineering services for the development of oil and natural gas resources in the Nam Con Son basin offshore Vietnam. “We are pleased with the opportunity to for the first time work with Idemitsu Oil and Gas in such an important emerging market as Vietnam,” said Luis Araujo, Chief Executive of Aker Solutions. “This will further strengthen our reach in Asia after building an important regional base in Malaysia.” Aker said the project would at its peak involve about 100 engineers, designers and drafters out of the company's regional hub in Kuala Lumpur.

Q-Max LNG for UK July 19

July 12 (LNGJ) - The 266,000 cubic metres capacity Q-Max vessel “Zarga” is scheduled to deliver a cargo from Qatargas on July 19 to the UK South Hook import terminal in Milford Haven, Wales, the port authorities said. The UK benchmark National Balancing Point natural gas price was last at the equivalent of $4.60 per million British thermal units.

Statoil Marcellus sale

July 11 (LNGJ) - European LNG producer, Statoil of Norway, said it completed a transaction to sell assets in the prolific US Marcellus shale play to EQT Corp. of the US. Statoil said its sale involved “non-core operated assets” in the US state of West Virginia. The transaction covers approximately 62,500 net acres. Statoil retains its operated properties in the US state of Ohio and its non-operated Marcellus positions.

Freeport boosts feed-gas

July 11 (LNGJ) - The US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has issued an order authorizing the Freeport LNG plant in Quintana Island, Texas, to increase its authorized maximum peak production level above initial nameplate capacity from 1.8 billion cubic feet per day to 2.14 Bcf/day. Each of the three Trains in the first phase of construction at Freeport will produce just over 5 million tonnes per annum of LNG and 13.4 MTPA of the more than 15 MTPA of output has been contracted under use-or-pay liquefaction tolling agreements. A fourth production Train is also planned. Construction work on the additional Train is expected to begin in 2017 and it will be operational in 2021.

Sardinia still in LNG focus

July 8 (LNGJ) - Stolt-Nielsen Gas (SNG), a unit of Norwegian-listed energy storage and shipping group Stolt-Nielsen Ltd., said it continued to pursue its plans to develop small-scale LNG storage and distribution supply chains to serve “stranded demand” in locations lacking access to LNG pipelines. SNG said one such venture it was developing was on the Italian island of Sardinia. However, small-scale LNG plans in Canada remain suspended due to the unfavorable impact of low commodity prices in the mining industry there and in other key target markets. The LNG statement was in its latest earnings which showed a net profit in the second quarter of $38.0 million, down from $42.8M in the same three months of 2015. Quarterly revenue was $478.9M compared with $500.7M in the year-ago quarter.

Q-Max LNG for UK July 14

July 7 (LNGJ) - The 266,000 cubic metres capacity Q-Max vessel “Mozah” is scheduled to deliver a cargo from Qatargas on July 14 to the UK South Hook import terminal in Milford Haven, Wales, the port authorities said. The UK benchmark National Balancing Point natural gas price was last at the equivalent of $4.55 per million British thermal units.

Eni confirms Cyprus plans

July 6 (LNGJ) - Italian energy company Eni said it would begin exploratory drilling offshore southern Cyprus in 2017. Eni Chief Executive Claudio Descalzi confirmed the decision after a meeting with the President of the Republic of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades, that Eni remained committed to Cyprus and to the East Med in general as an exploration region. Noble Energy of the US and the Delek Group of Israeli have already been successful in Cypriot waters with the Aphrodite discovery amid related plans by Cyprus to build an onshore LNG plant at Vasilikos. Eni last year discovered the huge East Med Zohr natural gas field offshore Egypt with estimated resources of 30 trillion cubic feet.

Lake Charles LNG ruling

July 6 (LNGJ) - The Lake Charles LNG export project, whose shareholders include Energy Transfer Partners of the US and Royal Dutch Shell, will proceed on schedule after the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission denied a request from the environmental activist group, the Sierra Club, for a rehearing of the order authorizing construction of the facility in Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana. This follows two rulings in June 2016 from the Washington DC circuit court against Sierra Club objections to the Freeport and Sabine Pass LNG facilities, also on the US Gulf Coast.

US natural gas rises

July 5 (LNGJ) - US natural gas prices have exceeded 2015 levels for the first time and the Henry Hub benchmark could break the level of $3.00 per million British thermal units during July. Prices recently surged to $2.93 per MMBtu because of several supply interruptions in US southeast offshore natural gas production fields. Analysts said weather forecasts also indicate much warmer temperatures than normal until at least July 14, raising demand for gas-fired power for air conditioning.

Cargoes for Spain and Japan

July 4 (LNGJ) - The 147,200 cubic metres capacity carrier “Arctic Lady” will deliver a cargo on July 10 from the Norwegian Hammerfest plant to the Barcelona LNG import terminal in northeast Spain. The 165,000 cubic metres capacity vessel “LNG Fukurokuju” will deliver a cargo from the Australia Pacific LNG plant at Gladstone in eastern Australia on July 11 to the Japanese Himeji terminal, operated by Kansai Electric of Japan.

Peru and Algeria LNG cargoes

July 1 (LNGJ) - The 138,100 cubic metres capacity carrier Gemmata, operated by Shell Shipping, has arrived at the Pampa Melchorita export plant in Peru to load a cargo for Mexico, according to shipping data. The 160,000 cubic metres capacity vessel “Asia Vision”, operated by Chevron, has arrived at the Arzew plant in Algeria to load a cargo for a European port. The “Asia Vision” is best known in the industry as the lifter of the first cargo from Cheniere Energy’s Sabine Pass liquefaction facility in Louisiana in February 2016 to kick off first US exports from the Gulf Coast.

China LNG imports down

June 30 (LNGJ) - Chinese LNG imports in May amounted to 1.32 million tonnes, an increase of just over 27 percent compared with the 1.12MT delivered in the same month of 2015, according to the General Administration of Customs data. The imports were less than the 1.89MT imported in April. China last year received 20.02MT of cargoes at its network of terminals, now numbering 13 facilities.

Shell man heads UK body

June 30 (LNGJ) - The Energy Institute, the London-based chartered professional body for the industry, with executives and others from 200 companies as members, has appointed senior Royal Dutch Shell executive  Malcolm Brinded as President-elect to succeed Professor Jim Skea CBE in 2017 for a two-year term. Brinded was main board executive director of Shell for a decade until retirement in April 2012. Four leading figures were also appointed Vice-Presidents: Dr Bernie Bulkin, Director of Ludgate Investment in the UK, Vivienne Cox CBE, who has held senior executive roles at BP, Steve Holliday, formerly CEO of National Grid, and Ceri Powell, Global Head of Exploration at Shell.  The VPs will serve for a period of three years. 

Air Products spin-off

June 29 (LNGJ) - US LNG equipment maker Air Products said its spin-off company Versum Materials would have its headquarters in Tempe, Arizona, and that the new stand-alone firm would also maintain a workforce in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Air Products, based in Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania, stated: “Part of the overall strategy for the separate company is for it to be more market-facing and agile” by co-locating its business capabilities closer to the companies it serves. Versum was the Air Products Electronic Materials Division (EMD). “We have existing Electronic Materials production, research and development, and a workforce in Tempe, and our major US customers are located in the Western US,” said Guillermo Novo, who will be the Chief Executive of Versum.

LNG cargoes for Gulf states

June 29 (LNGJ) - The 216,000 cubic metres capacity Q-Flex carrier “Al Thumama” is scheduled to deliver a cargo on July 2 to the in Dubai import facility at Jebel Ali port in the United Arab Emirates. The 155,000 cubic metres capacity vessel “British Emerald”, operated by BP Shipping, is expected to unload a cargo from Trinidad on July 1 at the Kuwaiti Mina Al Ahmadi import facility.

Q-Max LNG for UK July 6

June 28 (LNG) - The 266,000 cubic metres capacity Q-Max vessel “Al Mafyar” is scheduled to deliver a cargo from Qatargas on July 6 to the UK South Hook import terminal in Milford Haven, Wales, the port authorities said. The UK benchmark National Balancing Point natural gas price was last at the equivalent of $4.60 per million British thermal units.

Texas natural gas output

June 28 (LNGJ) - Estimated natural gas output in Texas in May was about 721.4 billion cubic feet, a year-over-year monthly decline of about 3.1 percent, according to the Texas Petro Index of the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers. Texas producers will be among the main feed-gas suppliers for LNG plants being built along the US Gulf Coast. The data also showed that Texas natural gas prices in May averaged $1.76 per thousand feet, a decline compared with the year-ago month of 37.5 percent and valuing the gas at $1.27 billion. The number of original drilling permits issued in Texas in May was 606, which was 33.8 percent fewer than the 916 permits issued in May 2015.

LNG for Spain and Poland

June 27 (LNGJ) - The 137,231 cubic metres capacity “LNG Rivers” has just delivered a Nigerian cargo to the southern Spanish import terminal at Huelva, according to shipping data. The 75,000 cubic metres capacity “Cheikh Bouamama” is unloading a shipment from the Skikda export plant in Algeria at the Sagunto import facility in southeast Spain. The 147,200 cubic metres capacity “Arctic Princess” has just delivered a cargo from Hammerfest in Norway to the Swinoujscie import terminal on the Baltic coast of Poland.

Q-Max LNG for UK July 1

June 27 (LNGJ) - The 266,000 cubic metres capacity Q-Max vessel “Shagra” is scheduled to deliver a cargo from Qatargas on July 1 to the UK South Hook import terminal in Milford Haven, Wales, the port authorities said. The UK benchmark National Balancing Point natural gas price was last at the equivalent of $4.70 per million British thermal units.

Tokyo LNG conference

June 24 (LNGJ) - The Japanese Government-run “LNG Producer-Consumer Conference 2016” has made changes to its schedule, bringing the gathering forward by a week. The conference will take place at the Grand Prince Hotel New Takanawa in Tokyo on November 23 instead of November 30. The annual conference is hosted by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and is attended by representatives from corporate producers and consumers of LNG, financial institutions and the largest global energy companies.

US Henry Hub gas rises

June 24 (LNGJ) - US natural gas spot prices at the Henry Hub have risen from $1.79 per million British thermal unit on May 27 to $2.78 per MMBtu now. Concurrently, the New York Mercantile Exchange futures contract for January 2017 delivery at the Henry Hub increased from $3.10 per MMBtu to $3.35 per MMBtu, the US Energy Information Administration said in its latest short-term report. “Although the premium of the January contract over the spot price has narrowed considerably to $0.59/MMBtu from $1.31/MMBtu on May 27, the incentive to inject natural gas into storage remains high,” the EIA said.

Indonesian cargo deliveries

June 23 (LNGJ) - The 155,000 cubic metres capacity “Tangguh Hiri” has just delivered a cargo from the Bontang export plant in the Indonesian province of East Kalimantan to the South Korean Kwangyang import terminal, operated by steel producer POSCO. The country’s four other regasification facilities at Incheon, Pyeongtaek, Samcheok and Tong-Yeong are operated by Korea Gas Corp. The 135,225 cubic metres “Golar Mazo” has also unloaded an Indonesian shipment from Bontang at the Yung-An import terminal in Taiwan.

Itochu in Hong Kong deal

June 22 (LNGJ) - Itochu Corp., the Japanese trading house and LNG player, signed a memorandum of understanding for collaboration in oil and natural gas exploration and production with Hong Kong-based CITIC Resources, whose shareholders include Singapore wealth fund and LNG asset owner Temasek. Itochu is one of the Japanese companies that has signed an agreement to examine the realization of the Vladivostok LNG export project in the Russian Far East with Japan Petroleum Exploration Co., Marubeni Corp., Inpex Corp. and Russia’s Gazprom.

GTT-Endel LNG accord

June 22 (LNGJ) - Gaztransport and Technigaz (GTT), the French owner of liquefied natural gas maritime and other storage technologies, and Turkey’s Endel Group reaffirmed their collaboration in the area of LNG as a marine fuel, following the recent signature of a Technical Assistance and License Agreement (TALA) for the construction of GTT membrane containment systems. In the framework of this agreement, Endel created a mock-up of a Mark III type GTT membrane system. “This partnership reinforces GTT's and Endel's product offering, and benefits clients wishing to equip their vessels with LNG membrane tanks adapted to all types of vessels, such as liners, container vessels, bulk carriers, and RO/RO vessels,” a statement said.

Australian LNG shipments

June 21 (LNGJ) - The port of Gladstone in eastern Australia is continuing to have steady carrier traffic for shipments to Asia from the three coal-seam-gas-to-LNG plants on Curtis Island. The 173,400 cubic metres capacity “Sevilla Knutsen” has just left the Shell-owned Queensland Curtis LNG plant jetty, while the 160,106 cubic metres capacity vessel “Kita LNG” was loading a cargo at the Gladstone LNG plant operated by Australia’s Santos. The 177,000 cubic metres capacity “Energy Horizon” has just lifted a cargo for Tokyo Bay at the Pluto LNG export plant near Dampier in Western Australia, operated by Australia’s Woodside. 

LNG shipping movements

June 20 (LNGJ) - The 75,000 cubic metres capacity carrier “Cheikh El Mokrani” has just delivered a shipment of LNG from Algeria to the Fos Cavaou import terminal near Marseille. The 266,000 cubic metres capacity Q-Max carrier “Umm Slal” departed on June 20 from the South Korean import terminal at Pyeongtaek, operated by Korea Gas Corp. The 266,000 cubic metres capacity Q-Max vessel “Al Mayeda” arrived at the Kogas-operated Korean import facility at Incheon with a cargo from Qatar. The following vessels are at Qatar’s LNG export terminal at Ras Laffan to load cargoes: the 145,000 cubic metres capacity “Al Deebel”, the 160,000 cubic metres capacity “Golar Celsius”, the 261,700 cubic metres capacity Q-Max carrier “Lijmilya” and the 136,000 cubic metres capacity vessel “Raahi”, according to shipping data.

Q-Max LNG for UK June 26

June 20 (LNGJ) - The 261,700 cubic metres capacity Q-Max vessel “Al Samriya” is scheduled to deliver a cargo from Qatargas on June 26 to the UK South Hook import terminal in Milford Haven, Wales, port authorities said. The UK benchmark National Balancing Point natural gas price was last at the equivalent of $5.00 per million British thermal units.

LNG for India and Pakistan

June 17 (LNG) - The 141,000 cubic metres capacity carrier “LNG Cross River” has docked at the Indian terminal at Hazira, located near Mumbai, to unload a cargo from Nigeria, according to shipping data. The 145,000 cubic metres capacity “Methane Heather Sally”, operated by Monaco-based Greek shipping company GasLog, has just unloaded a cargo at the Pakistani import facility at Port Qasim, near Karachi.

Novatek-Linde LNG accord

June 16 (LNGJ) - Yamal LNG project developer and natural gas and energy company Novatek of Russia and German liquefaction and processing equipment maker Linde AG have signed a partnership and cooperation agreement. The accord aims to facilitate cooperation in the construction of process modules and the sourcing of equipment in Russia. “The signed agreement will create a favourable environment for consolidating cutting-edge LNG technologies in Russia, give impetus to setting up new industrial capacities and help optimize capital expenditure on LNG projects,” said Novatek Chairman Leonid V. Mikhelson.

LNG for UK and Thailand

June 16 (LNGJ) – The 138,088 cubic metres capacity “Berge Arzew” was unloading a cargo on June 16 at the Isle of Grain LNG import terminal in Kent, southeast of London, operated by National Grid. At the same time, the 210,100 cubic metres capacity Q-Flex vessel “Umm Al Amad” has just arrived with a cargo from Qatargas for the Map Ta Phut import terminal in Thailand.

ABS given Japan role

June 16 (LNGJ) - The American Bureau of Shipping, the US maritime classification society, has been elevated to a more important role in Japan to include labor inspections for all commercial shipping, including liquefied natural gas carriers. ABS was selected by the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) as a “Recognized Organization” for crew inspections to ensure minimum requirements for seafarers working on ships, including conditions of employment, accommodation, food, health protection and security. “We are very pleased to be the first foreign Recognized Organization authorized by MLIT for maritime labor inspection in Japan,” said Akira Akiyama, ABS Vice President for Japan and the Pacific Division.

Inpex executive moves

June 15 (LNGJ) - Inpex Corp., the Japanese energy company and developer of LNG projects in Australia and Indonesia, has made some executive changes. Yosuke Ueda, senior executive of the Australian Japan Oil Development Co. unit, is now Vice President of the Inpex Ichthys LNG project division in Australia. Nobuyuki Higashi has additionally been made a corporate officer in his role as Vice President of Inpex Corporate Strategy and Planning. Ikuo Suzuki, senior coordinator of the technical unit at Ichthys LNG, is now general manager of that unit. Hideki Hayakawa, general manager of the global exploration division, has now been made general manager of the technical team at the Masela project division overseeing the Indonesian LNG project.

Cheniere's Swiss notes

June 15 (LNGJ) - Cheniere Energy, owner and operator of the US LNG export plant in Louisiana, said its subsidiary called Sabine Pass Liquefaction, has borrowed $1.5 billion from Credit Suisse Securities (USA) in the form 5.875 percent senior secured notes due in 2026.

Japan gas sales jump

June 15 (LNGJ) - Tokyo Gas Co., the largest Japanese city-gas company, said last month’s sales volumes amounted to 1.12 billion cubic metres of natural gas, the equivalent of 890,000 tonnes of LNG and a rise of 6 percent on the year-ago figure. Togas announced on May 1, 2016, the integration of three affiliated gas companies, Chiba Gas, Tsukuba Gakuen Gas and Miho Gas. The Tokyo utility said industrial sector sales surged 11.4 percent and totalled 514.4 million cubic metres compared with the same month in 2015. Togas sales in the residential sector were little changed at 263.9 million cubic metres, a rise of 0.2 percent.

Quebec trucks LNG north

June 14 (LNGJ) - Gaz Metro, the natural gas distribution company in the Canadian province of Quebec, announced the start of LNG supplies delivered by truck to the Stornoway Renard diamond mine, located in the Otish Mountains, more than 1,000 kilometres from Montreal. “For a number of years, Gaz Metro has wanted to supply natural gas to regions located far from its gas network, particularly Northern Quebec, so as to offer them access to a driver of economic development that is cleaner than oil,” said Sophie Brochu, Chief Executive of Gaz Metro. The mining company has opted for LNG regasified on-site rather than diesel to run its power plant to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Q-Max LNG for UK June 19

June 13 (LNGJ) - The 266,000 cubic metres capacity “Aamira” is scheduled to deliver a cargo from Qatargas on June 19 to the UK South Hook import terminal in Milford Haven, Wales, the port authorities said. The UK benchmark National Balancing Point natural gas price was last at the equivalent of $4.65 per million British thermal units.