This week

Shanghai LNG cargo auction comes
up with high domestic price result

China auctioned its first LNG cargoes on the Shanghai Petroleum and Gas Exchange and advanced the pricing processing that will help service the domestic gas market, while failing to meet key benchmark pricing necessities of transparency and rapid repeatability.

Latest News
The France-based International Group of Liquefied Natural Gas Importers (GIIGNL) said global LNG trade recorded its highest growth in supply since 2010 as new production came on…
Imports of liquefied natural gas by India for the month of March jumped 16.8 percent compared with the year-ago period and were more than 7 percent up…
Baker Hughes-GE, the energy services company and maker of turbomachinery for LNG production plants, posted solid first-quarter earnings and said the natural gas market continued to show…
Corpus Christi LNG, the project being developed in South Texas by Cheniere Energy, has hired a group of more than 25 banks from the US, Europe and…
European liquefied natural gas terminal stakeholders and network operators in Spain, Italy and Belgium have won majority control of the Greek gas grid operator sold in a…
Golar LNG, the Bermuda-based fleet operator and project company, has signed a preliminary charter agreement on the provision of a floating liquefied natural gas production hull for…
The Singapore LNG cargo indices have mostly remained solid above the US$7.000 per million British thermal units mark for all windows from the second half of May…
BP of the UK and one of India’s largest conglomerates, Reliance Industries, have taken a final investment decision to develop the second phase of a $6-billion deepwater…
Chart Industries, the US LNG and energy equipment maker, swung to a first-quarter profit from a loss in the year-ago period as orders continued to build.
Golar LNG said its power venture subsidiary set up with Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners closed a financial agreement for a project in northeast Brazil involving a power plant…
BHP Billiton, the Australian commodities company with petroleum and natural gas assets, including LNG stakes in Western Australia, said it was continuing the exit process for its…

JGC and Fluor project

April 23 (LNGJ) - Japanese LNG project engineering company JGC Corp. and Fluor Corp of the US were jointly awarded an order to design and build the LNG Canada joint venture led by Royal Dutch Shell for an estimated US$14 billion, according to the Japanese business daily “Nikkei”. The LNG Canada venture partners include PetroChina, Japan's Mitsubishi Corp and Korea Gas Corp. The Shell-led project announced in February 2018 that it had short-listed two engineering, procurement and construction contractors as it tried to keep the venture on track in the midst of regulatory challenges. LNG Canada named the two consortiums to submit plans and costings as TechnipFMC and KBR of the US and Japanese company JGC partnering with Fluor. Shell's project is proposed for a brownfield site near the town of Kitimat and is backed by the Haisla First Nation native North Americans whose traditional lands surround the area.

LNG for UK April 26

April 20 (LNGJ) - The 266,000 cubic metres capacity Q-Max carrier “Shagra” will unload a cargo on April 26 at the UK Milford Haven import terminal in Wales from the Ras Laffan plant in Qatar, according to the port authorities. The delivery was heading for the UK as the National Balancing Point benchmark natural gas price was at the equivalent of $7.20 per million British thermal units, while one of the main continental European prices, the Dutch Title Transfer Facility (TTF), was slightly lower at the equivalent of around $7.15 per MMBtu.

US LNG exports rise

April 20 (LNGJ) - US LNG exports increased in the week from the Sabine Pass liquefaction plant in Louisiana, owned by Cheniere Energy, with six vessels carrying a combined 21.6 billion cubic feet of natural gas departing the facility through April 18 and a seventh vessel with 3.8 Bcf lifting a cargo, according to the weekly report of the US Energy Information Administration. The second US export plant now on stream, Dominion Energy’s Cove Point plant in Maryland, entered commercial service last week and exported its first contractual cargo on the carrier “Adam LNG” with carrying capacity 3.5 Bcf. The EIA said the vessel left the Chesapeake Bay facility on April 16. It was scheduled to be in the East Mediterranean at the start of May after an Atlantic crossing, according to shipping data.

Chart Croatian contract

April 19 (LNGJ) - Chart Ferox, a subsidiary of US LNG equipment company Chart Industries, said it was awarded a contract for the design, manufacture and commissioning of the first LNG vehicle fueling station in the Balkan state of Croatia. “The skidded design incorporates our recently introduced 60 cubic metres horizontal cryogenic storage tank together with many other innovative features for enhanced reliability and economy,” said Chart. The company added that its proprietary vaporization technology would ensure that the station was capable of fueling all LNG vehicles available on the market, regardless of whether they are equipped with spark ignited or compression engines. The Croatian facility is scheduled to be commissioned and fully operational by the start of the fourth quarter of 2018.

Sempra Mexican plans

April 19 (LNGJ) - Sempra Energy, the California-based utility transforming its Cameron LNG terminal in Louisiana and Costa Azul facility on the Pacific coast of Mexico into export plants, said it was scaling back its Mexican liquefaction plans. The Sempra Mexican subsidiary, Infraestructura Energetica Nova (IEnova), is now looking at a small-scale plant with 2.5 million tonnes per annum of output by around 2023 instead of a larger plant constructed later with up to 12 MTPA of capacity and closer to the size of Cameron LNG. Sempra is also planning to construct another export plant along the Sabine-Neches Waterway at Port Arthur in southeast Texas with Australian company Woodside Petroleum as one of its partners.

Total gas-power entry

April 18 (LNGJ) - French energy major Total, which has widespread LNG assets, has signed an agreement for the proposed acquisition of Direct Energie to accelerate its ambitions to enter natural gas and electricity distribution in France and Belgium. Total will acquire just over 74 percent of Direct Energie for around 1.40 billion euros ($1.73Bln). Total’s offer represents a 30 percent premium over the last closing price of the target company on the Euronext Paris stock exchange. “Through this transaction, Total is actively pursuing its development in electricity and gas generation and distribution in France and Belgium,” stated Patrick Pouyanne, Chairman and Chief Executive of Total. “This friendly takeover is part of the Group’s strategy to expand along the entire gas-electricity value chain and to develop low-carbon energies, in line with our ambition to become the responsible energy major,” added Pouyanne.

Enel LNG ship charter

April 18 (LNGJ) - Flex LNG, the Norway-listed shipping and project company, has chartered an LNG carrier for 12 months to Italian energy company Enel Trade SpA. Flex said the charter would start in the second half of 2019 with an option to extend for 12 months. Flex intends to employ the 173,400 cubic metres capacity carrier “Flex Enterprise” for the charter, though has the option to nominate one of its sister ships. “This charter is in line with our strategy of adding incremental revenue as the market for LNG shipping continues to improve and provides important earnings visibility for the company,” said Jonathan Cook, Chief Executive.

US May deliveries

April 18 (LNGJ) - The 155,900 cubic metres capacity “Clean Planet”, operated by Dynagas, will deliver a cargo on May 1 to the Argentine Bahai Blanca import terminal in the southwest of the province of Buenos Aires from the US Sabine Pass export facility in Louisiana, owned by Cheniere Energy. The 176,300 cubic metres capacity vessel “Rioja Knutsen” will deliver a shipment on May 13 to China’s Dalian terminal, operated by PetroChina in the northern Liaoning Province, from the US Sabine Pass plant.

France and China LNG

April 17 (LNGJ) - Two African shipments are headed for France and two others are bound for China from Qatar. The 145,000 cubic metres capacity carrier “LNG Enugu” will deliver a shipment on April 20 to the French Montoir-de-Bretagne terminal on the Atlantic coast from the Nigerian export plant on Bonny Island. The 160,500 cubic metres capacity vessel “Sonangol Sambizanga” will deliver a shipment on April 25 to the Montoir facility from the Soyo export plant in the southwest African nation of Angola. The 210,100 cubic metres capacity Q-flex vessel “Fraiha” will deliver a Qatargas cargo on April 29 to the Chinese Tangshan terminal, operated in Hebei Province by PetroChina. The 217,000 cubic metres capacity vessel “Al Kharsaah” will deliver a cargo on April 24 to the Chinese Shanwei import terminal port in southeast Guangdong province from Ras Laffan in Qatar.

Fossil Energy head

April 17 (LNGJ) - The US Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy, one of the main regulatory bodies for the LNG industry, has appointed Shawn Bennett as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Oil and Natural Gas. “Bennett will administer oil and gas programs, including research and development, analysis and natural gas regulation,” said a DoE statement. Bennett has more than a decade of experience in public affairs and government relations in the coal and the oil and gas industries. “Most recently, he served as the Executive Vice President for the Ohio Oil and Gas Association, a non-profit trade association that is dedicated to representing Ohio oil and gas producers,” added the DoE. Bennett holds a bachelor of science from Ohio University.

LNG cargo deliveries

April 16 (LNGJ) - The 155,000 cubic metres capacity vessel carrier “Yensei River” was unloading a cargo on April 16 at the Cartagena import terminal in southeast Spain from the Trinidad export plant at Point Fortin in the Caribbean. The 170,000 cubic metres capacity “Methane Julia Louise” will deliver cargo on April 17 to the Japanese Oita terminal, owned by Kyushu Electric, from the Dampier export terminal in Western Australia, operated by Woodside Petroleum. The 160,500 cubic metres capacity vessel “Soyo” will deliver a shipment on April 18 to the South Korean terminal at Boryeong, operated by GS Energy, from the Angolan export plant in southwest Africa. The 75,000 cubic metres capacity “Berge Arzew” will deliver a cargo on April 18 to the Turkish Aliaga import facility from the Algerian export plant at Arzew, operated by Sonatrach.

IMO emission move

April 16 (LNGJ) - The United Nations International Maritime Organization (IMO) based in London has adopted an initial strategy on the reduction of greenhouse-gas emissions by 50 percent from ships by 2050. The measure is in addition to the cap on sulphur-oxide content in fuel from 2020 that will lead to more use of LNG, exhaust-cleaning systems and low-emission fuels. The UK Chamber of Shipping praised the latest IMO agreement to reduce emissions. “Shipping moves 90 percent of global trade and people understand the link between trade and prosperity, but rightly they demand we do it in a sustainable and responsible way,” said the UK shipping industry statement.

GTT shares plunge

April 13 (LNGJ) - Gaztransport and Technigaz (GTT) shares plunged almost 9 percent on April 13 to 50.25 euros per share on the Euronext exchange, while sector shares were little changed, as executives failed to please investors in a presentation of the latest revenues and performance of the French LNG storage technology company. GTT reported first-quarter storage tank orders for 10 LNG carriers, one floating storage and regasification unit and one bunkering vessel. “From a financial standpoint, the revenues earned during the first three months of the year are in line with our expectations and we are maintaining our annual objectives,” said Philippe Berterottiere, Chairman and Chief Executive.

Southeastern Trail project

April 13 (LNGJ) - Williams Partners, majority owner of the largest-volume US interstate natural gas pipeline system Transco, is seeking regulatory approval for its Southeastern Trail Expansion Project to serve growing demand by 2020 in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions of the nation. “Once complete, the project will help meet the growing natural gas demand in the Southeast, as well as provide access to new sources of domestic natural gas supply,” said the company. The project will continue expansion of southbound capacity on the Transco pipeline system. “Construction of this project along Transco’s existing corridor results in significantly less environmental impact and more economical transportation rates for our customers than other greenfield projects serving these same markets,” added Williams.

Texas natural gas rise

April 12 (LNGJ) - Texas, one of the main hubs of future US LNG exports from around the Gulf Coast ports such as Freeport, Corpus Christi, Port Arthur and Brownsville, saw monthly natural gas output increase 3 percent year-on-year in February to nearly 638.5 billion cubic feet, according to the Texas Petro Index report from economist Karr Ingham. “With natural gas prices in February averaging $2.67 per 1,000 feet (Mcf), the value of Texas-produced gas increased about 40 percent to more than $2.34 billion,” said the report. The Baker Hughes count of active drilling rigs in Texas averaged 476 units, 28.6 percent more than in the same month of 2017. “An estimated average of 215,500 Texans remained on upstream oil and gas industry payrolls, about 13.8 percent more than the revised average of 189,400 in February 2017,” it added.

US natural gas forecast

April 11 (LNG) - The US benchmark Henry Hub natural gas spot price is expected to average $2.99 per million British Thermal units in 2018 and $3.07 per MMBtu in 2019, according to the latest short-term outlook from the US Energy Information Administration. US dry natural gas production averaged 73.6 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in 2017. “The EIA forecasts dry natural gas production will average 81.1 Bcf/d in 2018, establishing a new record,” said the report. It also forecasts natural gas output will rise by 1.7 Bcf/d in 2019. “Growing US natural gas production is expected to support both growing domestic consumption and increasing natural gas exports,” said the report. Natural gas inventories at the end of March, considered to be the end of the US winter heating season, were estimated to be almost 1.4 trillion cubic feet, which was 19 percent lower than the previous five-year average.

LNG ship movements

April 10 (LNGJ) - The 161,880 cubic metres capacity carrier “BW Pavilion Vanda”, operated by Singapore-based BW Gas, is scheduled to deliver a cargo on April 13 to the Chinese Qingdao import terminal from Gladstone LNG in Queensland, eastern Australia, according to shipping data. The 172,000 cubic metres capacity vessel “Beidou Star” will unload a shipment on April 13 at the Indian Dahej terminal from Gorgon LNG on Barrow Island in Western Australia. The 160,000 cubic metres capacity carrier “Asia Endeavour” has arrived at the Wheatstone LNG export plant at Ashburton in Western Australia, operated by Chevron Corp., to lift a cargo for Asia. The 152,300 cubic metres capacity carrier “Seri Begawan” is due to arrive on April 13 at the Gladstone LNG export plant in Queensland, in eastern Australia to lift a cargo after previously delivering to Japan. The 153,000 cubic metres capacity vessel “LNG Barka” is scheduled to arrive on April 23 at the Gorgon export plant in Western Australia to load a shipment.

LNG cargo deliveries

April 9 (LNGJ) - The 138,000 cubic metres capacity carrier “British Merchant”, operated by BP Shipping, will deliver a cargo on April 10 to the Dominican Republic import terminal in the Caribbean, owned by AES, from the Atlantic LNG plant at Point Fortin in Trinidad, according to shipping data. The 145,000 cubic metres capacity carrier “Methane Rita Andrea”, operated by GasLog, is scheduled to unload a cargo on April 11 at the Altamira import terminal on the Gulf Coast of Mexico from the Nigeria LNG plant at Bonny Island. The 147,200 cubic metres capacity vessel “Arctic Princess” will deliver a cargo on April 14 to the Lithuanian import facility at the Baltic port of Klaipeda from the Hammerfest plant in Norway, operated by Statoil. The 145,000 cubic metres capacity “Seri Angkasa”, owned by Malaysia International Shipping Corp., will unload a Nigerian cargo on April 15 at the Dabhol import terminal in India. The 155,000 cubic metres capacity vessel “British Sapphire” will unload a shipment on April 22 at the Indian Dahej terminal from the Trinidad export plant.

Eni $2Bln bond plan

April 6 (LNGJ) - Italian energy company Eni, whose investment programmes include LNG projects in Mozambique and natural gas ventures in the Eastern Mediterranan and Egypt, said its board had approved the placement of bonds with institutional investors to the tune of $2 billion. “The bonds, if issued, will enable Eni to pre-fund future financial needs, widen its investor base and maintain a well-balanced financial structure,” said Eni. “The bonds may be listed on one or more regulated markets or on multilateral trading facilities,” it added.

Eighth FSRU for Hoegh

April 5 (LNGJ) - Hoegh LNG, the Norwegian shipping and project company, has taken delivery of its eighth floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU), the “Hoegh Esperanza”. It was constructed at Hyundai Heavy Industries in South Korea and designed for open, combined and closed-loop regasification operations. It has a storage capacity of 170 000 cubic metres of LNG and regasification throughput of 750 million standard cubic feet per day. It is also equipped with a GTT Mark III membrane containment system and dual-fuel diesel-electric propulsion. “Hoegh LNG is currently in advanced negotiations for intermediate employment of ‘Hoegh Esperanza’ on a combined FSRU and LNGC contract with seasonal use in FSRU mode until the anticipated start date of its intended long-term FSRU contract in Chile,” said the company.

Mitsui AWE takeover

April 4 (LNGJ) - Mitsui & Co., the Japanese conglomerate and LNG market participant in the shipping and project sectors, is close to gaining majority control of Australian natural gas operator AWE and its Perth Basin joint venture in Western Australia. Mitsui said that as part of its US$460 million takeover bid for AWE it had now been accorded 48 percent of the shares. Once the conglomerate reaches 50.1 percent of the shares in the Australian Securities Exchange-listed company its takeover offer becomes unconditional. AWE’s assets include a 50 percent stake and operatorship of the promising Waitsia onshore natural gas project.

From Egypt to UK terminal

April 4 (LNGJ) - The carrier “Maran Gas Apollonia” is scheduled to arrive on April 8 at the UK Dragon LNG import terminal in Milford Haven from Egypt’s Idku export plant as the North African nation ramps up production from new gas fields to meet domestic needs as well as future LNG exports. Egypt’s liquefaction facility at Idku began exporting small volumes of LNG again in late 2016 and early 2017 after operator Royal Dutch Shell reached an agreement for limited feed-gas supplies from Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company. Idku, located east of the port of Alexandria, loaded its first cargo in May 2005. Egypt’s second export plant is at Damietta. The two facilities exported a combined 10 million tonnes of LNG during their peak production year of 2008. 

LNG cargo deliveries

April 3 (LNGJ) - The 173,400 cubic metres capacity carrier “Ribera del Duero Knutsen” has docked at the Chilean import terminal at Mejillones port with a cargo from the US Sabine Pass export facility in Louisiana, owned by Cheniere Energy. The 152,300 cubic metres capacity carrier “Seri Bakti”, operated by Malaysia International Shipping Corp., has docked at the Chinese Ningbo import terminal in Zhoushan port with a shipment from the Gladstone LNG plant on Curtis island in Queensland, Australia. The “LNG Niger River” was unloading a shipment on April 3 at the Hazira import terminal, operated by Shell India, from the Nigeria export plant on Bonny Island. The 177,000 cubic metres capacity vessel “Energy Horizon” has docked at the Japanese Sodegaura import terminal with a cargo from the Dampier facility in Western Australia for Pluto LNG, operated by Woodside Petroleum.

Italian LNG regas

April 3 (LNGJ) - OLT Offshore LNG Toscana, the Italian floating import company with a facility offshore the Mediterranean port of Livorno, said that starting from April 10 the regasification capacity of OLT will be awarded via auctions on the Platform for the Allocation of Regasification Capacity operated by the Italian power exchange management company Gestore Mercati Energetici (GME). OLT and GME have signed an accord on allocations. “This agreement regulates the relations between GME and OLT,” said OLT. “The platform will be in operation from April. OLT will launch the first monthly auction on April 10 in order to offer the regasification capacity available from May to the end of September,” it explained. OLT offshore operates the “FSRU Toscana”, moored 22 kilometres off the coast between the cities of Livorno and Pisa and connected to the Italian national gas transmission grid.

Trinidad LNG for UK

March 29 (LNGJ) - The 138,000 cubic metres capacity carrier “Madrid Spirit” is scheduled to deliver a shipment of LNG on April 2 to the UK Dragon import terminal in Milford Haven in Wales from the Atlantic export plant at Point Fortin in Trinidad. The delivery was heading for the UK as the National Balancing Point benchmark natural gas price was at the equivalent of $7.00 per million British thermal units, while one of the main continental European prices, the Dutch Title Transfer Facility (TTF), was lower at the equivalent of around $6.60 per MMBtu.

Pembina open season

March 29 (LNGJ) - Pembina Pipeline Corp., the Canadian company developing the Jordan Cove LNG export project in the northwest US state of Oregon, has started two months of open season bidding for its Alliance Pipeline expansion joint venture with a unit of Enbridge Inc. Pembina and Enbridge each hold a 50 percent stake in the pipeline that receives natural gas in British Columbia and Alberta in Canada and the US state of North Dakota and carries it to the Chicago market. The pipeline delivers around 1.6 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day. Pending regulatory approval, Alliance will increase capacity by about 25 percent through the addition of compression and other facilities to its system. The open season runs until May 30 and the offer is available to both existing and prospective shippers for a minimum bid term of 15 years.

Dominion share sale

March 28 (LNGJ) - Dominion Energy, developer of the Cove Point LNG export plant in Maryland, has put the price of its public offering of 20 million shares of its common stock at $67.85 per share. The offering will be conducted under forward sale agreements. Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse Securities, Barclays Capital, Citigroup and J.P. Morgan are acting as joint book-running managers of the offering. “The underwriters may offer shares of Dominion Energy's common stock in transactions on the New York Stock Exchange, in the over-the-counter market or through negotiated transactions at either market prices or at negotiated prices,” said Dominion. The offering is expected to raise at least $1.35 billion and would be used for debt financing.

Mexican licence bids

March 27 (LNGJ)- Mexico is holding its latest upstream auction of exploration and production licences in areas of the Gulf of Mexico with high natural gas prospects. It is offering 35 blocks under production-sharing contracts in the southern waters of the Gulf. The Mexican authorities have authorized 21 companies to take part in the auction from 14 countries. The blocks are divided into three sectors: the Burgos Basin (blocks 1-14), the Tampico-Misantla and Veracruz Basins (blocks 15-27) and the southeastern basins (blocks 28-35). In addition to the US oil majors and European companies such as Royal Dutch Shell, there are also bidders from companies in Spain, Germany, Argentina, India and Malaysia.

Vitol LNG growth

March 26 (LNGJ) – Vitol Group, the Geneva, Switzerland-based global commodities and energy trader, said the liquefied natural gas market was evolving as anticipated and the firm’s trading volumes grew during 2017 to 7.4 million tonnes of LNG. “Vitol continues to perform solidly,” said Chairman Ian Taylor. “Overall volumes held steady at just over 7 million barrels per day and turnover rose to $181 billion on the back of an increase in the average oil price over the course of the year,” added the Chairman. “Challenging market conditions required a constant focus on careful risk and margin management, though strong demand growth was supportive of volumes and the performance of our investment portfolio,” he said.

Marubeni shale sale

March 26 (LNGJ) - Marubeni Corp., the Japanese trading house and LNG sector participant, said it reached an agreement to sell its shale assets in the Eagle Ford play in Texas to two independent oil and gas companies for an undisclosed sum. Marubeni purchased 52,000 net acres in the Eagle Ford in 2012 from Texas company Hunt Oil for $1.3 billion. “Marubeni is accelerating asset recycling as part of the enhancement of the cash flow management and this deal is expected to contribute to that goal,” said the Japanese company.

LNG for UK March 30

March 23 (LNG) - The 261,700 cubic metres capacity Q-Max carrier “Al Samriya” will deliver a cargo on March 30 to the UK South Hook import terminal in Milford Haven from the Ras Laffan plant in Qatar, according to the port authorities. The delivery was heading for the UK as the National Balancing Point benchmark natural gas price was at the equivalent of $7.70 per million British thermal units, while one of the main continental European prices, the Dutch Title Transfer Facility (TTF), was lower at the equivalent of around $6.90 per MMBtu.

Kuwait LNG accord

March 22 (LNGJ) - Kuwait Petroleum Corp. (KPC) has signed a new long-term agreement for supplies of liquefied natural gas, said the Kuwaiti state news agency. It said the LNG volumes would help the Gulf nation meet rising natural gas demand for the power generation sector. The agreement was signed with Shell International Trading and will start in 2020. According to a previous provisional agreement, it would involve volumes of up to 3 million tonnes per annum for 15 years. Kuwait’s Mina Al-Ahmadi floating LNG import facility was the first to be set up in the Gulf region in 2009. KPC in April 2014 signed its first LNG deal with Shell to supply cargoes on a seasonal basis for five years.

LNG for UK March 24

March 22 (LNGJ) - The 210,100 cubic metres capacity Q-Flex carrier “Duhail” will unload a cargo on March 24 at the UK Milford Haven import terminal in Wales from the Ras Laffan plant in Qatar, according to the port authorities. The delivery was heading for the UK as the National Balancing Point benchmark natural gas price was at the equivalent of $7.60 per million British thermal units, while one of the main continental European prices, the Dutch Title Transfer Facility (TTF), was lower at the equivalent of around $6.90 per MMBtu.

Shell downstream LNG

March 21 (LNGJ) - Royal Dutch Shell updated investors on its downstream growth ambitions through 2018 and beyond. “Our unique downstream business is fundamental to delivering a world-class investment case,” said Chief Executive Officer Ben van Beurden. “Its unparalleled breadth, depth and the strength of our brand make our downstream business highly competitive, helping to generate strong free cash flows and returns,” added the CEO. Shell said downstream was helping Shell to thrive during the global shift to a lower-carbon energy system. “We are making products from today’s technologies as good as they can be, with better fuels and lubricants. We are also helping to deliver tomorrow’s products, services and technologies. From battery-electric vehicle charging to next-generation biofuels and LNG for transport,” said John Abbott, Shell Downstream Director.

Russian LNG for France

March 21 (LNGJ) - The 172,600 cubic metres capacity carrier “Christophe de Margerie”, is scheduled to deliver a shipment on March 24 to the French Montoir de Bretagne import terminal on the Atlantic coast from the Russian Yamal plant in Siberia, according to shipping data. The 138,200 cubic metres capacity vessel “British Innovator”, operated by BP Shipping, is scheduled to deliver a cargo on March 31 to the Tai-Chung import terminal in Taiwan from the Trinidad export plant in the Caribbean. The 210,100 cubic metres capacity Q-Flex vessel “Al Ruwais” will unload a Qatargas shipment on April 1 at the Japanese Futtsu import facility, operated by Tokyo Electric Power.

Wood Group posts loss

March 20 (LNGJ) - Wood Group, the energy services and LNG project company that completed the US$2.8-billion acquisition in October 2017 of London-listed peer Amec Foster Wheeler, posted a $30 million loss for the year. Wood said operating profit before one-time items was $212M compared with $244M the previous year, a fall of 13 percent. Revenues from continuing operations amounted to $5.39Bln in 2017. “The acquisition of Amec Foster Wheeler in October brought together two businesses and three brands to create Wood, a global leader in project engineering and technical services delivery,” said Robin Watson, Wood Chief Executive. “We are a broader business with multi-sector, full-service capability across energy and industrial markets and have a stronger, more balanced offering in oil and gas,” added Watson.

PNG LNG update

March 20 (LNGJ) - Oil Search, the Papua New Guinea LNG and oil and gas field stakeholder, said the people of PNG and its extensive energy facilities are slowly recovering from the impact of the magnitude 7.5 earthquake that struck the Highlands region on February 26. Oil Search said it had spent an initial US$5 million in cash and kind to address critical needs and has distributed relief supplies to more than 120,000 people in earthquake-affected areas. It is also bringing its oil and gas facilities back on stream. “Engineering teams, located both on and off site, have been systematically reviewing the wells, gathering systems, production facilities and other infrastructure,” said the company. “While the processing facilities have been largely undamaged, highlighting their resilience, remedial work is required to ensure the integrity and safety of our assets,” it added. The LNG plant is expected to be back on stream in April once the Hides Gas Conditioning Plant restarts operations.

Inpex awarded permit

March 19 (LNGJ) - Japanese energy company Inpex Corp., the main stakeholder in the Australian Ichthys LNG export plant under construction at Bladin Point near Darwin in the Northern Territory, said it was awarded an exploration permit for WA-533-P as operator in Australia’s latest acreage release. “The block is located off the northern coast of Western Australia and covers a surface area of 12,402 square kilometres. The block’s water depth ranges between approximately 50 metres and 600 metres,” said Inpex. The block lies on an offshore extension of the onshore Canning Basin in Western Australia where promising fields have already been discovered and developed. The Ichthys LNG project is being developed with French energy company Total and is scheduled to come on stream later in 2018.

US LNG exports

March 16 (LNGJ) - The US government’s weekly natural gas report said four LNG carriers with a combined 14.8 billion cubic feet of capacity departed from the Sabine Pass LNG export plant in Louisiana from March 8 to March 14 and two further vessels with 7.5 Bcf of capacity were lifting cargoes. The report noted that the first cargo from the Dominion Energy Cove Point LNG export plant in Maryland loaded on March 2 was now likely to be heading for the UK Dragon import terminal in the port of Milford Haven after initially being enroute to South America.

Japanese LNG event

March 16 (LNGJ) - The Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) said its seventh LNG Producer-Consumer Conference would be held on Monday, October 22, 2018 in Nagoya, jointly hosted with the Asia Pacific Energy Research Centre (APERC). The Japanese conference has become the most important non-commercial event on the LNG calendar and in recent years has attracted government ministers and senior energy industry executives to discuss market developments. The 2018 conference venue is the Hotel Nagoya Castle in Japan’s Aichi Prefecture. “The Conference held last October was attended by over 1,200 people from governments, international organizations and businesses involved in the LNG industry from over 30 countries,” said the ministry.

Statoil to be Equinor

March 15 (LNGJ) - Statoil, the Norwegian energy company and operator of Europe’s only baseload LNG production plant at Hammerfest, is planning to change the name of the company to Equinor. “The name change supports the company’s strategy and development as a broad energy company,” said Statoil. “The name Equinor is formed by combining ‘equi’, the starting point for words like equal, equality and equilibrium, and ‘nor’, signalling a company proud of its Norwegian origin,” explained the company. Statoil Board Chairman Jon Erik Reinhardsen said the world is changing and so is Statoil. “The biggest transition our modern-day energy systems have ever seen is underway and we aim to be at the forefront of this development. Our strategy remains firm. The name Equinor reflects ongoing changes and supports the always-safe, high-value and low-carbon strategy we outlined last year,” said Reinhardsen.

Russia clears US deal

March 15 (LNGJ) - US-based energy and LNG engineering companies McDermott International and CB&I said they had received antitrust clearance in Russia for their proposed combination. “With this clearance, McDermott and CB&I have received all the required competition authority approvals for the transaction,” they said. McDermott and CB&I agreed in December to combine in an all-stock transaction to create a company valued at $6 billion. Under the terms of the deal, McDermott stockholders will own around 53 percent of the combined company on a fully diluted basis and CB&I shareholders will own about 47 percent.

Tokyo Gas supply deal

March 14 (LNGJ) - Petronas, the Malaysian energy company and LNG producer, has signed an accord with Japanese utility Tokyo Gas to supply cargoes for a period of up to 13 years. The deliveries from Petronas subsidiary Malaysia LNG will start in April 2018 and will amount to around 500,000 tonnes per annum for the first six years, with the possibility of a volume increase to 900,000 tonnes per annum for the remaining seven years. Petronas Vice President of LNG Marketing, Ahmad Adly Alias, pointed out that Malaysia has a 35-year LNG supply relationship with Tokyo Gas. “At Petronas, we value these relationships and the trust placed in our company for a secure and reliable supply of LNG,” he added. The Petronas LNG production plant at Bintulu in Sarawak has nine Trains and 30 million tonnes per annum of output. The company also operates the world’s first floating LNG production hull, deployed offshore Sarawak.

KBR refinancing

March 14 (LNGJ) - KBR, the Houston-based energy and LNG project engineering company, said it had launched a refinancing programme scheduled it to be completed by early April. “KBR expects that the refinancing will consist of secured credit facilities including a revolving credit agreement, a performance letter of credit Facility, and two term loans,” the company said. It also stated that it would not be issuing equity to the markets as part of this refinancing process.

RWE pledge on LNG

March 13 (LNGJ) - RWE, the German utility and energy company, posted adjusted annual earnings of 5.8 billion euros ($7.15Bln) compared with 5.4Bln euros in the previous year, a rise of 7.3 percent. Profits were boosted by its European Power division and a higher earnings contribution from energy trading. RWE pledged to increase its presence in the liquefied natural gas market. “In terms of generation capacity, gas is already RWE’s main source of energy, with a share of around 40 percent, making the company one of the leading competitors in Europe. Additional growth is targeted in energy trading, in particular in the LNG business,” stated RWE.

GasLog carrier order

March 12 (LNG) - GasLog, the Monaco-based LNG shipping company with a fleet of 27 LNG carriers including 22 on the water and five on order, has signed a contract for another newbuild with Samsung Heavy Industries of South Korea. GasLog said the 180,000 cubic metres capacity vessel was scheduled for delivery in the second quarter of 2020 and is currently unchartered. “Given that the outlook for LNG shipping demand remains robust, and with increasing evidence that newbuild prices are starting to rise, we have moved to lock in a very attractive price for our second newbuild order in 2018,” said Paul Wogan, Chief Executive of GasLog. “We remain confident that the unit freight cost advantage offered by the latest generation vessels will make this ship highly attractive,” he added.

Third Sabine jetty

March 12 (LNGJ) - The US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has approved a request from Cheniere Energy, owner of the Sabine Pass LNG export plant in Louisiana, to begin the permit process for a third loading jetty at the facility that started commercial operations in February 2016. Cheniere told the regulator that it would formally apply for the jetty permit in September 2018 so that the additional facility to handle vessels with capacity of between 125,000 cubic metres and 185,000 cubic metres would be ready for the coming on stream of the final two of the six planned liquefaction Trains.

US LNG exports

March 9 (LNGJ) - The 165,000 cubic metres capacity "Methane Spirit" will likely be the next vessel to lift an LNG cargo from the Cove Point plant in Maryland, owned by Dominion Energy, around the end of March, according to the US Energy Information Administration. The 138,100 cubic metres capacity vessel "Gemmata", operated by Shell Shipping, shipped the first cargo on March 2 from Cove Point on Chesapeake Bay. At the Sabine Pass plant in Louisiana, owned by Cheniere Energy, five LNG carriers departed with cargoes from March 1 to March 7 with total carrying capacity 18.5 billion cubic feet of gas and a sixth vessel was loading.

Assets boost Engie

March 8 (LNGJ) - Engie, the French utility that has been disposing of LNG and other assets, posted annual group net income from continuing operations of 1.42 billion euros ($1.75Bln), including one-time gains, compared with losses of 415 million euros in 2016. “This improvement takes into account lower impairment losses, gains on the disposal of the thermal merchant power plant assets in the United States, Poland and the United Kingdom, as well as on the disposal of a non-consolidated interest in Petronet LNG in India,” said Engie. The company’s net debts were at the equivalent of $28 billion. In November 2017, Engie also signed a sales agreement with Total for its upstream and midstream LNG activities and this was expected to close in several months.

ABB in US LNG deal

March 8 (LNGJ) - NextDecade Corp., the US developer of the Rio Grande LNG export project near the Brownsville Ship Channel in South Texas with 27 million tonnes per annum of planned output, has chosen Swiss-Swedish company ABB to provide automation and electrical systems. “NextDecade expects ABB's solutions to reduce the schedule, equipment footprint and cost of our Rio Grande LNG facility, while providing greater operational flexibility,” said Matt Schatzman, the NextDecade President and Chief Executive. The start-up of the first two processing Trains has been scheduled for around 2021-2022.