In this issue

 

Our North American editor in New York

The US Delfin LNG export venture planned for 50 miles offshore Cameron Parish, Louisiana, has been awarded a deepwater port licence by the US Maritime Administration, clearing the way for the first North American FLNG project to proceed. 

The US state of Maryland, where the first East Coast LNG export plant is scheduled to come on stream by late 2017 or early 2018, is caught up in a fierce political debate on energy after the state legislature banned hydraulic fracturing for shale gas. 

Our Asia-Pacific editor

Chevron Corp. reached a landmark in its Australian LNG developments by starting up the third processing Train of its US$54-billion Gorgon plant on Barrow Island in Western Australia, just one year after the first cargo was shipped. 

Our Middle East editor

UK major BP has made another natural gas discovery in the North Damietta offshore concession in the East Nile Delta of Egypt where it recently bought into the huge Zohr gas field licence in the East Mediterranean controlled by Italian energy company Eni. 

The International Gas Union (IGU) released a report on the crucial role of liquefied natural gas for cleaner marine transport, saying that in Hong Kong for example ship traffic was responsible for half of the city’s emissions of pollutants. 

Delek Group, the Israeli company with growing income from its share of 33 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in the East Mediterranean, posted record revenues and net profits in 2016 as the Tamar field reached peak output and the Leviathan field is on track for first gas in 2019. 

Our North America editor in New York

Kosmos Energy, the Dallas-based exploration and production company, has begun the second phase of its multi-well drilling programme offshore the West African countries of Mauritania and Senegal where it is planning two floating LNG projects with BP of the UK. 

China Petroleum and Chemical Corp (Sinopec) said it would accelerate shale-gas output amid construction of new LNG import capacity and natural gas fuel stations for vehicles as it reported a jump in annual net income. 

Our North American editor in New York

Philly Shipyard Inc. has delivered an LNG-ready vessel named the “American Freedom”, the second of four 50,000 deadweight-ton product tankers ordered by a subsidiary of US energy company Kinder Morgan and constructed at the facility in Philadelphia in the state of Pennsylvania. 

Spot shipments and those from new plants revitalize developing market in Asia region

Our Asia-Pacific editor

Imports of liquefied natural gas by India and Japan increased last month as the market continues to evolve in the Asia region with more cargoes available from Australia. 

Our Middle East editor

Qatari liquefied natural gas production company RasGas, which is in the process of being taken over by Qatargas, has recorded one of its last separate corporate events, the shipping of the 500th cargo to the Italian offshore terminal, Adriatic LNG. 

Sovcomflot, Russia’s largest shipping company with a growing LNG fleet and a new vessel marking French LNG industry ties to Russia, posted a more than 40 percent drop in annual net profit dropped to $206.8 million from $345.5M the previous year in the depressed spot and time charter markets. 

Our North America editor in New York

LNG Ltd, the Australian developer of the Canadian Bear Head export project in Nova Scotia, has completed Transport Canada’s technical review of marine terminal systems and trans-shipment sites. 

The Canadian province of British Columbia is calling for investments by Canadian utilities and others to build liquefied natural gas fuel infrastructure to help establish BC as a marine bunkering centre on the Pacific Coast capable of providing LNG to an increasing number of vessels. 

News Nudges

Armenia gas fuel lead

Armenia’s position as the world’s largest user of gas-fueled vehicles as a proportion of cars, trucks and buses on the road was highlighted during a visit to the former Soviet state by Alexey Miller, Chairman of Russian natural gas giant Gazprom. Miller noted that Russian gas exports to Armenia amount to 1.9 billion cubic metres per year as the country has no energy resources of its own. “Gazprom expressed its appreciation for a robust use of natural gas in different economic sectors, including transportation. At present, around 80 percent of vehicles in the country run on natural gas,” said Gazprom.


GTT LNG storage order

GTT, the French LNG maritime storage technology company, said it received an order from Hyundai Heavy Industries of South Korea to equip a new LNG carrier with its Mark III Flex containment system. Hyundai's shipyard based in Ulsan will build the 180,000 cubic metres capacity vessel for the Norwegian shipping company Norspan LNG (Knutsen). Delivery is scheduled for 2019. The Knutsen fleet contains 10 large-scale LNG carriers in service and one on order. These LNG carriers are all equipped with GTT containment systems.


Mexico bid round ends

Mexico has awarded 10 out of 15 licences for exploration in shallow water blocks in the Tampico-Misantla, Veracruz, and Southeast basin areas along the country’s Gulf Coast. Twenty companies and 16 joint ventures from 15 countries took part in the bidding. Italian energy company Eni and Russia’s Lukoil were two individual operators awarded offshore acreage.