This week

Europe unlike US has agreements on
transition with LNG a key element

While the US federal government is taking the dictatorial route to energy and shale reductions, European producing nations such as the United Kingdom and Norway have secured agreements between government, the industry and labour unions on a smooth transition to cleaner fuel with pipeline natural gas at the heart of policy backed by LNG imports in the case of the UK.

Latest News
Fluor Corp., the LNG contractor, said first-quarter net earnings were $85 million, or $0.94 per diluted share, compared with $89M, or $1.00 per diluted share for the…
McDermott International, whose J. Ray subsidiary is a leading LNG contractor with various wins in Qatar, reported net income of $158.1 million, or $1.38 per diluted share,…
Qatar’s Energy Minister Abdullah bin Hamad Al Attiyah and a government delegation have visited the Golden Pass LNG import terminal currently under construction at Sabine Pass, Texas,…
BG Group, the biggest player in the Atlantic Basin LNG market, said first-quarter profit fell 25 percent as higher output failed to offset lower prices for oil…
Total of France, Europe's No. 1 oil refiner and a key LNG player, posted a more than 10 percent fall in first-quarter profits as net income dropped to…
Gaz de France, one of Europe’s leading LNG importers, said it planned to create a new organizational structure for its activities, including LNG, and has also re-shuffled its…
Royal Dutch Shell posted a 14 percent rise in first-quarter net profit as higher refining and retail margins offset lower oil and petroleum product prices and LNG…
Sempra Energy, the San Diego-based LNG terminal developer, reported first-quarter 2007 net income of $228 million, or $0.86 per diluted share, compared with $255 million, or $0.98…
Southern Natural Gas Co., a subsidiary of El Paso Corp. and owner of two LNG reception terminals in the US, said it opened phase one of its…
Demand for LNG is growing particularly rapidly in Asia and on a global basis the fuel is now on an energy parity with crude oil as the market matures,…

Gas for Chechnya

April 9 (LNGJ) - Russian natural gas company Gazprom has opened the Mozdok-Grozny gas trunkline to improve supplies to the Chechen Republic, part of Russia's North Caucasian Federal District and which was the subject of two separatist wars from 1994 to 2009. The new gas pipeline crosses under 13 roads and six bodies of water, including the Terek River. An affiliated gas distribution station with an hourly capacity of 247,000 cubic metres was created as part of the project in the North Caucasus region between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea.

   “Gazprom has been making large-scale efforts for gas supply and gas infrastructure expansion in the region. By the start of this year, the company built over 743 kilometres of gas pipelines in the Chechen Republic and created the conditions for connecting 11,800 households to gas,” stated Gazprom.

Charter rates go up

April 8 (LNGJ) - Shipping charter rates for LNG carriers in the spot market increased for West Of Suez by around $3,500 per day to average between $41,500 per day and $37,500 per day for vessels of 155,000-165,000 cubic metres capacity. In the East of Suez charter market average rates rose by around $3,000 per day to between $37,000 per day and $33,000 per day, according to various brokers. One-year charter rates for the most modern vessels also increased to around $60,000 per day.

Chevron Japan deal

April 7 (LNGJ) - Chevron Corp has signed a binding Sale and Purchase Agreement (SPA) with Japanese utility Hokkaido Gas for the delivery of LNG from Chevron’s global portfolio to the Hokkaido area. Under the deal, Chevron will supply Sapporo-based Hokkaido Gas with about 500,000 tonnes of LNG over a period of five years starting in April 2022. “We are delighted to design and execute an SPA with our new partner Hokkaido Gas that will bring Chevron LNG directly to Hokkaido, a key growth area,” said the US major. “It broadens our customer base in Japan, a market that is foundational to our LNG business,” added Chevron.

Russian LNG for UK

April 7 (LNGJ) - The 172,000 cubic metres capacity carrier, “Nikolay Urvantsev”, was scheduled to discharge a liquefied natural gas cargo on April 7 at the UK Isle of Grain LNG import terminal on the Medway-Thames estuary, located southeast of London, according to Thamesport data. A second Russian shipment is also on the way from the Yamal export plant at Sabetta in northern Siberia. 

   The 172,600 cubic metres capacity vessel, “Christophe de Margerie”, is expected to deliver to the Isle of Grain on April 9 after the nine-day voyage from the Yamal facility, operated by Russian natural gas company Novatek. Other Yamal LNG shareholders include France’s Total and China National Petroleum Corp.

Qatargas UK surge

April 6 (LNGJ) - Three LNG cargoes from Qatar will be delivered to the UK in the next seven days from Ras Laffan in the Gulf. The 159,800 cubic metres capacity carrier “Corcovado LNG” is scheduled berth on April 8 at the UK South Hook import terminal at Milford Haven in Wales, according to the port authorities. The 207,000 cubic metres capacity vessel “Umm Al Amad” will then discharge a cargo on April 10 at the terminal, followed by the arrival on April 13 of the 216,2000 cubic metres capacity carrier “Al Gattara” to unload at South Hook.

   The latest shipments are scheduled as the UK National Balancing Point natural gas benchmark price is at the equivalent of $6.55 per million British thermal units, while the main Continental European price, the Dutch Title Transfer Facility (TTF), is higher at the equivalent of $6.60 per MMBtu.

LNG cargo for UK

April 2 (LNGJ) – Another Qatari cargo from Ras Laffan in the Gulf is heading for the UK. The 261,000 cubic metres capacity Q-Max carrier “Rasheeda” is currently making its way through the West Mediterranean after traversing the Suez Canal and is scheduled to berth on April 9 at the South Hook import terminal at the Welsh port of Milford Haven, according to shipping data. The National Balancing Point natural gas benchmark price is at a seasonally firm level of $6.50 per million British thermal units, while the main Continental European price, the Dutch Title Transfer Facility (TTF), is even higher at the equivalent of $6.60 per MMBtu.

US feed-gas boost

April 1 (LNGJ) - The East Texas operating subsidiary of Midcoast Energy has put its CJ Express Expansion Project into service and executed a firm transportation agreement and natural gas purchase and sales agreement with Golden Pass LNG , the project being developed by Qatar Petroleum and ExxonMobil Corp. The CJ Express project added compression and pipeline facilities at multiple locations on Midcoast's existing East Texas system.

   “CJ Express was anchored by long-term transportation agreements with two creditworthy shippers,” said Midcoast. “The new commercial agreements with Golden Pass LNG will become effective after completion of an extension of the Midcoast Clarity pipeline in the Beaumont area to a new interconnect with Golden Pass Pipeline. The construction of new facilities and the effective date of long-term commitments will align with Golden Pass LNG's feed-gas needs,” it explained.

Zhejiang Energy deal

March 31 (LNGJ) - Zhejiang Energy Group, a leading state-owned utility in eastern China with scores of businesses including electricity provision and fuel, has signed an accord with Italian company Eni to cooperate in the energy sector. “The accord establishes a cooperation framework aimed at facilitating joint initiatives between Eni and Zhejiang Energy across the gas and LNG value chain in China and internationally,” said Eni. The initiatives listed include developing a long-term LNG supply agreement to joint participation in natural gas projects.

Qatargas takeover

March 30 (LNGJ) - Qatar Petroleum said it would become the 100 percent owner of Qatargas I and all its assets and facilities from January 2022 as joint venture contracts ran down and as the nation also embarked on a large-scale LNG expansion from North Field assets in the Gulf. The Qatargas company had merged in 2017 with the third Qatari energy company, Ras Laffan Liquefied Natural Gas Co., or RasGas as it was known. Qatargas 1 comprises the smaller Trains at Ras Laffan

   “The takeover by Qatar Petroleum will conclude more than 25 years of successful operations of Qatargas I from which the first ever Qatari LNG cargo was exported,” said Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, President and Chief Executive of Qatar Petroleum. “This is a momentous event that highlights Qatar Petroleum's efforts to further enhance the utilization of our natural resources,” he stated. “I would like to thank our valued partners, Total, ExxonMobil, Marubeni and Mitsui for their efforts in the development and operation of QG1 over the past three decades,” added al-Kaabi.

US LNG-CCS deal

March 29 (LNGJ) - US liquefied natural gas developer NextDecade Corp. has signed an accord for a possible carbon-capture and sequestration (CCS) project associated with its planned Rio Grande LNG export facility in south Texas after signing an initial agreement with Houston-based Occidental Petroleum Corp. The carbon-dioxide would be sequestered in an underground geologic formation in the Rio Grande Valley.

Tokyo Gas spin-off

March 26 (LNGJ) - Tokyo Gas, one of the main Japanese LNG importers, said it would spin off a “preparatory company” to facilitate and ensure preparations for the legal separation of the Tokyo Gas pipeline division required by April 2022 under the Japanese Gas Business Act covering market liberalization. “The spin-off of the gas pipeline business is subject to approval by a resolution of the annual general meeting of shareholders scheduled to be held in June 2021 and the acquisition of licenses and approvals by the competent government agencies,” said Tokyo Gas.

LNG bunkering deal

March 25 (LNGJ) - Total and Swiss-based MSC Cruises have signed an agreement for the French energy company to supply around 45,000 tonnes per annum of LNG for cruise ships calling at the Port of Marseilles. Total said it already had worldwide bunkering ties with MSC Cruises. “As we prepare to launch our first of three upcoming LNG-powered cruise ships in 2022, through this key agreement Marseilles will become our hub in the Mediterranean for the refuelling of our latest-generation and most environmentally advanced ships,” declared Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman of MSC Cruises.

Charter rates rise

March 25 (LNGJ) - Shipping charter rates for LNG carriers in the spot market increased for West Of Suez by $2,000 per day to average between $34,000 per day and $30,000 per day for vessels of 155,000-165,000 cubic metres capacity. One-year charter rates for the most modern vessels also increased to around $54,000 per day from last week’s $49,000 per day. In the East of Suez charter market average rates were unchanged at between $32,000 per day and $28,000 per day, according to various brokers.

Qatargas UK cargoes

March 24 (LNGJ) - Qatar is increasing its LNG supplies to the UK again this week with two cargoes heading for the South Hook import terminal at the Welsh port of Milford Haven from the Qatari plant at Ras Laffan. The 262,000 cubic metres capacity Q-Max carrier “Al Mayeda” is scheduled to discharge a shipment on March 26 at the South Hook facility, according to the port authority. A second Q-Max vessel, the “Mekaines”, is then scheduled to berth on March 27 at the same regasification terminal.

Total deal in China

March 23 (LNGJ) - French major Total and China’s Shenergy Group, the leading energy player in the port of Shanghai, have signed binding agreements for the supply of up to 1.4 million tonnes per annum of LNG from Total, as well as the creation of a joint venture to expand LNG marketing in China. The joint venture, Total 49 percent and Shenergy 51 percent, will sell LNG supplied by Total to customers in Shanghai and throughout the neighbouring Yangtze River delta region.

   Additionally, Total will supply LNG to Shanghai Gas, the natural gas distribution subsidiary of Shenergy. “This deal with Shenergy Group is a great opportunity to partner with an experienced gas and LNG player with strong ambitions, as well as a unique entry point into the downstream LNG market in China,” said Stéphane Michel, President of Gas, Renewables and Power at Total.

Peru March cargoes

March 23 (LNGJ) - The Peru LNG export plant at Pampa Melchorita on the Pacific Coast shipped four cargoes to Europe and Asia in March 2021, one to the Netherlands, two to Japan and one to South Korea. The first cargo shipped to the Gate terminal in Rotterdam left on March 1 on the 138,160 cubic metres capacity carrier “Methane Princess” at a Dutch Title Transfer facility (TTF) price of $6.014 per million British thermal units, according to data from Peruvian national energy company PeruPetro.

   The second shipment headed for Japan on March 6 on the 170,200 cubic metres capacity carrier “SCF Mitre” at a Japan-Korea Marker price of $5.980 per MMBtu. A second shipment for Japan left on March 12 on the 173,400 cubic metres capacity vessel “Maran Gas Amphipolis” at the JKM price of $5.980 per MMBtu. The fourth Peruvian cargo headed for South Korea and departed on March 19 on the 138,000 cubic metres capacity carrier “Sestao Knutsen” at the JKM price of $6.596 per MMBtu.

Vietnam LNG plan

March 22 (LNGJ) - GS Energy Corp., a subsidiary of the South Korean conglomerate, the GS Group, is planning to build and operate a power plant in Vietnam fired by regasified LNG. Vietnam is now the subject of over half a dozen power projects with gas-fired plants and backed by foreign investment. GS Energy said its project was in the south of Vietnam and would cost around 3.5 trillion South Korean won ($3 billion). The Korean company planned to sign a power purchase agreement with the state-run Vietnam Electricity Group to begin commercial production in 2027.

Gagarin at Canaveral

March 19 (LNGJ) - Russian fleet owner Sovcomflot and Royal Dutch Shell broke new ground with the completion of the first Aframax tanker fuelling using LNG in the US. Sovcomflot’s vessel, the “Gagarin Prospect”, named after the first human in space Yuri Gagarin and which is on long-term charter to Shell, was en route from Corpus Christi in Texas to Europe.

   “The ship received 1,075 cubic metres of marine LNG from Shell ‘s chartered bunkering barge, the “Q-LNG 4000”, outside the Port of Canaveral in Florida,” said Sovcomflot. “This represented the first ever ship-to-ship LNG fuelling of a large capacity Aframax tanker in the US,” the Russian company added.

Charter rates level

March 19 (LNGJ) - Shipping charter rates for LNG carriers in the spot market reached global parity levels as West Of Suez rates declined by $4,000 per week to average between $32,000 per day and $28,000 per day for vessels of 155,000-165,000 cubic metres capacity. In the East of Suez charter market average rates were at the same level after being unchanged from last week, according to various brokers. One-year charter rates for the most modern vessels increased to $49,000 per day.

ENN LNG fueling

March 18 (LNGJ) - The first Chinese seagoing LNG bunkering vessel, which has 8,500 cubic metre of capacity, will be delivered into service after mid-2021 to ENN Energy Group. ENN, the operator of the Zhoushan LNG import terminal in China’s eastern Zhejiang province, said the vessel with a C-type storage tank was nearing completion at the Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Corp. shipyard. It would be based at the Zhoushan terminal when delivered and would service sea-going vessels.

Qatar cargoes for UK

March 17 (LNGJ) - Qatar is increasing its LNG supplies to the UK this week with three cargoes heading for the two terminals at the Welsh port of Milford Haven from the Qatari plant at Ras Laffan. The 210,100 cubic metres capacity Q-Flex carrier “Al Aamriya” is scheduled to discharge a shipment on March 19 at the South Hook facility, according to the port authority.

   The 216,200 cubic metres capacity vessel “Al Rekayyat” is also scheduled to arrive on March 19 at the Dragon regasification terminal, operated by Royal Dutch Shell. The 210,185 cubic metres capacity carrier “Al Bahiya” is then expected on March 21 to berth at the South Hook facility with another cargo.

Gazprom EPC change

March 16 (LNGJ) – Gazprom has decided to terminate the engineering, procurement and construction contract awarded to Nipigaz for the construction of a gas processing complex near Ust-Luga on the Baltic coast, eventually including an LNG plant.

   “The purpose of the decision is to optimize the project costs,” said Gazprom. “The replacement of the contractor will not have any influence on the project implementation schedule. A new contractor for these works will be appointed in the near future,” added Gazprom. The EPC contract was signed for gas processing and off-site facilities within the integrated complex, but not for the liquefaction plant which was set to be signed later. 

Shell QGC sale

March 15 (LNGJ) - Royal Dutch Shell has completed the sale of a 26.25 percent stake in the Queensland Curtis LNG export plant near Gladstone QGC for US$2.5 billion. The buyer was Global Infrastructure Partners Australia.

   Shell said the sale was consistent with the Anglo-Dutch company’s strategy of selling non-core assets to simplify the portfolio. “The sale will contribute to Shell’s expected divestment proceeds, without impact on people or the operations of the QCLNG venture,” said Shell, which acquired the LNG project after taking over BG Group.

Full set of offset

March 15 (LNGJ) - Off-setting, a form of self-imposed taxation thought up by the green lobby and marketed by US investment banks and now being followed worldwide by the energy industry, has moved on to the condensate sector. Western Australian LNG plant operator Woodside Petroleum and its Pluto LNG joint venture participants, Japanese utilities Kansai Electric Power and Tokyo Gas, said they delivered their first cargo of carbon-offset condensate to global commodity trading company Trafigura from the Pluto facility on the Burrup Peninsula.

   “The carbon-dioxide equivalent emissions associated with extraction, storage and shipping of the 650,000-barrel cargo will be offset through a combination of efficiency measures, which reduce emissions,” said a statement. “High-quality carbon offsets have been sourced from nature-based projects located in the Asia-Pacific region, independently validated and verified by the Gold Standard or Verified Carbon Standard,” it added.

Two cargoes for UK

March 12 (LNGJ) - Two LNG shipments are scheduled to arrive next week at the UK import terminals in the Welsh port of Milford Haven carrying cargoes from the US and Qatar. The 174,000 cubic metres capacity carrier “Maran Gas Ulysses” will discharge a cargo on March 16 at the Dragon import facility from the Sabine Pass export plant in Louisiana.

   The 261,700 cubic metres capacity Q-Flex carrier “Lijmiliya” is then due to arrive at Milford Haven’s South Hook terminal on March 17 with a cargo from Ras Laffan in Qatar. The deliveries to the UK come as prices are rising after a recent slump. The UK National Balancing Point benchmark has jumped to the equivalent of $6.50 per million British thermal units from $5.60 per MMBtu earlier in the week.

Ship rates mixed

March 11 (LNGJ) - Shipping charter rates for LNG carriers in the spot market were mixed with West Of Suez rates gaining around $4,000 per week to average between $36,000 per day and $30,000 per day for vessels of between 155,000-165,000 cubic capacity. In the East of Suez charter market average rates were unchanged from last week at between $32,000 per day and $28,000 per day, according to various brokers.

New carrier designs

March 10 (LNGJ) - Qatar Petroleum, along with several leading international LNG players, have signed a multi-party agreement with LNT Marine, the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), and Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding of China to collaborate on the development of new medium and large LNG carrier designs. The Qataris said the agreement paved the way for the establishment of a Joint Industry Project (JIP) targeting the development of new LNG carrier designs using the LNT A-BOX LNG cargo containment system.

   Other signatories to the agreement include Qatargas and affiliates of ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell and Total. The LNT A-BOX LNG cargo system is a new design recently deployed on the 45,000 cubic metres capacity ABS-classed vessel “Saga Dawn”, which entered commercial service in 2020. “We are pleased to collaborate with LNT Marine, ABS, and SWS to introduce new designs utilizing innovative technologies,” said Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, President and Chief Executive of Qatar Petroleum.

Total LNG change

March 9 (LNG) - French energy major Total has named a new head of its LNG division. Total said Stéphane Michel is the new President of Gas, Renewables & Power (GRP), a position previously held by Philippe Sauquet, who is retiring. Since January 2014, Michel had been Senior Vice President of the Middle East and North Africa Exploration and Production division. He now also joins the Total Executive Committee.

   “The Gas, Renewables & Power segment has a key role to play in the growth, value creation and transformation of Total into a broad energy company,” stated Patrick Pouyanné, Chairman and Chief Executive of Total. “We are very pleased to welcome Stéphane Michel to the Executive Committee,” added Pouyanné. “I would also like to thank very warmly Philippe Sauquet for his 30 years at Total, and the major role he has played since 2016 in the creation and sustained development of Total’s Gas, Renewables & Power segment,” stated the Total CEO.

Oil and LNG rise

March 8 (LNGJ) - North Sea Brent front-month crude oil prices surged to over $70 per barrel, up from $67.30 per barrel at the end of last week. It is the highest oil price since early January 2020 and follows reported drone attacks on oil facilities in Saudi Arabia, blamed on Iran-backed Yemeni militia. The oil surge took the effective oil-linked, long-term LNG contract price to over $10 per million British thermal units.

   European natural gas prices also increased with the UK National Balancing Point and the continental European Dutch Tittle Transfer facility (TTF) both hitting the equivalent of $5.70 per MMBtu, up from $5.55 per MMBtu on March 5. The Japan-Korea Marker price for April spot LNG cargoes was around $6.00 per MMBtu, according to trading platforms.

Charter rates drop

March 5 (LNGJ) - Shipping charter rates for LNG carriers in the spot market dropped again this week by as much as $8,000 per day. They settled at an average of between $32,000 per day and $28,000 per day for vessels of between 155,000-165,000 cubic capacity in the West of Suez market as well as the East of Suez charter market, according to various brokers. One-year time charters for the most modern vessels were available for around $48,000 per day.

Oil Search change

March 4 (LNGJ) - Oil Search, the energy company with LNG and oil assets in Papua New Guinea and oil projects in the US state of Alaska, has named Peter Fredricson as its new Chief Financial Officer to replace Stephen Gardiner, who is stepping down after eight years. Gardiner will continue to assist Oil Search as an adviser to the Managing Director Keiran Wulff. The Australian-listed and PNG-based company said that CFO Fredricson had over 30 years of experience in the infrastructure and banking sectors in Australia, New Zealand and Asia.

   “We are fortunate to welcome Peter to Oil Search,” said Wulff. “His deep experience in finance, equity and debt capital markets and the financial services sector generally will be valuable to Oil Search as the company focuses on delivering its strategic objectives,” he added.

US cargoes for UK

March 3 (LNGJ) - Two US LNG shipments are scheduled to arrive in the UK in the days ahead at the South Hook LNG import terminal in the Welsh port of Milford Haven. The 152,000 cubic metres capacity carrier “Seri Balhaf” will discharge a cargo on March 8 from the Corpus Christi export plant in Texas. The 173,400 cubic metres capacity “BW Pavilion Aranda” is then due to arrive at South Hook on March 9 with a cargo from the Sabine Pass plant in Louisiana.

Peruvian LNG for Asia

March 2 (LNGJ) - The Peru LNG export plant at Pampa Melchorita on the Pacific Coast shipped four cargoes to Asia in February 2021, three to South Korea and one to Japan. The first cargo shipped to South Korea left on February 1 on the 170,000 cubic metres capacity carrier “Methane Julia Louise” at a Japan-Korea Marker price of $7.65 per million British thermal units, according to data from Peruvian national energy company PeruPetro.

   The second shipment headed for Japan on February 6 on the 138,200 cubic metres capacity carrier “Methane Kari Elin” with a similar JKM price. A second shipment for South Korea left on February 18 on the 173,400 cubic metres capacity vessel “Sevilla Knutsen” at the JKM price of $6.19 per MMBtu. The fourth cargo, also sent to Korea, departed on February 23 on the 159,800 cubic metres capacity carrier “Maran Gas Lindos” with similar pricing.

Qatari LNG for UK

March 1 (LNGJ) - Qatargas is this week shipping two LNG cargoes to the UK South Hook import terminal at the Welsh port of Milford Haven. The 266,000 cubic metres capacity Q-Max carrier “Umm Slal” is scheduled to discharge a cargo on March 6 and it will be followed a day later by the arrival of the 216,200 cubic metres capacity Q-Flex vessel “Al Ghariya”, according to port authorities.

Texas cargo for UK

Feb 26 (LNGJ) - The UK will receive its first March LNG cargo from Texas. The 155,9000 cubic metres capacity carrier “Maran Gas Troy” is scheduled to arrive on March 1 at the UK South Hook importer terminal in Milford Haven from the US Freeport export plant on Quintana Island on the Gulf Coast.

Arctic LNG II deal

Feb 25 (LNGJ) - Russian natural gas company Novatek signed a long-term LNG Sales and Purchase Agreement with the Chinese Shenergy Group from volumes produced by the Arctic LNG II on the Gydan Pensinsula, currently under construction. The accord is for 3 million tonnes per annum of LNG over 15 years and delivered to terminals in China on a delivered ex-ship (DES) basis whereby the seller pays for the shipping. 

   “Our LNG commercial strategy is to diversify our client base and target end consumers in the fast-growing Asian-Pacific region, and the LNG volumes produced from our Arctic LNG II project are core to our long-term objective of delivering affordable, secure and sustainable natural gas for many decades,” said Novatek Chairman Leonid Mikhelson.

Charter rates lower

Feb 25 (LNGJ) - Shipping charter rates for LNG carriers in the spot market settled at lower levels again in the past week and were quoted at an average of between $43,000 per day and $39,000 per day for vessels of between 155,000-165,000 cubic capacity in the West of Suez market. In the East of Suez charter market, rates were offered for ships at between $41,000 per day and $37,000 per day, according to various brokers. One-year time charters for the most modern vessels were available for around $48,000 per day.

K-Line LNG fuel

Feb 24 (LNGJ) - Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K-Line), the Japanese shipping company, said it was pleased to be the operator of the first Singapore-owned LNG bunkering vessel, the 7,500 cubic metres capacity “FueLNG Bellina”, as it entered service in the Asian port city. The vessel is owned by the FueLNG joint venture comprising Keppel Offshore and Marine and Shell Eastern Petroleum. “We are proud to get involved in this meaningful event through our technical expertise on ship management of liquefied gas carriers,” explained K- Line.

   “Singapore is one of the busiest bunkering locations on the globe. The vessel’s debut is part of the maritime industry’s efforts to reduce emissions of greenhouse-gas,” added K-Line. “LNG enables vessels to emit less GHG when used as marine fuel compared to conventional heavy fuel oils, and having the ‘FueLNG Bellina’ provide LNG bunkering on a ship-to-ship basis in Singapore offers more opportunities to various ship operators to choose a greener marine fuel,” stated K-Line.

TechnipFMC award

Feb 24 (LNGJ) - TechnipFMC has received a letter of award from Energean Israel for the development of the Karish North field, located offshore Israel in the revived East Mediterranean LNG and natural gas hub. TechnipFMC said it would design, manufacture, deliver and install subsea equipment including the subsea production system, rigid flowlines and umbilicals as a tieback to the “Energean Power” floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) unit as well as a second gas export riser. The Karish field is the third-largest natural gas field in Israeli waters after the Leviathan and Tamar fields.

Excelerate support

Feb 23 (LNGJ) - Excelerate Technical Management (ETM), a wholly-owned subsidiary responsible for the management and welfare of seafarers and crews on Excelerate Energy’s fleet of floating storage and regasification units operating as LNG import terminals, said it had joined forces with companies and organizations to sign the Neptune Declaration on Seafarer Wellbeing and Crew Change. In conjunction with more than 500 entities, Excelerate said it was taking action to deliver on shared responsibility to support seafarers with global partners spanning the maritime value chain.

   “The declaration marks a significant moment in the industry where we commit to being a part of the collective group working to hold ourselves to the highest standards. We take great pride in joining this effort,” said Cal Bancroft, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Excelerate Energy. “We have and will continue to be steadfast in our commitment to stewardship, accountability, improvement, and leadership as it pertains to all parts of our business,” added Bancroft.

Qatar-Vitol LNG deal

Feb 22 (LNGJ) - Qatar Petroleum signed a long-term Sale and Purchase Agreement (SPA) with global commodities company Vitol for the supply of 1.25 million tonnes per annum of LNG for delivery to Bangladesh. The shipments will begin later in 2021. “We are pleased to sign this SPA with Vitol, and we look forward to commencing deliveries to further contribute to meeting Bangladesh's energy requirements,” said Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, President and Chief Executive of Qatar Petroleum. “We are proud to continue to be the supplier of choice for our customers and partners around the globe,” added Al-Kaabi.

Three cargoes for UK

Feb 22 (LNGJ) - The UK is receiving three LNG cargoes this week at the Port of Milford Haven in Wales, two from the US and one from Qatar. The 165,000 cubic metres capacity carrier “Marib Spirit” will discharge its cargo on February 23 at the South Hook terminal from Cheniere Energy’s Sabine Pass plant in Louisiana, according to the port authorities.

   Another shipment from Sabine Pass is scheduled to be unloaded on February 25 at the Dragon regasification terminal at the Welsh port from the “Stena Clear Sky” carrier with 171,800 cubic metres capacity. The third shipment will arrive on February 27 at the South Hook terminal from Qatar onboard the largest carrier, the 266,000 cubic metres capacity Q-Max vessel “Mozah”. The UK deliveries are being received at lower seasonal prices as the UK National Balancing Point has declined in the last week to the equivalent of $5.90 per million British thermal units.

Sempra unit earnings

Feb 19 (LNGJ) – IEnova, the Sempra Energy Mexican subsidiary and developer of the Costa Azul export plant, posted gross earnings for the year of more than US$1 billion. However, net profits for 2020 were lower at $461M million compared with $468M in 2019.

   IEnova said earnings benefited from the start of operations of the South Texas-Tuxpan pipeline bringing natural gas supplies from the US, partially offset by the revenue deferment at the Guayma-El Oro natural gas pipeline and lower operational results at the Termoeléctrica de Mexicali power plant. The Costa Azul LNG project on the Pacific Coast was given the go-ahead in late 2020 and is being constructed by Europe-based engineering firm Technip Energies. 

Ship rates decline

Feb 18 (LNGJ) - Shipping charter rates for LNG carriers in the spot market have plunged again this week by over $10,000 dollars per day. Rates were quoted at an average of between $56,000 per day and $52,000 per day for vessels of between 155,000-165,000 cubic capacity in the West of Suez market. In the East of Suez charter market, rates were offered for ships at between $52,000 per day and $48,000 per day, according to various brokers. One-year time charters for the most modern vessels were available for around $48,000 per day.

Flex LNG posts profit

Feb 17 (LNGJ) - Flex LNG, the growing Norwegian-listed fleet owner with 13 modern carriers, 10 on the water and three uner construction, posted fourth-quarter net income of $25.8 million compared with $3.8M in the previous quarter. Full-year net profits came to $8.1M. Flex reported an average Time Charter Equivalent rate of $73,712 per day for the fourth quarter versus $46,569 per day for the third quarter.

   “During the last quarter of 2020 and into 2021, the LNG market improved markedly driven by strong demand from Asia due to a combination of cold weather and economic recovery, which resulted in a shortage of both LNG and ships to transport it,” said Oystein M Kalleklev, Chief Executive of Flex LNG Management AS. “LNG prices, which hit synchronized lows following the Covid-19 pandemic, rebounded with an 18-times price increase of Asian LNG from the low in April 2020 to the highs in January 2021, a remarkable turn-around,” added Kalleklev.

IMO piracy concern

Feb 16 (LNGJ) - International Maritime Organization Secretary-General Kitack Lim has expressed his deep concern about the escalation in the number and severity of attacks on ships and crew in the Gulf of Guinea waters of West Africa, with several incidents in the past couple of years involving LNG carriers. He insisted on the need for all stakeholders to work together to restore security and reduce the threats to the safety and security of crews and vessels operating in the region.

   The Secretary-General said that IMO was enhancing the coordination of initiatives among stakeholders, including the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Interregional Coordination Centre for the Implementation of Regional Strategy for Maritime Safety and Security in Central and West Africa (ICC).

Technip split is final

Feb 16 (LNG) - TechnipFMC has completed the spin-off transaction to create two leading publicly traded companies, TechnipFMC for subsea and technology and Technip Energies for LNG and energy project engineering. In connection with the separation, the Technip Energies technical reference price was set at €9.00 ahead of its direct listing on the Euronext Paris Exchange where it will trade under the symbol “TE”.

   “I am delighted to announce the successful completion of the separation transaction. As the market leader and industry’s only fully integrated pure-play, we are uniquely positioned to transform our clients’ project economics, helping them to unlock traditional and new energy resources,” said Doug Pferdehirt, Chairman and Chief Executive of TechnipFMC.

US cargoes for UK

Feb 15 (LNGJ)- Three more US LNG cargoes are to unload at UK terminals in the next week. The 173,600 cubic metres capacity carrier “British Achiever” was unloading a cargo on February 15 at the Isle of Grain terminal, located southeast of London, from the Freeport plant in Texas, according to shipping data.

   Two more US cargoes are heading for the UK from the Sabine Pass plant in Louisiana, operated by Cheniere Energy. The 173,400 cubic metres capacity vessel “BW Tulip” is scheduled to arrive on February 19 at the South Hook terminal at Milford Haven. Another shipment will be discharged on February 22 at Milford Haven’s Dragon facility from the 174,000 cubic metres capacity carrier “Pan Africa”.

PNG LNG progress

Feb 12 (LNGJ) - French major Total, operator of the Papua LNG feed-gas assets, and joint venture partners ExxonMobil and Australia-listed Oil Search have signed a Fiscal Stability Agreement with Papua New Guinea. “The Fiscal Stability Agreement is the final step envisioned under the Papua LNG Gas Agreement to guarantee Papua LNG fiscal stability,” said Oil Search. It follows the amendments to Acts passed by the PNG Parliament in November 2020.

   “We are pleased to see further progress achieved on Papua LNG,” said Keiran Wulff, Oil Search's Managing Director in regard to the PNG LNG expansion project to more than double current output. “It also demonstrates increasing alignment between the PNG Government and the joint venture partners. We look forward to progressing Papua LNG and announcing further milestones consistent with our Strategic Review,” added Wulff.

Spot ship rates fall

Feb 11 (LNGJ) - Shipping charter rates for LNG carriers in the spot market have plunged for a fourth week by over $20,000 dollars per day. Rates were quoted at an average of between $67,000 per day and $63,000 per day for vessels of between 155,000-165,000 cubic capacity in the West of Suez market. In the East of Suez charter market, rates were offered for ships at between $55,000 per day and $51,000 per day, according to various brokers. One-year time charters for the most modern vessels were available for around $48,000 per day.