LNG

This week

Oil link and other challenges in sales
agreements for LNG and pipelines

Pipeline natural gas and liquefied natural gas are usually sold under long-term gas sales agreements (GSAs) and the duration of a GSA typically exceeds a decade and is often for a 20-year period, guaranteeing a producer's revenue stream to underpin the financing of development projects.

Latest News
Oil Search, the Papua New Guinea-focused oil and gas company listed in Australia, reported an 8 percent drop in net profits because of lower prices as Managing…
Swiss company Burckhardt Compression, whose LNG offerings include the Laby brand of compressors and boil-off gas solutions, said it signed a five-year service agreement covering nine LNG…
Free ReadAir Products, the US industrial gases and LNG equipment provider, said its  joint venture in Saudi Arabia held a ceremonial ground-breaking to mark the start of work…
Free ReadUS natural gas resources are so abundant even amid growing LNG exports and pipeline supplies to Mexico that the government says that the Lower 48 states will end…
Tellurian Inc., the developer of Driftwood LNG project on the US Gulf Coast and whose executives were in India pitching for an investment by Indian company Petronet,…
Chart Industries, the US liquefied natural gas and industrial gases equipment supplier, has signed a letter of cooperation with ExxonMobil India LNG Ltd, an affiliate of the…
Free ReadKosmos Energy, the Dallas-based exploration and production company, posted a net fourth-quarter loss as it continued to make progress on the floating LNG export projects being developed…
Baker Hughes Company, the US energy services and LNG equipment supplier, has signed an agreement with Oman LNG for the turbomachinery scope as part of a de-bottlenecking…
President Donald Trump is starting a two-day visit to India for talks concentrating on trade issues including energy, with the US offering access to its growing liquefied…
US regulators have denied requests for the rehearing of its orders authorizing construction and operation of two of three proposed liquefied natural gas export plants on the…

European gas weakness

May 25 (LNG) – European natural gas prices have continued to decline with the UK National Balancing Point price last at the equivalent $1.15 per million British thermal units, while the Continental European benchmark, the Dutch Title Transfer Facility price, was even lower at the equivalent of $1.10 per MMBtu. The final May cargo to arrive in the UK will be on May 31 when the 216,200 cubic metres capacity Q-Flex carrier “Al Sahla” berths at the UK South Hook terminal in Milford Haven with a shipment from Qatar.

US shipments decline

May 22 (LNGJ) - The weekly US LNG shipments declined for a second week to 10 cargoes this week compared with 11 in the previous week. Four cargoes left Cheniere Energy’s Sabine Pass plant in Louisiana, while one departed from Cheniere’s Corpus Christi facility in Texas and three from Sempra Energy’s Cameron facility in Louisiana. At the three other plants, one departed from the Freeport plant in Texas, one from Cove Point in Maryland and none from the Elba Island plant in Georgia, according to the Energy Information Administration.

European gas drops again

May 21 (LNG) - The next two UK LNG deliveries are on May 23 and May 27 to the South Hook import terminal in Milford Haven The first cargo will be discharged from the 216,000 cubic metres capacity Q-Flex “Tembek” and the second from the 266,00 cubic metres capacity carrier “Al Dafna”. European natural gas prices have again fallen with the UK National Balancing Point at its lowest level of the year at the equivalent of $1.35 per million British thermal units. The Continental European benchmark, the Dutch Title Transfer Facility price, was also down to the equivalent of $1.45 per MMBtu.

KBR Kazakhstan deal

May 20 (LNG) - LNG and energy engineering company, KBR of the US, has signed a joint venture agreement with NIPIneftegas JSC to establish a new engineering and support services company in Kazakhstan, the former Soviet Republic which is a big supplier of pipeline natural gas to China.

   “With support from KBR and NIPIneftegas, the venture called KBR-NIPILLP, will provide engineering, procurement, design and related services for projects across the upstream, midstream and downstream oil and gas sectors, within the Republic of Kazakhstan,” said a statement. Kazakhstan supplied 7.5 billion cubic metres of natural gas to China last year and plans to gradually increase this total to 10 Bcm per annum. 

European prices drop

May 19 (LNGJ) - The UK benchmark natural gas price has dropped to its lowest level of the year to be at the equivalent of $1.40 per million British thermal units, around the same mark as US Marcellus shale gas. The Continental European benchmark, the Dutch Title Transfer Facility price, was also falling and was last at the equivalent of $1.55 per MMBtu.

   UK natural gas supply flows on May 19 amounted to 184.65 million cubic metres and current demand was 187.57 mcm, according to National Grid data. Supply flows at gas grid connections near the UK’s LNG terminals at Milford Haven in Wales and the Isle of Grain, southeast of London, were at 49.95 mcm for South Hook LNG and Dragon LNG and 3.00 mcm for the Grain LNG terminal.

Total’s $557M deal

May 18 (LNG) - Total has strengthened its positions in power generation and the supply of electricity and natural gas in Spain with the acquisition from Energías de Portugal (EDP) of its portfolio of 2.5 million residential customers and two combined-cycle gas-fired power plants with a capacity of nearly 850 megawatts.

   “The transaction, concluded with EDP on the basis of a price of €515 ($557M) in value, remains subject to preconditions, including the approval of the competent authorities, and should be finalized by the end of 2020,” said Total.

   Total now also enters the Spanish residential market and becomes the country's fourth-largest supplier of gas and electricity with residential market shares of 12 percent and 6 percent respectively. “This deal allows Total to become one of the main players in the energy market in Spain, from the import of LNG to the production and sale of electricity, based on renewables and gas,” said Patrick Pouyanné, Chairman and Chief Executive.

Gazoduq project plans

May 18 (LNGJ) - The Impact Assessment Agency of Canada said it was making funding available through its programme to assist the public and Indigenous groups and First Nations to take part in the impact assessment for the proposed Gazoduq Project, a natural gas pipeline of 780 kilometres to be laid between northeast Ontario and Saguenay in Quebec to connect to an LNG export plant.

   Under the Impact Assessment Act, the review will be carried out by the agency in collaboration with the Canada Energy Regulator (CER). “Funding is available for eligible individuals and groups to assist their participation in upcoming steps of the integrated assessment,” it said. Funding applications received by June 30, 2020, will be considered.

QGTC LNG vessels

May 15 (LNGJ) - Qatar Gas Transport Co. said it started the second phase of its fleet management transition from Shell Shipping and Maritime to its own management. The 266,000 cubic metres capacity Q-Max LNG carrier “Al Mayeda” is the first of seven vessels that will pass into the management of QGTC as part of a phased changeover. Shell and QCTC completed the first phase of the management changes in 2017 involving 10 vessels. After completion of the second phase by the end of 2020, QGTC’s managed fleet will rise to 25 vessels out of which four are liquefied petroleum gas carriers.

UK and Dutch cargoes

May 14 (LNGJ) - The Dutch Gate terminal in Rotterdam will receive a Russian LNG shipment delivered on May 17 by the 172,000 cubic metres capacity carrier “Eduard Toll” from the Yamal plant in Siberia as the Dutch Title Transfer Facility European natural gas price remained flat at the equivalent of $1.60 per million British thermal units.

   Another LNG cargo will be delivered to the UK South Hook terminal in Milford Haven on May 21 onboard the 210,100 cubic metres capacity Q-Flex carrier, the “Al Safliya”, from Ras Laffan in Qatar with the UK benchmark National Balancing Point price lower than the Dutch TTF at $1.50 per MMBtu.

Asian LNG spot edges up

May 13 (LNGJ) - Asian LNG spot prices in the form of the Japan-Korea Marker from Platts are showing signs of partial recovery with the June cargoes edging higher to $2.115 per million British thermal units and July cargoes at $2.450 per MMBtu. The all-time JKM low was recently under $2.00 per MMBtu and traders may be heartened by the October JKM moving above $3.000 per MMBtu level and December 2020 being at $4.235 per MMBtu.

   Among LNG carriers heading for Asia with deliveries are the 217,000 cubic metres capacity Q-Flex carrier “Al Kharsaah”, scheduled to deliver a contract shipment on May 15 to the Thai import terminal at Map Ta Phut. The 173,400 cubic metres capacity vessel “Woodside Rees Withers” was due to arrive on May 18 at the Pyeongtaek terminal in South Korea with a shipment from Wheatstone LNG in Western Australia. The 165,000 cubic metres capacity carrier “Diamond Gas Orchid” is scheduled to discharge a US cargo on May 25 at the Shimizu Sodeshi import terminal in Japan from Cameron LNG in Louisiana.

UK and Asia deliveries

May 12 (LNGJ) - At least three LNG cargoes are being delivered to the UK in the next week. The 155,000 cubic metres capacity “British Sapphire” was unloading a shipment on May 12 at the UK Isle of Grain terminal in Kent from the Point Fortin plant in Trinidad. Two Qatargas cargoes were then due at the UK South Hook terminal in Milford Haven. The 216,200 cubic metres capacity Q-Flex carrier “Al Gharrafa” will unload on May 15 at South Hook and the 266,000 cubic metres capacity Q-Max vessel “Al Mafyar” was scheduled to berth on May 18.

   The cargoes were heading for the UK as European natural gas prices were still at low levels. The UK National Balancing Point natural gas price fell again this week to $1.65 per million British thermal units while Continental Europe’s Dutch Title Transfer Facility (TTF) price was higher than the NBP at $2.05 per MMBtu.

   Asian spot prices for June were at around $2.05 per MMBtu while oil-linked contract prices were at $6 per MMBtu and above. Among the many shipments on the water, the 160,000 cubic metres capacity vessel “Asia Vision” was scheduled to deliver a cargo on May 25 to the Map Ta Phut terminal in Thailand from Wheatstone LNG in Western Australia. The 174,000 cubic metres capacity “GasLog Gibraltar” was due to unload a US shipment at India’s Dahej terminal on May 28 from Cheniere Energy’s Sabine Pass plant in Louisiana.

China LNG index drops

May 11 (LNGJ) - China's import price index for liquefied natural gas dropped in the week ending May 8, according to data from the Shanghai Petroleum and Natural Gas Exchange (SHPGX). The LNG index is for delivered cargoes, not including tax. The most recent quote for Cost, Insurance and Freight (CIF) delivered cargoes was given as 2,504 yuan ($353) per tonne, or $6.84 per million British thermal units, compared with the previous week’s price of 2,894 yuan ($408) per tonne, or $7.91 per MMBtu.

The index, jointly developed by a monitoring centre under the General Administration of Customs and the SHPGX, was launched on October 16, 2019, and offers CIF cargo price guidance for Chinese importers.

US cargoes increase

May 8 (LNGJ) - The weekly US LNG shipments increased to 15 cargoes this week compared with 11 in the previous week. Six cargoes left Cheniere Energy’s Sabine Pass plant in Louisiana, while three departed from Cheniere’s Corpus Christi facility in Texas and three from Sempra Energy’s Cameron facility in Louisiana. At the three other plants, two departed from the Freeport plant in Texas, one from Cove Point in Maryland and none from the newest facility, the Elba Island plant in Georgia, according to the Energy Information Administration.

Shipping rates steady

May 7 (LNGJ) - Shipping charter rates for LNG carriers in the spot market were little changed over the past week. Rates were quoted at an average of between $37,000 per day and $33,000 per day West of Suez and at rates of between $34,000 per day and $30,000 per day East of Suez for vessels of between 155,000-165,000 cubic metres capacity, according to various brokers. One-year time charters were steady for the most modern vessels and were seen at rates of around $44,000 per day.

Hammerfest LNG pause

May 6 (LNGJ) - Equinor of Norway will close Europe’s only baseload LNG export plant at Hammerfest from mid-May for two weeks of scheduled maintenance. Equinor said the liquefaction plant shut-down would reduce natural gas production by 18 million cubic metres per day from the Snohvit feed-gas field.

   The single-Train Hammerfest plant supplies cargoes to LNG import terminals such as those in Spain and in northwest Europe from the Netherlands to Lithuania. Equinor has 37 percent of the Snohvit field and the LNG plant and the other partners include French major Total and Germany’s Wintershall Dea.

Awilco income falls

May 5 (LNGJ) - Awilco LNG, the small Norwegian-based LNG shipping provider with two vessels, the 156,000 cubic metres capacity “WilForce” and the “WilPride”, reported a fall in freight income to $12.9 million in the first quarter of 2020 from $16.3M in the last three months of 2019. Awilco added that average assessed charter rates were at $59,000 per day in the quarter versus $56,400 per day in the same three moths a year ago.

Freeport CEO pleased

May 4 (LNGJ) - Freeport LNG in Texas said it began commercial operations for its third liquefaction Train with the commencement of liquefaction services for French major Total and South Korean utility and energy company SK E&S under their tolling agreements.

   “The start of commercial operations for Freeport LNG's Train 3 marks the full commercial operation of our $13.5 billion, three-Train facility,” said Michael Smith, Freeport’s founder, Chairman and Chief Executive. “After over five-and-a-half years of construction, which began in December 2014, we are thrilled to now have all three Trains operating safely, and capable of producing in excess of 15 million tonnes per annum, “ added Smith.

Baltic Gas contract won

May 4 (LNGJ) - Saipem, the Italian engineering company, has been awarded a contract by Gaz-System SA of Poland for the installation of a natural gas pipeline between Denmark and Poland in the Baltic Sea as a competitor to both LNG and Russian gas. The contract was signed by Saipem’s subsidiary UK Saipem Ltd and is worth around €280 million.

   “The Baltic Pipe Project is a strategic infrastructure project developed by a joint venture between Gaz-System S.A. and Energinet.dk of Denmark and is co-financed by the European Union to create a new inter-European gas corridor that will supply gas directly from Norway to the markets in Poland, Denmark and neighbouring countries,” said Saipem. Specifically, the contract comprises the construction of around 275 kilometres of 36-inch, concrete-coated pipeline between Denmark and Poland in a water depth between 4 metres and 57 metres to be carried out by Saipem S-lay vessels. 

Power plans for Total

May 4 (LNGJ) - French energy major Total is seeking to expand its power retailing business in Australia from June 2020 as part of a plan to sell electricity to 9 million sites by 2023. Total already sells power to the Gladstone LNG export plant on Curtis Island where it is a sharehodler and is now seeking a larger slice of the East Coast market.

   Total Gas & Power Australia said its proposed target market was the very large users such as industrial and government customers. The application was filed in March and released by the energy industry regulator on May 4 for public comment. 

Golar unit’s new CEO

May 1 (LNGJ) - Golar LNG Partners has appointed Karl Fredrik Staubo as its interim Chief Executive after current CEO Graham Robjohns previously said he was stepping down on April 30.

   The company said Staubo would formally take up the role with immediate effect. “He has 10 years of experience advising and investing in shipping, energy and infrastructure companies from Magni Partners and Clarksons Platou Securities. At Platou Securities he worked in the corporate finance division, the last three years as Head of Shipping,” said Golar.

US shipments decline

May 1 (LNGJ) - The US shipped 11 LNG cargoes this week, which was two fewer than the previous week. Six shipments left Cheniere Energy’s Sabine Pass plant in Louisiana, while one departed from Cheniere’s Corpus Christi facility in Texas and one from Cove Point in Maryland. At the three other plants, one was shipped from the Freeport plant in Texas, two departed from Sempra Energy’s Cameron facility in Louisiana and none from the newest facility, the Elba Island plant in Georgia, according to the Energy Information Administration.

TC Energy $2.8Bln sale

April 30 (LNGJ) - TC Energy Corp., the North American pipelines company with LNG feed-gas transportation projects in the US and Canada, completed the sale of its interests in three natural gas-fired power plants in the Canadian province of Ontario to a subsidiary of Ontario Power Generation Inc. for net proceeds of around $2.8 billion. The facilities include the 683-megawatt Halton Hills power plant, the 900-megawatt Napanee generating station and TC Energy’s 50 percent interest in the 550-megawatt Portlands Energy Centre.

   In LNG projects, TC Energy is developing the 670-kilometre (416-mile) Coastal GasLink pipeline to deliver natural gas across northern British Columbia. The pipeline will supply feed-gas from the Dawson Creek area to a facility near Kitimat, where the Shell-led LNG Canada venture currently under construction will prepare it for export to global markets.

Indian LNG import rise

April 29 (LNGJ) - Indian LNG imports in March increased by more than 20 percent to 2.12 million tonnes from 1.76MT in the same month of the previous year, according to data from the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas. However, domestic natural gas production fell in March by 14.4 percent to 2.41 billion cubic metres from 2.81 Bcm in March 2019. Indian imports cost around $700 million for March, unchanged from a year ago as bigger volumes were purchased at lower prices.

   For the April-to-March fiscal year, shipments rose by more than 17 percent to 24.9MT from 21.3MT in the previous fiscal year. Import costs for the fiscal year fell to $9.5 billion from $10.3Bln in the previous 12-month period.

Arctic LNG field licence

April 28 (LNGJ) – Russian natural gas company Novatek said it was awarded an additional licence for feed-gas production from the Bukharinskiy field on the Gydan Peninsula for its Arctic LNG project. “The licence area is partially located in the shallow waters of the Ob and Taz bays in the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Region and has been obtained for a period up to 2050,” said Novatek.

   Novatek noted that the Bukharinskiy field is in close proximity to the Geofizicheskiy and Trekhbugorniy license areas and the Soletsko-Khanaveyskoye field, which will underpin the Arctic LNG project. “The Bukharinskiy licence area has estimated resources of 1,190 billion cubic metres of natural gas and 74 million tons of liquids, according to the Russian resource classification system,” added the company.

BP earnings take hit

April 28 (LNGJ) - UK major and leading LNG sector participant BP reported a 67 percent drop in first-quarter earnings as the effects of coronavirus pandemic began to be felt in the energy sector. BP recorded first-quarter net income of $791 million versus $2.4 billion in the same three months of 2019. In its key quarterly events, BP noted that a ‘force majeure’ notice was issued under the agreement with Golar LNG for the provision of a floating liquified natural gas vessel for the FLNG project offshore Mauritania and Senegal.

   BP does not give separate LNG production details but total quarterly natural gas output came to 7,387 million cubic feet per day, down from 7,872 mmcf per day in the 2019 quarter. Average realised natural gas prices fell to $2.83 per thousand feet from $4.02. “Our industry has been hit by supply and demand shocks on a scale never seen before,” said Bernard Looney, who took over as Chief Executive in February. “We are taking decisive actions to strengthen our finances - reinforcing liquidity and rapidly reducing spending and costs,” added Looney.

May UK LNG cargoes

April 27 (LNGJ) - The first May shipments are heading for the UK from Qatar and Russia. The 266,000 cubic metres capacity Q-Max carrier “Shagra” will discharge a cargo on May 1 at the South Hook terminal in Milford Haven from Ras Laffan, while the 172,000 cubic metres capacity vessel “Vladimir Rusanov” is scheduled to arrive on May 3 at the Dragon import facility at Milford Haven from Yamal LNG at Sabetta in Arctic Russia.

   The cargoes were heading for the UK even amid more European natural gas price drops. The UK National Balancing Point natural gas price fell again from last week to a low of $1.60 per million British thermal units while Continental Europe’s Dutch Title Transfer Facility (TTF) price was slightly higher than the NBP price at $1.85 per MMBtu, though also lower than last week.

Saga LNG service starts

April 24 (LNGJ) - Saga LNG Shipping, the company developing a medium-sized delivery business in Asia, has lifted its first full cargo from the Jurong terminal in Singapore with the 45,000 cubic metres capacity “Saga Dawn.

   “As ‘Saga Dawn’ departs on her maiden voyage, we would like to take a moment to thank Singapore LNG, our business partners, and all the parties involved for their hard work and excellent support in making this first loading a success, ” said David Wu, Chief Executive of Saga LNG.

   The “Saga Dawn” is the world’s first LNG carrier featuring an IMO type-A LNG containment system, based on LNT Marine’s patented design. The vessel was classed by the American Bureau of Shipping and built at China Merchants Heavy Industry’s Jiangsu yard.

Santos earnings solid

April 23 (LNGJ) - Australian energy company and LNG operator Santos showed a strong operational performance in the first quarter even as average realised LNG prices dropped to US$8.88 per million British thermal units from US$10.79 per MMBtu in the prior-year quarter.

   The company delivered US$265 million of free cash flow, at a targeted breakeven oil price of US$25 per barrel, even as sales revenues fell by 13 percent to $883M. Santos operates the Gladstone LNG plant in Queensland and has stakes in two others. It had liquidity of over US$3 billion at the end of the quarter, comprising US$1.15Bln in cash and US$1.9Bln in committed undrawn debt facilities. 

Qatari cargoes for UK

April 22 (LNGJ) – The UK is scheduled to receive two cargoes from Qatar in the next week. The 266,000 cubic metres capacity Q-Max carrier “Al Mayeda” will deliver a shipment on April 25 to the South Hook terminal at Milford Haven and the 210,000 cubic metres capacity Q-Flex vessel “Mesaimeer” will unload at South Hook on April 29.

Port Kembla LNG change

April 21 (LNGJ) - Australian Industrial Energy (AIE) said that the state of New South Wales had approved modifications to the capacity of the Port Kembla LNG and gas terminal project. “The modification to the original development consent will satisfy the market need for more gas during the cooler winter months,” said AIE.

   “It allows an increase in throughput, as well as an increase in the number of LNG cargoes able to be received at each year, without modifying the design,” said AIE. The project is backed by the world’s largest LNG purchaser, JERA Co. Inc. of Japan, the Japanese trading house Marubeni Corp and Australian mining billionaire Andrew Forrest’s Squadron Energy.

Nakilat profits rise

April 20 (LNGJ) - Qatar Gas Transport Co., also known as Nakilat, finished the first quarter of 2020 with an 18 percent rise in net profits of 279.5 million Qatari riyals ($76.8M), compared with 236M riyals in the same period in 2019. The company's fleet comprises 70 LNG vessels and several other ships.

   Revenues came in at 1.22 billion ($280.7M), up 13 percent. “Despite the ongoing challenges of the global pandemic, Nakilat continued to uphold operational excellence in the management of its LNG and LPG vessels and ensured no disruption to its business, demonstrating its strong commitment to safely, reliably and efficiently,” stated the company.

US cargo for China

April 20 (LNGJ) - The 173,605 cubic metres capacity LNG carrier “Maran Gas Vergina” was unloading a US cargo at the Chinese port of Tianjin. This is the first US LNG shipment received by the Chinese since March 2019 when trade started to be hindered by tit-for-tat tariff measures by the US and China over trade disagreements.

   The Greek-owned tanker, charted by UK major BP, lifted its cargo at the Freeport export plant on Quintana Island in Texas on March 21 and was discharging the LNG on April 20 at Tianjin, according to shipping data.

 

Toyo Engineering move

April 20 (LNGJ) - Toyo Engineering Corp., the Japanese energy engineering company specializing in LNG terminals and involved in India’s LNG network build-out, has acquired Japan Infra Waymark Co. (JIW), which provides Artificial Intelligent-based drone infrastructure inspections.

   “Toyo will provide advanced inspection services using JIW technology,” said the company. It will initially work with Japanese energy suppliers on domestic inspections, including Osaka Gas, Saibu Gas Co, TEPCO Power Grid Inc., Hokuriku Electric Power Co. and NTT DATA Corp.

Exmar Chairman dies

April 17 (LNGJ) - Exmar, the Belgian shipping and projects company with more than 40 vessels in its fleet and now mostly focused on the liquefied petroleum gas business and LNG shipping management, has appointed a new Chairman and Chief Executive after the incumbent Chairman, Baron Philippe Bodson, aged 75 and a Belgian national, died from the Covid-19 virus.

   “On the 4th of April our Chairman of the Board, Baron Philippe Bodson, sadly passed away after his fight against Covid-19,” said Exmar in a statement. “Subsequently the Exmar Board convened,” it added. Exmar said Nicolas Saverys, previously CEO, would take up the position of Executive Chairman as the successor to Baron Bodson and Francis Mottrie, Deputy CEO, is appointed CEO.

   Exmar’s best-known LNG vessel is the “Tango FLNG” barge chartered to Argentina and deployed at the port of Bahia Blanca to produce LNG from pipeline feed-gas from the onshore Vaca Muerta Shale Basin.

US ships 17 cargoes

April 17 (LNGJ) - The US shipped 17 LNG cargoes from its export plants in the past week . Seven shipments left Cheniere Energy’s Sabine Pass plant in Louisiana, while four departed from Cheniere’s Corpus Christi facility in Texas. At the four other plants, three were shipped from the Freeport plant in Texas, three departed from Sempra Energy’s Cameron facility in Louisiana. However no shipments left Dominion Energy’s Cove Point in Maryland nor from the newest facility, the Elba Island plant in Georgia, according to the Energy Information Administration weekly report.

Three cargoes for UK

April 16 (LNG) - Three more LNG deliveries are heading for the UK next week, two from Qatar and one from Freeport LNG in Texas, as the benchmark UK National Balancing Point natural gas price has dropped to a new seasonal low, equivalent to $1.85 per million British thermal units.

   The 210,000 cubic metres capacity Q-Flex vessel “Al Kharaana” will discharge a cargo on April 21 at the UK South Hook terminal at Milford Haven, the port authorities said. The 266,000 cubic metres capacity Q-Max carrier “Mozah” will then arrive at South Hook on April 22. A third vessel, the 138,000 cubic metres capacity carrier “Sestao Knutsen”, is scheduled to deliver a shipment on April 23 to the UK Dragon terminal from Freeport’s plant on Quintana Island.

Stolt-Nielsen posts loss

April 16 (LNGJ) - Stolt-Nielsen Ltd, a terminals and shipping company listed in Norway with small-scale LNG projects under development, reported a first-quarter net loss of $20.0 million, with revenue of $498.8 million, compared with a net profit $5.9M, with revenue of $497.5M in the previous quarter. While operating five business divisions, Stolt-Nielsen is pursuing small-scale LNG projects through the Avenir LNG joint venture.

Shell 2021 cargo tender

April 14 (LNGJ) - Shell Eastern Trading Pte Ltd, the Singapore-based trading unit of Royal Dutch Shell, has offered LNG cargoes for loading from 2021 onwards for a period of at least five years through a tender, according to executives.

   The firm has apparently issued a five-year strip tender offering four cargoes a year from 2021 onwards with an option to extend for another five years. The Shell tender closes on May 18 and the volumes would likely come from Australia, where Shell owns the Queensland Curtis LNG plant and Prelude FLNG as well as having offtake from several other Australian projects.

Sovcomflot fleet boost

April 9 (LNGJ) - Sovcomflot, the Russian shipping line with 16 liquefied natural gas carriers and an overall fleet of 147 vessels, pledge to further expand its portfolio as the board met to approve the annual report and recommend the allocation of 7.18 billion Russian rubles (US$95.6 million) in yearly dividend payments. Time charter equivalent revenue had increased by 17.8 percent to exceed US$1.27 billion while net profit was over US$225 million.

   “We are pleased that the large-scale cooperation between Sovcomflot and Russia's leading energy companies is facilitating domestic construction of state-of-the-art LNG carriers and LNG-fuelled Aframax and MR tankers,” said Igor Tonkovidov, President and Chief Executive of Sovcomflot. “The total value of shipbuilding orders placed by SCF Group at the Russian yards has already exceeded US$1.5Bln,” he added at the meeting.

Höegh cost reductions

April 7 (LNGJ) - Höegh LNG, the fleet owner and project company, has followed the lead of other firms and suspended dividend payments to shareholders because of the uncertain business environment. Höegh has also cancelled bonus schemes for executive management and onshore personnel for 2020. The cost-saving plan's implementation would additionally focus on overheads and vessel operating costs.

Q-Flex for UK April 12

April 6 (LNGJ) - The 210,100 cubic metres capacity Q-Flex carrier “Onaiza” is scheduled to unload a cargo on April 12 at the South Hook terminal in Milford Haven in Wales from Ras Laffan in Qatar. The cargo was heading for the UK as the National Balancing Point natural gas price dropped again from last week to $2.00 per million British thermal units while Continental Europe’s Dutch Title Transfer Facility (TTF) price was higher at $2.20 per MMBtu.

US LNG exports jump

April 3 (LNGJ) - The US shipped 19 LNG cargoes from its export plants in the past week compared with 15 in the previous week. Nine shipments left Cheniere Energy’s Sabine Pass plant in Louisiana, while three departed from Cheniere’s Corpus Christi facility in Texas. At the four other plants, three were shipped from the Freeport plant in Texas, two departed from Sempra Energy’s Cameron facility in Louisiana, two left from Dominion Energy’s Cove Point in Maryland and none from the newest facility, the Elba Island plant in Georgia, according to the Energy Information Administration.

Pavilion green plan

April 2 (LNGJ) - Pavilion Energy, the Singapore liquefied natural gas importer and a subsidiary of the city state’s wealth fund Temasek, is calling for offers to jointly develop a reporting methodology for carbon-neutral deliveries of LNG. The company launched a request for the proposal, which comprises three components: supply of up to 2 million tonnes of LNG per annum for Singapore; ideas for greenhouse-gas emission reductions; and collaboration on the methodology.

Atlantic Basin arrivals

March 31 (LNGJ) – Norway and the US are keeping up the supply of cargoes to European terminals. Among the steady flow of shipments, the 140,000 cubic metres capacity “Arctic Discoverer” is scheduled to unload on April 2 at the Dunkirk terminal on the Channel Coast of France from the Hammerfest plant in Norway operated by Equinor, according to shipping data. The 147,200 cubic metres capacity vessel “Arctic Lady” will deliver a second Norwegian cargo to France on April 4 when a shipment is discharged at the Fos sur Mer facility on the French Mediterranean coast near Marseilles.

   The 173,400 cubic metres capacity carrier “Oak Spirit” will unload a US cargo on April 1 at the Polish terminal at the Baltic port of Swinoujscie from the Corpus Christi plant in Texas operated by Cheniere Energy. The 165,000 cubic metres capacity “Marib Spirit” will deliver another Corpus Christi cargo on April 7 to the UK South Hook terminal at Milford Haven in Wales.

OLT auction timetable

March 30 (LNG) - OLT Offshore LNG Toscana SpA., the operating company of the floating storage and regasification unit “FSRU Toscana” moored 22 kilometres off the Italian coast between the cities of Livorno and Pisa, had its updated gas agenda approved by Italian regulators. “One of the key changes introduced regards the possibility to send one or more expressions of interest for annual and multi-year regasification capacity,” said OLT Offshore. “This update has been introduced to offer to users the possibility to request regasification capacity in accordance with long-term import projects,” it explained.

   Expressions of interest for OLT Offshore’s allocation process will have the following timeframe: April 1st, 2020 , publication of available continuous capacity on OLT’s website; April 14, each interested party may send one or more expressions of interest to OLT; April 30, publication of the continuous capacity conforming to expressions of interest received; and starting from May 27, an auction on the PAR Platform.

Q-Max for UK April 5

March 30 (LNGJ) - Qatar is keeping up its steady stream of the deliveries to the UK with the Q-Max carrier “Al Mafyar”, with 266,000 cubic metres capacity, scheduled to unload a cargo on April 5 at the South Hook terminal in Milford Haven in Wales from Ras Laffan.

   The cargo was heading for the UK as the National Balancing Point natural gas price dropped again from last week to $2.30 per million British thermal units while Continental Europe’s Dutch Title Transfer Facility (TTF) price was also lower at $2.35 per MMBtu.

US LNG shipments

March 27 (LNGJ) - The US shipped 15 LNG cargoes from its export plants in the past week compared with 16 in the previous week. Seven shipments left Cheniere Energy’s Sabine Pass plant in Louisiana, while two departed from Cheniere’s Corpus Christi facility in Texas. At the four other plants, three were shipped from the Freeport plant in Texas, two departed from Sempra Energy’s Cameron facility in Louisiana, one left from Dominion Energy’s Cove Point in Maryland and none from the newest facility, the Elba Island plant in Georgia, according to the Energy Information Administration.  

Greek LNG progress

March 26 (LNGJ) - Greek LNG developer Gastrade said the binding phase of a market test for reservation of capacity at the floating LNG terminal proposed for offshore  Alexandroupolis in northeastern Greece was successfully completed. “With an aggregate long-term profile of binding offers for up to 15 years, reaching 2.6 billion cubic metres per year, Greek and international natural gas companies, as well as end-consumers, confirmed their interest in the reservation of regasification capacity at the FSRU terminal,” said Gastrade.

   LNG delivered to the terminal will be regasified and transmitted to the markets of Greece and the region via the Greek National Natural Gas Transmission System. Konstantinos Spyropoulos, Managing Director of Gastrade, said the process was a critical step towards “the enhancement of energy diversification and security of supply in Greece, the Balkans and the wider southeast European area”. 

LNG shipments to China

March 26 (LNGJ) - China will be unloading at least three LNG shipments in the days ahead. The 174,100  cubic metres capacity carrier “Cesi Lianyungang” will be unloading a cargo at the Qingdao terminal in eastern Shandong province from Australia-Pacific LNG at Gladstone in Queensland where terminal owner Sinopec is a shareholder. The 147,000 cubic metres capacity vessel “Min Lu” will deliver a cargo on March 26 to CNOOC’s Fujian terminal from the BP-operated Tangguh plant in Indonesia. The 147,000 cubic metres capacity “Dapeng Moon” will then discharge a shipment on March 29 at the CNOOC Shenzhen Diefu regasification facility from the Woodside Dampier export terminal in Western Australia.

Shipments for Turkey

March 25 (LNGJ) - Turkey is set to receive more LNG shipments from the US in 2020 and is unloading two cargoes this week from traditional suppliers, Nigeria and Qatar. The 148,300 cubic metres capacity carrier “LNG Imo” will unload a Nigerian cargo on March 27 at the Aliaga facility. Then on March 30 the 210,100 cubic metres capacity Q-Flex vessel “Umm Al Amada” is set to deliver a shipment to the Marmara Ereglisi terminal for Turkish energy company Botas from Ras Laffan in Qatar.

   Turkey’s LNG cargo prices are based on the Atlantic Basin natural gas benchmarks in the UK and the Netherlands. The UK National Balancing Point was last at $2.55 per million British thermal units while Continental Europe’s Dutch Title Transfer Facility (TTF) price was lower at $2.50 per MMBtu.