This week

US storage safety grows along with
resource volumes and LNG exports

US regulators have transmitted a final rule to the US Federal Register regarding Underground Natural Gas Storage facilities which are growing in importance as resource levels increase along with LNG exports, while higher safety standards are brought in after the Aliso Canyon incident.

Latest News
BHP, the Anglo-Australian global commodities, mining and energy company whose assets include Australian LNG and gas stakes, said it would award a contract in the first quarter…
Japanese LNG importer Tokyo Gas has acquired more US shale gas assets in East Texas and Louisiana after closing a transaction with a subsidiary of Royal Dutch…
UK maritime security consultants, Dryad Global, reported an attack by a single speedboat with 10 armed men on-board on the liquefied natural gas carrier, “LNG Lokoja”, while…
Nigeria LNG has taken the final investment decision to construct the long-awaited Train 7 project and associated facilities to increase output to over 30 million tonnes per…
US equity fund Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, now known as KKR, said it had purchased a stake in the Canadian pipeline that will transport shale-gas from northeast British…
The South American nation of Chile has imported 2.23 million tonnes of LNG during the first 10 months of the year, down 5.7 percent on the same…
Indian liquefied natural gas imports surged for an eighth month in the current fiscal year as more volumes were imported at a lower cost from countries like…
The Indian Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Dharmendra Pradhan, said the government was committed to promoting a natural gas-based economy and that infrastructure investment requirements amounted…
Chinese LNG imports dropped last month but were higher than in the previous month with deliveries from nations such as Australia, Qatar and Papua New Guinea helping…
Gazprom, the state-backed Russian natural gas company, has signed project finance documentation with more than 20 global banks for the domestic part of the “Power of Siberia”…

Freeport BP start-up

Jan 17 (LNGJ) - Freeport LNG has started commercial operations for the second liquefaction Train of its three-Train facility with the commencement of gas deliveries from BP of the UK under its 20-year tolling agreement. Freeport LNG's Train 1 began commercial operations in December 2019, with the commencement of the Osaka Gas and JERA Co. Inc. tolling agreements.

  “We are thrilled to now be providing service to BP, in addition to Osaka Gas, and JERA ,” said Michael Smith, Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive of Freeport LNG. “We are also especially pleased with the performance of our electric motor drive liquefaction units,” added Smith.

   The company added that construction of Freeport's Train 3 is essentially complete. Gas has been introduced to the pre-treatment facilities and the Freeport expects Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approval to bring gas to the liquefaction site in February. Train 3 remains on track for a commercial start date in May.

LNG charter rates

Feb 16 (LNGJ) - In the spot shipping charter market, LNG carrier spot rates were down in the week and were quoted at an average of between $78,000 per day to $82,000 per day West of Suez and $88,000 per day to $91,000 per day East of Suez for vessels of between 155,000-165,000 cubic metres capacity, according to various brokers. One-year time charters for vessels of between 155,000-160,000 cubic metres capacity were seen at around $75,000 per day.

US natural gas record

Jan 15 (LNGJ) - US dry natural gas production set a record in 2019 to average 92.0 billion cubic feet per day, according to the Energy Information Administration. The EIA forecasts dry natural gas production will rise to 94.7 Bcf per day in 2020 and then decline to 94.1 Bcf per day in 2021.

   “Production in the Appalachian region drives the forecast as it shifts from growth in 2020 to declining production in 2021,” said the EIA short-term forecast.

On pricing, the benchmark Henry Hub natural gas spot price is seen averaging $2.33 per million British thermal units in 2020, down from $2.57 per MMBtu in 2019. It is then expected that natural gas prices will increase in 2021, reaching an annual average of $2.54 per MMBtu.

Turkish LNG fuel

Jan 14 (LNGJ) - Royal Dutch Shell  and Turcas Petrol have opened the first liquefied natural gas filling station in Turkey. The facility was started up under a long-term fuel stations agreement between the two companies. The new filling station is in the town of Sapanca on the Istanbul-Ankara highway, one of the busiest roads for freight trucking to and from southeast and central Europe.

   Turcas Petrol and Shell have had a joint venture accord since 2005 for the development and distribution of fuel products and lubricants in Turkey. They currently have a network of around 1,000 fuel stations in the country.

Spain LNG acquisition

Jan 14 (LNGJ) - HAM Group of Spain, an LNG and compressed natural gas fuel and bunkering services firm, said it acquired FNX Liquid Natural Gas, a small-scale natural gas liquefaction company based in the Basque company of northwest Spain.  

   FNX focuses on the design, manufacturing and installation of mini  liquefaction plants, also including equipment for processing natural gas from wells and other sources. FNX has its own manufacturing facilities in the North of Spain for the design, construction and design of equipment. 

“Specialized in the manufacture of equipment for liquefaction, FNX offers a wide range of project management services, being able to carry out the complete management of the customer’s facility, if requested,” said HAM.

Qatar veteran honoured

Jan 14 (LNG) - Qatar Petroleum hosted a farewell in honour of Issa Shahin Al-Ghanim who joined Qatar Petroleum's Corporate Planning Department in 1990 before the first LNG Train came on stream at Ras Laffan seven years later in 1997.

   Al-Ghanim became the director of the department in 1993, after which he was appointed as director of Strategic Planning and Policy in 2009. He also represented the State of Qatar in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) from 2000 until 2018.

   Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, the Minister of State for Energy Affairs and the President and CEO of Qatar Petroleum, attended the farewell along with senior executives. Al-Kaabi voiced appreciation of Al-Ghanim's “valuable contributions during three decades of service at Qatar Petroleum”.

Indian LNG buildout

Jan 13 (LNGJ) - The International Energy Agency said in its energy policy review of India that the Asian nation was likely to have around 16 LNG import terminals in operation over the next seven years. The IEA said it welcomed India’s ambition to increase the share of natural gas in the country’s energy mix to 15 percent by 2030 from 6 percent today.

“India has five operating terminals for liquefied natural gas. Projects under construction could result in up to 11 additional terminals over the next seven years,” said the report. “The role of gas has grown in India’s residential and transport sectors but fallen in power generation, where imported natural gas remains squeezed by cheap renewables and coal,” explained the IEA.

“The government is committed to further liberalising the country’s natural gas market. Strengthening regulatory supervision of upstream, midstream and downstream activities should be part of the market reforms, as it is likely to bring greater efficiency and drive up demand for gas and investment in gas transport infrastructure,” said the report.

UAE-Korea energy talks

Jan 10 (LNGJ) - South Korea, the third-largest LNG importer,  said it planned to forge closer ties with the United Arab Emirates in the energy sector. Joo Young-joon, Deputy Minister for Energy and Resources at the South Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, is visiting LNG exporter Abu Dhabi for talks. South Korea receives 70 percent of its crude oil supplies and 38 percent of its LNG from Middle East nations. 

Bulgaria LNG imports

Jan 9 (LNGJ) - The Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov said at the opening of US-Bulgarian trade talks that the Balkan nation planned to buy a 20 percent stake in a floating liquefied natural gas import terminal off northern Greece.

   Borissov said that the Bulgarian stake in the terminal would be the same as that of Greece’s state energy company DEPA and would be held by gas company Bulgartransgaz. The terminal is being developed by Greek company Gastrade off the Greek port of Alexandroupolis. The LNG terminal stake would give Bulgaria an alternative source of gas supplies to the recently started Turkstream pipeline from Russia via Turkey.

GTT tanks for newbuild

Jan 8 (LNGJ) - Gaztransport and Technigaz (GTT), the French LNG storage technology firm, said it received an order from the Korean shipyard Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) concerning the tank design for a new LNG carrier with 174,000 cubic metres capacity from an as yet unnamed European ship-owner.

   GTT said that its membrane containment tank system, the No. 96 GW,  had been selected for the design. The delivery of the ship is scheduled for early 2022. “We are very pleased to continue our partnership of excellence with DSME with this new order,” said Philippe Berterottière, Chairman and Chief Executive of GTT.

LNG for UK South Hook

Jan 7 (LNGJ) – Three LNG shipments are headed for the UK port of  Milford Haven in Wales over the next week. The cargoes are arriving amid continued flat winter season prices. The UK National Balancing Point price was last at around $4.30 per million British thermal units and the Dutch Title Transfer Facility (TTF) price was at the equivalent of $4.00 per MMBtu. 

   The 173,400 cubic metres capacity vessel “BW Lilac” will deliver on January 9 to the South Hook terminal from the Cheniere Energy’s Corpus Christi plant in Texas. The 210,100 cubic metres capacity  Q-Flex carrier “Fraiha” will then deliver to the South Hook facility on January 12 from Ras Laffan in Qatar. The third shipment for Milford Haven is scheduled for  January 14 when the 170,050 cubic metres capacity vessel “Hoegh Giant” unloads a cargo from Cheniere’s Sabine Pass plant in Louisiana.

Turkstream gas for EU

Jan 6 (LNGJ) - The Bulgarian natural gas network firm, Bulgartransgaz, said Russian company Gazprom had started European gas deliveries via the new TurkStream pipeline to Turkey, providing more competition for LNG. The capacity flows are about 3 billion cubic metres of gas to Bulgaria via TurkStream, replacing a route that formerly passed through Ukraine and Romania.

   “Russian gas deliveries not only for us but also for Greece and North Macedonia are being carried through the new entry point,” said Bulgartransgaz Chief Executive Vladimir Malinov.

   Gazprom is building TurkStream in two pipelines, each with an annual capacity of 15.75 Bcm. The first pipeline is aimed at supplying Turkey and the second would run further from Bulgaria to Serbia and Hungary. The Bulgarians said they hoped to be able to make shipments to Serbia by May 2020 and complete the whole section by year-end.

Elba Island LNG moves

Jan 3 (LNGJ) - The US Elba Island LNG export plant near Savannah in Georgia developed by pipeline company Kinder Morgan has had its request granted by the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to introduce feed-gas into the fifth liquefaction Train at the 10-Train facility.

   “This approval is based on FERC staff inspections of the applicable facilities and review of the information filed through December 23, 2019, and subsequent discussions,” said the FERC. Elba Island has nameplate output of 2.5 million tonnes per annum and is the smallest of the six US export plants currently on stream. The project is using Royal Dutch Shell's Movable Modular Liquefaction System. According to the FERC-approved schedule, Trains 1-6 at Elba Island are all entering service by early January followed by Trains 7-10 .

LNG cargoes for Europe

Jan 2 (LNGJ) – LNG cargoes were pointing at European terminals in the week ahead even amid lower prices, with the UK National Balancing Point (NBP) at the equivalent of $4.15 per million British thermal units and the Dutch Title Transfer Facility (TTF) price at the equivalent of $3.95 per MMBtu. The “Ribera del Duero Knutsen” was unloading a cargo at the UK Isle of Grain terminal near London from the US Sabine Pass plant in Louisiana. The 210,000 cubic metres capacity Q-Flex vessel “Al Nuaman” was scheduled to unload a Qatargas shipment on January 2 at the Turkish Marmara Ereglisito terminal for Botas.

   The 137,230 cubic metres capacity carrier “LNG Sokoto” will deliver a shipment on January 3 to the Portuguese terminal at Sines from the Bonny Island plant in Nigeria. The 138,000 cubic metres capacity “Fuwairit” will unload a Qatargas cargo on January 4 at the Cartagena terminal in southeast Spain. The 140,000 cubic metres capacity vessel “Arctic Voyager” will deliver a cargo on January 7 to Baltic port of Klaipeda in Lithuania from the Hammerfest plant in Norway operated by Equinor. The 172,000 cubic metres capacity carrier “Eduard Toll” will deliver a Yamal LNG cargo on January 8 to the Montoir-de-Bretagne terminal in Western France for the terminal operator Elengy.

GAIL cargoes from US

Dec 31 (LNGJ) - Gas Authority of India (GAIL), the state-owned utility and the holder of a tolling agreement at the US Cove Point plant in Maryland and a supply accord with Cheniere Energy’s Sabine Pass plant in Louisiana, said it planned to import 90 cargoes from the US in the next fiscal year from April 2020 to March 2021. This will be more than the 75 cargoes, or around 5 million tonnes of US cargoes, GAIL was expected to import during the current fiscal year.

Shell FLNG tie-back

Dec 30 (LNGJ) - Royal Dutch Shell has confirmed a significant natural gas and condensate discovery within the Shell-owned title AC-P64 in the Browse Basin off the northwest coast of Western Australia with feed-gas potential for the Prelude floating LNG hull deployed in the basin.

   “This discovery is located 160 kilometres northeast of the Shell operated Prelude FLNG facility and presents an opportunity for a future tie-back to Prelude,” said Shell. “It supports Shell’s growth plans for more and cleaner energy, with LNG being the predominant focus for Shell in Australia,” said the Anglo-Dutch major.

Magnolia LNG boost

Dec 27 (LNGJ) - LNG Ltd., the Australian-listed developer of the Magnolia LNG export plant in Louisiana, said it was grateful to the Vietnamese government for including Delta Offshore Energy’s LNG-to-power project in the Asian nation’s latest Power Development Plan.

   The approval clears the way for Delta Offshore to negotiate and finalize a 25-year power purchase agreement to underpin its LNG-to-power project in Vietnam’s Bac Lieu Province. It also empowers the Magnolia LNG export venture to finalize a binding sale and purchase agreement for delivery of 2 million tonnes per annum of US LNG to Vietnam.

LNG for coal carriers

Dec 27 (LNGJ) - Japanese utility Kyushu Electric Power Co. said it signed long-term transport agreements for the world’s first LNG-powered large coal carriers with the shipping companies, Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK Line) and Mitsui OSK Lines.

   The two newbuild vessels will be delivered from Japanese shipyards in 2023 to import coal for Kyushu Electric’s coal-fired power plants. The LNG will be supplied to fuel the coal carriers at the loading facility of Kitakyushu LNG Co., a Kyushu Electric subsidiary. “NYK, MOL and Kyushu Electric aim to positively collaborate for sustainable marine transportation of coal, with the reduction of its environmental impact,” they said.

US LNG points to UK

Dec 26 (LNGJ) - As the US LNG export plant build-out continues and the volumes of shipments grow, the UK Port of Milford Haven in Wales is scheduled to receive three shipments from the Gulf Coast in the next five days.

   The 155,000 cubic metres capacity vessel “Gaslog Savannah” is scheduled to deliver a cargo on December 29 from the Cameron export facility on the shore of the Calcasieu Ship Channel in Louisiana to the UK South Hook terminal, according to port authorities.

   Then on December 31, the 138,000 cubic metres capacity carrier “Iberica Knutsen” will unload a shipment from Cheniere Energy’s Sabine Pass plant in Louisiana at the Welsh port’s Dragon regasification terminal. The third cargo also comes from Sabine Pass and will be delivered by the 174,000 cubic metres capacity carrier “Flex Rainbow” on the last day of 2019 to the South Hook terminal.

Mitsubishi LNG engines

Dec 24 (LNGJ) - Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co. said it delivered the first LNG fuel supply system for dual-fuel marine engines. This system will be installed onboard the first LNG-powered pure car carrier (PCC) built in Japan. The vessel is currently under construction at Shin Kurushima Toyohashi Shipbuilding in Aichi Prefecture on Honshu Island. The Fuel Gas Supply System (FGSS) has been developed by Yokohama-based Mitsubishi Shipbuilding utilizing LNG and vaporized gas-handling technology.

“The FGSS consists of LNG fuel tanks, LNG fuel gas supply units and control units and is delivered in modules, which is expected to contribute to the optimum design of the cargo space and help the shipyard to shorten the installation period,” said Mitsubishi. “Mitsubishi Shipbuilding has also provided the shipbuilding yard with the engineering service and technical support relating to the gas-handling of the ship,” it added.

Cove Point LNG deal

Dec 23 (LNGJ) - Dominion Energy of the US said it completed the sale for $2.1 billion of a 25 percent non-controlling stake in Cove Point LNG in Maryland to Brookfield Super-Core Infrastructure Partners, a fund managed by Brookfield Asset Management Inc. of Canada.

Dominion’s Cove Point LNG unit owns the liquefaction plant and storage facilities located on the western shore of Chesapeake Bay as well as a 136-mile pipeline that interconnects the facility with the inter-state pipeline system.

Shell updates on LNG

Dec 20 (LNGJ) - Royal Dutch Shell updated its fourth-quarter 2019 outlook with estimates of the LNG and Integrated Gas Division output expected to be between 920 and 970 thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day. LNG liquefaction volumes are forecast to be between 8.8 million tonnes and 9.4MT. However, Shell’s quarterly LNG sales volumes will be larger as they also include traded cargoes and most recently rose by 9 percent to 18.9MT for the third quarter.

“As per previous disclosures, more than 80 percent of our term contracts for LNG sales were oil price-linked with a price-lag of typically 3-6 months,” said Shell. “The impacts presented here may vary from the actual results and are subject to finalisation of the fourth-quarter 2019 results which are scheduled to be released on January 30, 2020,” added the Anglo-Dutch company.

CNOOC Canada permit

Dec 20 (LNGJ) - China National Offshore Oil Corp, one of the nation’s main LNG importers and terminal owners, has made progress in Canada with Atlantic drilling plans. The Canadian Federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Jonathan Wilkinson, has given the proposed CNOOC Flemish Pass Exploration Drilling Project offshore Newfoundland a permit to proceed. CNOOC had bid C$300 million (US$228M) for two offshore exploration licences.

   However, the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada has established 101 legally-binding conditions that CNOOC must follow for the duration of the project. The Chinese company already has other Canadian energy assets in oil sands, shale gas and offshore.

Korean order for GTT

Dec 19 (LNGJ) - French LNG tank technology firm GTT said it received an order from the South Korean shipyard, Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries, for the tank design for a newbuild. The vessel will offer a capacity of 174,000 cubic metres and will be fitted with GTT's Mark III Flex membrane containment system. “It will be built on behalf of an Asian ship-owner whose name remains confidential at this stage. The delivery will take place during the first quarter of 2022,” said GTT.

Novatek licence award

Dec 18 (LNGJ) - Novatek, the Yamal LNG plant operator, said its subsidiary Novatek-Yurkharovneftegas won the auction for the geological survey, exploration and production licence for the East-Ladertoyskiy subsoil area located on the Gydan Peninsula in the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Region of Arctic Russia. The licence area has estimated hydrocarbon resources of 184 billion cubic metres of natural gas and 32 million tons of liquids, or 1.5 billion barrels of oil equivalent, according to the Russian resource classification system. The licence term is 25 years.

   The new licence area borders Novatek’s Ladertoyskiy, Nyavuyahskiy, West-Solpatinskiy and Central-Nadoyakhskiy subsoil areas on the Gydan Peninsula, where the company’s Arctic II LNG project is being developed. Novatek said the licence acquisition is in line with the company’s strategy to expand its resource base on the Yamal and Gydan peninsulas.

Cyprus LNG project

Dec 16 (LNGJ) - The Cypriot Government said a Chinese-led consortium had entered into a 290 million euros ($323M) contract with the Cyprus Natural Gas Infrastructure Co. (Etifa) to develop the first LNG import terminal for the Greek-speaking part of the Mediterranean island. The consortium is led by China Petroleum Pipeline Engineering and also includes Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding, Greek company Metron and Norwegian firm Wilhelmsen Ship Management.

   The LNG terminal, which will include a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU), is expected to be completed by the end of 2021 or early 2022. The project has secured 101M euros in grants from the European Union under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), while the Cyprus Electricity Authority will contribute 43M euros to have a 30 percent stake in the project.

Norway gas field award

Dec 12 (LNGJ) - The Europe-based offshore development company Subsea 7 SA has been awarded a contract by Aker BP for the Aerfugl Phase 2 natural gas field development, located about 210 kilometres west of Sandnessjoen in the Norwegian Sea. Norway is one of the largest pipeline natural gas suppliers to Western Europe, along with Russian company Gazprom, and both sources compete with LNG shipments.

   The Subsea 7 engineering, procurement, construction and installation contact is a long-distance tie-back involving the application of Subsea 7’s Electrically Heat Traced Flowline (EHTF) technology for a distance of 13.5km from the subsea location to the existing Skarv infrastructure. Subsea 7 has a long-term subsea alliance agreement with Aker BP.

   “This award acknowledges Subsea 7 as a key partner in the delivery of pioneering technology, underlining our proven track record of safe and successful project execution in some of the harshest offshore environments,” said Monica Th. Bjokmann, Vice President of Subsea 7 Norway.

Jera US LNG boost

Dec 11 (LNGJ) - Jera Co. Inc., the largest Japanese LNG buyer for the nation’s leading utilities, said it was pleased with the recent start-up of commercial operations on Train 1 at the Freeport export plant on Quintana Island in Texas. The facility when completed will have three Trains with 15 million tonnes per annum of capacity and has permission to build a fourth Train.

   Jera will ship about 2.32 MTPA of LNG under its 20-year liquefaction tolling agreement and Osaka Gas of Japan will take 2.32 MTPA from a similar deal. “Through the procurement of LNG from the project, Osaka Gas and Jera will each secure LNG without destination restrictions, diversify their supply sources and price indices, and enhancing the stability and flexibility of their LNG procurement,” said Jera.

GTT bunkering order

Dec 10 (LNGJ) - Gaztransport and Technigaz (GTT), the French LNG technology designer of containment systems, confirmed its growing portfolio of contracts for LNG bunkering vessels. The Chinese company Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding will use GTT-designed tanks for the latest vessel ordered by Japanese shipping company Mitsui OSK Lines.

   The vessel will have total cargo tank capacity of 18,600 cubic metres and will have GTT’s Mark III system. It will be delivered in the fourth quarter of 2021 and be chartered by French energy major Total.

  “This new LNG bunker vessel project demonstrates strengthened interest from ship-owners for the use of LNG as marine fuel and contributes to the development of the associated supply chain,” said Philippe Berterottière, Chairman and Chief Executive.

LNG for bulk carrier

Dec 9 (LNGJ) - The American Bureau of Shipping has granted approval in principle to Finnish company Deltamarin and French LNG storage tank firm GTT for a dual-fuel Newcastlemax bulk carrier design with LNG capability. Deltamarin, GTT and ABS have been cooperating on the development of this LNG-fueled bulk carrier. It is intended to meet current and future environmental targets by introducing GTT membrane-type LNG tanks with LNG fuel stored at atmospheric pressure and designed to ABS Class.

   ABS said that the approval addressed the design’s introduction of a membrane fuel tank sited in the aft of the vessel. The tank design is intended to maximize cargo capacity, with the additional tank having zero impact on available cargo space or the vessel’s hull dimensions. “A design such as this would allow owners and operators to capitalize on the potential of LNG as marine fuel to help meet emissions reduction objectives without having to compromise on cargo load,” said Patrick Janssens, ABS Vice President for Global Gas Solutions.

US natural gas data

Dec 9 (LNGJ) - The volume of US natural gas that was reported as vented and flared reached its highest average annual level of 1.28 billion cubic feet per day last year, according to the Energy Information Administration's Natural Gas Annual, which contains updated data .

   The percentage of US natural gas that was vented and flared increased to 1.25 percent of gross withdrawals, up from 0.84 percent the previous year. Two states, North Dakota and Texas, accounted for 1.1 Bcf per day, or 82 percent, of the vented and flared gas.

Adriatic LNG tender

Dec 6 (LNGJ) - Adriatic LNG, the offshore import terminal owned by Qatar Petroleum and ExxonMobil and with Italian gas grid operator Snam S.p.A. as a shareholder, has published a tender for the winter peak-shaving service to supply one LNG cargo with quantities of between a minimum of 60,000 and a maximum of 70,000 cubic metres.

   The Italian Ministry of Economic Development said it would use the regasification terminal for peak-shaving during any high natural gas demand period. “The tender will close at 12.30pm on December 17 and LNG will have to be unloaded at the Terminal in one of the available slots: January 2-5, January 14-17 and Jan 30-Feb 2,” said a statement. The cargo will help cover Adriatic LNG’s contribution to the national gas system to help guarantee security of supplies in Italy.

Malaysians order ships

Dec 6 (LNGJ) - French LNG storage technology firm GTT received an order from the South Korean Samsung Heavy Industries shipyard for tanks for two new LNG carriers on behalf of Malaysian ship-owner MISC Group.

Each vessel will have capacity of 174,000 cubic metres and will be fitted with the GTT Mark III Flex-plus membrane containment system when delivered in the first quarter of 2023. “This new order from our long-term partners SHI and MISC is proof of our mutual trust and the performance of our technologies,” said Philippe Berterottière, GTT’s Chairman and Chief Executive.

Osaka Gas in US buy

Dec 3 (LNGJ) - Osaka Gas, the Japanese utility and LNG buyer, has completed the purchase of a US upstream oil and gas firm, Sabine Oil and Gas Corp. from its parent company Sabine Holdings. As part of the sale, Osaka Gas said its US subsidiary would retain the current Sabine executive team and employees.

   Osaka Gas President Takehiro Honjo said he welcomed the acquisition of US expertise in shale development. “While Osaka Gas has participated in the Freeport LNG liquefaction project and independent power projects in the United States, we intend to expand our US upstream business by enhancing our capabilities with Sabine Corp's excellent operatorship,” stated Honcho.

Aboriginal LNG deals

Dec 2 (LNGJ) - Woodside Petroleum said it signed new agreements with the Aboriginal groups in Western Australia linked to its expansion plans on the Burrup Peninsula for its Pluto and North West Shelf LNG facilities.

   “Woodside has operated on the Burrup for 35 years, and these agreements demonstrate our ongoing commitment to the successful co-existence of heritage and industry and support for long-term, positive outcomes for Aboriginal communities,” said the LNG producer.

   The first agreements were signed in 1998 with NWS LNG. “The updated commitment includes increased funding for a number of programs and benefits that are being delivered under the existing agreement. Additional support has also been made available for a number of capacity building and social investment programs,” added Woodside.

Russia-Ukraine talks

Nov 29 (LNGJ) - The Russian and Ukrainian energy ministries and state gas companies are still meeting in Vienna in Austria to discuss Russian natural gas supplies to Ukraine and onwards to Europe. The existing supply deal between the two nations expires on December 31. The two sides have agreed to intensify talks in the coming days, having failed to achieve results after several previous rounds.

   Russia was represented by the Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation, Alexander Novak, and Gazprom Chairman Alexey Miller. On the Ukrainian side were Minister of Energy Alexey Orzhel and executives of the Naftogaz Ukrainy company and the gas transmission system operator of Ukraine.

   “An exchange of proposals on resolving issues facing the parties took place, and agreements were reached to intensify work in a bilateral format in the coming days,” said Gazprom.

Gasum fuels cruise ship

Nov 28 (LNGJ) - The Nordic LNG supplier, Gasum of Finland, has carried out its first ship-to-ship bunkering involving a cruise ship. The operation took place at the Finnish Meyer Turku shipyard in the port of Turku and involved the bunkering vessel “Coralius” and Carnival Corp.’s newbuild “Costa Smeralda”. Gasum’s bunkering vessel has 5,800 cubic metres of capacity and began operating in 2017, supplying LNG fuel in the North Sea and the Skagerrak areas. “The ‘Coralius’ allows us to perform ship-to-ship bunkering to different types of vessels. We are happy that this now includes a cruise ship,” said Gasum.

K-Line LNG fuel deal

Nov 28 (LNGJ) - Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, the Japanese shipping company known as K-Line, said it signed a ship management agreement for the newbuild LNG bunkering vessel owned by FueLNG and set to operate in the Port of Singapore. FueLNG is a bunkering joint venture between Singapore’s Keppel Offshore and Marine Ltd and Shell Eastern Petroleum.

   “We signed a ship management contract for the 7,500 cubic metres capacity LNG fuel supply ship owned by FueLNG,” said K-Line. “After the ship is delivered to FueLNG in the second half of 2020, it is scheduled to begin service as the first LNG fuel supply ship in Singapore, the world's largest fuel supply base,” added K-Line, whose own fleet contains LNG carriers, Ro-Ro ships, tankers and container vessels.

Indonesia LNG tender

Nov 27 (LNGJ) - The Indonesian Tangguh LNG plant, operated by BP of the UK, has issued a first-quarter 2020 sell tender closing on November 28 for five cargoes to be delivered on an ex-ship (DES) basis whereby the buyer receives the cargoes shipped to an agreed port of arrival. The five cargoes on offer are scheduled to be loaded between January and March 2020. The loading dates are: January 16-20, January 25-29, February 20-24, March 6-10 and March 18-22.

Burckhardt US takeover

Nov 26 (LNGJ) - Swiss company Burckhardt Compression, whose LNG offerings include its Laby brand of compressors and boil-off gas solutions, has acquired a US field services firm, the Arkos Group, by purchasing the 60 percent of Arkos it did not already own. The Arkos workforce numbers 250 employees.

   Burckhardt initially acquired a 40 percent interest in Arkos Group in December 2015. “With the purchase of the remaining ownership of Arkos, Burckhardt Compression together with Arkos Field Services will be the only independent one-stop provider for equipment and service in the upstream, midstream and downstream business,” said Burckhardt.

   “The US has the world's largest installed base of reciprocating compressors,” it noted. The previous estimate of Burckhardt’s full-year sales for fiscal year 2019 ranged between 600M Swiss francs ($601M) and 640M francs and with the acquisition will increase by 20M-30M francs.

UK firm in NY truce

Nov 25 (LNGJ) - National Grid, the UK network operator and owner of the Isle of Grain LNG import terminal in Kent, has received a boost for its US natural gas business by reaching an agreement with the State of New York to immediately lift a moratorium on connecting downstate customers.

   “This agreement also provides the necessary framework for resolving the longer-term energy supply issues,” said the UK company. “Within three months, National Grid has committed to present options to meet New York's long-term gas supply needs,” it added in reference to the possible construction of a new pipeline backed by National Grid.

   The Northeast Supply Enhancement project of Williams Company would transport about 400 million cubic feet per day of gas from Pennsylvania to New York, enough to supply about 2.3 million homes.

Magnolia LNG extension

Nov 25 (LNGJ) - LNG Ltd, the Australian company developing the US Magnolia project in Louisiana and with plans to export cargoes to Vietnam, has extended the validity period of its current binding engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract with KBR Inc. of the US and SK Engineering and Construction of South Korea. The lump-sum turnkey contract worth US$4.62 billion is now valid through June 30, 2020, for the liquefaction plant with planned output of 8.8 million tonnes per annum. LNGL said the installed cost per tonne of the EPC contract is US$525.

OMV-Gazprom LNG plan

Nov 22 (LNGJ) - OMV AG of Austria, the energy and utility company, plans to cooperate on LNG with Gazprom after the Russian natural gas giant increased deliveries of pipeline gas to the Austrians for a fifth straight year. For the period from January 1 to November 21, 2019, Gazprom delivered 12.7 billion cubic metres to Austria, which was 2.8 percent more than in all of 2018 when deliveries came to 12.3Bcm.

OMV is one of the five European corporate investors in the Nord Steam II project, the second Baltic pipeline from Russian to Germany and then onwards to other European Union nations carrying 55 Bcm of pipeline gas per annum. The latest Austrian gas delivery details emerged at a meeting in St Petersburg between Alexey Miller, Chairman of Gazprom, and OMV Chief Executive Rainer Seele.

“Special attention was paid to the implementation of the Nord Stream II project,” said a Gazprom statement on the talks. “Furthermore, potential cooperation in the LNG segment under the Memorandum of Understanding first signed in June 2019, was also discussed at the meeting,” it added. OMV along with France’s Engie, Royal Dutch Shell and Germany’s Uniper and Wintershall signed an agreement with Gazprom to provide financing for 50 percent of the total 9.5 billion euros ($10.5Bln) cost of Nord Steam II.

Teekay-Shell LNG deal

Nov 21 (LNGJ) - Shell Global Downstream LNG said it signed a deal with Teekay Offshore Logistics to supply liquefied natural gas for two Teekay LNG-powered shuttle tankers in Europe. Teekay’s 130,000-deadweight ton newbuilds will operate on a dual-fuel basis. The Teekay tankers are being built by Samsung Heavy Industries in South Korea.

   “We are excited to add another tanker customer to the growing number of organizations adopting LNG,” said Tahir Faruqui, general manager of Shell Global Downstream. Idar Hillersoy, President of Teekay Offshore Logistics, said that having Shell as a strategic partner provides the company with a long-term LNG fueling solution. The Teekay vessels will be delivered in 2019 and 2020 and begin operations under partnership agreements with Norwegian energy company Equinor.

Centrica trading update

Nov 21 (LNGJ) - Centrica, the UK utility and energy company with an LNG import portfolio, said in a trading update that it had delivered growth in total customer accounts, higher margins and returns in energy supply in North America as well as strong trading and optimisation in Europe, offset by lower European natural gas prices.

   “The company has also experienced lower near-term European wholesale gas prices, although 2019 Exploration and Production earnings are largely protected by forward hedging,” said Centrica, which has US LNG volumes under a 20-year contract with Cheniere Energy and supplies booked from Mozambique. The company expects full-year adjusted operating cash flow to be in the lower half of the targeted £1.8-£2.0 billion ($2.4Bln-$2.6Bln) range and year-end net debt to be within the targeted £3.0-£3.5Bln range.

Malaysia EGCS ban

Nov 19 (LNGJ) - Malaysia has become the latest country to prohibit ships from discharging wash water from open-loop exhaust gas cleaning systems, also known as scrubbers, while operating in its waters. The systems are one of the options to meet the International Maritime Organization’s 0.5 percent sulfur cap from January. Malaysian energy company Petronas has emerged as new Southeast Asian bunker market participants and is also offering LNG as fully compliant fuel from 2020 at its terminals at Pengerang in Johor and Sungai Udang in Malacca. Ships entering Malaysian waters have been advised to change over to low-sulfur fuel oil or to closed-loop scrubbers.

   Open-loop scrubbers spray exhaust with seawater, causing sulphur oxide to react and form sulphuric acid. However, EGCS manufacturers contend that the natural alkaline qualities of seawater neutralizes the acid, while opponents argue that the discharge is harmful to the marine environments. Malaysia is the latest to ban open-loop scrubbers following the same move by China, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates and Panama.

Awilco LNG pay-out

Nov 15 (LNGJ) - Awilco LNG, the Norwegian shipping company with the smallest fleet in the business numbering two vessels, said the 156,000 cubic metres capacity carrier “WilForce” had completed repairs at a shipyard in Singapore after it was involved in a collision with another ship off the Asian city-state on May 30, 2019. “Loss-of-hire insurance of US$65,000 per day compensated for some of the lost time-charter hire in the period,” said Awilco.

   “Awilco LNG has a substantial claim towards the ship responsible for the collision. Settlement and collection of the claim is expected to take some time,” added the company. Awilco made its statement as it reported a narrowed loss of $1.1 million in the third quarter compared with $11.4M of losses in the same three months a year ago and a $8.6M loss in the second quarter of 2019. Awilco said its second carrier, the 156,000 cubic metres capacity “WilPride”, was chartered in July 2019 to an oil and gas major for eight months until March 2020.

JGC contracts update

Nov 12 (LNGJ) - JGC Corp., the Japanese LNG engineering and construction company, has given updates on its most prominent contracts for LNG Canada with Fluor Corp. of the US and for Mozambique LNG, also with Fluor and TechnipFMC. “Engineering and procurement are proceeding on schedule and the fabrication of modules has commenced,” said JGC of the Canadian joint venture led by Royal Dutch Shell and located near Kitimat on the Pacific Coast of British Columbia. “Preparation of the construction site is proceeding according to plan,” added JGC.

   The Japanese company also reported progress on the Mozambique Rovuma LNG joint venture for the Area 4 resources offshore the southeast African nation. JGC said the main clients for the Mozambique contract are ExxonMobil, Eni of Italy and China National Petroleum Corp. “The final investment decision for the lump-sum contract is expected during 2020 with production to begin in 2025,” said JGC. “Strict risk profiling is reflected in the contract and we have made arrangements with dependable experienced sub-contractors in the Middle East and Africa,” stated JGC.

Saipem-Daewoo LNG pact

Nov 11 (LNGJ) - Italian energy engineering company Saipem and South Korea’s Daewoo Engineering and Construction Co. have signed a strategic agreement for cooperation on targeted worldwide opportunities with specific emphasis on the LNG sector.

   Daewoo in joint venture with Saipem have already been nominated as preferred bidders for the engineering, procurement and contract for the Nigeria LNG Train 7. Saipem and Daweoo said the strategic alliance will enhance and capitalize on synergies and establish a key player capable of delivering in the global LNG construction sector.

   “This strategic agreement with Daewoo will leverage our distinctive competencies in high-end projects, particularly in LNG, and our proven operational experience to support the corporate goals of our customers around the world,” said Maurizio Coratella, Chief Operating Officer of the Saipem Onshore Engineering Division.

Korean LNG and power

Nov 7 (LNGJ) - South Korean conglomerate HDC Group is planning a joint venture with Hanwha Energy Corp. for a natural gas-fired power plant in the southeast coastal city of Tongyeong and using LNG imports. HDC plans to build and operate the 1,000-megawatt gas-fired plant and would also construct a 200,000 cubic metres capacity LNG storage tank.

  Under the deal, Hanwha will supply LNG for the plant and both parties would develop the project jointly with 1.4 trillion Korean won ($1.2 billion) of investment. HDC was awarded a government licence in 2013 to operate in the power sector. The group said the construction of the plant is expected to start in 2021 with commercial operations from 2024.