This week

Middle East weighs its future LNG and
domestic gas plans with untapped reserves

Two interesting propositions were recently raised in a major report, pointing to a future surge in LNG supply and more domestic gas use in the Middle East where gas resources are still abundant amid banks pulling back from global positive investment decisions for coal-fired power projects.

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NYK-Gazocéan deal

Oct 23 (LNGJ) - NYK Line, the Japanese shipping company with over 700 vessels including 87 tankers and LNG carriers, has signed a deal with French energy company Total for all of its shares in the ship management company Gazocéan. “Based in Marseille, France, and responsible for the management of six LNG carriers. Gazocéan is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of NYK,” said the Japanese company. 

 “The move will strengthen NYK’s ship management system and expand the company’s LNG transportation business in France,” added NYK Line. “Before the purchase, NYK held 20 percent of Gazocéan shares and Total held 80 percent,” it explained.

Italian rail fuel plan

Oct 22 (LNGJ) - Societa Nazionale Metanodotti (Snam), the Italian natural gas grid operator with two of Italy's LNG import terminals in its portfolio, has signed an accord on switching Italian rail network trains from diesel to hydrogen, a fuel rival to LNG. The Snam memorandum of understanding was signed with Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane SpA, a state-owned holding company that manages infrastructure and services on the Italian rail network.

   Snam and FS Italiane plan to evaluate the technical and economic feasibility of hydrogen rail transport in Italy. “With this agreement, we are taking an important step in promoting a hydrogen value chain in Italy starting from sectors that are crucial for decarbonisation such as the transport of people and goods,” said Snam's Chief Executive Marco Alverà. “Thanks to the collaboration between FS Italiane and Snam, we aim to create infrastructure to rapidly convert trains currently powered by diesel in Italy to hydrogen, thus gaining a technological leadership to be capitalized on also at an international level,” added the Snam CEO.

Spot ship rates surge

Oct 22 (LNGJ) - Shipping charter rates for LNG carriers in the spot market increased over the past week by up to $20,000 per day. Rates were quoted at an average of between $85,000 per day and $95,000 per day West of Suez and at rates of between $80,000 per day and $90,000 per day East of Suez for vessels of between 155,000-165,000 cubic metres capacity, according to various brokers. 

McDermott recruit

Oct 21 (LNGJ) - McDermott International, the leading US energy and LNG engineering company, has appointed industry veteran Neil Bruce to its Board. Bruce is a British subject who was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by the Queen in 2012 for his services to energy engineering. “He started his career in the North Sea with Brown and Root, delivering ground-breaking offshore projects for 10 years, then moved to Atlantic Richfield where he delivered full lifecycle offshore gas development projects,” said McDermott.

   Bruce, from Aberdeen in Scotland, subsequently worked for Amec Plc as Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer and Montreal-based SNC-Lavalin where he was President and Chief Executive until 2019. “Neil's leadership and decades of experience navigating our industry's dynamic operating environment strongly supplements our current board,” said McDermott CEO David Dickson.

‘Carbon neutral’ LNG

Oct 20 (LNG) - French energy major Total said it delivered its first shipment of “carbon neutral” liquefied natural gas with the recipient being the China National Offshore Oil Corp. The loading operation was carried out at the Ichthys liquefaction plant near Darwin in Northern Australia, and where Total is a shareholder in the plant run by Japan’s Inpex Corp. Total said the shipment was delivered on September 29 to the Dapeng terminal in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong. Royal Dutch Shell delivered the first such LNG cargoes with offsets against nature programmes like forestry.

      “We are proud to have completed this first shipment of carbon neutral LNG with CNOOC, a long-standing partner of Total. This first LNG shipment, whose carbon emissions have been offset throughout the value chain, represents a new step as we seek to support our customers towards carbon neutrality,” explained Laurent Vivier, President for Gas at Total.

Burckhardt LNG deal

Oct 20 (LNGJ) - A Singapore-based shipping unit of the BW Group, BW LNG, and Swiss LNG equipment provider Burckhardt Compression have signed a 10-year service agreement covering nine LNG carriers with Laby-GI Compressors on board. “Building on their existing long-term relationship, the two companies agreed to a tailor-made ‘Fleet Management Solution’ which provides a total care package supported by the latest monitoring diagnostics,” they said.

   “This partnership was established to formally cement and promote the holistic and sustainable service standards that are necessary in a changing and uncertain world,” they said. “The new long-term service agreement (LTSA) was developed together with the BW LNG experts to provide services on board that add value to the operation of the vessels, such as improved lifecycle costs, operational efficiency and accurate preventive maintenance,” added Burckhardt.

Q-Max LNG for UK

Oct 19 (LNGJ) - The 266,000 cubic metres capacity Q-Max carrier “Al Dafna” is scheduled to deliver a Qatargas cargo on October 24 to the UK South Hook import terminal at Milford Haven in Wales, according to port authorities. That's as the UK National Balancing Point natural gas price rose again on October 19 to the equivalent of $5.30 per million British thermal units, while the main Continental European price, the Dutch title Transfer Facility (TTF), was at the equivalent of $4.95 per MMBtu.

LNG terminal probe

Oct 16 (LNGJ) – An Australian public inquiry has begun into AGL Energy’s proposed Crib Point LNG import project. The venture has drawn a record number of objections for environmental reasons, taking no account of the serious domestic gas shortages faced by the southern states as production offshore Victoria starts to decline around 2023.

   The Crib Point LNG project has a price tag of A$300 million (US$208M) and involves a floating terminal moored at a newly constructed jetty for LNG carriers making deliveries. The venture also includes a 55-kilometres natural gas pipeline to the Melbourne satellite town of Pakenham to connect to the Victorian gas grid. 

Charter rates rise

Oct 15 (LNGJ) - Shipping charter rates for LNG carriers in the spot market increased over the past week by up to $5,000 per day. Rates were quoted at an average of between $69,000 per day and $71,000 per day West of Suez and at rates of between $73,000 per day and $75,000 per day East of Suez for vessels of between 155,000-165,000 cubic metres capacity, according to various brokers. One-year time charter rates were little changed for the most modern vessels and were seen at around $48,000 per day.

Qatari LNG for UK

Oct 14 (LNGJ) - A Qatari LNG carrier, the 261,700 cubic metres capacity Q-Max “Lijmiliya”, is scheduled to berth on October 18 at the UK South Hook import terminal at Milford Haven in Wales, according to port authorities. That's as the UK National Balancing Point natural gas price was firm at the equivalent of $4.90 per million British thermal units.

Abu Dhabi prices plan

Oct 13 (LNGJ) - Intercontinental Exchange, a leading operator of global exchanges and clearing houses and provider of energy data for LNG and natural gas prices and futures, has provided an update on its plans to launch ICE Futures Abu Dhabi (IFAD), the world’s first futures contracts based on Murban crude oil from the United Arab Emirates. “Subject to the completion of regulatory approvals, ICE plans to launch IFAD and trading in Murban futures contracts late in the first quarter of 2021. A more specific date for the launch of trading will be announced in due course,” stated the Atlanta, Georgia-based company.

   In November 2019, ICE announced its plans to launch IFAD, with the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company and nine of the world’s largest energy traders partnering with ICE on the launch. ICE Murban Futures will be a physically delivered contract with delivery at Fujairah in the UAE on a free-on-board (FOB) basis. ICE Murban Futures will be complemented with a range of 18 cash-settled derivatives which IFAD plans to launch for day one of trading.

Tokyo Gas LNG pact

Oct 12 (LNGJ) - Japanese utility Tokyo Gas is still a big part of the plan by First Gen Corp. of the Philippines to advance with the LNG import terminal project for Batangas City. Tokyo Gas President Uchida Takashi and First Gen President Francis Giles B. Puno recently signed a joint cooperation agreement to that effect. It follows on from the joint development agreement signed at the end of 2018 on developing an interim offshore LNG terminal in Batangas in southern Luzon island.

   “With the JCA, the parties will transition to the construction of a floating storage and regasification unit, with the aim of introducing LNG to the Philippines as early as in the second half of 2022,” said Tokyo Gas. “Under the terms of the JCA, the two companies will jointly construct, operate and maintain the interim offshore LNG terminal including converting the existing jetty into a multi-purpose jetty and constructing an adjoining onshore gas receiving facility,” added the Japanese company, which will have a 20 percent interest in the construction and operation of the project.

Q-Max LNG for UK

Oct 9 (LNGJ) - A Qatargas LNG shipment is headed for the UK South Hook import terminal at Milford Haven in Wales and is scheduled to arrive on October 23. That's as the National Balancing Point natural gas price has surged to the equivalent of $5.15 per million British thermal units. The 266,100 cubic metres capacity Q-Max carrier, the “Al Dafna”, left Ras Laffan in Qatar on October 7, according to shipping data.

LNG charter rates up

Oct 8 (LNGJ) - Shipping charter rates for LNG carriers in the spot market increased over the past week by up to $6,500 per day. Rates were quoted at an average of between $64,000 per day and $66,000 per day West of Suez and at rates of between $67,5000 per day and $69,500 per day East of Suez for vessels of between 155,000-165,000 cubic metres capacity, according to various brokers.

Key LNG virtual event

Oct 7 (LNG) – One of the world’s main LNG shipping-focused conferences, Capital Link’s Annual New York Maritime Forum, is taking place on a virtual basis over two days on October 14-15. The conference will feature senior executives from 50 leading maritime companies, financiers and industry participants. The event is organized in partnership with DNB ASA, Norway’s largest bank and in cooperation with Nasdaq and the New York Stock Exchange. Registration for the event is complimentary.

   “The digital format of the event this year transforms NYMF into a truly global event,” said the organizers. The Forum has been held in New York City for the past 11 years and covers liquefied petroleum gas and LNG issues in the international shipping markets. Speakers next week include: Tony Lauritzen, Chief Executive of LNG fleet owner Dynagas LNG Partners, Oyestein Kalleklev, CEO of Flex LNG and Mark Kremin, President and CEO of Teekay LNG Partners.

LNG bunker ship

Oct 6 (LNGJ) - STX Offshore & Shipbuilding Co., the South Korean yard specialising in mid-sized ships and which is still suffering financial problems because of a lack of orders, said it completed the design of a 7,500 cubic metres capacity liquefied natural gas bunkering ship.

   “The design project was in cooperation with the government-funded Korea Research Institute of Ships & Ocean Engineering,” said STX. The Korean company in 2017 delivered Royal Dutch Shell’s first LNG bunkering vessel, the 6,500 cubic metres capacity “Cardissa”.

Kosmos finance deal

Oct 5 (LNGJ) - Kosmos Energy, whose projects include the floating LNG ventures being developed offshore Mauritania and Senegal in West Africa, said it closed its Gulf of Mexico financing with Beal Bank USA and Trafigura Trading. “Kosmos has changed its previously announced Gulf of Mexico prepayment facility into a five-year $200 million term-loan facility secured against the company’s US Gulf of Mexico assets,” said Dallas, Texas-based Kosmos.   

   In Africa operations, Kosmos has said Phase 1 of the Greater Tortue-Ahmeyim natural gas project offshore Mauritania and Senegal was now more than one-third complete. However, work on a breakwater installation was disrupted as a result of Covid-19 mitigation measures, meaning a delay to the venture of about 12 months. This added to another delay instigated by Kosmos partner BP for a later delivery of the first FLNG production hull.

Golar tender outcome

Oct 2 (LNGJ) - Golar Power, the joint venture involving Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners and which in the future will be named Hygo Energy Transition, has apparently submitted the highest bid to lease the Salvador LNG import terminal in the northeast Brazilian state of Bahia, according to media reports in Brazil, citing officials involved in the process.

   In a securities exchange filing, Brazil’s state-controlled energy company Petrobras confirmed only that it had received an offer from Golar, though there were doubts about the final outcome because of a Hygo Energy executive being caught up in a completely unrelated bribery probe. Petrobras added that the tender process would now enter a phase in which interested parties could lodge appeals. A total of 12 companies applied to submit offers, including Spanish energy company Repsol and France’s Total.

Cargoes for Asia and EU

Oct 1 (LNGJ) - The Peru LNG export plant at Pampa Melchorita on the Pacific Coast shipped four cargoes to Asia and Europe in September, two to South Korea, one to the Netherlands and one to Spain. The first cargo shipped to South Korea left on September 4 on the 173,000 cubic metres capacity carrier “Megara” at a Japan-Korea Marker price of $4.54 per million British thermal units, according to data from Peruvian national energy company PeruPetro.

   A second shipment to South Korea departed on September 19 on the 173,400 cubic metres capacity carrier “Magdala” with a JKM price of $4.91 per MMBtu. The cargo for Spain left on September 21 on the 155,000 cubic metres capacity “Solaris” at the UK National Balancing Point price of $4.06 per MMBtu. The cargo for the Dutch Gate terminal at Rotterdam departed on September 25 on the 173,000 cubic metres capacity “Myrina” at the Dutch Title Transfer facility price of $3.98 per MMBtu.

UK-China LNG deal

Sept 30 (LNGJ) - Centrica, the UK utility and LNG market participant, has agreed to sell LNG to China under a long-term contract. The binding 15-year Sales and Purchase Agreement is for 500,000 tonnes per annum of supplies to the Shenergy Group. Deliveries are expected to start in 2024.

“We are delighted to conclude this agreement with Shenergy. The roots of our shared history date back over 150 years, to when British Gas helped install gas lighting in the streets of Shanghai,” said Chris O’Shea, Centrica’s Chief Executive. “This deal is a new milestone for our companies and complements Centrica’s existing portfolio of LNG positions and contracts,” added the CEO.

Mozambique deal

Sept 29 (LNG) - Bharat Petroleum Corp., one of three Indian stakeholders in the Mozambique LNG export project being developed by European major Total, said it signed an agreement to secure 1 million tonnes per of cargoes over a 15-year term. Bharat has a 10 percent stake in the venture to produce almost 13 MTPA in the first phase of development at the onshore plant in the northeast Cabo Delgado province.

   The Area 1 Rovuma Basin shareholding has Total as operator with a 26.5 percent participating interest alongside Mozambique state energy company ENH with 15 percent as well as Japanese and Thai shareholders. Bharat said it expected a start-up of the first Train in the second half of 2024 and full production during 2025.

October shipments

Sept 28 (LNGJ) - As Asian and European natural gas prices and LNG values recover for the impending winter season, scores of October cargoes were en route to a variety of destinations. Among them, the 216,000 cubic metres capacity carrier “Al Thumama” is scheduled to deliver a cargo on October 3 to the Dahej terminal in India from Ras Laffan in Qatar. The 217,000 cubic metres capacity vessel “Al Shamal” will unload a Qatargas shipment on October 5 at the Map Ta Phut terminal in Thailand. Asian spot LNG cargo prices were last quoted for November at $4.975 per million British thermal units.

   In European deliveries, the 160,000 cubic metres capacity “Arctic Aurora” will berth on October 7 at the Klaipeda facility on the Baltic Coast of Lithuania with a shipment from the US Freeport plant in Texas. The 155,000 cubic metres capacity carrier “British Sapphire” is scheduled to discharge a cargo on October 7 at the UK Isle of Grain terminal in Kent from the Trinidad plant at Point Fortin in the Caribbean. The UK National Balancing Point price was last at the equivalent of $4.10 per MMBtu. 

Novatek finance boost

Sept 25 (LNGJ) - Novatek, the Russian natural gas company and operator of the Yamal LNG plant in northern Siberia as well as lead developer of the Arctic LNG II project, said it had fulfilled all the conditions stipulated by the Yamal external bank financing package and debt service guarantees were now able to be lifted.

   “We have reached another significant milestone on Yamal LNG with the removal of the guarantees relating to the project’s financing,” said Leonid Mikhelson, Novatek Chairman. “The removal of the guarantees will allow Novatek to attract external financing for its new projects on more favorable terms, and equally important, removes the restrictions on our dividend payout ratio,” added Mikhelson.

Spot charter rates rise

Sept 24 (LNGJ) - Shipping charter rates for LNG carriers in the spot market increased over the past week by around $7,000 per day. Rates were quoted at an average of between $59,000 per day and $61,000 per day West of Suez and at rates of between $56,5000 per day and $58,500 per day East of Suez for vessels of between 155,000-165,000 cubic metres capacity, according to various brokers. One-year time charter rates were little changed for the most modern vessels and were seen at around $47,000 per day.

US LNG for Hokkaido

Sept 23 (LNGJ) - Hokkaido Electric Power, the Japanese utility, said it received its first US LNG cargo delivered to the Ishikariwan Shinko Power Plant. The shipment originated at Freeport LNG in Texas and was based on a spot sales contract concluded between Hokkaido Electric and the largest Japanese LNG trader, JERA Global Markets.

   The shipment was delivered by the 177,000 cubic metres capacity LNG carrier “Shinshu Maru”, owned by Trans-Pacific Shipping, a joint venture comprising JERA and Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK Line). 

Burckhardt bond sale

Sept 23 (LNGJ) - Burckhardt Compression, the Swiss LNG equipment maker for the maritime market, said it successfully issued a bond valued at 100 million Swiss francs ($108.5M) on Switzerland’s capital market. “The bond is primarily intended to finance the recently announced acquisition of the remaining 40 percent stake in Shenyang Yuanda Compressor, based in Shenyang, China,” said the company. Burckhardt’s bond has a maturity of four years and a coupon of 1.50 percent. The issue was managed by Zürcher Kantonalbank and the bond will be listed on the Swiss Exchange.

Venture Global revamp

Sept 22 (LNGJ) - Venture Global, the US firm with advanced plans to develop three LNG exports plants in Louisiana, has changed its corporate management structure and founders Robert Pender and Michael Sabel will no longer be co-Chief Executives.

   The Arlington, Virginia-based company said that from October 1, Sabel alone will be CEO and Pender will serve the company as Executive Co-Chairman, a new position created to support the CEO on key strategic and financial matters. Both will continue to serve on the company’s board. “It has been an exhilarating decade working with Mike to create Venture Global LNG and to help reshape the global LNG industry,” said Pender. “There is no person I trust more than Mike to lead this company we created together into the future. I remain fully committed,” he added.

LNG for UK and Spain

Sept 21 (LNGJ) – LNG cargoes are heading for the UK and Spain with prevailing regional natural gas prices at the equivalent of around $3.95 per million British thermal units. The 266,000 cubic metres capacity Q-Max carrier “Mozah” is scheduled to discharge a cargo on September 26 at the UK South Hook terminal in Milford Haven in Wales from Ras Laffan in Qatar. The 210,100 cubic metres capacity Q-Flex carrier “Al Sheehanyia” was unloading a Qatargas shipment at the Isle of Grain terminal on the Medway-Thames estuary southeast of London, according to shipping data.

   The 155,900 cubic metres capacity carrier “Clean Ocean” is scheduled to deliver a cargo on September 25 to the Cartagena terminal in southeast Spain from the Russian Yamal plant at Sabetta in Siberia. The 162,000 cubic metres capacity vessel “Adam LNG” was expected to berth on September 29 at the Bilbao terminal in northwest Spain on arriving from the Caribbean plant at Point Fortin in Trinidad.

LNG ferry for Estonia

Sept 18 (LNGJ) - Tallink Group, the operator of a ferry service between the Baltic state of Estonia and Finland, said the keel was laid for the company’s latest  LNG-powered shuttle ferry, the “MyStar”, at the Finnish Rauma Marine shipyard. Delivery of the vessel is planned for January 2022. It will have a maximum speed of 27 knots and be able to carry 2,800 passengers and accommodate 750 vehicles on four car decks.

Ichthys LNG cuts

Sept 18 (LNGJ) - Inpex Corp., the Japanese energy company and owner of the Ichthys export plant at Bladin Point near the Australian port of Darwin, said it expected to cut jobs at the plant because of the economic slump. “The low oil price environment has accelerated the Inpex Australia review of its operations. The review will impact various roles across the operations division,” said Inpex. The Ichthys plant has 8.9 million tonnes per annum of capacity and shipped its first LNG cargo in 2018.

Pengerang LNG notes

Sept 17 (LNGJ) - Petronas Gas subsidiary Pengerang LNG plans to issue Islamic medium-term notes (Sukuk Murabahah) to raise up to 3 billion Malaysian ringgit ($724M) for phase two development of its LNG regasification terminal in the southern state of Johor. Petronas owns 65 percent of the project, the Dialog Group 25 percent and the Johor Government 10 percent.

   The issuer under the name Pengerang LNG II has lodged a programme for the 30-year notes with the Malaysian Securities Commission. Initial extra storage of 200,0000 cubic metres capacity is planned at the Pengerang regasification terminal development at the site of an integrated industrial complex comprising an oil refinery and the storage and distribution of oil and petrochemical products.

Croatia LNG progress

Sept 16 (LNGJ) - A Chinese shipyard near Shanghai has completed the conversion works on a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) and the vessel is expected to leave for the Balkan nation of Croatia at the end of September to be deployed at an island site in the northern Adriatic Sea.

   The vessel was converted at a subsidiary yard of Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding from a conventional carrier, the “Golar Viking” with 140,205 cubic metres capacity, to an FSRU re-named “LNG Croatia”. The vessel is expected to become operational at the start of 2021 to make European Union member Croatia the latest LNG importing country.

Fluxys LNG by rail

Sept 15 (LNGJ) - Fluxys of Belgium said its Zeebrugge LNG import terminal would be organising more container loads by train after a first shipment was sent to Italy by rail operator Lineas in a Prima LNG container. “Intermodal LNG transport is an attractive proposition as it has several advantages. It reduces emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollutants while being more cost efficient and reaching new destinations across Europe,” said Fluxys.

   “The port of Zeebrugge offers particularly good connections with the four major rail hubs in Europe: Antwerp, Cologne, Rotterdam and Dourges. From there, LNG containers can be further dispatched across Europe,” added the Belgian company.

Shipments for UK

Sept 14 (LNGJ) - Two Qatargas LNG shipments are headed for the UK South Hook import terminal at Milford Haven in Wales over the next week. That's as the National Balancing Point natural gas price was staying firm at around the equivalent of $3.55 per million British thermal units. The 210,100 cubic metres capacity Q-Flex carrier, the “Al Ghariya”, is scheduled to arrive on September 19 followed on September 21 by the 210,100 cubic metres capacity “Al Sheehanyia”, according to the port authorities.

Asia price and cargoes

Sept 11 (LNGJ) - LNG cargoes were pointing at China and India with mid-September deliveries as the Japan-Korea Marker for spot cargoes was strengthening ahead of the winter season relative to values earlier in 2020. The JKM price for October deliveries was last at $4.310 per million British thermal units and November was at $4.475 per MMBtu, while December was quoted at $5.075 per MMBtu. Oil-linked long-term LNG prices are still at around the $7.000 per MMBtu mark with oil at $40 a barrel.

   The 160,000 cubic metres capacity “Asia Vision” was scheduled to deliver a cargo on September 14 to the Dapeng terminal on Guangdong province’s Pearl River Delta from the Woodside-operated Dampier terminal in Western Australia, according to shipping data. The 155,000 cubic metres capacity “GasLog Shanghai” was delivering a US cargo to the Dahej terminal in India in the coming week from the Corpus Christi plant in Texas. The 174,900 cubic metres capacity “LNG Abalambie” was scheduled to discharge a shipment on September 22 at the Chinese port of Tianjin from the Bonny Island plant in Nigeria.

Charter rates steady

Sept 10 (LNGJ) - Shipping charter rates for LNG carriers in the spot market remained steady over the past week. Rates were quoted at an average of between $51,500 per day and $53,500 per day West of Suez and at rates of between $49,000 per day and $51,000 per day East of Suez for vessels of between 155,000-165,000 cubic metres capacity, according to various brokers. One-year time charter rates were little changed for the most modern vessels and were seen at around $47,000 per day.

Gas wells safety move

Sept 9 (LNGJ) - Equinor, the operator of the Hammerfest LNG export plant in northern Norway and a main pipeline gas supplier to Western Europe, said it had conducted an in-depth analysis of gas wells drilled at the Martin Linge field before the company took over as the operator from Total in 2018. This review concluded that several of the wells did not have the necessary barriers. “Equinor  therefore plans to drill new wells in order to ensure safe production,” it stated.

   Equinor said deficiencies were discovered in four gas wells that were drilled at Martin Linge before 2018 and make them inappropriate for safe production. “The wells are considered safe as they are now, but we will keep them plugged and under continuous monitoring until we have reduced the pressure in the formation by producing from other wells. Safety is always priority number one,” said Geir Tungesvik, acting Executive Vice President for Technology, Projects and Drilling at Equinor.    

Peru LNG for Asia

Sept 8 (LNGJ) - The Peru LNG export plant at Pampa Melchorita on the Pacific Coast shipped five cargoes to Asia in August, one to Japan, one to China and three to South Korea. The cargo shipped to Japan left on August 30 on the 170,000 cubic metres capacity carrier “Methane Julia Louise” at a price of $4.07 per million British thermal units, according to data from Peruvian national energy company, PeruPetro.

   The three shipments to South Korea departed on the 173,400 cubic metres capacity carrier “Sevilla Knutsen”, the 145,000 cubic metres capacity “Methane Nile Eagle” and the 174,000 cubic metres capacity “GasLog Genoa” at prices ranging from $3.30 per MMBtu to $4.07 per MMBtu. The cargo for China was delivered in late August by the 174,000 cubic metres capacity “Gaslog Gladstone” at a price of $3.30 per MMBtu.

Petronas loss options

Sept 7 (LNG) - Petronas, the Malaysian oil and gas company and leading Asian LNG exporter, said that there would be no reduction in the number of employees, though the group would trim capital costs and may cut pay to strengthen its resiliency after big losses. Petronas posted a first-half loss of 16.5Bln Malaysian ringgit ($3.97Bln) and a 23 percent year-on-year reduction in revenue to 93.6Bln ringgit ($22.5 billion) on the back of lower average realised prices and a drop in sales volumes for processed gas and LNG.

   Petronas President and Chief Executive Muhammad Taufik Tengku Aziz, said the company was considering pay cuts for its more than 47,000 employees in the light of the continued challenging market conditions. “The final deliberations are ongoing. Any decision on the matter will be conveyed to our employees first,” he said.

Centrica UK purchase

Sept 4 (LNGJ) - UK LNG and natural gas player, Centrica plc, has agreed to acquire the energy supply customers of another company through its British Gas business. Centrica said the purchase for an undisclosed sum of Robin Hood Energy will add around 112,000 residential utility customers and 2,600 business customers across 10,000 sites. “Completion of the transaction is expected on 16 September with customers moving to British Gas over the next few months,” said Centrica.

   “As well as our actions to simplify and modernise our business, we are focused on returning to profitable growth in our core markets and investing in value generating opportunities,” said Chris O’Shea, the Chief Executive of Centrica. The UK utility receives LNG cargoes from producers such as Cheniere Energy’s US Sabine Pass plant and has booked volumes from Mozambique LNG.

Spot charter rates rise

Sept 3 (LNGJ) - Shipping charter rates for LNG carriers in the spot market increased over the past week. Rates were quoted at an average of between $53,000 per day and $55,000 per day West of Suez and at rates of between $49,000 per day and $51,000 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 $47,000 per day.

Tokyo Gas trading arm

Sept 2 (LNGJ) - Tokyo Gas, the utility and LNG importer, has formally launched TG Global Trading to lead the further development of the group’s liquefied natural gas trade activities.

   “TGT regards the global LNG demand growth centred in Asia and increased liquidity of the market as an opportunity to expand LNG trading by maximizing and optimizing assets such as storage tanks, LNG vessels and sales and purchase agreements,” said the company. Tokyo Gas has set the goal of expanding its LNG transaction volumes to 20 million tonnes and its traded volumes by 5 million tonnes per annum by 2030.

LNG firm JGC reforms

Sept 1 (LNGJ) - JGC Holdings Corp. said it had brought in structural reforms in JGC Holdings itself and JGC Corp., the unit that operates the overseas engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) business of the JGC Group.

   JGC Corp., based in Yokohama, has been an industry leader in the construction of LNG production plants in countries such as Australia, Malaysia, Qatar and Russia. “The corporate reforms aim to accelerate business-supporting global sustainability and to reinforce the use of digital transformation (DX),” said JGC. “The Group seeks to enhance competitiveness of comprehensive engineering operations by streamlining project execution,” it stated.

Cargoes for UK and Spain

Aug 31 (LNGJ) - Two early September cargoes are headed for the UK as European LNG price indicators improve. The 261,700 cubic metres capacity Q-Max carrier “Lijmilya” is scheduled to unload a cargo on September 2 at the South Hook terminal at Milford Haven in Wales from Ras Laffan in Qatar. The 210,100 cubic metres capacity Q-Flex carrier “Al Sadd” will discharge a Qatargas shipment on September 5 at the South Hook facility.

   US cargoes are pointing at Spanish import terminals. The 161,880 cubic metres capacity “BW Pavilion Vanda” will deliver a shipment on September 15 to Sagunto in southeast Spain from Cameron LNG in Louisiana. The UK’s National Balancing Point natural gas price was at the equivalent of $3.85 per MMBtu while the main Continental European benchmark price, the Dutch Title Transfer Facility, was slightly higher at the equivalent of $3.90 per MMBtu.

Elba’s Train 10 receives FERC nod

Kinder Morgan has received the okay to start exporting LNG from its 10th and final Train at Elba Island.

Yesterday, the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) authorised the operator to commence operations at the newly completed Train 10.

According to analysts, this marks the end of the first wave of US LNG export projects that kicked off in early 2016 when the first cargo left Cheniere’s Sabine Pass export terminal.

Elba Island was originally designed as an import terminal but shipped its first export cargo last December.

All 10 trains were built to a moveable modular liquefaction system design and as a result, are smaller and can easily be disassembled and moved.

Each train has a liquefaction capacity of 0.3 mill tonnes per year, capable of loading around three LNGCs per month

Train 2 remains closed following a fire in a mixed refrigerant compressor in May.

Shell has taken all of its tolling capacity.

Spot LNGC rates firming

The average LNGC rates continued to firm in the past week.

According to the latest Fearnleys figures issued yesterday, East of Suez spot LNGC charters were averaging $45,000 per day, while West of Suez averaged $49,000 per day.

The 12-month charter figure also edged up slightly to $45,000 per day.

LGM joins Newport Shipping’s network

Drydocking services provider, Newport Shipping has signed an agreement with LNG specialist, Gloryholder Liquified Gas Machinery (DL) Co, Ltd (LGM Engineering).

This agreement forms part of the company’s service offering to the LNG sector, it claimed and is part of its policy of co-operating with leading companies in their field.

LGM Engineering will supply Newport Shipping’s LNG retrofit projects with its gas solutions.

In June, LGM signed a contract to design and supply an LNG fuel gas supply system for two 13,000 dwt chemical tankers with Jiangsu New Yangzi Shipbuilding Co Limited (YZJ).

They are owned by Tarbit Tankers BV and are classed by Bureau Veritas (BV).

The complete LNG fuel gas supply system delivered by LGM includes the design and manufacture of double vacuum insulated LNG fuel tanks with integrated tank connection space (TCS), LNG bunkering station modules, water glycol system, ESD systems, gas detection system, installation guidance, commission, crew training, etc.

Gloryholder is an engineering company specialising in the design and EPC turnkey deliveries of marine LNG fuel gas supply systems and cargo handling systems for gas carriers and LNG bunkering

LGM Engineering’s services include system design, equipment manufacturing, full package of equipment delivery, installation & supervision, commissioning and crew training.

Newport Shipping UK LLP is registered in the UK and offers comprehensive drydocking services for shiprepair, purchase and delivery of owners’ extras (spare parts, paint supply), as well as specialist maintenance, equipment upgrades (BWTS, scrubbers, etc) and turnkey LNG retrofits.

The Group currently co-operates with a network of 12 shipyards with 28 docks available capable of handling all vessel sizes and handles around 2,100 dockings annually worldwide.

Newport Shipping is registered in London and has a presence in all major shipping centres – including Athens, Oslo, Istanbul, New York, Shanghai, Singapore and Hamburg. 

Pakistan Government looks at terminal’s idle capacity

The Pakistan government has formed a committee to take policy decision in consultation with LNG terminal developers to utilise their idle capacity.

Idle capacity utilisation of the existing LNG terminals by private companies was granted by the government in July, 2019 but ships could be used by the private sector, due to the monopoly held by the state-run companies.

According to local sources, the private sector has been keen to import LNG but has not been able to do so due to a number of reasons, including the long-term LNG supply contract with Qatar at a higher price.

Pakistan State Oil (PSO) and Pakistan LNG Limited (PLL) are the two state-owned companies that are importing LNG.

The private sector claimed it can import LNG at cheaper rates that the state-owned companies, as it does not have to comply with Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) rules and can import the gas at anytime.

The private sector claimed that Pakistan has missed an opportunity, when LNG prices plunged to $2 per MMBtu following the Covid-19 outbreak, by denying them permission to import gas.

Private companies have conducted a study that said LNG prices would remain at around $3 per MMBtu for the next five years and, therefore, they should be allowed to reap benefits of low prices.

Mozambique LNG beefs up security

Following terrorist activity in Mozambique, Total E&P Mozambique Area 1, operator of the Mozambique LNG project, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Mozambique Government to create security for the project.

Under the MoU, a joint task force (JTF) will be set up to ensure the project’s safety. Mozambique LNG will provide logistical support to the JTF, while the Government has said that it will act according to the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights (VPSHR).

Mozambique’s Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, HE Ernesto Max Elias Tonela, said; “We are proud to continue working with the Mozambique LNG project to ensure the country benefits from its presence.

“The MoU bolsters security measures and endeavours to create a safe operating environment for partners like Total, which enables their ongoing investment in Mozambican industry, for small and medium enterprises and for our communities,” he said.

Ronan Bescond, Total’s Mozambique Country Chair, added: “In recognition of the benefits the Mozambique LNG project will bring to local communities, the country, and all parties involved in the project, Total and the Government of Mozambique are committed to enable steady progress towards a successful delivery of the project.

“In view of the security situation in the Province of Cabo Delgado, our priority is to ensure the security of our workforce, many of whom residing in neighbouring communities, and of the project operations. On behalf of our Area 1 partners, we appreciate the support provided by the Government of Mozambique for the secure delivery of the project,” he said.

Total E&P Mozambique Area 1 Limitada, a wholly owned subsidiary of Total, operates Mozambique LNG with a 26.5% participating interest alongside ENH Rovuma Área Um SA (15%), Mitsui E&P Mozambique Area1 Limited (20%), ONGC Videsh Rovuma Limited (10%), Beas Rovuma Energy Mozambique Limited (10%), BPRL Ventures Mozambique BV (10%), and PTTEP Mozambique Area 1 Limited (8.5%).

Höegh concludes top reshuffle

Höegh LNG Partners has concluded its senior leadership succession process.

Steffen Føreid gave notice of his intention to resign as the Partnership's CEO and CFO when the Höegh’s Board of Directors had approved a succession plan.

The effective date for that resignation will be 21st August, 2020, the company said.

As of today, Höegh LNG Holdings Ltd’s President and CEO, Sveinung JS Støhle, has become the Partnership's CEO and Håvard Furu, the CFO of Höegh LNG Holdings, will become the Partnership's CFO.

"I am very happy to take on the role as CEO for the Partnership as we continue to build our position as the preferred provider of FSRU services.

“At a time when the ability to import clean-burning LNG has never been in higher demand, the consolidation of management roles is part of our continuing efforts to streamline and optimise the Group to improve our results and the returns to unitholders.

“We remain dedicated to maintaining our reliable, attractive distribution and to sustaining the Partnership's presence in the US market, and I look forward to working alongside the Partnership's majority independent Board of Directors in the best interests of all HMLP unitholders," Støhle said.