This week

LNG technology companies maintain
leadership in sector for fuel and storage

The liquefied natural gas industry has been a leader for many years in developing new shipping technology and improving efficiency and safety. The sector includes many small companies with world-class technologies, including one in the UK whose system can guarantee fuel savings for LNG carriers of five percent or more.

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Latest News
Woodside Energy, the Australian operator of the North West Shelf LNG venture, said the project partners and Tokyo Gas Co. (Togas), Japan’s largest utility, have signed a…
Distrigas, the Belgian natural gas distributor, has begun LNG imports from Qatar, with cargoes delivered into the Zeebrugge terminal.
Mitsui & Co., the Japanese trading house with a 25 percent stake in the Sakhalin II LNG project, has nothing against Gazprom becoming a major shareholder of…
Royal Dutch Shell and its two Japanese partners in the $20-billion Sakhalin II LNG project in the Russian Far East have offered to cede control to Gazprom…
The Western Australian Government has approved the US$11 billion Chevron-led Gorgon liquefied natural gas project on Barrow Island offshore Australia.
Foster Wheeler, the LNG engineering firm, said it was awarded a contract by Canaport LNG of Canada to provide project management consultancy services for the regasification terminal…
Total said a final agreement has been signed formalizing the French major’s acquisition of a 16.7 percent equity stake in the LNG Train 2 of Qatargas II.
Woodside Petroleum, the Australian LNG producer, said its board has approved commitments of up to A$1.4 billion (US$1.2Bln) for the Pluto liquefied natural gas development offshore Australia.
ConocoPhillips, whose main Middle East interest in LNG is the Qatargas III project, says the US should move away from policy discussions about "unreliable" foreign energy and…
Statoil, the Norwegian energy company developing the Snøhvit LNG project in the Barents Sea, Europe's first liquefaction plant, will take delivery of an Egypt LNG cargo in…

News in Brief

Flex LNG to take delivery of eighth LNGC

Norwegian LNGC owner, Flex LNG is to take delivery of another gas carrier next week boosting the total number of carriers in operation to eight.

The 173,400 cu m ‘Flex Artemis’, due to be handed over by Daewoo on 17th August, will be the eighth LNGC to join the fleet.

Once delivered, she will commence a long-term charter with Clearlake, part of energy trading house Gunvor.

The timecharter is initially for a five year duration with an option for another five years.

Spot LNGC rates firm

Headline TFDE spot market rates have edged up slightly in the past few weeks.

On Wednesday, the average spot rates for an LNGC with a capacity of 155,000 - 165,000 cu m had risen by about $1,000 per day, Fearnleys said in its weekly freight assessments.

The day rate for East of Suez trip rose to $35,000, West of Suez was up to $39,000, while the 12-month timecharter estimate was static at $44,000 per day./p>

LNGC in milestone Panama transit

The Panama Canal’s 10,000 Neopanamax transit through the expanded canal was undertaken this week by the LNGC ‘SK Resolute’.

On voyage from the US to China, the 180,000 cu m LNGC transited the canal on 10th August.

Significant reductions in LNGC voyage times offered by the new locks helped to create a highly competitive route for US gas deliveries to major Asian importers, the Panama Canal Authority claimed.

The Neopanamax locks have handled 27% of transits and half of total tonnage using the canal. The LNG segment represents 12% of transits of the expanded canal.

"Reaching this mark just over four years after the opening of the expanded canal, reaffirms the competitiveness of the inter-oceanic highway, backed by the continuous, safe and reliable service that we have maintained in the midst of the current world situation," said the administrator of the Panama Canal, Ricaurte Vásquez Morales.

The pandemic’s impact on global trade, as well as the trade wars and the suspension of the cruise industry took their toll on the Panama Canal’s operations. In May, for example, a 21% drop in the number of ships making the transit was reported.

During that month, 937 ships transited the canal while an additional 260 transits were cancelled according to Vásquez. Nearly half of the cancelations came from LNG and LPG sectors.

Chinese interests take stake in Brazil's LNG-fuelled power projects

A Brazilian subsidiary of China’s State Power Investment Corp (SPIC) is to acquire a 33% stake in two Gas Natural Acu (GNA) plants - the largest LNG power project in Latin America.

The closing of the deal between SPIC Brasil and GNA, a Brazilian joint venture between BP, Siemens and Prumo Logística, is scheduled for the fourth quarter of this year, subject to the fulfilment of conditions, the companies said.

The complex located at the Port of Açu, in Rio de Janeiro, includes an LNG terminal, which is able to process 21 mill cu m of LNG per day. Brazil mainly uses imported gas for power generation.

SPIC Brasil has also entered into an agreement to participate in the future expansion of two other power plant projects, known as GNA III and GNA IV, which are expected to be fuelled by a combination of LNG and domestic gas from Brazil’s deep-water pre-salt fields.

Tellurian hit by charges

Another US LNG project developer to report its results this week was Tellurian.

The company said that it suffered a net loss of around $128.8 mill, or $0.53 per share (basic and diluted), for the three months ended June 30, 2020.

This loss included a one-time non-cash charge of about $81.1 mill for impairment of the book value of its natural gas properties, due to the impact of declining commodity prices.

Notable achievements during 2Q20 and thereafter included raising $57.5 mill in net proceeds through issuances of common stock. Pro forma cash and cash equivalents as at the end of the quarter would be about $122.9 mill after giving effect to financing transactions executed during July.

President and CEO, Meg Gentle, said, “Tellurian has used the last few months to streamline Driftwood LNG, which is one of the lowest cost projects available globally at approximately $1,000 per tonne.

“Driftwood LNG is an integrated project, including production of low-cost gas from the Haynesville shale, which supports a new US LNG pricing mechanism projected to enable equity partners to load LNG at about $3.50 per MMBtu.

“Tellurian continues working to secure equity partners from around the globe and looks forward to delivering reliable energy in 2024,” she said.

Tellurian ended the second quarter with around $88.3 mill in cash and cash equivalents and about $33.9 mill short-term borrowings.

Its balance sheet consisted of about $315.9 mill in total assets. Pro-forma for the financing transactions completed in July, Tellurian would have ended the quarter with around $122.9 mill in cash and cash equivalents, about $106.1 mill in long-term debt, and around $350.5 mill in assets.

GasLog announces Board changes

GasLog Ltd and GasLog Partners have announced senior management and board of director changes.

Following the Group’s decision to base its senior management in Greece, Andy Orekar has decided not to relocate and will therefore step down from his position as the Partnership’s CEO on 15th September, 2020.

GasLog Partners Board has appointed Paul Wogan, currently CEO and Director of GasLog, as CEO of the Partnership, effective 16th September, 2020.

In addition, GasLog Partners has made changes to the Board. Michael Gialouris, Pamela Gibson, Peter Livanos and Andy Orekar will step down as Directors, effective immediately. GasLog has appointed Julian Metherell, currently a Director of GasLog, and Paul Wogan as Directors of the Partnership. Metherell will also become a member of the Audit Committee.

Following these changes, the Board will be reduced in size to five from seven directors.

This will result in the closing of the Group’s Stamford (Conn) office and, in conjunction with the relocation of the Partnership’s CEO role to Greece and Board size reduction, are expected to generate a total annual net cost savings of around $3 mill beginning next year.

The Group’s Head of Investor Relations, Joseph Nelson, will continue to be based in the US.

USTDA backs Nigerian natural gas initiatives

The US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) has awarded a grant to the Nigerian gas supply company, Green Liquified Natural Gas Limited (GLNG).

This grant is aimed at supporting Nigeria's increased use of natural gas for power generation, local industry and further economic growth

Thomas Hardy, USTDA’s acting director, explained, “This project will support the diversification of Nigeria’s economic development while creating opportunities for US companies to develop world-class infrastructure.

“It will also build on the commitment of USTDA to work with our Nigerian partners to develop and expand the natural gas options for the country.”

In particular, the grant from USTDA will assess the viability of an LNG liquefaction and distribution facility and associated regasification and distribution stations in southwestern Nigeria.

 

GLNG selected US-based NOVI Energy to conduct the study.

Anil Ahluwalia, GLNG director, said, “We are proud to announce our path-breaking LNG project in Nigeria, which will have a significant impact on Nigeria’s goal of pursuing a sustainable, environmentally friendly, alternate fuel-based economy.”

This project supports the US government’s Prosper Africa, Power Africa and Doing Business in Africa initiatives.

Russian gas condensate pilot production begins

NOVATEK-Tarkosaleneftegas, a wholly owned subsidiary of PAO NOVATEK, has started pilot production from gas condensate bearing layers of the North-Russkoye and East-Tazovskoye fields.

Together, they will have a total annual production capacity of 7.7 bill cu m of natural gas and 1 mill tonnes of gas condensate.

    

“Our production growth in the area of the unified gas supply system remains one of the key priorities of the company's strategy,” Leonid Mikhelson, NOVATEK’s Chairman of the Management Board, explained. “Natural gas produced in the North-Russkiy cluster is intended for the Russian domestic market, which has proved to be very stable, as compared to international markets in the recent months. Moreover, the additional volumes of gas condensate will ensure full utilisation of our processing facilities.”

OLT Toscana reaches 100 not out

Italian offshore receiving terminal OLT Toscana has handled its 100th LNG carrier cargo.

This was achieved on 31st July, 2020 when the TMS Cardiff Gas 2020-built LNGC ‘Bonito LNG’ arrived at the FSRU for a ship-to-ship transfer.

OLT Terminal has received LNG from the main exporting countries, such as - Algeria, Cameroon, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Nigeria, Norway, Peru, Qatar, Trinidad and Tobago and the US and from other European terminals (Spain, Belgium and the Netherlands).

The total amount of LNG discharged thus far is around 13.8 mill cu m. Since October, 2018, the Terminal has been working at 100% of capacity, OLT claimed.

US ships seven cargoes

July 31 (LNGJ) - US LNG exports amounted to seven cargoes for a second week from the five large plants in operation. Two departed from Sempra Energy’s Cameron facility in Louisiana, two from the Cove Point plant in Maryland and one each from Corpus Christi, Sabine Pass and Freeport, according to the Energy Information Administration. US net injections into storage totaled 26 billion cubic feet for the previous week versus the five-year (2015-2019) average net injections of 33 Bcf and last year's net injections of 56 Bcf during the same week. “Working natural gas stocks totaled 3,241 Bcf, which is 429 Bcf more than the five-year average and 626 Bcf more than last year at this time,” said the EIA.

Charter rates steady

July 30 (LNGJ) - LNG carrier charter rate discussions have increased in the West of Suez market as the fixing window progresses further into September. Brokers said that while traders argue that the economics of the arbitrage window are unsupportive of freight at such high levels, the available shipping still seems to be in short supply when considering the balance of the fleet across the East and West of Suez markets.

   Charter rates for LNG carriers in the spot market were steady over the past week. Rates were quoted at an average of between $35,000 per day and $37,000 per day West of Suez and at rates of between $32,000 per day and $34,000 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 the most modern vessels were seen at rates of around $44,000 per day.

Saipem reports loss

July 29 (LNGJ) - Saipem, the Italian energy engineering company whose projects include the subsea portion of the Mozambique LNG export project in southeast Africa, reported an operating loss of €534 million ($627M) in the second quarter and a first-half loss of €711M compared with a profit of €262M in the first half of 2019. Saipem is particpating in subsea work in the Area 4 licence in the Rovuma Basin offshore Mozambique under a multi-year drilling contract on behalf of Italian company Eni. Milan-based Saipem is also part of the joint venture for Russian company Novatek's Arctic LNG II project proposed for the Gydan Peninsula in northern Siberia.

Gorgon re-start plan

July 28 (LNGJ) - Chevron Corp. plans to re-start the second Train at the Gorgon LNG export plant on Barrow Island in Western Australia in September as repairs are carried out after  “weld quality issues” were discovered in the propane heat-exchangers. Gorgon has three Trains and produces a total of 15.6 million tonnes per annum. Chevron as operator has a 47.3 percent stake and the other two main shareholders are ExxonMobil Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell. The main customers are Japanese utilities.

   The second Train was first shut down on May 23 as part of a scheduled maintenance programme and a re-start of the Train was initially expected by mid-July. “Repairs are underway and we have the necessary personnel with skills and knowledge to conduct the work onsite,” said Chevron. “Once repairs are complete, we expect to safely commence LNG Train 2 restart activities around early September,” the company added.

Europe and Asia cargoes

July 27 (LNGJ) - The 266,000 cubic metres capacity Q-Max carrier “Bu Samra” will deliver a cargo on August 3 to the UK South Hook terminal at the Welsh port of Milford Haven from the Ras Laffan plant in Qatar, the port authorities said. The 155,000 cubic metres capacity vessel “British Sapphire” will deliver a shipment on August 4 to the Bilbao terminal in northwest Spain from the Point Fortin plant in Trinidad.

   The US delivery schedule for China and India is coming back on track, according to shipping data. The 155,000 cubic metres capacity “British Mentor” is scheduled to deliver a cargo on August 13 to the port of Tianjin in northeast China from the US Cove Point plant in Maryland. The 178,000 cubic metres capacity carrier “Castillo de Merida” lifted a cargo over the weekend from the Freeport plant in Texas and is headed for the Hazira plant in India with delivery expected around August 23.

NSR cargo for Japan

July 24 (LNGJ) - Novatek, the Russian natural gas company and operator of the Yamal LNG plant in northern Siberia, said its power and gas subsidiary shipped the first cargo of LNG from the Yamal facility to Japan eastbound via the Northern Sea Route.

   Novatek said the cargo was delivered by the 172,000 cubic metres capacity LNG carrier “Vladimir Rusanov” under a spot contract and unloaded at the Ohgishima import terminal at Tokyo Bay in Japan. “This LNG cargo is the company’s first successful experience of unloading an Arc-7 ice-class LNG tanker at a Japanese port,” said the Russian company.

Gorgon LNG inspection

July 24 (LNGJ) - The Australian Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety said it planned to inspect the Chevron-operated Gorgon LNG export plant on Barrow Island in Western Australia after a labor union called for it to be shut down as soon as possible as a safety risk.

   “The Department is aware that Chevron discovered issues with propane kettles at its Gorgon LNG plant during routine maintenance and understands the company is investigating,” it said. “While DMIRS does not have any immediate concerns for worker safety, the department is taking the matter seriously and is in discussion with Chevron about the findings from its maintenance inspections and the assessment of the results to date,” it added. 

Charter rates edge up

July 23 (LNGJ) - Shipping charter rates for LNG carriers in the spot market increased slightly over the past week. Rates were quoted at an average of between $35,000 per day and $37,000 per day West of Suez and at rates of between $32,000 per day and $34,000 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.

Medgaz deal sealed

July 22 (LNGJ) - Naturgy Group of Spain, an importer of both US and Russian LNG volumes, said its first-half gross earnings came to €2.03 billion ($2.34Bln) down by around 11 percent on the 2019 figure despite the market challenges. Naturgy also completed negotiations with BlackRock, the world’s largest equity fund, to partner with the Spanish company in a joint venture that will hold 49 percent of the Medgaz subsea natural gas pipeline from Algeria to Spain. The deal provides Naturgy with joint control over the company without enlarging its operations or investing any additional sums.

   “For us, this deal is very attractive. BlackRock coming aboard the investment vehicle attests to the appeal and uniqueness of Medgaz as strategic infrastructure,” said Naturgy Chairman Francisco Reynés. Algerian state energy company Sonatrach holds the majority 51 percent of the shares in Medgaz, which is 210 kilometres in length and has capacity to transport 8.2 billion cubic metres per annum of natural gas.

European prices weak

July 21 (LNGJ) - European natural gas prices and LNG indicators moved close to monthly lows as the UK National Balancing Point price and the Dutch Title Transfer Facility price dropped to the equivalent of $1.55 per million British thermal units and $1.60 per MMBtu respectively. One of the next LNG cargoes scheduled to arrive in the UK is on July 27 when the 216,200 Q-Flex vessel “Al Gattara” will discharge its load at the South Hook terminal at Milford Haven, according to the port authorities.

Wisconsin LNG barge

July 20 (LNGJ) - Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding, based in Wisconsin near the Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal and Lake Michigan, has hosted a ceremonial keel-laying for the construction of an LNG bunkering barge for refuelling ships in Florida. The yard is a subsidiary of Italian shipbuilding group Fincantieri.

   The 5,400 cubic metres capacity barge is being built for US company Polaris New Energy and will be named the “Clean Canaveral”. LNG will be sourced from a small-scale liquefaction plant in Jacksonville, Florida. “We are pleased to see the completion of this significant construction milestone,” said Polaris New Energy Senior Vice President Thomas Sullivan.

Basque LNG station

July 17 (LNGJ) - The HAM Group of Spain, a European market leader in LNG and compressed natural gas fuel retailing with a network of over 70 filling stations, has opened a permanent LNG-CNG station at the busy French border crossing near the Basque town of Irún.

   The group’s subsidiary, HAM Criogénica, has opened the 24-hour Antxotxipi Kalea station next to the AP-8, also known as the Cantabrian Highway, the Basque Country coastal road linking Irún to Bilbao. “The service station has a double LNG pump for trucks and heavy vehicle, and a double CNG pump for supplying passenger cars, light vehicles and trucks,” said the company.

Qatar shipping profit

July 16 (LNGJ) - Qatar Gas Transport Co., the fleet operator for Qatargas, posted a 15.5 percent increase in first-half net profit to 550 million Qatari riyals ($151M), up from the 476M riyals ($131M) recorded in the same six months last year. Additional revenues came from the strategic acquisition of the remaining 49.9 percent stakes in four Q-Flex LNG vessels in October 2019 by QGTC, also known as Nakilat. First-half revenues came to 2.02 billion riyal ($555.2M), an increase of 11.3 percent.

   “In these uncertain times, Nakilat remains committed in delivering value for our shareholders as we expand our international reach to meet the growing demand for energy transportation,” said Chief Executive Abdullah Al Sulaiti. “The company’s sustained financial performance bears testament to our ongoing strategy of enhancing efficiency, rationalizing expenditures and reducing operational and administrative costs,” added Al Sulaiti.

Australia cargoes fall

July 16 (LNGJ) - Australian LNG shipments in June were down by eight compared with May, primarily due to scheduled maintenance at the Gorgon plant on Barrow Island in Western Australia. “Australian projects shipped 5.9 million tonnes (85 cargoes) in June, compared with 6.4MT (93 cargoes) in May,” said a report by consultants EnergyQuest.

   “In June there were still a large number of cargoes that have had their delivery delayed. An estimated 33 Australian cargoes loaded during June anchored offshore or steamed slowly awaiting final destination orders after 41 were seen to be delayed during May,” added the report. Deliveries to major North Asian markets were lower compared with June 2019. Australian projects delivered a total of 70 cargoes to China, Japan and Korea in June, down from 77 cargoes a year earlier.

Gazprom reports loss

July 15 (LNGJ) - Gazprom, the main pipeline gas competitor to LNG in Europe and China, said first-quarter gas sales revenues dropped by 24 percent to 1.73 trillion roubles ($24.52 billion) compared with 2.29 trillion roubles ($32.3Bln) in the same period in 2019. The company reported a first-quarter net loss of 116 billion roubles ($1.64 Bln), compared with a net profit of 536Bln roubles ($7.5Bln) in the 2019 first quarter.

   Overall natural gas sales dropped by 13 percent to 138.1 billion cubic metres from 158.9 Bcm in the 2019 first quarter. Gazprom said pipeline gas sales to Europe and China dropped to 51.6 Bcm in the first quarter from 62.4 Bcm in the same three months of 2019.

China gas imports rise

July 14 (LNGJ) - Chinese natural gas imports rose by 10.2 percent in June by pipelines and as liquefied natural gas and amounted to 8.33 million tonnes compared with 7.56MT in June 2019. For the first half of the year through June 2020, China’s natural gas imports were up 3.3 percent to 48.36MT, according to data from the General Administration of Customs. China imports LNG from all the main producers and pipeline gas from Myanmar, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Russia.

Czech LNG station

July 13 (LNGJ) - GasNet, the natural gas distribution company of the Czech Republic, launched its first mobile public self-service LNG filling station. The station is located in Klecany near Prague and is a short distance from the D8 motorway. “This modern and environmentally friendly technology is available 24/7 to truck drivers,” said GasNet.

“LNG truck drivers can now refuel in Klecany in the Volvo Group Truck Centre Prague-North. The public gas station is only 8km from the capital, is self-service and open 7 days a week, 24 hours a day,” added GasNet. “We are convinced that LNG trucks will increase rapidly in our country, at a similar pace as in the case of compressed natural gas,” stated Thomas Merker, GasNet's Chief Financial Officer.

Novatek reports sales

July 13 (LNGJ) - Novatek, the Russian natural gas company and operator of the Yamal LNG export plant in northern Siberia, said preliminary second-quarter 2020 natural gas sales volumes, including LNG, came to 16.90 billion cubic metres, a drop of 9.9 percent compared with the same three months of 2019.

   Natural gas volumes sold in the Russian Federation in the second quarter totaled 14.43 Bcm, whereas LNG volumes sold on international markets amounted to 2.47 Bcm. “The decrease in sales volumes on international markets was due to the decrease of Yamal LNG shareholders’ share, including Novatek’s share, of LNG volumes sold on the spot market, and a corresponding increase of Yamal LNG direct sales under long-term contracts,” explained the Russian company.

European deliveries

July 13 (LNGJ) - The 266,000 cubic metres capacity Q-Max carrier, “Umm Slal”, is scheduled to deliver a cargo on July 19 to the UK South Hook terminal in Milford Haven from Ras Laffan in Qatar, according to port authorities. That’s as European LNG values have dropped since last week. The UK’s National Balancing Point natural gas price was last at the equivalent of $1.75 per million British thermal units while the main Continental European benchmark price, the Dutch Title Transfer Facility, was at the equivalent of $1.80 per MMBtu.

   In other European deliveries, the 142,600 cubic metres capacity “LNG River Niger” was scheduled to discharge a shipment on July 19 at the Montoir-de-Bretagne terminal in Western France from the Bonny Island plant in Nigeria. The 140,000 cubic metres capacity “Arctic Voyager” was expected to unload a cargo on July 26 at the Revithoussa terminal in Greece from the Hammerfest plant in Norway. 

US ships seven cargoes

July 10 (LNG) – The US shipped seven LNG cargoes in the past week, according to the weekly natural gas report from the Energy Information Administration. Three cargoes departed from Sempra Energy’s Cameron facility in Louisiana, two from Cheniere Energy’s Sabine Pass plant, also in Louisiana, while one departed from Cheniere’s Corpus Christi facility in Texas and one from the Cove Point plant in Maryland. None were lifted from the Freeport plant in Texas nor from the Elba Island facility in Georgia.

   The EIA also reported that net injections of working gas into storage totaled 56 billion cubic feet for the previous week compared with the five-year average of 68 Bcf and last year's net injections of 83 Bcf during the same week. Working natural gas stocks totaled 3,133 Bcf, which is 454 Bcf more than the five-year average and 685 Bcf more than last year at this time. “The average rate of injections into storage is 15 percent higher than the five-year average so far in the refill season (April through October),” added the EIA.

BP China LNG deal

July 9 (LNGJ) - BP signed a supply agreement for regasified LNG with China’s ENN Group in support of the growing energy needs of the southern province of Guangdong. Under the terms of the agreement, BP will provide ENN with 300,000 tonnes per annum of pipeline gas regasified from LNG for a period of two years from January 2021. The LNG will be received and regasified through the receiving terminal of Guangdong Dapeng LNG where BP holds regasification capacity.

   “This is the first time an international energy company will regasify LNG through a Chinese terminal and also directly supply gas to customers,” said Dev Sanyal, executive vice president of BP Gas. “We look forward to further cooperating with ENN and contributing to China’s ever growing energy demand,” added Sanyal.

Adriatic LNG auction

July 9 (LNGJ) - The Italian Adriatic LNG import terminal is running an auction for five cargo slots, four for August 2020 and one for September 2020. The deadline for the submission of offers is the 13th of July at 14:30 Central European time.

   The unloading slot dates and maximum capacities are as follows: 13-16 August, 217,000 cubic metres capacity; 17-20 August, 145,000 cbm; 21-24 August, 217,000 cbm; 25-28 August, 145,000 cbm; 2-5 September, 217,000 cbm. Offer forms should be submitted to
terminale.gnl.adriatico_mercato@pec.it

Charter rates steady

July 9 (LNGJ) - Shipping charter rates for LNG carriers in the spot market are little changed over the past week. Rates were quoted at an average of between $33,000 per day and $35,000 per day West of Suez and at rates of between $29,000 per day and $32,000 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.

Henry Hub forecasts

July 8 (LNGJ) - The US Henry Hub natural gas spot price averaged $1.63 per million British thermal units in June, the lowest inflation-adjusted price going back to at least 1989, as a result of low demand, the Energy Information Administration said in its short-term outlook. However, the EIA expects falling production will put upward pressure on natural gas prices through the end of 2021. It forecasts that Henry Hub spot prices will average $1.93 per MMBtu in 2020 and $3.10 per MMBtu in 2021.

Singapore-GTT pact

July 7 (LNGJ) - GTT Training Ltd., a subsidiary of the French LNG storage tanks technology company, has agreed a partnership with Wavelink Maritime Institute (WMI) of Singapore. This partnership will facilitate the delivery of GTT Training’s LNG industry-related courses at WMI’s training facility in Jurong in Singapore. The partnership agreement includes the installation of GTT Training’s Liquid Gas Handling Simulator “G-SIM” at the Wavelink Maritime Centre and the sharing of expertise.

   “We are very pleased to be able to announce this partnership with WMI as it will combine the resources and expertise of two leading institutions, enabling us to better assist the industry in providing the trained personnel they require to meet the increasing demand on vessels that carry and use LNG in the region,” said Ray Gillett, Director and General Manager of GTT Training.

Europe gas still weak

July 6 (LNGJ) - European LNG price indicators were still edging higher but were not moving much up above the $2.00 per million British thermal units level and remained weak overall. The UK’s National Balancing Point natural gas price was at the equivalent of $1.90 per MMBtu while the main Continental European benchmark price, the Dutch Title Transfer Facility, was higher at the equivalent of $2.00 per MMBtu. In continuing deliveries, the 210,100 cubic metres capacity vessel “Onaiza” is scheduled to arrive with a cargo on July 13 at the UK South Hook terminal in Milford Haven from Ras Laffan in Qatar.

Finland LNG station

July 3 (LNGJ) - Finnish state-owned energy company Gasum, which has widespread gas assets in the Nordic region, has opened a new filling station for LNG and biogas distribution at Lieto in southwest Finland. This is the country’s eighth natural gas filling station for trucks.

   Gasum has another 15 LNG and biogas stations in Sweden and one in Norway located in the capital Oslo. “Together with the gas filling station in Turku Harbor, the new station in Lieto strengthens the distribution of LNG and liquefied biogas for the needs of long-haul transport,” said Gasum.

China index rises

July 3 (LNGJ) - China's import price index for liquefied natural gas rose this week, 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 2,344 yuan ($331) per tonne, or $6.35 per million British thermal units, compared with the previous week’s price to June 24 of 2,308 yuan ($326) per tonne, or $6.25 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.

Brunei LNG contract

July 2 (LNG) - Brunei LNG has awarded a 10-year contract to local company SPHI Marine to supply three tugboats and one anchor-handling tug to support shipping operations at the Lumut facility. SPHI said the contract included a five-year extension option.

   The Brunei-owned and flagged vessels will replace the tugs of Dutch firm Kotug, which are currently servicing the LNG plant. Kotug said in a separate statement that it would support SPHI’s contract as part of a technical partnership deal signed between the two companies.

Algeria gas hand-over

July 1 (LNGJ) - Sonatrach, the Algerian state energy company and operator of two LNG export plants on the North African coast, signed its acceptance of the Touat gas project in southwest Algeria being passed to Groupement Touat Gaz (GTG), a joint venture between Sonatrach and Neptune Energy of the UK.

Operation of the facility had previously been in the hands of the project contractor, Spain’s Técnicas Reunidas, since the first gas was sent into the Algerian domestic gas pipeline network in September 2019. The Touat facility is located around 1,400 kilometres southwest of Algiers in the Sahara Desert and comprises 19 natural gas development wells, a gas treatment plant for gas and stabilised condensate with a gathering network with pipelines.

Shell updates on gas

June 30 (LNGJ) - Royal Dutch Shell said in an update to the second quarter 2020 outlook for its Integrated Gas division that production is expected to be between 880 and 910 thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day and LNG liquefaction volumes are expected to be between 8.1 million tonnes and 8.5 million tonnes.

   “Trading and optimisation results are expected to be below average,” said Shell. “As previously communicated, more than 90 percent of our term contracts for LNG sales in 2019 were oil price linked with a price-lag of typically 3-6 months. Consequently, the impact of lower oil prices on LNG margins became more prominent from June onwards,” it added.

European prices flat

May 29 (LNGJ) - LNG is still heading for the UK even as European LNG price indicators remain flat. The UK’s National Balancing Point natural gas price was at the equivalent of $1.75 per million British thermal units while the main Continental European benchmark price, the Dutch Title Transfer Facility, was lower at $1.65 per MMBtu.

   The 147,200 cubic metres capacity vessel “Arctic Lady” is scheduled to arrive on July 1 at the UK Isle of Grain import terminal in Kent from the Equinor-operated Hammerfest plant in Northern Norway. The 261,700 cubic metres capacity Q-Max carrier, “Al Samriya”, will deliver a cargo on July 5 to the UK South Hook terminal in Milford Haven from Ras Laffan in Qatar.

Energy orders dry up

June 26 (LNGJ) - South Korean shipyards are expecting new firm LNG carrier orders after Qatar booked construction berths, but no new orders have been received in 2020 for oil and gas platforms or offshore facilities, reflecting the depressed state of the energy market. Hyundai Heavy Industries has received no orders for offshore facilities since October 2018 when it signed a $450 million deal with a US oil developer LLOG Exploration to build a floating production system, according to the latest data.

   Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. is also devoid of orders since December 2019 when Chevron Corp. booked a $200M semi-submersible floating production unit. The third main builder, Samsung Heavy Industries, has failed to clinch any new orders since April 2019. SHI has an order backlog of three offshore plants, one FPSO, one floating production platform and one floating LNG unit.

German terminal award

June 25 (LNGJ) - German LNG Terminal, the company developing an onshore facility at Brunsbuettel on the Elbe River south of Hamburg, has selected a Spanish-German joint venture comprising Cobra Instalaciones y Servicios SA and Sener Ingeniería y Sistemas SA of Spain and Bonn-based TGE Gas Engineering GmbH for the final phase of the engineering, procurement and construction contract award.

   “This final phase will consist of a comprehensive value-improvement exercise and detailed price actualization to make the project more cost efficient to conclude a binding EPC contract by the end of 2020,” said German LNG Terminal. “It is expected that the detailed design and engineering work, necessary to develop purchase orders of long-lead products, can then be started soon after the finalization of the contract,” it added. German LNG Terminal is a joint venture involving Dutch gas network company Gasunie BV, global Dutch storage company Royal Vopak and Germany’s Oiltanking GmbH, a subsidiary of Marquard & Bahls AG of Hamburg.

 

Polish LNG expands

June 25 (LNGJ) - Poland signed contracts worth $483 million to expand the LNG import terminal at Swinoujscie on the Baltic Sea coast to 6 million tonnes per annum of capacity from the current 3.7 MTPA by 2023. The contract was signed on the Polish side by network operator Gaz-System and the ports of Szczecin and Swinoujscie and on the engineering side by the two contractors, Porr AG of Germany and Bonn-based European LNG specialists TGE Gas Engineering.

   State-run Poland Oil and Gas Company has said it does not intend to extend its long-term pipeline gas supply contract with Russia’s Gazprom beyond 2022 when it expires.

LNG-powered ships

June 24 (LNGJ) – The Chinese CIMC Raffles shipyard at Yantai in Shandong province has started building a second LNG-powered roll-on-roll-off ship for Sweden’s Wallenius Sol venture. The ice-class vessel is one of two on order and will have two Type-C LNG tanks with capacity of 685 cubic metres each.

   The Gothenburg-based Swedish shipping company is a joint venture formed by Wallenius Lines and Svenska Orient Linien. Once delivered in 2021, the two vessels will enter into service in the Baltic Sea trading routes.

Souki executive role

June 23 (LNG) - The board of Tellurian Inc., developer of the Driftwood LNG export project near Lake Charles in Louisiana, has named Charif Souki as Executive Chairman. Souki had been Tellurian’s non-executive Chairman since founding the company in February 2016 after he departed as Chief Executive of Cheniere Energy.

   “I am re-engaging to provide additional support to Tellurian, a company I co-founded with Martin Houston, using personal and friends and family funds,” said Souki. “I am 100 percent committed to Tellurian’s success and will be working alongside our President and Chief Executive Meg Gentle, Chief Operating Officer Keith Teague, and the most experienced LNG team in the industry to get our first-class project constructed,” he added.

Cruise ship on LNG

June 22 (LNGJ) –LNG supplier Nauticor, the Hamburg, Germany-based subsidiary of the Nordic energy company Gasum, has conducted the initial ship-to-ship LNG bunkering operation for the newbuild cruise ship “Iona”. The bunkering operation was conducted by Gasum’s bunkering vessel “Kairos” at the German port of Bremerhaven. The operation was the first ever ship-to-ship LNG bunkering in Bremerhaven.

   The “Iona” is one of the world’s first LNG-fuelled cruise ships. The vessel is in the final outfitting phase at the German Meyer Werft shipyard. After the outfitting and sea trials have been completed, the vessel will join the fleet of P&O Cruises. The vessel is part of a series of vessels for the Carnival Corp. with their different brands.

Cargoes for North Asia

June 22 (LNGJ) - LNG cargoes are pointing at North Asia with deliveries for July. The 155,300 cubic metres capacity carrier “LNG Jurojin” will deliver a cargo on July 1 to the Japanese Yokkaichi terminal, operated by Jera Co. Inc., from the US Sabine Pass plant in Louisiana, according to shipping data. The 174,100 cubic metres capacity vessel “Cesi Wenzhou” is scheduled to unload a cargo on July 4 at the Sinopec-owned onshore terminal in Tianjin in northeast China from the Australia-Pacific plant near Gladstone in Queensland.

   The 174,000 cubic metres capacity carrier “Pan Europe” is due to arrive on July 10 at the Ningbo terminal in China owned by China National Offshore Oil Corp. from the Shell-operated Queensland Curtis plant in eastern Australia. The 174,000 cubic metres capacity vessel “GasLog Hong Kong” is scheduled to deliver a cargo on July 14 to the port of Tianjin from the Bonny Island plant in Nigeria.

Italian gas auctions

June 19 (LNGJ) - OLT Offshore LNG, the owner and manager of the “FSRU Toscana” floating LNG terminal deployed 22 kilometres off the Mediterranean coast of Italy, has published the dates of its annual and multi-year auctions without expression of interest.

   The auctions will be held from 1st to 3rd July 2020, as follows: 1st July 2020 – an auction for the allocation of the regasification capacity for the Gas Year 2020-2021; 2nd July 2020 - auction for the allocation of regas capacity for the Gas Year 2021-2022; 3rd July 2020 - auctions for the allocation of regas capacity for each Gas Year from 2022-2023 to 2033-2034. Further details are on OLT’s website www.oltoffshore.it

 

Corpus Christi jetty

June 19 (LNGJ) - Cheniere Energy’s Corpus Christi LNG export plant in Texas has been given permission by regulators to start exports from a second jetty. “We grant the request for Corpus Christi Liquefaction to introduce hazardous fluids and, upon successful completion of those activities within design specifications, commence service for export from the East Jetty facilities,” said the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

   The LNG plant is located on La Quinta Channel on the northeast side of Corpus Christi Bay and the first stage development comprises two Trains, each with 4.5 million tonnes per annum of capacity and a second stage will see a third Train coming on stream in 2021. A future third-stage development comprises seven mid-scale Trains, adding around 10 MTPA to the output.