This week

Fuels like LNG provide 80 percent of
energy but companies look to future

A leading Australian LNG plant operator while stressing that hydrocarbons account for 80 percent of primary energy, the same as 45 years ago, said it was still advancing its owns carbon capture and storage project, preparing to supply carbon-neutral LNG cargoes and examining the prospects for green hydrogen.

Latest News
Mouchel Parkman, the engineering design consultancy, said it was hired by Electricite de France to provide advice on managing the marine aspects of the LNG terminal planned for…
GS Caltex, South Korea's second-largest refiner of petroleum products, is set to become Korea's fourth LNG importer after striking a deal with partner Chevron Corp. to purchase…
Foster Wheeler, the LNG engineering firm, posted record net earnings of $114.8 million for the first quarter of 2007, compared with $14.6M in the same three months…
US imports of LNG are estimated to have reached 180 billion cubic feet in the first quarter, more than 60 percent above the corresponding period last year,…
The dramatic cost surge in the oil and gas industry that has afflicted LNG projects as well continues, with the latest upstream capital costs index climbing 7…
Fluor Corp., the LNG contractor, said first-quarter net earnings were $85 million, or $0.94 per diluted share, compared with $89M, or $1.00 per diluted share for the…
McDermott International, whose J. Ray subsidiary is a leading LNG contractor with various wins in Qatar, reported net income of $158.1 million, or $1.38 per diluted share,…
Qatar’s Energy Minister Abdullah bin Hamad Al Attiyah and a government delegation have visited the Golden Pass LNG import terminal currently under construction at Sabine Pass, Texas,…
BG Group, the biggest player in the Atlantic Basin LNG market, said first-quarter profit fell 25 percent as higher output failed to offset lower prices for oil…
Total of France, Europe's No. 1 oil refiner and a key LNG player, posted a more than 10 percent fall in first-quarter profits as net income dropped to…

Tristar ship’s UK cargo

Dec 2 (LNGJ) - The 155,000 cubic metres capacity vessel “Tristar Ruby”, the first LNG carrier among the fleet of 30 tankers owned by the Dubai-based Tristar Group, is scheduled to deliver a US cargo on December 8 to the UK South Hook terminal at Milford Haven in Wales, according to the port authorities. The shipment was lifted on November 22 from Cheniere Energy’s Sabine Pass export plant in Louisiana.

   The “Tristar Ruby” was constructed in 2008 at the Hyundai Heavy Industries shipyard in South Korea and was previously named the “British Ruby” and operated by BP Shipping. The Tristar-acquired ship was chartered back to BP earlier in 2020 in a four-year deal.

China ISO deliveries

Dec 1 (LNGJ) - Russian Yamal LNG plant operator, Novatek, said its Asian trading unit and Saibu Gas Co. of Japan completed their first joint trial delivery of liquefied natural gas in ISO containers to China's Tiger Gas for subsequent sales to Chinese buyers. The LNG was delivered by sea in Tiger Gas-owned ISO containers from the Japanese Hibiki container terminal to the Chinese port of Shanghai under a spot contract.

   “Together with our partners, we have successfully completed our first trial delivery of LNG in ISO containers to China,” declared Lev Feodosyev, Novatek’s First Deputy Chairman. “It is forecast that ISO containers of LNG will exponentially increase over the upcoming decades, allowing us to diversify our customer base by including small-scale LNG consumers and entering the downstream markets in China and Japan,” added Feodosyev.

Portugal rail LNG

Dec 1 (LNGJ) - Medway-Iberia, the Portugal-based multimodal logistics company offering truck and train services, said it invested in 14 specific tank containers for the transport of liquefied natural gas by rail for the Portuguese national oil and gas company Galp Energia. The purchase follows an agreement between the two companies signed in November.

   The contract includes the annual transport of 800 LNG containers from the Portuguese Sines import terminal, to various gasified storage units located mostly in north region of the Iberian river Douro. “This agreement proves Galp’s confidence in our integrated freight transport services and is a motivation for the country to continue investing in the future of the railroad, as it is the most sustainable choice when it comes to means of transport,” stated Carlos Vasconcelos, Administrator of Medway-Iberia.

Gentle leaves Tellurian

Nov 30 (LNGJ) - Tellurian Inc., the developer of the Driftwood LNG project, announced that there had been a “mutually agreed” departure of President and Chief Executive Meg Gentle who will potentially be paid up to $21 milllion. “In connection with her departure, the company and Ms Gentle agreed, among other things, that Ms Gentle would continue to receive her current base salary through December 31, 2021,” said Tellurian.

   Gentle’s replacement was named as former Sempra LNG and Midstream CEO Octávio Simões. Simões, aged 61, joined Tellurian in April 2019 as Senior Advisor to the CEO. Tellurian added that Gentle had “agreed to certain customary confidentiality, non-disparagement, non-solicitation and non-compete covenants” on her departure, while retaining compensation benefits such as a future lump sum cash payment of $721,000 and 3.25 million shares of restricted Tellurian stock that will vest upon a final investment decision relating to the Driftwood Project.

US cargo for UK

Nov 30 (LNGJ) - The UK is set to receive more US LNG shipments with the latest cargo scheduled for delivery on December 6 to the Dragon import terminal at Milford Haven in Wales on board the 155,000 cubic metres capacity carrier “Gaslog Skagen”.

   The cargo from the Cheniere Energy Sabine Pass plant in Louisiana heads for the UK as prices remained firm, with the UK National Balancing Point benchmark quoted at the equivalent of $5.65 per million British thermal units. The Dragon terminal is owned by Royal Dutch Shell and Ancala Partners, a UK infrastructure investment fund. Shell is the main capacity holder along with Malaysian energy company Petronas.

Gazprom expansion

Nov 27 (LNGJ) - Russian natural gas company Gazprom, the main competitor to LNG imports in Western Europe, said it was expanding its domestic market and has built 9,830 kilometres of gas pipelines under the latest four-year infrastructure programme, enabling the supply of gas to 1,358 new localities.

   “Accordingly, the gas penetration rate in Russia will grow from 66.2 percent (as of the beginning of 2016) to 71.4 percent by January 1, 2021. The rates of gas grid growth in rural areas will be 2.6 times higher than those in cities and towns,” explained Gazprom. The next building programme through 2025 will entail the construction of 24,400 kilometres of gas pipelines to supply 3,632 more localities.

Texas LNG for UK

Nov 26 (LNGJ) - The first December LNG cargo for the UK will be delivered from Texas to the Dragon LNG import terminal at Milford Haven in Wales, according to the Port Authority. The shipment will arrive on December 3 from the Cheniere Energy plant at Corpus Christi in Texas onboard the carrier “Marib Spirit”, which has capacity of 165,000 cubic metres.

Asian firms promoted

Nov 25 (LNGJ) - The France-based International Group of Liquefied Natural Gas Importers (GIIGNL), which has 86 members in 27 countries, has promoted three companies to its Executive Committee at its annual meeting. They are China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC) Gas, Power and Trading, CPC Corp. of Taiwan and Indian importer Petronet LNG. “The increase with three new members from Asia reflects the growing importance of LNG imports in the region,” said the group.

Narrabri Gas go-ahead

Nov 24 (LNGJ) - Australian LNG plant operator Santos said it welcomed the approval by the Federal Environment Ministry of the Narrabri Gas Project in New South Wales and will now embark on a 12-18 month appraisal program ahead of a final investment decision. Adelaide-based Santos operates the Gladstone LNG plant in Queensland and has a stake in Darwin LNG and the export facility in Papua New Guinea. The Narrabri project is for coal seam gas development with around 850 wells planned.

   Santos Chief Executive Kevin Gallagher said the conditions on the Narrabri Gas Project approval were consistent with those already set by the New South Wales Independent Planning Commission and generally in line with those for the company's Gladstone LNG operations, where Santos operates safely and efficiently, while protecting water resources and the environment. “Santos is excited about the prospect of developing the Narrabri Gas, a 100 percent domestic gas project that will deliver the lowest-cost source of gas for NSW customers,” added the CEO.

Egyptian LNG for UK

Nov 23 (LNGJ) - The 159,800 cubic metres capacity carrier “Maran Gas Efessos” is scheduled to deliver a cargo of Egyptian LNG on November 29 to the UK Dragon import terminal at the Port of Milford Haven in Wales, according to the Port Authority. The shipment comes from the Idku export plant, operated by Royal Dutch Shell, and located east of the port of Alexandria.

Costa Azul regas fight

Nov 20 (LNG) - Infraestructura Energética Nova (IEnova), the Mexican subsidiary of US LNG exporter and utility Sempra Energy, said it received confirmation that its customer Gazprom Marketing and Trading has joined as a plaintiff in the arbitration proceedings initiated by Royal Dutch Shell’s Mexican subsidiary, Shell México Gas Natural, against the Costa Azul LNG terminal relating to previous agreements made before plans were moved forward to turn the import terminal into an export plant.

   IEnova received a request for arbitration from Shell México derived from a storage services contract between Costa Azul and Shell, whereby it claimed that a 2019 update to the terms and conditions related to the storage services provided at the facility resulted in a cause of “force majeure” and a breach of contract. “Costa Azul Regas considers that Shell and Gazprom's claims are unfounded and inadmissible and will enforce their rights in the corresponding arbitration process, seeking to dismiss the claims of the counterparties,” it said.

Charter rates flat

Nov 19 (LNGJ) - Shipping charter rates for LNG carriers in the spot market were unchanged in the past week as the Northern Hemisphere winter market demand continued to be firm. Rates were quoted at an average of between $109,000 per day and $115,000 per day West of Suez. The same levels of spot rates were also heard for the East of Suez charter market for vessels of between 155,000-165,000 cubic metres capacity, according to various brokers. One-year time charters were also little changed for the most modern vessels and were available for around $47,000 per day.

Brownsville contract

Nov 18 (LNGJ) - NextDecade Corp., developer of the Rio Grande LNG export project in Texas, said that after a competitive bid and contracting process it had selected Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Corp. to perform improvements near its planned facility on the Brownsville Ship Channel.

   “These improvements, which include deepening the Channel, will enhance commercial navigation into and out of the Port of Brownsville, ensuring the safe and reliable access of LNG carriers to NextDecade’s Rio Grande LNG facility and optimizing the ability of shallower draft traffic to pass LNG carriers in either direction in accordance with US Coast Guard guidelines,” the company explained. 

Aramco bond offering

Nov 17 (LNGJ) - The Saudi Arabian Oil Company, the world’s biggest oil industry operator with future LNG and natural gas plans, is planning to offer around $6 billion of bonds following a $12Bln bond sale in April 2019 that sparked buying orders of over $100Bln, mostly from US fund managers and making it the most over-subscribed bond sale in history. Dhahran-based Saudi Aramco is said to be offering five tranches maturing in three years, five years, 10 years, 30 years and 50 years.

US cargoes for UK

Nov 16 (LNGJ) - Two US LNG cargoes are scheduled to arrive at UK import terminals at Milford Haven in the next week with the UK National Balancing Point natural gas price last at the equivalent of $5.15 per million British thermal units after previously being higher. The 161,870 cubic metres capacity carrier “Maran Gas Apollonia” is scheduled to unload a shipment on November 19 at the Dragon terminal in the Welsh port from the Sabine Pass plant in Louisiana. The 180,000 cubic metres capacity vessel “Adriano Kuntsen” is expected to begin discharging a cargo on November 22 at Milford Haven's South Hook facility from the Corpus Christi plant in Texas.

Sinopec shale boost

Nov 13 (LNGJ) - China Petroleum and Chemical Corp. (Sinopec), a shareholder in the Australia-Pacific LNG plant in Queensland operated by ConocoPhillips, said it added 83 billion cubic metres of newly proven domestic natural gas reserves at the Chuanxi field in China’s onshore Sichuan Shale basin. “The reserves, certified by the Chinese Ministry of Natural Resources, raise the field’s total proven resources to 114 Bcm. The reservoir is spread over 138 square kilometres in the western part of the basin at depths of 6,000 metres,” said Sinopec.

   Sinopec reported earlier in November that it had recorded China’s highest ever daily output of shale gas at 20.62 million cubic metres in its Fuling project, the country’s first commercial shale production venture. “Fuling shale is an important gas source for the Sichuan-East gas pipeline, meeting the daily gas consumption of 40 million households,” said the company. “Since the beginning of 2020, the Fuling shale-gas field has achieved full recovery of production through non-stop drilling rig operations and rapid resumption of fracturing gas testing despite the Covid-19 outbreak,” stated Sinopec.

Charter rates rise

Nov 12 (LNGJ) - Shipping charter rates for LNG carriers in the spot market rose in the past week as the Northern Hemisphere winter market demand continued to be firm. Brokers said the rates increase by up to $9,500 per day.

   Rates were quoted at an average of between $109,000 per day and $115,000 per day West of Suez. The same levels of spot rates were also talked about for the East of Suez charter market for vessels of between 155,000-165,000 cubic metres capacity, according to various brokers.

Korean LNG launch

Nov 11 (LNGJ) - The South Korean energy subsidiary of steelmaking conglomerate Posco has begun operating its new liquefied natural gas supply business. The event was marked by a ceremony at the company’s Kwangyang LNG import terminal in Jeolla province. The terminal has previously supplied LNG only to the parent steelmaking company since 2005 when a commissioning cargo was shipped from Oman.

   Posco Energy explained that it planned to bring in LNG cargoes and store them in tanks inside designated customs-bonded zones, before suppling them to buyers. It also noted that given the location, its Kwangyang terminal was capable of meeting the growing demand for LNG in neighbouring Asian countries such as China.

US plant progress

Nov 11 (LNGJ) - Venture Global said the first two liquefaction Trains for the company’s Calcasieu Pass LNG export facility in Cameron Parish in Louisiana had arrived. The optimized Trains, each with 600,000 tonnes of capacity, were less than 15 months after the project’s final investment decision. The Trains and mixed-refrigerant compressor skids were shipped to Louisiana from the Baker Hughes fabrication site in Avenza, Italy.

   Each Train, delivered complete and ready to install, was successfully unloaded, transported onto the Calcasieu Pass site and positioned on its foundations in less than a day. Venture Global said the first and second of the project’s 18 identical Trains would now be connected to their respective brazed aluminium heat-exchangers, eight of which are already installed on site after being delivered by US supplier Chart Industries.

Texas LNG for UK

Nov 10 (LNGJ) - A US LNG cargo is heading for the UK from Texas and will berth at the South Hook import terminal at Milford Haven. The “Maran Gas Troy” with capacity of 155,900 cubic metres is scheduled to arrive on November 12 from the Corpus Christi export plant on the US Gulf Coast, according to port authorities.

   The shipment is due at a time of weaker Atlantic Basin natural gas prices. The UK National Balancing Point natural gas price has declined in recent days to $5.25 per million British thermal units, while the main Continental European price, the Dutch Title Transfer Facility (TTF), was lower at the equivalent of $4.80 per MMBtu.

LNG choice for ARA

Nov 9 (LNGJ) - A fleet of 40 new dual-fuel petroleum product trading barges will soon by a familiar sight on the Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Antwerp (ARA) canals and rivers and on the Rhine. Dutch shipbuilder Concordia Damen signed a contract for the fleet of eco-friendly barges with institutional investors. The Parsifal-class barges will be chartered by Royal Dutch Shell and operated by VT Group.

   The 110metres by 11.5 metres vessels will have LNG propulsion and extreme shallow draught capabilities – 2,800 ton on 3.25 metre draught - to maximise cargo carrying capacity on Dutch, Belgian and German canals and rivers. “Concordia Damen has a proven track record in the delivery of products that are highly efficient,” said Martin van Veen. “In addition, they have demonstrated their capabilities in the delivery of shallow draught vessels - which is of importance to this project,” he added.

Uniper disappointed

Nov 9 (LNGJ) - LNG Terminal Wilhelmshaven GmbH, the developer of a floating regasification facility on the German North Sea coast led by the utility company Uniper, said it was re-evaluating its plans. Uniper itself explained that this situation had been caused by the reluctance of market players to make binding bookings for import capacities in the current circumstances. Uniper CEO Andreas Schierenbeck said that LNG was a growth market and natural gas is playing a bigger part in ensuring security of supply and in decarbonizing the global energy system.

   “This is why Uniper is committed to ensuring a secure supply of LNG both now and in the future. But it's also clear that all considerations must meet the same strict economic criteria,” added the Uniper CEO. “We will now discuss all this in depth with those who, like me, consider the development of such an import terminal in Germany to be a fascinating idea and will continue to support it,” stated Schierenbeck.

Inpex reports loss

Nov 6 (LNGJ) - Inpex Corp., the largest Japanese exploration and production company and an Australian LNG plant operator, reported an almost 30 percent fall in nine-month sales to 592.79 billion yen ($5.72Bln) and reported a net loss of 125.42Bln yen ($1.21Bln) during the period compared with a profit last year of 121.66Bln yen ($1.17Bln). Inpex, which is operator of the Ichthys plant at Bladin Point near Darwin and is also a shareholder in Prelude FLNG, as well as being a partner Royal Dutch Shell in an onshore project for Indonesia, said the earnings drop was due to weak energy prices, leading it to write-down some assets values.

   “The average sales price of overseas crude oil decreased by US$25.83, or 39.7 percent, to US$39.30 per barrel. In addition, the average sales price of overseas natural gas decreased by US$0.48, or 11.5 percent, to US$3.70 per thousand cubic feet. Meanwhile, the average sales price of domestic natural gas decreased by 6.19 yen, or 11.1 percent, to 49.71 yen per cubic metre,” Inpex explained.

Charter rates slip

Nov 5 (LNGJ) - Shipping charter rates for LNG carriers in the spot market slipped in the past week by up to $7,500 per day. Rates were quoted at an average of between $97,000 per day and $102,000 per day West of Suez. The same levels of spot rates were also talked about for the East of Suez charter market for vessels of between 155,000-165,000 cubic metres capacity, according to various brokers.

Santos gas accord

Nov 4 (LNGJ) - Santos, the Australian LNG export plant operator and shareholder and the largest domestic natural gas supplier in the state of Western Australia, has signed a new gas sales contract. Adelaide-based Santos said the agreement was signed with energy provider Kleenheat, part of the Wesfarmers Chemical, Energy and Fertilisers group. Under the contract, Santos will supply the gas from its processing plant on Varanus Island, offshore the LNG export terminal at Karratha. The agreement will run for three years from 2021.

   Santos Chief Executive Kevin Gallagher said the deal further strengthened the company’s position as the leading supplier of clean, affordable and reliable energy in Western Australia. “In these challenging economic times, this agreement with one of Western Australia’s largest users of natural gas is good for Kleenheat, good for Santos and good for WA, supporting local jobs and business opportunities,” stated Gallagher.

Chinese LNG fire

Nov 3 (LNGJ) - The Chinese authorities have confirmed that five people died, three were injured and one person was still missing after a fire broke out at an LNG import terminal expansion project in south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. The accident took place on November 2 in the LNG terminal in Tieshan Port, operated by China Oil and Gas Piping Network Corp. (PipeChina), which recently took over ownership of the facility from Chinese major Sinopec.

   “The fire has been extinguished and an investigation is going on to ascertain the cause of the accident,” said the official Xinhua news agency. The report explained that the fire broke out in the petrochemical operational area of ​​the port near an LNG storage tank.

New CEO for Equinor

Nov 2 (LNGJ) - Equinor of Norway installed its new Chief Executive Anders Opedal, the first engineer to lead the state-controlled major supplier of pipeline natural gas to Western Europe. Opedal, who replaced Eldar Saetre, said the company would still increase oil and gas output by 3 percent per year through to 2026. Equinor owns the Hammerfest LNG plant, closed for the next year after a fire on September 28.

   CEO Opedal also referred to the ambitions of many companies to achieve net zero emissions by 2025. “This requires a well-functioning market for carbon capture and storage (CCS) and natural sinks, as well as the development of competitive technologies for hydrogen. Building on its capabilities from oil and gas, Equinor is well positioned to provide low-carbon technologies and establish zero-emission value chains,” he explained.

   “The net-zero ambition will strengthen future competitiveness and value creation at the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS). Equinor’s plans for production, development and exploration at the NCS remain firm,” said the new CEO. “Equinor also assumes that an increasing share of oil and gas will be used for petrochemicals towards 2050,” Opedal added.

France’s Total in profit

Oct 30 (LNGJ) - French energy major Total reported a tumble in net income to $202 million in the third quarter from $2.80 billion in the same three months of 2019. This followed second-quarter 2020 write-downs that led to a loss of $8.36Bln.

   LNG sales by Total rose 20 percent in the third quarter to 6.6 million tonnes from 5.5MT in the prior-year quarter. Nine-month LNG sales amounted to 23.2MT, up 27 percent from the 18.3MT logged in the third quarter of 2019. “Upstream carries the Group’s results with adjusted net operating income of $1.1 billion, notably thanks to low production costs, despite lower LNG prices and lower production,” said Chairman and Chief Executive Patrick Pouyanné.

Spot charter rates up

Oct 29 (LNGJ) - Shipping charter rates for LNG carriers in the spot market increased over the past week by a further $20,000 per day. Rates were quoted at an average of between $100,000 per day and $110,000 per day West of Suez. The same levels of spot rates were also talked about for the East of Suez charter market for vessels of between 155,000-165,000 cubic metres capacity, according to various brokers.

Equinor reports loss

Oct 29 (LNGJ) - Equinor, the Norwegian oil and gas company whose Hammerfest LNG plant is closed until October 2021 after a fire in September, reported an operating loss of US$2.02 billion following net impairments of $2.93Bln mainly due to reduced future price assumptions. The company’s adjusted earnings came to $780 million and $270M after tax in the third quarter.

   “Our financial results are impacted by weak prices as regions across the world are still severely affected by the pandemic,” said Eldar Saetre, President and Chief Executive of Equinor. “Net impairments in the quarter are mainly due to reduced price assumptions. Significant uncertainty remains around future commodity price development, underlining the importance of increased competitiveness and financial resilience,” added the CEO.

Gazprom trade pledge

Oct 29 (LNGJ) - Gazprom said it was backing improvements in the natural gas trading activities on the St. Petersburg International Mercantile Exchange (SPIMEX), which was launched in 2014. Gazprom offers the bulk of the gas available for purchase at the exchange and is responsible for making sure all gas sold at SPIMEX is transmitted to consumers. The gas sold at the exchange is consumed in 48 constituent entities of the Russian Federation.

   Gazprom and SPIMEX plan to carry out joint work on the further development of gas exchange trading, which includes efforts towards the enhancement of the metering system used in gas supplies and the application of new trading formats and instruments. The company said that it would also take part in improving the legislative framework. 

Total’s LNG ship deal

Oct 28 (LNGJ) - French energy major Total has chartered four Aframax-type tankers equipped with liquified natural gas propulsion. “These vessels, each with a capacity of 110,000 tons of crude oil or refined products, will be delivered in 2023 and will join the time-chartered fleet of Total,” said the company. The first two vessels will be chartered from shipowner Hafnia and the remaining two from Viken Shipping.

   The vessels have been designed with the most efficient LNG propulsion technologies to reduce emissions. “This contract follows a similar one, signed earlier this year, for two LNG-powered Very Large Crude Carriers, to be delivered in 2022,” said Luc Gillet, Senior Vice President of Shipping at Total. “LNG as a marine fuel remains the best and immediately available solution to reduce the carbon footprint of our shipping,” Gillet stated. 

Enagás bonds placed

Oct 28 (LNGJ) - Enagás, the gas network owner in Spain and the country’s largest operator of LNG terminals, has completed the placement of €500 million ($590M) worth of 12-year bonds. Enagás said the bonds would mature in 2032 and have an annual coupon of 0.375 percent. “This operation has been completed with the lowest interest rate achieved by a Spanish company for a term of 10 years or more,” said the company. “In addition, it represents the lowest interest rate reached by a utility for an issue in euros for that term,” it added.

Q-Flex LNG for UK

Oct 27 (LNGJ) - The 210,100 cubic metres capacity Q-Flex carrier “Al Ghariya” will deliver the first November Qatargas cargo to the UK on November 3. This shipment will be discharged at the South Hook import terminal at Milford Haven in Wales, according to port authorities. That's as the UK National Balancing Point natural gas price declined from a seasonal high to the equivalent of $5.50 per million British thermal units, while the main Continental European price, the Dutch Title Transfer Facility (TTF), was at the equivalent of $5.15 per MMBtu.

Russian LNG for UK

Oct 26 (LNGJ) - The laden 172,600 cubic metres capacity “Vladimir Voronin” is scheduled to arrive on October 30 at the UK Dragon import terminal at the Port of Milford Haven with a cargo from the Yamal export plant in northern Siberia, according to the port authorities.

   The Russian cargo is due as the UK National Balancing Point natural gas price is at a seasonal high of the equivalent of $5.65 per million British thermal units compared with the main continental European price, the Dutch Title Transfer Facility, which was last at the equivalent of $5.35 per MMBtu.

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.