In this issue

 

Our North America editor in New York

The US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the permit provider for all LNG, pipeline and energy projects nationwide, has a new woman Chairman and member of the Democratic Party from Massachusetts. She was nominated to the post by President Donald Trump after incumbent Norman Bay resigned. 

Index is expected to be launched by second quarter for regional DES cargoes

Our Europe editor

Tullett Prebon, one of the world’s leading interdealer energy and commodities brokers, has signed an agreement with Singapore Exchange (SGX) to develop a spot pricing index for the Middle East and Indian liquefied natural gas cargoes to enhance price discovery and risk management. 

Our North America editor in New York

Magnolia LNG, the export project being developed in Lake Charles in Louisiana, has signed a preliminary supply contract with a company planning to bring the first import terminal on line on the east Coast of India. 

India said liquefied natural gas imports for the month of December declined to 1.40 million tonnes, though were still up by almost 20 percent in the fiscal year to date at 13.87 million tonnes. 

Our Asia-Pacific editor 

Japanese annual liquefied natural gas imports declined for a second year as shipments from the Middle East fell 13 percent and were offset by more cargoes from the Asia-Pacific region and the spot market. 

The North American fund management firm Parallel 49 Equity has completed the purchase of Kinetrex Energy, one of the leading liquefied natural gas fuel suppliers in the US Midwest. 

Our Asia-Pacific editor

Oil Search, the Australian-listed company with a stake in Papua New Guinea LNG and in feed-gas resources for a second project, said analysts were finalizing a resources review and indications are they have increased “significantly” from the initial certification seven years ago. 

Our North America editor in New York

The American Bureau of Shipping, the US classification society, has issued its latest report on LNG maritime fueling standards in regard to the design, construction and surveying of bunkering systems on board vessels. 

Our Asia-Pacific editor

Malaysia International Shipping Corp. is expanding and upgrading its liquefied natural gas carrier fleet, now numbering 26 ships, as state energy company Petronas extends its reach with overseas projects and a floating LNG plant in domestic waters. 

JX Nippon Oil and Energy said it had begun commercial operations from a the new liquefaction processing Train 9 at the Bintulu LNG production plant in Sarawak, Malaysia, operated by state energy company Petronas. 

The newest liquefied natural gas-powered fast ferry in Europe, the “Megastar”, is starting its regular services between Helsinki in Finland and Tallinn in the Baltic state of Estonia after receiving its fuel from a truck in the Finnish capital’s West Harbour port.

Our North America editor in New York

Alaska Gasline Development Corp., the state company now in charge of the Alaska LNG project, said it entered into a cooperation agreement with BP of the UK to collaborate in the development of the financial and tolling structure intended to advance the venture.

The Alaskan company now in charge of the state’s liquefied natural gas export project said it was interested in buying the existing small-scale liquefaction and export plant on the Kenai Peninsula from ConocoPhillips. 

First LNG from processing Train at Chevron-led projectis due in mid-year

Our Asia-Pacific editor

Woodside Petroleum, the Australian operator of liquefied natural gas plants, reported record fourth-quarter production and also said commissioning had started at the Wheatstone LNG joint venture onshore Western Australia where it is a stakeholder. 

News Nudges

Vitol-Gazprom LNG deal

Swiss-based global commodities company Vitol has signed a multi-year LNG purchase agreement for the Russian player Gazprom Marketing and Trading (Singapore) to supply around 300,000 tonnes of LNG per annum from 2018. The supply will come from Gazprom’s diversified LNG portfolio. “We are delighted to be working with Gazprom Marketing and Trading, a subsidiary of Gazprom, the world’s largest producer of natural gas,” said Pablo Galante Escobar, Head of LNG at Vitol. “Vitol is an established participant in LNG markets globally and this development will strengthen our offering to customers worldwide,” he added.


Spanish firm is on track

Gas Natural Fenosa of Spain, one of Europe’s main LNG players with a supply agreement at Sabine Pass in the US, has held its annual shareholder meeting in Barcelona. Chief Executive Rafael Villaseca highlighted the company’s business performance, which was above the average for comparable companies in Europe. Villaseca said that GNF last year obtained 75 percent of its gross earnings from the regulated activities of gas and electricity distribution and the remaining 25 percent from liberalized power generation and natural gas marketing activities.


ABS starts in Houston HQ

The American Bureau of Shipping, one of the leaders of the development of the LNG industry in the US, has broken ground on its new global headquarters in Houston, Texas, comprising a 10-storey building and 326,800 square feet of office space. Completion of the ABS HQ, is scheduled for the end of 2018.