In this issue

 

Japan said the average price of spot liquefied natural gas cargoes contracted in December 2016 was $ 8.00 per million British thermal units, a rise of $1 per MMBtu compared with the previous month and also higher than a year ago. 

Our North America editor

Steelhead LNG, the Vancouver-based energy company focused on liquefied natural gas project development in the province of British Columbia, has hired experienced global LNG industry executives Paul Sullivan and Gerry Peereboom to help push forward its planned operations. 

Our Asia editor

Dabhol LNG import terminal in India, the facility caught up in the US Enron power scandal in 2001, may finally be making plans to complete its infrastructure, including a breakwater to allow the handling of more capacity. 

Our Europe editor

Engie, the French energy company, is overseeing an overhaul of its subsidiaries as its natural gas pipeline company prepares to take over its LNG terminal operator. 

Russian natural gas company Gazprom, whose pipeline supplies are the main competition to LNG sales in Europe, posted a third-quarter profit as volumes shipped to the European Union increased and amounted to more than 160 billion cubic metres for the first nine months of 2016. 

Spanish imports of LNG in December rose by more than 60 percent compared with the same month a year ago to a total of 25 cargoes received at the nation’s six operating regasification facilities.

The majority of imports came from Nigeria and Peru, followed by volumes from Algeria, Qatar, Angola and Norway, according to national transmission company and terminal owner Enagas.

Enagas has four fully owned regasification terminals in Barcelona, Cartagena, Huelva and Gijon.

It also has 50 percent of the Bahía Bizkaia Gas (BBG) plant in Bilbao and 72.5 percent of the Saggas terminal in Sagunto. All of them have the necessary technology for the unloading and reloading of carriers, which allows the company to reinforce the supply structure in Spain.

The increase in the need for LNG cargoes was prompted by colder weather in Europe and a rise in gas-fired power generating capacity, which in terms of LNG amounted to 20.2 terawatt hours (TWh) in December compared with 12.5 TWh in the same month of 2015.

The Sagunto terminal in eastern Spain received the most shipments during the month, with seven cargoes arriving.

The Enagas report also showed that six cargoes were landed at the Huelva terminal in southwest Spain and four more in the northeast port of Barcelona.

The southeast port of Cartagena received three shipments, as did the Bilbao terminal in the northwest, while the second northwest facility at Mugardos, near El Ferrol, received two cargoes.

Enagas said that demand for natural gas in Spain during 2016 rose by 2 percent to 321 TWh, while industrial demand increased by 3 percent during the year, in line with the evolution of the economy.

Our North America editor in New York

The US LNG project development company run by former Royal Dutch Shell LNG senior executive Kathleen Eisbrenner has signed a land lease for a second potential liquefaction and export project in Texas.

The Point Comfort near-shore LNG project in Texas has submitted an application to the US Department of Energy to export shipments to countries with a US Free Trade Agreement.

Company founders Chandra and Meyer have signed up some Asian customers

Our North America editor in New York

Texas LNG, the midscale liquefaction and export projects planned for the port of Brownsville, has entered into its second phase of marketing after signing up some customers from Southeast Asia and China.

Our North America editor in New York

The US government says the nation’s increased natural gas trade will be dominated by LNG as early as 2020 as four more liquefaction facilities are scheduled to be completed, adding to current shipments from the Sabine Pass plant in Louisiana.

Upstream energy projects are expected to double in 2017 while exploration and production spending will increase for the first time since 2014, according to a report from Wood Mackenzie, the global energy consulting firm.

Our Europe editor

Zeebrugge LNG terminal in Belgium has recorded the first lifting of a cargo from its new second jetty by the small-scale Dutch-owned LNG carrier, the “Coral Energy” with 15,000 cubic metres capacity as the facility also prepares for providing bunkering services.

Malta, the Mediterranean island nation and the smallest member of the European Union, has received a liquefied natural gas cargo from Spain at its floating storage unit in Marsaxlokk Bay to help complete its transformation into an LNG importer.

Norwegian pipeline natural gas, the main competition to LNG in the UK and four other European markets as well as to Russian gas, has set a new record for exports in 2016 when 108.56 billion cubic metres were delivered.

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.