In this issue

 

Our Europe editor

The France-based International Group of Liquefied Natural Gas Importers (GIIGNL) said global LNG trade last year recorded a growth rate of around 7.5 percent, returning to a robust pace experienced before 2011. 

The Port of Rotterdam and a Dutch energy body called the National LNG Platform plans to start a joint study that focuses on opportunities to develop liquefied natural gas from bio-methane extracted from waste for use in the port itself. 

Origin Energy, the Australian utility and stakeholder in the Australia Pacific LNG plant in Queensland, has signed an agreement with France-based multinational utility and energy company Engie to make more natural gas available for their customers in the states of South Australia and Victoria. 

Our North American editor in New York

The US Delfin LNG export venture planned for 50 miles offshore Cameron Parish, Louisiana, has been awarded a deepwater port licence by the US Maritime Administration, clearing the way for the first North American FLNG project to proceed. 

The US state of Maryland, where the first East Coast LNG export plant is scheduled to come on stream by late 2017 or early 2018, is caught up in a fierce political debate on energy after the state legislature banned hydraulic fracturing for shale gas. 

Our Asia-Pacific editor

Chevron Corp. reached a landmark in its Australian LNG developments by starting up the third processing Train of its US$54-billion Gorgon plant on Barrow Island in Western Australia, just one year after the first cargo was shipped. 

Our Middle East editor

UK major BP has made another natural gas discovery in the North Damietta offshore concession in the East Nile Delta of Egypt where it recently bought into the huge Zohr gas field licence in the East Mediterranean controlled by Italian energy company Eni. 

The International Gas Union (IGU) released a report on the crucial role of liquefied natural gas for cleaner marine transport, saying that in Hong Kong for example ship traffic was responsible for half of the city’s emissions of pollutants. 

Delek Group, the Israeli company with growing income from its share of 33 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in the East Mediterranean, posted record revenues and net profits in 2016 as the Tamar field reached peak output and the Leviathan field is on track for first gas in 2019. 

Our North America editor in New York

Kosmos Energy, the Dallas-based exploration and production company, has begun the second phase of its multi-well drilling programme offshore the West African countries of Mauritania and Senegal where it is planning two floating LNG projects with BP of the UK. 

China Petroleum and Chemical Corp (Sinopec) said it would accelerate shale-gas output amid construction of new LNG import capacity and natural gas fuel stations for vehicles as it reported a jump in annual net income. 

Our North American editor in New York

Philly Shipyard Inc. has delivered an LNG-ready vessel named the “American Freedom”, the second of four 50,000 deadweight-ton product tankers ordered by a subsidiary of US energy company Kinder Morgan and constructed at the facility in Philadelphia in the state of Pennsylvania. 

Spot shipments and those from new plants revitalize developing market in Asia region

Our Asia-Pacific editor

Imports of liquefied natural gas by India and Japan increased last month as the market continues to evolve in the Asia region with more cargoes available from Australia. 

Our Middle East editor

Qatari liquefied natural gas production company RasGas, which is in the process of being taken over by Qatargas, has recorded one of its last separate corporate events, the shipping of the 500th cargo to the Italian offshore terminal, Adriatic LNG. 

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.