In this issue

 

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. 

Our Europe editor

Dresser-Rand, part of the German Siemens Group, said production was successfully ramped up at a small-scale natural gas liquefaction facility supplied to a US operator making LNG for fuel in the Marcellus Shale region of Pennsylvania. 

Höegh LNG, the Norwegian fleet owner and project developer specializing in floating storage and regasification units, has signed an agreement with South Korean shipbuilders Samsung Heavy Industries and Hyundai Heavy Industries for its next series of FSRUs. 

Our North America editor in New York

Dominion, the US energy and power company whose assets include 14,400 miles of natural gas pipelines, said its Cove Point LNG project in Maryland was progressing well as it aims to be the nation's second export facility to come on stream after Sabine Pass in Louisiana. 

Liquefied Natural Gas Ltd, the Australian company developing LNG export plants in the US and Canada, has been required to issue a second statement in under a year to the Australian Securities Exchange after a 23 percent surge in its shares in three days. 

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.

News Nudges

Cove Point LNG makes progress

The US Cove Point LNG export project in Maryland, owned by Dominion Energy, is almost 75 percent complete, according to the latest progress report filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The existing import terminal on Chesapeake Bay is being transformed into a liquefaction plant and is scheduled to come on stream in 2018. “At the terminal, work continued on modifications to the existing plant in the areas of the jetty platforms and tie-in scope,” said Dominion. “Construction activities conducted during the January period included preliminary commissioning activities for new compressor units and associated equipment, final building completion activities, and earthwork for corrosion protection and electrical grounding,” it added.


Awilco LNG earnings

Awilco LNG, the small Norwegian fleet operator in the spot market, said the positive trend seen in the fourth quarter of 2016 persisted into 2017 as charter rates West of Suez further improved to $52,000 per day while East of Suez rates was reported at $38,000 per day. “Despite high activity and increasing spot market rates, the short-term and mid-term time charter rates have only slightly improved,” said Awilco as it reported lower full-year freight income of $34.8 million compared with $37.4M in 2015.


Golar raising market funds

Golar LNG, the global LNG fleet operator and floating storage and regasification unit specialist, is raising up to $400 million by selling a form of bond, Convertible Senior Notes due in 2022. Golar is offering $350M of the paper in a private placement to institutional buyers and with $52.5M added, depending on demand.