In this issue

 

The Japanese government said the average price of spot liquefied natural gas cargoes delivered to Japan in October was $7.90 per million British thermal units compared with $15.30 per MMBtu in the same month a year ago, before falling oil prices impacted the market, a drop of $7.40 per MMBtu, or 48.3 percent, in 12 months.

Japanese electric power utilities imported almost 19 percent less liquefied natural gas in October compared with a year ago as heavy fuel oil and thermal coal purchases also dropped with an across-the-board seasonal decline in power demand.

Clean Energy Fuels Corp., one of the largest providers of LNG and other natural gas fuels for transportation in North America, continues to make progress and has boosted its volumes of delivered gallons while adjusting to the oil-induced price pressures.

Our North America editor

Australian liquefied natural gas stakeholder Santos, the subject of a bid inquiry from an equity fund backed by Brunei and Dubai investors, has named Kevin Gallagher from LNG engineers Clough Ltd. as its new Chief Executive following a strategic review.

Our Europe editor

The liquefied natural gas construction industry has enjoyed a sustained boom thanks to healthy order books for new LNG projects, especially in the US and Australia. It reached peak capacity in 2015 and now the inevitable decline is on the horizon, a report says.

Global natural gas trade is expanding and LNG is increasing more rapidly than pipeline gas and there will be ample supply of LNG cargoes over the medium term, the International Energy Agency said in its annual outlook.

Our Europe editor

Gaz Metro LNG, a unit of the largest natural gas company in the Canadian province of Quebec, has signed commercial agreements with UK National Grid's New England natural gas distribution companies in the US to deliver them supplies of LNG.

Crowley Maritime Corp.'s petroleum distribution group has been granted approval by the US Department of Energy and the National Energy Board of Canada to import Canadian-sourced LNG for supply, transportation and distribution throughout the Pacific Northwest and Alaska.

Our North America editor

New York State has vetoed the previously approved Port Ambrose LNG Deepwater Port offshore New York City and New Jersey, with the New York Governor saying he favoured wind projects instead.

Dutch natural gas company Gasunie, a shareholder in the Rotterdam Gate LNG terminal, has issued its latest survey showing supply and transit routes and its own markets overview indicating more Russian pipeline gas and LNG from various sources heading for Europe.

Our North America editor

Energy Transfer Equity, lead developer of the US Lake Charles LNG export project in Louisiana, said the venture would definitely go ahead and described it as one of the most attractive projects around for itself and both Royal Dutch Shell and BG Group.

Our Asia-Pacific editor

Japanese energy company and LNG project developer, Inpex Corp, has completed the laying of the longest subsea pipeline in the Southern Hemisphere in 16 months to bring feed-gas to the Ichthys liquefaction plant near the northern Australian port of Darwin.

Origin Energy, the upstream partner in the Australia Pacific LNG project with ConocoPhillips and China’s Sinopec, said the venture would produce LNG within a month and ship its first cargo shortly afterwards.

Our Europe editor

Golar LNG has signed a firm contract to provide a Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU) to support cargo imports by the West African nation of Ghana and backed by Nigeria.

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.