Tokyo Gas received its first cargo produced at Dominion’s Cove Point LNG terminal in May 2018 via the LNG Sakura. Japan is bringing its nuclear reactors back on line following the suspension of operations at all reactors after the 2011 Fukushima accident. As the reactors return to full operation, the increase in nuclear generation is likely to displace generation from fossil sources, in particular natural gas. Because Japan imports all of its natural gas in the form of LNG, increased nuclear power production is likely to reduce Japanese imports of LNG in the electric power sector by as much as 10% in 2019. Japan suspended operations at all nuclear reactors for mandatory safety inspections and upgrades, leaving the country with no nuclear generation from September 2013 to August 2015.
Expected to begin production in 2022, Gimi will liquefy gas as part of the first phase of the project. It is designed to produce an average of approximately 2.5 mtpa of LNG using Black and Veatch’s PRICO liquefaction process. Keppel will fabricate the vessel at its shipyard in Singapore. Hilli Episeyo has maintained 100% uptime since beginning commercial operations offshore Cameroon in June 2018. The total gas resources in the field are estimated to be around 15 Tcf.
In the past 3 months, Poland (PGNiG) has signed three long-term contracts for LNG deliveries with the US firms Venture Global, Cheniere, and Sempra. A planned expansion project will increase this to 7.5 Bcm per year in 2021. The terminal is one of Europe’s busiest, operating at more than 60% of its capacity. In 2022, Poland’s long-term contract with Gazprom is set to expire, and the terminal could be responsible for processing more than 30% of the country’s total gas consumption. Poland is also planning to complete the Baltic Pipe project by the end of 2022, the gas pipeline that will deliver up to 10 Bcm of gas yearly from Norway.
Anadarko announced a pair of sign and purchase agreements (SPA) on the Mozambique LNG project that is gradually moving toward sanction. Mozambique LNG1, the sales entity jointly owned by Anadarko and other co-venturers in Mozambique Offshore Area 1, signed SPAs with Shell and Tokyo Gas and Centrica. Shell’s deal will call for 2 mtpa over a 13-year period, while the Tokyo Gas deal calls for 2.6 mtpa from production startup until the early 2040s. Anadarko is developing Mozambique’s first onshore LNG plant, which will consist of two initial LNG trains with a total nameplate capacity of 12.88 mtpa, to support the development of the Golfinho/Atum field located entirely within Offshore Area 1. The Tokyo deal is the second supply deal announced with a major Asian buyer in the last week.
Co-owned by Qatar Petroleum, Exxon Mobil, and ConocoPhillips, the Golden Pass LNG Terminal handles up to 2 Bcf/D of natural gass imports. Qatar Petroleum and Exxon Mobil Corp. will soon announce plans to proceed with a $10-billion project to expand the Golden Pass LNG terminal in Texas, according to a Reuters report released 1 February. The report cited three people familiar with the transaction. ConocoPhillips, the third partner in the terminal, will sell its 12.4% stake in the project and has no plans to participate in the expansion. Exxon Mobil is the most likely buyer for that stake; sources told Reuters that the plans for the project are in advanced stages and the existing partners do not want to bring in another company.
Demand for LNG has increased in recent years, as it has become increasingly available, affordable, and more environmentally sustainable than coal and crude oil. While Asian markets have become key importers of LNG, piping LNG to many countries in East Asia has presented great difficulties that have required, instead, transport by sea. The story of LNG transport is explained against the backdrop of geopolitical tensions and diplomatic relations. Finally, the paper evaluates countries that may soon come online as global suppliers of LNG, and assesses the political implications of countries in Africa, as well as Canada and Israel, joining the ranks of exporters of natural gas. Latest federal approval authorizes US LNG exports to non-FTA countries.
LNG carrier Vladimir Rusanov conducted its first loading operation in the Yamal LNG plant at Sabetta, Russia, in March 2018. Before that could occur, the vessel left the Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. Okpo yard to head to the Arctic Ocean through the Suez Canal for ice trials. Over 3 weeks, she demonstrated her capabilities before being handed over to the Yamal LNG project. Vladimir Rusanov’s first cargo arrived at the Bering Strait on 6 July, completing an 11-day voyage along the Northern Sea Route from the Yamal plant at Sabetta. It was bound for Jiangsu Rudong port to the north of Shanghai.
Sheffield Resources has signed a 15-year deal with Woodside Energy for the supply and delivery of 1,950 terajoules per year of LNG to the Thunderbird Mineral Sands Project in the northern part of Western Australia. LNG will be supplied from Woodside’s Pluto LNG truck-loading facility, near Karratha in Western Australia. It will be transported to Thunderbird’s LNG storage facility by a newly formed joint venture between Woodside and EDL. Sheffield said in a statement that the joint venture will own and operate a purpose-built road tanker fleet to deliver the LNG. Sheffield noted that it had previously secured infrastructure funding support from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF).
The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced on 19 December that it now only requires US LNG exporters to report the country or countries of LNG deliveries, not country of end-use, to satisfy the DOE’s destination reporting requirement. It also announced additional efforts to streamline the reporting requirements for LNG export supply sales and contracts. The policy change will address the reporting of LNG delivery destinations and the types of supply and sales agreements LNG exporters must file with DOE. Currently, DOE requires some LNG export authorization holders to report the final country of end-use for LNG exports, which can differ from the country receiving the initial physical delivery of LNG. Given the complexity of some LNG export transactions, and the challenges associated with tracking LNG exports all the way to their point of end-use, DOE is indicating via a new policy statement that reporting the country or countries of LNG deliveries (not country of end-use) will satisfy the destination reporting requirement.