(Repeats to additional subscribers)
(Adds detail, market impact of prolonged shutdown)
By Oleg Vukmanovic
MILAN May 28 The Angola liquefied natural gas
(LNG) export project is expected to resume production in
mid-2015, a spokesman for the Chevron-led venture said,
after a rupture on a flare line forced a shutdown last month.
The $10 billion project has struggled to squeeze out cargoes
since starting up last summer thanks to a succession of
A rig capsize, electrical fires, pipeline leaks and limited
success in processing the plant's liquids-rich gas have hampered
performance over the past year.
Last month a major rupture on a flare line triggered a
"Following investigation into the incident that took place
at the plant in Soyo on 10 April 2014, Angola LNG will pull
forward a planned shutdown to allow its contractor Bechtel to
both correct items from the incident and - in parallel - address
plant capacity issues," the spokesman said.
It is expected that this work will continue into next year,
with the plant expected to restart in mid 2015, he added.
Reuters reported last week that Angola LNG had approached
shipbrokers to lease out its entire tanker fleet, signalling a
prolonged inability of the plant to produce fuel for export.
Reacting to news of the shutdown, a shipping source on
Wednesday said the availability of so much shipping capacity
would weigh on already-depressed rental rates.
"Massively negative for LNG shipping to see Angola vessels
trade spot for 12 months," he said.
Chevron has a 36.4 percent share in the plant, while Angolan
state oil firm Sonangol has 22.8 percent. Other stakeholders
include Total, BP and ENI.
(Reporting by Oleg Vukmanovic; editing by Keiron Henderson)