Dec 7 The liquefied natural gas (LNG) market is
growing rapidly, attracting more players as it evolves into a
more competitive, more transparent market that helps connect
gas markets across the globe.
The LNG market is set to grow about 50 percent from 2008 to
2013 as projects in various stages of development come online
to feed rising demand.
LNG trading has traditionally been dominated by a few large
gas-producing incumbents. However, as production increases, the
likes of BP (BP.L), Shell (RDSa.L) and BG BG.L are being
joined by a growing rank of new entrants looking to gain a
foothold in the growing market.
LNG is natural gas cooled to liquid for shipping overseas.
It is regasified at terminals for transport ashore through
NEW LNG TRADING PLAYERS
Barclays Capital (BARC.L): Barcap, which opened its LNG
Services Division in December, is in talks to secure LNG import
capacity in the United Kingdom, sources said on Tuesday, as the
bank expands into LNG trading. [ID:nN07210702]
This would complement import capacity Barcap has in the
United States. In a deal with ENI (ENI.MI) in August, which
marked the banks entry into physical LNG cargo trading, Barcap
gained import rights at the U.S. Cameron LNG terminal in
Louisiana. It will also market gas shipped to the terminal by
Barclays also markets gas imported to Excelerate Energy's
Northeast Gateway terminal in Massachusetts.
Gunvor International: Since entering the LNG market in
January this year, the two-man LNG team at Gunvor in Geneva has
purchased at least 19 cargoes in the Atlantic, including 14
cargoes from Peru LNG for delivery into Europe this winter.
Gunvor has import capacity in two import terminals in
Europe, including the Montoir terminal in France, and is
looking to expand further in Northwest Europe. It is also
looking to add one more trader to its office in Singapore.
Citigroup (C.N): After buying its first cargo from Trinidad
last year, Citi became famous for aggressively bidding for LNG
cargoes. Citi has completed a number of deals for re-export
from U.S. Gulf Coast, in a clear sign that U.S. demand for
imported gas is dwindling. The bank also set up a LNG trading
office in Singapore.
Citi has continued to trade LNG despite losing five of its
traders to Golar LNG's new trading outfit in May.
Golar LNG GOLAR.OL: Golar launched a new trading
subsidiary in May, hiring four former Citi LNG traders. Golar,
already established in LNG shipping, set up the new arm to
market and trade LNG cargoes and offer services such as risk
management to third parties. It has completed at least two
deals since it began physical trading.
JP Morgan (JPM.N): The U.S. bank entered the LNG market in
March in a deal signed with U.S. terminal operator Cheniere
Energy (LNG.A) under which the two parties will jointly look
for buying opportunities in the global market.
JP Morgan has import rights for up to 2 billion cubic feet
per day of gas at Cheniere's Sabine Pass terminal and also has
import capacity at the Montoir terminal in France.
The bank traded 20 physical cargoes this year, its
executive director of LNG marketing and trading said last week.
Mercuria Energy Trading: One of the world's largest
independent oil traders, Mercuria said in August it will start
trading LNG. It has hired two former BP (BP.L) LNG traders Dan
Masters and Andrew Helm. The Geneva-based company cited the
growth of the LNG market as one reason for its entry.
BofA Merrill Lynch (BAC.N): While it is unclear how active
Merrill Lynch has been in the LNG market this year, sources
said that it is on the lookout for import slots in the Isle of
Grain terminal in Britain this winter.
Credit Suisse CSGN.VX: Zurich-based Credit Suisse said it
has interest in trading LNG in the future though there are no
signs yet of the plans being put into action.
Goldman Sachs (GS.N): After buying a string of cargoes a
few years ago, there are rumours that Goldman may also be on
the lookout for cargoes going forward.
(Compiled by Edward McAllister; Editing by Lisa