| PERTH June 24
PERTH June 24 Spot prices of liquefied natural
gas (LNG) in Asia were seen remaining under $14.00 per million
British thermal units (mmBtu), with much of the summer needs
covered, market sources said.
"I think a lot of what went on earlier in the year were a
number of mid-term deals were agreed that took a little demand
out of the summer and potentially out of the winter too," one
Asia-based market source said.
"Even though there are a lot of cargoes being delivered,
they are certainly not being priced in the spot market-- they
are part of previous deals."
Spot prices are seen around $13.90 per mmBtu, up slightly
from around $13.80 per mmBtu last week, and the source said a
number of buyers had recently been side-stepping the spot market
in the wake of the Japanese earthquake that increased demand for
the supercooled fuel.
The spot market has also slowed due to a lack of available
LNG tankers to transport the fuel and in recent weeks some
suppliers have been unable to participate in tenders due to the
lack of ships, sources said.
Demand for LNG tankers is so high that a jump in orders for
the ships could cause difficulties in finding qualified staff to
run them in the months and years ahead, according to one
shipping recruiter firm.
The Japanese earthquake brought several nuclear reactors
offline, increasing demand for LNG. Energy consultancy Wood
Mackenzie said this week that surplus global gas supplies could
disappear as early as winter 2012 part due to increasing demand
from quake-hit Japan.
South Korea said earlier this week it is seeking ways to
increase liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) consumption as an
alternative to liquefied natural gas (LNG) to avert supply
NEW SUPPLIES, NEW BUYERS
Inpex Corp , Japan's top oil and gas developer, said
on Friday it has secured buyers to cover the entire annual
output of 8.4 million tonnes from its Ichthys liquefied natural
gas (LNG) project in Australia.
The agreements with Japan's Chubu Electric Power ,
Toho Gas and Taiwan's CPC Corp bring the project closer
to making a final investment decision on the project which it
has said it will take in the last quarter of the year.
Another Australian project, Woodside Petroleum's
flagship Pluto LNG project has been delayed by another six
months to March 2012 and reported an almost $1 billion cost
Thai terminal operator PTT has bought a second cargo of LNG
from Qatargas to commission Thailand's first LNG import
terminal, on top of the 1 million tonnes a year PTT has agreed
to buy from Qatari LNG from late 2011.
The state-run Thai company needs additional super-cooled
natural gas to prepare the new Map Ta Phut LNG import facility
for the expected start of commercial operations in July.
In Europe, Israel is looking to augment its depleting
supplies with new drilling and liquefied natural gas imports
while energy companies rush to develop its recently found
off-shore reserves as it faces a shortage of gas in 2012.
For a table showing LNG tankers heading to Northwest Europe,
For tankers heading to the US, click here:
(Editing by Ed Lane)