LONDON Noble Clean Fuels (NOBG.SI) on Tuesday became the latest energy company to expand its presence in Britain's growing liquefied natural gas (LNG) market as it signed an agreement to import spare LNG at the country's South Hook terminal.
Noble joins Total Gas & Power (TOTF.PA), ConocoPhillips (COP.N), EGL EGLGF.PK, Chevron (CVX.N) and Trafigura TRAFGF.UL in securing access to spare importing slots at Britain's largest LNG terminal, which is owned by a joint venture between Qatar Petroleum International QATPE.UL, holding 70 percent, and ExxonMobil (XOM.N).
"This contract adds to Noble's portfolio of flexible assets across the shipping, supply, regasification and marketing elements of the LNG value chain in both the Atlantic and Pacific basins," said Alejandro Sanchez Gestido, global head of LNG at Noble.
The agreements do not involve financial transactions but offer an option for companies to use importing slots when they are not used by the shareholders.
South Hook Gas is in talks with other parties interested in securing spare LNG import capacity at its terminal, a spokesman said without detailing who the company was speaking with.
Britain is increasingly dependent on gas imports as its domestic supply is dwindling, while demand is projected to rise.
Recent expansions of Britain's LNG facilities mean the country is importing more and more of the super-cooled fuel from its main exporter Qatar, a dependence which can leave it vulnerable to changes in the global LNG market.
Over the first seven months of this year, Qatar sent 96 percent of Britain's total LNG imports, government data showed.
(Reporting by Karolin Schaps; editing by James Jukwey)