(Clarifies attribution of official in paragraph 4)
* First term supply from Oman Trading arrives at Bangladesh early
* Excellence FSRU operations ramped up to 100 percent
* Bangladesh prepares for spot imports
By Ruma Paul
DHAKA, Jan 31 (Reuters) - Bangladesh has imported its first liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargo from Oman Trading International, its long-term supplier of the super-chilled fuel, after construction at a domestic pipeline was completed.
The LNG tanker Cape Ann, with a capacity of about 135,000 cubic metres, arrived at the floating storage regasification unit (FSRU) Excellence, offshore Bangladesh’s Moheshkhali island, on Jan. 29 after loading LNG from Nigeria earlier this month, according to an official from state-owned energy company Petrobangla and data from Refinitiv Eikon.
Bangladesh’s 1 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) deal with Oman had been expected to start later this year after a second FSRU started operations. The country also has an ongoing 2.5 mtpa deal with Qatar’s RasGas.
“We had been looking for one more cargo after a pipeline was ready. We started discussions with Qatar and Oman Trading, but Qatar was unable to supply more for now while Oman Trading came forward to start supplying LNG,” said the official from Petrobangla, who asked to remain unidentified since he is not authorized to speak to the media.
He added that the Excellence, with a regasification capacity of 500 million cubic feet per day, is now able to run at full capacity after construction of a 30-km (19-mile) gas transmission pipeline in southern Bangladesh was completed in late November.
Bangladesh has a 10-year LNG import deal with Oman Trading International. That LNG will be priced at 11.9 percent of the three-month average price of Brent crude oil plus a constant price of 40 cents per million British thermal units (mmBtu).
Under its 15-year deal with Qatar, Bangladesh agreed to pay 12.65 percent of the three-month average price of Brent oil plus a constant of 50 cents per mmBtu.
Separately, the company is moving ahead with plans to import LNG by shortlisting about 30 companies out of a total of 42 for its spot tender process, said a second Petrobangla official, who also asked not to be identified.
The companies include Trafigura, Gunvor, Vitol Asia, Itochu Corp, Royal Dutch Shell, Total SA, Chevron Corp, Woodside Petroleum Ltd, RasGas, AOT Energy and Engie SA, he said.
Petrobangla plans to sign sales and purchase agreement with the shortlisted companies and traders who have signed these agreements will then be able to participate in spot tenders the company will issue later when cargoes are needed, the official added. (Reporting by Ruma Paul in DHAKA; writing by Jessica Jaganathan; editing by Christian Schmollinger)