UPDATE 1-Egypt's LNG exports expected to rise in October

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SINGAPORE/LONDON, Oct 13 (Reuters) - Egypt’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports are expected to rise in October from the previous month, trading and industry sources told Reuters on Wednesday.

Egypt’s natural gas company (EGAS) recently issued a sell tender on a free-on-board basis loading Oct. 31-Nov. 1 from the country’s Damietta plant, an industry source in Singapore and a trading source in Europe said.

“Last October we had only one cargo loading out of Egypt, but this year we’ve already had five in the first half of October alone,” said Laura Page, senior LNG analyst at data intelligence firm Kpler

She added that Egypt has exported 4.3 million tonnes of LNG in the first nine months of this year, up from 0.45 Mt a year earlier, due to rising domestic gas availability and an improvement in the pricing environment.

“As domestic gas availability rises, Egypt has increasingly been able to meet domestic gas demand and allocate surplus production for export,” she said.

Rapid growth in Egypt’s natural gas supplies, boosted by the discovery of the Mediterranean’s largest field, turned it from a net importer to an exporter in late 2018. It shipped out 1.8 billion cubic metres of LNG in 2020.

The most populous Arab country hopes its location and infrastructure will help it become a link for energy trading between the Middle East, Africa and Europe.

“Egypt loadings in first half of October are expected to surpass last month’s,” data intelligence firm Kpler told Reuters, adding that it expected three cargoes each from the Damietta and Idku plants, compared to September’s total of five cargoes.

“There is a vessel loading at Idku now, and the next one is due on Oct. 16. The last loading was on Oct. 1,” Kpler said.

A report by the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC) issued in August said Egypt had contributed the largest growth to Arab countries’ overall LNG exports in the second quarter.

Egypt’s second-quarter LNG exports totalled 1.4 million tonnes, versus zero a year before.

Egypt had 2.1 trillion cubic metres (tcm) of proven natural gas reserves at the end of 2020, according to BP’s 2021 Statistical Review of World Energy, equivalent to around 1.5 billion tonnes of LNG. (Reporting by Jessica Jaganathan in Singapore and Marwa Rashad in London; Writing by Marwa Rashad; Editing by Kirsten Donovan and Jan Harvey)