Oil and Gas

Teekay says LNG tankers for Yamal project to be delivered early

LONDON, Nov 15 (Reuters) -

* Teekay LNG says four Arctic ARC7 class liquefied natural gas tankers will be delivered three to five months earlier than scheduled next year for the northern Russian Yamal project

* Two tankers, Georgiy Ushakov and Yakov Gakkel, will be delivered on Oct. 11 and Nov. 25, 2019 from earlier delivery of January and February 2020

* Two other tankers, Nikolay Yevgenov and Vladimir Voronin, to arrive June 4 and Aug. 9 2019, instead of October and November 2019

* The Yamal LNG production plant, operated by independent Russian gas producer Novatek, has been ramping up production much faster than expected

* Industry watchers say production from its two online and one commissioning plants, called trains, has been constrained by the number of ice-breaker tankers available to carry away the gas

* Arc7 carriers have the ability to use the Northern Sea Route during the summer from Russia to Asia. During winter they must go westwards to Europe

* There are seven Arc7 LNG tankers operating out of Yamal, with an eighth expected to join them by the end of this month

* Yamal’s three trains have a capacity of 16.5 million tonnes a year (mtpa); production from there has been a bearish factor in global spot LNG markets

* It has also helped boost LNG shipping freight rates as many of Yamal cargoes are transferred to other tankers in Europe for onward journeys to Asia, reducing availability of LNG carriers (Reporting by Sabina Zawadzki; Editing by Susan Fenton)