September 22, 2022

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Spanish LNG Imports Pass 2020, 2021 Levels On Strong Supply

September saw Spanish LNG imports surpassing levels seen during the full-year of 2021 and 2020, while reloads from the country’s terminals have been also increasing in the last two months following a rather quite summer on the reloading front.

Spain, home of Europe’s largest LNG import capacity with 44 million tons/ per year, has received 15.57 million tons of LNG so far this year, according to data by energy analytics firm Kpler, representing a 0.54 million tons rise compared to the whole of last year and a 0.09 million tons increase compared to full-year 2020.

While the US, Russia and Nigeria remained the top suppliers of Spain, supply also rose from less frequent exporters such as Cameroon and Trinidad and Tobago.

One cargo from Trinidad and Tobago’s Point Fortin plant was already delivered to Spain at the beginning of September, while a second one, on board of the 138,059 cubic meters BW Boston, is scheduled to be unloaded at the Huelva terminal on Sep. 25, according to a Spanish cargo arrival schedule obtained by Energy Intelligence.

This will be the first time since February that two full cargoes from Trinidad arrive in Spain.

Meanwhile, the Cameroonian cargo was delivered to the Sagunto terminal on Sep. 26 by the 155,000 cubic meters Gaslog Santiago and was the first cargo from the African country to Spain since April.

Trading Houses Remain Active

Besides the major Spanish LNG buyers, such as utilities Naturgy and Endesa, Swiss trading firms remained particularly active in purchasing cargoes into Spain this month.

For instance, the arrival schedule showed that the cargo from Cameroon was sold by Sefe Marketing and Trading, the sole entity with an offtake contract from the Cameroon floating LNG plant, with commodity trading house Trafigura being the final buyer. Another Swiss trading firm, Lugano-based DXT Commodities, also was involved in the trade.

DXT Commodities was also the buyer of a cargo from Russia’s Yamal LNG plant, which was discharged at the Mugardos terminal on Sep. 10, while, the Spanish subsidiary of Switzerland-based Met Group was the buyer of another Yamal LNG cargo, which was delivered to Mugardos on Sep. 5.

Looking ahead to next month, Norwegian Equinor will deliver what seems to be a partial cargo to the Cartagena terminal on Oct. 3.

The 180,000 cubic meters Prism Brilliance, laden with a cargo from the US Sabine Pass terminal, was set to unload at the Sagunto terminal on Oct. 3, but on Sep. 21 the vessel switched its AIS broadcasting signal to France’s Dunkirk terminal, which may suggest that it has been diverted from the Spanish facility toward the French terminal. The arrival schedule showed Chinese state-owned Petrochina as the seller of this cargo.

Reloads Return

Cargo reloads from Spanish terminals have also returned in the last couple of months after June and July saw no large-scale reloads from the country.

In August, five large-scale reloads were carried out at Spanish terminals, however, only one reload has been performed so far this month, with the 174,000 cubic meters Transgas Force receiving a cargo from the Sagunto terminal. It was not immediately clear whether the vessel has lifted a full or only a partial cargo.

Meanwhile, the reload to the 170,032 cubic meters Hoegh Esperanza, which was scheduled for Sep. 17 at the Barcelona terminal was cancelled, Energy Intelligence understands.

Daniel Stemler, Madrid

Argentine President Calls For Rapid LNG Buildout

Argentina’s president on Wednesday called for rapid development of natural gas exports to seize on the currently tight market, although the nation has struggled to support LNG infrastructure in the past.

Speaking at an industry event in Houston, President Alberto Fernandez said he had spoken this week with French President Emmanuel Macron about the European energy crisis in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has left the continent scrambling for gas supply.

“Argentina has a great opportunity here,” he said through an interpreter. “And we must take advantage of it. I don't want to lose that.”

Not One, Many

LNG exports have been a long-held dream of the Argentine oil and gas industry, but previous efforts have proved challenging. The Tango floating LNG unit, built on order from Argentina’s YPF to ship natural gas to the globe, came online in 2019.

But the floater was resold to builder Exmar just two years later after gas production volumes in Argentina lagged expectations and LNG prices fell during the pandemic-driven energy downturn.

Further, experts warned last year that economic and political instability as well as the high cost of building infrastructure in the nation could hamper LNG development for a decade.

However, there has been some hope recently, as Malaysia's Petronas revealed earlier this month it would research a $10 billion export scheme with YPF.

But Fernandez said Argentina needs more than one terminal. “It needs many LNG plants,” he said.

Protecting Investment

The recent economic and political turmoil have inhibited investment in the nation’s energy sector, although the Fernandez government has promised to protect investments and boost incentives.

On Wednesday, Fernandez reiterated those promises to conference attendees, many of whom work for companies with operations in Argentina.

His government “will pass a draft law to assure and protect the investments made for the energy sector in Argentina, and especially for gas plant construction,” he said. “This is what we must do.”

Caroline Evans, Houston


In Brief

US Sen. Manchin Unveils LNG, Pipeline Permitting Bill

US Sen. Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) unveiled his much-talked about bill this week aimed at reforming approvals for major energy projects such as pipelines, LNG and transmission projects.

The release sets up a potential showdown over the next week as US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) has pledged to tie the permitting bill to a must-pass stopgap funding measure to avert a government shutdown.

Broadly speaking, the legislation aims to hold federal agencies to a one to two year shot clock for completing environmental reviews of major energy projects and limit the number of agencies involved — a factor that often bogs down project reviews. Trump-era data shows an average of four years for National Environmental Policy Act (Nepa) reviews, which pipeline developers and LNG interests for years have said adds layers of unpredictability to project cost projections.

Additionally, the bill would set a 150-day time limit to bring litigation — a key point because Nepa reviews of energy projects often become subject to environmentalist lawsuits — and require agencies to act to fix a remanded or vacated permit within six months of its vacatur by a court.

Right now, at least four Senate Democrats are objecting to attaching the permitting bill, which they charge poses environmental justice concerns to communities located near major oil and gas infrastructure, to the emergency funding measure known as the continuing resolution, which must pass by Sept. 30. The Senate needs at least 60 votes to advance the bill, meaning some Republican support is going to be necessary.

Bridget DiCosmo, Washington


Data Snapshot

LNG Netbacks at Key Receiving Terminals

LNG Exporter Netbacks Between Key Receiving Ports
($/MMBtu)AlgeriaAustralia WestAustralia EastMalaysiaNigeriaNorwayOmanPeruQatarRussiaTrinidadUS GulfUS East Coast
Dahej, India36.5337.0336.5337.0336.0535.8937.6135.3937.5036.5935.6935.3535.77
Sodegaura, Japan36.9738.6338.6538.7736.8732.6338.1535.5038.0039.1935.9934.9137.12
Zeebrugge, Belgium30.2628.3427.8628.4529.6730.0829.2527.8529.0927.8929.8028.6829.91
Huelva, Spain37.2435.3034.8135.4136.6036.3336.2134.7036.0634.8436.6635.4136.67
Isle of Grain, UK27.2825.3824.9125.4826.7227.0826.4124.9126.1224.9426.8225.7226.93
Everett, US4.392.663.042.754.053.870.013.583.332.254.62----
Created with Highcharts 9.0.0($/MMBtu)QATAR TO NORTHEAST ASIANetbackNetback18. Apr2. May16. May30. May13. Jun27. Jun11. Jul25. Jul8. Aug22. Aug5. Sep19. Sep10203040506070Energy Intelligence

LNG Market Indicators

Spot LNG Pricing
Latest WGIDailyDaily Chg.Chg. From Latest WGI
NE Asia42.0039.980.09-2.02
SW Europe37.7537.931.440.18
Futures Pricing
($/MMBtu)Chg.LatestPreviousWeek Ago
Henry Hub, US (futures)-0.697.097.788.32
NBP, UK (futures)-0.9032.3733.2843.51
European Spot Pricing
Chg.LatestPreviousWeek Ago
Dutch TTF-2.5449.0151.5554.78
Zeebrugge (Belgium)-2.1328.9731.1140.66
German NCG0.4551.6951.2556.85
NBP (UK)1.4628.1426.6834.89
US Markets
US Spot Prices
Sabine Pass, Louisiana-0.247.768.008.56
Corpus Christi, Texas----7.477.84
Cove Point, Maryland-1.465.496.957.27
Elba Island, Georgia0.767.767.007.86
Nymex Henry Hub Futures
Near Month-0.697.097.788.32
Second Mth-0.637.197.838.37
Third Mth-0.617.387.998.52
Created with Highcharts 9.0.0($/MMBtu)GLOBAL GAS PRICINGUS NymexDutch TTFNE AsiaOct '21Nov '21Dec '21Jan '22Feb '22Mar '22Apr '22May '22Jun '22Jul '22Aug '22Sep '220255075100125Energy Intelligence