Global LNG prices rise as Egypt, Jordan ready major tender awards

Reuters , Saturday 10 Oct 2015

An LNG Tanker Loading in IDKU Port, Egypt (Photo: Egyptian LNG website)

Asian liquefied natural gas (LNG) prices for November delivery jumped higher this week following bullish tender results from Australia and Indonesia, as the arbitrage window between Atlantic and Pacific markets closed.

But all eyes were on Egypt and Jordan which were expected to award large purchases over the weekend, set to be the highlight of the trading calendar.

Egypt's state-run EGAS is set to finalise its 45-cargo LNG purchase tender this weekend, after inviting around seven companies to Cairo to discuss the result and iron out details.

Jordan's National Electric Power Company is due on Sunday to award an even bigger purchase tender for up to 78 cargoes between 2016-2019, traders said.

Asian spot LNG prices rose to around $6.80 per million British thermal units (mmBtu), compared with $6.60/mmBtu last week.

Gains were attributed to the recent award of cargoes from Indonesia's Tangguh export plant, which on Sept. 21 opened a tender to sell five cargoes between November and December.

"The cargoes were awarded in the high $6/mmBtu range," a trader said.

Another sale from Australia's North West Shelf project fetched above the mid-$6/mmBtu level, excluding shipping costs, the same source added.

Traders and oil majors are seeking Pacific cargoes to fulfil local supply commitments after converging global prices made it uneconomical to divert Atlantic tankers to Asia.

UK gas prices and Asian LNG spot prices were seen at parity this week, one trader said.

"Market pricing has probably bottomed, maybe turning around a little bit here, I'm not sure anyone feels there's going to be a strong rally per se, but maybe a bit oversold now and no real forthcoming supply tenders in the short term," said a trader.

A second vessel is due to load a cargo from Australia's new Gladstone export plant on Oct. 20 likely headed to Egypt, ship-tracking data suggests.

Total's president of refining and chemicals, Philippe Sauquet, told Reuters on the sidelines of an industry conference that Yemen's export plant is still mothballed but the country continues to use some of the stored LNG to supply the local gas market.

Gail India launched a tender to buy a cargo in late October, two in November and one in December. 

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