Russian supply glitches, Asian demand lifts spot price
Asian spot liquefied natural gas (LNG) prices rose to a one-month high this week on supply disruption from Russia and buying interest from China and India, several trade sources said.
The average LNG price for April delivery into Northeast Asia was estimated at about $6.50 per million British thermal units (mmBtu), up about 80 cents from the previous week, sources said.
Prices for cargoes delivered in May were estimated at about $6.55 per mmBtu, they added.
“Strength in April (prices) is due to short covering from Sakhalin outages,” a Singapore-based source said, adding that buying interest from Chinese also boosted prices.
Russia’s Sakhalin Energy, the international operator of a pioneering liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant in eastern Russia, said it had to make changes to its LNG output on March 1 after the failure of one of two gas pumping aggregates.
A trade source said one of the two trains at Sakhalin-2 plant has been offline following the accident.
In Australia, Chevron Corp plans to shut Train 3 at the Gorgon plant off Western Australia in the second quarter for maintenance and weld inspections, the company said.
China’s Unipec was seeking nine cargoes for delivery over April to May. It likely paid about $6 to $6.10 for the April cargoes, one source said.
China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC) was also seeking two cargoes for delivery in April, while Shenzhen Energy likely bought a cargo for delivery in April at $6.20 to $6.50, traders said.
Japan’s Hokkaido Gas was seeking a cargo for delivery in April while Kuwait Petroleum Corp was seeking a cargo for mid-April, they added.
In India, Indian Oil Corp was seeking a cargo for April while Gujarat State Petroleum Corp (GSPC) was seeking three cargoes for delivery over April to June, the sources said.
On the sell side, Malaysia’s Petronas offered a cargo for April loading while Donggi Senoro offered a cargo for loading in May, they added.
Brunei likely sold a cargo for late April delivery into North Asia at $6.20 to $6.30 per mmBtu, one source said.