The first tanker to ship liquefied natural gas (LNG) from BG Group’s AUS$20.4 billion Queensland Curtis LNG (QCLNG) project on Australia’s east coast is sailing to Singapore, where it will dock on 15 January.
The Methane Rita Andrea, owned by the London-based company, is carrying a cargo that will help meet the annual 3 million t of LNG that the Energy Market Authority, the regulator in the Asian city-state, agreed in 2008 to import over 10 years from BG. The vessel departed from Gladstone on 5 January, transmissions captured by IHS Fairplay on Bloomberg show.
BG’s QCLNG development is preparing to supply customers including China National Offshore Oil Corp. as tumbling oil prices threaten to erode the industry’s profits.
The project is the world’s first large-scale facility to turn coalbed methane (CBM) into LNG. It’s the first of seven Australian LNG developments under construction to start production and will help put the nation on course to surpass Qatar later this decade as the world’s biggest exporter of the fuel, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Two more CBM to LNG projects are expected to come online by 2H15. These are Origin Energy’s Australia Pacific LNG and the Santos-led Gladstone LNG projects.
Energy traders have been closely watching and keenly anticipating events at the QCLNG project.
“There’s a bit of interest in it because of the quality,” one trader said. “No one has ever marketed coalbed methane LNG in the spot market so it will be interesting to see where the cargoes go.”
The fact that the Methane Rita Andrea is heading to Singapore confirms predictions the LNG would be shipped to Asian markets, though some had predicted the first shipment would head to China.
Image courtesy of BG Group.
Edited from various sources by Sam Dodson
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