First exports of Angola LNG not expected until Q2
BY SARAH KENT
LONDON -- The first exports from Angola's flagship LNG project are now not expected until the second quarter of this year, extending delays to the start of the project beyond twelve months, three shipbrokers told Dow Jones Newswires.
The venture, a 5.2 MMmtpa LNG project led by Sonangol and Chevron, was supposed to begin commercial shipments at the beginning of 2012. However, the start of exports has been delayed several times. Angola LNG has access to seven LNG carriers for the future export of its gas, but two of the shipbrokers said that five of these were currently chartered to other companies in the Atlantic and wouldn't be available until the Q2, while two were currently in the Pacific Ocean.
Angola LNG was not available to comment.Speaking at the meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in Vienna in December, Angola's oil minister Jose Maria Botelho de Vasconcelos said he expected regular exports to begin in the Q1 of this year.
In addition to the delays, the large LNG project has faced challenges due to the growth of the indigenous natural gas market in the United States. Originally the plan had been to deliver the LNG from the plant to the United States market, but the shale gas boom in the country has forced the company to look for new customers in Asia and Europe.
BP, Eni and Total each hold a stake of 13.6% in the project, while Sonangol holds 22.8% and Chevron 36.4%.
Dow Jones Newswires