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Tsakos sees 50-50 bubble in LNG shipping

58128 fcras 11/6 2012 08:51

Tsakos sees 50-50 chance of bubble in LNG shipping market

Monday, 11 June 2012 ' 00:00

There's a 50 percent possibility that a bubble is developing in liquefied natural gas shipping as owners accelerate vessel ordering, according to Nikolas Tsakos, president of Greece's biggest public tanker company.

Tsakos Energy Navigation Ltd. will sign a contract to build two LNG carriers on June 4, expanding its fleet to five, Tsakos, who's also chief executive officer, said in a May 28 interview at his office in Athens. Greek owners' share of the global order book for the ships is 45 percent, according to data from Clarkson Plc, the world's largest shipbroker.

Japan's March 11 earthquake and tsunami last year led to the shutdown of nuclear power, driving up demand for LNG as an alternative fuel and spurring owners to accelerate ordering after freight rates rose to a record. The industry is echoing a boom that took place in oil markets about half a century ago, according to analysts including Andreas Vergottis, research director at to Tufton Oceanic Ltd., manager of the world's largest shipping hedge fund.

"There's a 50-50 chance" fleet growth will expand faster than demand, Tsakos said. "One scenario tells you that natural gas transportation is where the tankers used to be in the 1950s and 1960s, when it was a very small niche market with long-term contracts run by Greeks. If we are following a similar pattern for LNG, we don't have to worry, there's a lot of space for people to grow."

Forty three LNG carriers were ordered after the tsunami last year and a further 17 in 2012, data from Clarkson show. Excluding the Tsakos orders, 73 LNG carriers are booked to be built at global shipyards, including 33 by Greek-controlled companies, according to Clarkson. The global trading fleet numbers 372.

A shortage of LNG vessels lifted hire costs for single voyages and 12-month charters to a record this year, aided by slumping demand for imported LNG in the U.S. and Europe and the acceleration in Japan, the biggest importer. That spurred a redirection of shipments over longer distances, tying up the carriers for longer and lifting utilisation.

The negative scenario for owners, according to Tsakos, is that demand for the vessels expands more slowly than anticipated, creating a surplus as the new carriers join the fleet, he said.
The increased demand seen in 2011 and 2012 could imply "a local bubble created by the Fukushima nuclear accident," he said.

Source: Bloomberg

Tsakos Energy Navigation Ltd.(TNP)

GasLog (GLOG)

Teekay LNG Partners (TGP)


Golar LNG Partners (GMLP)

Awilco LNG (ANLG.OL)


LNG World News.


11/6 2012 10:20 fcras 158133

U.S. likely to cap gas exports - analysts....................................

Monday, 11 June 2012 ' 11:00

Industrial lobbying in the United States is likely to put a cap on potentially huge natural gas exports, benefiting domestic industries such as petrochemicals and refining, but limiting export profits from gas-hungry Asia and Europe.

The U.S. has experienced a boom in shale gas exploration, which will potentially turn it from a net importer of natural gas into a gas exporter. Several companies have applied for licences to export excess domestic reserves to Europe and Asia.

Baringa, a London-based consultancy with a focus on energy, said that between 40 and 80 billion cubic metres (bcm) of liquefied natural gas (LNG) will be exported each year, starting from 2015.

These figures are below some estimates that expect U.S. LNG exports to rise above 110 bcm by 2020, but Baringa's Jayesh Parmar and other analysts have said that political pressure could limit export capacities.
"There is a lot of lobbying in the U.S. to limit LNG exports and to instead use the gas to allow the domestic industry to benefit from low energy prices," Parmar told Reuters.

"Petrochemicals and refined products, as well transportation industries that use natural gas, stand to gain from such a policy, and this could change the entire oil balance in the U.S. economy."

A report this week by Eurasia Group, the New York-based political risk consultancy, said: "Resource nationalism is the biggest political risk to U.S. LNG (exports), with many opponents to exports concerned about the impact on domestic natural gas prices."

While reduced LNG exports from the United States may mean that some of the proposed export terminals will not receive government approval, the volumes are expected to be sufficient to affect gas markets.

Baringa said that 40-80 bcm of annual export capacity "might not be massive on a global scale, but on a European scale it would have significant impact when compared with Britain's annual consumption of 100 bcm."

Parmar said that exports would begin around 2015 and gradually rise to their peak as new export licences for LNG terminals become available. "We expect around two or three (out of five) currently proposed U.S. LNG export terminals to go all the way to exporting gas," he said.

So far, only Cheniere Energy's LNG plant at Sabine Pass, Louisiana, has export approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which will pave the way for construction of a shipping terminal as early as 2015. Customers from Europe, India and South Korea having signed long-term supply deals with Cheniere.

Since giving approval for Sabine Pass, the U.S. government has suspended decisions on expanding U.S. gas exports until a study on the price impact on domestic consumers is completed late summer.

Although Asia would be the most profitable LNG export market, Baringa said that the majority of U.S. tankers would end up in Europe because most of the export terminals will be in the Atlantic basin.

"Most LNG export terminals will be in the Gulf of Mexico or on the U.S. East Coast, so physically it is hard for that gas to be contracted with the most attractive market (Asia)," Parmar said.

"The contractual flow of the incremental LNG from the U.S. exports might head to Asia. Given the location of the export terminals, the physical flows may well stay in the North Atlantic but result in displacing other LNG flows so that the effect would be increased delivery into Asia."

Parmar also said that while U.S. gas exports would impact global prices, they would not entirely wipe out the massive price differentials between gas prices in North America, Europe and Asia.

U.S. natural gas prices currently trade at about $2.5 per million British thermal units (mmBtu), Europe's around $9 and Asia's above $18 per mmBtu.

Source: Reuters

Cheniere Energy (LNG)
Photo: Cheniere Energy's Sabine Pass LNG terminal


11/6 2012 16:29 Tonny9 058165

Hele gasmarkede er spændende.

Jeg har meget svært ved og vurderer LNG og hvor rentabelt det er og sejle rundt med gas.

Det gør man jo i dag med olie og olieprisen er derfor nærmest en "world wide" pris.
Det kan man ikke sige om naturgasprisen, som er langt mere lokalt prissat.

Tror man på LNG, så bør man vel også tro på, at naturgassen, ligesom olien i dag, vil blive prisat efter en "world wide" pris.

Hvem bliver så vinder og taber i det spil?

Taberne må blive producenterne af naturgas i Europa.
Gazprom vil ikke vinde på denne udvikling, da de i dag næsten har Europa som deres private markede.
(jeg har så alligevel købt Gazprom i dag, men sådan er der så meget)

Vinderne må være producenterne af naturgas i USA, som i stedet for og sælge deres naturgas uhørt billigt i USA, kan eksporterer den til Europa.

Vinderne bliver også aftagerne af naturgas i Europa, herunder forbrugerne.
Forbrugerne i USA taberne.

Tror man på det her, så bør man måske begynde og samle op i nogle af de selskaber der udvinder naturgas i USA, for de prissættes jo meget lavt i øjeblikket p.g.a. den lave afregningspris.

Det eneste bud jeg har er Enerplus, som jeg selv har, men det er slet ikke en anbefaling. Den er vel bare en blandt mange muligheder.

Men jeg kan se 2 "jokere" i det her.

1. Hvor lang tid vil der gå før det påvirker gasprisen i USA????

2. Der er masser af skiffergas spredt ud over Europa også, så Europa kan også bare hive den op selv.
Men vil vi det?
Der sættes jo nogle miljømæssige spørgsmål ved og gøre det????
Mit bud er, at Polen gør det, mens resten af Europa undlader det. I hvert fald i starten.

12/6 2012 12:32 Nippon1976 158202

Jeg læste at omkostningerne er ca 2$ og med en gaspris i USA på lidt over 2$ og så er det stadig meget billigere end gaspriser i f.eks Europa ogRusland, hvor jeg har læst om priser mellem 9 og 13 USD.

12/6 2012 20:24 Tonny9 058212

Er der ikke noget med, at Total har en ret stor andel af LNG gasproduktion?

Jeg tænker på, man skulle måske starte med og købe et selskab som er disponeret mod LNG, men også har andre aktiviteter.
Lidt ligesom og købe Simens fordi man også gerne vil være disponeret mod vindmøller, men uden den der "alt eller inter" strategi der er i og købe Vestas......

Jeg mener gasprisen i USA lige p.t. er omkring 2,25 dollar og hvis vi hertil lægger de 2 doller i transport, så giver det god mening for Europa og købe Gas i USA.