Japan may turn to Nigeria for LNG spot cargoes

NLNG Gas Ship16 August 2013, Lagos – Faced with an imminent energy crisis, Japan may look to Nigeria for spot cargoes of liquefied natural gas, LNG, as its South Korean counterpart has done.

A heat wave in energy-hungry Japan last week and the scheduled shutdown of the country’s two operating nuclear reactors next month may boost consumption of LNG, World Gas Intelligence has said.

There may be spot cargoes available from Nigeria, Trinidad and Tobago, Algeria, Yemen, Norway, Russia, Brunei and Malaysia to meet the country’s demand for late September and October, according to the research company.

Spot cargoes are cargoes which are available for immediate loading.

Japan, which lacks oil and gas at home coupled with hitches being encountered with its nuclear energy programme, needs to import more oil and gas and sees Africa as a priority region, Africa Energy Intelligence said in a recent report.

The state-owned Japan Oil, Gas, and Metals National Corporation, JOGMEC, is to spend nearly $2 billion in the coming years to help Japanese firms increase their footprint in Africa’s oil and gas sectors.

South Korea is scheduled to receive as many as four spot LNG cargoes from Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG) and a Peruvian shipment during the next two weeks, according to ship tracking transmissions captured by IHS Fairplay on Bloomberg.

South Korea’s government urged efforts to conserve electricity as the nation faces shortages following shutdowns in a nuclear power industry that supplies 30 percent of the nation’s generating capacity. The Shin-Kori No. 2 and Shin-Wolsong No. 1 reactors will be shut for about four months to replace control cables supplied under fake quality warranties.

Exports from NLNG, Africa’s biggest LNG exporter, resumed July 26 after the company lifted a force majeure.

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, halted a blockade on ships leaving and entering the Bonny Island loading bay after settling a court case July 12 with NLNG over a tax issue.

– Femi Asu, Business Day

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