Sam Ikeotuonye 07 September 2016, Sweetcrude, Lagos – The Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas, NLNG, plant on Bonny Island Rivers State has bounced back to normal production after last month’s production disruptions caused by a break in a pipeline supplying gas to the multi-dollar plant.
Nigeria LNG shook off the production disruptions, bringing good news to the Nigerian government and the company’s other shareholders – the Royal Dutch Shell, French oil giant Total and Italy’s multinational conglomerate Eni.
The Nigerian government particularly has been in dire straits following poor crude oil prices since last year, which has cut its earnings considerably, threatening the success of its N6.06 trillion budget for this year.
Trade sources maintained that vessels were now leaving the plant regularly. “The September loading programme shows no disruption to supply,” one source said.
In mid-August the plant canceled cargoes earmarked for project stakeholders, including 4-5 cargoes for Shell, 1 for Enel and 2 for Total, it was learnt.
In fellow African country, Angola, the country’s LNG plant, shut for maintenance since July, may resume output before late September as two vessels, the Lobito and Soyo, are due to arrive at the plant by mid month, shipping data shows.
The Nigerian and Angolan development came as Asian LNG prices fell last week while traders awaited the outcome of two tenders and Argentina turned away shipments due to mild weather curbing demand, Reuters reported.
A major tender expected from Egyptian Natural Gas Holding, EGAS, to buy 120 cargoes for 2017, which sources said could be launched last weekend, was the market focus.
Bids under the Brent-priced tender will be due by October and awards are to be finalised by the end of November at the latest, one trading source said.
“They are trying to extend credit terms to 120 days,” he added. In December EGAS extended payment terms to 90 days from the previous 15 days due to a foreign currency crisis.
Asian spot prices for October delivery traded at $5.30 per million British thermal units (mmBtu), 20 cents below he previous week’s levels, trading sources said.
Argentina’s state-run buyer Enarsa said it had canceled one shipment and delayed three cargoes until next year because of one of the warmest Augusts in a decade. Elsewhere in Africa, Algeria’s Sonatrach was still heard offering cargoes for October loading, according to traders.