According to reports from Platts’ ship tracking software cFlow, China’s state-owned buyers have stepped up liquefied natural gas, LNG, imports from Nigeria, with six cargoes delivered to the country’s LNG terminals so far this year.
China imported two cargoes from the Nigeria LNG in the period between January and February 2014 and seven cargoes for the year as a whole – all in the first seven months, according to the ship tracking software and China’s import data for 2014.
The report shows that the increment comes during limited inter-basin arbitrage opportunities caused by weak demand and falling spot prices in Asian markets. In the period January to February 2014, the NBP-JKM spread averaged $7.382/MMBtu (million British thermal unit) versus $1.676/MMBtu in the same delivery months in 2015.
But most of the deliveries were said to be part of long-term supply deals between China’s state-owned buyers and portfolio sellers, sources said. State-owned PetroChina received a Nigerian cargo aboard the LNG carrier Solaris at its Rudong terminal in China’s eastern Jiangsu Province recently.
Sources said the cargo was likely a spot delivery by Shell, which currently controls the vessel and has no known long-term contracts with the buyer.
PetroChina was reported to have secured a spot cargo in December 2014, for delivery in late January or early February in the mid-to-high $9s/MMBtu, but it was unclear at the time whether Shell was the seller. PetroChina received another NLNG-sourced cargo aboard the Neo Energy to its Tangshan terminal in China’s northern Hebei Province on January 15.
Furthermore, Portfolio seller BG have delivered this cargo as part of an agreement signed with PetroChina in 2014 for the supply of LNG from the seller’s portfolio. No further details on the timeline, quantity or price of the deal were immediately available.
Elsewhere, China’s state owned buyer China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) received its fourth NLNG cargo of 2015 recently, according to cFlow. The Maran Gas Coronis also delivered the cargo to CNNOC’s Tianjin FSRU on Wednesday, cFlow data showed.
Previous NLNG deliveries to CNOOC include cargoes aboard LNG River Orashi to Shanghai LNG on February 2, the LNG Adamawa to Shanghai LNG on January 25 and the Gaslog Santiago to Tianjin FSRU on January 10.
The seller of at least some of these volumes is portfolio player BG, which has current long-term contracts with CNOOC for the supply of 3.6 million metric tonne per year – four to five cargoes a month – according to a source close to the buyer.

Johnson Alabi
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