Third Yamal LNG Cargo Docks at Montoir: Update
Updates with transshipment details, para 2
This third cargo of LNG from the Novatek-operated Yamal LNG export terminal in Sabetta arrived on board the Cyprus-registered 170,000 m³ ice-class Fedor Litke at the Montoir terminal, on France's Atlantic coast, at 11.20 am local time (10.20 GMT) January 10, according to shipping data January 10.
According to the website of terminal operator Elengy, the gas was reloaded on to another, conventional tanker, for forward shipment to its final market. There were no flows into the French grid.
The first cargo, sold to Petronas, was shipped to the UK on the Christophe de Margerie but not regasified there; some of the volume unloaded to tank was then subsequently seen reloaded onto Gaselys, due to arrive January 22 for supply into the US northeast which has seen high demand and rocketing prices. But there's some doubt if that reload volume was indeed the Petronas cargo. A second cargo arrived in Spain this week, after being trans-shipped on to the Clean Ocean from the Boris Vilkitsky at Rotterdam.
If the third cargo had been regasified into the French gas system, it would have been the first time that Russian LNG has competed with Russian pipeline gas, albeit on a very limited scale. Spain and Portugal are effectively cut off from the rest of Europe, where gas pipelines are concerned, and so can pay higher prices.
The cargo unloaded last month at the UK Isle of Grain terminal so that ice-class LNG carrier Christophe de Margerie could return promptly to Sabetta, where she could be put to better use in the icy waters surrounding the Yamal Peninsula.
Novatek Gas & Power, the trading arm of Novatek, signed long-term agreements in 2015 for transshipment of Yamal cargoes with Fluxys and Engie-owned Elengy relating to Zeebrugge terminal in Belgium and Montoir respectively; these long-term transshipment agreements may kick in only once Yamal LNG is past the commissioning phase and its long-term supply contracts have started in the spring.
The US Administration has made much of its ability to deliver LNG to a Europe heavily dependent on Russian gas, and so it would be a striking contradiction of that aspiration if Russian LNG were to be re-exported from the UK to the higher-priced northeast US market – all the more so as there is LNG production in Louisiana, where the Henry Hub price has been a fraction of the northeast US price.