New gas curtailment in Trinidad sparks jump in US spot methanol

05 August 2011 18:53  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Another curtailment of the natural gas supply in Trinidad has sparked a jump in spot methanol prices this week, sources said on Friday.

Methanol and ammonia producers said the state-owned National Gas Co (NGC) of Trinidad and Tobago told companies the gas supply would be curtailed by 20-30% beginning on 1 August for an unknown duration.

Spot methanol prices have been climbing over the past week, rising as high as 127 cents/gal before falling back to a range of 123-124 cents/gal on Friday, sources said. Spot prices closed last week at 118-120 cents/gal.

Some of that jump came in response to last week’s 10-11 cents/gal increase in the August contract. But sources said the latest curtailment in Trinidad also has been a contributing factor, signalling more supply tightening.

NGC could not be reached immediately for comment on the curtailment.

The latest cutback comes less than three months after the company restored gas to the Point Lisas Industrial Estate, the complex of methanol, ammonia and other chemical producers in Trinidad. Norway-based Yara, which operates three ammonia plants there, said earlier this week it had been notified by NGC of the cutback.

Additional reporting by Frank Zaworski

($1 = €0.71)

For more on methanol, ammonia and potash visit ICIS chemical intelligence

By: Lane Kelley
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