Qatari cargoes heading to UK, Zeebrugge as LNG production increases
Qatari LNG producers have stepped up deliveries to northwestern European terminals for the next two weeks on weak demand in contractual LNG markets and the start of regular production from Qatargas II.
UK utility Centrica is expected to take delivery of its first spot cargo from Qatar since February at the Isle of Grain, while regular deliveries are starting at the UK’s South Hook site as Qatargas II’s Train 4 achieves reliable production, according to LNG traders and port data.
The South Hook terminal will take delivery of the 210,000m3 Q-Flex vessel Onaiza, its second delivery from Qatar in the week, on 6 July, the Milford Haven port authority schedule confirmed on Friday.
Traders said a 266,000m3 Qatargas Q-Max LNG tanker, the Bu Samra, is also likely to berth at the UK terminal. The vessel loaded late last week in Qatar before setting a course for “Europe,” Lloyd’s Register Fairplay AISLive data showed. South Hook and Spain’s Bilbao are the only European terminals able to take delivery of a Q-Max vessel, the world’s largest LNG carrier class.
Traders attributed the increase in deliveries to South Hook to the Qatargas II Train 4 successfully ramping up LNG production after restarting earlier in June. One source with knowledge of the project said production from the new mega-train had reached 70–75% of its 7.8 million tonne per annum capacity, while another trader estimated production now exceeded 80%.
Centrica has also reportedly secured a cargo from Qatar’s RasGas consortium onboard the 217,000m3 Al Kharsaah, which left Ras Laffan on 25 June, market sources said.
Centrica took delivery of a spot cargo on board the same vessel on 27 January and also bought a cargo from RasGas consortium on 17 November last year.
Belgium’s Zeebrugge terminal took delivery of the 145,000m3 RasGas vessel Maersk Qatar on Tuesday with three more Qatari vessels scheduled to arrive at the port on 8, 10 and 12 July, ZEDIS port data showed on Tuesday.
Another cargo sourced from the Middle East by utility EDF, onboard the 138,000m3 Excel, which loaded in Abu Dhabi earlier this month, was diverted from the Belgian port, ICIS Heren understands. The vessel arrived at Portugal’s Sines terminal on Tuesday, according to the port authority schedule. SE
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