Northeast Asia LNG Gains on Forecast for Summer Demand, WGI Says

Liquefied natural gas prices for delivery to Northeast Asia increased this week on summer demand for power and “bullish sentiment,” according to Energy Intelligence Group.

Spot cargoes for delivery of the power-station fuel over the next four to eight weeks rose to $15.15 per million British thermal units from $14.75 per million Btu in the period ended June 17, the research company said on the website of its World Gas Intelligence publication. The price in Southwest Europe increased to $11.60 from last week’s $11.55, according to WGI.

LNG prices will rise or remain unchanged this week as warmer summer weather in North Asia boosts demand for electricity to run air conditioners, according to four traders surveyed by Bloomberg News through June 21. Asian LNG buyers typically pay more from June through August as power consumption climbs.

Japanese utilities Kyushu Electric Power Co. and Tokyo Electric Power Co., along with South Korea’s GS Caltex Corp. and SK E&S Co Ltd. are looking to buy LNG for delivery in August and September, WGI said.

Buyers may get some relief as Russia’s Sakhalin, Australia’s Pluto and Brunei LNG projects offer as many as five spot cargoes for sale, according to the research company.

Nigeria, Africa’s biggest LNG exporter, halted shipments from June 21 as the nation’s maritime agency continued a blockade of Nigeria LNG Ltd.’s Bonny Island liquefaction plant in the south of the country, WGI said

“The impact of the blockade will be small unless it goes on for several weeks,” said Andy Flower, a former BP Plc executive who’s now a Surrey, England-based consultant.

“I expect the traders will try and use it as an excuse to try and push up prices, but there does not appear to be any buyers desperate for cargoes, and several projects are reported to be offering cargoes over the next couple of months,” according to Flower.

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