21-01-2017

SK E&S imports South Korea’s first U.S. shale gas spot cargo – sources

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South Korean gas and power company SK E&S Co Ltd took delivery of the country’s first spot cargo of shale gas imported from the United States early in January, two industry sources said on Friday.

The arm of South Korean conglomerate SK Group imported 66,000 tonnes of U.S. shale gas from Cheniere Energy Inc’s Sabine Pass liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal in Louisiana, according to one industry source with direct knowledge of the matter.

Price details for the shipment, bought for use as a power station fuel, were not available, the person said. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorised to discuss the matter publicly.

The first U.S. shale gas delivery comes as the Korean government encourages domestic companies to look for more opportunities in U.S. oil and gas projects under the incoming administration of President-elect Donald Trump. South Korea is the world’s second-largest LNG buyer after Japan.

An unforeseen demand increases in northern Asia and production delays in Australia have also fuelled a wave of U.S. LNG cargoes coming into Asia. The spot purchase aside, SK E&S is scheduled to import 2.2 million tonnes a year of U.S.-originated LNG from 2019 through 2039.

A spokeswoman for the company declined to comment on the first shipment.

South Korea mostly imports LNG through state-run Korea Gas Corp, the country’s sole wholesaler. Private gas companies and utilities in South Korea are only allowed to import LNG directly for their own power generation purposes.

KOGAS is also set to import 2.8 million tonnes a year of LNG processed by Cheniere Energy under a 20-year supply deal starting this year. The first cargo is expected to arrive either in June or in July this year, a KOGAS spokesman said.

Source: Reuters

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