LNG carrier spot rates soar as US export developments continue apace

The nearby spot rates for chartering large LNG carriers have been soaring at a time when future US export projects, fueling forward activity, continue to be given the “green-light”.

Recent reports from equity analysts, LNG has provided news that has featured prominently. Analysts at Cowen Securities have highlighted developments at Cheniere and Tellurian Cheniere, which has been a first mover among exporters, has been exporting cargo from Sabine Pass, on the Texas Louisiana border, since 2016, with its next facility, in Corpus Christi, set to come on line later this year.

The Cowen report highlighted regulatory approvals on Phase 3 at Corpus, which would come on stream in 2021, when Cheniere’s overall “nameplate” capacity- at Sabine and at Corpus, would exceed 20m metric tons annually.

Cowen notes that Tellurian’s Driftwood project, where molecules would be exported from a facility near Lake Charles, La, has seen a slight delay into early 2019, in obtaining a federal authorisation of its Environmental Impact Statement. They comment: “The approvals can still accommodate the company's goal for FID in 1H19 with operations commencing 2023.” If all the stars align, this project would be able to produce approximately 27m tons a year of LNG for export; the first phase would have the capacity for 11m tons a year of exports - if it goes according to plan.

While US exports, moving across the Atlantic and to the Pacific, through the Panama Canal, said to be increasing the number of allowed ....

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