Cabinda, Angola — 18 June 2013 – Brazil was the destination of the first ever shipment of liquid natural gas from Angola, produced by Angola LNG at its processing unit in Soyo, Cabinda province, which plans to have Asian countries amongst its main customers.
Following years of preparation, including a delay of at least 18 months and an investment of US$10 billion, Artur Pereira, president of Angola LNG Marketing, announced the sale of the first shipment to state company Sociedade Nacional de Combustíveis de Angola (Sonangol), for export to Brazil aboard the Sonangol Sambizanga, reports Macauhub News Agency.
“The gas processed in Angola is starting with exports at an interesting time, when no new processing units are being planned, given that the natural gas market will remain limited,” said Pereira.
Pereira said that a “large number of shipments being processed at the Angola LNG factory, whose main shareholder is US oil company Chevron, had already been contracted or was under negotiation.
A further two or three shipments are scheduled in June and July, before a stoppage to check systems before a return to production in the fourth quarter, financial news agency Bloomberg reported.
When it was launched, the project’s target market was the United States, but the growing number of shale gas projects in the US substantially reduced demand for natural gas in the country, which required Angola LNG officials to focus on emerging markets.
“Four years ago our project was focused on the United States as its basis but, given that there was a drop in prices due to increased production, we are seeking alternative buyers,” António Órfão, chairman of Angola LNG, said last year.
The Economist Intelligence Unit reports that Asian markets are at the top of the list of alternatives, and that Japan, in particular, was showing “strong interest in buying Angolan natural gas.”
Japan, South Korea and Taiwan are currently the markets in which demand for natural gas is at its strongest.
It was initially expected that natural gas production would contribute US$1 billion to Angola’s export revenues, helping the government to reduce its dependence on oil, and market conditions are now, “more uncertain.”
Source: Macauhub News Agency. For more information, click here.