Golar LNG Limited announced today that it has entered into a ninety day Vessel Charter Option Agreement with LNG Partners, LLC (Houston, TX) to prospectively provide two of its newbuild LNG carriers under long term charter agreements beginning Q1 2015. The Option is being provided by Golar to LNG Partners in order to facilitate deliveries of LNG production from the Douglas Channel LNG Project in British Columbia, Canada to DES LNG Buyers. In the event LNG Partners and its DES LNG Buyers are successful in securing LNG off-take from the project through participation in the Nomination Procedures of BC LNG Export Co-Operative, then the Parties will enter into full Charter Agreements under standard industry terms.
Golar has 11 newbuild LNG carriers on order with Samsung Heavy Industries and Hyundai Samho Heavy Indutries with the delivery of the initial vessel planned for September 2013.
The Douglas Channel Project, in which LNG Partners is an equity owner, is a proposed liquefaction facility on the west bank of the Douglas Channel, within the District of Kitimat (British Columbia) and the asserted traditional territory of the Haisla Nation. The project, through BC LNG Export Co-Operative, has initiated a Request for Nominations for both feed gas supply and LNG off-take. Under the terms of the Initial Request For Nominations, BC LNG Co-Op Members must provide Nominations on or before October 19, 2012.
In consideration for this option agreement with LNG Partners, Golar will receive certain preferential rights to participate with LNG Partners in the Douglas Channel LNG Project, either through investment in infrastructure, provision of suitable export vessels, or LNG off-take.
Golar LNG Limited's Chairman John Fredriksen commented "We are excited to support the Douglas Channel LNG Project in its efforts to reach Final Investment Decision and believe that the venture has a great opportunity of becoming North America's First LNG Export Project in over 40 years."
This part sounds interesting... "In consideration for this option agreement with LNG Partners, Golar will receive certain preferential rights to participate with LNG Partners in the Douglas Channel LNG Project, either through investment in infrastructure, provision of suitable export vessels, or LNG off-take."
Canada... Spectra Energy, perhaps? Recently signed an agreement with BG Group to jointly (50/50)develop a pipeline to carry NG to a new LNG export facility at Prince Rupert, located a bit further northr of Kitimat. May be worth a look.
Confusing! I think this is purely GLNG, entering into an agreement with LNG Partners (that's the name of the company) as a contingency for them to sign an agreement with a purchaser.
Since the Douglas Channel Project has a middle to low probability of launching, this isn't the kind of announcement I'm looking for from GLNG. There are closer availabilities (first new ship is schedules for Sept 2013, and reactivations should be trading this winter!).
BC was awarded a 20 yr contract for LNG export from this site, in April 2012. Exports are slatted to begin in 2014 from this site. This project is quite mature, has completed it's regulatory reviews, and is in technical development phase.
GLNG involvement as a vessel supplier is a very positive sign, and there is strong likelihood that the 2 vessels will indeed receive long term charter commitments. If so, then these 2 new builds will likely subsequently become drop downs to Golar Partners, creating yet addition
Windfall for GLNG shareholders, while providing long term income security for Partners.
As to having closer availabilites, the 2 old vessels which have been reactivated, and would trade in spot,will likely eventually become FSRU conversion candidates. Current spot is weak, though that could change of course with the weather, and rates have fallen to $120,000 per day.