CNOOC sees little need for Q4 spot LNG imports
Updated: 2011-09-26 15:58
China's CNOOC, the country's largest LNG player, has little appetite for spot imports of liquefied natural gas for this winter, as a jump in Japanese demand following the March tsunami has tightened near-term supply and led to a surge in freight costs, a company official said on Sept 26.
"It's not good time to buy," the official said on the sidelines of the annual China-US energy forum. "We don't really see a shortage either from the CNOOC side as we're well-covered by term supplies, although we do occasionally import on behalf of China National Petroleum Corp when there is an emergency need to cover a pipeline gas shortage."
Spot LNG prices for delivery to North Asia have climbed to $16-17 per million British thermal units, while shipping costs have shot up to about a $110,000 daily chartering rate, more than double the rate before the devastating earthquake in March that nearly paralysed the Japanese nuclear power sector.
CNOOC, which imported 9.34 million tons of LNG last year, bought roughly 10 percent of its LNG imports from the spot market, the official said.
China imported 1.05 million tons of the super-chilled gas in August, off a record 1.18 million tons in July, with prices averaging about $9.50 per mmBtu in August, the highest this year, according to customs figures.
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