After an 18 month delay, caused by fires, a lack of skilled labour in the market, and the US shale boom that saw demand for African natural gas plummet, the first shipment of LNG from Chevron’s $10 billion LNG facility in Angola has finally set sail.
This first sale was made to Sonangol EP, the Angolan state-owned energy company, who bought the LNG and is taking it to Brazil aboard the tanker, the Sonangol Sambizanga. Artur Pereira, the chief executive officer of Angola LNG Marketing, told Fuel Fix that the plant has already signed, or are currently negotiating a large number of LNG deals with customers.
The facility in Soyo, Angola, will produce a couple of shipments in June and July, before a full check of all systems is carried out; production will then continue anew in the fourth quarter of the year.
Chevron has set itself a goal of increasing total worldwide fossil fuel output by 20% by the end of 2017, and has invested heavily in order to use LNG as the cornerstone of this expansion. In December Chevron bought a 50% stake in the Kitimat LNG terminal on Canada’s Pacific Coast, and plans on spending another $77 billion on two separate LNG projects in Australia.
George Kirklan, the vice chairman of Chevron, said that “first gas at Angola LNG is an important milestone in support of our strategic plan to grow our production. This project will commercialize natural gas resources in western Africa to meet growing demand in the region and internationally.”
Pereira stated that “Angola LNG is entering the market at an exciting time. The world LNG market is expected to remain tight over the coming years, with very limited new LNG capacity.”
John Watson, the chairman and CEO of Chevron, told analysts in March that he expects demand for LNG to grow by 15 million tonnes a year up until 2025, with Asian nations accounting for the bulk of that growth. Angola is perfectly positioned to take advantage of this growing demand in Asia.
By. Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com