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GLOBAL LNG-Asian LNG prices rise on delay in Gorgon restart

Asian spot LNG prices rose to a four-month high, supported by an extended shutdown of one of the production lines at Australia's Gorgon plant following maintenance works.

The average LNG price for September delivery into northeast Asia was estimated at around $2.70 per million British thermal units (mmBtu), $0.25 per mmBtu above last week's level.

The maintenance on Train 2 of the giant Gorgon project began on May 23 and a restart was initially planned on July 11 but has been delayed until early September.

Gorgon is carrying out the repair work after a routine inspection of the train's propane heat exchangers during planned maintenance found weld quality issues, a spokesman for Chevron that operates the plant said this week.

The rise in prices to this week's level has taken place for the first time since late March, Reuters price assessment data showed. But the price is still seasonally weaker than in previous years and around 36% below its level a year ago.

Gorgon LNG Trains 1 and 3 continue producing LNG and there were offers of spot cargoes from other Asia-Pacific plants this week, industry sources said.

One of those came from the Darwin plant, with Australian energy firm Santos offering one August and one September loading cargoes.

Demand continues to be largely sluggish, but some buying took place this week.

In Japan, Hokkaido Electric has bought a cargo for September delivery at around $2.70 per mmBtu, two industry sources said.

Pakistan LNG Ltd said this week it had secured a record low price for an LNG cargo, with SOCAR Trading offering a price of about $2.20 per mmBtu in a spot buy tender by the Pakistani company for a late August cargo.

Chilean consortium GNL Chile is looking to buy five cargoes for delivery in 2021. (Reporting by Ekaterina Kravtsova Editing by Gareth Jones)


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