By Chou Hui Hong
April 7 (Bloomberg) — BG Group Plc, Britain’s third- largest natural gas producer, will move its global headquarters for marketing LNG and oil to Singapore in a boost for the city’s stature as a trading hub.
Steve Hill, president for marketing oil and liquefied natural gas worldwide, has relocated from a base in Berkshire, England, to Singapore, BG said today in an e-mailed statement. BG won a contract in 2008 to supply 3 million tons of LNG to Singapore annually over 10 years starting in 2013, and the company has more than 70 people working in the city.
“By moving the center of our global LNG and oil marketing business to Singapore, the heart of the fastest growing LNG region, we are closer to many more of our existing customers and are better positioned to develop new and deeper relationships in the region,” Hill said said in the statement.
Asia accounts for 46 percent of global gas trade, according to the International Energy Agency, which cited Singapore as best-situated for LNG trading. The region consumed 75 percent of the world’s LNG last year, data from the International Group of Liquefied Natural Gas Importers show.
The city-state’s political neutrality and English-speaking workforce will help it become an Asian hub for LNG trading in the next five to 10 years, Seah Moon Ming, chairman of government trade promotion agency IE Singapore, said in an April 2 interview. Singapore opened its first LNG terminal on Jurong Island last year and is considering a second terminal on the city’s eastern side.
“With the increased capacity planned for the LNG terminal on Jurong Island and a second facility also being considered, we look forward to supporting Singapore in fulfilling its vision to create a highly competitive LNG market and become an energy supply hub for the whole region.” Hill said.
Companies have lined up to tap Singapore’s market. Germany’s EON SE, Glencore Xstrata Plc and others have hired LNG traders in the city. Qatar Liquefied Gas Co., the world’s largest producer known as QatarGas, is looking to expand in the region, Abdulla Al-Hussaini, the company’s marketing director, said in an October interview.
Some 25 LNG companies have set up trading operations in Singapore during the past six years, according to IE Singapore.
Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Europe’s biggest oil producer, moved its natural-gas business from The Hague to Singapore at the start of 2013 in response to growing demand for the supercooled gas in Asia.
Copyright 2014 Bloomberg.