Angola LNG Down to Skeleton Crew as Repairs are Made

Sonangol Sambizanga lng carrier
Sonangol Sambizanga LNG carrier, image: DSME

reuters_logo1By Oleg Vukmanovic

MILAN, Aug 12 (Reuters) – The trading arm of Angola’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) export project is making deep cuts to the headcount at its London headquarters after shutting its liquefaction plant until mid-2015, two sources with knowledge of the matter said.

Angola LNG Marketing has put up to six trading, technical and scheduling staff on leave ahead of a formal severing of ties by the end of the month, the sources said.

Angola LNG Marketing declined to comment.

The LNG export plant was shut down in April following a major pipe rupture. Exports are expected to resume in the middle of next year following wide-ranging repairs at the facility.

The $10 billion project has struggled to squeeze out cargoes since starting up last summer thanks to a succession of faults including a rig capsize, electrical fires, pipeline leaks and recurring mechanical problems.

An LNG trader hired from a major Swiss trading house, a cargo scheduler from RWE Supply and Trading and others have been asked to leave by the end of August, the first source said.

More people seconded temporarily from Chevron, BP , Total and Eni have returned to their former jobs, the sources said.

“They have kept the shipping team in place to manage contracts and vessels on the water but have stripped back the remainder of the office to a skeletal staff,” the first source said. (Reporting by Oleg Vukmanovic; editing by Jane Baird)

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