First U.S. Shale Gas Export Reaches Brazil

asia vision lng carrier
LNG carrier Asia Vision. Photo credit: Chevron

By Harry R. Weber

(Bloomberg) — The tanker carrying the first cargo of natural gas from U.S. shale formations was entering Brazil on Tuesday after leaving Cheniere Energy Inc.’s Sabine Pass terminal in Louisiana on Feb. 24.

The liquefied natural gas tanker Asia Vision was arriving at port in Rio de Janeiro, according to shipping data compiled by Bloomberg. Petroleo Brasileiro SA, Brazil’s state-owned energy company, bought the cargo of 3 billion cubic feet at a “market price,” Cheniere said last month.

The shipment comes as a glut of gas flowing out of shale formations led producers to explore foreign markets. It arrives as the global market is dealing with its own surplus of fuel, depressing global prices.

While rising supplies and weakening demand threaten to limit future gas exports from the U.S., Cheniere has told U.S. regulators it expects to have shipped as many as eight cargoes from its Sabine Pass terminal by May.

Brazil is importing U.S. gas ahead of the spring, when South America’s demand is forecast to rise due in part to a drought that has increased the country’s dependence on the power-plant fuel.

–With assistance from Naureen S. Malik, Christine Buurma and Sabrina Valle.

© 2016 Bloomberg L.P