LNG Carriers Circle Off Australia’s North West Shelf Due to Power Outage

John Konrad
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May 8, 2015

Northwest Swan LNG carrier, file image courtesy Northwest Shelf Shipping Co

reuters_logo1By Oleg Vukmanovic

May 8 (Reuters) – A loss of power supply since May 5 has hurt production of liquefied natural gas (LNG) at Australia’s North West Shelf export plant, a spokesperson for operator Woodside Petroleum said on Friday.

A lasting outage could tighten fuel supplies to Asian markets and might help to underpin a recovery for spot LNG prices which have been struggling to absorb a glut of supply amid weak demand.

“On Tuesday, May 5 an electrical incident occurred at the North West Shelf Project’s Karratha Gas Plant (KGP) resulting in a loss of power supply,” the spokesperson said.

“LNG production has been impacted and we are working to resume production.” Pipeline gas production has not been affected, the spokesperson said.

North West Shelf supplies Asian markets with around 16.3 million tonnes of LNG each year.

The Karratha gas plant facilities include five LNG processing plants, or trains, two domestic gas trains as well as storage facilities for LNG and other fuels, according to Woodside’s website.

The 126,942 cubic metre capacity Northwest Snipe LNG tanker, one of the project’s seven vessels, has been circling outside port for several days, live ship-tracking data on Reuters Eikon shows. So has the 126,815 cubic metre capacity Northwest Seaeagle.

Another project vessel, the Northwest Swan, returning from a delivery to Singapore should arrive on Saturday, according to ship data. Two further tankers off the facility, the Dapeng Star and Dapeng Moon, had dropped anchor.

The six stakeholders in the LNG plant are BHP Billiton , BP, Chevron, Japan Australia LNG, Shell and Woodside, which operates the plant. (Reporting by Oleg Vukmanovic in Milan; editing by David Clarke and Jane Merriman)

(c) 2015 Thomson Reuters, All Rights Reserved

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