'Dull market' good for IndianOil spot LNG hunt

Vol 17, PW 23 (03 Jul 14) Midstream & Downstream

Japanese conglomerate Sojitz is among several companies expected to respond to an IndianOil EoI request for LNG on spot or short-term contracts.

Better known for its machinery, chemicals, lifestyle and agribusiness, Sojitz, with $48bn in annual revenues, set up a LNG trading desk in Tokyo in 2012 to leverage its 1.5% equity stake in RasGas trains one and two (6.6m t/y) and a 3.68% stake in Indonesia’s Tangguh LNG project (7.6m t/y), held through LNG Japan. “Sojitz is registering with an Indian LNG buyer for the first time,” we hear.

“It wants to test India, to see what pricing the market can take.” Last week IndianOil said it would extend its EoI deadline for companies interested in signing a Master Sales and Purchase Agreement from June 24 to July 9.

Expect a raft of traders to respond, unless they registered during an earlier incarnation of this EoI in February 2012. “Registering is a one-time process,” we hear.

Interest is expected from Mitsui, Excelerate, Gazprom, Itochu, Gas Natural, plus the LNG trading arms of BG, GAIL, Shell, GdF and BP, as well as banks Citibank and Morgan Stanley, both of which trade LNG from Singapore. “This sort of EoI request works when the market is dull and right now the market is very dull,” admits one LNG trader.

“But when the market picks up you’re in trouble.”

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