GAIL is ideal home for Prachi LNG tanker

Vol 20, PW 26 (21 Sep 17) Midstream & Downstream

Yes, Petronet-LNG will make huge shipping savings with its renegotiated Gorgon LNG deal with ExxonMobil.

But only if it can make a fast decision on LNG tanker Prachi, built at a cost of $205m and hired at $78,000/day to ferry Gorgon LNG. Petronet-LNG's best option is to sub-let the tanker, possibly to GAIL, before the end of this year when the ExxonMobil re-negotiated deal is likely to be signed and sealed.

Prachi, which reached the Barrow Island facility of the Gorgon LNG project on September 9, might just be what GAIL needs to ferry US LNG. What's more, Shipping Corporation of India (SCI), which manages Prachi, is simultaneously managing GAIL's tender to hire four LNG tankers, out since April this year.

"If Petronet-LNG hires Prachi to GAIL it might not get $78,000/day but it will cut its losses." we hear. "This is what Total did." Total offered 165,500 cubic metre capacity tanker Marib Spirit in the GAIL tender.

Marib Spirit was selected in September by SCI for GAIL on a three-year contract extendable by another year to ferry LNG from the Sabine Pass facility in the US at $44,900/day. Owned and operated by Teekay, Marib was originally hired to Total until 2029 to ship LNG from Yemen LNG's 6.7m t/y Balhaf liquefaction facility.

But the Yemen facility closed in April 2015 because of violence in the region, leaving the tanker without work.

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