Shell in US-Japan LNG Export Deal

Export ambitions of Australia’s rapidly growing gas sector have taken another hit in a matter of days, with reports from the US that Shell has won approval to export gas to Japan, which does not have a Free Trade Agreement with the US.

The Washington-datelined report, in the Nihon Keizai newspaper, says Shell intends to export as much as 800,000 tonnes annually of liquified natural gas to Tokyo Electric Power Co.

This comes a matter of days after both the Canadian government and the US Department of Energy gave approvals for export gas projects in British Columbia and Texas, respectively.

North Asia is the largest importer of gas, globally, and it has become increasingly aggressive in seeking to force gas prices lower.

Read the rest of the story: Shell in US-Japan gas export deal: report.

LNG Tanker Risks Arctic Waters in New Trade Route to Japan

A massive liquefied natural gas (LNG) tanker arrived in Japan on Wednesday, becoming the first vessel of its kind to successfully test a new trade route though Arctic waters.

The new marine route, opening up as Arctic sea-ice continues to shrink, offers traders a chance to shave nearly three weeks off voyage times from LNG plants in the Barents Sea to energy-hungry Asia.

In September researchers at NASA announced sea-ice coverage had retreated to its lowest level since records began in 1979.

LNG tanker Ob River was chartered on the voyage to Japan by the trading arm of Russia’s Gazprom from the world’s northernmost liquefaction plant, operated by Norway in the Barents Sea.

Local media said the tanker was carrying about 60,000 tons of LNG.

The route is currently open only four months of the year, but could now boost Russian plans to build an LNG plant in the Arctic.