Italy to get first Eq. Guinea LNG in May
Italian gas company Sinergie Italiane has agreed to buy 145,000 cubic metres of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Britain's BG Group in what will be the first shipment of LNG from Equatorial Guinea to Italy. BG, the sole buyer of Equatorial Guinea's LNG, has started diverting shipments from its target U.S. market after the world's biggest energy consumer lost its appetite for imported gas due to increased domestic output.
Sinergie Italiane said in a statement on Wednesday it has finalised the deal with BG Group to buy the LNG cargo which will arrive to the Adriatic LNG import terminal where LNG will be turned into about 90 million cubic metres of gas in May.
The company, which says it is the fourth-biggest gas operator in Italy by volumes, declined to disclose how much it paid BG Group.
It is the first delivery of gas from Equatorial Guinea to Italy, an important step in diversification of gas supplies to Italy which depends heavily on gas imports, Sinergie Italiane said, adding it was in talks with other LNG operators to import more gas to Italy.
It is also the first time the Adriatic LNG terminal near Rovigo in northern Italy will give access to its free capacity to operators outside long-term contracts, Sinergie Italiane said.
The Adriatic LNG terminal with an 8 billion cubic metre annual capacity is a joint venture between U.S. oil major Exxon Monil Corp., Italian utility Edison and a unit of Qatar Petroleum.
It started in October to import LNG from Qatar to Italy for 25 years. Edison uses 80 percent of the terminal's capacity and the remaining 20 percent are offered to third-party operators which include Britain's BP.
Sinergie Italiane started up in 2008 and raised over 1 billion euros in sales in its first year which ended in September. It is owned by a group of medium and small sized Italian energy firms including Ascopiave and Enia.