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Oversupply, low prices may turn LNG boom into a bust in 2020

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg:Liquefied natural gas prices are poised to test record lows this year thanks to an onslaught of new supply and warmer winter temperatures curbing consumption.The startup of new export projects from Australia to the U.S. has flooded the market, while brimming stockpiles in Europe and an expected slowdown in Chinese demand have dumped cold water on consumption prospects. LNG for spot delivery to North Asia is on track to hit an all-time low this summer, while gas prices in Europe and the U.S. are trading at the weakest seasonal levels since 1999.“The global oversupply of LNG has been building and building and building,” said Ron Ozer, founder of gas-focused hedge fund Statar Capital LLC in New York. “The gas market can’t stomach the oversupply and warm weather, and it’s getting both.”U.S. gas exports have surged amid the nation’s shale boom, but plummeting prices may now throttle back shipments or encourage sustained maintenance while firms weather the storm. Producers and companies with off-take agreements may decide not to load cargoes because prices are too low to earn a profit after accounting for shipping costs.With cargoes from the Gulf of Mexico currently priced around $2.65 per million Btu, cash margins are positive only because of weak U.S. benchmark prices, according to Robert Sims, an analyst at Wood Mackenzie Ltd. There’s a chance that production could be reduced if the spread between benchmark Henry Hub and U.S. Gulf LNG narrows 25 cents, he said.After four years of belt-tightening, the amount of investments last year in new production capacity set a record. Companies including Qatar Petroleum, Novatek PJSC and Venture Global LNG Inc. sanctioned new plants from the U.S. to Russia. But the current wave of additional supply and persistent weak global prices is challenging new projects seeking final investment decisions, according to Morgan Stanley. The bank reduced its outlook for the number of projects reaching FID and revised lower its new supply outlook for the middle of the decade. The low price environment will also likely force Qatar to stagger or postpone its planned 64% capacity expansion, currently scheduled by 2027, according to FGE.[Stephen Stapczynski, Anna Shiryaevskaya and Naureen S Malik]More: Global LNG poised for terrible year as new supply floods market Oversupply, low prices may turn LNG boom into a bust in 2020last_img

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