Although the transport of liquefied natural gas (LNG) started already in the year 1959, in the stock markets these companies appeared to a greater extent between the years 2011 and 2014. This is due in addition to the development of the sector and the opening of new gas fields and the overall expansion of the sector, e.g. increase in maximum transport capacity of ships from 120-150 000 m3 to 210-266 000 m3 (Qatar-Max Class). While the input of the Korean and Chinese shipyards has dropped the production price of ship tankers, the price of onshore liquified and regasification units has risen. The reason was not only the enhancement of materials, but also the lack of technically educated workers.
The LNG transport system is similar to the automotive freight transport, where shipping companies operate as a long-term shipper between drillers and customers. A number of contracts used to be concluded for a 5-10 year period with possible options and penalties for termination of the contract. As a result of the increasing number of ships, the evolution of gas prices and other factors, the number of shorter contracts is increasing mainly by ad-hoc contracts on the spot market.
Total size of LNG trading was 285 million tonnes in the year 2017. The biggest exporters are companies from Qatar (29.9%), Australia (17.2%), Malaysia 9.7%), Nigeria (7.2%) and Indonesia (6.4%). The US export capacities rise strongly, opened the first terminal in the Gulf of Mexico last year and sent first tankers to overseas customers. Russia participates in the LNG market by 4.2%.
Largest importers are Japan (32.3%), South Korea (13.1), China (10.4%) and India (7.4%). (Data IHS mark, IGU). While in Europe maritime gas is mainly used as a diversification for pipeline transport, it is vital for Asia. This is related to higher prices and therefore attractiveness for těžaře and transporters.
With the transport of LNG is connected by a total of 467 ships, in the coming years, according to Lloyd´s will be delivered another 121 tankers. Although last year’s increase of 29 ships was covered by the growing LNG production, it is clear that the ship is and will be in the market surplus. For an idea of the size of the market, it can be noted that in general every 1 MPTA (million tonnes/year) of export terminal capacity requires one tanker for transport. Excess capacity is linked to the development of boat rental prices. In 2012, the daily price of the tanker charter was $130 000, with lows reaching $34 000 in the year 2016. In 2017 prices were slightly higher and from April 2018 grew to the winter level and reached $190 000 in November 2018. It also depends on the type of ship and specialization. For ships capable of moving in Arctic areas, the daily rental is around $66 000 versus $81 000 in 2016. The decline is also present here. Yet it is still the amounts for which companies are able to achieve and profit.
With more vessels and the rise in costs of new liquification/regasification facilities have been looking for shipping companies the opportunity to develop their business. Logically, demand was offered to reduce the cost of port facilities by installing them on ships and then renting the mining companies and end customers. The first floating storage surprising that the construction of FSRU is a trend and for some originally purely transport companies and slowly the main field of activity.
The newly built FSRU will cost roughly 250 million, if the old LNG tanker rebuilding is even lower. The cost of ground equipment is 400 to 1000 million per site. The ship is still capable of movement and can be moved to a new customer if necessary. The global capacity of the FSRU was 83 MTPA in 2017, with the capacity of Abu Dhabi (3.8 MTPA) and Turkey (5.3 MTPA). A complete novelty and revolution in the industry are floating zkapalňovací units FLNG (floating LNG). The first completed unit was Petronas FLNG1. One of the most modern is Prelude, a colossus with a length of 488 m, a width of 74 m and a height of 105 m. It will be located in the Australian fields Prelude and Concerto, located 200 km from the coast. The owner and operator of the company is Royal Dutch Shell, its construction has lasted since 2012.
Source: Golar LNG
The even bigger revolution is brought by Hilli Episeyo of Golar LNG. They managed to repeat the primacy with FSRU and literally jam all the necessary technology not on the newly build ship, but on a 294 meter long LNG tanker produced in 1975. They have achieved such a reduction in the cost of liquefaction gas that dramatically changes the economy of the entire cycle. The cost of the Prelude soared to $3 billion, the rebuilding of Hilli Episeyo costing 684 million USD. Price acquisition naturally is not all, the annual capacity of the Prelude is 3.6 MTPA, atthe Hilli is 2.4 MTPA. Yet it is a capacity that is competitive to many onshore terminal-the cost of Chevron to the terminal Kitimat with a capacity of 5 + 5 MTPA with incl. downstream infrastructure climb to 27 billion USD.
Rental of floating terminals will allow even at the current low prices of gas extraction in fields where the onshore terminal makes no sense. The first customer is Cameroon, which Hilli Episeyo will use in the field of Kribi from this month. The contract length is eight years.
There are two other sister ships under construction, the first of which is destined for a tender in Equatorial Guinea. The plans for a total of 24 FLNG with a capacity of 156 MTPA were announced as of January 2017, according to IGU. The new FLNG are built by Petronas, Exmar, Eni and several other companies.
Shares and Units
The world’s most accessible and advanced stock market is found in the US, so the companies listed here are quoted. The specificity of the US market is the quarterly dividend payment, which is announced according to the economic results for the quarter. We can receive a proportion of the company’s profits up to four times a year. Another specificity, which we are not accustomed to from the Czech Republic, is the capital and income organisation optimization of companies. Many of the companies listed below are limited partnerships (they have a LP in the title) using the parent company for management and other activities. The assets of the partnership are moved by boats with secured leases. If the contract expires, it is transferred back to the parent company. The reasons are mainly tax and capital – the partnership allows for easy and repeated co-financing of shares and units. Of course, all companies and partnerships listed on the stock exchange are subject to the U.S. Securities Commission (SEC) supervision.
The profiles of the individual monitored publicly traded companies can be found on separate pages: