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Analysts forecast world LNG vessel oversupply for 2005-06 but shortage during 2008

By OGJ editors

HOUSTON, May 5 -- At least 65 new LNG vessels are due to start trading worldwide within 5 years, and analysts expect an oversupply of tonnage for 2005-06.

However, the anticipated LNG trade growth subsequently will led to a vessel shortage during 2008, Ocean Shipping Consultants Ltd., Chertsey, UK, said in its newly released report "LNG to 2015: Prospects for Trade & Shipping."

Global LNG trade expansion slowed in 2001-02, but annual trade is expected to accelerate to 2015, Ocean Shipping said.

"In absolute terms, the annual trade is expected to increase from the level of just under 146 billion cu m in 2002 to over 175 billion cu m in 2005, 256 billion cu m in 2010, and 317 billion billion cu m in 2015," the analysts' report said.

A total of 4.6 million cu m of new tonnage¿in addition to the 8.9 million cu m already on order¿would need to be ordered and delivered in the second half of this decade to match the anticipated trade volumes and patterns, Ocean Shipping concluded. That forecast means another 33 new vessels would need to be ordered and delivered yet this decade.

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