Trinidad and Tobago signal BP, BG for larger stake in ALNG train

The Trinidad and Tobago government has signaled to BP PLC and BG Group that it wants a bigger share of the ownership of Atlantic LNG’s Train 1 when the companies negotiate a new gas supply contract for ALNG.

The Caribbean twin-island nation’s Energy Minister Kevin Ramnarine said the government wanted to have a greater role in the marketing and sale of the LNG. “Historically, because of the way the LNG industry is set up, by and large, exports of LNG from Trinidad are controlled by global energy giants BP, BG, and now Shell. We as a government have articulated the view publicly and to the companies that we would like to have a bigger stake in the marketing of LNG.” Ramnarine explained.

Under the Train 1 agreement, the percentage of LNG available to be marketed is based on the shareholding in ALNG Train 1.

Ramnarine added that the opportunity will begin to present itself later this year when negotiations for several gas contracts begin. He said: “We will start talks with BP this year for the renewal of their domestic contract with the [National Gas Co. of Trinidad & Tobago], which expires in 2018. We also will start with BP on the renewal of the Train 1 contract, as well as with BG for one of their two domestic contracts so that provides us with an opportunity to put on the table the issue of government’s stake through the NGC in the LNG business and I for one feel if we are as a country are to do more LNG export to China we need to have more cargoes for a state entity to market.”

Train 1 is owned by Atlantic 1 Holdings LLC, which comprises five member companies, namely BP (Barbados) Holding SRL, with a 34% equity stake; BG Atlantic 1 Holdings Ltd., 26%; Shell LNG Port Spain BV, 20%; NGC Trinidad & Tobago LNG Ltd., 10%; and Summer Soca LNG Liquefaction SA, 10%.

Train 1 began commercial operation on Mar. 13, 1999, being the first LNG facility to operate in the Atlantic Basin, and the second in the Western hemisphere. The first shipment of LNG left Trinidad and Tobago on May 1, 1999, bound for Boston.

Ramnarine also revealed that his government wanted to have more cargoes to sell to China. “China wants LNG from us. That’s the opportunity we have but it requires a lot of work, negotiations, legal, and we start that this year,” he said.

Last year Trinidad and Tobago exported four cargoes of LNG to China, or about 2% of the country’s total natural gas supply. ALNG, which was incorporated in 1995 to develop a gas liquefaction plant in Point Fortin, operates a four-train liquefaction facility with a total capacity of 15 million tonnes/year.

In 2013, the majority of its cargoes went to markets in South America, Asia, and Spain. ALNG was the largest supplier of LNG to the US before the country’s shale gas revolution.

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