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Algeria's Skikda resumes LNG exports after two-month shutdown

London — * Plant had been closed since mid-July
* Skikda supplied 15% of Spain's LNG in past year
* Algeria's LNG exports year to date match those in 2015

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Maintenance at Algeria's Skikda LNG export facility has now been completed, with the first cargoes shipped out in the past week.

The two-month shutdown was partly to blame for a slump in exports of LNG to Spain in August, while Spanish gas demand was also lower.

The 4.7 million mt/year Skikda plant was closed for planned maintenance in mid-July, according to industry sources, with the final cargo before the shutdown loaded on July 11, data from Platts Analytics' Eclipse Energy showed.

Article Continues below...

The first LNG cargo to leave Skikda after the restart was aboard the Cheikh Bouamama, which took 45 million cu m of gas equivalent to the Fos Cavaou LNG import plant in southern France last weekend.

A second cargo loaded from Skikda aboard the Cheikh el Mokrani is taking 45 million cu m of gas equivalent to the Sagunto terminal in Spain and is expected to arrive Friday, according to Platts Analytics.

Skikda has been a steady supplier of LNG to Spain over the past 12 months, supplying close to 2 Bcm of gas equivalent to the Spanish market since September 1, 2015, according to Platts Analytics data.

That equates to around 15% of Spain's total LNG imports of 13.3 Bcm over the past year.

Algeria's other LNG export facility at Arzew supplied some 1.4 Bcm of gas equivalent to Spain in the period.

Although Algeria's LNG exports dipped in August due to the Skikda outage, they had been running at five-year highs in the month before the shutdown and exports so far in 2016 are on a level with volumes sold in 2015.

--Stuart Elliott, stuart.elliott@spglobal.com
--Edited by E Shailaja Nair, shailaja.nair@spglobal.com