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Australian Santos' Jul-Sep LNG sales fall 9% on year to 731,000 mt

Sydney — Australia-based Santos' LNG sale fell 9% year on year in the July-September quarter when it undertook planned maintenance at its Gladstone LNG facility while damage impacted output at PNG LNG, the company said Thursday in its third quarter activities report.

The company's average sale price for LNG during the three month period was $10.04/MMBtu, down from $10.43/MMBtu a year earlier, but more than double the prices seen in the spot markets. S&P Global Platts JKM, the benchmark price for spot deliveries into north Asia, averaged $4.457/MMBtu in July-September, Platts data showed.

Through its share in its three LNG assets, GLNG, PNG LNG and Darwin LNG, Santos sold 731,900 mt of the fuel in the September quarter. That's 9% lower than the same period last year while the timing of shipments saw the volume rose by 2% from the April-June quarter, it said.

GLNG

Santos's share of LNG sales at GLNG were at 380,100 mt rising 11% year on year. The increase in sales came as GLNG's gross production for the three-month period was at 1.2 million mt, a 2% increase from a year earlier and 6% fall from April-June period, the results showed.

Santos said the quarter on quarter drop was because of a planned one-month statutory shutdown of the facility's train 1.

GLNG has a nameplate capacity of 7.8 million mt/year. Along with Santos, PETRONAS (27%) and KOGAS (15%) have interests in the facility.

"Gross GLNG-operated upstream sales gas production increased to 616 TJ/d at the end of the quarter and daily LNG-equivalent run-rates of 6 million mt/year continued to be achieved. GLNG remains on track to meet nearly 6 million mt/year annualized sales run-rate including volumes redirected to the domestic market by the end of 2019," the company said.

PNG LNG

From PNG LNG, Santos's share of LNG sales in the quarter were at 287,600 mt and the facility's gross LNG production was at 2.1 million mt. The sales were down 5% year on year and up 1% quarter on quarter while the production was down from 2.2 million mt a year earlier and steady from the June quarter, it said.

"Third quarter production was lower than the corresponding period primarily due to damage of the loading buoy at the Kumul Marine Terminal in late August. As a result, PNG LNG production was managed at reduced rates to prevent a potential shut-down should liquids storage capacity be reached," Santos said.

It noted that a return to near full production rates was achieved in mid-September and repairs to the loading buoy were completed mid-October.

"Notwithstanding the reduced production rates, the PNG LNG plant still operated at an annualized rate of 8.3 million mt/year during the third quarter," it said.

Santos is partners in the project with operator ExxonMobil (33.2%), National Petroleum Company of PNG (16.9%), JX Nippon Oil and Gas Exploration Company (4.7%) and Mineral Resources Development (2.8%).

PNG LNG has a nameplate capacity of 6.9 million mt/year but consistently operates above it.

DLNG

Sales and production at the Australian DLNG facility rose from the June quarter on the back of the timing of the LNG shipping schedule and completion of planned maintenance in the second quarter, but remained lower year on year, the company said.

Santos's share of DLNG LNG production was 64,200 mt during last quarter and gross production was 727,000 mt. The sales and production figures were down year on year by 30% and 22% and up 21% and 17% quarter on quarter, respectively.

ConocoPhillips operates DLNG with a 56.95% interest while INPEX (11.38%), ENI (10.99%) and Tokyo Timor Sea Resources (9.19%) are also partners.

Earlier this month, Santos announced the acquisition of ConocoPhillips' interest, which is subject to third-party consents and regulatory approvals.

-- Abache Abreu, abache.abreu@spglobal.com

-- Nathan Richardson, newsdesk@spglobal.com

-- Edited by Debiprasad Nayak, debiprasad.nayak@spglobal.com

New horizons: The forces shaping the future of the LNG market

As significant additions of elastic LNG supply and demand challenge traditional business models, and the trend towards LNG commoditization gathers pace, what lies ahead?

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