London — The global LNG supply glut will likely continue to weigh on prices and US export flows until 2022 when market for LNG will start to rebalance, BP chief financial official Brian Gilvary said Tuesday.
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Spot gas prices in Asia and Europe have nosedived in 2019 amid a wave of new LNG plants coming onstream and subdued gas demand growth in Asia.
In Europe, gas storage sites have been filling to capacity at the time as coal-to-gas switching fuel switch has maximized.
"The UK is full on LNG right now. Europe is full on LNG imports. We do not anticipant that all of the gas that was planned to be exported from the US will be able to hit a demand market any time soon," Gilvary said on a quarterly earnings call.
"You are looking at the back end of 2021 to see this massive supply overhang clear out...gas feels pretty bearish right now. You will see some exports out of the US but not anywhere near the capacity that has been built."
With US spot Henry Hub gas prices currently trading around $2.2/MMBtu, Gilvary said the economics of much US LNG moving to Europe were not workable.
"Although there is no question that US gas is still the lowest cost production in the world, it us going to hard for it find a market in the next two years probably," Gilvary said.
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BP reported $2.6 billion a non-cash impairment charge during the third quarter after selling off US legacy shale gas assets for less than it had on its books.
BP agreed the sale of its Alaskan business to Hilcorp for $5.6 billion in August and said it planned to divest four packages of legacy US shale gas assets. Gilvary said the asset sales were prompted by BP's outlook on US gas prices
"Strategically we were looking to get out of these assets and we've chosen to proceed."
Gilvary said further US gas asset sales will continue in the fourth quarter with the potential for further impairment charges from the sales.
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