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France's GRT Gaz details minimum winter LNG sendout

09 Jan 2017 16:38 GMT
France's GRT Gaz details minimum winter LNG sendout

London, 9 January (Argus) — French gas transmission system operator GRT Gaz has detailed the minimum sendout requirement from the Fos-sur-Mer LNG terminals for the remainder of the winter to preserve stocks in southeast France.

GRT Gaz estimated a requirement of 70 GWh/d for an average winter and 130 GWh/d if it is colder than average. It plans to make minimum sendout requests until the end of February. This is higher than the 59 GWh/d regasified on 1-8 January and stock movement nominations of around 39 GWh/d for the remainder of the month.

The 6mn t/yr Fos-sur-Mer terminal was scheduled to receive slightly more LNG than average this month, although this would be more than offset by lower than average arrivals at 4mn t/yr Fos Tonkin.

But both terminals are expected to build LNG reserves by the end of the month, based on stock movement nominations, which would provide the flexibility to raise sendout nominations.

Sendout in line with GRT Gaz's estimates would still be below the three-year January-February average of 131 GWh/d.

Firm LNG demand and prices in northeast Asia have drawn cargoes away from Europe in recent months, although the premium of these markets to France's TRS hub prices has tightened in recent days following the return of train one at Australia's 5.2mn t/yr Gorgon plant and the restart of 5.2mn t/yr Angola LNG.

But cold weather in France could require sendout close to the higher end of GRT Gaz's estimates. Overnight temperatures in southern France are forecast to remain below the seasonal average until late this month.