Angola starts LNG plant; Algeria, Papua New Guinea set for 2013-2014
(The Australian; June 28) - The African nation of Angola is about to join the expanding club of global LNG exporters, with the first gas shipment from its Soyo project expected within days. It will be the second big LNG export project to come onstream in the past three months, following on the heels of Woodside Petroleum's Pluto facility in Western Australia. Pluto sent its first gas to Asian customers in early May.
Last month, Angola's state oil company Sonangol said the LNG tanker Sambizanga had arrived to test gas loading and connection facilities at Soyo, the port at the mouth of the Congo River where Sonangol and project operator Chevron have established an LNG plant capable of processing an average 700 million cubic feet of gas per day. The Angola LNG project uses associated gas - gas from existing oil fields that until now has been flared off.
After Angola, there will be a gap of at least a year before the next LNG exporting plant comes on stream. That is likely to be the rebuilt Skikda project in Algeria, where state-owned Sonatrach is constructing a new processing train to replace facilities destroyed in a 2004 explosion. It may ship its first gas in late 2013. Another Sonatrach project in Algeria, Gassi Touil, may begin shipments in the second half of 2014, about the same time as ExxonMobil's $16 billion Papua New Guinea plant is expected to come online.