Tankers divert to Trinidad and Maryland after Freeport LNG explosion

At least six tankers that had been scheduled to load liquefied natural gas (LNG) at Freeport LNG in June month have been diverted to other locations following the explosion on June 8th that shut the Quintana, Texas facility, reports Reuters, citing Refinitiv Eikon vessel-tracking data.

The plant, a major exporter of LNG from the US, is likely to be completely closed until September and will not return to full production until 2023.

About 40 cargoes will therefore be cancelled or re-scheduled. The loss has European LNG buyers and some U.S. shale producers reeling, while rivals Cheniere Energy and Sempra LNG rush to produce more LNG to offset the losses.

Freeport accounts for roughly 20% of US LNG processing capacity, drawing 2.1bn ft/3 per day (bcfd) of natural gas, mainly from US shale fields.

Natural gas prices have slumped in the United States and soared in Europe because of the extended shutdown.

One of the rerouted vessels is the Malta-flagged Aristidis I (IMO 9862906), which is now scheduled to pick up a cargo at the end of the month in Trinidad & Tobago (the largest exporter of LNG in Latin America). Meanwhile, France-flagged tanker Elisa Aquila (IMO 9884473) is diverting to Maryland where it will load in early July at Cove Point LNG terminal.

Two other tankers, the Meridian Spirit (IMO 9369904) and the LNG Abuja II (IMO 9690169), have changed their destination to Jamaica.

The final two of the half-dozen, the Elisa Larus (IMO 9852975 ) and the LNG Port-Harcourt II (IMO 9690157), have moved away from Freeport’s anchorage area, where they had remained since the incident, to nearby tanker zones off the Texas coast.

2021-built, Malta-flagged, 116,581 gt Aristidis I is owned by Atrotos Gas Carrier Corp care of manager Capital Gas Ship Management of Piraeus, Greece. ISM manager is Bernhard Schulte Ship Management UK of North Shields, UK. As of June 22nd the vessel was underway from Rotterdam to Pont Fortin, Trinidad & Tobago, ETA June 30th.

2022-built, France-flagged, 118,753 gt Elisa Aquila is owned by Caroline 82 Sasu care of manager Gazocean SA of Marseille, France. It is entered with UK Club on behalf of Caroline 82. As of June 19th the vessel was en route from Hazira, India to Cove Point, Maryland, USA, ETA July 4th.

2010-built, Denmark-flagged, 104,169 gt Meridian Spirit is owned by Meridian Spirit ApS care of manager Seapeak Maritime (Glasgow) Ltd of Glasgow, UK. ISM manager is Seapeak Maritime Ltd of Hamilton, Bermuda. It is entered with Skuld (Business Unit Skuld Oslo 1) on behalf of Meridian Spirit ApS. As of June 22nd it was at anchorage off Kingston, Jamaica, having arrived from Escobar, Argentina, on June 17th.

2016-built, Bermuda-flagged, 116,568 gt LNG Abuja II is owned by Bonny Gas Transport Ltd care of manager Nigeria LNG Ltd of Port Harcourt, Nigeria. ISM manager is Northern Marine Management Ltd of Clydebank, UK. It is entered with UK Club on behalf of Bonny Gas Transport Ltd. As of June 22nd it was at anchorage off Kingston, Jamaica, having arrived from Durban, South Africa on June 20th.

2020-built, France-flagged, 118,286 gt Elisa Larus is owned by Caroline 77 Sasu care of manager Gazocean SA of Marseille, France. It is entered with UK Club on behalf of Caroline 77. As of June 22nd it was at Houston Anchorage, having arrived from Freeport on June 20th.

2015-built, Bermuda-flagged, 116,568 gt LNG Port-Harcourt II is owned by Bonny Gas Transport Ltd care of manager Nigeria LNG Ltd of Port Harcourt, Nigeria. ISM manager is NLNG Ship Management Ltd of Port Harcourt, Nigeria. It is entered with UK Club on behalf of Bonny Gas Transport Ltd. As of June 22nd it was in the Gulf Of Mexico heading for Lake Charles anchorage, near Port Arthur, Texas.