he US government’s continued hardline stance on Iran has spilled over into the LNG sector, with Washington’s latest sanctions imposed against a Chinese shipper having a potential knock-on effect on Russian LNG exports. The US government last week imposed sanctions on two subsidiaries of COSCO — COSCO Shipping Tanker (Dalian) Co. and COSCO Shipping Tanker (Dalian) Seaman & Ship Management Co. — for allegedly trading oil with Iran.
A joint venture between China LNG Shipping (Holdings) Limited (CLNG) and US company Teekay LNG owns four tankers — identified as the Eduard Toll, Rudolf Samoylovich, Nikolay Yevgenov and Vladimir Voronin – key to shipping LNG from Novatek’s flagship 16.5 million mt/year Yamal LNG facility. However, Novatek CEO Leonid Mikhelson shrugged off concerns on Wednesday that the new US sanctions could impact operations.
“I don’t see any problems in this for Novatek,” he said at Russia Energy Week in Moscow. “I don’t understand what LNGshipping in the Arctic has to do with deliveries of Iranian oil.” Teekay LNG is a partner in Yamal alongside China LNG Shipping (CLNG), which is 50% owned by COSCO Dalian. “As a result of CLNG’s 50% interest, the Yamal LNG JV also currently qualifies as a ‘Blocked Person’,” Teekay said on Monday.
The Yamal LNG plant in northern Russia began operations in December 2017 and currently uses a fleet of 13 specializedicebreaker LNG tankers to be able to export LNG through the icy Arctic waters. To date, Yamal LNG has exported 294 cargoes carrying 28.3 Bcm of gas equivalent, according to data from S&P Global Platts Analytics.