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Saturday, November 18 2017 @ 11:13 PM AST

T&T tops the world in LNG diversions

Trinidad and Tobago is one of the world's best at liquified natural gas (LNG) cargo diversions, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA) Global Gas Security Review 2016, released over the weekend (Dec. 9). The practice was bemoaned by Finance Minister Colm Imbert in his September 30 budget speech: "It has been estimated that since 2011 Trinidad and Tobago has lost at least US$1.4 billion per annum in reduced benefits from diversions of natural gas sales to higher-price markets through unbalanced off-taking contracts."

The IEA said in its 2016 review: "Nigeria and Trinidad and Tobago have accounted for the majority of diversions since 2011, reflecting specific characteristics of their projects that are described in detail in the following sections."

The IEA explained: "Supplies initially contracted to a specific country but then shipped to another one cover around 30 per cent of the demand for flexible volumes. The rerouting of these supplies has occurred via both direct diversions (that is, not through portfolio aggregators) and reloading. From a technical standpoint, diversions occur when gas is redirected to the final destination before reaching the intended country (and often at the port of loading). Reloads occur when the gas reaches the initial intended destination but is then reloaded and shipped to another – usually higher-priced – market.

"To occur, diversions require an agreement between the two parties of a contract. Data show that some producers – specifically Nigeria and Trinidad and Tobago – are more inclined to allow diversions than others and have accounted for the vast majority of direct diversions that have occurred over the past five years."

The IEA said: "Disruptions in Latin America are due to steep decline rates at mature producing fields in Trinidad and Tobago that are constraining the country’s ability to export. Both 2015 and 2016 to date have shown double-digit export falls. This year, Trinidad and Tobago LNG exports are on track to be one-third below what they were in 2009, although existing installed capacity has remained constant."

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