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U.S. LNG cargo sets sail for Netherlands, first delivery to NWE

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Staff Writer | May 23, 2017
The Gate LNG import terminal in the Netherlands is set to receive Northwest Europe's first ever cargo of U.S. LNG, with the Statoil-chartered Arctic Discoverer expected to arrive into Gate in early June, according to Platts Analytics.
Arctic Discoverer
Shipping   The Statoil-chartered Arctic Discoverer
US LNG exports began in February last year but to date no cargoes have landed in the liquid hubs of Northwest Europe, faced with competition from domestic supply and cheap imports from Norway and Russia.

The Arctic Discoverer set sail Sunday from the Sabine Pass LNG export plant in the Gulf of Mexico and is expected into Gate on June 7.

According to traders, the delivery is likely a replacement cargo for Statoil given that its Norwegian Snohvit LNG facility is down for maintenance from May 12 to June 18.

"This is linked to Snohvit maintenance as Statoil has a delivery obligation into Gate," an LNG trader said.

Statoil could not be reached for immediate comment Monday, while the Gate terminal declined to comment on specific ship movements.

In addition, the first cargo being shipped into Northwest Europe is expected to arrive just a week before annual maintenance on the UK-Belgium Interconnector shuts off supplies from the UK to the continent for two weeks.

Therefore, it is not necessarily a sign of the start of a wave of LNG flows from Sabine Pass to Northwest Europe, with other LNG producers likely to remain competitive for supply into the region.