June 12, 2001
Cheniere plans Texas LNG terminals
Cheniere Energy Inc. announced today that it is acquiring three land lease options for the purpose of developing Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminals along the Texas Gulf Coast.
Cheniere Energy is an independent oil and gas company focused in and around the Gulf of Mexico. Estimated to cost $300 million per site, the proposed LNG receiving terminals would each be capable of initially processing 200 BCF per year. Cheniere says they are slated to be operational within six years. Regulatory permits (from the Federal Energy Regulatory commission as well as state, local, Port Authority and the Coast Guard) are expected to take two to three years, making the project construction-ready in late 2003. Initial LNG imports are anticipated to start in late 2006.
"This initiative is to complement our exploration and production business," said Cheniere Energy president and CEO Charles M. Reimer. "We're bullish on natural gas, and believe that prices will remain at $3.50 to $4.00 per MCF over the long term, which makes this project economically attractive and significant to Cheniere."
Cheniere says the costs of finding and producing natural gas in the Gulf of Mexico are escalating rapidly which allows imported LNG to be a competitive supply source. It cites a recent report by the Energy Information Administration saying that natural gas consumption is expected to grow from 20 trillion cubic feet (TCF) in 2000 to 30 TCF in 2010. While demand is projected to increase dramatically, domestic production has stabilized at approximately 20 TCG annually in the past decade.
"Clearly, we must turn to foreign sources of gas to satisfy demand - and we have to be able to transport that supply safely, economically and efficiently," said Reimer. Worldwide LNG supply has grown from less than 2 TCF in 1980 to more than 5 TCF today. Announced capacity additions could increase this supply to more than 11 TCF by 2010.
"Natural gas is at the same point today as oil was on an import/export basis in the 1970s," said Dr. Michael Economides, energy expert and advisor to Cheniere. "The challenge now is that we do not have adequate receiving facilities to keep up with the demand."
Cheniere Energy chairman Charif Souki says the Texas sites selected by the company for terminals "are ideal traffic ports for LNG tankers."
Northern Offshore plans drill ship acquisition
Norway's Northern Offshore Ltd. today announced a private placement of 9.5 million shares issued to private and financial institutions at a price of NOK 16.80 per share.
This equity issue is being made for the purpose of acquiring the drilling vessel Energy Searcher at a price of $37 million, and is subject to approval at the company's annual general meeting on June 21. The Majority shareholder Hemen Holding (54 %) has committed to vote in favor of the share capital increase. The equity issue is being placed by Fearnley Fonds AS and Karl Johan Fonds AS.
Energy Searcher is a conventionally moored drilling vessel able to operate in water depth up to 2,500 ft. Northern Offshore says it is in "excellent condition with modern drilling equipment," and is presently working for Cairn Energy in India on a 2 firm plus 3 optional wells contract. The rig is further contracted or in the process of completing contracts through the first half of 2002 at revenue day rates from $50,000 - $70,000 per day.
As part of the acquisition Northern Offshore is also taking over the management company that is presently managing the Energy Searcher, Jet Drilling (S) Pte Ltd.
Jet Drilling will form the basis for Northern Offshore's future drilling operations in South East Asia.
Panama accredits MITAGS STCW training
Glen Paine, Executive Director of MITAGS, Linthicum Heights, Md., and Pacific Northwest Maritime Institute, says that the Director General of Training for the Panama Maritime Authority has approved accreditation of MITAGS STCW95 training courses.
The Director General declared that MITAGS had met the requirements for accreditation as a STCW95 Training Center for the Panamanian Seafarers Maritime Training Department.
Representatives of the Panamanian Seafarers Maritime Training Department will visit MITAGS to complete their audit for site approval, in accordance with their national regulations and STCW standards.
New CEO, new ship for Silversea
Ultra-luxury cruise line, Silversea Cruises, Ltd., has announced that its owners, Italy's Lefebvre family, have completed a restructuring of its family holdings. As part of this process, Dott. Manfredi Lefebvre has been appointed chairman of Silversea, assuming this responsibility from his brother Professor Francesco Lefebvre. In his first order of business, Dott. Lefebvre has appointed Albert Peter to the position of CEO
Silversea is in the midst of a fleet expansion that will increase its capacity by 130%, these developments have been put in place to position the award-winning company for continued growth and expansion. The line welcomed the 382-guest, 28,258 grt Silver Shadow in September 2000 and is preparing to take delivery of sister ship Silver Whisper later this month.
The 28,528 gt Silver Whisper, which will soon be delivered by its builder, T Mariotti, has just been awarded Italian classification society RINA's COMFORT class notation. It is the first ship approved to the COMFORT class, which signifies that the vessel has met specified performance standards relating to noise control and vibration levels.
The COMFORT notation is only accorded after completion of an extensive series of assessments and tests carried out during sea trials, during which the ship must meet the levels of noise control and vibration required to guarantee the optimum degree of comfort to passengers at sea.