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Global LNG Trading Gaining Another Platform for Physical Cargoes

Australia-based GLX, an online trading platform for liquefied natural gas (LNG), plans to work with the energy price-reporting arm of IHS Markit to start up an end-to-end trading solution to transact physical cargoes.

The announcement by GLX to partner with subsidiary Oil Price Information Service (OPIS) came Wednesday at CERAWeek by IHS Markit. The tie-up is designed to provide a price reference for the estimated $230 billion gas industry as buyers and sellers seek price transparency.

“The announcement of this agreement and the others that follow mark a key milestone for GLX,” CEO Damien Criddle said. “Our vision is to offer our members, and the broader LNG community, an end-to-end solution providing them with trusted LNG data, and through our alliance with IHS Markit, the ability to manage price risk through the publication of industry-led LNG indices.”

GLX started up in 2016 and launched the online trading platform in 2017.

The LNG market’s transition “to a more liquid market is very attractive to us, and it’s a market in which we’ve been investing organically,” OPIS CEO Brian Crotty said. “The agreement with GLX will enable OPIS to provide a broader, customized, more integrated LNG-trading service, and ultimately, deliver a valuable solution for our customers in this key and growing market.”

“The OPIS and IHS Markit alliance with GLX significantly increases our presence in the LNG space, and provides a timely response to the industry-led price indices, which are underpinned by physical trading data, an important component to gain the trust and support of the market,” said IHS Markit Vice Chairman Dan Yergin, who also chairs CERAWeek.

GLX also announced at CERAWeek that it has secured separate agreements to give equity stakes for an undisclosed amount to two of the world’s largest LNG suppliers: Australian independent Woodside Energy Ltd. and Malaysia’s Petronas, aka Petroliam Nasional Berhad Ltd.

Among its many global LNG-related investments, Petronas has its hand in some North American export projects. It is a 25% partner in the Royal Dutch Shell plc-led LNG Canada, now under construction on British Columbia’s Pacific coast. And in December, Petronas secured a sale and purchase agreement with Cheniere Energy Inc.’s Sabine Pass Liquefaction LLC for 1.1 million metric ton/year over 20 years.

Woodside, which provides about 6% of global LNG supply, has been a foundational member of GLX since 2017. Woodside also announced it has invested in Gastrayda, another Australian-based, LNG-related online platform, which is to offer trade management and compliance.

Gastrayda, which is readying to launch commercially, would deal with complex pricing associated with LNG cargoes and provide a real-time comparison of competing cargo trade options. Even though Woodside is a stakeholder, both GLX and Gastrayda are to remain independent LNG platforms.

Woodside, which operates about 6% of global LNG supply, has its hands in many gas-related projects, many in Australia, including the Chevron Corp.-led Wheatstone project, North West Shelf and Pluto LNG.

“As the pioneer of the Australian LNG industry, Woodside is proud to be supporting two homegrown technology solutions that promote a market that is more efficient, transparent and compliant for buyers and sellers,” CEO Peter Coleman said.

“As the LNG market continues to evolve, we see a place for long-term and mid-term contracts as well as transparent and efficient spot trading on technologically advanced platforms. These sorts of platforms provide an additional tool for producers to market and manage their volumes and for buyers to manage their supply requirements.”

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