Spain's Repsol could opt to sell its 75% stake in the Canaport LNG terminal in Saint John, NB, as part of a plan to refocus operations and streamline its balance sheet, the company confirmed.

"Repsol is reevaluating all of its businesses. This is at a preliminary stage and no decisions have been taken regarding any of the business units," Repsol spokesman Kristian Rix told NGI.

The remaining 25% of the terminal is owned by Canada's Irving Oil Ltd. Canaport has a maximum sendout capacity of 1.2 Bcf/d.

The consideration of asset sales comes after the Argentina government expropriated 51% of Repsol's stake in YPF, Argentina's largest oil company, without compensation. Repsol is pursuing legal action.

Canaport has received 10 cargoes so far this year, the last on June 20. As of July 23, gas sendout from the terminal totaled 37.77 Bcf, or an average of 183,339 MMBtu/d, so far this year, according to a Repsol spokeswoman.

Most of the LNG shipped to Canaport comes from Trinidad and Tobago, and Qatar. Repsol has the ability to bring regasified LNG from Canaport into the United States via pipeline. Canaport officially opened in September 2009 (see Daily GPI, Sept. 28, 2009) after receiving its first cargo several months earlier (see Daily GPI, June 19, 2009). The following year Repsol signed a multi-year LNG supply deal with Qatargas for delivery to Canaport (see Daily GPI, Dec. 27, 2010; Oct. 8, 2010).

Imports of LNG to the United States continued to decline last year in the face of the country's gas glut fed by the output of shale plays. Gross LNG imports to the United States last year totaled 348.7 Bcf, or less than 1 Bcf/d, down from 431 Bcf in 2010 and 452 Bcf in 2009, according to data compiled by Pan EurAsian Enterprises Inc. (see Daily GPI, Feb. 15).

Repsol partnered with Irving on the development of Canaport, the first terminal of its kind to be built on the East Coast of North America in 30 years and the first ever to be built in Canada. Its opening marked Repsol's entry into the North American gas market. In late April Canaport began a C$43 million project to upgrade the terminal to improve efficiency and environmental performance.

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