Yemen LNG Co. began producing liquefied natural gas (LNG) from its second train last Thursday, one month ahead of schedule. With the completion of Train 2 at the LNG terminal at Balhaf on the Gulf of Aden, Yemen LNG production will soon reach design capacity of 6.7 million metric tons per year, the company said Friday.

“The project is a true success story for Yemen and highlights its capacity to develop world-class industrial projects with international financing,” said Yemen Minister of Oil and Minerals Ameer Salem Al-Aidaroos.

Train1 began production on Oct. 15. Yemen LNG has delivered LNG to Total Gas and Power, GDF Suez and KOGAS under 20-year sales and purchase agreements. Deliveries were made to Korea, the United States, China, Mexico and Spain, the company said.

The Yemen LNG project is the largest investment ever made in Yemen at around US$4.5 billion, the company said. Gas supplied from Block 18 in the Marib region of central Yemen is treated in cryogenic units for propane extraction and transported through a 320-km (199-mile) pipeline to the LNG plant on the southern coast of Yemen.

In a recent note analysts at Barclays Capital revised their U.S. LNG import forecast downward to 3 Bcf/d, which still represents a year-over-year (y/y) increase of 1.8 Bcf/d (see Daily GPI, March 25).

“While global LNG supply is running 7 Bcf/d above year-ago levels, ahead of our forecast, Q1 ’10 imports were dampened by cold weather in other countries that boosted their LNG takes, causing our annual average 2010 U.S. import number to fall somewhat,” the analysts said. “As we transition through the northern hemisphere winter demand season, the Atlantic spot LNG market should experience a growing flood of supply. Europe’s large increase in LNG imports last year is not expected to be matched with a similar y/y increase in 2010.”

Yemen LNG shareholders are TOTAL, project leader (39.62%), Yemen Gas Co. (16.73%), Hunt Oil Co. (17.22%), SK Energy Co. Ltd. (9.55%), Korea Gas Corp. (6.00%), the General Authority for Social Security and Pensions of Yemen (5.00%) and Hyundai Corp. (5.88%).

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