| MILAN, Sept 30
MILAN, Sept 30 Asian liquefied natural gas (LNG)
gas prices rose this week on fresh Indian and ongoing South
Korean demand as a forthcoming production outage in Australia
was set to curb global supply.
Month-ahead prices for November delivery hit two-month highs
of $6.10 per million British thermal units (mmBtu), up 35 cents
from last week, helped by firming Brent crude oil after OPEC
members agreed on output cuts.
Brent crude rallied 7 percent this week to $49 a barrel.
The Gladstone LNG export facility run by Australia's Santos
is to shut down one production line from early October to around
Oct. 23, feeding into bullish sentiment on prices as supply
Both production units at Cheniere Energy's Sabine Pass plant
in the U.S. are already offline owing to maintenance that is not
due to finish for about three more weeks.
India's Bharat Petroleum is seeking one cargo for
delivery in October, November and December, with peer Indian Oil
Corporation looking for a single November shipment.
Previously traders had warned that price-sensitive Indian
demand could be limited by rising prices, but rallying Brent
crude may provide more headroom for those companies to keep
spending on gas.
Importers in India tend to compare spot LNG prices against
competing oil-derived fuels. Rising oil prices could keep demand
alive for LNG, one trader said.
Angola LNG offered to sell its second post-shutdown cargo
loading Oct. 4-6.
For winter, another trader expected prices to ease
"The market is offered up for November, but not so much for
winter. Brent is pulling things up now and there's a bit of
buying in the Far East," he said.
"But there is so much new LNG to come ... Angola is now
back, the Middle East if offering cargoes to the Far East and
Australia is ramping up. Unless you believe a cold winter is
coming, I don't see current conditions extending into winter."
Korea Gas Corp, however, is arranging for extra shipments
from long-standing Qatari supplier RasGas to replenish reserves
and cater to extra demand as additional nuclear power stations
are taken offline for maintenance.
In the wake of the country's biggest earthquake, four
nuclear reactors with combined capacity of 2,770 megawatts were
taken offline as a precautionary measure.
Korea Gas Corp is also expected to tap a leading oil major
for LNG supply as well as another Middle Eastern producer, one
(Editing by David Goodman)