NEW YORK, March 12 (Reuters) - The United States will not see a ramp up of liquefied natural gas imports until summer or fall as new global projects start up, the head of GdF Suez GSZ.PA LNG in North America told Reuters.
Cargoes of the super-cooled gas bought in the last few months will continue to head to Europe rather than the U.S., even as UK prices fall towards U.S. levels, Clay Harris, chief executive of GdF SUEZ LNG NA, told Reuters.
“The few cargoes that are looking for a home are still going to Europe because those cargoes were fixed in the past few months,” Harris said.
Traditionally, more LNG comes into the U.S. in summer as demand in Europe wanes. The swing could be accentuated this year as production projects come online and global gas demand falls during the recession, resulting in more LNG in the United States.
“I think the reverse will be the summer and fall [rather than April or May],” said Harris.
Apart from new projects in Qatar and Russia starting up in the coming weeks, other projects may not stabilize production until later in the year, he said.
Other projects don’t get ramped up until Q3, Q4 . I would think it would take before the end of the year before we see stable production,” he added.
In the meantime, GdF SUEZ plans to concentrate on its Atlantic Basin markets in the UK, France, Spain and the Everett terminal in the northeast United States, Harris said.
Reporting by Edward McAllister; Editing by David Gregorio