The two ships in GasLog’s existing fleet, currently on multi-year charters to a subsidiary of BG Group plc, performed without any off-hire during the quarter ended September 30, 2012, thereby achieving full utilization for the period.
As of September 30, 2012, two of the newbuildings remain uncommitted and GasLog continues to hold options for two additional LNG carriers at Samsung Heavy Industries.
LNG Industry Update
GasLog believes the current supply and demand dynamics of the LNG industry are positive for LNG shipping. There continues to be progress on new production projects, and recent announcements in the LNG industry regarding additional LNG production projects are expected to create increased requirements for LNG carriers.
The third quarter of 2012 saw the final investment decision ("FID") by Cheniere Energy on the construction of two LNG production trains at their Sabine Pass, Louisiana facility, for a planned first-production as early as 2015. These volumes are set to be the first commercial LNG exports produced in the lower-48 states, and may mark the commencement of the USA as a large future LNG exporter. Elsewhere, a tolling agreement was signed between the developers of Freeport LNG export project in Texas, and Japanese buyers. There are many US-based LNG export projects in the planning stages, all seeking to capitalize on relatively inexpensive natural gas in the US. In Australia, the Australia Pacific LNG project took FID on a second production train, with an expected start-up in 2016. In East Africa, we have seen further increases in gas reserve estimates around which LNG exports may be developed.
We have recently seen some older technology ships experiencing idle time. However, on a historical basis LNG shipping rates remain very firm, and we expect this firmness to be reflected in the longer-term charter market.
GasLog believes the robust development of new LNG supply projects and growing global demand for natural gas is likely to drive the need for more LNG carriers. LNG project developers are typically large multinational oil and gas companies with exacting standards for safety and reliability. In addition, we continue to expect a preference for the latest technology in ship design and propulsion. GasLog believes first class charterers will continue to engage experienced LNG shipowners to provide high quality LNG carriers for multi-year charter requirements.