Natural Gas Glut Overwhelms Speculators, Defies Rally

Nov. 30 (Bloomberg)
......"New production in Qatar, which has the world’s third- largest gas reserves, is a legacy of decisions made years ago. As gas tripled between 2002 and 2008 and Qatar increased investments, the nation avoided locking in prices for about half of its new LNG in anticipation of further gains, according to consultant Wood Mackenzie Ltd. Instead, the global recession caused prices to collapse 25 percent last year.
“Qatar has had to supply the U.S., even though the returns are absolutely awful, because it is the sink for cargoes that can’t go anywhere else,” said Tony Regan, a consultant with Singapore-based Tri-Zen International Ltd. and a former executive in Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s LNG business. “It’s the worst possible moment to increase production, because the world is in recession and prices are so low.”
As the world’s most efficient producer, Qatar can profit at lower prices. The nation can pump 1 million Btu for as little as 15 cents, compared with about $4 for Russia and Norway, according to the IEA. Most costs are covered by so-called condensate, an oil-like petroleum that’s pumped along with natural gas and refined as if it were crude. Qatar then spends another $2.83 to liquefy that gas ready for shipping."


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