CEO: Shell focusing on new European LNG import capacity

Shell is looking to book more regasification capacity at European LNG terminals besides the two deals it signed this year, according to Shell’s chief executive Ben van Beurden.

The LNG giant already has LNG capacity access to terminals in Spain, the Netherlands, and the UK.

On top of this, Shell has recently booked capacity at the second Dutch LNG import facility in Eemshaven and signed a memorandum of understanding to take capacity at the planned Brunsbuettel LNG import terminal in Germany.

Germany, which currently has no operational LNG import terminals, the Netherlands, and other European countries are fast-tracking LNG imports in order to secure additional gas supply and cut reliance on Russian pipeline gas.

This is why Shell is booking more capacity at terminals in order to bring new LNG supplies to Europe.

“We are focusing on new LNG import capacity in Europe,” van Beurden told analysts during the company’s second-quarter earnings call on Friday.

“So you’ve seen us sign MoU for capacity in the Brunsbuettel terminal in northern Germany. But we’ve also taken capacity in the Eemshaven, which is the large port that is actually on the border of Germany and the Netherlands, close to Groningen, and therefore, close to European gas infrastructure,” he said.

“And, of course, we are looking at other opportunities as well in addition to what we already have in Europe,” van Beurden said.

LNG Canada expansion

The CEO also talked about new liquefaction capacity and the expansion of its giant LNG Canada project.

“We have actually quite a big program going on at the moment. We are right in the middle of building the LNG Canada project, a very large project,” he said.

“We see also potential to do a third and a fourth train, but that it is not an imminent FID. We want to, first of all, of course, finish Trains 1 and 2,” van Beurden said.

Besides LNG Canada, the CEO mentioned that Shell also took a stake in the huge Qatar LNG expansion project, and that it is building with its partners the seventh Nigerian LNG train.

Shell is also working on a huge LNG project in Tanzania and “some other opportunities that are a bit further back in the funnel,” he said.

Sakhalin LNG move

Earlier this year, Shell announced it would exit its joint ventures with Russia’s Gazprom and related entities, including its stake in the Sakhalin-2 LNG export terminal. The firm has been in talks since to sell the stake.

Also, Shell recently said it was looking into the implications of a decree that would allow Russia to take over control of the Sakhalin-2 LNG export terminal.

The five-page decree signed by President Vladimir Putin says that Russia would create a new company which would take over all rights and obligations of the Sakhalin Energy Investment Company due to Western sanctions imposed on Russia.

Shell has a 27.5 percent interest in in the Sakhalin-2 LNG export terminal, while Gazprom has a 50 percent operating stake. Japan’s Mitsubishi owns 12.5 percent stake and compatriot Mitsubishi holds 10 percent in the plant.

“We have, of course taken note of the presidential decree, but the details of that are still not entirely clear,” van Beurden said during a separate call with media representatives.

“Let me say one thing, though. While we are, of course, waiting for the details to come out, it’s highly unlikely that we will buy into a Russian entity if the interest we have in Sakhalin Energy are being transitioned to that,” he said.

“That’s not in line with our intentions to leave our asset position in Russia. It, of course, throws little bit more uncertainty how exactly we will exit, but we are pretty clear on our intent,” van Beurden said

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