Angola LNG has continued its move away from a business based on spot sales and has signed a multi-year deal with Vitol. The move was announced on September 4, although details were scarce.
The statement said ALNG cargoes would be delivered to Vitol at destinations around the world. This stipulation takes into account ALNG’s fleet, with seven 160,000 cubic metre vessels on hand. It was unclear how many cargoes were contracted under the deal.
“This sales agreement is an important step for [ALNG] and demonstrates our ability to respond to the needs of our customers and the market. Vitol has already purchased many LNG cargoes from [ALNG], and we look forward to continuing our successful relationship,” said Angola LNG Marketing’s CEO, Artur Pereira.
Vitol’s head of LNG, Pablo Galante Escobar, described the move as “an exciting initiative for Vitol”. The company has a “long history of investment and partnership across Africa and [we] are pleased to add these LNG purchases to our portfolio”.
ALNG announced a flexible sales arrangement with EDF Trading in March 2016. This was due to run from 2016 to 2018. This was also on a delivered ex-ship (DES) basis.
The Soyo plant has the capacity to produce 5.2 million tpy of LNG, plus a number of NGLs. The LNG plant was designed to take gas from the country’s offshore that would otherwise have been flared. The plant shipped its first cargo in 2013 but a near-catastrophic accident in April 2014 took it offline, restarting in 2016. Vitol was reportedly the first offloader of a cargo after its 2016 restart.
Angola has historically had close ties with Trafigura, another European-based trader. However, as financial pressures on Luanda have mounted, with oil prices remaining stubbornly low, the country has broadened its ties to rival players.
Vitol began supplying products to Angola in 2016. The LNG deal with Vitol, coming at a time of presidential transition, raises the possibility of further changes in Angola’s trading relationships.