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Tanker carrying Russian gas for Boston makes mid-Atlantic U-turn

Bloomberg are reporting that three weeks after picking up a controversial cargo in the UK, a LNG tanker made a U-turn one day before it was due to deliver it in Boston.

The Gaselys vessel that was due to arrive on the US East Coast on 13 January is now heading back toward Spain’s port of Algeciras near Gibraltar, and should get there next week. The vessel is carrying a cargo from storage tanks at a terminal near London, which earlier received the first fuel from the US$27 billion Yamal LNG plant in Russia’s icy north.

The cargo was sent to Boston after the polar chill that gripped the US northeast earlier this month, sending prices to records. While unusual, it is not unheard of for LNG cargoes that are not tied into a contract with fixed destination to change course en route as cargo owners seek the highest price and the best market. Companies with access to wide global supplies can also swap shipments between regions.

Engie SA’s North American unit bought the spot cargo for delivery to the US from Malaysia’s Petroliam Nasional Bhd. to supplement its contracted volumes from Trinidad and Tobago into its Everett terminal near Boston.

The Yamal LNG project, co-owned by Russia’s Novatek PJSC, Total SA, China Natural Petroleum Corp. and China’s Silk Road Fund, started production in December despite US financial sanctions imposed in 2014 because of Russia’s involvement in the Ukrainian conflict. It plans to deliver 14 spot cargoes by April, when long-term contracts kick in.

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