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Atlantic LNG expects tough year ahead

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LNG Industry,

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Atlantic LNG Company of Trinidad and Tobago, Nigel Darlow, has predicted a tough year ahead for the company due to gas supply shortages.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the AMCHAM HSSE Conference, Mr Darlow commented that the current environment of low gas supply and low global commodity prices were challenging how the company manages safety.

Mr Darlow said: “Atlantic is suffering very badly from big gas supply shortages on a scale we have never experienced before […] Year to date 2016, Atlantic has suffered on average over 30% gas supply shortage and there is no significant improvement in the foreseeable future. In fact, 2017 is predicted to be worse still with overall gas shortage close to 35%. It is very serious for us, equating to something like 75 LNG cargoes lost each year. Atlantic is suffering the vast majority of gas supply shortage in the country.”

Darlow also explained that Atlantic faced daily challenges in operating turbines and compressors. He said that they were not designed to be continually turned “up and down and on and off”. He added: “We need to understand the impact that this is having on our operating envelope and our maintenance requirements and on our plant and on our equipment. We must ensure that the low levels of plant utilisation do not present process safety risks which are not fully understood and properly managed.”

Darlow also raised concerns that cost reductions could negatively impact safety: “No organisation will knowingly compromise safety in pursuit of cost reductions […] But we must be careful about sub-consciously sending the wrong message and in doing so having unintended consequences. In looking for cost efficiencies and optimising how we work we must never cut safety corners.”

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