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Bloomberg: Total’s LNG Output to Rise to 14 Million Tons by 2010 (Update2)

By Dinakar Sethuraman

March 12 (Bloomberg) — Total SA, Europe’s third-largest oil company, will produce 14 million metric tons of liquefied natural gas a year by 2010, said Jean-Marc Hosanski, senior vice president of the company’s LNG unit.

The Paris-based company’s output in 2007 was 9.1 million tons, Hosanski said today at the Gastech conference in Bangkok.

Total may decide on final investments for some LNG projects by this year. A decision on adding a seventh production line in Nigeria will be made “as soon as possible” and the company “hopes” to start its Iran Pars LNG project this year, he said.

Total has stakes in projects in Iran, Nigeria and Europe, which it targets to begin production this year and next to benefit from rising LNG prices. The company expects global LNG demand to grow 10 percent a year and its output to increase to 30 million tons annually by 2015.

“We will supply to China once the Pars LNG project is approved,” Hosanski said, without elaborating. Total signed a contract with China National Offshore Oil Corp. in October 2006 to supply the fuel.

Total owns 30 percent of Pars LNG, which aims to build a $2 billion liquefaction facility using gas from the Phase 11 development of the South Pars field. In September, Total said the cost of developing the South Pars field would be more than $11 billion.

Iran’s acting oil minister, Gholamhossein Nozari, said a cost of $11.2 billion to develop South Pars was unacceptable, the Iranian oil ministry’s news agency Shana said on its Web site Sept. 27.

Nigeria Output

Total’s LNG venture in Nigeria may reach full capacity later this year, Hosanski said. The sixth production line of Nigeria LNG Ltd. on Bonny Island may start producing 3.8 million tons of LNG annually from the middle of this year, Philippe Sauquet, vice president of Total Gas & Power, said on March 6.

The sixth LNG train, or processing facility, may start pumping gas at full capacity by April, Stacy Nieuwoudt, an analyst at Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co. Securities Inc. said in an e-mail last month.

Nigeria, the world’s sixth-largest LNG producer, has a capacity of 18.1 million tons a year from five units, according to Nigeria LNG’s Web site. The new train will increase capacity to about 22 million tons, equivalent to about 90 percent of South Korea’s annual LNG imports.

State-run Nigerian National Petroleum is the largest shareholder in Nigeria LNG, with 49 percent. Shell has 25.6 percent, Total 15 percent and Eni Spa 10.4 percent, according to the Nigeria LNG Web site.

Snohvit Capacity

The Snohvit LNG facility off Norway, which restarted exports last month, may start producing at full capacity by 2009, Yves Cerf-Mayer, vice president LNG marketing at Total Trading International, said in Bangkok on March 10.

Snohvit, the world’s most remotely located LNG plant, was shut when a leak was discovered in a heat exchanger in November after two cargoes had been supplied, Cerf-Mayer said. The project uses a new liquefaction technology.

Such problems could become frequent because of the tough and extreme environments, said Cerf-Mayer. Snohvit is located 150 kilometers (93 miles) from shore and produces gas from a deposit 400 meters below the sea.

Snohvit is operated and 33.5 percent-owned by StatoilHydro ASA, while Total is a partner with 18.4 percent.

Companies spent about $153 billion on LNG ventures globally between 1960 and 2007, according to a report by Bernstein Energy in December. Producers may invest about $300 billion, almost twice that amount, in new LNG projects in the next eight years to meet rising global demand.

LNG is natural gas that is chilled to liquid form and reduced to one-six-hundredth of its original volume at minus 161 degrees Celsius (minus 257.8 Fahrenheit) for transportation by ship to destinations not connected by pipeline. On arrival, it’s turned back into gas for distribution.

To contact the reporter on this story: Dinakar Sethuraman in Singapore at [email protected].

Last Updated: March 12, 2008 02:47 EDT and its also non-profit sister websites,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

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