The Iranian National Gas Company intends to raise the country’s share in the global gas trade, focusing at the international markets, according to Iranian media.
The Iranian liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports reportedly rose to around 500,000 metric tons in April. According to reports, this month’s shipments were 14 percent up from last month’s figure bringing this year’s total shipments to 1.86 million metric tons.
China’s Oriental Energy Company (OE), loaded 34,000 tons of propane and 14,000 tons of butane supplied by Iranian Gas Commercial Co., aboard an LNG tanker at Iran’s Gulf port of Assaluyeh, which is scheduled to arrive at China’s Qinzhou on April 25. Another ship will bring 33,000 tons of propane and 11,000 tons of butane to Ningbo on May 12.
The shipments of Iranian natural gas come as OE was recently ordered by a Texas state district court to pay $523.8 million in damages to Germany’s Mabanaft following an LPG contract dispute. The court decreed that OE had breached its contract by failing to provide a letter of credit ahead of its first scheduled shipment of propane from the US Gulf.
Beijing also plans to increase in import duties on US propane in response. If this measure is accomplished, it will add a new twist to the US-China trade war. This could shift China’s import focus to the Middle East, including Iran.
Currently, Iran is pressing ahead with its natural gas shipments to Indonesia, India, Thailand and possibly Kenya.