Abu Dhabi: National Gas Shipping Company (NGSCO), Adnoc's liquefied natural gas shipping arm, celebrated its 1,000th shipment of LNG to Tokyo Bay, Japan.

"With this shipment, the total amount of LNG shipped by the company since its inception reached 65 million tonnes, worth more than $20 billion," commented Samir Bail-ouni, the company's fleet manager.

"NGSCO's fleet is eight vessels strong, each with a capacity of 138,000 cubic meters of LNG, while our production stands at 5.2 million tonnes annually," explained Saif Al Ghafli, general manager of Abu Dhabi Gas Liquefaction Company (Adgas).

Last week, NGSCO announced that it had agreed with BP shipping to the transfer of the full technical management of the NGSCO-owned Al Khaznah Class LNG Carriers to NGSCO.

The company went into partnership in 1994 with BP Shipping for BP to provide the technical management of its four Al Khaznah class LNG Carriers built in Japan.

NGSCO has since developed its own pool of marine officers to a skill level which permits successful management of the vessels it owned.

In 2004-05 NGSCO took full management of four Mubaraz class vessels from Golar Management UK Ltd. and has been successfully operating them from its base office in Abu Dhabi.

The return of these vessels to their owner's management coincides with the arrival of BP Shipping's latest batch of new builds, 4 LPG and 4 LNG, securing continued employment of all staff into the future.

NGSCO will assume full responsibility for management of the first two vessels during the planned transition period from November 2006 through to January 2007.

Each year NGSCO ships deliver some 85 LNG cargoes to Tepco terminals in Tokyo Bay.

The distance from Das Island to Tokyo, at 6,500 nautical miles, still represents the world's longest established LNG trading route. Earlier this year NGSCO confirmed that it had delivered over 900 LNG and over 60 LPG cargoes.