Nigeria LNG Ltd said yesterday it would export two cargoes of gas to Europe next month, marking its official breakthrough into the European spot market.
The timing of the exports appeared significant given a markedly higher interest
in relatively secure energy supplies from West Africa in the wake of global
tension following last week's attacks on the United States.

An NLNG statement said the two cargoes were originally intended to be delivered
at Lake Charles, Louisiana, but were subsequently re-routed to Europe. It gave no
reason for the switch and an NLNG spokesman had no immediate explanation.

The first of the two cargoes from NLNG's facility on Bonny Island, southeastern
Nigeria, will be deliverd to U.S. firm CMS Marketing at the French port of Monitor on October 2.
TotalFinaElf Gas and Power North America Inc, buyer of the second shipment
would take delivery of the cargo at Zeebrugge, Belgium, a week later, it added.
Both cargoes would be transported on NLNG ships.

"This is the first time NLNG will deliver spot cargoes to Europe since it began
production two years ago," the statement added.

Nigeria, Africa's biggest oil exporter and the sixth in OPEC, has been keen to
promote LNG as part of a strategy to stop flaring gas associated with its oil

These currently stand at 25 billion barrels for oil and 139 tcf for gas,
according to a December 1999 estimate.

NLNG has recently been promoting itself as one of the most reliable suppliers
of LNG from the Atlantic Basin.

The statement said NLNG held the record in 2001 "for the highest number of spot
cargoes to Lake Charles, currently the only open access terminal in the United

NLNG's General Manager Commercial Jean-Francois Capelle, said "the company
hopes to record similar performance with European spot sales and to be able to
grasp further arbitrage opportunities between both sides of the Atlantic."

Since it started operations in October 1999, NLNG has delivered a total of 158
cargoes, 14 of them spot, the statement said. It has executed master agreements
for spot cargoes with CMS, Coral, TotalFinaElf and BP.

NLNG has long-term contracts with Italy's Enel, Spain's Enagas, Botas of Turkey, Gaz de France and Portugal's Transgas.

The Bonny LNG plant is owned by state-run Nigerian National Petroleum Corp in
joint venture with ENI/Agip, Royal Dutch/Shell and TotalFinaElf.

It currently produces gas from two trains at the $3.6 billion Bonny facility,
the biggest industrial investment in Sub-Saharan Africa.

A third train of similar design and capacity as the 5.9 million tonne per annum
Base Project is currently under construction and is scheduled for completion in

Eni/Agip and Phillips Petroleum <P.N> signed an agreement earlier this month
with the Nigerian government to do study for a third LNG plant to be located in
nearby Bayelsa state.

A second plant seperate from that of Bonny is due to begin production in 2005
as a joint venture between Nigeria and four U.S. multinationals Texaco, Chevron Corp, Exxon Mobil and Conoco.