June 10, 2019 / 1:17 AM / 6 days ago

RPT-UPDATE 1-PTT sells first LNG cargo to kick-off Singapore gas trading

(Repeats story sent on late Friday with no changes to text)

* First LNG cargo transaction for PTT International Trading

* PTT LNG trading desk set up in February, this year

* PTT is typically a buyer and started importing LNG in 2011

By Jessica Jaganathan

SINGAPORE, June 7 (Reuters) - The trading arm of Thailand’s state energy firm PTT has sold the company’s first liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargo, a company executive told Reuters on Friday, in yet another sign that LNG is increasingly becoming commoditised and traded.

The cargo was sourced from an unnamed supplier by PTT International Trading - the trading arm of PTT that is based in Singapore - and is scheduled to be delivered into India in June, the source said, declining to elaborate on details of the deal.

This is the first LNG cargo transacted by PTT International Trading and first sale of the super-chilled fuel by the PTT group, which is typically a buyer and started importing LNG for Thai domestic use in 2011, the source said.

The source declined to be named as he was not authorised to speak with media.

PTT did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Thailand is in the midst of liberalising its power sector to boost competition in the domestic market. The southeast Asian country relies mainly on natural gas to generate power but domestic supply is falling behind consumption, requiring the country to import more LNG.

PTT set up an LNG trading desk in its Singapore trading office in February and is in the process of optimising its LNG-related assets, including the use of its Map Ta Phut import terminal at Rayong in Thailand with a capacity of 11.5 million tonnes per year, the source said.

PTT has long-term contracts with QatarGas, BP, Royal Dutch Shell and Malaysia’s Petronas to import a total of just over 5 million tonnes of LNG a year.

But with Thailand’s LNG imports expected to more than double over the next five years driven by declining domestic gas production, the company may need to buy more LNG through spot and term contracts, the source said.

PTT is currently the country’s sole gas supplier and its only LNG importer, but state-run Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand is expected to start imports later this year.

PTT has just begun construction on a second LNG terminal with a capacity of 7.5 million tonnes a year that is expected to be ready by 2022, the source said.

PTT’s Singapore office has about 70 staff, who trade in oil and other commodities. (Reporting by Jessica Jaganathan, with additional reporting by Chayut Setboonsarng in BANGKOK; Editing by Tom Hogue)

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