BY SARAH KENT
LONDON -- Angola shipped its first cargo of LNG following delays of more than a year to the country's flagship LNG project, Angola LNG said Monday in a press statement.
The first cargo was bought by state oil company, Sonangol, and is being shipped to Brazil, the company said.
The venture, a 5.2 MMtpa LNG project led by Sonangol and Chevron. was supposed to begin commercial shipments at the beginning of 2012. However, the start of exports was delayed several times.
In addition to the delays, the large LNG project has faced challenges due to the growth of the indigenous natural gas market in the US.
Originally the plan had been to deliver the LNG from the plant to the US market, but the shale gas boom in the country has forced the company to look for new customers in Asia and Europe.
Angola LNG said it has executed a large number of master LNG sale and purchase agreements with energy companies across the world, "providing Angola LNG with a robust and diverse portfolio of customers."
It is also negotiating further agreements, it said.
"Angola LNG's vision is to be a reliable and competitive supplier, a strong community partner, and a role model for the economic development of Angola." said Antonio Orfao, Chairman of Angola LNG.
"The project provides a solution to minimize flaring and environmental pollution by gathering associated gas from Angola's offshore oil fields to provide clean and reliable energy to our customers and a return on investment for our shareholders" he added.
BP, Eni, and Total each hold a stake of 13.6% in the project, while Sonangol holds 22.8% and Chevron 36.4%.
Dow Jones Newswires