Posts from Mickey Kwong

Monday, 08/10/2015

U.S. production of propane from gas processing has more than doubled since 2010 and now exceeds 1.1 MMb/d.  Together with another 300 Mb/d from refineries, that is far more propane than the U.S can use.  Consequently, U.S. exports of propane have been booming, reaching more than 700 Mb/d in July.  But that has not been enough exports to keep propane inventories from filling to the brim, now up to more than 90 million barrels, about 10 million barrels over the five year high.  About the only thing that has been holding back even more exports is shipping costs.   The cost of ships that move most of the propane to overseas markets, called Very Large Gas Carriers, or VLGCs (gas meaning LPG, not natural gas), have been high since U.S. exports started ramping up and then blasted to the moon this summer in response to huge export volumes and logistical tangles in global markets.  But that’s all about to come to an end.  There is a flotilla of new LPG vessels that were ordered many months ago that are scheduled to hit the market in 2015 and 2016.   In today’s blog we review how U.S. LPG exports are likely to respond to the coming massive increase in VLGC shipping capacity.