Article from: OGEL 3 (2020), in Editorial
OGEL has a strong track record of building LNG scholarship, starting with the very first OGEL articles published in the early 2000s. In 2006, a Special Feature on LNG, focusing on terminal projects and shipping and edited by Philip Weems and Stéphane Gauducheau, was included in a regular OGEL issue. The first OGEL Special Issue on LNG followed in 2017 and was prepared by Aikaterini Florou and Kim Talus, the OGEL Editor-in-Chief. It covered a wide range of topics from domestic regulatory frameworks to LNG trading and disputes.
The key objective of this OGEL Special Issue on "Changing LNG Markets and Contracts" is to collect insights on the recent developments in the global LNG industry. In December 2019, the COVID-19 outbreak added an unexpected angle to the project.
This Special Issue contains 13 contributions from 23 authors who are based across the globe and bring a wealth of expert knowledge and relevant experience. All contributions are briefly introduced below and can be divided into articles on (i) LNG markets, (ii) LNG contracts, and (iii) book reviews. Several articles discuss the impact of the current COVID-19 pandemic on the LNG industry. We expect, and welcome, further papers to be added as an Addendum.
The Special Issue opens with three articles on LNG markets. Liliana Diaz discusses the role of LNG in Brazil, looking at both LNG import projects and potential exports of pre-salt LNG. Loukia Kopitsa and Anastasis Voskos assess the current status of the Greek LNG market and describe proposals for new LNG facilities in Greece, which include small-scale LNG (ssLNG). Ana Staniè and Sohbet Karbuz focus on the region of the Eastern Mediterranean (East Med) and identify the key commercial challenges facing East Med gas production and LNG exports.
The next eight articles discuss LNG contracts, with the first two articles looking at novel LNG contract structures. Ruchdi Maalouf discusses the growing importance of portfolio sale and purchase agreements (portfolio SPAs) in the context of LNG portfolio optimization and LNG marketing. Kirk Kinnear submits an idea of 'Brentrification'-modifying the Brent crude oil model to create a global LNG pricing benchmark with standardized contract terms.
Three articles address LNG price reviews. Konstantin Christie, Mino Han and Leonid Shmatenko examine the interplay between price review, force majeure, change of circumstances and hardship clauses, including in the context of the current COVID-19 crisis. Steven Finizio, John Trenor and Jared Tan discuss trends in Asian LNG supply contracts and pricing disputes and identify factors that may lead to an increase in LNG price reviews and arbitrations in the Asia Pacific region. Andrej Pustiek, Christoph Merkel and Michael Karasz formulate lessons learned over decades of gas and LNG price reviews and arbitrations in Continental Europe which may be relevant to Asian price reviews.
The last three articles focus on non-price terms in LNG contracts. Kim Talus, Scott Looper and Luke Burns examine the past, present and future of take-or-pay agreements, including 'after COVID-19' and in relation to alternatives like ship-or-pay. James Atkin discusses destination flexibility in LNG sales contracts and highlights the role of third-party access in the process of achieving global LNG destination flexibility. Luis Agosti and Boaz Moselle describe several categories of LNG disputes 'beyond price reviews' and address potential force majeure disputes arising from the coronavirus outbreak.
The issue closes with the reviews of two recent books, The Globalization of Russian Gas: Political and Commercial Catalysts by James Henderson and Arild Moe (Edward Elgar 2019) and Gas and LNG Price Arbitrations: A Practical Handbook by James Freeman and Mark Levy (eds), 2nd edition (Globe Law and Business 2020).
The editor would like to thank all the contributors for their fascinating articles, Kim Talus for the opportunity to edit this Special Issue, and the OGEL publisher for their excellent support.
Kingston, May 2020
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 All Author profiles can be found on the OGEL website.