Liquefied natural gas (LNG) shipping company Golar LNG reported a net loss of USD 99.5 million in the second quarter of 2016, widening further from a net loss of USD 2.5 million seen in the same quarter a year earlier.
The company’s operating loss amounted to USD 37.1 million in the quarter, compared to an operating loss of USD 44.3 million in the same period of 2015.
“Although headline shipping rates remained relatively unchanged during the quarter there was a modest improvement in utilisation which increased from 24% in 1Q to 31% in 2Q. Reflecting the uptick in utilisation, total operating revenues increased from USD 16.6 million in 1Q to USD 18.4 million in 2Q,” Golar LNG said.
The company said that the modest increase in utilisation in 2Q from historically low levels in 1Q is underpinned by a much greater increase in activity. During 2Q 22 spot voyages were concluded by the Cool Pool relative to only 8 commencing in 1Q. Golar LNG added that much of this additional activity was initially supported by an ENARSA tender for 35 cargoes into Argentina early in the quarter followed by tenders for additional cargoes into Egypt.
During the first half of the year, Golar LNG’s net loss stood at USD 179.5 million, compared to a net income of USD 19.3 million reported in the first half a year earlier, while its operating loss reached USD 79.8 million, against an operating income of USD 22.7 million recorded in the first half of 2015.
In the period after the second quarter, the company closed Golar Power transaction and received USD 103 million in new liquidity. Debt and operating cash burn in respect of two vessels, the Golar Penguin and the Golar Celsius, together with USD 216.5 million of unfunded capital commitments for the FSRU new-build were removed from Golar’s balance sheet.
Subsequent to the quarter end, chartering activity and LNG charter rates have climbed steeply, according to Golar LNG. A combination of ramped up production from new facilities that started producing in late 2015/early 2016, the withdrawal of spot traded ships in anticipation of the imminent start-up of their dedicated project volumes and more trading activity to service recently installed FSRU capacity have collectively started to absorb some of the excess spot tonnage, the company said.
The company added that it believes that sentiment is shifting and that owners are cautiously confident in the market over the next 12-24 months.
“The volume of voyage charters concluded since 2Q, their headline rates and the reemergence of full round trip economics indicates that the anticipated 2H recovery in the shipping market is finally materialising as expected,” Golar said.