Owner and operator of liquefied natural gas carriers Golar LNG generated a net loss of USD 65.8 million in the first quarter of 2017, compared to an income of USD 8.6 million seen in the previous quarter.
The company said that the improvements in shipping rates and activity levels during the final weeks of the fourth quarter of 2016 and into January translated into a modest improvement in first quarter operating revenues, which increased to USD 25.1 million from USD 23 million reported in the previous three-month period.
Despite some improvement over the prior quarter, the shipping market remained weak in the first three months of 2017. Fleet Time Charter Equivalent (TCE) increased from 10,893 in the fourth quarter of 2016 to 14,189 in the first quarter of 2017.
Golar LNG said that the improvement was partly driven by a number of vessels in the Cool Pool that secured short-term charters in the USD 30,000 per day range.
However, this additional spot market activity together with reduced payments to Golar Partners in respect of the dry-docked Golar Grand “did not result in a reduction to reported voyage expenses.” Of the USD 16.9 million voyage expenses, USD 9.6 million represents the cost of chartering the Golar Grand from Golar Partners.
Golar LNG said that the underlying trend remains positive as new liquefaction projects continue to deliver. Some 34 million tons of new LNG is expected to come on line in 2017, representing a 13% growth against 2016 global production.
Against this, shipping capacity is expected to grow by around 9%, a mismatch which is expected to have a positive impact on shipping over the same time frame, Golar LNG informed.