(Changes story label to PAPUA-QUAKE/LNG-SINGAPORE. No changes to text.)
* Tanker traffic disrupted after quake halts supply
* PNG LNG production to be shut for eight weeks
* Spot prices of LNG likely to climb - trade
By Jessica Jaganathan
SINGAPORE, March 5 (Reuters) - A liquefied natural gas (LNG) tanker bound for Papua New Guinea from Taiwan has diverted to Singapore, following a powerful earthquake a week ago that has halted LNG supply from the country, data from Thomson Reuters Eikon showed.
A second LNG tanker, which left Japan last month for Port Moresby, has also flagged it is now looking for a cargo, while a third remains in Papua New Guinea’s Kumul Marine Terminal zone after arriving on Feb. 24, the data showed.
The destination change reflects the disruption from the Feb. 26 quake, with PNG LNG project operator ExxonMobil saying on Monday it would take about eight weeks to restore production, while Asian LNG spot prices have risen.
The Gigira Leiteboj, which left Yung An, Taiwan on Feb. 26 for arrival in Papua New Guinea on March 6, changed its destination to Singapore on March 3, the shipping data showed. The Yung-An LNG terminal in Taiwan’s Kaohsiung county is operated by CPC Corp, a long-term buyers of PNG LNG.
The Pacific Arcadia, an LNG tanker which left Japan’s Sodeshi LNG terminal on Feb. 21, changed its status to “for orders” on March 2.
The Velikiy Novgorod is still in Papua New Guinea after arriving on Feb. 24 from China’s Qingdao LNG terminal in Shandong. The Qingdao LNG terminal is owned by Sinopec, also a long-term buyer of PNG LNG.
Taiwan’s CPC last week purchased a spot LNG cargo for delivery in April at higher than market rates, traders said. The company is also in the spot market to buy a cargo for first half of May, they said.
PNG LNG’s other long-term buyers include Japan’s Osaka Gas and JERA, which is a fuel joint venture between Tokyo Electric Power and Chubu Electric Power.
Reporting by Jessica Jaganathan; editing by Richard Pullin