The LNG carrier Maran Gas Apollonia, chartered by Shell, transits the expanded Panama Canal'’s Agua Clara Locks on July 25. (Source: Panama Canal Authority)
The happy notion of clear sailing for big LNG carriers through the expanded Panama Canal has experienced a bump—literally.
Three vessels have collided with a lock wall in the new lane of the canal since the $5.4 billion expansion project opened for business on June 26, including an LPG tanker, the Lycaste Peace, in late June.
The first LNG tanker to traverse the new lane of the canal was Shell’s Maran Gas Apollonia, which made the journey on July 25 as it moved cargo from Cheniere Inc.’s Sabine Pass facility to the Pacific Market. Hart Energy reported that no more LNG vessels are scheduled to pass through this year as U.S. producers focus on the better margins available in Europe and South America.