By Marwa Rashad
LONDON (Reuters) -Britain is set to receive a rare shipment of liquefied natural gas (LNG) sourced from Australia and Oman later this month, as countries across Europe strive to secure enough supplies ahead of winter.
European nations are seeking to diversify energy supplies following Russia's invasion of Ukraine and a sharp drop in Russian gas flows to the continent.
LNG tanker Attalos, with a capacity of 174,000 cubic meters, is set to arrive at Britain's Isle of Grain terminal on Aug. 22, according to data and analytics firm Kpler.
"The (LNG tanker) Patris was the original vessel that loaded at the North West Shelf liquefaction plant in Australia. It did a ship-to-ship transfer with the Attalos in Malaysian waters, and the Attalos is now headed to the UK," said Laura Page, senior LNG analyst at Kpler.
Australian cargoes are rare in Europe due to the massive cost related to the distance, and due to high demand from Asian buyers.
In addition to the Australian cargo, Attalos picked up the rest of the volumes via ship-to-ship transfer at Linggi, Malaysia, from the BW Lesmes tanker which was laden with an Omani cargo, said Olumide Ajayi, senior LNG analyst at Refinitiv.
It was not clear how much volume it got from each tanker. An average LNG cargo size is 70,000 tonnes.
"Both destinations are very rare, Australian cargoes to the UK were last seen some six years ago, while this is the first time the UK is receiving an Omani cargo," he added.
Britain is home to three of the largest LNG terminals in Europe - two terminals at Milford Haven and another at the Isle of Grain - where the super chilled fuel is converted back into gas, with some volumes transferred via pipeline to mainland Europe.
European LNG imports from January to July reached a record above 100 billion cubic meters (bcm), or 75 million tonnes, almost reaching the level for the whole of 2021. Most of these exports came from the United States.
In the first half of this year, the United States exported about 57 bcm of gas as LNG, with 39 bcm, or 68%, going to Europe, compared with 34 bcm, or 35%, of LNG exports shipped to Europe for all of 2021, according to Refinitiv data.
(Reporting by Marwa Rashad; Editing by Mark Potter)