* Spree of tender awards due next week
* Nigeria LNG force majeure not impacting market
* October prices under pressure
MILAN/LONDON Aug 14 (Reuters) - Asian liquefied natural gas (LNG) prices steadied for September delivery this week as traders awaited the outcome of purchase and supply tenders to signal price direction.
“There’s a lot of offers, a lot of tendered supply, but while those tenders haven’t closed yet, actual executed prices are a little unclear,” said a trader.
The price of Asian spot cargoes held steady at around $8.00 per million British thermal units (mmBtu), level-pegging with October prices, which were coming under pressure.
Japanese utility Tohoku Electric purchased a cargo for mid-October delivery paying around $8.00 per million British thermal units (mmBtu), a trader said.
Shell’s force majeure on gas supplies to Nigeria’s LNG export terminal at Bonny Island failed to move the dial on supply outlooks so far, with Bonny cargoes loading as planned.
“There’s been no actual impact at the terminal, the force majeure was only ever declared on the feed gas pipeline which was 40 percent of the total supply into the terminal and I suppose the other feed gas pipelines have the ability to ramp up and replace if not all, certainly some of that supply,” the trader said.
Australia’s BHP Billiton was offering a single cargo loading on Oct. 13 from the North West Shelf export plant.
Indonesia’s BP-operated Tangguh project put three cargoes up for sale all with October loading dates, a trader said.
On the demand side, Argentina and Jordan sought three and two cargoes, respectively, for October delivery, with Israel tendering for one September delivery.
Indian LNG importers are increasingly turning down supplies under more expensive oil-indexed, long-term contracts from Qatar in favour of purchasing cheaper spot cargoes.
Gail India launched two tenders for up to 17 cargoes in total. Five cargoes are for delivery in October to December. A second tender asks for one cargo/month in 2016.
Indian Oil Corp launched a tender for one September cargo.
Reporting by Oleg Vukmanovic and Sarah McFarlane, editing by William Hardy