The Cool Pool
Three LNG tanker operators have agreed to pool LNG tankers to reduce operating costs. “The Cool Pool” consists of U.S. traded Golar LNG (NASDAQ-GLNG), Gaslog (NYSE-GLOG) and Monaco based Dynagas, will jointly market 14 Tri Fuel Diesel Electric propulsion vessels on a charter basis of twelve months or less.
Dynagas made history in 2012, when the company's LNG carrier OB RIVER became the world's first LNG Carrier to transit and carry a cargo through the Northern Sea Route. The company performed all logistics, approval process and risk analysis for this effort.
Golar will supply eight vessels and both Gaslog and Dynagas will pool three vessels. But the operators will continue to handle crews and technical management.
The flood of LNG newbuilds from Asian shipyards has driven down charter rates to $30,000 per day from $130,000 per day just two years ago. A spokesperson of The Cool Pool said the consortium will allow the owners to optimize marketing of the vessels, improved scheduling ability and increase cost efficiencies.
Spot and short-term LNG trading has grown rapidly in recent years. In 2014, there were 78 LNG spot fixtures in the market compared to 97 this year. Spot and short-term LNG trades are defined by the International Group of LNG Importers (http://www.giignl.org/) as agreements lasting no longer than four years. Spot market fixtures accounted for 16 percent 2006 charters and rose to 29 percent in 2014.