UPDATE 1-Heavy gas storage volumes choking off N.Asia LNG demand | Energy & Oil
* Gas storage in Japan, Korea and China full - sources, data
* Several LNG tankers floating gas off Singapore, Malaysia
* Traders betting demand will pick up again for winter (Adds comment from CNPC on gas storage)
By Jessica Jaganathan
SINGAPORE, Nov 2 (Reuters) - Rising gas storage levels in North Asia are denting demand for liquefied natural gas (LNG) ahead of a warmer-than-expected winter, driving at least one utility in Japan to resell winter cargoes it does not need, regional trade sources told Reuters.
Storage levels in Japan and South Korea are estimated to be at their highest since at least 2015, according to data from Refinitiv Eikon. Gas storage tanks are filling up in China as well, according to trade sources.
Chinese state oil giant China National Petoleum Corp (CNPC) said earlier this week that it had finished injecting gas into its underground storage, with volumes at record levels ahead of winter.
North Asia’s gas inventory typically peaks in October before it starts getting drawn down, but this year there are no signs yet of stocks falling, according to the data.
“Due to warmer weather than usual, Japanese buyers’ demands are low and tank inventories are high,” a trader familiar with the Japanese LNG market said on Friday.
At least one utility is trying to sell winter cargoes that it does not need due to high inventory, he added.
Japan is likely to experience warmer-than-average weather between November and January, the country’s official forecaster said last....