Interests associated with investment bank JP Morgan are being linked to three high-priced LNG carrier newbuilding resales that are said to have been snapped up by US producer Venture Global LNG for over $800m in total.

Brokers in the sector said JP Morgan has sold three of its on-order LNG carriers for around $270m each.

The vessels are understood to be due for delivery dates before the end of 2026.

TradeWinds has contacted both JP Morgan Asset Management and Venture Global LNG for confirmation and further details but as yet, has received no response.

If confirmed, it would set a new record price for an LNG carrier newbuilding resale.

In mid-2022 Idan Ofer-controlled Eastern Pacific Shipping paid $231.7m each for two LNG carrier resales originally contracted by Nigerian trader Bono Energy in February at HD Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries.

JP Morgan originally launched into the LNG carrier sector, apparently on speculation, but later tied up tonnage to energy majors including BP and Shell before being selected to sign up to 12 of the LNG newbuilding berths QatarEnergy had declared under Phase 1 of a huge shipbuilding project.

The company, which has previously declined to disclose its fleet numbers to TradeWinds, controls a large raft of at least 28 LNG carriers of which 21 are believed to be under-construction vessels.

One database lists 18 on-order vessels at Samsung Heavy Industries and three newbuildings at HD Hyundai Heavy Industries all for the account of JP Morgan’s Bermuda affiliate Global Meridian Holdings.

Of these 21, seven are scheduled for handover this year, eight in 2025 and six in 2026.

The Global Meridian LNG newbuildings ordered in 2021 for handover dates in 2024 and 2025 are listed on Clarksons’ Shipping Intelligence Network as having been contracted at prices in the region of $206.5m to just over $207m.

This represents a huge discount on the last concluded LNG carrier newbuildings, which were reported to have been priced around the $267m to $270m mark and would represent a significant profit if sold.

Named buyer of the LNG resales, Venture Global, is building a chain of LNG production facilities on the US Gulf coast.

The company has ordered five 200,000-cbm LNG newbuildings at Hanwha Ocean to ship its cargoes. These vessels — the first three priced at $237m and the second pair at $250m — are scheduled for handover in late 2025 and 2026.

Venture Global initially made its name by offering a new take on liquefaction construction by offering a fast-to-market modular approach to building.

But more recently it has been at the centre of a publicly played out row with its big-name LNG offtakers like BP, Shell and Repsol, after the company refused to start supply under their sales and purchase agreements until its first plant completes commissioning and achieves commercial operations.

Venture Global’s 12-million-tonne-per-annum Calcasieu Pass LNG facility started exports at the end of February 2022 and has already shipped over 200 cargoes.

The LNG newbuildings that Venture Global contracted were originally required for its second project, the 20-mtpa Plaquemines LNG, from which it is selling some of the LNG on a free-on-board basis.

Venture Global is also developing two more projects which, if completed, would give the company a total of 70 mtpa of LNG in the US — the 20-mtpa Delta LNG and a fourth project dubbed CP2 LNG.