An energy major charterer has taken up the three-year extension option on a Seapeak LNG carrier, as portfolio players and traders move to keep control of tonnage in an uncertain market.

In a first-half results statement, gas shipowner Seapeak said in June that the charterer of its 173,545-cbm Myrina LNG (built 2018) exercised the first of four three-year extension options at a fixed rate.

Seapeak — formerly Teekay LNG before it was bought by equity fund manager Stonepeak in January 2022 — said this first optional period starts in May 2024.

Shell is named as the charterer of the vessel on databases.

Seapeak also detailed in April that it had chartered out its 138,000-cbm LNG carrier Seapeak Catalunya (built 2003) for one year from this coming October, with an option for the charterer to extend the hire by another 12 months.

The company said its 173,000-cbm Seapeak Creole (built 2016) started a 23-year fixed-rate contract in February. Seapeak has previously said the vessel and a sister ship are fixed to Chinese charterers.

Charterers have been moving to take up options to extend the hire of vessels in their fleets to guard against the spikes seen in the LNG market last winter and amid demand uncertainties.

In July, Seapeak president and chief executive Mark Kremin said to TradeWinds he had flagged up a shift by charterers towards longer-term deals.

In its statement, Seapeak also revealed that it was exercising its ship repurchase option for the 83,757-cbm ethane and LPG carrier Ineos Marlin (built 2019) for a total cost of $60.5m. It expects to complete this in March next year.

Seapeak has sold four LNG carriers so far in 2023, netting the company a total of $78.3m.

The organisation sold two to cash buyers for green recycling, netting $14.9m from the sale of the 89,880-cbm Seapeak Arctic (ex-Arctic Spirit, built 1993) and $14.7m from the disposal of the 89,880-cbm Seapeak Polar (built 1993) in June.

Seapeak also offloaded its multi-gas carriers to bunker supplier Titan during the period. The 12,000-cbm Seapeak Vision fetched $24.7m in March and the similar-size Seapeak Unikum (both built 2011) $24m in April.

Seapeak’s first-half net income for 2023 climbed to $197.9m from $148.1m in the same period a year earlier.

Income from vessel operations more than doubled to $183.1m from $71.5m in the corresponding six months of 2022.

In the second quarter of 2023, Seapeak nudged its net income higher to $99.9m from $83.4m a year ago.

The company’s income from ship operations for the three months rose to $75.1m from $53.4m in the same quarter of 2022.

Seapeak said total ship days for its LNG fleet for the first half of 2023 were 3,851, compared to 4,137 in the same period a year ago. It said the decrease is largely due to the sale of the Seapeak Arctic and the re-delivery of the 165,500-cbm Seapeak Magellan (built 2009) at the end of its charter in June last year.

At the end of June, Seapeak’s fleet comprised 49 LNG carriers, including five under-construction newbuildings, and has a 30% stake in an LNG regasification terminal in Bahrain. The company said its interests in the vessels ranged from 20% to 100%.

In addition, Seapeak, which bought Evergas in December 2022, owns a 50% stake in 23 LPG, ethane and multi-gas carriers, of which four are under construction, and wholly owns a further 14 ships, and bareboat charters in another six.