French energy major is in discussions about offloading the last of its owned LNG carriers and has been in talks with South Korean owner Sinokor Merchant Marine on the 17-year-old vessel.

LNG market players named the ship as the 154,472-cbm LNG Alliance (ex-Gaselys, built 2007) and said talks on the vessel had included the option of a one-year plus charterback deal to TotalEnergies.

But one said there is no guarantee a sale to Sinokor will be concluded.

A spokesman for TotalEnergies confirmed to TradeWinds that the company is looking to sell this vessel and said the organisation is “in discussion with potential buyers”.

The major has previously referred to this ship and two other LNG carriers, which it has already disposed of, as its “legacy assets” and said it would look for the right opportunities to divest them.

A year ago, Turkish powership owner Karpowership bought TotalEnergies’ 154,472-cbm LNG Unity (ex-Provalys, built 2006), the sister ship to the LNG Alliance.

At the time, brokers priced the vessel at around $40m.

The ship, which is operating with just three of its cargo tanks, was recently used to transport a cargo to a floating storage and regasification unit off Brazil.

Separately, TotalEnergies also sold its smaller 74,130-cbm Medmax LNG carrier Global Energy (built 2006) to Chinese trader Jovo Group.

The major acquired all three of these French-built LNG carriers when the company completed its $1.5bn buyout of French utility Engie’s upstream assets in mid-2018.

The three diesel-electric ships were built with GTT’s now discontinued CS1 cargo containment system, which suffered de-bonding issues resulting in some long-running legal action and tank repairs.

Sales of LNG carriers picked up in 2022 in what proved to be an exceptionally hot charter market and amid demand for vessels for conversions into FSRUs or use as floating storage units.

By early December, at least 24 LNG carriers had changed hands during 2022 in deals totalling more than $4bn, making it the busiest year on record for the sale of newbuildings and secondhand vessels.

Brokers said values are rising but the extent of price increases will be dependent on whether anticipated final investment decisions are taken on expected new liquefaction projects.

The action has continued into 2023 with two steam turbine vessels being sold.

In February, TradeWinds reported that Jovo had bought the 154,982-cbm steam turbine LNG carrier Trinity Arrow (built 2008) from Imabari Shipbuilding’s shipowning arm Shoei Kisen Kaisha. A price of just over $60m was reported on the vessel, which is slightly larger than some other 138,000-cbm steamships.

Evangelos Marinakis-controlled Capital Gas has also braved the secondhand LNG market recently, snapping up MISC’s 137,489-cbm membrane-type LNG carrier Puteri Intan Satu (built 2002) for a price close to $35m.