Twenty-four LNG carriers have exchanged hands during 2022 in deals totalling more than $4bn, making it the busiest year on record for the sale of newbuildings and secondhand vessels.

The bonanza has been boosted by the offloading of at least seven LNG carriers and newbuildings that were previously under the control of Russian shipowner Sovcomflot (SCF Group). Possibly more are in the pipeline or have been concluded.

Affiliates of Idan Ofer-controlled Eastern Pacific Shipping proved a major buyer, snapping up four Sovcomflot vessels and two newbuilding resales originally contracted under the account of a West African trader.