LNG Export Terminal Utilization Falls As Fog Disrupts Traffic

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credit: alvarez-unsplash
  • Feedgas demand drops to 10.65 Bcf/d Nov. 29
  • Weaker Sabine Pass deliveries drive decline
  • Fog expected to lift Nov. 30

US LNG feegas demand fell by nearly 1 Bcf/d Nov. 29 as fog forced pilots that direct tankers along the channel feeding the largest US liquefaction facility to restrict service, reports SP Global.

The return of Freeport

The decline was driven by the dropoff in utilization at Sabine Pass, despite flows to Venture Global’s Calcasieu Pass export terminal reaching a record high of 1.89 Bcf/d. Pilots reported that outbound traffic for large vessels was restricted along the channel that feeds Sabine Pass from the afternoon of Nov. 28, with fog expected to persist until the Nov. 30. Two unladen LNG tankers — the Energy Pacific and the Seapeak Catalunya — were docked at the Sabine Pass facility Nov. 29, after arriving the previous day, according to Platts cFlow ship and commodity tracking software from S&P Global Commodity Insights.

Freeport has been offline since an explosion and fire at the facility in early June. But the president of Freeport offtaker JERA, Satoshi Onoda, said Nov. 29 that the US exporter expects to resume 80% output around its mid-December target and reach full production in March 2023. The capacity of the Freeport terminal is around 2.3 Bcf/d.

The return of Freeport could add further support to strong domestic demand that has seen US natural gas production rise toward record highs in late November. NYMEX Henry Hub futures prices have surged over the past week, pushing the January 2023 contract to over $7.70/MMBtu last week, or its highest in almost 10 weeks, data from Platts and CME Group showed.

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Source: S P Global

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