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U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports were down slightly week/week between Nov. 28 and Dec. 4, a stretch that not only included the Thanksgiving holiday but one that saw more bearish sentiment spill into the global market as the year comes to an end.
Ten export vessels, including five from Sabine Pass, two from Corpus Christi, and one each from Cove Point, Cameron and Freeport, departed U.S. shores with a combined carrying capacity of 36 Bcf, according to the Energy Information Administration. That’s down slightly from the 12 vessels and 43 Bcf that sailed in the prior week.
Volumes should remain steady, however, as export terminals along the Gulf Coast hit additional milestones over roughly the same time. McDermott International Inc. said in early December it was at the final commissioning stage and introducing feedgas to the second train at Cameron LNG in Hackberry, LA. That facility came online over the summer.
McDermott also said on Friday (Dec. 6) the second train at Freeport LNG on Quintana Island in Freeport, TX, has begun producing LNG, a “precursor to first cargo.” Train 3 remains on schedule, it added, with first LNG production scheduled by the end of March. Train 1 started producing the super-chilled fuel in August.
Cheniere Energy Inc. also recently requested permission from FERC and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration to return to service a storage tank that was damaged in an accidental release of LNG early last year at its Sabine Pass export facility in Louisiana. While the incident knocked two storage tanks offline, the company wants to bring one back while it works to meet requirements set by regulators for the other.
Sabine Pass, which sent out the first exports in 2016, has continued to ramp up volumes with loadings on a daily basis unlike other facilities on the Gulf Coast. While the company has three other storage tanks at the facility, another would enhance operational flexibility.