Imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) marked a large decline in August, reaching their lowest level of the year, according to the latest data available from the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

LNG imports declined to 21.6 Bcf in August, down 14.7 Bcf from the 36.3 Bcf imported in July. January was the month that saw the most LNG imported this year with 56.4 Bcf, according to EIA.

Of the August imports, 16.5 Bcf came from Trinidad and 5.1 Bcf came from Yemen. The import terminal at Elba Island, GA, received 8 Bcf; the terminal at Everett, MA, took in 13.3 Bcf, and the Neptune Deepwater Port received 0.3 Bcf. BG LNG was responsible for 8 Bcf of the August imports while Distrigas brought in 13.6 Bcf.

Short-term imports brought in by Distrigas to the Everett terminal during August garnered landed prices of $4.63 and $4.97/MMBtu. Three long-term cargoes brought in by BG at Elba Island were at a landed price of $4.51/MMBtu. Long-term cargoes imported by Distrigas at Everett had landed prices of $4.63, $4.72 and $4.73/MMBtu, while a Distrigas cargo at Neptune came in at $5.91/MMBtu.

LNG imports to the United States have tapered significantly as Europe has been a more attractive destination for Atlantic Basin cargoes. Analysts at Barclays Capital recently noted the widening of the Henry Hub-National Balancing Point (NBP) spread from 2009 but said they expect a $1.52/MMBtu Henry-NBP spread for 2011, not far off this year's spread (see Daily GPI, Oct. 7).

U.S. LNG exports from the terminal at Kenai, AK, during August were made by ConocoPhillips Alaska and Marathon Oil Corp. to Japan at a delivered price of $13.09/MMBtu, according to EIA.

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