Corpus Christi Maintenance Weighs on US LNG Exports
The amount of natural gas flowing to U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) export plants fell to a one-month low on Thursday due to planned work at Cheniere Energy Inc's Corpus Christi in Texas, according to analysts and Refinitiv.
Traders noted LNG feedgas could fall even further next week when Cameron LNG shuts a liquefaction train at its Louisiana plant for planned work.
Cameron LNG said it "has scheduled maintenance on one of the liquefaction trains next week. Normal production levels are expected when the work is completed within a day or so."
LNG feedgas dropped to 9.7 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) on Thursday, according to Refinitiv data, its lowest since March 9 when U.S. exports were recovering after several Gulf Coast LNG plants shut due to a shortage of gas and power during the Texas freeze in mid February.
Analysts said it was normal for LNG plants and gas pipelines supplying them to shut for maintenance in the spring when demand is low.
Cheniere, which does not comment on operations, said in a posting on its website there was pipeline maintenance at the Sinton compressor in Texas on April 8.
LNG feedgas to Corpus was on track to rise to 1.7 bcfd on Friday, according to preliminary data from Refinitiv, up from 1.0 bcfd on Thursday. That compares with an average of 2.5 bcfd over the prior week.
One billion cubic feet of gas is enough to supply about five million U.S. homes for a day.
So far this month, the amount of gas flowing to all U.S. LNG plants averaged 11.1 bcfd, which would top March's monthly record of 10.8 bcfd.
Traders said it was unlikely feedgas in April would top March's record due to the Corpus and upcoming Cameron reductions.
(Reporting by Scott DiSavino; editing by Diane Craft)