EIA: U.S. LNG exports continue to break records

Teekay’s MEGI LNG carrier Oak Spirit, chartered by Cheniere, traversing the expanded Panama Canal (Image: Teekay)

U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports are continuing to remain high in January following record high levels in the previous two months, according to the Energy Information Administration.

To remind, Cheniere’s Sabine Pass liquefaction terminal in Louisiana exported twelve LNG cargoes in December, setting a new record for U.S. monthly exports.

The agency said in its latest weekly report that exports from Sabine Pass in January remain high, with 8 cargoes already exported and several more vessels currently en route to the terminal.

Feedstock gas deliveries to Sabine Pass also set a new record in January, averaging 1.7 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) to-date, according to data from PointLogic.

Since this volume exceeds the maximum combined nameplate capacity of Train 1 and Train 2 of 1.4 Bcf/d, feedstock gas deliveries may indicate the start of commissioning of Train 3, EIA said.

Cheniere previously said that Train 3 is expected to reach “substantial completion” by June 2017 and to start exporting LNG in April 2017.

Cheniere started exports from the Sabine Pass liquefaction plant, currently the only such facility to ship U.S. shale gas overseas, in February last year with the majority of cargoes landing in Latin America.

However, in December this trend changed with the majority of Sabine Pass cargoes leaving for Asia where cold winter temperatures increased residential heating demand and rising spot LNG prices led to larger price spreads between the Atlantic and Pacific basins, providing greater incentive for exports from the U.S.

The U.S. is expected to become the world’s third-largest LNG supplier by 2020 with an export capacity of 60 million mt coming from five export terminals.

Henry Hub down

Natural gas spot prices in the U.S. dropped in most locations in the week ending January 18, with the Henry Hub price slipping 3¢ from last Wednesday, EIA said.

The Henry Hub spot price dropped from $3.28/MMBtu last Wednesday to $3.25/MMBtu two days ago.

“Temperatures were relatively consistent between last Wednesday and yesterday, resulting in relatively minor price movements through the week,” EIA said.

At the Chicago Citygate, prices decreased 3¢ to $3.22/MMBtu two days ago. By contrast, prices at PG&E Citygate in Northern California gained 8¢, rising to $3.61/MMBtu this Wednesday.


LNG World News Staff