US Cheniere Shuts Two Tanks
Cheniere has been ordered to shut two of the five large LNG storage tanks at its Sabine Pass LNG export complex until further notice by federal safety regulators, after cracks were discovered in the double-walled tanks.
The instruction to shut the two tanks was made February 8 and disclosed the next day by the regulator, but news circulated only this week.
The regulator, the US Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) said February 9 it issued a Corrective Action Order the previous day to Sabine Pass Liquefaction.
PHMSA said the order was the result of safety concerns identified by its Accident and Investigations team as part of their preliminary investigation findings following discovery of a release of LNG from a Sabine Pass storage tank on January 22, 2018, and added that its investigation is still ongoing.
In a letter sent to Sabine Pass dated February 9, PHMSA said the Cheniere facility “must receive written authorization before placing Tanks S-101 and S-103 back into service for the import or export of LNG under the Natural Gas Act.”
Cheniere told Reuters February 12 that LNG production would not be affected by the closures; the company had not issued a statement on its website about the closure.
It has completed and commissioned its first four trains at Sabine Pass in Louisiana and expects to complete the first two trains at its Corpus Christi terminal in Texas in 2019. It recently signed new LNG supply deals with China's CNPC.