Freeport LNG feedgas intake cut for fifth day -LSEG data
HOUSTON/LONDON Sept 13 (Reuters) - Freeport LNG's natural gas intake at its plant in Texas fell to zero on Wednesday, marking a fifth straight day of operating well below capacity according to LSEG data and suggesting a persistent outage at the plant, analysts said.
The second-largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) producer in the U.S. typically draws about 2 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) of natural gas, but since Saturday has absorbed significantly less, the data showed.
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"Sustained depressed flows suggest an ongoing outage at the facility, although the exact operational nature of the disruption remains unknown," said Leo Kabouche, LNG market analyst at consultancy Energy Aspects.
A company spokesperson declined to comment.
Other analysts have said at least two of the facility's three gas-processing trains may be idled. Trains 1 and 3 have been affected, said sources familiar with Freeport's operations.
Four tankers - the BW Pavilion Aranda, LNG Schneeweisschen, Marvel Crane and Hellas Diana - were waiting on Wednesday to load near Freeport LNG, potentially pointing to a short-term outage rather than a long-term disruption.
The last vessel that departed from Freeport carrying an LNG cargo was the Yiannis, which left on Sept. 8, according to the LSEG data.
Freeport LNG has had at least six emission events over the last two months, according to state environmental agency Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). There was a reduction in feedgas intake of between 200 mcfd and 500 mcfd on those six occasions, according to LSEG data.
Four events affected Train 3 processing unit, with the most recent on Sept. 5. The other two occasions in which gas usage fell were caused by events at Train 1 unit, according to the TCEQ report.
Each time there was a return to normal operations within 48 hours.
The Freeport export plant in Texas was shut after a fire in June 2022, and ended an eight-month outage in February.
U.S. natural gas futures jumped about 5% to a one-week high on Tuesday on a big drop in daily output, and forecasts for warmer weather and higher demand over the next two weeks than previously expected.
An outage at the facility would add to market concerns over global LNG supply as workers at Chevron's Gorgon and Wheatstone LNG projects in Australia began work stoppages last Friday. Chevron has asked an industrial relations tribunal to resolve the labor dispute. (Reporting by Curtis Williams in Houston and Marwa Rashad in London; Editing by Marguerita Choy and David Holmes)