US LNG exporters monitoring progress of Ida [UPDATE #3]
Most companies operating US LNG export facilities along the Gulf Coast said August 27 they are not adjusting operations yet due to Hurricane Ida.
By mid-afternoon Eastern Time (ET), Hurricane Ida had made landfall on Cuba's Isle of Youth, the US National Hurricane Center said in 1400hr ET advisory update, with maximum sustained winds of 75 miles/hour (120 km/hr), and is expected to develop into a “dangerous major hurricane” as it moves north through the Gulf of Mexico. Heavy rains are expected across much of the lower Mississippi valley, and hurricane-force winds are expected along portions of the Louisiana coast.
That puts several LNG export terminals in the path of the storm. Although Cameron LNG in Louisiana initially told NGW it had not yet taken action ahead of the storm, it later advised that it had activated its hurricane preparedness plan.
“This plan involves taking the precautions necessary to ensure personnel and plant operational safety, including coordination with our key service providers, when a tropical system is assessed to potentially impact our operations,” it said in the later email.
Cheniere LNG, which operates an LNG terminal in Corpus Christi as well as the Sabine Pass facility in Louisiana, did not respond to NGW questions.
From the Freeport LNG terminal in Texas, a spokesperson relayed comments similar to those expressed by Cameron.
“Our liquefaction facility remains fully operational [and] we intend to maintain normal operations,” the spokesperson said.
Freeport will continue to monitor the storm and activate its hurricane response plan “if it becomes necessary to do so,” the spokesperson added.
Offshore, companies including BP, Chevron and Equinor have all taken precautionary measures. BP said it started securing its offshore facilities, was preparing to shut-in production and evacuated personnel from four of its platforms in the Gulf of Mexico.
The Interior Department’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement reported August 27 that about 49% of total offshore gas production and 58% of offshore oil was shut-in ahead of Ida.
Ida is expected to make landfall as a “major hurricane” in Louisiana late Sunday. A major hurricane is defined as one with wind speeds of greater than 110 miles/hour. Hurricane Katrina, one of the deadliest and costliest storms to ever hit the region, made landfall in Louisiana on August 29, 2005 as a Category 5 hurricane, with peak winds measured at 175 miles/hour.