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Refinitiv data showed gas flowing to the Freeport LNG plant that’s been shuttered since going offline in June after suffering damage from an explosion.
The gas flows, according to an anonymous Reuters source, were within the plant’s pre-treatment facility and were maintaining the flare system.
Last week, Freeport LNG denied the Reuters’ rumors that Freeport LNG would delay its planned startup from the second half of January until February, telling Oilprice.com that Freeport LNG had “no change to our restart timeline. We are still targeting the second half of this month for the safe, initial restart of our liquefaction facility, pending regulatory approvals.”
Freeport, responsible for some 20% of total LNG exports from the United States and generating $35 billion in revenue during the first nine months of 2022, served Europe well last year as the continent looked to squelch a growing energy crisis this winter.
US natural gas futures spiked nearly 7% earlier in the day before retreating to a still robust 5.64% increase at 2:00 p.m. ET, coming off an 18-month low on Monday on reports of colder weather that lie ahead over the course of the next two weeks, and as the data showed gas flowing to Freeport LNG, sparking hopes that the United States could once again ratchet up LNG exports, easing heavy domestic inventories with export capacity restricted since June.
Freeport LNG confirmed to Oilprice.com on Tuesday that they are still targeting the second half of this month “for the safe, initial restart of our liquefaction facility,” adding that there was “no change in our timeline.” Freeport did not comment on whether it had filed the necessary restart request with federal regulators.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for Oilprice.com, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.