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Sub-zero temperatures and harsh weather have caused delays and cancelations of LNG export cargos from Louisiana and Texas, Bloomberg has reported, citing unnamed sources in the know.
Those told the news outlet that Cameron LNG had canceled at least one scheduled cargo and delayed several others, and Cheniere Energy had also been forced to delay some loadings.
The effect of these disruptions, however, is expected to be limited as the weather forecast for next week is for warmer weather, which should take care of the delays. Europe, meanwhile—the biggest buyer of U.S. LNG—is boasting lower gas prices on ample supply. Milder weather should come to the continent next week, too.
The outlook remains stable to bearish for European gas prices (on Wednesday) with no major change in temperature forecasts overnight and nominations for Norwegian gas exports to Europe back to 350 mcm/day," analysts from EnergyScan, a unit of French energy major Engie, said this week, as quoted by Reuters.
"(However) market players should continue to watch out for potential moves in the LNG delivery schedule of Qatari cargoes to European import terminals," they added.
Qatar last week diverted at least five cargos from the Suez Canal route amid continued Houthi attacks on ships in the Red Sea. Since then, the situation has escalated, with U.S. and UK forces striking targets in Yemen, to which the Houthis responded with more attacks on ships and a declaration that all U.S. and UK vessels will also become targets.
"If the situation deteriorates, it may lead to some disruptions and longer shipping times in the short term – but where there is flexibility, it's expected that we'd see shifts in trade flows," analysts from ING wrote, as quoted by Reuters.
According to them, the most important risk for LNG shipments is the potential disruption of gas flows via the Strait of Hormuz which is where Qatari LNG travels through. Yet the risk of such a disruption is remote, based on historical evidence.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.