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U.S. LNG Exports Continue to Fall as Freeport Plant Struggles With Outages

Exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the United States fell in April for a fourth month in a row, as the Freeport export facility continues to struggle with operational issues and outages, according to data from financial firm LSEG       cited by Reuters.

U.S. LNG exports dropped to 6.19 million metric tons in April, down from 7.61 million tons exported in March, per LSEG data released on Wednesday.

Europe continued to be the top export destination for American LNG, but its share of all U.S. sales fell to 52.5% of the total volume, down from about 57% in March. Asia kept its second spot, receiving 32.6% of total U.S. LNG exports, relatively flat month-on-month.  

Due to problems at Freeport LNG, America’s LNG exports have been falling this year each month compared to the previous month.  

Freeport LNG, which has three natural gas-processing units, or trains, has been operating without at least one of these since January 2024, amid recurring mechanical issues and maintenance.

Last week, Freeport LNG Development LP reported an outage at its third train, which is right now the only one not under maintenance, Natural Gas Intelligence reported

Freeport LNG has been operating below 80% of its capacity due to technical problems in recent months, which has reduced overall LNG exports out of America.

As a result, only five LNG cargoes departed in April from the Quintana, Texas, terminal, carrying a total of 330,000 tons, per the LSEG data quoted by Reuters. This compares to 21 cargoes with a total of 1.42 million tons exported from Freeport LNG in December.

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“We still believe Freeport will not reach its typical summer utilization near 90% until June, at the earliest, given its previous struggles to complete maintenance in a timely manner,” Energy Aspects analyst David Seduski wrote in a note to clients last week, as carried by Reuters.   

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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