US LNG Exports Fall for Fourth Straight Month

May 1, 2024

© moofushi / Adobe Stock
© moofushi / Adobe Stock

U.S. exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) fell for a fourth consecutive month to 6.19 million metric tons in April from 7.61 million in March on production outages, preliminary data from financial firm LSEG showed on Wednesday.

Recurring mechanical problems have hit Freeport LNG, the second largest U.S. plant by capacity. Last month, the Quintana, Texas, terminal exported five cargoes for a total of 330,000 tons, compared to 21 cargoes and 1.42 million tons in December.

Since mid-January, the plant has been operating without at least one of its three gas-processing trains. Freeport declined to comment on the latest production challenges. It has begun to increase its feedgas consumption over the last three days, LSEG data showed, and a tanker moored at its dock last Friday.

"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 said in a note to clients last week.

The largest U.S. exporter, Cheniere Energy, had reduced gas consumption for about 24 hours last month at each of its Corpus Christi, Texas, and Sabine Pass, Louisiana, plants. It declined to comment on a reason for the declines.

U.S. exports to Europe slipped to 3.25 million tons, or 52.5% of the total volume, from 4.31 million tons, or about 57%, of March's total, the data showed.

Asia held steady as a share of total volumes with the seven U.S. export plants sending 2.02 million tons of LNG to Asia, 32.6% of total exports, compared to 2.4 million tons, or 33% in March, the LSEG data showed.

One cargo went to Kuwait from Cameron LNG, the data showed.

Exports of LNG to Latin American as a share of total exports almost doubled in April compared to March, growing to 850,000 tons or 13.7% of the total, from 550,000 tons, or 7%, in March.

Sales of the superchilled gas increased to Latin America, with purchases by Jamaica and the Dominican Republic, Colombia, Brazil and Argentina, the data showed.


(Reuters - Reporting by Curtis Williams; Editing by Jamie Freed)

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