The amount of gas flowing to U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) export plants on Thursday was on track to reach its highest since hitting a record high in March, erasing all of this year’s losses from coronavirus demand destruction.
Data provider Refinitiv said feedgas to the LNG plants was on track to reach 9.4 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) on Thursday, the highest since hitting a record 9.5 bcfd on March 31.
In late August, feedgas flows collapsed to an 18-month low of just 2.3 bcfd due to a combination of hurricane and maintenance outages, and cargo cancellations.
One billion cubic feet of gas can supply about 5 million U.S. homes for a day.
U.S. exports fell each month from March to July as the coronavirus caused energy demand to drop and prices in Europe and Asia to collapse to record lows, leading LNG buyers to cancel around 175 U.S. cargoes.
But with global gas prices rising over the past two months, LNG buyers have reversed earlier cargo cancellations and are again purchasing lots of U.S. gas.
Gas prices in Europe and Asia hit their highest levels since 2019 over the past week, putting both more than $2 per million British thermal units over the U.S. Henry Hub benchmark in Louisiana.
All six of the big U.S. LNG export plants, which together can export about 10 bcfd of gas, were operating in recent weeks after returning from hurricane and maintenance outages and capacity reductions due to cargo cancellations.
The U.S. LNG plants are owned by units of Cheniere Energy Inc (Sabine Pass in Louisiana and Corpus Christi in Texas), Freeport LNG in Texas, Cameron LNG in Louisiana, Kinder Morgan Inc (Elba Island in Georgia), and Dominion Energy Inc (Cove Point in Maryland). 29dk2902l