Deep Freeze Forces US LNG Exporters to Cancel, Delay Cargoes

Extreme Cold Affected Shipments in Texas and Louisiana
Snow in Iowa
Snow covers benches during a winter storm on Jan. 15 in Des Moines, Iowa. (Al Drago/Bloomberg News)

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The recent freeze across Texas and Louisiana disrupted scheduled exports of U.S. liquefied natural gas, temporarily tightening some supply of the heating and power-plant fuel.

The Cameron LNG export plant in Louisiana canceled at least one scheduled shipment, according to people familiar with the matter. Several other planned deliveries from Cameron and Cheniere Energy Inc.’s Corpus Christi facility in Texas were also delayed, they said.

The Freeport LNG terminal in Texas on Jan. 16 briefly brought down and restarted one of its three production units, according to a state regulatory filing. Freeport LNG’s loading schedule was also disrupted this week as a result of the weather, according to people familiar with the matter.

Export disruptions will likely be short-lived, with warmer weather expected next week. Milder-than-normal temperatures are forecast across most of the U.S. Jan. 23-27, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The global market impact should also be limited given that gas inventories across Europe and Asia remain high, with the end of winter on the horizon. European gas futures fell to a five-month low on Jan. 17.

Frigid weather in the U.S. closed ports and reduced domestic gas production, forcing LNG exporters to rearrange schedules for customers. Pipeline gas flows to liquefaction facilities on Jan. 17 were 45% lower than a week earlier.

Cameron LNG did not respond for comment. A spokesperson declined to comment on the plant operations earlier this week. Spokespeople for Cheniere and Freeport also declined to comment.

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