An outage at Freeport LNG in Texas since a June 8 blast is starting to eat into U.S. LNG exports to Europe, a new market note from energy and environmental geo-analytics company Kayrros has stated.
According to a graph included in the note, which contained data stretching back to the start of the year, Europe LNG imports from the U.S. are at their lowest level in 2022 at under one million cubic meters. Although the graph shows that the figure is still well above 2021, 2020, and 2019 levels at the same period, it outlines that highs of just under three million cubic meters were reached three times this year, with the latest occurrence coming around May.
“Much of the recent relative easing of European LNG imports reflects reduced flows from the U.S., which had been the main source of incremental imports earlier on,” Kayrros stated in the note, which was sent to Rigzone.
“U.S. LNG export capacity took a hit on June 8 when a blast rocked the Freeport LNG liquefaction plant on Quintana Island, Texas, causing a prolonged outage whose impact is now beginning to be felt at the receiving end,” Kayrros added.
In the note, Kayrros said LNG is a key alternative to piped Russian natural gas into Europe, but added that supply availability has been somewhat constrained by a series of outages in the last few weeks. The company also highlighted in the note that Europe needs to maintain sufficiently high gas imports levels to build underground storage ahead of the peak winter heating season.
On June 8, a statement posted on Freeport LNG’s official Facebook page announced that an incident had occurred at the Freeport LNG facility on Quintana Island at about 11.40 am. An update posted on the company’s Facebook page on the same day revealed that the incident had been stabilized and that the company was in the early stages of its investigation of the event. On June 14, Freeport LNG revealed that the completion of all necessary repairs and a return to full plant operations at the Freeport LNG liquefaction plant on Quintana Island was not expected until late 2022.
Freeport LNG, which was founded in the early 2000s, has enough daily LNG output from its three liquefaction trains to power and light a metropolitan area the size of San Antonio for an entire day, according to the company’s website, which outlines that the company is working on a fourth train.