3 Freeport LNG Trains Back Online Amid Volatile Natural Gas Prices

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3 Freeport LNG Trains Back Online Amid Volatile Natural Gas Prices

Ten months after its shutdown, Freeport LNG trains are back online for its Quintana Island, Texas, facility, enabling the restoration of deliveries to major companies with liquified natural gas offtake agreements, including giant BP and French TotalEnergies, Hart Energy reports exclusively.

Freeport LNG export facility handles 15 million tonnes per annum, making it one of the largest in the world, and the second largest in the United States. Responsible for some 20% of total LNG exports from the U.S., Freeport generated $35 billion in the first nine months of last year as Europe sought to stave off a winter energy crisis.

In June 2022, the facilities were damaged from an explosion, with its resumption dependent on a lengthy regulatory process.

By March 30, the Freeport export facility was receiving natural gas from pipelines at full capacity, with two of three trains resuming full commercial operations and the third and final train to follow.

“With the return to service of … the third LNG storage tank anticipated this summer, the full restoration of the facility is nearly complete,” Freeport LNG chairman, CEO and founder Michael Smith said in a report cited by Hart Energy.

Prior to Freeport’s shutdown in June last year, U.S. LNG exports peaked in March 2022 at 11.7 Bcf/d, according to data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA). The EIA estimates that American LNG exports will surpass 12 Bfc/d with the resumption of Freeports three trains.

A full return of Freeport LNG to the market comes at a time when weak Chinese demand recovery and high inventories are keeping prices suppressed. Earlier concerns of tightness in the natural gas market appear to have dissipated fairly significantly.

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