US Gulf LNG sites monitor arrival of Hurricane Harvey

Source: ICIS News

2017/08/24

HOUSTON (ICIS)--The expected arrival of Hurricane Harvey, which could be the first hurricane to strike Texas since 2008, has placed US liquefied natural gas (LNG) export plant construction sites on alert.

A spokesperson at Cheniere stated that conditions would be monitored at both the construction site at Corpus Christi LNG in south Texas. Sabine Pass is the only LNG export plant in operation in the US.

On 24 August, the National Hurricane Center upgraded the tropical cyclone to a hurricane, predicting maximum sustained winds of 80 miles/hour (130 km/hour). Heavy rainfall and hurricane winds were expected in some parts of Texas after landfall, which was expected by 25 August.

Sabine Pass, which is located nearly 300km from the city of Houston in Cameron Parish, Louisiana, is not expected to have any production impact from the storm.

Cheniere is currently commissioning its fourth train at Sabine Pass and has Train 5 under construction.

Train 3 remains offline after nearly three weeks of planned maintenance. Cheniere confirming the planned maintenance was still ongoing as of 22 August.

The first two trains at Corpus Christi are currently under construction at the south Texas site. Corpus Christi Train 1 is scheduled for first LNG by early 2019. Freeport LNG is currently under construction and is targeting first LNG by 2019. A spokesperson for Freeport LNG said on 24 August that both Freeport LNG and the engineer procurement and construction (EPC) consortium, which is a consortium of CB&I, Zachry Group and Chiyoda, are following hurricane preparedness plans.

The spokesperson said hurricane was expected to bring on more rain than wind.

In the NYMEX futures market, the Henry Hub natural gas benchmark edged up slightly on 24 August, closing less than 1% higher from the previous session for the September ‘17 front-month contract.

Offshore US natural gas production now accounts for about 5% of total US dry gas production, meaning little impact is expected from the hurricane on overall gas supply.