U.S. natgas flows to Texas Freeport LNG export plant rises

(Reuters) - The amount of natural gas flowing to Freeport LNG's LNG export plant in Texas was on track to rise for a second day in a row, according to data from financial firm LSEG.

Energy traders said gas futures NGc1 were trading about 2% higher so far on Tuesday on the possibility that feedgas to the Freeport facility could increase about a month sooner than expected.

The "natural gas contract defied anticipated weakness amid signs of rising LNG feedgas demand at Freeport LNG more than a month earlier than anticipated," analysts at EBW Analytics, a consulting firm, said in a note.

Freeport said in late March that it expected two of the three liquefaction trains at the plant - Trains 1 and 2 - to remain shut until May for inspections and repairs, while Train 3 was operating.

Officials at Freeport had no comment on the increased gas flows to the company's export plant.

The amount of gas flowing to the Freeport plant was on track to rise to 1.3 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) on Tuesday, up from 0.9 bcfd on Monday and an average of 0.8 bcfd over the prior seven days, according to LSEG data.

Each Freeport train can turn about 0.7 bcfd of gas into LNG.

One billion cubic feet is enough gas to supply about five million U.S. homes for a day.

The small increase in flows to Freeport was offset by an expected reduction in feedgas to Venture Global LNG's Calcasieu Pass facility to 0.9 bcfd on Tuesday, down from 1.4 bcfd on Monday and an average of 1.5 bcfd over the prior seven days.

Officials at Venture Global were not immediately available for comment.

Overall gas flows to the seven big U.S. LNG export plants have slid to an average of 12.5 bcfd so far in April, down from 13.1 bcfd in March. That compares with a monthly record of 14.7 bcfd in December.

Analysts do not expect U.S. LNG feedgas to return to record levels until all three liquefaction trains at Freeport LNG's plant in Texas return to service.

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