Natural gas flows to Freeport LNG in Texas (U.S.) at 5-month high

Natural gas flowing to Freeport LNG's export plant in Texas was on track to hit a five-month high, with a liquefaction train expected to return from a brief upset.

The startup and shutdown of Freeport and other U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) export plants often has a major impact on global gas prices.

U.S. gas futures at the Henry Hub benchmark NGc1 in Louisiana have soared by around 59% over the past three weeks, due in part to the increase in feedgas at Freeport after it exited an outage in late April.

U.S. gas futures were trading at a 16-week high of $2.56 per million British thermal units (mmBtu) on Friday. NGA/

Gas flows to the seven big U.S. LNG export plants rose from an average of 11.9 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) in April to 12.7 bcfd so far in May with the return of Freeport's 2.1-bcfd plant in Texas.

That compares with a monthly record high of 14.7 bcfd in December.

On a daily basis, LNG feedgas was on track to rise from 12.6 bcfd on Thursday to 13.2 bcfd on Friday with flows to Freeport expected to reach 2.1 bcfd on Friday, the most since November 2023, after a brief one-day reduction to 1.5 bcfd on Thursday.

Gas flows to Freeport average about 2.0 bcfd over the prior seven days (May 8-15).

Energy traders said that brief reduction at Freeport on Thursday was likely due to the trip of a liquefaction train.

Freeport said Train 2 experienced a trip on Thursday due to a compressor issue, according to a report the company filed with Texas environmental regulators.

Officials at Freeport were not immediately available for comment.

Each of Freeport's three liquefaction trains can turn about 0.7 bcfd of gas into LNG.

One billion cubic feet is enough gas to supply about 5 million U.S. homes for a day.

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