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U.S. regulator to allow Freeport LNG to resume partial operations in October

(Reuters) - The second-largest U.S. LNG exporter said it reached an agreement with a federal regulator that will allow it to resume some operations at its Quintana, Texas, plant in October.

Freeport LNG shut the plant, which supplies about 20% of U.S. LNG exports, following an explosion and fire on June 8. Its closure helped to push up LNG prices in Europe and Asia, and dampening U.S. natural gas prices.

The operator reached a consent agreement with the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) that included corrective measures the company must take to allow it to resume partial operations, it said in a statement.

Freeport LNG is "evaluating and advancing initiatives related to training, process safety management, operations and maintenance procedure improvements, and facility inspections," without detailing the measures planned.

The June explosion was caused by an over-pressurized pipeline, officials have said. Full operations at the Texas Gulf Coast facility are not slated to resume until the end of the year.

The initial restart will include three liquefaction trains, two LNG storage tanks and one LNG loading dock. The restart will enable the plant to deliver roughly 2 BCF per day of LNG, enough for existing long-term customer agreements, the company said.

(Reporting by Liz Hampton in Denver; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)


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