As of November 1, Freeport LNG has yet to submit a restart plan to federal regulators, just days ahead of a planned resumption of its Texas export facility that was closed following an explosion in June. Natural gas futures plunged on the news.
Regulators have said Freeport needs to take a series of corrective actions that must be approved by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration before a restart can happen. A PHMSA spokesman confirmed that the company hasn’t filed the plan. Freeport has previously stated it plans to restart by early to mid-November.
Freeport is one of just seven export facilities in the U.S. and accounted for about 15% of the country’s liquefied natural gas shipments before it was shut down. The outage reduced supplies at a critical time for energy consumers in Europe, after Russia cut its gas exports to the region following its invasion of Ukraine. The
Freeport situation has also meant more gas has been made available for domestic use, boosting inventories ahead of winter and weighing on U.S. prices.
“We continue to progress our work towards achieving the safe restart of our liquefaction facility this month,” Freeport said November 1 in a statement. “That work includes completing the final repair and restoration efforts, completing required work plans and obtaining the necessary regulatory approvals required before safely restarting the facility.”
Regulators from both PHMSA and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission told company officials on an October 27 call that they needed information from Freeport “as soon as possible to allow sufficient review time,” according to a filing.
Natural gas for December delivery dropped as much as 6.3% to $5.95 per million British thermal units in New York trading.
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