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Cameron LNG export terminal in US restarting after trip shuts down three trains


Impact from latest disruption seen as minimal

Production has been surging amid strong Asia prices

  • Author
  • Harry Weber    Luke Stobbart
  • Editor
  • Pritish Raj
  • Commodity
  • LNG Natural Gas
  • Topic
  • LNG Commoditization

Houston — Sempra Energy's Cameron LNG export terminal in Louisiana was in the process of restarting its three trains Dec. 15 after a utility plant trip knocked them offline the night before.

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The overnight trip resulted in the controlled shutdown of the trains, spokeswoman Anya McInnis said. The cause was unclear.

"The issue is now resolved, and the operations team is in the process of restarting the trains," McInnis said.

The disruption comes as utilization at the six major US liquefaction facilities remains near record highs, amid strong prices in key end-user markets, especially Asia.

The S&P Global Platts JKM for January was assessed 20.9 cents/MMBtu higher day on day at $12.404/MMBtu on Dec. 15. Amid supply concerns and robust demand, the benchmark for spot LNG delivered to Northeast Asia has jumped almost sevenfold from JKM's historic low on April 28 at $1.825/MMBtu.

Over the late summer and early fall, Cameron LNG was shut down for more than a month, largely due to hurricane damage to power infrastructure operated by utility Entergy that the terminal south of Lake Charles relies on to run its trains. Cheniere Energy's Sabine Pass terminal, in a different part of Cameron Parish, produces its power at its site.

Multiple market sources expected the latest disruption at Cameron LNG to have minimal impact to production. One European source said the terminal can "handle things like this with no major loss."

Platts Analytics feedgas nomination data from early Dec. 15 remained normal for Cameron LNG, at around 2.1 Bcf or similar to the average for the rest of the week. However, one trading source reported hearing that volumes previously earmarked for delivery to Cameron were being resold to the grid.

Total US LNG feedgas nominations fell to 10.7 Bcf/d on Dec. 15, below the 11.4 Bcf/d average set over the previous seven days, Platts Analytics data show.