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Flows at Cove Point LNG terminal show bump as facility nears service

Natural gas flows at Dominion Energy Inc.'s Cove Point LNG terminal began to climb in mid-February, consistent with the company's announcement that the facility has begun liquefying gas ahead of the export terminal's March in-service date.

Flows at the Cove Point plant reached 300,000 Dth on Feb. 18, according to SNL Energy pipeline flow data. They fell to 100,000 Dth on Feb. 19 before climbing to 251,600 Dth on Feb. 20.

Dominion introduced feed gas to its $4 billion LNG facility on Dec. 5, 2017, and on Jan. 31 said it had begun producing LNG. The project was originally slated to come online in late 2017 but has been delayed until early March.

SNL Image

Cove Point does not separately report the flows of regasified LNG leaving its LNG import terminal and the flows of feed gas brought to the site for liquefaction. Two tankers unloaded LNG during the early half of the winter heating season, data from the U.S. Department of Energy show. The tanker Maran Gas Delphi unloaded LNG from Nigeria at the Maryland terminal on Dec. 14, 2017, and the Madrid Spirit dropped off another cargo of Nigerian LNG on Jan. 1. Cove Point has not received any LNG cargoes since then.

Flows at Cove Point spiked on Dec. 27, 2017, and again on Jan. 1 and Jan. 5, likely indicating that the operator was sending out natural gas from those tankers.

SNL Image

The LNG tanker Methane Spirit, which left Japan on Feb. 15, is currently scheduled to arrive at Cove Point on March 30, according to ship-tracking website Cargoes frequently change destination midtrip.

Shell NA LNG is providing gas to the Cove Point facility and taking volumes of LNG produced during the commissioning process. Once Cove Point enters commercial service, GAIL (India) Ltd. and a joint venture between Sumitomo Corp. and Tokyo Gas Co. Ltd. will receive LNG under 20-year contracts.

To view natural gas operational flow data for receipt or delivery points, go to SNL Energy's Operational Capacity by Point Page.