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US Cove Point LNG export terminal ships what appears to be first commercial cargo: Platts cFlow

Dominion Energy has exported what appears to be the first commercial cargo from its Cove Point terminal in Maryland, S&P Global Platts vessel tracking software cFlow shows.

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The Oman Shipping-owned Adam tanker departed Cove Point about 11:30 pm local time Sunday (0330 GMT Monday) with a nearly full load, en route toward the Suez Canal with the destination unspecified, vessel tracking data shows.

A Dominion spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday. The company said last week that commercial service had started, though it did not disclose when the first cargo under long-term contracts with Gail India and a joint venture of Sumitomo Corporation and Tokyo Gas would be exported. Shell had a deal to export all of Cove Point's commissioning cargoes, suggesting the cargo that left aboard the Adam was a commercial delivery.

The Adam moored at Cove Point's export platform early on Saturday with a draught of 9.0 m and left a little over 36 hours later with a draught of 11.4 m, just short of the vessel's maximum draught of 11.8 m, cFlow data shows. The draught is the depth of the vessel below the waterline. Vessels sink lower as more LNG is loaded.

Cove Point feedgas flows have rebounded to a high of 616 MMcf/d for Monday from the recent low of 163 MMcf/d on Thursday and an average of 535 MMcf/d over the last four days, S&P Global Platts Analytics data shows. As of now, the Adam is heading back to where it came from, the Suez Canal. Cove Point is still expecting two more unladen vessels in the coming week as the Kawasaki Sakaide and the Meridian Spirit continue to travel toward the plant with an estimated arrival of April 19 and 21, respectively.

Dominion is the second US exporter of LNG produced from shale gas. Cheniere Energy was the first when its Sabine Pass terminal exported its first cargo in February 2016.

--Harry Weber,

--Edited by Jonathan Dart,