EIA: US LNG exports down in February

US LNG exports dropped in February when compared to the month before as fog affected vessel traffic in the Gulf of Mexico, the Energy Information Administration said in a report.

According to EIA’s latest short-term energy outlook, US LNG exports averaged 10.9 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in February, down from 11.2 Bcf/d in January.

LNG exports were limited by fog in the Gulf of Mexico that affected vessel traffic and led to piloting services being suspended for several days on the Sabine Pass, Lake Charles, and Corpus Christi waterways, the agency said.

Although exports fell in February, they were higher than in any month prior to December 2021, EIA said.

Many US LNG cargoes went to Europe last month, where inventories are lower than the five-year average and potential supply disruptions related to the conflict in Ukraine are a concern.

“Although Europe’s inventories are low, the additional LNG imports, as well as a mild winter, are helping bring inventories closer to the five-year average than they were at the beginning of the winter,” EIA said.

The agency expects high levels of US LNG exports to continue in 2022, averaging 11.3 Bcf/d for the year, a 16 percent increase from 2021.

Henry Hub to average $3.95/MMBtu in 2022

In February, the Henry Hub natural gas spot price averaged $4.69 per million British thermal units (MMBtu), a rise from the January average of $4.38/MMBtu, the agency said.

Although temperatures across the eastern part of the US were close to normal in February, reducing natural gas consumption from January levels, natural gas production fell slightly last month relative to January, in part as a result of temporary freeze-offs in producing regions, it said.

The drop in production partly contributed to inventory draws outpacing the five-year (2017–2021) average in February.

Also, EIA said this outlook assumes that temperatures in March would be milder than February and near the 10-year average for March.

The agency expects production would rise from February levels, contributing to a lower average Henry Hub price of $4.10/MMBtu for March.

EIA expects the Henry Hub price would average $3.83/MMBtu in the second quarter and $3.95/MMBtu for all of 2022.

According to EIA, the Henry Hub spot price would average $3.59/MMBtu in 2023.

EIA also said it expects the Brent oil price would average $117/b in March, $116/b in the second quarter, and $102/b in the second half of 2022.

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