EIA: US LNG exports to drop 6 percent in second half due to Freeport shutdown

The Energy Information Administration expects US LNG exports to drop 6 percent in the second half of this year compared to the first six months due to an outage at the Freeport LNG plant in Texas.

EIA said in July latest short-term energy outlook that US LNG exports averaged 11.2 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in the first half of this year, compared with 9.5 Bcf/d in the same period in 2021.

The agency expects US LNG exports to average 10.5 billion cubic feet per day during the second half of 2022, down six percent from the first half and a 14 percent decrease from its June forecast.

EIA revised its estimates based on the outage at the Freeport LNG facility, that accounts for 17 percent of US LNG export capacity.

To remind, Freeport LNG said on July 1 it expects to resume partial liquefaction operations at its 15 mtpa export plant in Texas in early October after an incident took place at the facility on June 8.

The LNG terminal operator said it continues to target year-end for a return to full production.

Henry Hub down

EIA forecasts the US Henry Hub spot price will average $5.97 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) during the second half of 2022, down 44 percent from the June forecast.

For the last three quarters of 2023, EIA expects natural gas prices will average $4.36/MMBtu, up 14% from the June forecast.

EIA also expects that more natural gas will be in storage heading into this winter than it had forecast in June.

“With less LNG being exported in the second half of the year, more natural gas is likely to stay in the domestic market,” EIA administrator, Joe DeCarolis, said.

“We expect lower US natural gas prices for the rest of 2022 than we had previously forecast, but lower prices in 2022 led us to reduce our expectations for natural gas production,” DeCarolis said.

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