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US FERC and PHMSA seeks more details from Freeport LNG to allow full capacity export

US regulators have sought more clarifications from the Freeport LNG before restart for the Train 1 and use Dock 2 for LNG loading is granted. Freeport LNG has requested the US regulators to allow it to resume LNG export at its full capacity. In response to that the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) have asked Freeport LNG to provide a status update on its hiring efforts to address operator fatigue and training status of the new hires, according to Reuters report. For full export restart, Freeport LNG requires clearance to restart its last liquefaction train- Train 1 and permission to use Dock 2. Currently, Freeport LNG uses Dock 1 to load cargoes.

Last Monday, Freeport requested FERC clearance for the restart of Train 1 which is the last one left from three train facility of Freeport LNG which can covert 2.1bcfd gas into LNG, running at full capacity.

Apparently, Freeport LNG has started operating Train 3 and Train 2 and loading LNG tankers with fresh LNG inventories. Freeport LNG’s natural gas intake has continued to ramp up from 1.4bcfd on last Friday to 1.7bcfd on Monday. Under the normal circumstances, each liquefaction train of Freeport LNG consumes around 0.7bcfd gas to convert it into LNG.

On Feb 21, in its filing with FERC, Freeport LNG said it would continue to use around 2bcfd of gas over the next several weeks. Before June 8, 2022 blast and fire which forced Freeport LNG to shut down the second largest US LNG export terminal, Freeport LNG was supplying a substantial volume of LNG to the European buyers, desperate to replace Russian pipeline gas. With the partial restart of Freeport LNG, US gas supply to its LNG export terminal in March has jumped to a record high level of 13.7bcfd from 12.8bcfd in February.