LNG tanker congestion forms outside U.S. export terminals

2 minute read
Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

HOUSTON, Feb 28 (Reuters) - More than two dozen liquefied natural gas (LNG) tankers were near U.S. Gulf Coast export terminals on Monday, either loading or waiting to load, according to data from Refinitiv Eikon and consultancy Kpler.

European demand for U.S. LNG climbed last year due to local production declines, lack of pipeline supply and cold weather. Sanctions on companies and banks in major gas producer Russia following its invasion of Ukraine appear to be spurring fresh demand. read more

As many as 28 ships were near U.S. Gulf Coast ports on Monday as the United States approached its full LNG export capacity, analysts said. The two previous daily tanker peaks were on Feb. 10 and Nov. 11 at between 27 and 28 vessels.

Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

There were seven LNG tankers within a 20-mile (32-km) radius of the port of Freeport and another six within a similar radius of Corpus Christi, both in Texas and home to two of the most active LNG exporters, according to the data.

Among the vessels waiting to load was Golar Snow, which arrived a week ago and has been at anchor since, data showed.

In February, about three-quarters of tankers that departed U.S. ports were signaling European destinations with less than a quarter headed to Asia, according to the data. Europe has been the top destination since December. read more

In another sign of rising demand for U.S. gas, at least five ships carrying the super-chilled fuel were lining up to pass through the Suez Canal, a longer route than the Panama Canal, according to Refinitiv.

The Panama Canal Authority last month said there was increased seasonal demand for vessel passage, creating delays for tankers with no reservations. read more

European LNG benchmark prices traded on the Dutch exchange cooled this week, falling to $31.31 per million British thermal units (mmBtu), below the Japan Korea Marker (JKM) price for Asia spot gas at $32.31 per mmBtu, according to Refinitiv.

Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com
Reporting by Marcy de Luna; additional reporting by Marianna Parraga; editing by Marguerita Choy and Richard Pullin

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.