US LNG Weekly: US FOB prices stable amid robust feedgas nominations
The Platts US Gulf Coast Marker (GCM) for cargoes loading 30 to 60 days forward was assessed at $20.25/MMBtu on May 10, 5 cents lower week on week, keeping Northwest Europe as the best netback.
The GCM continued to track the Northwest Europe marker during the week of May 3-10 at levels from $20.300/MMBtu on May 3 to $18.100/MMBtu on May 9. The underlying Henry Hub was assessed at $7.284/MMBtu on May 10, 80.3 cents lower week on week. With the recent slot opening in Europe and lackluster demand in Asia, cargoes from the US are still expected to be more profitable into Europe.
The strong demand for US-sourced LNG was backed up by sturdy feedgas nominations in the Gulf, showing the US liquefaction facilities in operation continued to run at or near full utilization in the last months.
In the week of May 3-10, US facilities nominated 12.2 Bcf/d on average, similar to levels a week prior, as per S&P Global Commodity Insights data. At the Freeport export facility, feedgas nominations rose by 25% to a 1.9 Bcf/d weekly average after maintenance at the facility was completed.
Excluding Sempra’s Cameron liquefaction facility, where nominations were 12% lower week on week due to ongoing maintenance, and Cheniere’s Sabine Pass, where nominations were 3% lower week on week, the nominations at other established facilities in the Gulf showed similar levels as in the previous week, data from S&P Global Commodity Insights showed.
As the latest facility in the US Gulf, Venture Global’s new-built Calcasieu Pass liquefaction facility in Cameron Parish/South Louisiana nominated feedgas above 1.0 Bcf/d for the first time on May 8. Average nomination levels to the facility were at 890 MMcf/d during the week of April 3-10. Venture Global had requested authorization by May 6 from FERC to commence commercial service for the Calcasieu Pass facility after LNG production began earlier this year on Jan. 19.
Venture Global LNG also announced an agreement with ExxonMobil to supply 2 million mt/y on long-term deals, the two companies announced on May 10. The LNG will be sourced from the proposed Plaquemines LNG liquefaction project in Louisiana, the facility is expected to have capacity of up to 20 million mt/y.
Sempra announced on May 6 a delay in the expansion at the Cameron LNG facility for a fourth liquefaction train. The proposed train was expected to be fully contracted by the end of June. However, the commercial sanction was pushed back into later 2023, Sempra said.
Elsewhere, in the Panama Canal congestions continued to extend waiting times. The maximum waiting time on May 10 for unreserved LNG tankers transiting the Canal was 16 days Northbound and 11 days Southbound, the latest report by the Panama Canal Authority said.