Initial reports were than liquefied natural gas (LNG) shipments from southwest Louisiana might be able to resume very soon, if waters continue to recede and wind speeds drop in the wake of Hurricane Laura.
That would allow Cheniere Energy to potentially resume LNG shipments from its Sabine Pass, Louisiana, facility and Sempra Energy to resume shipments from its Cameron LNG facility in Hackberry, Louisiana.
Both facilities are close to where the Category 4 hurricane came ashore early Thursday near Lake Charles, Louisiana, Kallanish Energy reports.
Damage in southwestern Louisiana and eastern Texas was widespread, but damage to O&G, petrochemical and industrial facilities was light, according to initial reports.
Both LNG companies said on Thursday that site assessments would be conducted as soon as it was safe and public statements would be issued, ICIS reported.
Company teams were awaiting approval from local authorities to enter the plants.
But federal officials said they had no preliminary reports of problems at the LNG facilities or petrochemical plants in Louisiana.
U.S. Energy Secretary Daniel Brouillette said damage to facilities in Louisiana was “somewhat light,” the Baton Rouge Advocate reported.
The damage is light and normal operations should return very soon, he said after touring the storm-damaged area.
Both LNG facilities had been largely shut down in advance of the approaching hurricane.
Sabine Pass was closed on Tuesday and evacuated, and Cameron was being run by a skeleton crew.
The pipeline gas flow to Sabine Pass was halted for the first time.
Sabine Pass with its five trains or units is the largest producer of LNG in the U.S. A sixth train is being added.
Cameron LNG has three trains with the newest just beginning service earlier this month.
Cameron LNG is 18 miles from the Gulf of Mexico and Sabine Pass is four miles from the gulf.
Together they produced about 8% of the world’s LNG.
The closures could last longer if major repairs are required, experts said.
Freeport LNG in Texas continued to operate and reported no major problems.
Several other LNG facilities in the region are under construction: Golden Pass and Port Arthur in East Texas and Calcasieu Pass and Lake Charles in Louisiana.
Production from Gulf of Mexico O&G platforms was expected to slowly return to normal.
Oil companies were planning to conduct flyovers today to assess damage to offshore facilities.
Shell, Chevron and bp, all key offshore players, said they will be assessing damage over the next few days, The Advocate reported.
About 84% of Gulf oil production and 61% of Gulf natural gas production had been shut down as the storm approached, according to federal officials.
Nearly 300 platforms in the Gulf of Mexico or about 46% had been evacuated.
The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement estimated that 1.56 million barrels per day of oil production and 1.65 billion cubic feet per day of gas production along the U.S. Gulf Coast had been shut-in.
The gulf accounts for about 15% of U.S. total oil production.
Gulf Coast refiners had also halted over 2.5 million barrels per day of refining capacity due to the hurricane, according to media reports.
There were predictions that the hurricane could curtain 10% to 12% of U.S. petroleum refining for months.
The storm could raise oil and gas prices slightly but a major increase is not expected, based on initial reports, analysts said.
Hurricane Laura is one of the four most powerful storms ever to hit Louisiana but it was quick moving and did not linger.
It is the 10th storm with winds in excess of 150 miles per hour to hit the continental United States since 1851, weather officials said.
It was a Category 4 storm with winds of 150 miles per hour and what weather officials called an “unsurvivable” storm surge that was feared could reach 20 feet and reach up to 30 miles inland across the swampy land between the two states.
The storm surge was smaller: about 10 feet.
Up to 15 inches of rain fell and 600,000 customers were without electricity. At least six deaths were reported.
The fear is that Lake Charles, Louisiana, with its 80,000 residents would be badly damaged by flooding and the storm surge.
A chemical plant that makes chlorine, BioLab, had a leak and was on fire Thursday in Westlake, Louisiana. Residents were advised to stay indoors.
The storm grew quickly into a more powerful storm due to the warm waters in the Gulf of Mexico
More than 1.5 million residents were ordered to evacuate.
The storm moved north of the Mississippi River Valley as a tropical storm.
Power must be restored before two refineries at Lake Charles, Louisiana, can reopen, officials said.
The Citgo and Phillips 66 refineries had been closed as the storm approached.
This post appeared first on Kallanish Energy News.