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Texas Freeport LNG restart delay causes vessels to seek other ports

A few liquefied natural gas (LNG) vessels have turned away from the Freeport LNG export plant in Texas over the past few days on expectations the plant’s restart will be delayed until December or later, according to ship tracking data from Refinitiv.

Federal pipeline safety regulators on Tuesday released a heavily redacted consultant’s report that blamed inadequate operating and testing procedures, human error and fatigue for the June 8 explosion that shut the Freeport plant.

Freeport had not yet submitted a request to resume service to the Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) as of earlier this week. Many analysts believe that means the plant will not return until December at the earliest.

Until late last week, Freeport had said repeatedly that the plant was still on track to return in November. The company, however, did not mention a November restart, or any restart date, in comments made over the past few days.

A couple of vessels seem to have given up on a quick restart for Freeport.

Prism Brilliance, which waited outside the plant for about three weeks, was now sitting outside of Corpus Christi where Cheniere Energy Inc LNG.A has an LNG export plant.

LNG Rosenrot, which was expected to arrive at Freeport in late November, has since turned around in the Atlantic Ocean and was now heading toward Gibraltar.

Prism Agility still says it is on track for Freeport, but Refinitiv’s ship tracking map shows the vessel as turning back toward the east in the Atlantic.

There were still, however, a couple of vessels waiting outside Freeport – Prism Diversity has been there since late October and Prism Courage has been there since early November.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Scott DiSavino;Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)

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