U.S. LNG surge may have been overstated.

Earlier this year there were predictions for a large surge in LNG imports. While the shipments have started to come in, it’s hasn’t yet been the torrent some had expected.

lng_shipment_1 Tugboats pull the Al Gharrafa LNG tanker to Cheniere Energy’s, Sabine Pass terminal Sunday, June 22, 2008, in Sabine Pass. (Nick de la Torre / Chronicle)

U.S. daily LNG usage averaged 1.44 Bcf in Q2, according to Pritchard Capital Partners “well short of the earlier estimates that called for 3-5 Bcf a day.” According to the Energy Information Administration the U.S. consumed 23.2 Tcf of natural gas in 2008, and is on track to consume around 22.5 Tcf in 2009. With reports of overseas liquefaction plants running at reduced rates it’s possible the surge to the U.S. will be muted.
But there’s some interesting spot market activity brewing, and according to Houston-based Waterbourne Energy Inc. Chevron and Conoco Philips may start exercising their capacity rights at the Sabine Pass and Freeport LNG terminals in the next few weeks.

“Strong rumors suggest that both Chevron and Conoco will be bringing cargoes to the Gulf Coast within the next few weeks to Freeport and Sabine,” the company reported in a newsletter Thursday. “Although there are no firm details or confirmation it has been suggested that the recent surge in send-out at Sabine was an effort to make room for a cargo that Chevron will be bringing into the terminal in the near future.”

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