U.S. natural gas fell 14% this week as Freeport LNG restart pushed to end of year (NYSEARCA:UNG)
U.S. natural gas futures fell to a two-week low on Friday on forecasts for better weather than expected and one restart postponed until the end of the year for Freeport Liquefied Natural Gas export factory in Texas.
Warmer weather should allow utilities to leave more gas in storage, with inventories currently around 2.5% lower than the five-year average for this time of year.
First Month Nymex Natural Gas (NG1:COM) for the January delivery settled -6.8% friday and -14.3% for the week at $6.281/MMBtu.
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Freeport LNG said on Friday it plans to restart the second-largest LNG export facility in the United States later this year, pending regulatory approval, after previously estimating a mid-December restartwhich represents a delay of approximately one month compared to an earlier objective.
The company has obtained several key approvals from regulatory agencies that allow it to perform critical repairs and begin restoring certain systems, a spokesperson told S&P Global Platts.
Freeport LNG said it would restart and ramp up its three liquefaction trains slowly and deliberately, with each train starting separately before restarting a subsequent train, reaching full production using both berths in March.
The plant was closed since June 8 after an explosion that consultants say was caused by human error, inadequate operating and testing procedures and other factors.