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Trade Dispute Threatens New LNG Terminals

“The trade war between the United States and China is placing at risk the multibillion-dollar construction market for new liquefied natural gas terminals around the U.S.,” Engineering News-Record  reports.

“If left unresolved, the trade war could imperil the construction of 20 LNG projects in the United States that have been approved or proposed but are not yet under construction. At present, five export terminals are under construction.” 


Chemical Activity Softens as Pace of Growth Slows

The Chemical Activity Barometer (CAB) from the American Chemistry Council (ACC) was flat in August remaining at 122.14 on a three-month moving average (3MMA) basis. This continued a general softening trend since the first quarter. The barometer is up 3.8% year-over-year (Y/Y/), a slower pace than of that earlier in the year and similar to that seen in the second half of 2017. The unadjusted CAB also was flat, and follows a 0.3% decline in July. August readings indicate gains in U.S. commercial and industrial activity well into the first quarter 2019, but at a slower pace as growth has turned over. 

Port Arthur LNG Export Project Receives FERC Notice

Sempra Energy has received a Notice of Schedule from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) that sets Jan. 31, 2019, as the planned completion date of the final environmental impact statement for siting, construction and operation of the proposed Port Arthur LNG natural gas liquefaction-export project in Jefferson County, TX.

The FERC issued its Notice of Schedule for the proposed Port Arthur liquefaction-export project Aug. 31. The project is expected to include two natural gas liquefaction trains to enable the long-term sale of approximately 11 million tons per annum (Mtpa) of LNG; feed gas pre-treatment facilities; natural gas liquids and refrigerant storage; up to three LNG storage tanks; two marine berths and associated facilities. 

Gains Continue in U.S. Chemical Production

According to the American Chemistry Council (ACC), the U.S. Chemical Production Regional Index (U.S. CPRI) expanded by 0.4% in July, following a 0.8% gain in June, and a 1.1% gain in May. During July, chemical output moved higher in all regions, with gains broadly distributed among the regions. Compared to July 2017, U.S. chemical production was ahead 2.6% on a year-over-year basis. Chemical production was higher than a year ago in all regions. 

Appalachia, Permian, Haynesville Drive Gas Growth

Gross production of natural gas in the U.S. has generally been increasing for more than a decade and in recent months has been more than 10% higher compared with the same months in 2017. This growth has been driven by production in the Appalachian Basin in the Northeast, the Permian Basin in western Texas and New Mexico, and the Haynesville Shale in Texas and Louisiana. These three regions collectively accounted for less than 15% of total U.S. natural gas production as recently as in 2007, but now they account for nearly 50% of total production.

Production in these regions has increased in part because of new drilling and completion techniques, including longer well laterals that have increased well productivity. By contrast, the Gulf of Mexico's share of total production, which was 12% in 2007, has fallen to just 3% in recent months, and the share of production in the rest of the U.S. has declined from 60% to 28%. 

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