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Louisiana Cameron LNG continues to move closer to exiting outage

Sept 16 (Reuters) - Cameron LNG’s export plant in Louisiana continues to move closer to returning to service after lingering power outages from Hurricane Laura have kept it shut since late August.

Analysts noted there were five vessels scheduled to pick up cargoes from Cameron - four in the Gulf of Mexico and one moving across the Atlantic Ocean.

“The proximity of the four vessels (in the Gulf of Mexico) may be a signal that exports are to resume shortly,” said Kaleem Asghar, director LNG analytics at ClipperData.

Entergy Corp, Cameron’s power company, said it expects to restore service to the majority of its 40,700 customers still without power in Southwest Louisiana by Sept. 23.

Other analysts have said it was likely Cameron would remain shut until early to mid October.

Officials at Cameron have not said when the plant would return, noting it continues to work with Entergy to get some power restored “to support testing and the initiation of startup activities.”

Even though Cameron has remained shut since Aug. 27, the amount of gas flowing to U.S. LNG export plants jumped to an average of 5.3 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) so far in September.

That was the most in a month since May and was up for a second month in a row for the first time since hitting a record 8.7 bcfd in February as rising global gas prices prompted buyers to reverse some cargo cancellations.

Prior to that, U.S. exports fell every month from March-July as coronavirus demand destruction caused prices to collapse and buyers to cancel cargoes.

Over the past month, several U.S. export plants have stepped up to supply more of the super-cooled fuel, including Cheniere Energy Inc’s Sabine Pass in Louisiana, which has sent out six cargoes since returning from its Hurricane Laura shutdown.

Reporting by Scott DiSavino; editing by Diane Craft

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