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Gas flows to U.S. LNG export plants down ahead of Hurricane Delta

Oct 8 (Reuters) - Cheniere Energy Inc and Cameron LNG reduced the amount of natural gas flowing to their liquefied natural gas (LNG) export plants in Louisiana on Thursday as Hurricane Delta approaches the Gulf Coast.

Officials at both companies were not immediately available for comment but have said they were watching the storm and have procedures in place to keep plant workers and equipment safe.

The last time a major hurricane, Laura, passed close to Cameron and Cheniere’s Sabine Pass, both companies evacuated personnel and shut the facilities before the storm made landfall.

Hurricane Delta is expected to slam into southwest Louisiana near Cameron and Sabine on Friday afternoon with winds of over 100 miles per hour (161 kph).

Energy traders said the drop in U.S. LNG exports from Laura and now the expected decline from Delta helped boost gas prices in Europe and Asia to their highest since the start of the year.

The amount of pipeline gas flowing to Sabine fell from a five-month high of 4.0 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) on Tuesday to 3.5 bcfd on Wednesday and a preliminary 3.1 bcfd on Thursday, according to Refinitiv data.

Flows to Cameron were on track to fall from a one-month high of 0.6 bcfd on Wednesday to almost zero on Thursday.

As Laura approached the coast, Cheniere shut Sabine by Aug. 25 and started returning the plant around Sept. 3.

Cameron shut around Aug. 26 but had to wait until Sept. 27 to start exiting the outage because it took weeks for Entergy Corp, the local power company, to restore service to the plant.

Cameron had to wait until Oct. 4 for the first tanker to reach the plant because the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had to clear the ship channel connecting it to the Gulf of Mexico.

Reporting by Scott DiSavino in New York and Ekaterina Kravtsova in London; Editing by Steve Orlofsky

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