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UPDATE 2-Cameron LNG to shut Louisiana LNG export plant ahead of Hurricane Delta

(Recasts, adds background and comment from Cameron LNG)

Oct 8 (Reuters) - Cameron LNG said Thursday it will shut its liquefied natural gas (LNG) export plant in Louisiana this morning as Hurricane Delta approaches the Gulf Coast.

“We have decided to implement a controlled shutdown of the facility this morning with a safely sequestered ride-out team until Hurricane Delta passes, at which point, we will recommence LNG production,” Cameron said.

Cheniere Energy Inc, meanwhile, reduced the amount of natural gas flowing to its Sabine Pass LNG export plant in Louisiana.

Officials at Cheniere were not immediately available for comment.

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

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.

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 waited 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 and Nick Zieminski

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