Berkshire Hathaway Maryland Cove Point LNG Export Plant Exits Outage

(Reuters) — Berkshire Hathaway Energy said on Tuesday that its Cove Point liquefied natural gas (LNG) export plant in Maryland resumed operations after a three-week maintenance outage.

Data provider Refinitiv said the plant planned to take in about 0.7 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) of natural gas on Tuesday.

The return of Cove Point should enable the United States to raise LNG exports as utilities around the world scramble to boost supplies ahead of the winter heating season when demand for gas peaks.

Some industries in Europe and Asia have already shut or reduced manufacturing activities because they could not get enough oil and gas to run their operations or the price of that fuel was too expensive.

During the three weeks that Cove Point was shut, the amount of pipeline gas flowing to U.S. export plants fell to around 10.1 bcfd from about 10.5 bcfd during the prior 30 days.

Cove Point is designed to liquefy about 0.75 bcfd of gas into LNG.

One billion cubic feet is enough to supply about 5 million U.S. homes for a day.

The timing of Cove Point's outage was in line with its 2018, 2019 and 2020 annual maintenance shutdowns.

Berkshire Hathaway Inc's Berkshire Hathaway Energy operates Cove Point and owns 25% of the facility. The rest is owned by units of Dominion Energy Inc (50%) and Brookfield Asset Management Inc (25%).

When Dominion operated the plant it sold the project's capacity for 20 years to a subsidiary of GAIL (India) Ltd and to ST Cove Point, which is a joint venture between units of Japanese trading company Sumitomo Corp and Tokyo Gas Co Ltd.

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