Blog June 19, 2019

Corpus Christi Train 2 commenced LNG production the week ending June 15. Our team of LNG analysts believe LNG production commenced at Train 2 beginning on June 12, considering a simultaneous uptick in scheduled delivery nominations to the facility and operational activity observed via our proprietary infrared (IR) monitors. On Thursday June 13, Cheniere verified on social media that Corpus Christi Train 2 started liquefying gas.

Our LNG team assumes that minimum fuel use for an average Cheniere train represents roughly 70 MMcf/d of deliveries, anything more than that is presumed to be liquefied volumes. At this time, we believe that Train 1 is using <750 MMcf/d, and additional deliveries to the facility exceeding this are currently assumed to be headed to Train 2. On Tuesday June 11, we initially alerted LNG clients that Corpus Christi was scheduled to receive enough gas to indicate that liquefaction would commence at Train 2 soon after; however, nominations later revised down in intraday cycles, adding uncertainty as to whether Train 2 would start liquefaction in the coming days. The following day, June 12, scheduled nominations headed to the facility remained above the ~820 MMcf/d threshold (i.e. 70 MMcf greater than the assumed operating capacity of Train 1) and analysts confirmed in weekly LNG commentary that Corpus Christi Train 2 started liquefying. To validate our assumptions, final aggregate delivery nominations to the facility for gas day June 12 posted at 842 MMcf/d, which represents about a 100 MMcf/d increase in deliveries to Corpus Christi LNG compared with the average from the week prior.

Corpus Christi Ramp-Up
Figure 1. The chart above shows the relationship between scheduled nominations to Corpus Christi LNG and percent per day train utilization observations from a Genscape IR monitor.

These initial liquefaction observations come just shy of four months after the first sign of observed Train activity at Corpus Christi Train 2 from our IR monitors. Our proprietary IR imagery shows five out of six engines visibly operating during the June 11 gas day. Since mid-day on June 9, we observed large flaring activity at the facility, increased flaring often coincides with start-up and shut-down operations at liquefaction trains. The sixth and final engine came online on June 12, and all engines can be observed cycling on and off, which indicates operational testing. We will continue to update our clients on milestones moving forward, including when Corpus Christi Train 2 loads its first commissioning cargo or when the train achieves substantial completion, which normally occurs between 80 and 90 days following first liquefaction.

Corpus Christi Train 1 and 2 operational activity
Figure 2. The image above shows operational activity at Corpus Christi Train 1 and 2 through the view of our IR monitors. Our monitors capture heat emissions coming from each engine stack as well as the Train flaring equipment. 

For more updates on the other LNG facility projects in North America, check out our complimentary report, which details our outlooks for facility in-service dates. To receive real-time data, alerts and weekly commentary regarding all things North American LNG, click here.