Texas regulators fine Freeport LNG for environmental breaches

By Thomson Reuters Apr 16, 2024 | 7:01 PM

HOUSTON (Reuters) – Texas’ environmental regulator has fined liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporter Freeport LNG $152,173 for violating state air pollution emissions rules for periods between 2019 and 2021, the company reported on Tuesday.

Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) said on April 11 Freeport LNG had released carbon monoxide, hydrogen sulfide, nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide and volatile organic compounds over several years in excess of allowed levels from flaring at its Quintana, Texas, plant.

Freeport LNG has suffered from a series of outages in recent years including a massive fire in 2022 and repairs to several plants that have led to it producing LNG well below capacity.

The state proposed to reduce Freeport LNG’s penalty to $121,739 if the company quickly addressed the violations and agreed to take steps to prevent future emissions releases.

On Tuesday, Freeport LNG remained mostly offline for a sixth straight day, with feedgas to the plant at 18 million cubic feet (mcf), according to financial firm LSEG, down from the usual 2.2 to 2.4 billion cubic feet per day (bcf/d).

The company on March 20 had said its Train 2 liquefaction unit had been shut down, and Train 1 would be taken down imminently for inspections and any repairs to both the units to be completed by May.

The units were to be taken offline on the return to production of its Train 3, that was taken out of service when its motors were damaged during a January freeze, Freeport had said.

(Reporting by Curtis Williams in Houston)