Although Cove Point LNG Not Yet Operational, Gas Flowing to Plant

Last week MDN brought you news that Dominion’s Cove Point LNG export facility along the shore of Maryland has delayed its official start-up until perhaps as late as April (see Uh-Oh: Cove Point LNG Exports Possibly Delayed Until April). An expert analyst theorized the reason for the delay is to install two flaring systems at the plant (a safety precaution). So if the plant is not yet started up for commercial operations, why is gas still flowing to the facility? Other experts, at BTU Analytics, have been watching pipeline flow data and maintain the Cove Point facility has been receiving a steady flow of Marcellus gas since last September! No doubt some of the gas flowing to Cove Point is used for testing the equipment. But how can gas continuously flow to the plant if it’s not yet being liquefied and shipped out? We suspect some of the gas can be stored. As for the rest? We don’t know. What we do know, based on a post by BTU Analytics, is that even though Cove Point isn’t receiving the volumes it eventually will receive (3.5 billion cubic feet per day once it is fully up and running), Cove Point is getting a smaller, steady flow now–and (the point of this post), that smaller, steady flow is an important new market for Marcellus gas…

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