Freeport LNG Plant Suffers Explosion, Nearby Residents Evacuated, Police Say

(Reuters) — A explosion and fire on Wednesday hit the massive Freeport LNG liquefied natural gas plant on the Texas Gulf Coast, prompting an evacuation of nearby residents in Quintana, Texas.

There were no injuries and the fire that broke out about 11:40 a.m. local time was contained by noon. There is no current risk to the surrounding community, a Freeport LNG spokesperson said. An investigation into what caused the explosion was underway, she said.

There was no comment on the status of plant operations.

The plant can process up to 2.1 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day (Bcf/d) into a supercooled liquid for export. Earlier in the day, it was drawing about 2 Bcf/d of pipeline gas. One billion cubic feet of gas is enough to supply about five million U.S. homes for a day.

The explosion comes at a time when global demand for LNG has soared as European countries look to wean themselves off gas from Russia, following its invasion of neighboring Ukraine.

U.S. natural gas futures NGc1 sank following news of the explosion. They were off about 5.7% at noon, trading at $8.764 per million British thermal units. They had hit a high of $9.664 per mmBtu earlier in the day.

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