UPDATE 2-US natgas flows to Freeport LNG's export plant in Texas rise - Refinitiv

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March 9 (Reuters) - The amount of natural gas flowing to U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) company Freeport LNG's export plant in Texas was on track to rise on Wednesday and Thursday following a drop on Tuesday after the plant exited an eight-month outage in February.

Gas flows to the plant were on track to rise to 0.8 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) on Wednesday and Thursday after dropping to 0.2 bcfd on Tuesday, according to data provider Refinitiv.

The plant shut after a fire in June 2022 and gas flows to the facility peaked at about 1.7 bcfd on March 5, the Refinitiv Eikon data showed.

When operating at full power, Freeport LNG, the second-biggest U.S. LNG export plant, can turn about 2.1 bcfd of gas into LNG for export.

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

Global demand for U.S. LNG increased after countries around the world slowed purchases of Russian energy and imposed sanctions on Moscow after Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022.

The combination of those sanctions and the Freeport LNG plant shutdown helped drive gas prices to record highs in Europe and Asia during summer 2022.

U.S. regulators approved the restart of two of Freeport LNG's three liquefaction trains (Trains 2 and 3) in February and the third train (Train 1) on Wednesday. Liquefaction trains turn gas into LNG.

Total gas flows to all seven of the big U.S. LNG export plants rose to 13.2 bcfd so far in March from 12.8 bcfd in February. That would top the monthly record of 12.9 bcfd in March 2022, before the Freeport LNG facility shut.

The seven big U.S. LNG export plants, including Freeport LNG, can turn about 13.8 bcfd of gas into LNG. (Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)