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Corpus Christi drives U.S. LNG export feedgas to record high

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Nov 25 (Reuters) - Gas flowing to U.S. LNG (liquefied natural gas) export plants was on track for a record high on Wednesday as Cheniere Energy's Corpus Christi plant in Texas pulled in enough fuel to supply its three liquefaction trains.

Corpus had been receiving small amounts of gas in recent weeks as it prepares to put the third train into commercial service during the first quarter of 2021.

On Wednesday, Corpus was on track to pull in a record 2.0 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd), preliminary data from Refinitiv showed, which would be enough to supply gas to all three of its 0.66-bcfd trains.

That boosted total feedgas to all six big U.S. LNG export plants to a preliminary 10.4 bcfd on Wednesday, which would top the current record of 10.3 bcfd set on Nov. 13.

One billion cubic feet of gas can supply about 5 million U.S. homes for a day.

Before hitting several fresh highs since late October, the previous LNG feedgas record was 9.5 bcfd on March 31.

That was before buyers started canceling cargoes as coronavirus demand destruction caused prices in Europe and Asia to sink to record lows.

U.S. exports fell each month from March to July as LNG buyers canceled around 175 U.S. cargoes. Feedgas to the U.S. LNG export plants hit an 18-month low of 2.3 bcfd in August.

But as global gas prices started rising over the summer, LNG buyers began buying U.S. gas again.

The U.S. LNG plants, which together can pull in over 10-bcfd of feedgas, are operated by units of Cheniere (Sabine Pass in Louisiana and Corpus), Freeport LNG in Texas, Cameron LNG in Louisiana, Kinder Morgan (Elba Island in Georgia) and Berkshire Hathaway (Cove Point in Maryland).

(Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by Alexander Smith)