Sept 20 (Reuters) - The amount of natural gas flowing to U.S. energy firm Berkshire Hathaway Energy's Cove Point liquefied natural gas (LNG) export plant in Maryland fell to near zero on Wednesday, a sign that the plant likely shut for work expected to start on Sept. 21.
Traders have been saying for a couple of weeks that Cove Point was on track to shut for about a week of planned maintenance around Sept. 21-29, according to company notices to customers.
Financial firm LSEG said gas flows to the 0.8-billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) Cove Point dropped to near zero on Wednesday from an average of 0.8 bcfd since late July when feedgas to the facility was reduced after an explosion shut a pipeline in Virginia.
Analysts at LSEG noted that one-week would be a "very short" outage since the plant typically shuts for about three-weeks every autumn. In 2022, it shut from around Oct. 1-27, according to LSEG data.
One billion cubic feet is enough to supply about 5 million U.S. homes for a day.
U.S. LNG export plants typically shut for planned maintenance in the spring or autumn when global demand for gas for heating or cooling is lower than during the peak winter and summer months.
Berkshire Hathaway Energy is a unit of U.S. multinational conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway.
Berkshire Hathaway Energy completed the purchase of 50% of Cove Point from Virginia energy company Dominion Energy on Sept. 1 for $3.3 billion.
Berkshire Hathaway Energy operates Cove Point and owns 75% of the facility. The rest is owned by units of Brookfield Asset Management (25%).
Cove Point's LNG is sold under 20-year agreements to a subsidiary of GAIL (India) and to ST Cove Point, which is a joint venture between units of Japanese trading company Sumitomo and Tokyo Gas. (Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)