Twitter Spoof Helps Lower Natural Gas Prices; Freeport LNG calls out fake letterheads and ‘fake news’ on Twitter

A major liquefied natural gas exporter in Texas, Freeport LNG, said Friday that statements posted earlier in the day on Twitter and other social media using fake Freeport-branded letterheads were “false information.” , adding that it had not released any recent statements regarding a restart of its liquefaction plant.

“Any tweets and/or posts on Freeport LNG-branded letterhead that may have been obtained or published report false information and are not legitimate and official Freeport LNG public information,” the company said in a statement. a statement posted on its website.

Privately held Freeport LNG operates on the Gulf Coast of Texas and is one of seven liquefied natural gas export facilities in the United States. It had to close its factory in June due to an explosion and fire, and has yet to reopen. He said in August that he was planning an initial restart in early to mid-November.

The closure of the Freeport plant reduces total US LNG export capacity by approximately 2 billion cubic feet per day, or 17% of total US LNG export capacity. As such, the shutdown and speculation over exactly when it will restart has been a hot topic in natural gas futures markets.

This speculation rose sharply on Friday morning, when one Twitter account, @Lithium_Plays, made several unconfirmed claims regarding Freeport that were widely shared by other Twitter accounts, including a so-called energy Twitter influencer, an oil analyst for a major international bank. whose account has 64,000 followers. But those tweets from @Lithium_Plays were later quickly deleted.

Shortly after, another account, @rr9b250, tweeted a screenshot that appeared to come directly from Freeport LNG, as it was on Freeport LNG’s letterhead with the same logo colors as the one. seen on the official website of Freeport. The statement ended with “Sincerely, Freeport LNG Public Relations.”

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This statement, which Freeport LNG has now confirmed to be false, appeared to be the company’s response to @Lithium_Plays account statements, and it also provided additional information on when Freeport might begin its restart. It was also widely shared on Twitter, especially among those following hashtags such as #natgas and #naturalgas.

Although the two accounts that sent the tweets are unverified, the tweets had a real impact on natural gas prices on Friday. Traders noted that first month prices were 3% higher by mid-morning at around $6.424/mmBtu, but then plunged as the tweets were posted and started circulating, and the market eventually closed the session. down 5.8% to $5.879/mmBtu.

Write to Dan Molinski at dan.molinski@wsj.com

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Twitter Spoof Helps Lower Natural Gas Prices; Freeport LNG calls out fake letterheads and ‘fake news’ on Twitter – CNET – ApparelGeek