Puerto Rico's imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) increased last year to return to the level of 2016, after the country was hit by Hurricane Maria in 2017, the U.S.' Energy Information Administration (EIA) said Monday.
The Caribbean nation imported 60.3 billion cubic feet (1.71 billion cubic meters) of LNG in 2018 -- a level similar to the total LNG imports of 61.3 billion cubic feet (1.74 billion cubic meters) in 2016.
While the U.S. territory received an average of two LNG cargos per month with 318 million cubic feet (9 million cubic meters) per day between 2013 and 2016, this level dropped to one LNG cargo per month, averaging 78 million cubic feet (2.21 million cubic meters) per day in 2017, according to the EIA.
"After Hurricane Maria made landfall in late September 2017, Puerto Rico’s LNG imports declined as less natural gas was needed during widespread electricity outages," the EIA said in a statement.
"Puerto Rico resumed its two-cargoes-per-month level of LNG imports four months after the hurricane, although restoration efforts on electricity infrastructure took much longer," it added.
The EIA noted the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority had restored electric power to 95% for its customers by April 2018.
Hurricane Maria reached Category 5 strength on Sept. 18, 2017 and caused the loss of more than 3,000 lives and some $90 billion in damages.
By Ovunc Kutlu