February 10, 2010 / 5:49 PM / 10 years ago

RPT-UPDATE 1-US LNG imports in January double year-ago levels

(Repeats, fixes typo in second paragraph)

* Shippers attracted by higher U.S. prices vs Europe

* EIA expects imports to rise in 2010 from last year

(Updates with further details from report; full-year forecast)

NEW YORK, Feb 10 (Reuters) - U.S. imports of liquefied natural gas doubled in January from a year ago, as cold weather boosted prices and attracted incremental cargoes, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday in its latest short term energy outlook.

Imports hit around 60 billion cubic feet in January, as shippers took advantage of higher prices in the United States versus Europe. Deliveries increased to terminals in the northeast, while incremental volumes were also seen from Qatar to East and Gulf Coast terminals.

The EIA said imports in 2010 as a whole are expected to rise versus 2009, as production comes online in Russia, Indonesia, Yemen and Qatar. However, imports are seen falling in 2011 as demand in Europe and Asia picks up and helps suck some cargoes away from U.S. shores.

Reporting by Edward McAllister; Editing by Alden Bentley

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