A ccording to two sources, around the time of Russia's late February invasion of Ukraine, a cyber unit of Russia's GRU military intelligence service again conducted targeting-reconnaissance operations against a major U.S. liquefied natural gas exporter, Freeport LNG.
U.S. LNG exports have long been a priority concern for Russia, viewed by Russian President Vladimir Putin as a means for the United States to undercut Russia's domination of the European gas market.
On June 8, Freeport LNG suffered an explosion at its liquefaction plant and export terminal on Texas's Quintana Island. The damage suffered means the facility is not expected to resume major operations until late 2022. The June 8 disruption had an immediate impact in spiking already soaring European gas prices and has reinforced Russia's ability to hold gas supplies to Europe at risk in retaliation for the European Union sanctions imposed on Russia over the war in Ukraine. U.S. LNG futures have fallen significantly since the explosion.
One source tells me that the FBI is investigating the cause of the explosion. Responding to a question as to whether the FBI and its Cyber Division were involved in the investigation, the FBI told the Washington Examiner, "We can neither confirm nor deny the existence of an investigation into this matter."