U.S. LNG Exports to Begin in January

Published November 23, 2015

Cheniere Energy expects to become the first company to export liquefied gas from U.S. shale fields in January 2015. Cheniere plans to start receiving natural gas to convert into super-chilled liquid fuel at its first U.S. LNG export terminal by the end of the year. 

Chief Executive Officer Charif Souki told reporters outside of the Singapore International Energy Week conference, “We will ship our first cargo sometime in January.” 

Once Cheniere’s first LNG plant starts up, the company will add a new production train every six months until mid-2019, leaving it with seven total lines of gas liquefaction at its Sabine Pass project in Cameron Parish, Louisiana, and at another terminal in Corpus Christi, Texas. 

The seven trains will account for almost half of the 65 million metric tons annually of LNG export capacity under construction in the United States. 

Cheniere has sold most of its 31.5 million metric tons of LNG via long-term contracts, with about 4 million metric tons remaining for sale in spot markets, Souki said. 

French Company Secures LNG from Cheniere

Within days of Cheniere’s announcement, French energy company ENGIE, formerly GDF Suez, signed a five-years deal for LNG from Cheniere’s Sabine Pass plant. 

“ENGIE is committed to guarantee the supply of its European customers with clean and reliable energy,” said Pierre Chareyre, the company’s executive vice president in charge of LNG, in a statement. “Importing U.S. LNG will participate to strengthen the security of supply of Europe.” 

Oil Gas Daily reported in an October 28 story, supporters of LNG exports see it as a source of economic stimulus and a way to decrease Russia’s influence over Europe. Approximately 20 percent of European natural gas supplies come from Russia through a Soviet-era transit network in running through the Ukraine. The ongoing territorial conflict between Russia and Ukraine, and past Russian supply disruptions and threats of disruptions due to policy disputes between Russia and the EU highlight the energy security dangers of EU’s dependence on natural gas supplies from Russia. 

ENGIE announced deliveries of LNG would start in 2018 and last over a five-year period. Oil Gas Daily reported, French rival EDF secured a sales agreement with Cheniere in August.

H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D., ([email protected]) is the managing editor of Environment & Climate News.