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Sabine Pass train 1 cleared for full service; ETE's Lake Charles LNG set for Q4 green light

FERCstaff have authorized CheniereEnergy Inc. to expand operations at the Sabine Pass terminal'sfirst liquefaction train as the second train prepares to come online.

TheMay 3 letter allows CheniereEnergy Partners LP subsidiaries Sabine Pass Liquefaction LLC and to commence serviceat Train 1 and associated facilities. Cheniere had been testing the facilitiesand exporting occasional cargoes through March and April. (CP11-72, CP13-2)

FERC'sapproval comes just days after Cheniere exported its seventh Sabine Pass cargo on April 25.

is ontrack to reach a positive final investment decision on the Lake Charles LNGliquefaction and export projectin the fourth quarter, the partnership's finance chief said.

"Progresscontinues to be made during the first quarter, and we are currently engaged invarious early works projects," CFO Thomas Long said during a May 5earnings call. "[T]he first LNG exports are anticipated mid-2021."

Longadded that "project financing efforts remain on track, and preliminaryresponses from lenders have been positive."

Naturalgas pipeline flows to CheniereEnergy Inc.'s LNG export terminal remained steady through most ofApril as the first cargoes bound for Europe departed the facility.

SNLEnergy pipeline flow data shows that deliveries to the Sabine Pass liquefactionfacility from the Cheniere CreoleTrail Pipeline Co. LP and NaturalGas Pipeline Co. of America LLC systems peaked for the month onApril 1 at almost 770,400 Dth before maintaining a 600,000 Dth range throughApril 22. On April 15, the day the sixth LNG cargo left Sabine Pass for Portugal, gas deliveries tothe Cameron Parish, La.–based terminal totaled nearly 626,700 Dth.

Evenon that April 1 peak flow day, however, the two pipelines used less than 50% oftheir combined capacity. Creole Trail can supply 1.5 Bcf/d to Sabine Pass.

Moody'shas upgraded ratings on CheniereEnergy Partners LP subsidiaries, citing "constructionaccomplishments" at the Sabine Pass LNG export terminal.

'ssenior secured rating was raised to Ba2 from Ba3, and 's senior securedrating was upgraded to Ba2 from B1. The ratings outlooks for both entitiesremain stable, Moody's said in an April 28 news release.

Moody'ssees gains ahead for the subsidiaries as Sabine Pass' train 1 nears completionand train 2 begins commissioning testing. Both events are expected to producenear-term cash flows that could fund as much as $2.5 billion in ongoing andfuture construction costs, assuming trains 1 and 2 begin full operationswithout material challenges, according to Moody's.

hassigned a contract to provide LNG to GasCo. LLC d/b/a Hawaii Gas as part of the state's effort to reduceits crude oil consumption.

"WithClean Energy LNG, we will be able to diversify our gas supply using a cleanfuel improving our reliability and maintaining the quality of service ourcustomers know us for," Hawaii Gas COO and Executive Vice President ThomasYoung said in a May 2 statement.

Theabundance of supply in the European gas market will limit the U.S. LNG volumesthat will come into Europe, according to a Statoil ASA executive.

"[TheEuropean Union] gas market is well supplied short term [with] both the gas fromRussia and from Norway and potentials on new LNG volumes coming in. So far thisyear, we see limited U.S. LNG volumes reaching the EU," Statoil CFO andExecutive Vice President Hans Jakob Hegge said during its April 27 earningscall.

"[D]ueto the shipping business, it is expected that the Australian LNG will end up inAsia. So the U.S. LNG even more flow according the price signals in the market,"Hegge adds.