A 'global bid' for US LNG as Sabine Pass celebrates grand opening
In CameronParish, La., just east of the Texas border, CheniereEnergy Inc.'s $20 billion Sabine Pass LNG liquefaction and export terminalis transforming the U.S. into a natural gas export power.
As acrowd of state and federal government officials, international buyers, and membersof the companies that helped build Sabine Pass celebrated the facility's grand openingApril 25, Cheniere finished loading its seventh cargo onto the Gaslog Salem LNGtanker, which shipped later that day. Headed for Portugal, the Gaslog Salem wasonly the second tanker leaving the docks at Sabine Pass to set course for Europe,a surprise to some but indicative of the global demand for U.S. supplies.
"Ithink most of us at Cheniere thought most of these cargos would be heading to Europe,"Neal Shear, Cheniere's interim CEO and president, said during a press briefing atthe event. "So far cargos have gone to Argentina, Brazil, to the Middle Eastto Dubai, and to the Asian continent, which tells me in spite of what a lot of peopleare saying about the LNG market, there does appear to be a global bid for LNG todaythat we didn't expect around the time of commissioning, so we feel pretty good aboutthat." Outside the celebration tent S&P Global Market Intelligence gota close look at the operations and ongoing construction at the terminal.
Icahn does not 'understand' Cheniere's financial situation, ousted CEOsays
The activistinvestor Carl Icahn is misguided in his demand that Cheniere Energy Inc. return cash to shareholders, the LNGexporter's ousted CEOand co-founder said in a television interview.
"[T]here'sno cash to return until 2019 because the cash flow from the early [LNG liquefaction]trains is paying for the later trains. He didn't understand that," Charif Soukisaid April 26 on Jim Cramer's CNBC show "Mad Money." "[E]ven whenyou get to 2019, you have a choice: You either continue to invest in the companyor you distribute cash to the shareholders. You cannot do both."
Thatdifference of opinion with Icahn led to Souki's December 2015 , but the serial entrepreneur toldCramer it was an "amicable" parting.
House defense panel approves amendment to expedite LNG export permits
The HouseArmed Services Committee voted to include an amendment expediting LNG export permittingin the fiscal 2017 National Defense Authorization Act.
"TheHouse Armed Services Committee's passage of LNG exports legislation is the latestexample of bipartisan recognition by Congress that the U.S. is an energy superpower,"American Petroleum Institute Executive Vice President Louis Finkel said in an April27 statement just after the vote in markup. "U.S. LNG exports not only provideinternational consumers with greater choice, but also help them break dependenceon nations that use their energy resources as a diplomatic and political weapon."
Similarto language in the House's broad energy bill passed in December 2015, the amendment would require theU.S. Department of Energy to approve LNG export applications no later than 30 daysafter all required federal environmental reviews are completed for a project.
Plains, Cheniere strike storage pact to help manage load swings at SabinePass
's hassigned a 10-year firm storage service agreement with a Plains All American Pipeline LP subsidiary, the companiesannounced April 25.
The Plains'affiliate, Pine Prairie Energy CenterLLC, has agreed to provide up to 8 Bcf of gas storage capacity beginningin 2018 to serve Sabine Pass' needs. Cheniere leadership noted that Pine Prairiehas already helped Sabine Pass manage load variability as the company brought onits LNG terminal's first train.
"Weexpanded our relationship with Pine Prairie because the storage facility is locatedin a place where we can easily access our existing infrastructure connected to theterminal. With this new agreement, we will be able to more effectively manage theload swings as we construct and operate our liquefaction trains at Sabine Pass,"Corey Grindal, vice president of supply at Cheniere, said in an April 25 statement.
Floridian Natural Gas launches open season for transport to southernterminus of FGT
on April 25 announced a nonbinding open season for up to 25,000 Dth/d of capacityof firm liquefaction, storage, and redelivery service to a new delivery point ator near the southern terminus of the FloridaGas Transmission Co. LLC system.
FloridianNatural Gas Storage Co., or FGS, said customers who sign up for the new servicemay be able to optimize existing capacity through segmentation as well as backhaulon Florida Gas Transmission. FGS plans to build and bring into service a facilityin Indiantown, Fla., with 1,000,000 Dth of storage, 25,000 Dth/d of liquefactioncapacity, 100,000 Dth/d of vaporization capacity and a two-bay truck loading facility.FERC authorized the facility, and FGS plans to ask FERC for approval to build anew delivery point to Florida Gas Transmission at or around its terminus near Homestead,Fla.
The company'sIndiantown facility and the interconnect have a proposed in-service date of August2018.