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Gas flows to Sabine Pass hit new highs in July as train 4 warms up

Natural gas flows to Cheniere Energy Inc.'s Sabine Pass LNG export terminal surged in July, peaking at an all-time high and ending the month at a new record as the fourth liquefaction train undergoes commissioning ahead of a planned October in-service date.

SNL Energy pipeline flow data shows that combined daily deliveries to the Louisiana terminal from Cheniere Creole Trail Pipeline LP, Natural Gas Pipeline Co. of America LLC and Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Co. LLC climbed to an all-time high of 2.55 MMDth/d on July 29, surpassing the previous record high of 2.42 MMDth/d three times before dropping in the last couple days of the month.

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Since Sabine Pass began exporting LNG in February 2016, flows to the facility have generally ramped up, minus a dip in September 2016 and October 2016, when the terminal underwent planned maintenance. Combined flows from all three pipelines finished July at a new monthly record, totaling 68.2 MMDth, up from 58.5 MMDth in June and 64.6 MMDth in May.

Cheniere in a monthly update filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said it now expects train 4 to reach substantial completion in October. Previous company filings had used a November completion date.

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FERC in March approved Cheniere affiliates to begin commissioning train 4, just days after the commission authorized the developer to put train 3 in service. On June 1, FERC gave Cheniere the authorization to introduce feed gas to train 4.

GAIL (India) Ltd has a contract for roughly 3.5 million tonnes per annum from train 4. Under a December 2011 sales and purchase agreement, GAIL could also buy bridge volumes of about 200,000 tons per year from train 2 before train 4 enters service. Each train at Sabine Pass is capable of producing 4.5 mtpa of LNG.

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Sabine Pass used roughly 86% of its contracted transportation capacity on NGPL during July. The facility used an average of roughly half of its capacity on Creole Trail and about 55% of its capacity on the Transco line, the newest of the three. The maximum capacity Creole Trail can provide to Sabine Pass is about 1.7 MMDth/d, while NGPL can provide about 593,000 Dth/d. The Transco expansion, connected to the terminal through the East Meter gas transportation project by Cheniere affiliates, is expected to provide 1.2 MMDth/d of additional firm transportation service at full capacity from Transco Station 65 in St. Helena Parish, La., to Sabine Pass.

To view operational statistics on interstate natural gas pipelines, go to SNL Energy's Pipeline Summary Page. To view natural gas operational flow data for receipt or delivery points, go to SNL Energy's Operational Capacity by Point Page.

To view more details about the Sabine Pass Liquefaction Project, go to SNL Energy's Natural Gas Development Projects Page.

The SNL platform is owned by S&P Global Market Intelligence.