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Japan's Toho Gas signs first Henry Hub-linked contract for Cameron LNG


Toho Gas has signed its first long-term contract based on Henry Hub gas prices, agreeing with Mitsui to buy 300,000 mt/year of LNG from the proposed US Cameron LNG export project, Japan's third-largest city gas provider said Thursday.

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The Nagoya-based utility said the 20-year contract runs from the start of production at the 1.7 Bcf/d Louisiana export terminal proposed by Sempra LNG. The project is awaiting Department of Energy approval to ship to countries without free trade agreements with the US.

In May, Mitsui, Mitsubishi and shipping company Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha agreed to take a combined 33.2% stake in the Cameron project, marking the first Japanese foray into US export projects. Toho Gas said the new contract also diversifies its LNG supply sources, adding to its current supplies from Indonesia, Australia, Malaysia, Qatar and Russia. All the long-term LNG contracts Toho Gas has made are linked to oil prices.

Some Japanese utilities, seeking new ways to price their LNG contracts in response to high oil prices, are turning to Henry Hub, especially for US projects.

Kansai Electric last year signed a 20-year heads of agreement with Sumitomo that would supply 800,000 mt/year of LNG from the Cove Point project in Maryland at a price linked to Henry Hub.

--Eriko Amaha,
--Edited by Meghan Gordon,