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Cheniere Files to Expand Sabine Pass LNG to 4 Bcf/d

Cheniere Energy Inc. announced Friday that its 100% owned affiliate Sabine Pass LNG LP. has submitted an application to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for authorization to expand the capacity of its liquefied natural gas (LNG) receiving terminal from 2.6 Bcf/d to 4 Bcf/d.

The Sabine Pass facility was initially authorized by FERC in December 2004. It started construction this past March is targeted for start-up in early 2008. Cheniere has customers with claims on all the original capacity.

Houston-based Cheniere said recently that Chevron has elected to retain its capacity agreement for 700 MMcf/d of throughput at the Sabine Pass terminal. Chevron had an option to scale back its capacity at the terminal to 500 MMcf/d under a 20-year deal it signed with Cheniere last November (see Daily GPI, July 1). Cheniere said Chevron still has the option until December of raising its capacity stake to 1 Bcf/d.

Total LNG USA Inc., a subsidiary of Total S.A., has reserved 1 Bcf/d of capacity for 20 years. Both Total and Chevron will have first option on a portion of the new capacity.

The Sabine Pass terminal is located in Cameron Parish, LA. The facility was originally designed with regasification capacity of 2.6 Bcf/d, two unloading docks and three storage tanks capable of holding 10 Bcf of LNG. The expansion of the facility calls for construction of three additional tanks with another 10 Bcf of storage and 1.4 Bcf/d of additional regasification capacity. The project expansion is not expected to delay the startup of the initial project, a spokesman said.

Cheniere also is developing a 100% owned gulf coast LNG receiving terminal near Corpus Christi, TX, which received its authorization from the FERC in March 2005, and another near the Creole Trail in Cameron Parish, LA, for which Cheniere filed its application with the FERC in May 2005. Cheniere is also a 30% limited partner in Freeport LNG Development, L.P., which is building an LNG receiving terminal in Freeport, TX.

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