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LNG Global Delays 'Not a Problem,' Sempra CEO Says

Increasing delays in the development of liquefaction facilities at the source of various global liquefied natural gas (LNG) suppliers are nothing to get alarmed about, and discussions of additional import supplies into the United States are continuing to take place, according to Sempra Energy CEO Donald Felsinger, speaking to analysts on a quarterly earnings conference call last Friday. Given the size and complexity of the deals, the delays are "normal and expected," he said.

In response to a question on the global extensiveness of the liquefaction project delays, Felsinger said Sempra has reviewed the worldwide LNG situation in the past month and concluded that the big, costly projects are complex and a lot of different partners are involved. Thus, they are taking longer than Sempra's senior management anticipated.

"Longer term, we are still very bullish on the impact LNG will have -- not only in North America, but in Europe and Asia as well," Felsinger said. "We see these delays as being natural occurrences for projects of this size, scope, and with this many people and the politics involved."

Discussions on binding contracts for added supplies at Sempra's Costa Azul LNG receiving terminal along the Pacific Coast of North Baja, Mexico, are ongoing, undeterred by the liquefaction development delays, he said in response to another question. "We have a lot of active discussions going on with multiple partners, and we feel very good about where we are."

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