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Reporters Given Peek at Nearly Complete Freeport LNG

With construction of their liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal on Quintana Island in Brazoria County, TX, almost complete, backers of the Freeport LNG facility hosted a media day Tuesday to tout the safety of their regasification facility.

As reported by The Facts newspaper of Brazoria County, journalists saw that a lit cigarette can be extinguished in a container of LNG and that graham crackers exposed to LNG are safe to eat nevertheless. At Freeport's media day company officials and representatives of the U.S. Coast Guard, Dow Chemical Co. and ConocoPhillips all toured the facility.

The $1 billion facility is due to be finished by June and is scheduled to receive its first cargo in late April. Also coming on-line soon is Cheniere Energy's Sabine Pass LNG terminal just across the state line in southwest Louisiana, which recently received authorization for commissioning activities (see Daily GPI, March 19).

The Sabine Pass terminal is owned by Cheniere Energy Partners LP, in which Cheniere Energy Inc. has a 90.6% stake. Sabine Pass is being considered for sale by the company (see Daily GPI, Feb. 26). Cheniere Energy also founded and still holds a 30% limited partner interest in the Freeport terminal, which is located along the Texas coast.

Houston-based Cheniere has been developing a network of three LNG receiving terminals and related natural gas pipelines along the Gulf Coast for the past few years. Together the terminals are expected to have an aggregate sendout capacity of 9.9 Bcf/d. Cheniere has said it plans to leverage its terminal platform by pursuing related LNG business opportunities both upstream and downstream of the terminals.

In February Houston-based Contango Oil & Gas Co. said it closed the sale of its 10% limited partnership interest in Freeport LNG Development LP to Turbo LNG LLC, an affiliate of Japan's Osaka Gas Co. Ltd., for approximately $68 million.

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