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First Corpus Christi LNG Contract Moves Cheniere Shares

Cheniere Energy Inc.'s Corpus Christi Liquefaction LLC has struck a sale and purchase agreement (SPA) with PT Pertamina (Persero) under which Pertamina has agreed to purchase about 0.8 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from a liquefaction and export terminal being developed near Corpus Christi, TX. Cheniere Inc. shares hit a new high on Friday following the news.

The deal is the first contract for the Corpus Christi facility, which is being designed and permitted for up to three trains, with aggregate design production capacity of 13.5 mtpa of LNG.

Friday afternoon Cheniere shares were trading around $44.88 after having set a new high of $44.99. During the last 52 weeks the stock has been as low as $16.90. Cheniere closed at $41.60 on Wednesday prior to the contract announcement. On Friday the stock was up about 15% from the beginning of the week.

Pertamina is to purchase LNG on a free on board basis for $3.50/MMBtu plus 115% of the final settlement price of the Henry Hub New York Mercantile Exchange gas futures contract for the month in which the relevant cargo is scheduled; 11.5% of the fixed portion of the contract sales price will be subject to an annual adjustment for inflation, Cheniere said in a regulatory filing. The SPA has a term of 20 years commencing upon the date of first commercial delivery and an extension option of up to 10 years. Deliveries are expected to occur as early as 2018.

"Pertamina, an Indonesian state-owned energy company, is the first foundation customer for our Corpus Christi Liquefaction Project..." said Cheniere CEO Charif Souki. "Indonesia has historically been one of the largest exporters of LNG and is now in the process of converting one of their export terminals into an LNG receiving terminal. Pertamina's SPA is the first long-term commitment made to procure LNG from the international market for delivery into Indonesia."

Souki said Cheniere was nearing the end of the regulatory process for the terminal and is working on additional commercial agreements. "We expect to complete all necessary steps to begin construction on our second LNG export terminal by the second half of 2014 [see Daily GPI,Sept. 4, 2012]."

Pertamina operates the Arun LNG plant, Badak LNG plant and floating storage and regasification vessel in West Java and also plans to develop gas infrastructure in several areas in Indonesia, according to Cheniere.

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