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Sabine Pass Gets FTA Export OK for 'Surplus' LNG

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently granted Cheniere Energy Partners LP's Sabine Pass Liquefaction LLC (SPL) authorization to export 314 Bcf of liquefied natural gas (LNG) per year from its existing Sabine Pass LNG terminal to countries with which the United States has a free trade agreement (FTA).

The authorization from DOE's Office of Fossil Energy (FE) is to cover any "surplus" LNG made available by the project's Trains 5 and 6 that is not already contracted for export under sale purchase agreements with Total Gas & Power North America Inc. or Centrica plc. The term of the authorization is 20 years (see Daily GPI, Sept. 25, 2013; March 7, 2013).

"With this current order, SPL now holds four FTA export authorizations in a volume of LNG not to exceed 1,306.3 Bcf/year of natural gas...as well as its non-additive non-FTA authorization in DOE/FE Order No. 2961-A.”

SPL has told DOE that it has the ability to source gas for liquefaction and export in large volumes in the spot market or under long-term agreements. "SPL states that, to date, it has not entered into any purchase agreements for the purpose of supplying natural gas feedstock for the proposed exports," DOE said. The company also has not struck any long-term gas supply or export contracts in connection with the proposed exports.

Agreements, when they are made, are to be filed with DOE, the agency said in the order.

The Sabine Pass terminal is located on more than 1,000 acres along the Sabine Pass River on the border between Texas and Louisiana, in Cameron Parish, LA.

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