Pushing its liquefied natural gas (LNG) plans one step further, Cheniere Energy Inc. last week announced the activation of Cheniere's North American LNG Gateway program with the issuance of a Request for Proposals to sell to Cheniere up to 200 cargoes per year of LNG for the years 2008-2010.

Cheniere said the program will provide global LNG suppliers a direct platform to nominate cargoes into Cheniere's LNG receiving terminals starting with the Sabine Pass LNG Receiving Terminal, which is currently under construction in Louisiana. The LNG Gateway program will be administered by the recently formed Cheniere LNG Trading & Marketing, Inc. (Cheniere LNG Marketing). Cheniere LNG Marketing will serve as purchaser of the LNG and as marketer of the natural gas to a pool of North American buyers.

"This program will promote Cheniere's goal of fostering the marriage between North American demand and global LNG supply," said Keith Meyer, president of Cheniere LNG Marketing. "It provides a new channel for LNG suppliers to access the North American market and a means for North American natural gas buyers to proactively pull abundant supplies of LNG into the domestic market to alleviate a growing supply shortfall. We believe that over the next decade LNG will represent 20-25% of U.S. natural gas supply."

The Sabine Pass LNG receiving terminal is being constructed in Cameron Parish, LA along the Sabine-Neches Ship Channel. It will be capable of receiving vessels of up to 250,000 cubic meters and is permitted for 2.6 Bcf/d of sendout capacity in its first phase. Cheniere has filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to expand the facility's sendout to 4 Bcf/d.

The program will accommodate both ex-ship and free-on-board (FOB) basis ship-by-ship sales, as well as term transactions for a period of up to three years. Interested producers and LNG suppliers can visit www.cheniere.com for more information.

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