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First Qatar LNG Shipped to Sempra Cameron Plant

January 11, 2010
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The first of what is expected to be up to 50 shipments of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Qatar arrived at the end of November at Sempra Energy's Cameron, LA, receiving terminal, according to a report from a unit of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The initial shipment equated to 4.1 Bcf.

In June Sempra LNG signed a flexible short-term agreement for the shipments from Qatar through the end of this year. At the time Sempra anticipated cargoes equivalent to about 4.8 Bcf each at its Cameron facility. Deliveries were to have begun last August.

Construction of the Cameron terminal was completed last summer. With only 40% of its capacity under contract, the Qatar contract will allow Sempra to make fuller use of the facility.

Supplies came Nov. 29 last year to Cameron from RasGas Co. Ltd., a Qatari joint stock company established in 2001 by Qatar Petroleum and ExxonMobil, which are 70% and 30% shareholders, respectively, according to the latest monthly report from the Office of Fossil Energy's Natural Gas Regulatory Activities. The designated price for the shipment was $4.01/MMBtu, higher than another RasGas shipment earlier in November to Chevron at Sabine Pass, LA ($3.78/MMBtu).

The RasGas price was still lower than two test cargoes shipped during the summer into Cameron just before it was officially opened. Those cargoes, each running about 2.8 Bcf in size, were priced at $4.72-4.75/MMBtu, according to the DOE.

The RasGas shipment was the first shipment at Cameron since the test cargoes in June and July, given the relatively low prices gas imports have been fetching in North America.

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