Manufacturing and materials required to build a proposed liquefaction and export plant at the existing Sabine Pass liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal in Cameron Parish, LA, would cost more than $1.6 billion, Cheniere Energy subsidiary Sabine Pass Liquefaction LLC said in a draft resource report filed with FERC.

In addition, approximately 3,000 jobs created through the six-year design, engineering and construction phases of the project would earn about $1 billion in wages, according to Sabine Pass.

Earlier this year Cheniere Energy Partners LP said it would seek to export LNG on a long-term basis from its Sabine Pass LNG receiving terminal, making the terminal a bi-directional facility (see Daily GPI, June 7) and the only permanent LNG export facility in the Lower 48. The Lower 48's burgeoning shale plays will allow for the export of natural gas in the form of LNG, according to Sabine Pass (see Daily GPI, Aug. 20).

The addition of liquefaction capability at the Sabine Pass terminal "will facilitate the development of unconventional, and particularly shale, gas-bearing formations in the U.S.," Cheniere said. When completed, the project would be capable of processing an average of approximately 2.6 Bcf/d of pipeline-quality natural gas (including fuel and inerts) from the Creole Trail Pipeline, the company said. Sabine Pass would liquefy the natural gas, store the LNG and export approximately 16 million metric tons of LNG per annum (mtpa) via LNG tankers.

Sabine Pass is seeking Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) authorization to site, construct and operate the liquefaction project no later than December 2011 and anticipates requesting authorization to begin construction in January 2012. The project would be built in two stages. Stage 1, which would begin in 2012, would include two ConocoPhillips LNG process trains, each capable of 4 mtpa, and associated buildings, utilities and infrastructure. Stage 2, which would include two essentially identical LNG trains, would be built "after sufficient commercial justification is achieved," according to Cheniere's FERC filing. Sabine Pass expects the Stage 1 LNG Train to be complete and ready for export in January 2015; and the Stage 2 LNG Train in July 2015.

The Kenai LNG terminal in Alaska is currently the only facility in North America permitted to export LNG. Kenai has been liquefying and exporting LNG from the Alaska coast for nearly 40 years. Apache Corp.'s Canadian subsidiary and the Canadian arm of Houston's EOG Resources Inc. are partnering on a proposed LNG export terminal at Bish Cove, BC (see Daily GPI, May 19), and Sempra unit Cameron LNG LLC has proposed changes to its LNG terminal in Cameron Parish to allow for LNG exports there (see Daily GPI, Aug. 24).

The Trans-Alaska Gas System project, which FERC approved in 1995, called for the siting and construction of liquefaction and associated facilities at Anderson Bay, Port Valdez in Alaska for the purpose of exporting LNG (see Daily GPI, May 10, 2004). Since that time Alaska has seen the advancement of two competing proposals for a pipeline that would tap the North Slope to serve Canada and Lower 48 gas markets. One of these projects -- proposed by TransCanada Corp. and ExxonMobil Corp. -- includes an option to carry gas to Valdez for liquefaction and export by another party that would be responsible for constructing liquefaction and export facilities (see Daily GPI, Feb. 1). BP plc and ConocoPhillips have a competing project, known as Denali, that does not include an LNG option, but the partners have said such an option could be provided should the market support it (see Daily GPI, April 8).

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