After satisfying final technical requirements, San Diego-based Sempra Energy on Tuesday obtained final FERC approval to begin re-exporting liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplies from its Cameron import terminal in Hackberry, LA. However, a Sempra LNG spokesperson would not say whether any cargoes were ready to be reshipped.

Sempra won the federal approval for re-export Jan. 20, but there were some conditions it still had to meet (see Daily GPI, Jan. 21). In its original filing to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission last September Sempra had asked for re-export approval by the end of last year to allow the Cameron facility to be altered.

With certain environmental conditions satisfied, Sempra asked FERC on Monday for the final authorization. "Based on staff's review of your filing [Feb. 28] Cameron LNG LLC has satisfactorily addressed all of the hazard and operability study recommendations needed to commence service," said FERC's Lauren O'Donnell, who is director of gas: environment and engineering.

Sempra's spokesperson said the condition required the company "to provide additional information on how to address hazard and operability recommendations that [it] had previously developed.

"We now have the ability to re-export gas from the Cameron LNG terminal...[but] for commercial reasons, we have a policy in place that does not allow us to discuss the details of our cargoes and schedule for delivery."

The spokesperson confirmed that Sempra's Energia Costa Azul LNG receiving terminal along the Pacific Coast of North Baja California in Mexico previously was granted re-export authority from Mexico and the facility has done so, but it has not "at this time requested permission to re-export on a regular basis."

Sempra subsidiary Cameron LNG LLC had been scheduled to complete an expansion of its LNG terminal by this month; in December FERC approved an order giving the company until Jan. 18, 2012 to have the expansion in service (see Daily GPI, Dec. 27, 2010). Cameron LNG plans to expand the sendout capacity of the terminal to about 2.65 Bcf/d from its existing 1.5 Bcf/d. The existing terminal facilities went into operation in July 2009.

Sempra would not comment on the current status of its deals with Russia's Gazprom. Last April the company announced the signing of a deal with Gazprom Global LNG Ltd. (GGLNG) to allow GGLNG to supply LNG to Cameron. Bi-directional LNG facilities has been the push by a number of LNG facility in the United States for several years now (see Daily GPI, June 7, 2010).

The agreement provides GGLNG with another route to supply the United States with LNG from its growing portfolio and provides the Cameron LNG terminal with natural gas for the U.S. Gulf Coast and East Coast, but continuing low gas prices here have kept any shipments from materializing.

Under the terms of the multi-year agreement, GGLNG was to pay Sempra LNG for the right to sell and deliver up to two LNG cargoes per month to the Cameron terminal at a pre-determined price formula. The arrangement began last June.

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