Houston-based mega independent ConocoPhillips on Thursday clinched a tentative agreement for long-term offtake and a 30% equity stake in Sempra Infrastructure’s proposed Port Arthur LNG project near Houston.
The “potentially significant expansion” sets the world’s largest independent on course to become a global liquefied natural gas player. San-Diego’s Sempra said ConocoPhillips would also take 5 million metric tons/year (mmty) of LNG in a 20-year tolling arrangement from the still unsanctioned terminal.
ConocoPhillips CEO Ryan Lance said the deal could be a chance to play a larger role in global development of the LNG industry to build on its long history as a “driving force” in opening Atlantic and Asia-Pacific LNG markets.
“The decision to enter into this agreement with Sempra provides us with a ground-floor opportunity to participate in premier LNG developments, reinforcing our commitment to helping solve the world’s energy supply needs as we transition to a lower-carbon future,” Lance said.
In May, ConocoPhillips executives said the exploration and production (E&P) giant was looking to grow its exposure to global gas markets, but was honing in on “full-value chain opportunities.” Since then, the company has increased its equity share in Australia Pacific LNG to 47.5% and was selected as a partner in the estimated $30 billion, natural gas-rich North Field East Project in Qatar.
Representatives with Sempra announced the deal could also mark a “substantial completion” of marketing for the first phase of Port Arthur LNG.
The agreement with Sempra also could secure gas supply options for the project. Under the terms of the HOA, ConocoPhillips would provide the supply, with an option to add supply services.
Sempra CEO Jeff Martin called the potential deal a “bold new” partnership to tackle infrastructure projects. Sempra has been pursuing equity deals with partners for its North American LNG and renewable energy projects. It recently completed a 10% equity agreement for Sempra Infrastructure with a subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.
ConocoPhillips would have an option to acquire offtake and equity stakes in the future phases of Port Arthur. The E&P could also acquire offtake and ownership in Sempra’s Energia Costa Azul LNG Phase 2 Project in Baja California, Mexico.
In addition, Sempra could reduce the carbon footprint of Port Arthur LNG by participating in a carbon capture and storage project developed by ConocoPhillips on the Gulf Coast.
The first phase of Port Arthur LNG may produce up to 13.5 mmty. The first phase has been fully permitted, but is unsanctioned following several delays.
A second phase, already in the permitting process, could add an additional two trains and boost capacity to roughly 27 mmty. Sempra has a potential agreement with the Ineos Group Ltd. for offtake from Port Arthur. Sempra also recently fetched a preliminary 2.25 mmty offtake agreement with Germany’s RWE AG. In addition, Polish Oil & Gas Co. also signed a preliminary agreement for 3 mmty that could come from the second phase of its Cameron LNG facility in Louisiana and Port Arthur.
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