Golden Pass Products LLC and its backers, Qatar Petroleum International (QPI) and ExxonMobil Corp., have struck a framework agreement for the sale of potentially the full 15.6 million tonne per annum (mtpa) output of the proposed Golden Pass natural gas liquefaction and export project in Sabine Pass, TX.

The arrangement also provides shipping and sales opportunities to existing and new markets, including leveraging the project sponsors’ long-term arrangements for international imports via the United Kingdom’s South Hook facility, Golden Pass said Thursday.

“This agreement sets out a highly competitive commercial blueprint for Golden Pass Products, with a commitment that builds on the unique combined strengths of QPI and ExxonMobil throughout the global downstream LNG value chain,” said Golden Pass Products President Bill Collins.

In a recent report, Wood Mackenzie analyzed the value of U.S. LNG optionality to QPI. LNG from Golden Pass could be baseloaded into the UK, backfilling Qatari LNG that is being re-directed east, to Asian markets, the firm said (see Daily GPI, April 23).

“In addition, the combination of QPI’s underutilized regasification capacity in the UK and Qatar’s excess LNG shipping capacity could provide a sunk-cost economic advantage of some US$1-1.50/MMBtu over other proposed U.S. LNG export projects for European supply,” said Wood Mackenzie’s Noel Tomnay, head of global gas research.

Golden Pass Products would invest $10 billion to build the liquefaction facility. It has received U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) authorization for exports to free trade agreement (FTA) (see Daily GPI, Aug. 21, 2012) countries and is awaiting DOE approval to export to non-FTA countries. Golden Pass Products said it is preparing for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission permitting process and anticipates pre-filing soon.

Golden Pass Products was formed by affiliates of Qatar Petroleum International and ExxonMobil The Sabine Pass terminal was commissioned as a regasification and import facility in 2010 with its first commissioning cargo coming from Qatar (see Daily GPI, Sept. 29, 2010).

Separately on Thursday, Energy Transfer Partners LP executives said they believe that non-FTA export approval from DOE for their Trunkline LNG export project is imminent (see related story).

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