Cheniere Energy’s Sabine Pass liquefied natural gas (LNG) export project in Louisiana could be expanded by 50% as global demand for U.S. LNG increases, a Cheniere executive said.

Nicolas Zanen, Cheniere vice president of trading, told Bloomberg, “When we marketed the project at Sabine Pass, clearly we had more demand than we could satisfy. It makes sense to look at expanding to a fifth and a sixth” liquefaction train. Cheniere spokesman Andrew Ware confirmed the remarks and said there was no timeline for a potential expansion at Sabine Pass.

Ware noted that Cheniere’s Sabine Pass Liquefaction LLC had recently struck agreements with Total Gas & Power North America Inc. whereby Sabine Pass Liquefaction would progressively gain access to Total’s natural gas sendout capacity provided under its terminal use agreement with Sabine Pass LNG LP. The agreements will provide Sabine Pass with additional berthing and storage capacity at the terminal (see Daily GPI, Sept. 13).

The additional berthing and storage would support increased exports from the terminal beyond the currently planned liquefaction capacity, Ware said. As currently envisioned, the liquefaction project would have four LNG trains. Sabine Pass has DOE approval to export up to 2.2 Bcf/d of liquefied gas to free trade agreement (FTA) and non-FTA countries. It has contracts to supply LNG to units of BG Group, Spain’s Gas Natural Fenosa, Korea Gas Corp. and Gail (India) Ltd.

Additionally, without the agreement with Total, Sabine Pass would have required the construction of a sixth LNG storage tank to support its currently planned phase two capacity, Ware said. Now it doesn’t need to build the sixth tank. “That’s ultimately going to save us time and money,” he said. Additional liquefaction trains would necessitate the construction of the sixth tank. And adding trains to the project also would require additional permitting at DOE and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Multiple companies have applied to DOE for authorization to export LNG to non-FTA countries, but only Sabine Pass has received the OK to do so (see Daily GPI, Oct. 25; May 23, 2011).

A recent filing at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission requesting permission to expedite construction of the second stage of Sabine Pass (see Daily GPI, Oct. 11) is unrelated to any potential expansion of the project, Ware said.

©Copyright 2012Intelligence Press Inc. All rights reserved. The preceding news reportmay not be republished or redistributed, in whole or in part, in anyform, without prior written consent of Intelligence Press, Inc.