Cheniere Energy to export first LNG shipment from Texas

Friday, November 16, 2018

Sergio Chapa | Houston Chronicle | November 15, 2018

Houston-based Cheniere Energy is expected to export its first shipment of liquefied natural gas from its complex near Corpus Christi Thursday afternoon.

Crews wrapped up construction for Train 1 at the company's Corpus Christi LNG export terminal this summer and spent the past five months commissioning the equipment.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott and Cheniere CEO Jack Fusco will be on hand to watch an LNG tanker named Golar Tundra to leave with the first shipment from the Port of Corpus Christi facility.

Under the company's business model, the South Texas facility will receive natural gas from the Eagle Ford Shale, Permian Basin and other sources via pipeline, liquefy the gas and use tankers to export it to customers in Europe, Latin America and Asia.

It's not immediately clear where the Golar Tundra will take the first shipment from Port of Corpus Christi,  but the export terminal's customers hail from three continents —Europe, Asia and Australia. They include three Spanish companies, Endesa, Iberdola and Gas Natural Fenosa, Petamina of Indonesia, Woodside of Australia, the French company Electricite De France, and the Portuguese company Energias de Portugal SA.

Cheniere's first export shipment was sent from its Sabine Pass LNG in Louisiana in February 2016. Since then, Cheniere has shipped 475 cargoes of LNG to 29 nations.

Trading under the stock ticker symbol LNG, the Houston company endured years of losses while the Sabine Pass export terminal was under construction. Once the company started shipping LNG, the profits followed.

The company said it earned a $65 million profit on $1.7 billion of revenue during the third quarter of 2018.

A second processing unit at the Corpus Christi facility known as Train 2 is expected to be completed during first quarter 2019 and placed into commercial service by the second half of 2019.

Crews with general contractor Bechtel started construction for a third processing unit known as Train 3 during the summer.

Over the past year, Cheniere has landed long-term supply agreements with a subsidiary of China National Petroleum Corp. and Poland's state-run Polish Oil and Gas Company.