Cheniere Plans Corpus Christi LNG Export Terminal (USA)

Cheniere Plans Corpus Christi LNG Export Terminal

Cheniere Energy, Inc. announced today that its wholly owned subsidiary, Corpus Christi Liquefaction, LLC is developing a liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal at one of Cheniere’s existing sites that was previously permitted for a regasification terminal.

The LNG export terminal site is located in San Patricio County, Texas, and it is anticipated that the terminal would be primarily supplied by reserves from the Eagle Ford Shale, located approximately sixty miles northwest of Corpus Christi. The proposed liquefaction project (Corpus Christi Project) is being designed for up to three trains capable of producing in aggregate up to 13.5 million tonnes per annum (mtpa).

Cheniere is launching the development of its second LNG export terminal, building upon its export capabilities in the Gulf of Mexico.  Cheniere is currently developing an LNG export project at the Sabine Pass LNG terminal through its subsidiary, Cheniere Energy Partners, L.P.  The Sabine Pass Project, located in Cameron Parish, Louisiana, is anticipated to include four liquefaction trains capable of producing in the aggregate up to 18 mtpa of LNG.  Cheniere has recently announced that is has entered into three long-term LNG Sale and Purchase Agreements for the targeted contract quantity for three of the four trains under development and is currently in discussions with counterparties interested in entering into SPAs for the remaining capacity.

In connection with the development of the Corpus Christi Project, Cheniere has initiated the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) pre-filing review for the proposed natural gas liquefaction terminal through Corpus Christi Liquefaction.  The Corpus Christi Project would be underpinned by the significant resources under development in the Eagle Ford Shale, which covers nearly 12,000 square miles in South Texas and ranks among the largest shale discoveries in the U.S.  Geologic studies commissioned by Cheniere estimate recoverable oil and gas resources in the Eagle Ford Shale at over 180 trillion cubic feet equivalent, or 30 billion barrels of oil equivalent.  There are approximately 200 rigs currently drilling in the Eagle Ford Shale, with increasing emphasis placed on development of the play’s oil and condensate reservoir window, where significant quantities of associated natural gas rich in NGL content can be produced.

Given the strong customer interest for capacity at the Sabine Pass Project, we have decided to initiate the development of our next liquefaction project.  With our newly proposed project, we will be able to provide up to an additional 13.5 mtpa of liquefaction capacity in the Gulf of Mexico,” said Charif Souki, Chairman and CEO.  “We believe this is a very attractive project for global LNG buyers given its proximity to the Eagle Ford Shale, one of the most prolific shale discoveries in recent history, and look forward to discussions with interested parties.”

The Corpus Christi site consists of approximately 664 acres, including 212 acres owned, 52 acres under a lease option and 400 acres of permanent easement.  The site is located on the La Quinta Channel on the northeast side of Corpus Christi Bay in San Patricio County, Texas, and is approximately 15 nautical miles from the coast. Depending on feasibility and market interest, the Corpus Christi Project is expected to be constructed in phases, with each LNG train commencing operations approximately six to nine months after the previous train.

LNG World News Staff, December 16, 2011; Image: Cheniere