US liquefied natural gas (LNG) export player Cheniere Energy is preparing to open an office in China, currently the world’s third-largest buyer of the chilled fuel.
Cheniere started exporting LNG worldwide in February last year from its Sabine Pass export terminal in Louisiana, currently the only such facility to export US shale gas overseas.
The world’s biggest energy consumer, China has already received Sabine Pass spot cargoes before. With this move, Cheniere is also looking to secure long-term deals with Chinese buyers.
“We are in the process of opening up an office in Beijing to get closer to customers in that very important growth market,” Cheniere executive vice president and chief commercial officer Anatol Feygin said last week during the company’s second-quarter results conference call.
According to a report by Reuters on Monday, Maggie Jia, senior marketing manager with Cheniere Asia who worked previously for Morgan Stanley and Japanese trading house Mitsui, will relocate from Singapore to head up the Beijing office.
Cheniere also recently hired Chris Li, who worked formerly with China National Offshore Oil Co (CNOOC) and with China’s energy policy-setting agency, the National Energy Administration, the news agency reported citing industry sources.
Cheniere said earlier this year it had extensive negotiations with China about increasing U.S.LNG exports, following an agreement in May between the U.S and China to boost trade.
China’s imports of LNG have been steadily rising this year as the country is pursuing its plan to cut addiction to coal to reduce pollution.
In the January-June period, LNG imports rose 38.3 percent to 15.89 million mt with most of the supplies coming from Australia and Qatar, the country’s customs data shows.
LNG World News Staff