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Cheniere Plans to Start U.S. Liquid Gas Exports in Late 2015

April 18 (Bloomberg) -- Cheniere Energy Inc. will start operations at its U.S. liquefied natural gas export terminal in late 2015 after breaking ground in June this year, said Jean Abiteboul, president of Cheniere Supply & Marketing.

The Houston-based company will make a final investment decision on the project in May or June, Abiteboul said today at the Flame conference in Amsterdam. It will sell 2 million metric tons on the spot market each year, with the remaining 16 million tons backed by agreements with BG Group Plc, Gas Natural SDG SA, Korea Gas Corp. and Gail India Ltd., he said.

Cheniere on April 16 won federal approval to build the largest U.S. natural-gas export terminal as drillers who extract the fuel from shale formations struggle to find domestic buyers to absorb a glut.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved an order that will let Cheniere build a $10 billion plant adjacent to its Sabine Pass gas-import terminal in Cameron Parish, Louisiana, about 170 miles (274 kilometers) west of Baton Rouge. The Houston-based company said its 91 percent owned Cheniere Energy Partners LP hired eight financial institutions to borrow $4 billion to help fund the construction.

U.S. LNG exports will be 6 billion to 10 billion cubic feet a day, Mike Stice, chief executive officer of Chesapeake Midstream Partners LP, said today in an interview in Amsterdam, without specifying a time frame.

To contact the reporter on this story: Matthew Brown in Amsterdam at mbrown42@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Lars Paulsson at lpaulsson@bloomberg.net

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