Cheniere Sees Financing, Decision on Sabine Pass Units

Cheniere Energy Inc. may wrap up financing and make a final investment decision in the next four to six weeks on whether to build third and fourth production units for its Sabine Pass liquefied natural gas export project.

Construction can start once financing is in place, Cheniere Chief Executive Officer Charif Souki said in an interview at the LNG 17 conference in Houston today. The first unit at Sabine Pass in Louisiana remains ahead of schedule for a late 2015 start, he said. A second unit may be operating about six months later.

The first two units will cost about $5.6 billion, the Houston-based company has said. Cheniere’s Sabine Pass project is the only one with full U.S. approval for LNG exports. Gas output from U.S. shale formations caused a glut in domestic supplies, resulting in prices falling to a 10-year low last year. To reach new markets, companies have proposed about 30 billion cubic feet of daily U.S. gas export capacity.

Cheniere may file an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in September or October for a possible fifth and sixth unit at Sabine Pass, Souki said. The company also is about six months away from having a good understanding on the cost structure for a possible LNG export project near Corpus Christi, Texas, he said.

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