Cheniere Energy's Sabine Pass LNG terminal export numbers continue to grow

Since Cheniere Sabine Pass commissioned its first export of Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) cargo destined for Brazil in February 2016, business has been steadily flowing.
Demand for LNG is strong and growing worldwide.

“We see a structural shift to increase natural gas as a primary energy source, particularly in developing and high-growth economies in Asia,” said Eben Burnham-Snyder, vice president of Communications for Cheniere Energy, Inc. “There has been a global shift towards cleaner fuels as a substitute for coal and oil, driving demand in countries looking to expand their economies while promoting cleaner air and a healthier environment. At the same time, U.S. LNG is providing a flexible, reliable, and plentiful option as that cleaner energy supply.”

Since startup, cargoes of LNG originating from Cheniere have been delivered to 28 countries and regions, with top three destinations being Mexico, South Korea, and China, Burnham-Snyder told The Business Journal.
As of July 2018, Cheniere has exported more than 400 cumulative cargoes, with as many as 25 in one month, according to Eben Burnham-Snyder.

“We are actually one of the top 5 LNG shippers in the world and the second largest user of the Panama Canal,” he said. Cheniere is the largest exporter in the U.S. and expects to be one of the Top 5 LNG sellers in the world by 2020, Burnham-Snyder said.

The company announced it was building four LNG import terminals in 2001. At that time, the general consensus was that the country needed to import natural gas to meet its energy needs. By 2008, however, the scenario was far different. There was actually a natural gas surplus.

“Recognizing this opportunity, in 2010, Cheniere was the first company to apply for a permit to export LNG, and in 2016, we became the first company to ship LNG from a commercial facility in the contiguous United States in more than 50 years. That facility was Sabine Pass and we are very proud of that,” Burnham-Snyder said.

Although four trains were originally planned, because of growing demand, the company announced an additional two trains. Train 5 is now in the commissioning process.

“On the current timeline, we expect Train 5 to achieve first LNG during the fourth quarter of this year,” Burnham-Snyder said. “With regards to Train 6, our marketing origination efforts are focused on its commercialization. We are confident in our ability to grow our world-class LNG infrastructure platform through incremental liquefaction capacity projects.”

The production capacity of each LNG Train at Sabine Pass is being designed for approximately 4.5 mtpa (Million Tonnes per Annum) – so once fully built with all six Trains, Sabine Pass will produce approximately 27 mtpa, he said.

Burnham-Snyder said Cheniere will continue to expand its global reach as the LNG market grows.

“Our Sabine Pass facility, once the five trains are up and running, will be the third largest LNG facility globally,” he said. “We’ve seen aggressive ramp-ups in global demand and this trend will continue. So we feel strongly that we will be the growth engine of North American LNG going forward.”
“What’s happening in the Lone Star State with regard to production, pipelines, refining and exports is making our nation more energy secure, while bolstering our state and national economies,” Todd Staples, president of the Texas Oil & Gas Association told The Business Journal. “Not only are we less dependent on other nations to meet our energy needs, increased exports are creating jobs at home and improving lives across the globe by making essential, reliable, energy available. Record production, unprecedented investment and expanding export opportunities are securing our economy, our environment and our future. Continued expansion of LNG, along with growing markets for crude and refined products are key to Texas’ continued success.”

“In the years ahead, as the world’s energy mix continues to change, we believe LNG will continue to be a competitive and reliable source of energy", Burnham-Snyder said. that enables a much cleaner environment.