Sempra LNG has
executed a capacity agreement with Merrill Lynch to bring natural gas to the US Gulf Coast.
The 15-year full-service capacity agreement gives Merrill
Lynch Commodities the capability to import 3.7 million tonnes
of LNG per year, the equivalent of 500 million cubic feet
per day, through Sempra LNG's Cameron LNG receipt terminal
near Lake Charles, La. The agreement is contingent upon
Merrill Lynch Commodities finalizing its LNG supply arrangements.
Depending upon the timing of Merrill Lynch Commodities'
arrangements, Sempra LNG would have the flexibility to service
the capacity agreement from either the first phase of Cameron
LNG's development, to be completed in 2008, or its proposed
expansion, which could be completed in 2010.
"We are pleased to have signed this terminal capacity agreement
with a company as respected and well-known as Merrill Lynch
Commodities," said Darcel Hulse, president of Sempra LNG.
"Their knowledge of the marketplace confirms Cameron LNG's
position as a strategic gateway for LNG supplies into the
Sempra LNG has received approval from the Federal Energy
Regulatory Commission to commence the mandatory pre-filing
process to expand the company's Cameron LNG receipt terminal's
throughput capacity to 2.65 billion cubic feet of natural
gas per day (Bcfd) from 1.5 Bcfd. The initial construction
phase of Cameron LNG is underway. Construction for the expansion
could begin as early as next year.
In 2005, Sempra LNG announced it had executed a 20-year
agreement to provide Eni S.p.A., one of the world's
leading oil and natural gas exploration and production companies,
with approximately 600 million cubic feet per day of capacity
in the Cameron LNG receipt terminal. The combined Eni and
Merrill Lynch terminal capacity agreements account for approximately
1.1 Bcfd of natural gas through the Louisiana facility.
Sempra LNG's Energia Costa Azul terminal in Baja California,
Mexico, began construction in March 2005 and is on schedule
to be operational by early 2008. Sempra LNG's third LNG
receipt terminal, Port Arthur LNG, near Port Arthur, Texas,
is in the final stages of permitting and could be operational