Sempra LNG Signs Capacity Agreement with Merrill Lynch

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 United States."

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 in 2009.