Cameron LNG, Sempra Energy’s liquefied natural gas export terminal in Louisiana, has received approval for a planned expansion in the amount of gas it exports to countries that don’t have a free-trade agreement with the U.S. The 1.41 billion cu ft/day increase will bring the terminal’s total to 3.53 billion cu ft/day.
Sempra Energy is currently in the process of building the first three liquefaction units, or trains, of Cameron LNG. For the expansion, it will build another two trains, plus a fifth full-containment LNG tank. The first LNG is planned to be produced in 2018, with full-scale production scheduled for 2019. The project’s value is around US$10 billion.
Cameron LNG is one of a number of new LNG projects set to turn the U.S. into a major rival for LNG exporters such as Qatar and Australia. However, global demand is starting to lag behind supply and some LNG projects are being shelved. The latest in this respect was Canada LNG: the Shell-led consortium set up to build an export terminal on the coast of British Columbia announced last week it will delay the start of construction due to weak gas prices.
LNG has been touted as the next star on the hydrocarbon scene since it’s cheaper and cleaner than crude oil. As a result, a number of large-scale projects have sprouted across the world, including the Gorgon and Wheatstone off the Australian coast, operated by Chevron, Cheniere Energy’s Sabine Pass terminal, and Italian Eni’s Coral development in Mozambique. With so much supply coming on stream and unsteady demand growth, prices have understandably tanked, and large projects have become temporarily unviable.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for the U.S.-based Divergente LLC consulting firm with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.