Cheniere could break the ice with LNG exports to China

Cheniere could break the ice with LNG exports to China

Houston: Energy company Cheniere may sell liquefied natural gas (LNG) to China, a company executive said on Tuesday.

The claim, made by Cheniere Marketing’s VP for Asia Nicolas Zanen, comes just a week after the Department of Energy gave approval for Cheniere to export LNG from its greenfield export terminal in Corpus Christi, Texas.

LNG appeals because of its relatively clean combustion and its transportation flexibility.

There is a lot of Chinese demand for the fuel and America has plenty of supply but so far political factors have stymied cooperation. If this comes off, it would be the first LNG deal between the two world powers. As yet no Chinese companies have signed up for any US LNG cargoes

The US is ambitious in the field of LNG export and has been relaxing its own rules regarding export, giving permission for a number of designated terminals around the nation to ship the fuel overseas. The Energy Information Administration believes the country could become a net LNG exporter by 2017.

That means a lot more of the specially-fitted LNG bulkers plying the world’s shipping lanes.

At the end of last week the boss of another US LNG export facility, Michael Smith of Freeport LNG, in Texas, suggested in an interview that the Department of Energy had strongly dissuaded his company and other LNG distributors from having investors or customers from China.

Smith quickly backtracked from those comments.

Donal Scully

With 28 years experience writing and editing for newspapers in the UK and Hong Kong, Donal is now based in California from where he covers the Americas for Splash as well as ensuring the site is loaded through the Western Hemisphere timezone.

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