Top US LNG exporter sees demand in Asia driving deliveries this year Ship’s crew


By Marianna Parraga

March 6 (Reuters) – Cheniere Energy expects to ship more liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Asia this year after European customers took on the lion’s share of its shipments for 2022, an official said on Monday.

The top US exporter of LNG shipped a total of 638 cargoes last year, of which just over 70% were shipped to Europe, Chief Operating Officer Corey Grindal said at the CERAWeek energy conference.

Cheniere last year gave financial approval for an expansion of its liquefaction facility in Corpus Christi, Texas, and has filed with federal agencies for an early environmental review for an expansion at its Sabine Pass, Lousiana facility, officials said.

The construction of his and other LNG facilities along the US Gulf Coast is putting a strain on existing gas transportation and storage infrastructure. In states like Louisiana, infrastructure needs to be further expanded, Grindal said.

Just over 50% of Cheniere’s customers are European firms, ensuring there continues to be a balance between Asian and European markets, said Chief Executive Jack Fusco.

It doesn’t matter how much Russian gas returns to the market if producers like Cheniere continue to secure long-term deals with customers, Fusco added. Cheniere has grown from 12 to 30 long-term customers.

Europe is building the infrastructure to import LNG in the long term and reducing its reliance on Russian pipeline gas, executives said.

However, the US will need additional developments to meet future demand.

“Licensing reform in the country needs to happen,” CEO Fusco said, citing the bureaucracy that often causes delays and bottlenecks in LNG capacity expansion.

The company’s proposed expansions would collectively increase LNG production capacity by 30 million tons per year.

Cheniere is investigating Federal Energy Regulatory Commission requirements for rival Freeport LNG to restart its fire-damaged Texas facility. The monitoring is designed to ensure facilities meet all FERC standards, executives said.

(Reporting by Marianna Parraga; Editing by David Gregorio)

(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2023.

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