CERAWEEK-Cheniere to export first U.S. LNG cargo to Brazil on Wednesday
Feb 24 (Reuters) - The long-awaited first liquefied natural gas exports from the lower 48 U.S. states will leave Cheniere Energy Inc's Sabine Pass export terminal in Louisiana on Wednesday, a senior company executive said.
That first cargo of about 3 billion cubic feet (bcf) of gas will go to Petrobras in Brazil, Meg Gentle, executive vice-president of marketing at Cheniere said on the sidelines of the CERAWeek conference in Houston.
"We'll be loading vessels over the next couple months," Gentle said, noting the company has six LNG vessels under charter, including the Clean Ocean, Oak Spirit and Creole Spirit in addition to the Asia Vision, which is moving the first cargo.
Another vessel not mentioned by Gentle is the Energy Atlantic, which has been waiting in the Gulf of Mexico since January, and is also expected to transport LNG from Sabine Pass, according to market sources.
Gentle said the average cost of chartering the tankers used to ship the gas that is super cooled into liquid form for transportation was about $45,000 per day.
With expected growth in pipeline exports to Mexico and LNG exports to the world, the United States expects to transition from a net importer of gas to a net exporter by 2017 as the nation's shale gas production continues to grow, according to federal energy forecasts.
This cargo from the first 0.65 bcf per day liquefaction train at Sabine Pass is a test cargo. Gentle said the company was still commissioning the facility.
"It's under Bechtel's control, they drive the schedule," she said, referring to the construction firm in charge of building Sabine Pass for Cheniere.
She said the company expects to be cash flow positive in late 2018 or 2019, noting they expect gas prices to remain below $3 for the "foreseeable future." Continuación...