HOUSTON, Feb 25 (Reuters) - Cheniere Energy expects to export eight to 10 more cargoes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the next two months out of its newly commissioned Sabine Pass terminal on the Texas-Louisiana border, a company executive told Reuters on Thursday.
The cargoes will be offered on a spot basis and likely sail to Europe or Brazil, Katie Pipkin, senior vice president of business development and investor relations, said at the IHS CERAWeek conference.
Cheniere on Wednesday became the first U.S. company to export LNG, sending a cargo carrying 3.7 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of the liquefied shale gas to Brazil for state-run oil company Petrobras.
Cheniere’s marketing group sold the cargo and has six additional vessels under charter.
The inaugural export comes as the company is re-focusing its business on LNG after exploring a possible expansion into crude condensate exports from a proposed terminal in Corpus Christi, Texas.
Earlier this month, Cheniere released two traders hired to head up a crude and condensate trading group, including Nelson Lee, who the company plucked from BHP Billiton, where he helped oversee the first-ever exports of U.S. condensate.
Now the company has halted engineering work and permitting that was underway for the Corpus Christi facility. Cheniere had purchased land there.
The tighter focus on LNG follows a management shakeup at the company, largely pushed by activist investor Carl Icahn, who has increased his investment in the company and controls two board seats.
“They (the board) came in and asked us to be more focused, with not such an aggressive growth plan at the moment. They really want us to focus on getting the (LNG) trains done so we generate cash flow,” Pipkin said.
In December, Cheniere’s board voted to remove former CEO Charif Souki.
Neal Shear is still acting as interim CEO. Cheniere’s board has kicked off the process of finding a new CEO and hired executive search firm Spencer Stuart to assist. The processes is expected to be complete by May or June.
Going forward, Cheniere has contracted to sell 42 cargoes of LNG from its Sabine terminal to EDF Trading between 2016 and 2018, and roughly 12 cargoes per year to French multi-national Engie between 2018 and 2023.
Those term contracts will commence once the commissioning period on the facility ends in April or May. (Reporting by Liz Hampton; Editing by Terry Wade and David Gregorio)