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    Aramco Nears US LNG Deal

Summary

The Saudi oil giant is planning to take a big chunk of LNG from a US project, as well as a stake in the plant.

by: William Powell

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Aramco Nears US LNG Deal

US Sempra Energy and Saudi Aramco have signed a heads of agreement (HOA) to progress towards a defnitive 20-year LNG offtake contract for 5mn mt/yr from Phase 1 of the Port Arthur LNG export project, they said May 22, Further, Aramco will also take a 25% equity investment in Phase 1, if the talks bear fruit.  

Calling the agreement a "major step forward" in his company's long-term LNG strategy, Aramco CEO Amin Nasser said global demand for LNG was expected to grow by around 4%.yr and the company saw "significant opportunities in this market." He said Aramco would continue to pursue strategic partnerships that enabled it to meet the rising demand.

Sempra CEO Jeffrey Martin said his company was “pleased to partner with affiliates of Saudi Aramco, the largest oil & gas company in the world, to advance the development of Sempra LNG’s natural gas liquefaction facility in Texas and enable the export of American natural gas to global markets.”

Port Arthur LNG Phase 1 is expected to include two liquefaction trains, up to three LNG storage tanks and associated facilities to enable the export of about 11mn mt/yr of LNG on a long-term basis. Port Arthur LNG could be one of the largest LNG export projects in North America, with potential expansion capabilities of up to eight liquefaction trains or 45mn mt/yr capacity. No details were given on the pricing or indexation terms.

In a paper written for NGW and published a month ago, Aramco's chief gas strategist Nasir Al-Naimi set out in more detail his company's ambitions to move into the global gas market.