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Saudi Aramco to participate in Port Arthur LNG project

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Sempra LNG and Aramco Services Co have signed an Interim Project Participation Agreement (IPPA) for the Port Arthur LNG export project.

The IPPA represents another milestone for both companies after they signed a heads of agreement in May last year to purchase 5 mill tonnes per annum of LNG and a 25% equity investment in the Port Arthur project.

“(This) announcement is a reflection of the growing alignment between our companies’ interest in the overall success of the Port Arthur LNG project,” said Jeffrey Martin, Sempra Energy Chairman and CEO. “We have a tremendous amount of respect for Saudi Aramco and its leadership team and we are pleased we can support their success in the global natural gas markets.”

Saudi Aramco’s President and CEO, Amin Nasser, added, “The global demand growth for LNG is expected to continue in the coming years, and we see significant opportunities in this market. This agreement with Sempra Energy is another step forward for Saudi Aramco’s long-term gas strategy, and towards becoming the global leading integrated energy and chemicals company.”

Initial phase

Port Arthur LNG’s initial phase is fully permitted and it is expected to include two liquefaction trains, up to three LNG storage tanks and associated facilities to enable the export of about 11 mill tonnes per year of LNG on a long-term basis.

Earlier last year, Sempra LNG initiated the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) pre-filing review for the project’s potential expansion that would add two additional liquefaction trains for a total export capacity of around 22 mill tonnes per annum.

Definitive agreements in the Port Arthur LNG export project remain subject to finalisation and corporate approvals by each party before they are executed. The IPPA sets forth certain mechanisms for the parties to work towards certain agreements and other pre-FID activities.

Development of Sempra Energy’s LNG export projects is contingent upon obtaining binding customer commitments, completing the required commercial agreements, securing all necessary permits, obtaining financing and reaching final investment decisions, among other factors, the company stressed.