SAN DIEGO, July 30, 2009 – Sempra LNG, a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), today announced that its Cameron LNG liquefied natural gas (LNG) receipt terminal near Lake Charles, La., has successfully completed performance testing and has begun commercial operations.
Over the past month, start-up and commissioning activities have been completed, including the arrival of the facility’s first two LNG commissioning cargoes and obtaining the approval to commence operations from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
“With today’s announcement, our LNG business now has two fully operational North American receipt terminals with the unique ability to serve suppliers in both the Atlantic and Pacific markets,” said Donald E. Felsinger, chairman and chief executive officer of Sempra Energy. “This is a business supported by long term contracts that will provide shareholders with predictable cash flows well into the future.”
Sempra LNG owns 100 percent of the Cameron LNG facility and has sold 40 percent of its processing capacity to Italy’s Eni S.p.A under a 20-year terminal services agreement. Last month, Sempra LNG announced it had signed a flexible agreement to purchase up to 50 cargoes from one of the world’s largest suppliers of liquefied natural gas, Ras Laffan Liquefied Natural Gas Company Limited 3 (RL 3), an affiliate of RasGas Company Limited (RasGas). The agreement allows cargoes to begin Aug. 1, 2009, through Dec. 31, 2010. Each cargo could contain up to 4.8 billion cubic feet of natural gas.
“We’re proud of the milestones achieved at Cameron LNG, completing construction, successfully meeting performance standards and beginning commercial operations in time to support the recently announced agreement with RasGas and the existing capacity agreement with Eni,” said Darcel L. Hulse, president and chief executive officer of Sempra LNG. “We plan to expand on this success by continuing to negotiate with other parties interested in acquiring either long- or short-term capacity at Cameron LNG.”
Cameron LNG’s first cargo arrived June 21 aboard BP’s British Diamond, an LNG carrier bringing supplies from Trinidad. A second LNG ship, BP’s British Emerald, arrived at the terminal June 30 with a cargo from Trinidad. Cameron LNG is capable of processing 1.5 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of natural gas.
Sempra LNG’s other LNG receipt terminal, Energía Costa Azul, is located in Baja California, Mexico, and commenced operations in May 2008. Energía Costa Azul is the first LNG receipt terminal on the west coast of North America and is capable of processing 1.0 Bcf/d.
LNG is simply natural gas in liquid form. To reach a liquid state, natural gas must be cooled. The liquid gas is then transported aboard specially designed carriers for delivery to receipt terminals. These receipt terminals store LNG, return it to its gaseous state and dispatch it into pipelines for customer use. In LNG’s 50-plus year shipping history, LNG carriers have traveled more than 100 million miles without a major incident.
Sempra LNG develops and operates LNG receipt terminals serving North American markets. Sempra Energy, based in San Diego, is a Fortune 500 energy services holding company with 2008 revenues of nearly $11 billion. The Sempra Energy companies’ 13,600 employees serve more than 29 million consumers worldwide.
This press release contains statements that are not historical fact and constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements can be identified by words like “believes,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “intends,” “plans,” “estimates,” “may,” “would,” ”could,” “should,” or similar expressions, or discussions of strategies, plans or intentions. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of performance. They involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions. Future results may differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are necessarily based upon various assumptions involving judgments with respect to the future and other risks, including, among others: local, regional, national and international economic, competitive, political, legislative and regulatory conditions and developments; actions by the California Public Utilities Commission, California State Legislature, California Department of Water Resources, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Federal Reserve Board, and other regulatory and governmental bodies in the United States, the United Kingdom and other countries; capital market conditions and inflation, interest and exchange rates; energy and trading markets, including the timing and extent of changes and volatility in commodity prices; the availability of electric power, natural gas and liquefied natural gas; weather conditions and conservation efforts; war and terrorist attacks; business, regulatory, environmental and legal decisions and requirements; the status of deregulation of retail natural gas and electricity delivery; the timing and success of business development efforts; the resolution of litigation; and other uncertainties, all of which are difficult to predict and many of which are beyond the control of the company. These risks and uncertainties are further discussed in the reports that Sempra Energy has filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These reports are available through the EDGAR system without charge at the SEC’s Web site, www.sec.gov and on the company’s Web site, at www.sempra.com.
Sempra Pipelines & Storage, Sempra Generation, Sempra LNG and Sempra Commodities are not the same companies as the utility, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) or Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas), and Sempra Pipelines & Storage, Sempra Generation, Sempra LNG and Sempra Commodities are not regulated by the California Public Utilities Commission.