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Total agrees to 20-year deal to buy LNG from Cheniere' s export project

BY TESS STYNES

HOUSTON -- Cheniere Energy Partners reached an 20-year deal under which Total, the France-based energy major, has agreed to purchase nearly half the volume of a fifth train planned for Cheniere' s LNG export facility that is being developed in Louisiana.

The pact--along with additional indications of interest--allows Cheniere to move ahead with the development of the fifth train. The company' s LNG-export project at its Sabine Pass operation initially was designed and permitted for as many as four modular LNG trains. A sixth train also is being considered.

Cheniere Energy Partners, a limited partnership formed and controlled by Cheniere Energy, is developing a major LNG export plant in Louisiana, aiming to take advantage of a glut of natural gas in the U.S. and higher prices that the commodity can demand abroad.

Total' s U.S. unit is planning to purchase about 2 mtpa of the train' s annual capacity of about 4.5 mt. The first two trains are under construction and work on the second two trains is expected to start next year.

Total and Cheniere previously has reached a partial accord allowing the Cheniere facility access to services under Total' s terminal use agreement with the Sabine Pass operation, making further expansion of LNG export capabilities possible.

The accord begins with the date of train five' s first commercial delivery--expected as early as 2018-- and has an extension option of as much as 10 years.

Dow Jones Newswires

12/17/2012

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