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Saudi Aramco buys stake in Texas LNG export terminal

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Saudi Aramco has agreed to buy a stake in Sempra Energy’s new LNG export terminal in Port Arthur, Texas in a move which sees the world’s biggest oil exporter becoming involved in production activity outside of Saudi Arabia for the first time.
Visualisation of the proposed Port Arthur LNG export terminal
(Visualisation of the proposed Port Arthur LNG export terminal. Image via Sempra Energy).

The ‘Heads of Agreement’ (HOA) deal between Sempra Energy and Saudi Aramco anticipates the negotiation and finalisation of a definitive 20-year liquefied natural gas (LNG) sale-and-purchase agreement (SPA) for five million tonnes per annum of LNG offtake from Phase 1 of the Port Arthur LNG export terminal currently under development. It also includes the negotiation and finalisation of a 25% equity investment in Phase 1 of Port Arthur LNG.

The deal will enable Saudi Aramco to gain a foothold in America’s lucrative, and growing, natural gas production and export activity. Increasing numbers of companies are seeking to become LNG exporters, shipping US natural gas to markets in Europe and Asia.

Aramco sees global demand for LNG growing by around 4% per year, and this week’s deal with Sempra is clear evidence that it is seeking to capitalise upon this.

“The agreement with Sempra LNG is a major step forward in Saudi Aramco’s long term strategy to become a leading global LNG player. With global demand for LNG expected to grow by around 4% per year, and likely to exceed 500 million metric tons a year by 2035, we see significant opportunities in this market and we will continue to pursue strategic partnerships which enables us to meet rising global demand for LNG,” says Amin Nasser, Saudi Aramco’s CEO and President.

The proposed Port Arthur LNG terminal is expected to include two liquefaction trains, up to three LNG storage tanks and associated facilities that should enable the export of approximately 11 Mtpa of LNG on a long-term basis. If construction proceeds on this basis, Port Arthur LNG will be one of the largest LNG export projects in North America, with potential expansion capabilities of up to eight liquefaction trains or approximately 45 Mtpa of capacity.

Port Arthur is one of Sempra LNG’s five strategically-located LNG development opportunities in North America and is a component of Sempra LNG’s goal of delivering 45 Mtpa of clean natural gas to the global LNG market.
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Saudi Aramco buys stake in Texas LNG export terminal - Time to read 3 min
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