Cheniere Energy looking better after LNG shipments

HOUSTON, After commissioning its first shipment of liquefied natural gas from a U.S. port, Cheniere Energy Partners said losses during the first quarter have dwindled.

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A vessel left its port at Sabine Pass, La., in February with the first cargo of LNG ever sourced from U.S. shale areas to the foreign market. Cheniere, which operates the Sabine Pass liquefaction plant, said the loading marked a new era for the U.S. LNG sector.

Cheniere already has sales agreements with French energy company EDF for up to 26 cargoes of LNG from the Sabine Pass export terminal through 2019.

“A total of four LNG commissioning cargoes were loaded and exported during the three months ended March 31, 2016, and a total of seven LNG commissioning cargoes have been loaded and exported to date,” the company said in a statement.

The company nevertheless reported a net loss of $74.9 million for the first quarter, though that was better than the $178.7 million loss reported for the same period in 2015. While offering few specifics on the loss, the company said in its annual report for 2015 that the industry is “weathering a protracted decline in prices” for oil and natural gas, though markets have recovered somewhat since April.

“Low LNG and natural gas prices are stimulating incremental price-sensitive natural gas demand and opening up new LNG markets eager to take advantage of the affordable, cleaner burning fuel,” the report read.

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