Cheniere Energy $10B Gas Facility Gets Federal Approval

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UK Natural Gas
The news comes as a UK government report on Tuesday backed the exploration of shale gas using the controversial hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” drilling method blamed for two small earthquakes in Britain last year.

Cheniere Energy Inc. (ASE: LNG) announced on Monday federal approval of the largest liquid natural gas (LNG) export terminal in the U.S., to be built in Cameron Parish, La., to exploit higher prices in foreign markets.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved the $10 billion LNG plant, located about 170 miles outside of Baton Rouge. The facility will rest alongside the Houston-based company's Sabine Pass gas-import terminal. Cheniere plans to use the plant as a link to Asian markets. A second export terminal is planned for Corpus Christi, Texas.

Clients for the terminal include the U.K.'s BG Group, Spain's Gas Natural Fenosa, GAIL India Ltd. And Korea Gas Corp.

The company's foray oversees comes at a strenuous time for U.S. natural gas companies. Futures for LNG closed at $2.02 per million British thermal units on Monday, from a low of $1.96 earlier in the month. But the shut-in nature of the nation's natural gas market has left it impervious to price jumps on the international market.

Cheniere has been a first mover and a fast mover, John Hirjee, an analyst at Deutsche Bank AG, told Businessweek. This will potentially help others who are looking to export LNG from the U.S. to use Cheniere as a template.

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