Oil Report

INTERVIEW-Sempra CFO sees dip in LNG terminal build

NEW YORK, Oct 5 (Reuters) - Enough LNG terminals are operating in the United States and soon coming online to handle expected imports of the super-cooled gas, likely causing a standstill to new construction, said Sempra Energy's SRE.N Chief Financial Officer on Friday.

“I would say through 2015, I would be surprised if there is any new LNG receiving facilities built in the United States except those under construction right now,” CFO Mark Snell told Reuters in an interview.

Though demand for natural gas imports will continue unabated, the slower-than-anticipated pace of liquefaction, the process in which natural gas is converted from a gas state to a liquid one for transport, has probably diminished the need to start building additional receiving terminals in the near term, Snell said.

Snell predicted that those LNG terminals currently under construction will be completed. Sempra is in the process of building two new LNG facilities, one in Mexico expected to come online in January next year and one in Louisiana scheduled for operation in the second half of 2008.

Even after these terminals reach capacity, Snell said construction of new facilities will be slow.

“The next wave will probably be an expansion of existing facilities before we bring on new facilities,” Snell said, but he added that “eventually over time there will be a need more LNG facilities.”

Reporting by Lisa Lee