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Sempra wants to become one of N America's biggest LNG exporters

New York

SEMPRA Energy is working aggressively to become one of the biggest liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporters in North America, according to the California energy company's chief executive Jeff Martin.

Sempra is developing five projects - Cameron phases 1 and 2 in Louisiana, Port Arthur in Texas and Costa Azul phases 1 and 2 in Baja California in Mexico - totalling about 45 million tonnes per annum (MTPA), or roughly 6 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas. One billion cubic feet of gas is enough to supply about five million US homes.

If Sempra builds all 45 MTPA of capacity, it could become the second biggest North American LNG exporter behind current market leader Cheniere Energy Inc, which is expanding its two operating LNG export terminals in the United States.

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"We are going to move aggressively to unlock these five projects over the next three to five years," Mr Martin said, noting demand for the super-cooled fuel was expected to rocket higher as consumers transition from dirty coal to cleaner natural gas.

Sempra already has a contract to sell 2 MTPA of LNG from Port Arthur to Polish oil and gas company Polskie Górnictwo Naftowe i Gazownictwo SA (PGNiG).

In Mexico, Sempra wants to build an export terminal in two phases at its Costa Azul LNG import facility.

"Costa Azul is a complete game changer," Mr Martin said, noting it is the only facility on the West Coast of North America that will enable customers to ship Permian shale gas from West Texas across northern Mexico and reach markets in Asia in 12 days. "That is half the transit time it takes to send LNG from the US Gulf Coast," he said. REUTERS