Wednesday, October 04, 2006


New York Times:
The Sabine River channel, where alligators and speckled trout live alongside petrochemical plants and oil refineries, has suddenly become the center of a quiet revolution in the world of natural gas.

And it is mainly at the prodding of a little-known company called Cheniere Energy, with help from Exxon Mobil and Sempra Energy. Together they have overcome formidable regulatory hurdles to build three new liquefied natural gas terminals on the channel that will double the nation’s capacity to import natural gas by 2011...

Ever since natural gas prices spiked from 2001 to 2005, Cheniere has been joined by many others in the buildup. Even as prices of natural gas futures have fallen this summer to four-year lows, companies are spending up to $9 billion on building new terminals or upgrading old ones, with the nexus of activity decidedly along Texas and Louisiana shores.

More than a dozen new liquefied natural gas terminal projects have been approved by the federal government in the last four years, all but one in the gulf region. Within a few years, there could be six terminals within 30 miles of the Sabine River alone.