HOUSTON (Dow Jones)
Cheniere Energy (LNG), a liquefied natural gas terminal developer, is seeking parties to take an interest in its flagship LNG terminal, which will begin operating in April, in an effort to boost its stock price, the company said Monday.
Houston-based Cheniere is looking at options to raise its stock value, including seeking other parties to buy into the company, said a spokeswoman.
The company has retained Credit Suisse as a financial advisor to seek out interested parties.
A third option is to have another party take some of the open capacity at the terminal. Sabine Pass, located on the U.S. Gulf Coast in Cameron Parish, La., has 2 billion cubic feet of open capacity.
In 2004, Cheniere signed contracts with Total SA (TOT) unit Total LNG USA Inc. and Chevron Corp. (CVX) subsidiary Chevron USA Inc. to fill 2 billion cubic feet of Sabine Pass's 4 bcf capacity.
Analysts value Cheniere's stock based on its current take-or-pay contracts with Chevron and Total, both of which signed on for 1 bcf a day of capacity over 20 years. Cheniere expects to earn about $125 million per bcf from these agreements, regardless of whether the two companies ever import any gas through the facility, according to company filings.
Cheniere was the first company to land a prime location and permits for an LNG terminal early in the decade.
The U.S. uses some 60 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas. A number of gas-fired power plants are currently under construction, further driving demand for natural gas in the U.S.
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