Thursday, April 17, 2008

Liquid Natural Gas Marketing Team

Cheniere Energy Inc. (LNG.A: Quote, Profile, Research) said late Tuesday it hoped to outsource the marketing of liquefied natural gas delivered to its new Sabine Pass LNG terminal on the Gulf Coast as a way of reducing costs. Houston-based Cheniere said it is in advanced negotiations with a "major North American natural gas marketing company" that would allow Cheniere to reduce its own investment in its natural gas marketing unit and significantly cut overhead costs for procuring LNG. "It has become evident to us that the capital markets are currently very difficult," said Charif Souki, Cheniere's chairman and chief executive, in a press release. "This proposed strategic arrangement will allow us to receive large quantities of LNG without putting strain on our balance sheet." The imminent completion of the Sabine Pass terminal and Creole Trail Pipeline has also allowed Cheniere to start a staff- and cost-cutting program that will eliminate some 200 jobs, according to the press release. Shares of Cheniere closed at $14.20 on Tuesday on the American Stock Exchange, after reaching a 52-week low of $13.82 earlier in the day.

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