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America’s Shale Gas Selling at Record Prices to Overseas Buyers


A year after Cheniere Energy Inc.’s Louisiana terminal shipped the first exports of U.S. natural gas from shale, cargoes from the facility are fetching higher prices than ever.

The export price of liquefied gas from Sabine Pass rose as high as $7.52 per million British thermal units in January, topping last year’s high of $6.21, according to an Energy Department report Friday. Fifteen tankers sailed from the terminal that month and in February, the most since commissioning began at the facility last year.

Abundant gas supplies from America’s shale basins have sailed from Sabine Pass to more than a dozen countries from Mexico to China, putting the U.S. on the path to becoming a net exporter of the fuel next year. Houston-based Cheniere swung to a profit for the first time since 2010 in the fourth quarter.

Sabine Pass has “ramped up faster than expected, so it seems like a pretty successful launch into commercial operation” that’s being reflected in the export volumes, Jason Feer, head of business intelligence at ship broker Poten & Partners in Houston, said by phone Friday. “The prices have been fairly strong. For Cheniere Marketing that’s been good to see.”

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