Inpex, JERA Urge FERC to Approve Venture Global's CP2 LNG Project in Louisiana

(Reuters) — Two Japanese energy companies, oil and gas producer Inpex Corp. and power utility JERA, urged a U.S. energy regulator to give prompt approvals for Venture Global to begin construction on its CP2 LNG project in Louisiana.

JERA's letter to the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) dated Friday, which followed Inpex's letter on Thursday, reiterated the role of the CP2 LNG project in securing Japan's energy supply.

Both companies have signed 20-year agreements to each buy 1 million metric tons per annum (MTPA) of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from CP2 LNG, and JERA said it had also bought spot cargoes from Venture Global's first project, Calcasieu Pass LNG.

Inpex said that CP2 LNG's final investment decision (FID) is important for Japan's energy security, a position it said was supported by the country's economy ministry which owns 21.19% of Inpex shares.

The CP2 LNG project is awaiting approval from the FERC, followed by export authorization from the Department of Energy, before construction can commence. Inpex hoped for construction to begin early next year.

"The slowing of U.S. government authorizations for new U.S. LNG export facilities is concerning," said JERA, which has purchased U.S. LNG since 2017 and also invested in the Freeport LNG export plant in Texas.

Venture Global LNG, which started early site work on CP2 in the spring of 2023, has contracts for nearly half that plant's 20 MPTA capacity and expects the rest to be sold out before the end of 2023.

That includes a deal with Germany's Securing Energy for Europe GmbH (SEFE) to supply 2.25 million MTPA and a long-term agreement with Chevron for the purchase of another 1 million MPTA from the CP2 project.

The U.S. LNG developer is embroiled in contract arbitration cases with several customers over its insistence it does not have to provide contracted cargoes while its Calcasieu Pass export plant is undergoing commissioning.

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