Company Quick10K Filing
Quick10K
Cheniere Energy
10-K 2018-12-31 Annual: 2018-12-31
10-Q 2018-09-30 Quarter: 2018-09-30
10-Q 2018-06-30 Quarter: 2018-06-30
10-Q 2018-03-31 Quarter: 2018-03-31
10-K 2017-12-31 Annual: 2017-12-31
10-Q 2017-09-30 Quarter: 2017-09-30
10-Q 2017-06-30 Quarter: 2017-06-30
10-Q 2017-03-31 Quarter: 2017-03-31
10-K 2016-12-31 Annual: 2016-12-31
10-Q 2016-09-30 Quarter: 2016-09-30
10-Q 2016-06-30 Quarter: 2016-06-30
10-Q 2016-03-31 Quarter: 2016-03-31
10-K 2015-12-31 Annual: 2015-12-31
10-Q 2015-09-30 Quarter: 2015-09-30
10-Q 2015-06-30 Quarter: 2015-06-30
10-Q 2015-03-31 Quarter: 2015-03-31
10-K 2014-12-31 Annual: 2014-12-31
10-Q 2014-09-30 Quarter: 2014-09-30
10-Q 2014-06-30 Quarter: 2014-06-30
10-Q 2014-03-31 Quarter: 2014-03-31
10-K 2013-12-31 Annual: 2013-12-31
8-K 2019-02-13 Officers
8-K 2018-12-18 Regulation FD, Exhibits
8-K 2018-12-13 Enter Agreement, Off-BS Arrangement, Exhibits
8-K 2018-11-08 Earnings, Exhibits
8-K 2018-11-07 Enter Agreement, Exhibits
8-K 2018-11-06 Code of Ethics, Exhibits
8-K 2018-09-20 M&A, Regulation FD, Exhibits
8-K 2018-09-06 Enter Agreement, Off-BS Arrangement, Exhibits
8-K 2018-09-06 Regulation FD, Exhibits
8-K 2018-09-06 Regulation FD, Exhibits
8-K 2018-08-27 Regulation FD, Exhibits
8-K 2018-08-09 Earnings, Exhibits
8-K 2018-07-16 Officers
8-K 2018-06-29 Enter Agreement, Off-BS Arrangement, Exhibits
8-K 2018-06-18 Enter Agreement, Regulation FD, Exhibits
8-K 2018-05-25 Other Events, Exhibits
8-K 2018-05-23 Other Events, Exhibits
8-K 2018-05-22 Enter Agreement, Off-BS Arrangement, Other Events, Exhibits
8-K 2018-05-21 Regulation FD, Exhibits
8-K 2018-05-16 Other Events, Exhibits
8-K 2018-04-27 Sale of Shares
8-K 2018-03-16 Regulation FD, Exhibits
CKH Seacor Holdings 0
HBKA Highlands Bankshares 0
HALL Hallmark Financial Services 0
SCS Steelcase 0
PAM Pampa Energy 0
YVR Liquid Media Group 0
EOMN Ethos Media Network 0
MDSO Medidata Solutions 0
AQSP Acquired Sales 0
EQBK Equity Bancshares 0
LNG 2018-12-31
Part I
Item 1A. Risk Factors
Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments
Item 3. Legal Proceedings
Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosure
Part II
Item 5. Market for Registrant's Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer
Item 6. Selected Financial Data
Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
Item 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk
Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data
Note 1-Organization and Nature of Operations
Note 2-Summary of Significant Accounting Policies
Note 3-Restricted Cash
Note 4-Accounts and Other Receivables
Note 5-Inventory
Note 6-Property, Plant and Equipment
Note 7-Derivative Instruments
Note 8-Other Non-Current Assets
Note 9-Non-Controlling Interest
Note 10-Variable Interest Entities
Note 11-Accrued Liabilities
Note 12-Debt
Note 13-Revenues From Contracts with Customers
Note 14-Income Taxes
Note 15-Share-Based Compensation
Note 16-Employee Benefit Plan
Note 17-Net Income (Loss) per Share Attributable To Common Stockholders
Note 18-Leases
Note 19-Commitments and Contingencies
Note 20-Customer Concentration
Note 21-Supplemental Cash Flow Information
Note 22-Recent Accounting Standards
Item 9. Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure
Item 9A. Controls and Procedures
Item 9B. Other Information
Part III
Part IV
Item 15. Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules
Note 1-Summary of Significant Accounting Policies
Note 2-Debt
Note 3-Guarantees
Note 4 -Supplemental Cash Flow Information
Item 16. Form 10-K Summary
EX-10.35 exhibit1035cei2018form10-k.htm
EX-10.60 exhibit1060cei2018form10-k.htm
EX-10.62 exhibit1062cei2018form10-k.htm
EX-10.96 exhibit1096cei2018form10-k.htm
EX-10.114 exhibit10114cei2018form10-k.htm
EX-10.117 exhibit10117cei2018form10-k.htm
EX-21.1 exhibit211cei2018form10-k.htm
EX-23.1 exhibit231cei2018form10-k.htm
EX-31.1 exhibit311cei2018form10-k.htm
EX-31.2 exhibit312cei2018form10-k.htm
EX-32.1 exhibit321cei2018form10-k.htm
EX-32.2 exhibit322cei2018form10-k.htm

Cheniere Energy Earnings 2018-12-31

LNG 10K Annual Report

Balance SheetIncome StatementCash Flow

10-K 1 cei2018form10-k.htm 10-K Document


 
UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
FORM 10-K
x ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
  For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2018
or
¨ TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
 For the transition period from            to            
Commission file number 001-16383
colorlogoonwhitecmyka32.gif
CHENIERE ENERGY, INC.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
Delaware
95-4352386
(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)
(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)
 
 
700 Milam Street, Suite 1900
 
Houston, Texas
77002
(Address of principal executive offices)
(Zip code)
Registrant’s telephone number, including area code: (713) 375-5000
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act: 
Common Stock, $ 0.003 par value
NYSE American
(Title of each class)
(Name of each exchange on which registered)
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None 
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes  x  No  o 
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes  o  No  x 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes  x  No  o 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).    Yes  x    No  o 
Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K (§229.405 of this chapter) is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of the registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K.  o 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Act.
Large accelerated filer  x
Accelerated filer                     o
Non-accelerated filer    o
Smaller reporting company    o
 
Emerging growth company    o
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Act. o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act). Yes  o  No  x 
The aggregate market value of the registrant’s Common Stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant was approximately $16.0 billion as of June 30, 2018.
257,415,723 shares of the registrant’s Common Stock, $0.003 par value, were outstanding as of February 20, 2019
Documents incorporated by reference: The definitive proxy statement for the registrant’s Annual Meeting of Stockholders (to be filed within 120 days of the close of the registrant’s fiscal year) is incorporated by reference into Part III.
 



CHENIERE ENERGY, INC.
TABLE OF CONTENTS





i


DEFINITIONS
As used in this annual report, the terms listed below have the following meanings: 

Common Industry and Other Terms
Bcf
 
billion cubic feet
Bcf/d
 
billion cubic feet per day
Bcf/yr
 
billion cubic feet per year
Bcfe
 
billion cubic feet equivalent
DOE
 
U.S. Department of Energy
EPC
 
engineering, procurement and construction
FERC
 
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
FTA countries
 
countries with which the United States has a free trade agreement providing for national treatment for trade in natural gas
GAAP
 
generally accepted accounting principles in the United States
Henry Hub
 
the final settlement price (in USD per MMBtu) for the New York Mercantile Exchange’s Henry Hub natural gas futures contract for the month in which a relevant cargo’s delivery window is scheduled to begin
LIBOR
 
London Interbank Offered Rate
LNG
 
liquefied natural gas, a product of natural gas that, through a refrigeration process, has been cooled to a liquid state, which occupies a volume that is approximately 1/600th of its gaseous state
MMBtu
 
million British thermal units, an energy unit
mtpa
 
million tonnes per annum
non-FTA countries
 
countries with which the United States does not have a free trade agreement providing for national treatment for trade in natural gas and with which trade is permitted
SEC
 
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
SPA
 
LNG sale and purchase agreement
TBtu
 
trillion British thermal units, an energy unit
Train
 
an industrial facility comprised of a series of refrigerant compressor loops used to cool natural gas into LNG
TUA
 
terminal use agreement


ii


Abbreviated Legal Entity Structure

The following diagram depicts our abbreviated legal entity structure as of December 31, 2018, including our ownership of certain subsidiaries, and the references to these entities used in this annual report:
orga14.jpg

Unless the context requires otherwise, references to “Cheniere,” the “Company,” “we,” “us” and “our” refer to Cheniere Energy, Inc. and its consolidated subsidiaries, including our publicly traded subsidiary, Cheniere Partners.
During the year ended December 31, 2018, we closed the merger of Cheniere Energy Partners LP Holdings, LLC (“Cheniere Holdings”) with and into our wholly owned subsidiary. As a result of the merger, Cheniere Holdings is no longer a publicly-traded company.
Unless the context requires otherwise, references to the “CCH Group” refer to CCH HoldCo II, CCH HoldCo I, CCH, CCL and CCP, collectively.

iii


CAUTIONARY STATEMENT
REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS


This annual report contains certain statements that are, or may be deemed to be, “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”). All statements, other than statements of historical or present facts or conditions, included herein or incorporated herein by reference are “forward-looking statements.” Included among “forward-looking statements” are, among other things: 
statements that we expect to commence or complete construction of our proposed LNG terminals, liquefaction facilities, pipeline facilities or other projects, or any expansions or portions thereof, by certain dates, or at all;
statements regarding future levels of domestic and international natural gas production, supply or consumption or future levels of LNG imports into or exports from North America and other countries worldwide or purchases of natural gas, regardless of the source of such information, or the transportation or other infrastructure or demand for and prices related to natural gas, LNG or other hydrocarbon products;
statements regarding any financing transactions or arrangements, or our ability to enter into such transactions;
statements relating to the construction of our Trains and pipelines, including statements concerning the engagement of any EPC contractor or other contractor and the anticipated terms and provisions of any agreement with any EPC or other contractor, and anticipated costs related thereto;
statements regarding any SPA or other agreement to be entered into or performed substantially in the future, including any revenues anticipated to be received and the anticipated timing thereof, and statements regarding the amounts of total LNG regasification, natural gas liquefaction or storage capacities that are, or may become, subject to contracts;
statements regarding counterparties to our commercial contracts, construction contracts, and other contracts;
statements regarding our planned development and construction of additional Trains and pipelines, including the financing of such Trains or pipelines;
statements that our Trains, when completed, will have certain characteristics, including amounts of liquefaction capacities;
statements regarding our business strategy, our strengths, our business and operation plans or any other plans, forecasts, projections, or objectives, including anticipated revenues, capital expenditures, maintenance and operating costs and cash flows, any or all of which are subject to change;
statements regarding legislative, governmental, regulatory, administrative or other public body actions, approvals, requirements, permits, applications, filings, investigations, proceedings or decisions;
statements regarding marketing of volumes expected to be made available to our integrated marketing function; and
any other statements that relate to non-historical or future information.
All of these types of statements, other than statements of historical or present facts or conditions, are forward-looking statements. In some cases, forward-looking statements can be identified by terminology such as “may,” “will,” “could,” “should,” “achieve,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “contemplate,” “continue,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “plan,” “potential,” “predict,” “project,” “pursue,” “target,” the negative of such terms or other comparable terminology. The forward-looking statements contained in this annual report are largely based on our expectations, which reflect estimates and assumptions made by our management. These estimates and assumptions reflect our best judgment based on currently known market conditions and other factors. Although we believe that such estimates are reasonable, they are inherently uncertain and involve a number of risks and uncertainties beyond our control. In addition, assumptions may prove to be inaccurate. We caution that the forward-looking statements contained in this annual report are not guarantees of future performance and that such statements may not be realized or the forward-looking statements or events may not occur. Actual results may differ materially from those anticipated or implied in forward-looking statements as a result of a variety of factors described in this annual report and in the other reports and other information that we file with the SEC. All forward-looking statements attributable to us or persons acting on our behalf are expressly qualified in their entirety by these risk factors. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date made, and other than as required by law, we undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement or provide reasons why actual results may differ, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.


iv



PART I

ITEMS 1. AND 2.
BUSINESS AND PROPERTIES

General
 
Cheniere, a Delaware corporation, was organized in 1983 and is a Houston-based energy company primarily engaged in LNG-related businesses. Our vision is to provide clean, secure and affordable energy to the world, while responsibly delivering a reliable, competitive and integrated source of LNG, in a safe and rewarding work environment. We own and operate the Sabine Pass LNG terminal in Louisiana through our ownership interest in and management agreements with Cheniere Partners, which is a publicly traded limited partnership that we created in 2007. As of December 31, 2018, we owned 100% of the general partner interest and 48.6% of the limited partner interest in Cheniere Partners. We are currently developing and constructing two natural gas liquefaction and export facilities. The liquefaction of natural gas into LNG allows it to be shipped economically from areas of the world where natural gas is abundant and inexpensive to produce to other areas where natural gas demand and infrastructure exist to economically justify the use of LNG.

The Sabine Pass LNG terminal is located in Cameron Parish, Louisiana, on the Sabine-Neches Waterway less than four miles from the Gulf Coast. Cheniere Partners is developing, constructing and operating natural gas liquefaction facilities (the “SPL Project”) at the Sabine Pass LNG terminal adjacent to the existing regasification facilities through a wholly owned subsidiary, SPL. Cheniere Partners plans to construct up to six Trains, which are in various stages of development, construction and operations. Trains 1 through 4 are operational, Train 5 is undergoing commissioning and Train 6 is being commercialized and has all necessary regulatory approvals in place. Each Train is expected to have a nominal production capacity, which is prior to adjusting for planned maintenance, production reliability, potential overdesign and debottlenecking opportunities, of approximately 4.5 mtpa of LNG per Train, and run rate adjusted nominal production capacity of approximately 4.5 to 4.9 mtpa of LNG per Train. The Sabine Pass LNG terminal has operational regasification facilities owned by Cheniere Partners’ wholly owned subsidiary, SPLNG, that include pre-existing infrastructure of five LNG storage tanks with aggregate capacity of approximately 16.9 Bcfe, two marine berths that can each accommodate vessels with nominal capacity of up to 266,000 cubic meters and vaporizers with regasification capacity of approximately 4.0 Bcf/d. Cheniere Partners also owns a 94-mile pipeline that interconnects the Sabine Pass LNG terminal with a number of large interstate pipelines (the “Creole Trail Pipeline”) through a wholly owned subsidiary, CTPL.

We are developing and constructing a second natural gas liquefaction and export facility at the Corpus Christi LNG terminal near Corpus Christi, Texas and operate a 23-mile natural gas supply pipeline that interconnects the Corpus Christi LNG terminal with several interstate and intrastate natural gas pipelines (the “Corpus Christi Pipeline” and together with the liquefaction facilities, the “CCL Project”) through our wholly owned subsidiaries CCL and CCP, respectively. The CCL Project is being developed in stages with the first phase being three Trains (“Phase 1”), with expected aggregate nominal production capacity, which is prior to adjusting for planned maintenance, production reliability, potential overdesign and debottlenecking opportunities, of approximately 13.5 mtpa of LNG, three LNG storage tanks with aggregate capacity of approximately 10.1 Bcfe and two marine berths that can each accommodate vessels with nominal capacity of up to 266,000 cubic meters. The first stage (“Stage 1”) includes Trains 1 and 2, two LNG storage tanks, one complete marine berth and a second partial berth and all of the CCL Project’s necessary infrastructure facilities. The second stage (“Stage 2”) includes Train 3, one LNG storage tank and the completion of the second partial berth. Trains 1 and 2 are undergoing commissioning and Train 3 is under construction.

Additionally, separate from the CCH Group, we are developing an expansion of the Corpus Christi LNG terminal adjacent to the CCL Project (“Corpus Christi Stage 3”) and filed an application with FERC in June 2018 for seven midscale Trains with an expected aggregate nominal production capacity of approximately 9.5 mtpa and one LNG storage tank.

We remain focused on expansion of our existing sites by leveraging existing infrastructure. We are also in various stages of developing other projects, including infrastructure projects in support of natural gas supply and LNG demand, which, among other things, will require acceptable commercial and financing arrangements before we make a final investment decision (“FID”). We have made an equity investment in Midship Holdings, LLC (“Midship Holdings”), which manages the business and affairs of Midship Pipeline Company, LLC (“Midship Pipeline”). Midship Pipeline is developing a pipeline (the “Midship Project”) with expected capacity of up to 1.44 million Dekatherms per day that will connect new gas production in the Anadarko Basin to Gulf Coast markets, including markets serving the SPL Project and the CCL Project. Construction of the Midship Project will commence based upon, among other things, obtaining the required authorization from the FERC and adequate financing to construct the proposed project.


1



Although results are consolidated for financial reporting, Cheniere, Cheniere Partners, SPL and the CCH Group operate with independent capital structures. The following diagram depicts our abbreviated capital structure as of December 31, 2018:

ceicapstructure.jpg

Our Business Strategy

Our primary business strategy is to be a full service LNG provider to worldwide end-use customers. We accomplish this objective by developing LNG and natural gas infrastructure facilities and: 
achieving the date of first commercial delivery for our SPA customers;
safely, efficiently and reliably maintaining and operating our assets;
completing construction and commencing operation of Train 5 of the SPL Project and the first three Trains of the CCL Project;
making LNG available to our SPA customers to generate steady and reliable revenues and operating cash flows;
obtaining the requisite long-term commercial contracts and financing to reach an FID regarding Train 6 of the SPL Project;
further expanding and optimizing the SPL Project and the CCL Project by leveraging existing infrastructure;
developing business relationships for the marketing of LNG volumes expected to be made available to our integrated marketing function and additional LNG liquefaction projects or expansions;
expanding our existing asset base through acquisitions or development of complementary businesses or assets across the LNG value chain; and
maintaining a flexible capital structure to finance the acquisition, development, construction and operation of the energy assets needed to supply our customers.

LNG Terminals
 
We began developing our first LNG terminal in 1999 and were among the first companies to secure sites and commence development of new LNG terminals in North America. We are currently focusing our development efforts on two LNG terminal

2


projects currently under construction: the Sabine Pass LNG terminal and the Corpus Christi LNG terminal. Through Cheniere Partners, we are developing, constructing and operating the SPL Project and have constructed and are operating regasification facilities at the Sabine Pass LNG terminal. As of December 31, 2018, we owned 100% of the general partner interest and 48.6% of the limited partner interest in Cheniere Partners. We currently own a 100% interest in the CCL Project.
 
Sabine Pass LNG Terminal

Liquefaction Facilities

We are developing, constructing and operating the SPL Project at the Sabine Pass LNG terminal adjacent to the existing regasification facilities. We have received authorization from the FERC to site, construct and operate Trains 1 through 6. We have achieved substantial completion of Trains 1, 2, 3 and 4 of the SPL Project and commenced operating activities in May 2016, September 2016, March 2017 and October 2017, respectively. Train 5 of the SPL Project is undergoing commissioning and the following table summarizes the status as of December 31, 2018:
 
 
SPL Train 5
Overall project completion percentage
 
99.7%
Completion percentage of:
 
 
Engineering
 
100%
Procurement
 
100%
Subcontract work
 
98.0%
Construction
 
99.6%
Date of expected substantial completion
 
1Q 2019

The following orders have been issued by the DOE authorizing the export of domestically produced LNG by vessel from the Sabine Pass LNG terminal:
Trains 1 through 4—FTA countries for a 30-year term, which commenced on May 15, 2016, and non-FTA countries for a 20-year term, which commenced on June 3, 2016, in an amount up to a combined total of the equivalent of 16 mtpa (approximately 803 Bcf/yr of natural gas).
Trains 1 through 4—FTA countries for a 25-year term and non-FTA countries for a 20-year term in an amount up to a combined total of the equivalent of approximately 203 Bcf/yr of natural gas (approximately 4 mtpa).
Trains 5 and 6—FTA countries and non-FTA countries for a 20-year term, in an amount up to a combined total of 503.3 Bcf/yr of natural gas (approximately 10 mtpa).

In each case, the terms of these authorizations begin on the earlier of the date of first export thereunder or the date specified in the particular order, which ranges from five to 10 years from the date the order was issued. In addition, SPL received an order providing for a three-year makeup period with respect to each of the non-FTA orders for LNG volumes SPL was authorized but unable to export during any portion of the initial 20-year export period of such order.

In January 2018, the DOE issued orders authorizing SPL to export domestically produced LNG by vessel from the Sabine Pass LNG terminal to FTA countries and non-FTA countries over a two-year period commencing January 2018, in an aggregate amount up to the equivalent of 600 Bcf of natural gas (however, exports under this order, when combined with exports under the orders above, may not exceed 1,509 Bcf/yr).

Customers

SPL has entered into fixed price SPAs with terms of at least 20 years (plus extension rights) with six third parties for Trains 1 through 5 of the SPL Project, to make available an aggregate amount of LNG that is between approximately 80% to 95% of the expected aggregate adjusted nominal production capacity from these Trains. Under these SPAs, the customers will purchase LNG from SPL for a price consisting of a fixed fee per MMBtu of LNG (a portion of which is subject to annual adjustment for inflation) plus a variable fee per MMBtu of LNG equal to approximately 115% of Henry Hub. In certain circumstances, the customers may elect to cancel or suspend deliveries of LNG cargoes, in which case the customers would still be required to pay the fixed fee with respect to the contracted volumes that are not delivered as a result of such cancellation or suspension. We refer to the fee component that is applicable regardless of a cancellation or suspension of LNG cargo deliveries under the SPAs as the fixed fee component of the price under SPL’s SPAs. We refer to the fee component that is applicable only in connection with LNG cargo deliveries as

3


the variable fee component of the price under SPL’s SPAs. The variable fees under SPL’s SPAs were sized at the time of entry into each SPA with the intent to cover the costs of gas purchases and transportation related to, and operating and maintenance costs to produce, the LNG to be sold under each such SPA. The SPAs and contracted volumes to be made available under the SPAs are not tied to a specific Train; however, the term of each SPA generally commences upon the date of first commercial delivery of a specified Train. Under SPL’s SPA with BG Gulf Coast LNG, LLC (“BG”), BG has contracted for volumes related to Trains 3 and 4, for which the obligation to make volumes related to Train 3 available to BG has commenced and the obligation to make volumes related to Train 4 available to BG is expected to commence approximately one year after the date of first commercial delivery under SPL’s SPA with GAIL (India) Limited (“GAIL”) for Train 4.

In aggregate, the annual fixed fee portion to be paid by the third-party SPA customers is approximately $2.2 billion for Trains 1 through 3 and the SPA with GAIL for Train 4, increasing to $2.3 billion upon the date of first commercial delivery of Train 4 under the SPA with BG and to $2.9 billion upon the date of first commercial delivery of Train 5, with the applicable fixed fees starting from the date of first commercial delivery from the applicable Train, as specified in each SPA.

The annual contracted cash flows from fixed fees of each buyer of LNG under SPL’s third-party SPAs that constitute more than 10% of SPL’s aggregate fixed fees under all its SPAs are:
approximately $720 million from BG, which is guaranteed by BG Energy Holdings Limited;
approximately $550 million from Korea Gas Corporation (“KOGAS”);
approximately $550 million from GAIL; and
approximately $450 million from Naturgy LNG GOM, Limited (formerly known as Gas Natural Fenosa LNG GOM, Limited) (“Naturgy”), which is guaranteed by Naturgy Energy Group, S.A. (formerly known as Gas Natural SDG S.A.).

SPL also has SPAs with Total Gas & Power North America, Inc. (“Total”), which is guaranteed by Total S.A., and Centrica plc with annual aggregate fixed fees of approximately $590 million. In addition, Cheniere Marketing has entered into an SPA with SPL to purchase, at Cheniere Marketing’s option, any LNG produced by SPL in excess of that required for other customers.

During the year ended December 31, 2018, four customers, BG and its affiliates, Naturgy, KOGAS and GAIL, individually accounted for more than 10% of our total revenues from external customers at 18%, 14%, 19% and 13%, respectively. During the year ended December 31, 2017, four customers, BG and its affiliates, Naturgy, KOGAS and JERA Co., Inc., individually accounted for more than 10% of our total revenues from external customers at 24%, 14%, 14% and 17%, respectively. During the year ended December 31, 2016, two customers, BG and its affiliates and Kansai Electric Power Co., Inc. and its affiliates, individually accounted for more than 10% of our total revenues from external customers at 39% and 13%, respectively.

Natural Gas Transportation, Storage and Supply

To ensure SPL is able to transport adequate natural gas feedstock to the Sabine Pass LNG terminal, it has entered into transportation precedent and other agreements to secure firm pipeline transportation capacity with CTPL and third-party pipeline companies. SPL has entered into firm storage services agreements with third parties to assist in managing variability in natural gas needs for the SPL Project. SPL has also entered into enabling agreements and long-term natural gas supply contracts with third parties in order to secure natural gas feedstock for the SPL Project. As of December 31, 2018, SPL had secured up to approximately 3,464 TBtu of natural gas feedstock through long-term and short-term natural gas supply contracts.

Construction

SPL entered into lump sum turnkey contracts with Bechtel Oil, Gas and Chemicals, Inc. (“Bechtel”) for the engineering, procurement and construction of Trains 1 through 6 of the SPL Project, under which Bechtel charges a lump sum for all work performed and generally bears project cost risk unless certain specified events occur, in which case Bechtel may cause SPL to enter into a change order, or SPL agrees with Bechtel to a change order.

The total contract price of the EPC contract for Train 5 of the SPL Project is approximately $3.1 billion reflecting amounts incurred under change orders through December 31, 2018. Total expected capital costs for Trains 1 through 5 are estimated to be between $12.5 billion and $13.5 billion before financing costs and between $17.5 billion and $18.5 billion after financing costs including, in each case, estimated owner’s costs and contingencies. The total contract price of the EPC contract for Train 6 of the SPL Project is approximately $2.5 billion, including estimated costs for an optional third marine berth.

4



Final Investment Decision on Train 6

SPL has issued limited notices to proceed to Bechtel for the commencement of certain engineering, procurement and site works for Train 6 of the SPL Project and a schedule for completion has been established.  FID and full notice to proceed for Train 6 of the SPL Project will be contingent upon, among other things, entering into acceptable commercial arrangements and obtaining adequate financing to construct Train 6.

Regasification Facilities
 
The Sabine Pass LNG terminal has operational regasification capacity of approximately 4.0 Bcf/d and aggregate LNG storage capacity of approximately 16.9 Bcfe. Approximately 2.0 Bcf/d of the regasification capacity at the Sabine Pass LNG terminal has been reserved under two long-term third-party TUAs, under which SPLNG’s customers are required to pay fixed monthly fees, whether or not they use the LNG terminal.  Each of Total and Chevron U.S.A. Inc. (“Chevron”) has reserved approximately 1.0 Bcf/d of regasification capacity and is obligated to make monthly capacity payments to SPLNG aggregating approximately $125 million annually for 20 years that commenced in 2009. Total S.A. has guaranteed Total’s obligations under its TUA up to $2.5 billion, subject to certain exceptions, and Chevron Corporation has guaranteed Chevron’s obligations under its TUA up to 80% of the fees payable by Chevron.

The remaining approximately 2.0 Bcf/d of capacity has been reserved under a TUA by SPL. SPL is obligated to make monthly capacity payments to SPLNG aggregating approximately $250 million annually, continuing until at least May 2036. SPL entered into a partial TUA assignment agreement with Total, whereby upon substantial completion of Train 3 of the SPL Project, SPL gained access to a portion of Total’s capacity and other services provided under Total’s TUA with SPLNG. Upon substantial completion of Train 5, SPL will gain access to substantially all of Total’s capacity.  This agreement provides SPL with additional berthing and storage capacity at the Sabine Pass LNG terminal that may be used to provide increased flexibility in managing LNG cargo loading and unloading activity, permit SPL to more flexibly manage its LNG storage capacity and accommodate the development of Trains 5 and 6. Notwithstanding any arrangements between Total and SPL, payments required to be made by Total to SPLNG will continue to be made by Total to SPLNG in accordance with its TUA. During the years ended December 31, 2018 and 2017, SPL recorded $30 million and $23 million, respectively, as operating and maintenance expense under this partial TUA assignment agreement.

Under each of these TUAs, SPLNG is entitled to retain 2% of the LNG delivered to the Sabine Pass LNG terminal.

Corpus Christi LNG Terminal

Liquefaction Facilities

The CCL Project is being developed and constructed at the Corpus Christi LNG terminal. We have received authorization from the FERC to site, construct and operate Stages 1 and 2 of the CCL Project. The following table summarizes the overall project status of the CCL Project as of December 31, 2018:
 
CCL Stage 1
 
CCL Stage 2
Overall project completion percentage
96.7%
 
42.0%
Completion percentage of:
 
 
 
 
Engineering
100%
 
87.0%
Procurement
100%
 
63.0%
Subcontract work
89.5%
 
8.5%
Construction
93.1%
 
11.7%
Expected date of substantial completion
Train 1
1Q 2019
 
Train 3
2H 2021
 
Train 2
2H 2019
 
 
 

Separate from the CCH Group, we are also developing Corpus Christi Stage 3, adjacent to the CCL Project. We filed an application with FERC in June 2018 for seven midscale Trains with an expected aggregate nominal production capacity of approximately 9.5 mtpa and one LNG storage tank.


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The following orders have been issued by the DOE authorizing the export of domestically produced LNG by vessel from the Corpus Christi LNG terminal:
CCL Project—FTA countries for a 25-year term and to non-FTA countries for a 20-year term up to a combined total of the equivalent of 767 Bcf/yr (approximately 15 mtpa) of natural gas.
Corpus Christi Stage 3—FTA countries for a 20-year term in an amount equivalent to 514 Bcf/yr (approximately 10 mtpa) of natural gas (the “Stage 3 FTA”). The application for authorization to export that same 514 Bcf/yr of domestically produced LNG by vessel to non-FTA countries is currently pending before the DOE (the “Stage 3 Non-FTA”).
In each case, the terms of these authorizations begin on the earlier of the date of first export thereunder or the date specified in the particular order, which ranges from seven to 10 years from the date the order was issued.

In June 2018, we requested that DOE vacate the Stage 3 FTA and permit us to withdraw the pending Stage 3 Non-FTA. These requests were made due to certain changes to Corpus Christi Stage 3.

In conjunction with the submission in June 2018 of our FERC application for Corpus Christi Stage 3, we submitted a new application for long-term multi-contract authorization to export up to a combined total of 582.14 Bcf/yr (approximately 11.45 mtpa) of natural gas to FTA countries for a 25-year term and to non-FTA countries for a 20-year term. The term of each authorization is expected to begin on the earlier of the date of first commercial export of LNG produced by Corpus Christi Stage 3 or the date which is seven years from the issuance of such authorizations.

Customers

CCL has entered into fixed price SPAs generally with terms of 20 years (plus extension rights) with nine third parties for Trains 1 through 3 of the CCL Project, to make available an aggregate amount of LNG that is between approximately 75% to 85% of the expected aggregate adjusted nominal production capacity from these Trains. Under these SPAs, the customers will purchase LNG from CCL for a price consisting of a fixed fee per MMBtu of LNG (a portion of which is subject to annual adjustment for inflation) plus a variable fee per MMBtu of LNG equal to approximately 115% of Henry Hub. In certain circumstances, the customers may elect to cancel or suspend deliveries of LNG cargoes, in which case the customers would still be required to pay the fixed fee with respect to the contracted volumes that are not delivered as a result of such cancellation or suspension. We refer to the fee component that is applicable regardless of a cancellation or suspension of LNG cargo deliveries under the SPAs as the fixed fee component of the price under our SPAs. We refer to the fee component that is applicable only in connection with LNG cargo deliveries as the variable fee component of the price under our SPAs. The variable fee under CCL’s SPAs entered into in connection with the development of the CCL Project was sized at the time of entry into each SPA with the intent to cover the costs of gas purchases and transportation related to, and operating and maintenance costs to produce, the LNG to be sold under each such SPA. The SPAs and contracted volumes to be made available under the SPAs are not tied to a specific Train; however, the term of each SPA generally commences upon the date of first commercial delivery for the applicable Train, as specified in each SPA.

In aggregate, the minimum fixed fee portion to be paid by the third-party SPA customers is approximately $550 million for Train 1 and increasing to approximately $1.4 billion for Train 2, in each case upon the date of first commercial delivery for the respective Train, and further increasing to approximately $1.8 billion following the substantial completion of Train 3 of the CCL Project.

The annual contracted cash flows from fixed fees of each buyer of LNG under CCL’s third-party SPAs that constitute more than 10% of CCL’s aggregate fixed fees under all its SPAs for Trains 1 through 3 of the CCL Project are:
approximately $410 million from Endesa S.A.;
approximately $280 million from PT Pertamina (Persero); and
approximately $270 million from Naturgy, which is guaranteed by Naturgy Energy Group, S.A.

The average annual contracted cash flow from fixed fees from buyers under all of our other third-party SPAs for Trains 1 through 3 of the CCL Project is approximately $790 million.

In addition, Cheniere Marketing has entered into SPAs with CCL to purchase 15 TBtu per annum of LNG and any LNG produced by CCL in excess of that required for other customers at Cheniere Marketing’s option.

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Natural Gas Transportation, Storage and Supply

To ensure CCL is able to transport adequate natural gas feedstock to the Corpus Christi LNG terminal, it has entered into transportation precedent agreements to secure firm pipeline transportation capacity with CCP and certain third-party pipeline companies. CCL has entered into a firm storage services agreement with a third party to assist in managing variability in natural gas needs for the CCL Project. CCL has also entered into enabling agreements and long-term natural gas supply contracts with third parties, and will continue to enter into such agreements, in order to secure natural gas feedstock for the CCL Project. As of December 31, 2018, CCL had secured up to approximately 2,801 TBtu of natural gas feedstock through long-term natural gas supply contracts, a portion of which is subject to the achievement of certain project milestones and other conditions precedent.
  
Construction

CCL entered into separate lump sum turnkey contracts with Bechtel for the engineering, procurement and construction of Stages 1 and 2 of the CCL Project under which Bechtel charges a lump sum for all work performed and generally bears project cost risk unless certain specified events occur, in which case Bechtel may cause CCL to enter into a change order, or CCL agrees with Bechtel to a change order.

The total contract prices of the EPC contract for Stage 1 and the EPC contract for Stage 2, which do not include the Corpus Christi Pipeline, are approximately $7.8 billion and $2.4 billion, respectively, reflecting amounts incurred under change orders through December 31, 2018. Total expected capital costs for Trains 1 through 3 are estimated to be between $11.0 billion and $12.0 billion before financing costs and between $15.0 billion and $16.0 billion after financing costs including, in each case, estimated owner’s costs and contingencies.

Pipeline Facilities

In December 2014, the FERC issued a certificate of public convenience and necessity under Section 7(c) of the Natural Gas Act of 1938, as amended (the “NGA”), authorizing CCP to construct and operate the Corpus Christi Pipeline. The Corpus Christi Pipeline is designed to transport 2.25 Bcf/d of natural gas feedstock required by the CCL Project from the existing regional natural gas pipeline grid. The construction of the Corpus Christi Pipeline commenced in January 2017 and was completed in the second quarter of 2018.

Competition

SPL has entered into fixed price SPAs with terms of at least 20 years (plus extension rights) with six third parties for Trains 1 through 5 of the SPL Project, to make available an aggregate amount of LNG that is between approximately 80% to 95% of the expected aggregate adjusted nominal production capacity from these Trains. CCL has entered into fixed price SPAs generally with terms of 20 years (plus extension rights) with nine third parties for Trains 1 through 3 of the CCL Project, to make available an aggregate amount of LNG that is between approximately 75% to 85% of the expected aggregate adjusted nominal production capacity from these Trains. Each customer will be required to pay an escalating fixed fee for its annual contract quantity even if it elects not to purchase any LNG from us.

If and when SPL or CCL need to replace any existing SPA or enter into new SPAs, they will compete on the basis of price per contracted volume of LNG with each other and other natural gas liquefaction projects throughout the world. Revenues associated with any incremental volumes, including those sold by our integrated marketing function discussed above, will also be subject to market-based price competition. Many of the companies with which we compete are major energy corporations with longer operating histories, more development experience, greater name recognition, greater financial, technical and marketing resources and greater access to markets than us.

SPLNG currently does not experience competition for its terminal capacity because the entire approximately 4.0 Bcf/d of regasification capacity that is available at the Sabine Pass LNG terminal has been fully contracted. If and when SPLNG has to replace any TUAs, it will compete with other then-existing LNG terminals for customers.


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Governmental Regulation
 
Our LNG terminals are subject to extensive regulation under federal, state and local statutes, rules, regulations and laws. These laws require that we engage in consultations with appropriate federal and state agencies and that we obtain and maintain applicable permits and other authorizations. This regulatory requirement increases the cost of construction and operation, and failure to comply with such laws could result in substantial penalties and/or loss of necessary authorizations.

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
The design, construction and operation of our liquefaction facilities, the export of LNG and the transportation of natural gas through the Creole Trail Pipeline and the Corpus Christi Pipeline are highly regulated activities. Under the NGA, the FERC’s jurisdiction generally extends to the transportation of natural gas in interstate commerce, to the sale in interstate commerce of natural gas for resale for ultimate consumption for domestic, commercial, industrial or any other use and to natural gas companies engaged in such transportation or sale. However, the FERC’s jurisdiction does not extend to the production, gathering, local distribution or export of natural gas.

 In general, the FERC’s authority to regulate interstate natural gas pipelines and the services that they provide includes:

rates and charges, and terms and conditions for natural gas transportation and related services;
the certification and construction of new facilities;
the extension and abandonment of services and facilities;
the administration of accounting and financial reporting regulations, including the maintenance of accounts and records;
the acquisition and disposition of facilities;
the initiation and discontinuation of services; and
various other matters.

In addition, under the NGA, our pipelines are not permitted to unduly discriminate or grant undue preference as to rates or the terms and conditions of service to any shipper, including its own marketing affiliate. The FERC has the authority to grant certificates allowing construction and operation of facilities used in interstate gas transportation and authorizing the provision of services.

In order to site, construct and operate our LNG terminals, we received and are required to maintain authorizations from the FERC under Section 3 of the NGA as well as several other material governmental and regulatory approvals and permits. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 (the “EPAct”) amended Section 3 of the NGA to establish or clarify the FERC’s exclusive authority to approve or deny an application for the siting, construction, expansion or operation of LNG terminals, although except as specifically provided in the EPAct, nothing in the EPAct is intended to affect otherwise applicable law related to any other federal or state agency’s authorities or responsibilities related to LNG terminals. The FERC issued final orders in April and July 2012 approving our application for an order under Section 3 of the NGA authorizing the siting, construction and operation of Trains 1 through 4 of the SPL Project (and related facilities). Subsequently, the FERC issued written approval to commence site preparation work for Trains 1 through 4. In October 2012, we applied to amend the FERC approval to reflect certain modifications to the SPL Project, and in August 2013, the FERC issued an order approving the modifications. In October 2013, we applied to further amend the FERC approval, requesting authorization to increase the total permitted LNG production capacity of Trains 1 through 4 from the then authorized 803 Bcf/yr to 1,006 Bcf/yr so as to more accurately reflect the estimated maximum LNG production capacity of Trains 1 through 4. In February 2014, the FERC issued an order approving the October 2013 application (the “February 2014 Order”). A party to the proceeding requested a rehearing of the February 2014 Order, and in September 2014, the FERC issued an order denying the rehearing request (the “FERC Order Denying Rehearing”). The party petitioned the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (the “Court of Appeals”) to review the February 2014 Order and the FERC Order Denying Rehearing. The court denied the petition in June 2016. In September 2013, we filed an application with the FERC for authorization to add Trains 5 and 6 to the SPL Project, which was granted by the FERC in an order issued in April 2015 and an order denying rehearing issued in June 2015. These orders are not subject to appellate court review.

In December 2014, the FERC issued an order granting CCL authorization under Section 3 of the NGA to site, construct and operate Stage 1 and Stage 2 of the CCL Project and issued a certificate of public convenience and necessity under Section 7(c) of

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the NGA authorizing CCP to construct and operate the Corpus Christi Pipeline (the “December 2014 Order”). A party to the proceeding requested a rehearing of the December 2014 Order, and in May 2015, the FERC denied rehearing (the “Order Denying Rehearing”). The party petitioned the Court of Appeals to review the December 2014 Order and the Order Denying Rehearing, and that petition was denied on November 4, 2016.

In 2002, the FERC concluded that it would apply light-handed regulation over the rates, terms and conditions agreed to by parties for LNG terminalling services, such that LNG terminal owners would not be required to provide open-access service at non-discriminatory rates or maintain a tariff or rate schedule on file with the FERC, as distinguished from the requirements applied to our FERC-regulated natural gas pipeline. The EPAct codified the FERC’s policy, but those provisions expired on January 1, 2015. Nonetheless, we see no indication that the FERC intends to modify its longstanding policy of light-handed regulation of LNG terminals.

In order to construct, own, operate and maintain the Creole Trail Pipeline, CTPL received a certificate of public convenience and necessity from the FERC under Section 7 of the NGA. The FERC’s approval under Section 7 of the NGA, as well as several other material governmental and regulatory approvals and permits, may be required prior to making any modifications to the Creole Trail Pipeline as it is a regulated, interstate natural gas pipeline. In 2013, the FERC also approved CTPL’s application for authorization to construct, own, operate and maintain certain new facilities in order to enable bi-directional natural gas flow on the Creole Trail Pipeline system to allow for the delivery of up to 1,530,000 dekatherms per day of feed gas to the SPL Project. In November 2013, CTPL received approval from the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (“LDEQ”) for the proposed modifications and, with subsequent final FERC clearance, construction was completed in 2015. In September 2013, we filed an application with the FERC for authorization to construct and operate an extension and expansion of the Creole Trail Pipeline and related facilities in order to deliver additional domestic natural gas supplies to the SPL Project, which was granted by the FERC in an order issued in April 2015 and an order denying rehearing issued in June 2015. These orders are not subject to appellate court review.

The FERC’s Standards of Conduct apply to interstate pipelines that conduct transmission transactions with an affiliate that engages in marketing functions. Interstate pipelines must treat all transmission customers on a not unduly discriminatory basis. The general principles of the Standards of Conduct are: (1) independent functioning, which requires transmission function employees to function independently of marketing function employees; (2) no-conduit rule, which prohibits passing transmission function information to marketing function employees; and (3) transparency, which imposes posting requirements to detect undue preference due to the improper disclosure of non-public transmission function information. Our pipelines have established the required policies and procedures to comply with the FERC’s Standards of Conduct and are subject to audit by the FERC to review compliance, policies and their training programs.

Several other material governmental and regulatory approvals and permits will be required throughout the life of our liquefaction projects. In addition, the FERC orders require us to comply with certain ongoing conditions and obtain certain additional FERC and other regulatory agency approvals as construction progresses. To date, we have been able to obtain these approvals as needed and the need for these approvals has not materially affected our construction progress. Throughout the life of our LNG terminals and our pipelines, we will be subject to regular reporting requirements to the FERC, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (“DOT”) Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (“PHMSA”) and applicable federal and state regulatory agencies regarding the operation and maintenance of our facilities.

The FERC’s jurisdiction under the NGA allows it to impose civil and criminal penalties for any violations of the NGA and any rules, regulations or orders of the FERC up to approximately $1.3 million per day per violation, including any conduct that violates the NGA’s prohibition against market manipulation. We are permitted to make sales of natural gas for resale in interstate commerce pursuant to a blanket marketing certificate automatically granted by the FERC to our marketing affiliates. Our sales of natural gas will be affected by the availability, terms and cost of pipeline transportation. As noted above, the price and terms of access to pipeline transportation are subject to extensive federal and state regulation.

DOE Export License

The DOE has authorized the export of domestically produced LNG by vessel from the Sabine Pass LNG terminal as discussed in Sabine Pass LNG TerminalLiquefaction Facilities and the Corpus Christi LNG terminal as discussed in Corpus Christi LNG TerminalLiquefaction Facilities. Although it is not expected to occur, the loss of an export authorization could be a force majeure event under our SPAs.


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Exports of natural gas to FTA countries are “deemed to be consistent with the public interest” and authorization to export LNG to FTA countries shall be granted by the DOE without “modification or delay.” FTA countries which currently import LNG include Canada, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Israel, Jordan, Mexico, Panama, Singapore and South Korea. Exports of natural gas to non-FTA countries are considered by the DOE in the context of a comment period whereby interveners are provided the opportunity to assert that such authorization would not be consistent with the public interest.

Pipelines

The Creole Trail Pipeline and the Corpus Christi Pipeline are also subject to regulation by the PHMSA, pursuant to which the PHMSA has established requirements relating to the design, installation, testing, construction, operation, replacement and management of pipeline facilities.

The Pipeline Safety Improvement Act of 2002, as amended (“PSIA”), which is administered by the PHMSA Office of Pipeline Safety, governs the areas of testing, education, training and communication. The PSIA requires pipeline companies to perform extensive integrity tests on natural gas transportation pipelines that exist in high population density areas designated as “high consequence areas.” Pipeline companies are required to perform the integrity tests on a seven-year cycle. The risk ratings are based on numerous factors, including the population density in the geographic regions served by a particular pipeline, as well as the age and condition of the pipeline and its protective coating. Testing consists of hydrostatic testing, internal electronic testing, or direct assessment of the piping. In addition to the pipeline integrity tests, pipeline companies must implement a qualification program to make certain that employees are properly trained. Pipeline operators also must develop integrity management programs for gas transportation pipelines, which requires pipeline operators to perform ongoing assessments of pipeline integrity; identify and characterize applicable threats to pipeline segments that could impact a high consequence area; improve data collection, integration and analysis; repair and remediate the pipeline, as necessary; and implement preventive and mitigation actions.

In 2009, the PHMSA issued a final rule (known as “Control Room Management/Human Factors Rule”) that became effective in 2010 requiring pipeline operators to write and institute certain control room procedures that address human factors and fatigue management.

In March 2015, PHMSA issued a final rule amending the pipeline safety regulations to update and clarify certain regulatory requirements, including who can perform post-construction inspections on transmission pipelines. In September 2015, PHMSA issued a rule indefinitely delaying the effective date for the amendment to the regulation regarding post-construction inspections.
In May 2015, PHMSA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking proposing to amend gas pipeline safety regulations regarding plastic piping systems used in gas services, including the installation of plastic pipe used for gas transmission lines. The PHMSA has not finalized any of the regulations proposed in this notice.

In July 2015, PHMSA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking proposing to add a specific timeframe for operators’ notification of accidents or incidents, as well as amending the safety regulations regarding operator qualification requirements by expanding the requirements to include new construction and certain previously excluded operation and maintenance tasks, requiring a program effectiveness review and adding new recordkeeping requirements. In January 2017, PHMSA issued a final rule (effective as of March 24, 2017) adding a specific time frame for operators’ notification of accidents or incidents but delayed final action on the proposed operator qualification requirements until a later date.
In April 2016, the PHMSA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking addressing changes to the regulations governing the safety of gas transmission pipelines. Specifically, PHMSA is considering certain integrity management requirements for “moderate consequence areas,” requiring an integrity verification process for specific categories of pipelines, and mandating more explicit requirements for the integration of data from integrity assessments to an operator’s compliance procedures. The PHMSA is also considering whether to revise requirements for corrosion control and expanding the definition of regulated gathering lines. These notices of proposed rulemaking are still pending at the PHMSA. The PHMSA has not finalized any of the regulations proposed in this notice.

Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Act of 1968 (“NGPSA”)

Louisiana and Texas administer federal pipeline safety standards under the NGPSA, which requires certain pipelines to comply with safety standards in constructing and operating the pipelines and subjects the pipelines to regular inspections. Failure to comply with the NGPSA may result in the imposition of administrative, civil and criminal sanctions.

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Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty and Job Creation Act of 2011

The Creole Trail Pipeline and Corpus Christi Pipeline are also subject to the Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty and Job Creation Act of 2011, which regulates safety requirements in the design, construction, operation and maintenance of interstate natural gas transmission facilities. Under the Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty and Job Creation Act of 2011, PHMSA has civil penalty authority up to approximately $200,000 per day per violation (increased from the prior $100,000), with a maximum of approximately $2 million in civil penalties for any related series of violations (increased from the prior $1 million).

Other Governmental Permits, Approvals and Authorizations

The construction and operation of the Sabine Pass LNG terminal and the CCL Project require additional federal permits, orders, approvals and consultations required by federal agencies, including the DOT, Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (“USACE”), U.S. Department of Commerce, National Marine Fisheries Services, U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Environmental Protection Agency (the “EPA”) and U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Three significant permits are the USACE Section 404 of the Clean Water Act/Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act Permit (the “Section 10/404 Permit”), the Clean Air Act Title V Operating Permit (the “Title V Permit”) and the Prevention of Significant Deterioration Permit (the “PSD Permit”), of which the latter two permits are issued by the LDEQ for the Sabine Pass LNG terminal and CTPL and by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (“TCEQ”) for the CCL Project.

The Sabine Pass LNG terminal’s Section 10/404 Permit authorizing construction of Trains 1 through 4 was received from the USACE in March 2012. A modification to the Section 10/404 Permit, to address wetlands impacted by the construction of Trains 5 and 6, was issued by the USACE in June 2015. The USACE acted in the capacity as a cooperating agency in the review process under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969. The LDEQ issued amended PSD and Title V Permits in September 2017 to reflect certain facility modifications, updated emissions and as-built capacity factors. In October 2018, Sabine Pass LNG Terminal applied to the LDEQ for another amendment to its PSD and Title V Permits to reflect certain facility modifications and as-built reconciliation revisions.
 
An application for an amendment to CCL’s Section 10/404 Permit to authorize construction of the CCL Project was issued by the USACE in July 2014 and subsequently modified in October 2014. The TCEQ issued amended PSD permits for criteria pollutants and greenhouse gas (“GHG”) in July 2018 to reflect updates related to refined operational direction and changes that were made during the design and procurement process.

The LDEQ issued an administrative amendment to the Title V Permit for CTPL in February 2017 to correct permit representations. In April 2018, CTPL applied to the LDEQ for another amendment to the Title V Permit to update permit representations.

The TCEQ issued an amended Air Standard Permit for the Corpus Christi Pipeline compressor station at Sinton, Texas in November 2018 for modifications to the facility and to update permit representations.
  
LDEQ issued a modification of the wastewater discharge permit to Sabine Pass LNG Terminal in December 2017 to include wastewaters generated with respect to the anticipated operations of Trains 5 and 6 of the SPL Project. CCL was issued a waste water discharge permit in October 2017 authorizing discharges from the CCL Project.

Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”)

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “Dodd-Frank Act”) amended the Commodity Exchange Act to provide for federal regulation of the over-the-counter derivatives market and entities, such as us, that participate in that market. The regulatory regime created by the Dodd-Frank Act is designed primarily to (1) regulate certain participants in the swaps markets, including entities falling within the categories of “Swap Dealer” and “Major Swap Participant,” (2) require clearing and exchange trading of standardized swaps of certain classes as designated by the CFTC, (3) increase swap market transparency through robust reporting and recordkeeping requirements, (4) reduce financial risks in the derivatives market by imposing margin or collateral requirements on both cleared and, in certain cases, uncleared swaps, (5) provide the CFTC with expanded authority to establish position limits on certain physical commodity futures and options contracts and their economically

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equivalent swaps as it finds necessary and appropriate and (6) otherwise enhance the rulemaking and enforcement authority of the CFTC and the SEC regarding the derivatives markets. Most of the regulations are already in effect, while other rules and regulations, including the proposed margin rules, position limits, and commodity clearing requirements, remain to be finalized or effectuated. Therefore, the impact of those rules and regulations on our business continues to be uncertain.

A provision of the Dodd-Frank Act requires the CFTC, in order to diminish or prevent excessive speculation in commodity markets, to adopt rules, as it finds necessary and appropriate, imposing new position limits on certain physical commodity futures contracts and options thereon, as well as economically equivalent swaps traded on registered swap trading platforms and on over-the-counter swaps that perform a significant price discovery function with respect to certain markets. In that regard, the CFTC has re-proposed position limits rules that would modify and expand the applicability of limits on speculative positions in certain physical commodity futures contracts, and economically equivalent futures, options and swaps for or linked to certain physical commodities, including Henry Hub natural gas, that market participants may hold, subject to limited exemptions for certain bona fide hedging and other types of transactions. It is uncertain at this time whether, when and in what form the CFTC’s proposed new position limits rules may become final and effective.

Pursuant to rules adopted by the CFTC, certain interest rate swaps and index credit default swaps must be cleared through a derivatives clearing organization and executed on an exchange or swap execution facility. The CFTC has not yet proposed to designate swaps in any other asset classes, including swaps relating to physical commodities, for mandatory clearing and trade execution, but could do so in the future. Although we expect to qualify for the end-user exception from the mandatory clearing and exchange-trading requirements applicable to any swaps that we enter into to hedge our commercial risks, the mandatory clearing and exchange-trading requirements may apply to other market participants, including our counterparties (who may be registered as Swap Dealers), with respect to other swaps, and the application of such rules may change the market cost and general availability in the market of swaps of the type we enter into to hedge our commercial risks and, thus, the cost and availability of the swaps that we use for hedging.

As required by provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act, the CFTC and federal banking regulators have adopted rules to require Swap Dealers and Major Swap Participants, including those that are regulated financial institutions, to collect initial and/or variation margin with respect to uncleared swaps from their counterparties that are financial end users, registered swap dealers or major swap participants. These rules, which, as to the collection of initial margin, are being phased in, do not require collection of margin from non-financial-entity end users who qualify for the end user exception from the mandatory clearing requirement or from non-financial end users or certain other counterparties in certain instances. We expect to qualify as such a non-financial-entity end user with respect to the swaps that we enter into to hedge our commercial risks.

Any new rules or changes to existing rules promulgated under the Dodd-Frank Act could (1) impair the availability of derivatives, (2) materially increase the cost of, or decrease the liquidity of, the derivatives we use to hedge, (3) significantly alter the terms and conditions of derivatives and (4) potentially increase our exposure to less creditworthy counterparties. Further, any resulting reduction in the use of derivatives could make cash flow more volatile and less predictable, which in turn could adversely affect our ability to plan for and fund capital expenditures.

Pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Act, the CFTC has adopted additional anti-manipulation and anti-disruptive trading practices regulations that prohibit, among other things, manipulative, deceptive or fraudulent schemes or material misrepresentation in the futures, options, swaps and cash markets. In addition, separate from the Dodd-Frank Act, our use of futures and options on commodities is subject to the Commodity Exchange Act and CFTC regulations, as well as the rules of futures exchanges on which any of these instruments are executed. Should we violate any of these laws and regulations, we could be subject to a CFTC or an exchange enforcement action and material penalties, possibly resulting in changes in the rates we can charge.

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)

As referenced above, the FERC also enforces any market manipulation concerns under the EPAct 2005.

United Kingdom (UK)/European Regulations

Our EU trading activities, which are primarily established in the UK, are subject to a number of EU-wide and UK specific laws and regulations. These are described further below:


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European Market Infrastructure Regulation (“EMIR”)

EMIR is an EU regulation (with text that is relevant across the European Economic Area (“EEA”)) designed to increase the transparency and stability of the EEA derivatives markets, including by: (1) imposing requirements on market participants trading derivatives, including relating to reporting, clearing and risk mitigation; and (2) imposing rules and standards that apply to central counterparties (i.e. clearing houses) and trade repositories. The precise impact of these rules will depend on a number of factors, including the regulatory status of the counterparty that is trading derivative instruments, as well as the volume and types of instruments it is trading. We currently are categorized under EMIR as a non-financial counterparty below the clearing threshold, which is a type of market participant subject to a lower regulatory burden. However, were we to engage in activities that resulted in a change to our status, we could be subject to more onerous regulations (including clearing and margining) which could significantly increase the cost of our derivatives trading activity, and materially alter the terms of the derivatives contracts we enter into.

Regulation on Wholesale Energy Market Integrity and Transparency (“REMIT”)

REMIT is an EU regulation (with EEA relevance) that prohibits market manipulation and insider trading in European wholesale energy markets and imposes various obligations on participants in these markets. Market participants, such as us, cannot use inside information (i.e., non-public information that would likely have a significant effect on the price of wholesale energy products if it were made public) to (1) buy or sell wholesale energy products for their own account or on behalf of a third party, directly or indirectly; (2) induce others to buy or sell wholesale energy products based on inside information; or (3) disclose such inside information to any other person except in the normal course of employment. A market participant is also prohibited from manipulating or attempting to manipulate any wholesale energy market, and is required to publicly disclose inside information which it possesses in respect of business or facilities which it or its affiliates either owns or controls, or for whose operational matters it or they are responsible, either in whole or in part.

Markets in Financial Instruments Directive and Regulation (“MiFID II”)

MiFID II consists of an EU directive regulation, and a number of delegated acts, rules, and guidance, that replaced the original 2004 Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (“MiFID”). MiFID II (with relevance throughout the EEA), sets forth an EEA-wide financial services framework, including rules for firms engaging in investment services and activities in connection with certain financial instruments in the EEA. Firms engaging in such activities must be authorized unless an exemption applies.

We are eligible to trade on our own account in commodity derivatives as a result of the “ancillary activity” exemption under MiFID II. To avail ourselves of this exemption, amongst other things, we must be able to demonstrate, on the basis of a methodology set out in certain delegated MiFID II text, that our activities in commodity derivatives are ancillary to the main business of our group. Provided we meet the requirements, we must notify the UK regulator that we are availing ourselves of this exemption on an annual basis. If, in the future, we are no longer able to meet the requirements of the “ancillary activity” exemption, and no other exemption is available to us, we would be required to become authorized as an investment firm under MiFID II. This may result in us being subject to the regulatory capital requirements under the EU’s Capital Requirements Directive IV.

Market Abuse Regulation (“MAR”)

MAR is intended to update and strengthen the existing EU market abuse framework and applies to all financial instruments listed or traded on EU trading venues as well as other over-the-counter (“OTC”) financial instruments priced on, or impacting, the trading venue contract. Generally, MAR applies to entities trading on, or in a manner that impacts EU markets. MAR contains a number of “insider dealing” and “market manipulation” (including “attempted manipulation”) based offences. Under MAR, any person professionally arranging or executing transactions in financial instruments is required to establish and maintain effective arrangements, systems and procedures to detect and report suspicious orders and transactions.

UK-Specific Rules

In addition to the various EU/EEA rules described above, other UK-specific laws, such as the UK’s Financial Services and Markets Act of 200 (“FSMA”) and Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Regulated Activities) Order 2001 (“RAO”), also apply to our trading activities.

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Any violation of the foregoing laws and regulations could result in investigations, and possible fine and penalties, and in some scenarios, criminal offenses.

Environmental Regulation
  
Our LNG terminals are subject to various federal, state and local laws and regulations relating to the protection of the environment and natural resources. These environmental laws and regulations require significant expenditures for compliance, can affect the cost and output of operations and may impose substantial penalties for non-compliance and substantial liabilities for pollution. Many of these laws and regulations, such as those noted below, restrict or prohibit impacts to the environment or the types, quantities and concentration of substances that can be released into the environment and can lead to substantial administrative, civil and criminal fines and penalties for non-compliance.
 
Clean Air Act (“CAA”)
 
Our LNG terminals are subject to the federal CAA and comparable state and local laws. We may be required to incur certain capital expenditures over the next several years for air pollution control equipment in connection with maintaining or obtaining permits and approvals addressing air emission-related issues. We do not believe, however, that our operations, or the construction and operations of our liquefaction facilities, will be materially and adversely affected by any such requirements.
 
In 2009, the EPA promulgated and finalized the Mandatory Greenhouse Gas Reporting Rule for multiple sections of the economy. This rule requires mandatory reporting of GHG emissions from stationary sources, including fuel combustion sources. In 2010, the EPA expanded the rule to include reporting obligations for LNG terminals. In addition, the EPA has defined GHG emissions thresholds that would subject GHG emissions from new and modified industrial sources to regulation if the source is subject to PSD Permit requirements due to its emissions of non-GHG criteria pollutants. The Obama Administration took several actions intended to limit GHG emissions, including regulating emissions from new and existing Electricity Generating Units and from new and modified oil and gas operations. The timing, extent and impact of these rules and other Obama Administration initiatives remain uncertain as the Trump Administration has undertaken steps to delay their implementation, and to review, repeal and potentially replace them. On October 10, 2017, EPA issued a proposal to repeal the Clean Power Plan after concluding the October 2015 final rule exceeds EPA’s statutory authority under the CAA. In August 2018, the EPA proposed the Affordable Clean Energy rule as a replacement for the Clean Power Plan, which requires states to develop plans to implement certain performance standards within three years after the Final Rule is published in the Federal Register. Many of the Trump Administration’s efforts to rollback Obama Administration actions have been challenged in court.

From time to time, Congress has considered proposed legislation directed at reducing GHG emissions. In addition, many states have already taken regulatory action to monitor and/or reduce emissions of GHGs, primarily through the development of GHG emission inventories or regional GHG cap and trade programs. It is not possible at this time to predict how future regulations or legislation may address GHG emissions and impact our business. However, future regulations and laws could result in increased compliance costs or additional operating restrictions and could have a material adverse effect on our business, contracts, financial condition, operating results, cash flow, liquidity and prospects.

Coastal Zone Management Act (“CZMA”)
 
The siting and construction of our LNG terminals within the coastal zone is subject to the requirements of the CZMA. The CZMA is administered by the states (in Louisiana, by the Department of Natural Resources, and in Texas, by the General Land Office). This program is implemented to ensure that impacts to coastal areas are consistent with the intent of the CZMA to manage the coastal areas.

Clean Water Act (“CWA”)
 
Our LNG terminals are subject to the federal CWA and analogous state and local laws. The CWA imposes strict controls on the discharge of pollutants into the navigable waters of the United States, including discharges of wastewater and storm water runoff and fill/discharges into waters of the United States. Permits must be obtained prior to discharging pollutants into state and federal waters. The CWA is administered by the EPA, the USACE and by the states (in Louisiana, by the LDEQ, and in Texas, by the TCEQ and the Railroad Commission of Texas).


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Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCRA”)
 
The federal RCRA and comparable state statutes govern the generation, handling and disposal of solid and hazardous wastes and require corrective action for releases into the environment. In the event such wastes are generated in connection with our facilities, we will be subject to regulatory requirements affecting the handling, transportation, treatment, storage and disposal of such wastes.
 
Protection of Species, Habitats and Wetlands

Various federal and state statutes, such as the Endangered Species Act (the “ESA”), the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the CWA and the Oil Pollution Act, prohibit certain activities that may adversely affect endangered or threatened animal, fish and plant species and/or their designated habitats, wetlands, or other natural resources. If one of our LNG terminals or pipelines adversely affects a protected species or its habitat, we may be required to develop and follow a plan to avoid those impacts. In that case, siting, construction or operation may be delayed or restricted and cause us to incur increased costs.

In July 2018, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (the “FWS”) announced a series of proposed changes to the rules implementing the ESA, including proposed revisions to the regulations governing interagency cooperation, listing species and delisting critical habitat, and prohibitions related to threatened wildlife and plants. The proposed revisions are intended to streamline these processes and create more flexibility for the FWS when making ESA-related decisions. It is not possible at this time to predict how such changes, if adopted, would impact our business.

In addition, in December 2017, the Department of Interior’s (“DOI’s”) Solicitor’s Office issued an official opinion that the Migratory Bird Treaty Act’s broad prohibition on “taking” migratory birds applies only to affirmative actions and does not include incidental taking. In April 2018 the FWS issued guidance consistent with the DOI’s opinion. The opinion has been challenged in court.

Market Factors

Our ability to enter into additional long-term SPAs to underpin the development of additional Trains, sell any quantities of LNG available under the SPAs with Cheniere Marketing, or develop new projects is subject to market factors. These factors include changes in worldwide supply and demand for natural gas, LNG and substitute products, the relative prices for natural gas, crude oil and substitute products in North America and international markets, the rate of fuel switching for power generation from coal, nuclear or oil to natural gas and economic growth in developing countries. In addition, our ability to obtain additional funding to execute our business strategy is subject to the investment community’s appetite for investment in LNG and natural gas infrastructure and our ability to access capital markets.

We expect that global demand for natural gas and LNG will continue to increase as nations seek more abundant, reliable and environmentally cleaner fuel alternatives to oil and coal.  Global demand for natural gas is projected by the International Energy Agency to grow by approximately 19 trillion cubic feet (“Tcf”) between 2017 and 2025, with LNG’s share growing from about 10% in 2017 to about 15% of the global gas market in 2025.  Wood Mackenzie Limited forecasts that global demand for LNG will increase by approximately 60%, from approximately 287 mtpa, or 13.8 Tcf in 2017, to approximately 461 mtpa, or 22.1 Tcf, in 2025, and that LNG production from existing operational facilities and new facilities already under construction will be able to supply the market with approximately 413 mtpa in 2025, resulting in a market need for construction of an additional approximately 48 mtpa of LNG production.  We believe the capital and operating costs of the uncommitted capacity of our SPL Project, CCL Project and Corpus Christi Stage 3 are competitive with new proposed projects globally and we are well-positioned to capture a portion of this incremental market need.

We have limited exposure to the decline in oil prices as we have contracted a significant portion of our LNG production capacity under long-term sale and purchase agreements. These agreements contain fixed fees that are required to be paid even if the customers elect to cancel or suspend delivery of LNG cargoes.  We have contracted an aggregate amount of LNG that is between approximately 80% to 95% of the expected aggregate adjusted nominal production capacity for Trains 1 through 5 of the SPL Project with third-party customers. We have contracted an aggregate amount of LNG that is between approximately 75% to 85% of the expected aggregate adjusted nominal production capacity of Trains 1 through 3 of the CCL Project with third-party customers. As of January 31, 2019, U.S. natural gas prices indicate that LNG exported from the U.S. continues to be competitively priced, supporting the opportunity for U.S. LNG to fill uncontracted future demand through the execution of long-term, medium-term and short-term contracting of LNG from our terminals.

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Subsidiaries
 
Our assets are generally held by or under our subsidiaries. We conduct most of our business through these subsidiaries, including the development, construction and operation of our LNG terminal business and the development and operation of our LNG and natural gas marketing business.

Employees
 
We had 1,372 full-time employees at January 31, 2019.  

Available Information

Our common stock has been publicly traded since March 24, 2003 and is traded on the NYSE American under the symbol “LNG.” Our principal executive offices are located at 700 Milam Street, Suite 1900, Houston, Texas 77002, and our telephone number is (713) 375-5000. Our internet address is www.cheniere.com. We provide public access to our annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K and amendments to these reports as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file those materials with, or furnish those materials to, the SEC under the Exchange Act. These reports may be accessed free of charge through our internet website. We make our website content available for informational purposes only. The website should not be relied upon for investment purposes and is not incorporated by reference into this Form 10-K.

We will also make available to any stockholder, without charge, copies of our annual report on Form 10-K as filed with the SEC. For copies of this, or any other filing, please contact: Cheniere Energy, Inc., Investor Relations Department, 700 Milam Street Suite 1900, Houston, Texas 77002 or call (713) 375-5000. The SEC maintains an internet site (www.sec.gov) that contains reports, proxy and information statements and other information regarding issuers.

ITEM 1A.
RISK FACTORS
 
The following are some of the important factors that could affect our financial performance or could cause actual results to differ materially from estimates or expectations contained in our forward-looking statements. We may encounter risks in addition to those described below. Additional risks and uncertainties not currently known to us, or that we currently deem to be immaterial, may also impair or adversely affect our business, contracts, financial condition, operating results, cash flows, liquidity and prospects.

The risk factors in this report are grouped into the following categories:
Risks Relating to Our Financial Matters; 
Risks Relating to Our LNG Terminal Operations and Commercialization; 
Risks Relating to Our LNG Business in General; and 
Risks Relating to Our Business in General.

Risks Relating to Our Financial Matters
 
Our existing level of cash resources and significant debt could cause us to have inadequate liquidity and could materially and adversely affect our business, contracts, financial condition, operating results, cash flow, liquidity and prospects.
 
As of December 31, 2018, we had $981 million of cash and cash equivalents, $2.2 billion of current restricted cash and $29.2 billion of total debt outstanding on a consolidated basis (before unamortized premium, discount and debt issuance costs), excluding $741 million aggregate outstanding letters of credit. We incur, and will incur, significant interest expense relating to the assets at the Sabine Pass and Corpus Christi LNG terminals, and we anticipate needing to incur additional debt to finance the construction of Train 6 of the SPL Project. Our ability to fund our capital expenditures and refinance our indebtedness will depend on our ability to access additional project financing as well as the debt and equity capital markets. A variety of factors beyond our control could impact the availability or cost of capital, including domestic or international economic conditions, increases in key benchmark interest rates and/or credit spreads, the adoption of new or amended banking or capital market laws or regulations and the repricing of market risks and volatility in capital and financial markets. Our financing costs could increase or future

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borrowings or equity offerings may be unavailable to us or unsuccessful, which could cause us to be unable to pay or refinance our indebtedness or to fund our other liquidity needs. We also rely on borrowings under our credit facilities to fund our capital expenditures. If any of the lenders in the syndicates backing these facilities was unable to perform on its commitments, we may need to seek replacement financing, which may not be available as needed, or may be available in more limited amounts or on more expensive or otherwise unfavorable terms.

We have not been profitable historically. We may not achieve profitability or generate positive operating cash flow in the future.
 
We had net losses attributable to common stockholders of $393 million and $610 million for the years ended December 31, 2017 and 2016, respectively. In the future, we may incur operating losses and experience negative operating cash flow. We may not be able to reduce costs, increase revenues or reduce our debt service obligations sufficiently to maintain our cash resources, which could cause us to have inadequate liquidity to continue our business.

We will continue to incur significant capital and operating expenditures while we develop and construct the SPL Project, the CCL Project and other projects. Any delays beyond the expected development period for these projects could cause, and could increase the level of, our operating losses and negative operating cash flows. Our future liquidity may also be affected by the timing of construction financing availability in relation to the incurrence of construction costs and other outflows and by the timing of receipt of cash flows under third-party agreements in relation to the incurrence of project and operating expenses. Moreover, many factors (including factors beyond our control) could result in a disparity between liquidity sources and cash needs, including factors such as construction delays and breaches of agreements. Our ability to generate any significant positive operating cash flow and achieve profitability in the future is dependent on our ability to successfully and timely complete and operate the applicable project.

We may sell equity or equity-related securities or assets, including equity interests in Cheniere Partners. Such sales could dilute our stockholders’ proportionate indirect interests in our assets, business operations and proposed liquefaction and other projects of Cheniere Partners or other subsidiaries, and could adversely affect the market price of our common stock.
 
We have pursued and are pursuing a number of alternatives in order to finance the construction of Train 6 of the SPL Project, including potential issuances and sales of additional equity or equity-related securities by us or Cheniere Partners. Such sales, in one or more transactions, could dilute our stockholders’ proportionate indirect interests in our assets, business operations and proposed projects of Cheniere Partners, including the SPL Project, or in other subsidiaries or projects, including the CCL Project. In addition, such sales, or the anticipation of such sales, could adversely affect the market price of our common stock.

Our stockholders may experience dilution upon the conversion of our convertible notes.

In November 2014, we issued an aggregate principal amount of $1.0 billion Convertible Unsecured Notes due 2021 (the “2021 Cheniere Convertible Unsecured Notes”) to RRJ Capital II Ltd, Baytree Investments (Mauritius) Pte Ltd and Seatown Lionfish Pte. Ltd. In March 2015, we issued $625 million aggregate principal amount of 4.25% Convertible Senior Notes due 2045 (the “2045 Cheniere Convertible Senior Notes”) to certain investors through a registered direct offering. In May 2015, CCH HoldCo II issued $1.0 billion aggregate principal amount of 11.0% Convertible Senior Secured Notes due 2025 (the “2025 CCH HoldCo II Convertible Senior Notes” and together with the 2021 Cheniere Convertible Unsecured Notes and the 2045 Cheniere Convertible Senior Notes, the “Convertible Notes”) to EIG Management Company, LLC.  

We have the option to satisfy the 2021 Cheniere Convertible Unsecured Notes and the 2045 Cheniere Convertible Senior Notes conversion obligations with cash, common stock or a combination thereof. The 2025 CCH HoldCo II Convertible Senior Notes conversion obligations must be satisfied with common stock. The 2021 Cheniere Convertible Unsecured Notes are convertible at an initial conversion price of $93.64. Prior to December 15, 2044, the 2045 Cheniere Convertible Senior Notes will be convertible upon the occurrence of certain conditions, and on and after such date they will become freely convertible. The 2045 Cheniere Convertible Senior Notes will become convertible into the common stock of Cheniere at an initial conversion price of $138.38 per share. Provided the total market capitalization of Cheniere at that time is not less than $10.0 billion, the 2025 CCH HoldCo II Convertible Senior Notes will be convertible at CCH HoldCo II’s option on or after the later of (1) March 1, 2020 and (2) the substantial completion of Train 2 of the CCL Project (the “Eligible Conversion Date”). The conversion price for 2025 CCH HoldCo II Convertible Senior Notes converted at CCH HoldCo II’s option is the lower of (1) a 10% discount to the average of the daily volume-weighted average price (“VWAP”) of our common stock for the 90 trading day period prior to the date on which notice of conversion is provided and (2) a 10% discount to the closing price of our common stock on the trading day preceding the date on which notice of conversion is provided. At the option of the holders, the 2025 CCH HoldCo II Convertible

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Senior Notes are convertible on or after the six-month anniversary of the Eligible Conversion Date, provided the total market capitalization of Cheniere at that time is not less than $10.0 billion, at a conversion price equal to the average of the daily VWAP of our common stock for the 90 trading day period prior to the date on which notice of conversion is provided.

The conversion of some or all of the Convertible Notes into shares of our common stock will dilute the ownership percentages and voting power of our existing stockholders.  Based on the initial conversion price, if we elect to satisfy the entire conversion obligations of the 2021 Cheniere Convertible Unsecured Notes and the 2045 Cheniere Convertible Senior Notes with common stock, an aggregate of approximately 19.1 million shares of our common stock would be issued upon the conversion, assuming the notes are converted at maturity and all interest on the notes is paid in kind for the 2021 Cheniere Convertible Unsecured Notes. Because the conversion rate for the 2025 CCH HoldCo II Convertible Senior Notes will depend on the price of our common stock at the time of conversion, we cannot meaningfully estimate the number of shares of our common stock, if any, that would be issued upon the conversion of such notes; however, under these convertible notes, a maximum of 47,108,466 shares of our common stock (subject to adjustment in the event of a stock split) may be issued in the aggregate upon the conversion of all of the 2025 CCH HoldCo II Convertible Senior Notes.  Any sales in the public market of the shares issuable upon conversion of the Convertible Notes could adversely affect the prevailing market prices of our common stock.  In addition, the existence of the Convertible Notes may encourage short selling by market participants because the conversion of the Convertible Notes could be used to satisfy short positions, or the anticipated conversion of the Convertible Notes into shares of our common stock could depress the price of our common stock.

Our ability to generate cash is substantially dependent upon the performance by customers under long-term contracts that we have entered into, and we could be materially and adversely affected if any customer fails to perform its contractual obligations for any reason.

Our future results and liquidity are substantially dependent upon performance by our customers to make payments under long-term contracts. As of December 31, 2018, SPL had SPAs with seven third-party customers, CCL had SPAs with nine third-party customers and our integrated marketing function had a limited number of SPAs with third-party customers. In addition, SPLNG had TUAs with two third-party customers. We are dependent on each customer’s continued willingness and ability to perform its obligations under its SPA or TUA. We are exposed to the credit risk of any guarantor of these customers’ obligations under their respective agreements in the event that we must seek recourse under a guaranty. If any customer fails to perform its obligations under its SPA or TUA, our business, contracts, financial condition, operating results, cash flow, liquidity and prospects could be materially and adversely affected, even if we were ultimately successful in seeking damages from that customer or its guarantor for a breach of the agreement.

Each of our customer contracts is subject to termination under certain circumstances.
  
Each of the SPAs contains various termination rights allowing our customers to terminate their SPAs, including, without limitation: (1) upon the occurrence of certain events of force majeure; (2) if we fail to make available specified scheduled cargo quantities; and (3) delays in the commencement of commercial operations. We may not be able to replace these SPAs on desirable terms, or at all, if they are terminated.

Each of SPLNG’s long-term TUAs contains various termination rights. For example, each customer may terminate its TUA if the Sabine Pass LNG terminal experiences a force majeure delay for longer than 18 months, fails to redeliver a specified amount of natural gas in accordance with the customer’s redelivery nominations or fails to accept and unload a specified number of the customer’s proposed LNG cargoes. SPLNG may not be able to replace these TUAs on desirable terms, or at all, if they are terminated.

Our subsidiaries may be restricted under the terms of their indebtedness from making distributions under certain circumstances, which may limit Cheniere Partners’ ability to pay or increase distributions to us or inhibit our access to cash flows from the CCL Project and could materially and adversely affect us.
 
The agreements governing our subsidiaries’ indebtedness restrict payments that our subsidiaries can make to Cheniere Partners or us in certain events and limit the indebtedness that our subsidiaries can incur. For example, SPL is restricted from making distributions under agreements governing its indebtedness generally until, among other requirements, deposits are made into debt service reserve accounts and a debt service coverage ratio of 1.25:1.00 is satisfied.


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CCH is generally restricted from making distributions under agreements governing its indebtedness until, among other requirements, the completion of the construction of Trains 1 through 3 of the CCL Project, funding of a debt service reserve account equal to six months of debt service and achieving a historical debt service coverage ratio and fixed projected debt service coverage ratio of at least 1.25:1.00.

CCH HoldCo II is restricted from making distributions to Cheniere under agreements governing its indebtedness generally until, among other requirements, Trains 1 and 2 of the CCL Project are in commercial operation and a historical debt service coverage ratio and a projected fixed debt services coverage ratio of 1.20:1.00 are achieved.

Our subsidiaries’ inability to pay distributions to Cheniere Partners or us to incur additional indebtedness as a result of the foregoing restrictions in the agreements governing their indebtedness may inhibit Cheniere Partners’ ability to pay or increase distributions to us and its other unitholders or inhibit our access to cash flows from the CCL Project, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, contracts, financial condition, operating results, cash flow, liquidity and prospects.

Restrictions in agreements governing us and our subsidiaries’ indebtedness may prevent us and our subsidiaries from engaging in certain beneficial transactions.
 
In addition to restrictions on the ability of us, Cheniere Partners, SPL, CCH and CCH HoldCo II to make distributions or incur additional indebtedness, the agreements governing our indebtedness also contain various other covenants that may prevent us from engaging in beneficial transactions, including limitations on our ability to:
make certain investments;
purchase, redeem or retire equity interests;
issue preferred stock;
sell or transfer assets;
incur liens;
enter into transactions with affiliates;
consolidate, merge, sell or lease all or substantially all of our assets; and
enter into sale and leaseback transactions.
Our use of hedging arrangements may adversely affect our future operating results or liquidity.

To reduce our exposure to fluctuations in the price, volume and timing risk associated with the purchase of natural gas, we use futures, swaps and option contracts traded or cleared on the Intercontinental Exchange and the New York Mercantile Exchange or over-the-counter options and swaps with other natural gas merchants and financial institutions. Hedging arrangements could expose us to risk of financial loss in some circumstances, including when:
expected supply is less than the amount hedged;
the counterparty to the hedging contract defaults on its contractual obligations; or
there is a change in the expected differential between the underlying price in the hedging agreement and actual prices received.
The use of derivatives also may require the posting of cash collateral with counterparties, which can impact working capital when commodity prices change.

The swaps regulatory and other provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act and the rules adopted thereunder and other regulations, including EMIR and REMIT, could adversely affect our ability to hedge risks associated with our business and our operating results and cash flows.

The provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act and the rules adopted and to be adopted by the CFTC, the SEC and other federal regulators establishing federal regulation of the OTC derivatives market and entities like us that participate in that market may adversely affect our ability to manage certain of our risks on a cost effective basis. Such laws and regulations may also adversely affect our ability to execute our strategies with respect to hedging our exposure to variability in expected future cash flows

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attributable to the future sale of our LNG inventory and to price risk attributable to future purchases of natural gas to be utilized as fuel to operate our LNG terminals and to secure natural gas feedstock for our liquefaction facilities.

The CFTC has re-proposed position limits rules that would modify and expand the applicability of position limits on the amounts of certain speculative futures contracts, as well as economically equivalent options, futures and swaps for or linked to certain physical commodities, including Henry Hub natural gas, that market participants may hold, subject to limited exemptions for certain bona fide hedging positions and other types of transactions. To the extent the revised CFTC position limits proposal becomes final, our ability to execute our hedging strategies described above could be limited. It is uncertain at this time whether, when and in what form the CFTC’s proposed new position limits rules may become final and effective.

Under the Dodd-Frank Act and the rules adopted thereunder, we may be required to clear through a derivatives clearing organization any swaps into which we enter that fall within a class of swaps designated by the CFTC for mandatory clearing and we could have to execute trades in such swaps on certain trading platforms or exchanges. The CFTC has designated certain interest rate swaps and index credit default swaps for mandatory clearing, but has not yet finalized rules designating any physical commodity swaps, for mandatory clearing or mandatory exchange trading. Although we expect to qualify for the end-user exception from the mandatory clearing and trade execution requirements for our swaps entered into to hedge our commercial risks, if we fail to qualify for that exception as to any swap we enter into and have to clear that swap through a derivatives clearing organization, we could be required to post margin with respect to such swap, our cost of entering into and maintaining such swap could increase and we would not enjoy the same flexibility with the cleared swaps that we enjoy with the uncleared OTC swaps we enter into. Moreover, the application of the mandatory clearing and trade execution requirements to other market participants, such as swap dealers, may change the market cost and general availability in the market of swaps of the type we enter into to hedge our commercial risks and, thus, the cost and availability of the swaps that we use for hedging.

As required by the Dodd-Frank Act, the CFTC and federal banking regulators have adopted rules to require certain market participants to collect and post initial and/or variation margin with respect to uncleared swaps from their counterparties that are financial end users and certain registered swap dealers and major swap participants. Although we believe we will not be required to post margin with respect to any uncleared swaps we enter into in the future, were we required to post margin as to our uncleared swaps in the future, our cost of entering into and maintaining swaps would be increased. Our counterparties that are subject to the regulations imposing the Basel III capital requirements on them may increase the cost to us of entering into swaps with them or, although not required to collect margin from us under the margin rules, contractually require us to post collateral with them in connection with such swaps in order to offset their increased capital costs or to reduce their capital costs to maintain those swaps on their balance sheets.

The Dodd-Frank Act also imposes other regulatory requirements on swaps market participants, including end users of swaps, such as regulations relating to swap documentation, reporting and recordkeeping, and certain business conduct rules applicable to swap dealers and major swap participants. Together with the Basel III capital requirements on certain swaps market participants, the regulatory requirements of the Dodd-Frank Act and the rules thereunder relating to swaps and derivatives market participants could significantly increase the cost of derivative contracts (including through requirements to post margin or collateral), materially alter the terms of derivative contracts, reduce the availability of derivatives to protect against certain risks that we encounter and reduce our ability to monetize or restructure our existing derivative contracts and to execute our hedging strategies. If, as a result of the swaps regulatory regime discussed above, we were to reduce our use of swaps to hedge our risks, such as commodity price risks that we encounter in our operations, our operating results and cash flows may become more volatile and could be otherwise adversely affected.

The Federal Reserve Board also has proposed rules that would limit certain physical commodity activities of financial holding companies. Such rules, if adopted, may adversely affect our ability to execute our strategies by restricting our available counterparties for certain types of transactions, limiting our ability to obtain certain services, and reducing liquidity in physical and financial markets. It is uncertain at this time whether, when and in what form the Federal Reserve’s proposed rules regarding financial holding companies may become final and effective.

European and UK-specific regulations, including but not limited to EMIR, MiFID II, REMIT, MAR, FSMA and RAO, govern our trading activities and our compliance with such laws may result in increased costs and risks to the business similar to the impacts stated above with respect to Dodd-Frank. The increased costs may also have an adverse impact on our business, contracts, financial condition, operating results, cash flow, liquidity and prospects. Further, any violation of the foregoing laws and regulations could result in investigations, and possible fines and penalties, and in some scenarios, criminal offenses.


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Further, given the current lack of clarity relating to the terms on which the United Kingdom will exit the European Union (“Brexit”), including the impact such withdrawal will have on parties subject to the referenced regulations, additional regulatory risks may result. However, until the terms of a final agreement between the United Kingdom and European Union have been agreed, it is impossible at this point to address with certainty the impact of Brexit on our operations.

We expect that our hedging activities will remain subject to significant and developing regulations and regulatory oversight. However, the full impact of the various U.S. (and non-U.S.) regulatory developments in connection with these activities will not be known with certainty until such derivatives market regulations are fully implemented and related market practices and structures are fully developed.

Risks Relating to Our LNG Terminal Operations and Commercialization
 
Operation of the Sabine Pass LNG terminal, the SPL Project and the CCL Project, our pipelines and other facilities that we may construct involves significant risks.
 
As more fully discussed in these Risk Factors, the Sabine Pass LNG terminal, the SPL Project and the CCL Project, our pipelines and our other existing and proposed LNG facilities face operational risks, including the following:
the facilities’ performing below expected levels of efficiency;
breakdown or failures of equipment;
operational errors by vessel or tug operators;
operational errors by us or any contracted facility operator;
labor disputes; and
weather-related interruptions of operations.

Cost overruns and delays in the completion of one or more Trains, as well as difficulties in obtaining sufficient financing to pay for such costs and delays, could have a material adverse effect on our business, contracts, financial condition, operating results, cash flow, liquidity and prospects.
 
The actual construction costs of the Trains may be significantly higher than our current estimates as a result of many factors, including change orders under existing or future EPC contracts resulting from the occurrence of certain specified events that may give Bechtel the right to cause us to enter into change orders or resulting from changes with which we otherwise agree. We have already experienced increased costs due to change orders. As construction progresses, we may decide or be forced to submit change orders to our contractor that could result in longer construction periods, higher construction costs or both, including change orders to comply with existing or future environmental or other regulations.

Delays in the construction of one or more Trains beyond the estimated development periods, as well as change orders to the EPC contracts with Bechtel or any future EPC contract related to additional Trains, could increase the cost of completion beyond the amounts that we estimate, which could require us to obtain additional sources of financing to fund our operations until the applicable liquefaction project is fully constructed (which could cause further delays). Our ability to obtain financing that may be needed to provide additional funding to cover increased costs will depend, in part, on factors beyond our control. Accordingly, we may not be able to obtain financing on terms that are acceptable to us, or at all. Even if we are able to obtain financing, we may have to accept terms that are disadvantageous to us or that may have a material adverse effect on our current or future business, contracts, financial condition, operating results, cash flow, liquidity and prospects.

Delays in the completion of one or more Trains could lead to reduced revenues or termination of one or more of the SPAs by our customers.
 
Any delay in completion of a Train could cause a delay in the receipt of revenues projected therefrom or cause a loss of one or more customers in the event of significant delays. In particular, each of our SPAs provides that the customer may terminate that SPA if the relevant Train does not timely commence commercial operations. As a result, any significant construction delay, whatever the cause, could have a material adverse effect on our business, contracts, financial condition, operating results, cash flow, liquidity and prospects.


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Our ability to complete development of additional Trains will be contingent on our ability to obtain additional funding. If we are unable to obtain sufficient funding, we may be unable to fully execute our business strategy.
 
We will require significant additional funding to be able to commence construction of Train 6 of the SPL Project, which we may not be able to obtain at a cost that results in positive economics, or at all. The inability to achieve acceptable funding may cause a delay in the development of additional Trains, and we may not be able to complete our business plan. Even if we are able to obtain funding, the funding may be inadequate to cover any increases in costs or delays in completion of Train 6 of the SPL Project, which may cause a delay in the receipt of revenues projected therefrom or cause a loss of one or more future customers in the event of significant delays. As a result, any significant construction delay, whatever the cause, could have a material adverse effect on our business, contracts, financial condition, operating results, cash flow, liquidity and prospects.
 
Hurricanes or other disasters could result in an interruption of our operations, a delay in the completion of our liquefaction projects, higher construction costs and the deferral of the dates on which payments are due to us under the SPAs, all of which could adversely affect us.
 
In August and September of 2005, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, respectively, damaged coastal and inland areas located in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, resulting in the temporary suspension of construction of the Sabine Pass LNG terminal. In September 2008, Hurricane Ike struck the Texas and Louisiana coasts, and the Sabine Pass LNG terminal experienced minor damage. In August 2017, Hurricane Harvey struck the Texas and Louisiana coasts, and the Sabine Pass LNG terminal experienced a temporary suspension in construction and LNG loading operations. Construction on the Corpus Christi LNG terminal was also suspended.

Future storms and related storm activity and collateral effects, or other disasters such as explosions, fires, floods or accidents, could result in damage to, or interruption of operations at, the Sabine Pass LNG terminal or related infrastructure, as well as delays or cost increases in the construction and the development of the SPL Project, the CCL Project or our other facilities. Changes in the global climate may have significant physical effects, such as increased frequency and severity of storms, floods and rising sea levels; if any such effects were to occur, they could have an adverse effect on our coastal operations.
 
Failure to obtain and maintain approvals and permits from governmental and regulatory agencies with respect to the design, construction and operation of our facilities and the development and operation of our pipelines could impede operations and construction and could have a material adverse effect on us.

The design, construction and operation of interstate natural gas pipelines, LNG terminals, including the SPL Project and the CCL Project and other facilities, and the import and export of LNG and the transportation of natural gas, are highly regulated activities. Approvals of the FERC and DOE under Section 3 and Section 7 of the NGA, as well as several other material governmental and regulatory approvals and permits, including several under the CAA and the CWA, are required in order to construct and operate an LNG facility and an interstate natural gas pipeline and export LNG. Although the FERC has issued orders under Section 3 of the NGA authorizing the siting, construction and operation of six Trains and related facilities of the SPL Project and three Trains and related facilities of the CCL Project and Section 7 of the NGA authorizing the construction and operation of the Creole Trail Pipeline and the Corpus Christi Pipeline, the FERC orders require us to comply with certain ongoing conditions and obtain certain additional approvals in conjunction with ongoing construction and operations of our liquefaction and pipeline facilities. We will be required to obtain similar approvals and permits with respect to any expansion or modification of our liquefaction and pipeline facilities. We cannot control the outcome of the FERC’s or the DOE’s review and approval processes. Certain of these governmental permits, approvals and authorizations are or may be subject to rehearing requests, appeals and other challenges.

Authorizations obtained from the FERC, DOE and other federal and state regulatory agencies also contain ongoing conditions, and additional approval and permit requirements may be imposed. We do not know whether or when any such approvals or permits can be obtained, or whether any existing or potential interventions or other actions by third parties will interfere with our ability to obtain and maintain such permits or approvals. If we are unable to obtain and maintain the necessary approvals and permits, including as a result of untimely notices or filings, we may not be able to recover our investment in our projects. Additionally, government disruptions, such as a U.S. government shutdown, may delay or halt our ability to obtain and maintain necessary approvals and permits. There is no assurance that we will obtain and maintain these governmental permits, approvals and authorizations, or that we will be able to obtain them on a timely basis, and failure to obtain and maintain any of these permits, approvals or authorizations could have a material adverse effect on our business, contracts, financial condition, operating results, cash flow, liquidity and prospects.


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We are dependent on Bechtel and other contractors for the successful completion of the SPL Project and the CCL Project.

Timely and cost-effective completion of the SPL Project and the CCL Project in compliance with agreed specifications is central to our business strategy and is highly dependent on the performance of Bechtel and our other contractors under their agreements. The ability of Bechtel and our other contractors to perform successfully under their agreements is dependent on a number of factors, including their ability to:
design and engineer each Train to operate in accordance with specifications;
engage and retain third-party subcontractors and procure equipment and supplies;
respond to difficulties such as equipment failure, delivery delays, schedule changes and failure to perform by subcontractors, some of which are beyond their control;
attract, develop and retain skilled personnel, including engineers;
post required construction bonds and comply with the terms thereof;
manage the construction process generally, including coordinating with other contractors and regulatory agencies; and
maintain their own financial condition, including adequate working capital.
Although some agreements may provide for liquidated damages if the contractor fails to perform in the manner required with respect to certain of its obligations, the events that trigger a requirement to pay liquidated damages may delay or impair the operation of the SPL Project and the CCL Project, and any liquidated damages that we receive may not be sufficient to cover the damages that we suffer as a result of any such delay or impairment. The obligations of Bechtel and our other contractors to pay liquidated damages under their agreements are subject to caps on liability, as set forth therein.

Furthermore, we may have disagreements with our contractors about different elements of the construction process, which could lead to the assertion of rights and remedies under their contracts and increase the cost of the SPL Project and the CCL Project or result in a contractor’s unwillingness to perform further work on the SPL Project and the CCL Project. If any contractor is unable or unwilling to perform according to the negotiated terms and timetable of its respective agreement for any reason or terminates its agreement, we would be required to engage a substitute contractor. This would likely result in significant project delays and increased costs, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, contracts, financial condition, operating results, cash flow, liquidity and prospects.

We are relying on third-party engineers to estimate the future capacity ratings and performance capabilities of the SPL Project and the CCL Project, and these estimates may prove to be inaccurate.
    
We are relying on third parties, principally Bechtel, for the design and engineering services underlying our estimates of the future capacity ratings and performance capabilities of the SPL Project and the CCL Project. If any Train, when actually constructed, fails to have the capacity ratings and performance capabilities that we intend, our estimates may not be accurate. Failure of any of our Trains to achieve our intended capacity ratings and performance capabilities could prevent us from achieving the commercial start dates under our SPAs and could have a material adverse effect on our business, contracts, financial condition, operating results, cash flow, liquidity and prospects.

If third-party pipelines and other facilities interconnected to our pipelines and facilities are or become unavailable to transport natural gas, this could have a material adverse effect on our business, contracts, financial condition, operating results, cash flow, liquidity and prospects.
 
We depend upon third-party pipelines and other facilities that provide gas delivery options to our liquefaction facilities and pipelines. If the construction of new or modified pipeline connections is not completed on schedule or any pipeline connection were to become unavailable for current or future volumes of natural gas due to repairs, damage to the facility, lack of capacity or any other reason, our ability to meet our SPA obligations and continue shipping natural gas from producing regions or to end markets could be restricted, thereby reducing our revenues which could have a material adverse effect on our business, contracts, financial condition, operating results, cash flow, liquidity and prospects.


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We may not be able to purchase or receive physical delivery of sufficient natural gas to satisfy our delivery obligations under the SPAs, which could have a material adverse effect on us.

Under the SPAs with our customers, we are required to make available to them a specified amount of LNG at specified times. However, we may not be able to purchase or receive physical delivery of sufficient quantities of natural gas to satisfy those obligations, which may provide affected SPA customers with the right to terminate their SPAs. Our failure to purchase or receive physical delivery of sufficient quantities of natural gas could have a material adverse effect on our business, contracts, financial condition, operating results, cash flow, liquidity and prospects.
 
Our interstate natural gas pipelines and their FERC gas tariffs are subject to FERC regulation.
 
Our interstate natural gas pipelines are subject to regulation by the FERC under the NGA and the Natural Gas Policy Act of 1978 (the “NGPA”). The FERC regulates the transportation of natural gas in interstate commerce, including the construction and operation of pipelines, the rates, terms and conditions of service and abandonment of facilities. Under the NGA, the rates charged by our interstate natural gas pipelines must be just and reasonable, and we are prohibited from unduly preferring or unreasonably discriminating against any person with respect to pipeline rates or terms and conditions of service. If we fail to comply with all applicable statutes, rules, regulations and orders, our interstate pipelines could be subject to substantial penalties and fines.

In addition, as a natural gas market participant, should we fail to comply with all applicable FERC-administered statutes, rules, regulations and orders, we could be subject to substantial penalties and fines. Under the EPAct, the FERC has civil penalty authority under the NGA and the NGPA to impose penalties for current violations of up to $1.3 million per day for each violation.
 
Pipeline safety integrity programs and repairs may impose significant costs and liabilities on us.
 
The PHMSA requires pipeline operators to develop integrity management programs to comprehensively evaluate certain areas along their pipelines and to take additional measures to protect pipeline segments located in “high consequence areas” where a leak or rupture could potentially do the most harm. As an operator, we are required to:
perform ongoing assessments of pipeline integrity;
identify and characterize applicable threats to pipeline segments that could impact a “high consequence area”;
improve data collection, integration and analysis;
repair and remediate the pipeline as necessary; and
implement preventative and mitigating actions.
We are required to maintain pipeline integrity testing programs that are intended to assess pipeline integrity. Any repair, remediation, preventative or mitigating actions may require significant capital and operating expenditures. Should we fail to comply with applicable statutes and the Office of Pipeline Safety’s rules and related regulations and orders, we could be subject to significant penalties and fines.
 
Any reduction in the capacity of, or the allocations to, interconnecting, third-party pipelines could cause a reduction of volumes transported in our pipelines, which would adversely affect our revenues and cash flow.
 
We are dependent upon third-party pipelines and other facilities to provide delivery options to and from our pipelines. If any pipeline connection were to become unavailable for volumes of natural gas due to repairs, damage to the facility, lack of capacity or any other reason, our ability to continue shipping natural gas to end markets could be restricted, thereby reducing our revenues. Any permanent interruption at any key pipeline interconnect which causes a material reduction in volumes transported on our pipelines could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, operating results, cash flow, liquidity and prospects.
 

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Our business could be materially and adversely affected if we lose the right to situate our pipelines on property owned by third parties.
 
We do not own the land on which our pipelines are situated, and we are subject to the possibility of increased costs to retain necessary land use rights. If we were to lose these rights or be required to relocate our pipelines, our business could be materially and adversely affected.

Any failure to perform by our counterparties under agreements may adversely affect our operating results, liquidity and access to financing.
 
Our integrated marketing function involves our entering into various purchase and sale, hedging and other transactions with numerous third parties (commonly referred to as “counterparties”). In such arrangements, we are exposed to the performance and credit risks of our counterparties, including the risk that one or more counterparties fails to perform its obligation to make deliveries of commodities and/or to make payments. These risks may increase during periods of commodity price volatility. Defaults by suppliers and other counterparties may adversely affect our operating results, liquidity and access to financing.

We may not be able to contract with customers to sell LNG produced in excess of the aggregate annual contract quantities committed to SPL’s and CCL’s third-party SPAs.
 
We expect to sell any LNG produced in excess of the aggregate annual contract quantity committed to SPL’s and CCL’s third-party SPAs through our integrated marketing function. We are developing a portfolio of long-, medium- and short-term SPAs to transport and unload commercial LNG cargoes to locations worldwide, which is primarily sourced by LNG produced by the SPL Project and the CCL Project in excess of the contract quantities committed to SPL’s and CCL’s third party SPAs, supplemented by volume procured from other locations worldwide, as needed. Failure to secure buyers for a sufficient amount of LNG could materially and adversely affect our operating results, cash flows and liquidity.

Risks Relating to Our LNG Businesses in General
 
We may not construct or operate all of our proposed LNG facilities or Trains or any additional LNG facilities or Trains beyond those currently planned, which could limit our growth prospects.

We may not construct some of our proposed LNG facilities or Trains, whether due to lack of commercial interest or inability to obtain financing or otherwise. Our ability to develop additional liquefaction facilities will also depend on the availability and pricing of LNG and natural gas in North America and other places around the world. Competitors may have longer operating histories, more development experience, greater name recognition, larger staffs and substantially greater financial, technical and marketing resources and access to sources of natural gas and LNG than we do. If we are unable or unwilling to construct and operate additional LNG facilities, our prospects for growth will be limited.

Our cost estimates for Trains are subject to change as a result of cost overruns, change orders under existing or future construction contracts, changes in commodity prices (particularly nickel and steel), escalating labor costs and the potential need for additional funds to be expended to maintain construction schedules. In the event we experience cost overruns, delays or both, the amount of funding needed to complete a Train could exceed our available funds and result in our failure to complete such Train and thereby negatively impact our business and limit our growth prospects.

Cyclical or other changes in the demand for and price of LNG and natural gas may adversely affect our LNG business and the performance of our customers and could have a material adverse effect on our business, contracts, financial condition, operating results, cash flows, liquidity and prospects.
 
Our LNG business and the development of domestic LNG facilities and projects generally is based on assumptions about the future availability and price of natural gas and LNG and the prospects for international natural gas and LNG markets. Natural gas and LNG prices have been, and are likely to continue to be, volatile and subject to wide fluctuations in response to one or more of the following factors:
additions to competitive regasification capacity in North America, Europe, Asia and other markets, which could divert LNG from the Sabine Pass LNG terminal and the Corpus Christi LNG terminal;
competitive liquefaction capacity in North America;

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insufficient or oversupply of natural gas liquefaction or receiving capacity worldwide;
insufficient LNG tanker capacity;
weather conditions;
reduced demand and lower prices for natural gas;
increased natural gas production deliverable by pipelines, which could suppress demand for LNG;
decreased oil and natural gas exploration activities, which may decrease the production of natural gas;
cost improvements that allow competitors to offer LNG regasification services or provide natural gas liquefaction capabilities at reduced prices;
changes in supplies of, and prices for, alternative energy sources such as coal, oil, nuclear, hydroelectric, wind and solar energy, which may reduce the demand for natural gas;
changes in regulatory, tax or other governmental policies regarding imported or exported LNG, natural gas or alternative energy sources, which may reduce the demand for imported or exported LNG and/or natural gas;
political conditions in natural gas producing regions;
adverse relative demand for LNG compared to other markets, which may decrease LNG imports into or exports from North America; and
cyclical trends in general business and economic conditions that cause changes in the demand for natural gas.
Adverse trends or developments affecting any of these factors could result in decreases in the price of LNG and/or natural gas, which could materially and adversely affect the performance of our customers, and could have a material adverse effect on our business, contracts, financial condition, operating results, cash flows, liquidity and prospects.

Failure of imported or exported LNG to be a competitive source of energy for international markets could adversely affect our customers and could materially and adversely affect our business, contracts, financial condition, operating results, cash flow, liquidity and prospects.

Operations of the SPL Project are, and operations at the CCL Project will be, dependent upon the ability of our SPA customers to deliver LNG supplies from the United States, which is primarily dependent upon LNG being a competitive source of energy internationally. The success of our business plan is dependent, in part, on the extent to which LNG can, for significant periods and in significant volumes, be supplied from North America and delivered to international markets at a lower cost than the cost of alternative energy sources. Through the use of improved exploration technologies, additional sources of natural gas may be discovered outside the United States, which could increase the available supply of natural gas outside the United States and could result in natural gas in those markets being available at a lower cost than LNG exported to those markets.

Although SPL has entered into arrangements to utilize up to approximately three-quarters of the regasification capacity at the Sabine Pass LNG terminal in connection with operations of the SPL Project, operations at the Sabine Pass LNG terminal are dependent, in part, upon the ability of our TUA customers to import LNG supplies into the United States, which is primarily dependent upon LNG being a competitive source of energy in North America. In North America, due mainly to a historically abundant supply of natural gas and discoveries of substantial quantities of unconventional, or shale, natural gas, imported LNG has not developed into a significant energy source. The success of the regasification services component of our business plan is dependent, in part, on the extent to which LNG can, for significant periods and in significant volumes, be produced internationally and delivered to North America at a lower cost than the cost to produce some domestic supplies of natural gas, or other alternative energy sources. Through the use of improved exploration technologies, additional sources of natural gas have recently been and may continue to be discovered in North America, which could further increase the available supply of natural gas and could result in natural gas being available at a lower cost than imported LNG.

Political instability in foreign countries that import or export natural gas, or strained relations between such countries and the United States, may also impede the willingness or ability of LNG purchasers or suppliers and merchants in such countries to import or export LNG from or to the United States. Furthermore, some foreign purchasers or suppliers of LNG may have economic or other reasons to obtain their LNG from, or direct their LNG to, non-U.S. markets or from or to our competitors’ liquefaction or regasification facilities in the United States.


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In addition to natural gas, LNG also competes with other sources of energy, including coal, oil, nuclear, hydroelectric, wind and solar energy. LNG from the SPL Project and the CCL Project also competes with other sources of LNG, including LNG that is priced to indices other than Henry Hub. Some of these sources of energy may be available at a lower cost than LNG from the SPL Project and the CCL Project in certain markets. The cost of LNG supplies from the United States, including the SPL Project and the CCL Project, may also be impacted by an increase in natural gas prices in the United States.
 
As a result of these and other factors, LNG may not be a competitive source of energy in the United States or internationally. The failure of LNG to be a competitive supply alternative to local natural gas, oil and other alternative energy sources in markets accessible to our customers could adversely affect the ability of our customers to deliver LNG from the United States or to the United States on a commercial basis. Any significant impediment to the ability to deliver LNG to or from the United States generally, or to the Sabine Pass LNG terminal or from the SPL Project and the CCL Project specifically, could have a material adverse effect on our customers and on our business, contracts, financial condition, operating results, cash flow, liquidity and prospects.
 
Various economic and political factors could negatively affect the development, construction and operation of LNG facilities, including the SPL Project, the CCL Project and expansion projects, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, contracts, financial condition, operating results, cash flow, liquidity and prospects.

Commercial development of an LNG facility takes a number of years, requires a substantial capital investment and may be delayed by factors such as:
increased construction costs;
economic downturns, increases in interest rates or other events that may affect the availability of sufficient financing for LNG projects on commercially reasonable terms;
decreases in the price of LNG, which might decrease the expected returns relating to investments in LNG projects;
the inability of project owners or operators to obtain governmental approvals to construct or operate LNG facilities;
political unrest or local community resistance to the siting of LNG facilities due to safety, environmental or security concerns; and
any significant explosion, spill or similar incident involving an LNG facility or LNG vessel.

There may be shortages of LNG vessels worldwide, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, contracts, financial condition, operating results, cash flow, liquidity and prospects.

The construction and delivery of LNG vessels require significant capital and long construction lead times, and the availability of the vessels could be delayed to the detriment of our business and our customers because of:
an inadequate number of shipyards constructing LNG vessels and a backlog of orders at these shipyards;
political or economic disturbances in the countries where the vessels are being constructed;
changes in governmental regulations or maritime self-regulatory organizations;
work stoppages or other labor disturbances at the shipyards;
bankruptcy or other financial crisis of shipbuilders;
quality or engineering problems;
weather interference or a catastrophic event, such as a major earthquake, tsunami or fire; and
shortages of or delays in the receipt of necessary construction materials.
We may not be able to secure firm pipeline transportation capacity on economic terms that is sufficient to meet our feed gas transportation requirements, which could have a material adverse effect on us.

We have contracted for firm capacity for our natural gas feedstock transportation requirements for Trains 1 through 5 of the SPL Project and Trains 1 through 3 of the CCL Project.  We cannot control the regulatory and permitting approvals or third parties’ construction times. If and when we need to replace one or more of our agreements with these interconnecting pipelines, we may

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not be able to do so on commercially reasonable terms or at all, which could impair our ability to fulfill our obligations under certain of our SPAs and could have a material adverse effect on our business, contracts, financial condition, operating results, cash flow, liquidity and prospects.

We face competition based upon the international market price for LNG.
    
Our liquefaction projects are subject to the risk of LNG price competition at times when we need to replace any existing SPA, whether due to natural expiration, default or otherwise, or enter into new SPAs. Factors relating to competition may prevent us from entering into a new or replacement SPA on economically comparable terms as existing SPAs, or at all. Such an event could have a material adverse effect on our business, contracts, financial condition, operating results, cash flow, liquidity and prospects. Factors which may negatively affect potential demand for LNG from our liquefaction projects are diverse and include, among others:
increases in worldwide LNG production capacity and availability of LNG for market supply;
increases in demand for LNG but at levels below those required to maintain current price equilibrium with respect to supply;
increases in the cost to supply natural gas feedstock to our liquefaction projects;
decreases in the cost of competing sources of natural gas or alternate fuels such as coal, heavy fuel oil and diesel;
decreases in the price of non-U.S. LNG, including decreases in price as a result of contracts indexed to lower oil prices;
increases in capacity and utilization of nuclear power and related facilities; and
displacement of LNG by pipeline natural gas or alternate fuels in locations where access to these energy sources is not currently available.
Terrorist attacks, cyber incidents or military campaigns may adversely impact our business.

A terrorist attack, cyber incident or military incident involving an LNG facility, our infrastructure or an LNG vessel may result in delays in, or cancellation of, construction of new LNG facilities, including one or more of the Trains, which would increase our costs and decrease our cash flows. A terrorist incident or cyber incident may also result in temporary or permanent closure of our existing facilities, which could increase our costs and decrease our cash flows, depending on the duration and timing of the closure. Our operations could also become subject to increased governmental scrutiny that may result in additional security measures at a significant incremental cost to us. In addition, the threat of terrorism and the impact of military campaigns may lead to continued volatility in prices for natural gas that could adversely affect our business and our customers, including their ability to satisfy their obligations to us under our commercial agreements. Instability in the financial markets as a result of terrorism, cyber incidents or war could also materially adversely affect our ability to raise capital. The continuation of these developments may subject our construction and our operations to increased risks, as well as increased costs, and, depending on their ultimate magnitude, could have a material adverse effect on our business, contracts, financial condition, operating results, cash flow, liquidity and prospects.

Risks Relating to Our Business in General
 
We are subject to significant operating hazards and uninsured risks, one or more of which may create significant liabilities and losses for us.

The construction and operation of our LNG terminals and our pipelines are, and will be, subject to the inherent risks associated with these types of operations, including explosions, pollution, release of toxic substances, fires, hurricanes and adverse weather conditions and other hazards, each of which could result in significant delays in commencement or interruptions of operations and/or in damage to or destruction of our facilities or damage to persons and property. In addition, our operations and the facilities and vessels of third parties on which our operations are dependent face possible risks associated with acts of aggression or terrorism.
 
We do not, nor do we intend to, maintain insurance against all of these risks and losses. We may not be able to maintain desired or required insurance in the future at rates that we consider reasonable. The occurrence of a significant event not fully insured or indemnified against could have a material adverse effect on our business, contracts, financial condition, operating results, cash flow, liquidity and prospects. 

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Existing and future environmental and similar laws and governmental regulations could result in increased compliance costs or additional operating costs or construction costs and restrictions.
    
Our business is and will be subject to extensive federal, state and local laws, rules and regulations applicable to our construction and operation activities relating to, among other things, air quality, water quality, waste management, natural resources, and health and safety. Many of these laws and regulations, such as the CAA, the Oil Pollution Act, the CWA and the RCRA, and analogous state laws and regulations, restrict or prohibit the types, quantities and concentration of substances that can be released into the environment in connection with the construction and operation of our facilities, and require us to maintain permits and provide governmental authorities with access to our facilities for inspection and reports related to our compliance. In addition, certain laws and regulations authorize regulators having jurisdiction over our LNG terminals and pipelines, including FERC and PHMSA, to issue compliance orders, which may restrict or limit operations or increase compliance or operating costs. Violation of these laws and regulations could lead to substantial liabilities, fines and penalties or to capital expenditures that could have a material adverse effect on our business, contracts, financial condition, operating results, cash flow, liquidity and prospects. Federal and state laws impose liability, without regard to fault or the lawfulness of the original conduct, for the release of certain types or quantities of hazardous substances into the environment. As the owner and operator of our facilities, we could be liable for the costs of cleaning up hazardous substances released into the environment at or from our facilities and for resulting damage to natural resources.
    
In October 2015, the EPA promulgated a final rule to implement the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan, which is designed to reduce GHG emissions from power plants in the United States.  In February 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court stayed the final rule, effectively suspending the duty to comply with the rule until certain legal challenges are resolved. On October 10, 2017, EPA issued a proposal to repeal the Clean Power Plan after concluding the October 2015 final rule exceeds EPA’s statutory authority under the CAA. In August 2018, the EPA proposed the Affordable Clean Energy rule as a replacement for the Clean Power Plan, which requires states to develop plans to implement certain performance standards within three years after the Final Rule is published in the Federal Register. The Trump Administration announced in June 2017 that the United States would withdraw from the Paris Accord, an international agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change under which the Obama Administration committed the United States to reducing its economy-wide GHG emission by 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2025. Other federal and state initiatives may be considered in the future to address GHG emissions through, for example, United States treaty commitments, direct regulation, a carbon emissions tax, or cap-and-trade programs. Such initiatives could affect the demand for or cost of natural gas, which we consume at our terminals, or could increase compliance costs for our operations.
    
Other future legislation and regulations, such as those relating to the transportation and security of LNG imported to or exported from our terminals, could cause additional expenditures, restrictions and delays in our business and to our proposed construction, the extent of which cannot be predicted and which may require us to limit substantially, delay or cease operations in some circumstances. Revised, reinterpreted or additional laws and regulations that result in increased compliance costs or additional operating or construction costs and restrictions could have a material adverse effect on our business, contracts, financial condition, operating results, cash flow, liquidity and prospects.

A major health and safety incident relating to our business could be costly in terms of potential liabilities and reputational damages.

Health and safety performance is critical to the success of all areas of our business. Any failure in health and safety performance may result in personal harm or injury, penalties for non-compliance with relevant regulatory requirements or litigation, and a failure that results in a significant health and safety incident is likely to be costly in terms of potential liabilities. Such a failure could generate public concern and have a corresponding impact on our reputation and our relationships with relevant regulatory agencies and local communities, which in turn could have a material adverse effect on our business, contracts, financial condition, operating results, cash flow, liquidity and prospects.
 
We may experience increased labor costs, and the unavailability of skilled workers or our failure to attract and retain qualified personnel could adversely affect us. In addition, changes in our senior management or other key personnel could affect our business results.
 
We are dependent upon the available labor pool of skilled employees. We compete with other energy companies and other employers to attract and retain qualified personnel with the technical skills and experience required to construct and operate our

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facilities and pipelines and to provide our customers with the highest quality service. Our affiliates who hire personnel on our behalf are also subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act, which governs such matters as minimum wage, overtime and other working conditions. A shortage in the labor pool of skilled workers or other general inflationary pressures or changes in applicable laws and regulations could make it more difficult for us to attract and retain qualified personnel and could require an increase in the wage and benefits packages that we offer, thereby increasing our operating costs. Any increase in our operating costs could materially and adversely affect our business, contracts, financial condition, operating results, cash flow, liquidity and prospects.
 
We depend on our executive officers for various activities. We do not maintain key person life insurance policies on any of our personnel. Although we have arrangements relating to compensation and benefits with certain of our executive officers, we do not have any employment contracts or other agreements with key personnel other than our employment agreement with our President and Chief Executive Officer binding them to provide services for any particular term. The loss of the services of any of these individuals could have a material adverse effect on our business.
 
Our lack of diversification could have an adverse effect on our business, contracts, financial condition, operating results, cash flow, liquidity and prospects.
 
Substantially all of our anticipated revenue in 2019 will be dependent upon our two facilities, the Sabine Pass LNG terminal located in southern Louisiana and the Corpus Christi LNG terminal in Texas. Due to our lack of asset and geographic diversification, an adverse development at the Sabine Pass LNG terminal or the Corpus Christi LNG terminal, including the related pipelines, or in the LNG industry, would have a significantly greater impact on our financial condition and operating results than if we maintained more diverse assets and operating areas.

We may incur impairments to goodwill or long-lived assets.
 
We test our long-lived assets for impairment whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount of these assets may not be recoverable. We test goodwill for impairment annually during the fourth quarter, or more frequently as circumstances dictate. Significant negative industry or economic trends, including a significant decline in the market price of our common stock, reduced estimates of future cash flows for our business or disruptions to our business could lead to an impairment charge of our long-lived assets, including goodwill. Our valuation methodology for assessing impairment requires management to make judgments and assumptions based on historical experience and to rely heavily on projections of future operating performance. Projections of future operating results and cash flows may vary significantly from results. In addition, if our analysis results in an impairment to our goodwill or long-lived assets, we may be required to record a charge to earnings in our Consolidated Financial Statements during a period in which such impairment is determined to exist, which may negatively impact our operating results.

The market price of our common stock has fluctuated significantly in the past and is likely to fluctuate in the future. Our stockholders could lose all or part of their investment.

The market price of our common stock has historically experienced and may continue to experience volatility. For example, during the three-year period ended December 31, 2018, the market price of our common stock ranged between $22.80 and $71.03. Such fluctuations may continue as a result of a variety of factors, some of which are beyond our control, including:
domestic and worldwide supply of and demand for natural gas and corresponding fluctuations in the price of natural gas;
fluctuations in our quarterly or annual financial results or those of other companies in our industry;
issuance of additional equity securities which causes further dilution to stockholders;
sales of a high volume of shares of our common stock by our stockholders;
operating and stock price performance of companies that investors deem comparable to us;
events affecting other companies that the market deems comparable to us;
changes in government regulation or proposals applicable to us;
actual or potential non-performance by any customer or a counterparty under any agreement;
announcements made by us or our competitors of significant contracts;

30


changes in accounting standards, policies, guidance, interpretations or principles;
general conditions in the industries in which we operate;
general economic conditions;
the failure of securities analysts to cover our common stock or changes in financial or other estimates by analysts; and
other factors described in these “Risk Factors.”

In addition, the United States securities markets have experienced significant price and volume fluctuations. These fluctuations have often been unrelated to the operating performance of companies in these markets. Market fluctuations and broad market, economic and industry factors may negatively affect the price of our common stock, regardless of our operating performance. If we were to be the object of securities class litigation as a result of volatility in our common stock price or for other reasons, it could result in substantial diversion of our management’s attention and resources, which could negatively affect our financial results.

ITEM 1B.
UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS
 
None.

ITEM 3.    LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

We may in the future be involved as a party to various legal proceedings, which are incidental to the ordinary course of business. We regularly analyze current information and, as necessary, provide accruals for probable liabilities on the eventual disposition of these matters.

LDEQ Matter

Certain of our subsidiaries are in discussions with the LDEQ to resolve self-reported deviations arising from operation of the Sabine Pass LNG terminal and the commissioning of the SPL Project, and relating to certain requirements under its Title V Permit. The matter involves deviations self-reported to LDEQ pursuant to the Title V Permit and covering the time period from January 1, 2012 through March 25, 2016. On April 11, 2016, certain of our subsidiaries received a Consolidated Compliance Order and Notice of Potential Penalty (the “Compliance Order”) from LDEQ covering deviations self-reported during that time period. Certain of our subsidiaries continue to work with LDEQ to resolve the matters identified in the Compliance Order. We do not expect that any ultimate sanction will have a material adverse impact on our financial results.

PHMSA Matters

In February 2018, PHMSA issued a Corrective Action Order (the “CAO”) to SPL in connection with a minor LNG leak from one tank and minor vapor release from a second tank at the Sabine Pass LNG terminal.  These two tanks have been taken out of operational service while we conduct analysis, repair and remediation. On April 20, 2018, SPL and PHMSA executed a Consent Agreement and Order (the “Consent Order”) that replaces and supersedes the CAO.  We continue to work with PHMSA and other appropriate regulatory authorities to address the matters identified in the Consent Order. We do not expect that the Consent Order and related analysis, repair and remediation will have a material adverse impact on our financial results or operations.

In February 2018, PHMSA issued a Notice of Probable Violation, Proposed Civil Penalty and Proposed Compliance Order (“the NOPV”) to CCP alleging probable violations of federal pipeline safety regulations relating to welding during the construction of the pipeline and proposes civil penalties totaling $0.2 million. We worked with PHMSA to address the matters in the NOPV.  In September 2018, PHMSA withdrew the proposed civil penalty and NOPV and closed the case citing no further safety concern regarding the welds at CCP.   

Parallax Litigation

In 2015, our wholly owned subsidiary, Cheniere LNG Terminals, LLC (“CLNGT”), entered into discussions with Parallax Enterprises, LLC (“Parallax Enterprises”) regarding the potential joint development of two liquefaction plants in Louisiana (the “Potential Liquefaction Transactions”). While the parties negotiated regarding the Potential Liquefaction Transactions, CLNGT

31


loaned Parallax Enterprises approximately $46 million, as reflected in a secured note dated April 23, 2015, as amended on June 30, 2015, September 30, 2015 and November 4, 2015 (the “Secured Note”). The Secured Note was secured by all assets of Parallax Enterprises and its subsidiary entities. On June 30, 2015, Parallax Enterprises’ parent entity, Parallax Energy LLC (“Parallax Energy”), executed a Pledge and Guarantee Agreement further securing repayment of the Secured Note by providing a parent guaranty and a pledge of all of the equity of Parallax Enterprises in satisfaction of the Secured Note (the “Pledge Agreement”). CLNGT and Parallax Enterprises never executed a definitive agreement to pursue the Potential Liquefaction Transactions. The Secured Note matured on December 11, 2015, and Parallax Enterprises failed to make payment. On February 3, 2016, CLNGT filed an action against Parallax Energy, Parallax Enterprises and certain of Parallax Enterprises’ subsidiary entities, styled Cause No. 4:16-cv-00286, Cheniere LNG Terminals, LLC v. Parallax Energy LLC, et al., in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas (the “Texas Federal Suit”). CLNGT asserted claims in the Texas Federal Suit for (1) recovery of all amounts due under the Secured Note and (2) declaratory relief establishing that CLNGT is entitled to enforce its rights under the Secured Note and Pledge Agreement in accordance with each instrument’s terms and that CLNGT has no obligations of any sort to Parallax Enterprises concerning the Potential Liquefaction Transactions. On March 11, 2016, Parallax Enterprises and the other defendants in the Texas Federal Suit moved to dismiss the suit for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. On August 2, 2016, the court denied the defendants’ motion to dismiss without prejudice and permitted the parties to pursue jurisdictional discovery.

On March 11, 2016, Parallax Enterprises filed a suit against us and CLNGT styled Civil Action No. 62-810, Parallax Enterprises LLP v. Cheniere Energy, Inc. and Cheniere LNG Terminals, LLC, in the 25th Judicial District Court of Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana (the “Louisiana Suit”), wherein Parallax Enterprises asserted claims for breach of contract, fraudulent inducement, negligent misrepresentation, detrimental reliance, unjust enrichment and violation of the Louisiana Unfair Trade Practices Act. Parallax Enterprises predicated its claims in the Louisiana Suit on an allegation that we and CLNGT breached a purported agreement to jointly develop the Potential Liquefaction Transactions. Parallax Enterprises sought $400 million in alleged economic damages and rescission of the Secured Note. On April 15, 2016, we and CLNGT removed the Louisiana Suit to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, which subsequently transferred the Louisiana Suit to the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, where it was assigned Civil Action No. 4:16-cv-01628 and transferred to the same judge presiding over the Texas Federal Suit for coordinated handling. On August 22, 2016, Parallax Enterprises voluntarily dismissed all claims asserted against CLNGT and us in the Louisiana Suit without prejudice to refiling.

On July 27, 2017, the Parallax entities named as defendants in the Texas Federal Suit reurged their motion to dismiss and simultaneously filed counterclaims against CLNGT and third party claims against us for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, promissory estoppel, quantum meruit and fraudulent inducement of the Secured Note and Pledge Agreement, based on substantially the same factual allegations Parallax Enterprises made in the Louisiana Suit. These Parallax entities also simultaneously filed an action styled Cause No. 2017-49685, Parallax Enterprises, LLC, et al. v. Cheniere Energy, Inc., et al., in the 61st District Court of Harris County, Texas (the “Texas State Suit”), which asserts substantially the same claims these entities asserted in the Texas Federal Suit. On July 31, 2017, CLNGT withdrew its opposition to the dismissal of the Texas Federal Suit without prejudice on jurisdictional grounds and the federal court subsequently dismissed the Texas Federal Suit without prejudice. We and CLNGT simultaneously filed an answer and counterclaims in the Texas State Suit, asserting the same claims CLNGT had previously asserted in the Texas Federal Suit. Additionally, CLNGT filed third party claims against Parallax principals Martin Houston, Christopher Bowen Daniels, Howard Candelet and Mark Evans, as well as Tellurian Investments, Inc., Driftwood LNG, LLC, Driftwood LNG Pipeline LLC and Tellurian Services LLC, formerly known as Parallax Services LLC, including claims for tortious interference with CLNGT’s collateral rights under the Secured Note and Pledge Agreement, fraudulent transfer, conspiracy/aiding and abetting. Discovery in the Texas State Suit is ongoing. Trial is currently set for June 2019.
 
On February 15, 2019, we filed an action with CLNGT against Charif Souki, our former Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, styled, Cause No. 2019-11529, Cheniere Energy, Inc. and Cheniere LNG Terminals, LLC v. Charif Souki, in the 55th District Court of Harris County, Texas, which asserts claims of breach of fiduciary duties, fraudulent transfer, tortious interference with CLNGT’s collateral rights under the Secured Note and Pledge Agreement, and conspiracy/aiding and abetting.

We do not expect that the resolution of any of the foregoing litigation will have a material adverse impact on our financial results.

ITEM 4.
MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURE

Not applicable.


32


PART II

ITEM 5.
MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER

Market Information, Holders and Dividends
 
Our common stock has traded on the NYSE American under the symbol “LNG” since March 24, 2003. As of February 20, 2019, we had 257.4 million shares of common stock outstanding held by 109 record owners.
 
We have never paid a cash dividend on our common stock. We currently intend to retain earnings to finance the growth and development of our business and plan to communicate capital allocation policy decisions during 2019. Any future change in our dividend policy will be made at the discretion of our Board of Directors (our “Board”) in light of our financial condition, capital requirements, earnings, prospects and any restrictions under any financing agreements, as well as other factors our Board deems relevant.

Purchase of Equity Securities by the Issuer and Affiliated Purchasers

The following table summarizes stock repurchases for the three months ended December 31, 2018:
Period
 
Total Number of Shares Purchased (1)
 
Average Price Paid Per Share (2)
 
Total Number of Shares Purchased as a Part of Publicly Announced Plans
 
Maximum Number of Units That May Yet Be Purchased Under the Plans
October 1 - 31, 2018
 
133,205
 
$65.85
 
 
November 1 - 30, 2018
 
14,623
 
$61.65
 
 
December 1 - 31, 2018
 
1,108
 
$61.37
 
 
 
(1)
Represents shares surrendered to us by participants in our share-based compensation plans to settle the participants’ personal tax liabilities that resulted from the lapsing of restrictions on shares awarded to the participants under these plans.
(2)
The price paid per share was based on the closing trading price of our common stock on the dates on which we repurchased shares from the participants under our share-based compensation plans.

For additional information, see Note 15—Share-Based Compensation of our Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements under Item 8 of this Form 10-K.

33



Total Stockholder Return
 
The following is a customized peer group consisting of 29 companies (the “New Peer Group”) that were selected because they are publicly traded companies that have: (1) comparable Global Industries Classification Standards, (2) similar market capitalization, (3) similar enterprise values and (4) similar operating characteristics and capital intensity:
New Peer Group
Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. (APD)
 
Kinder Morgan, Inc. (KMI)
Anadarko Petroleum Corporation (APC)
 
LyondellBasell Industries N.V. (LYB)
Andeavor (ANDV)
 
Marathon Oil Corporation (MRO)
Apache Corporation (APA)
 
Marathon Petroleum Corporation (MPC)
Baker Hughes, a GE company (BHGE)
 
Noble Energy, Inc. (NBL)
Concho Resources Inc. (CXO)
 
Occidental Petroleum Corporation (OXY)
ConocoPhillips (COP)
 
ONEOK, Inc. (OKE)
Continental Resources, Inc. (CLR)
 
Phillips 66 (PSX)
Devon Energy Corporation (DVN)
 
Pioneer Natural Resources Company (PXD)
Enterprise Products Partners L.P. (EPD)
 
Praxair, Inc. (PX)
EOG Resources, Inc. (EOG)
 
Schlumberger Limited (SLB)
EQT Corporation (EQT)
 
Suncor Energy Inc. (SU)
Freeport-McMoRan Inc. (FCX)
 
Valero Energy Corporation (VLO)
Halliburton Company (HAL)
 
The Williams Companies, Inc. (WMB)
Hess Corporation (HES)
 
 

The New Peer Group companies were revised during 2018. Our previous peer group consisted of the following 17 companies (the “Old Peer Group”):
Old Peer Group
Ameren Corporation (AEE)
 
PG&E Corporation (PCG)
Calpine Corp. (CPN)
 
Public Service Enterprise Group Inc. (PEG)
CMS Energy Corp. (CMS)
 
Sempra Energy (SRE)
Dominion Resources, Inc. (D)
 
 Targa Resources Corp. (TRGP)
DTE Energy Company (DTE)
 
TransCanada Corporation (TRP)
Dynegy Inc. (DYN)
 
MarkWest Energy Partners, L.P. (MWE)
Enterprise Products Partners L.P. (EPD)
 
Spectra Energy Corp (SE)
Magellan Midstream Partners, L.P. (MMP)
 
Enbridge (ENB)
ONEOK, Inc. (OKE)
 
 

The following graph compares the five-year total return on our common stock, the S&P 500 Index, the New Peer Group and the Old Peer Group. The graph was constructed on the assumption that $100 was invested in our common stock, the S&P 500 Index, the New Peer Group and the Old Peer Group on December 31, 2013 and that any dividends were fully reinvested.
Company / Index
 
2013
 
2014
 
2015
 
2016
 
2017
 
2018
Cheniere Energy, Inc.
 
100.00

 
163.27

 
86.39

 
96.08

 
124.86

 
137.27

S&P 500 Index
 
100.00

 
113.69

 
115.26

 
129.05

 
157.22

 
150.33

New Peer Group
 
100.00

 
96.50

 
77.10

 
105.03

 
109.89

 
86.74

Old Peer Group
 
100.00

 
121.50

 
98.35

 
120.50

 
126.61

 
116.16





34


peergroupa01.jpg

ITEM 6.
SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA
 
Selected financial data set forth below are derived from our audited Consolidated Financial Statements for the periods indicated (in millions, except per share data). The financial data should be read in conjunction with Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations and our Consolidated Financial Statements and the accompanying notes thereto included elsewhere in this report.
 
 
Year Ended December 31,
 
 
2018
 
2017
 
2016
 
2015
 
2014
Revenues
 
$
7,987

 
$
5,601

 
$
1,283

 
$
271

 
$
268

Income (loss) from operations
 
2,024

 
1,388

 
(30
)
 
(449
)
 
(272
)
Interest expense, net of capitalized interest
 
(875
)
 
(747
)
 
(488
)
 
(322
)
 
(181
)
Net income (loss) attributable to common stockholders
 
471

 
(393
)
 
(610
)
 
(975
)
 
(548
)
Net income (loss) per share attributable to common stockholders—basic
 
$
1.92

 
$
(1.68
)
 
$
(2.67
)
 
$
(4.30
)
 
$
(2.44
)
Net income (loss) per share attributable to common stockholders—diluted
 
$
1.90

 
$
(1.68
)
 
$
(2.67
)
 
$
(4.30
)
 
$
(2.44
)
Weighted average number of common shares outstanding—basic
 
245.6

 
233.1

 
228.8

 
226.9

 
224.3

Weighted average number of common shares outstanding—diluted
 
248.0

 
233.1

 
228.8

 
226.9

 
224.3


 
 
December 31,
 
 
2018
 
2017
 
2016
 
2015
 
2014
Property, plant and equipment, net
 
$
27,245

 
$
23,978

 
$
20,635

 
$
16,194

 
$
9,247

Total assets
 
31,987

 
27,906

 
23,703

 
18,809

 
12,433

Current debt, net
 
239

 

 
247

 
1,673

 

Long-term debt, net
 
28,179

 
25,336

 
21,688

 
14,920

 
9,665



35


ITEM 7.
MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
 
Introduction
 
The following discussion and analysis presents management’s view of our business, financial condition and overall performance and should be read in conjunction with our Consolidated Financial Statements and the accompanying notes. This information is intended to provide investors with an understanding of our past performance, current financial condition and outlook for the future. Our discussion and analysis includes the following subjects: 
Overview of Business 
Overview of Significant Events 
Liquidity and Capital Resources
Contractual Obligations
Results of Operations 
Off-Balance Sheet Arrangements  
Summary of Critical Accounting Estimates 
Recent Accounting Standards

Overview of Business
 
Cheniere, a Delaware corporation, is a Houston-based energy company primarily engaged in LNG-related businesses. Our vision is to provide clean, secure and affordable energy to the world, while responsibly delivering a reliable, competitive and integrated source of LNG, in a safe and rewarding work environment. We own and operate the Sabine Pass LNG terminal in Louisiana through our ownership interest in and management agreements with Cheniere Partners, which is a publicly traded limited partnership that we created in 2007. As of December 31, 2018, we owned 100% of the general partner interest and 48.6% of the limited partner interest in Cheniere Partners. We are currently developing and constructing two natural gas liquefaction and export facilities. The liquefaction of natural gas into LNG allows it to be shipped economically from areas of the world where natural gas is abundant and inexpensive to produce to other areas where natural gas demand and infrastructure exist to economically justify the use of LNG.

The Sabine Pass LNG terminal is located in Cameron Parish, Louisiana, on the Sabine-Neches Waterway less than four miles from the Gulf Coast. Cheniere Partners is developing, constructing and operating natural gas liquefaction facilities (the “SPL Project”) at the Sabine Pass LNG terminal adjacent to the existing regasification facilities through a wholly owned subsidiary, SPL. Cheniere Partners plans to construct up to six Trains, which are in various stages of development, construction and operations. Trains 1 through 4 are operational, Train 5 is undergoing commissioning and Train 6 is being commercialized and has all necessary regulatory approvals in place. Each Train is expected to have a nominal production capacity, which is prior to adjusting for planned maintenance, production reliability, potential overdesign and debottlenecking opportunities, of approximately 4.5 mtpa of LNG per Train, and run rate adjusted nominal production capacity of approximately 4.5 to 4.9 mtpa of LNG per Train. The Sabine Pass LNG terminal has operational regasification facilities owned by Cheniere Partners’ wholly owned subsidiary, SPLNG, that include pre-existing infrastructure of five LNG storage tanks with aggregate capacity of approximately 16.9 Bcfe, two marine berths that can each accommodate vessels with nominal capacity of up to 266,000 cubic meters and vaporizers with regasification capacity of approximately 4.0 Bcf/d. Cheniere Partners also owns a 94-mile pipeline that interconnects the Sabine Pass LNG terminal with a number of large interstate pipelines (the “Creole Trail Pipeline”) through a wholly owned subsidiary, CTPL.

We are developing and constructing a second natural gas liquefaction and export facility at the Corpus Christi LNG terminal near Corpus Christi, Texas, and operate a 23-mile natural gas supply pipeline that interconnects the Corpus Christi LNG terminal with several interstate and intrastate natural gas pipelines (the “Corpus Christi Pipeline” and together with the liquefaction facilities, the “CCL Project”) through our wholly owned subsidiaries CCL and CCP, respectively. The CCL Project is being developed in stages with the first phase being three Trains (“Phase 1”), with expected aggregate nominal production capacity, which is prior to adjusting for planned maintenance, production reliability, potential overdesign and debottlenecking opportunities, of approximately 13.5 mtpa of LNG, three LNG storage tanks with aggregate capacity of approximately 10.1 Bcfe and two marine berths that can each accommodate vessels with nominal capacity of up to 266,000 cubic meters. The first stage (“Stage 1”) includes Trains 1 and

36


2, two LNG storage tanks, one complete marine berth and a second partial berth and all of the CCL Project’s necessary infrastructure facilities. The second stage (“Stage 2”) includes Train 3, one LNG storage tank and the completion of the second partial berth. Trains 1 and 2 are undergoing commissioning and Train 3 is under construction.

Additionally, separate from the CCH Group, we are developing an expansion of the Corpus Christi LNG terminal adjacent to the CCL Project (“Corpus Christi Stage 3”) and filed an application with FERC in June 2018 for seven midscale Trains with an expected aggregate nominal production capacity of approximately 9.5 mtpa and one LNG storage tank.

We remain focused on expansion of our existing sites by leveraging existing infrastructure. We are also in various stages of developing other projects, including infrastructure projects in support of natural gas supply and LNG demand, which, among other things, will require acceptable commercial and financing arrangements before we make a final investment decision (“FID”). We have made an equity investment in Midship Holdings, LLC (“Midship Holdings”), which manages the business and affairs of Midship Pipeline Company, LLC (“Midship Pipeline”). Midship Pipeline is developing a pipeline (the “Midship Project”) with expected capacity of up to 1.44 million Dekatherms per day that will connect new gas production in the Anadarko Basin to Gulf Coast markets, including markets serving the SPL Project and the CCL Project. Construction of the Midship Project will commence based upon, among other things, obtaining the required authorization from the FERC and adequate financing to construct the proposed project.

Overview of Significant Events

Our significant accomplishments since January 1, 2018 and through the filing date of this Form 10-K include the following:
Strategic
In November 2018, SPL entered into an EPC contract with Bechtel Oil, Gas and Chemicals, Inc. (“Bechtel”) for Train 6 of the SPL Project. SPL also issued limited notices to proceed to Bechtel to commence early engineering, procurement and site works.
In May 2018, our board of directors made a positive FID with respect to Stage 2 of the CCL Project and issued a full notice to proceed to Bechtel under the EPC contract for Stage 2.
In June 2018, we filed an application with the FERC with respect to Corpus Christi Stage 3, consisting of seven midscale liquefaction Trains with an expected aggregate nominal production capacity of approximately 9.5 mtpa and one LNG storage tank.
We entered into the following agreements:
In December 2018, SPL entered into a 20-year SPA with PETRONAS LNG Ltd., subject to conditions precedent including FID of Train 6 of the SPL Project, for the sale of approximately 1.1 mtpa of LNG on a free on board (“FOB”) basis, with deliveries commencing following date of first commercial delivery for Train 6 of the SPL Project.
In November 2018, we entered into a 24-year SPA with Polish state-owned oil and gas company Polskie Gornictwo Naftowe i Gazownictwo S.A. for the sale of approximately 1.45 mtpa of LNG on a delivered ex-ship (“DES”) basis. Deliveries will commence in 2019, with the full annual quantity commencing in 2023.
In September 2018, we entered into a 15-year SPA with Vitol Inc. for the sale of approximately 0.7 mtpa of LNG beginning in 2018 on a FOB basis.
In August 2018, we entered into a 25-year SPA with CPC Corporation, Taiwan for the sale of approximately 2.0 mtpa of LNG beginning in 2021 on a DES basis.
In February 2018, we entered into two SPAs with PetroChina International Company Limited, a subsidiary of China National Petroleum Corporation, for the sale of approximately 1.2 mtpa of LNG through 2043 on both FOB and DES bases, with a portion of the supply beginning in 2018 and the balance beginning in 2023.
In January 2018, we entered into a 15-year SPA with Trafigura Pte Ltd for the sale of approximately 1.0 mtpa of LNG beginning in 2019 on a FOB basis.

37


Operational
As of February 20, 2019, over 575 cumulative LNG cargoes have been produced, loaded and exported from the SPL Project and the CCL Project, with more than 270 cargoes in 2018 alone from the SPL Project, with deliveries to 32 countries and regions worldwide.
In November 2018 and December 2018, SPL and CCL commenced production and shipment of LNG commissioning cargoes from Train 5 of the SPL Project and Train 1 of the CCL Project, respectively.
Financial
We completed the following debt transactions:
In December 2018, we amended and restated our existing revolving credit facility (“Cheniere Revolving Credit Facility”) to, among other changes, increase total commitments under the Cheniere Revolving Credit Facility to $1.25 billion, reduce the interest rate and extend the maturity date to December 2022. Borrowings will be used to fund the development of the CCL Project and, provided that certain conditions are met, for our general corporate purposes.
In September 2018, Cheniere Partners issued an aggregate principal amount of $1.1 billion of 5.625% Senior Notes due 2026 (the “2026 CQP Senior Notes”). Net proceeds of the offering of approximately $1.1 billion, after deducting commissions, fees and expenses, were used to prepay all of the outstanding indebtedness under Cheniere Partners’ credit facilities (the “CQP Credit Facilities”). As of December 31, 2018, only a $115 million revolving credit facility, which is currently undrawn, remains as part of the CQP Credit Facilities.
In June 2018, CCH amended and restated its working capital facility (“CCH Working Capital Facility”) to increase total commitments under the CCH Working Capital Facility to $1.2 billion. Borrowings will be used for certain working capital requirements related to developing and placing the CCL Project into operations and for related business purposes.
In May 2018, CCH amended and restated its existing credit facilities (the “CCH Credit Facility”) to increase total commitments under the CCH Credit Facility to $6.1 billion. Borrowings will be used to fund a portion of the costs of developing, constructing and placing into service the three Trains and the related facilities of the CCL Project and for related business purposes.
In September 2018, we closed the previously announced merger of Cheniere Holdings with our wholly owned subsidiary. As a result of the merger, all of the publicly-held shares of Cheniere Holdings not owned by us were canceled and shareholders received 0.4750 shares of our common stock for each publicly-held share of Cheniere Holdings.
We reached the following contractual milestones:
In June 2018, the date of first commercial delivery was reached under the 20-year SPA with BG Gulf Coast LNG, LLC (“BG”) relating to Train 3 of the SPL Project.
In March 2018, the date of first commercial delivery was reached under the 20-year SPA with GAIL (India) Limited (“GAIL”) relating to Train 4 of the SPL Project.

Liquidity and Capital Resources

Although results are consolidated for financial reporting, Cheniere, Cheniere Partners, SPL and the CCH Group operate with independent capital structures. We expect the cash needs for at least the next twelve months will be met for each of these independent capital structures as follows:
SPL through project debt and borrowings and operating cash flows;
Cheniere Partners through operating cash flows from SPLNG, SPL and CTPL and debt or equity offerings;
CCH Group through project debt and borrowings and equity contributions from Cheniere; and
Cheniere through project financing, existing unrestricted cash, debt and equity offerings by us or our subsidiaries, operating cash flows, services fees from Cheniere Partners and our other subsidiaries and distributions from our investment in Cheniere Partners.


38


The following table provides a summary of our liquidity position at December 31, 2018 and 2017 (in millions):
 
December 31,
 
2018
 
2017
Cash and cash equivalents
$
981

 
$
722

Restricted cash designated for the following purposes:
 
 
 
SPL Project
756

 
544

Cheniere Partners and cash held by guarantor subsidiaries
785

 
1,045

CCL Project
289

 
227

Other
345

 
75

Available commitments under the following credit facilities:
 
 
 
$1.2 billion SPL Working Capital Facility (“SPL Working Capital Facility”)
775

 
470

CQP Credit Facilities
115

 
220

CCH Credit Facility
982

 
2,087

CCH Working Capital Facility
716

 
186

$1.25 billion Cheniere Revolving Credit Facility
1,250

 
750

 
For additional information regarding our debt agreements, see Note 12—Debt of our Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.

Cheniere

Convertible Notes

In November 2014, we issued an aggregate principal amount of $1.0 billion of Convertible Unsecured Notes due 2021 (the “2021 Cheniere Convertible Unsecured Notes”). The 2021 Cheniere Convertible Unsecured Notes are convertible at the option of the holder into our common stock at the then applicable conversion rate, provided that the closing price of our common stock is greater than or equal to the conversion price on the date of conversion. In March 2015, we issued $625 million aggregate principal amount of 4.25% Convertible Senior Notes due 2045 (the “2045 Cheniere Convertible Senior Notes”). We have the right, at our option, at any time after March 15, 2020, to redeem all or any part of the 2045 Cheniere Convertible Senior Notes at a redemption price equal to the accreted amount of the 2045 Cheniere Convertible Senior Notes to be redeemed, plus accrued and unpaid interest, if any, to such redemption date. We have the option to satisfy the conversion obligation for the 2021 Cheniere Convertible Unsecured Notes and the 2045 Cheniere Convertible Senior Notes with cash, common stock or a combination thereof.

Cheniere Revolving Credit Facility

In December 2018, we amended and restated the Cheniere Revolving Credit Facility to increase total commitments under the Cheniere Revolving Credit Facility from $750 million to $1.25 billion. The Cheniere Revolving Credit Facility is intended to fund, through loans and letters of credit, equity capital contributions to CCH HoldCo II and its subsidiaries for the development of the CCL Project and, provided that certain conditions are met, for general corporate purposes.

The Cheniere Revolving Credit Facility matures on December 13, 2022 and contains representations, warranties and affirmative and negative covenants customary for companies like us with lenders of the type participating in the Cheniere Revolving Credit Facility that limit our ability to make restricted payments, including distributions, unless certain conditions are satisfied, as well as limitations on indebtedness, guarantees, hedging, liens, investments and affiliate transactions. Under the Cheniere Revolving Credit Facility, we are required to ensure that the sum of our unrestricted cash and the amount of undrawn commitments under the Cheniere Revolving Credit Facility is at least equal to the lesser of (1) 20% of the commitments under the Cheniere Revolving Credit Facility and (2) $200 million (the “Liquidity Covenant”).

From and after the time at which certain specified conditions are met (the “Trigger Point”), we will have increased flexibility under the Cheniere Revolving Credit Facility to, among other things, (1) make restricted payments and (2) raise incremental commitments. The Trigger Point will occur once (1) completion has occurred for each of Train 1 of the CCL Project (as defined in the CCH Indenture) and Train 5 of the SPL Project (as defined in SPL’s common terms agreement), (2) the aggregate principal amount of outstanding loans plus drawn and unreimbursed letters of credit under the Cheniere Revolving Credit Facility is less than or equal to 10% of aggregate commitments under the Cheniere Revolving Credit Facility and (3) we elect on a go-forward basis to be governed by a non-consolidated leverage ratio covenant not to exceed 5.75:1.00 (the “Springing Leverage Covenant”), which following such election will apply at any time that the aggregate principal amount of outstanding loans plus drawn and

39


unreimbursed letters of credit under the Cheniere Revolving Credit Facility is greater than 30% of aggregate commitments under the Cheniere Revolving Credit Facility. Following the Trigger Point, at any time that the Springing Leverage Covenant is in effect, the Liquidity Covenant will not apply.

The Cheniere Revolving Credit Facility is secured by a first priority security interest (subject to permitted liens and other customary exceptions) in substantially all of our assets, including our interests in our direct subsidiaries (excluding CCH HoldCo II and certain other subsidiaries).

Cash Receipts from Subsidiaries

Our ownership interest in the Sabine Pass LNG terminal is held through Cheniere Partners. As of December 31, 2018, we owned a 48.6% limited partner interest in Cheniere Partners in the form of 104.5 million common units and 135.4 million subordinated units. We also own 100% of the general partner interest and the incentive distribution rights in Cheniere Partners. We are eligible to receive quarterly equity distributions from Cheniere Partners related to our ownership interests and our incentive distribution rights.

We also receive fees for providing management services to some of our subsidiaries. We received $76 million, $106 million and $119 million in total service fees from these subsidiaries during the years ended December 31, 2018, 2017 and 2016, respectively.

Cheniere Partners

CQP Senior Notes

In September 2018, Cheniere Partners issued an aggregate principal amount of $1.1 billion of the 2026 CQP Senior Notes. The $1.5 billion of 5.250% Senior Notes due 2025 (the “2025 CQP Senior Notes”) and the 2026 CQP Senior Notes (collectively, the “CQP Senior Notes”) are jointly and severally guaranteed by each of Cheniere Partners’ subsidiaries other than SPL (the “CQP Guarantors”) and, subject to certain conditions governing its guarantee, Sabine Pass LP. The CQP Senior Notes are governed by the same base indenture (the “CQP Base Indenture”). The 2025 CQP Senior Notes are further governed by the First Supplemental Indenture (together with the CQP Base Indenture, the “2025 CQP Notes Indenture”) and the 2026 CQP Senior Notes are further governed by the Second Supplemental Indenture (together with the CQP Base Indenture, the “2026 CQP Notes Indenture”). The 2025 CQP Notes Indenture and the 2026 CQP Notes Indenture contain customary terms and events of default and certain covenants that, among other things, limit the ability of Cheniere Partners and the CQP Guarantors to incur liens and sell assets, enter into transactions with affiliates, enter into sale-leaseback transactions and consolidate, merge or sell, lease or otherwise dispose of all or substantially all of the applicable entity’s properties or assets.

At any time prior to October 1, 2020 for the 2025 CQP Senior Notes and October 1, 2021 for the 2026 CQP Senior Notes, Cheniere Partners may redeem all or a part of the applicable CQP Senior Notes at a redemption price equal to 100% of the aggregate principal amount of the CQP Senior Notes redeemed, plus the “applicable premium” set forth in the respective indentures governing the CQP Senior Notes, plus accrued and unpaid interest, if any, to the date of redemption. In addition, at any time prior to October 1, 2020 for the 2025 CQP Senior Notes and October 1, 2021 for the 2026 CQP Senior Notes, Cheniere Partners may redeem up to 35% of the aggregate principal amount of the CQP Senior Notes with an amount of cash not greater than the net cash proceeds from certain equity offerings at a redemption price equal to 105.250% of the aggregate principal amount of the 2025 CQP Senior Notes and 105.625% of the aggregate principal amount of the 2026 CQP Senior Notes redeemed, plus accrued and unpaid interest, if any, to the date of redemption. Cheniere Partners also may at any time on or after October 1, 2020 through the maturity date of October 1, 2025 for the 2025 CQP Senior Notes and October 1, 2021 through the maturity date of October 1, 2026 for the 2026 CQP Senior Notes, redeem the CQP Senior Notes, in whole or in part, at the redemption prices set forth in the respective indentures governing the CQP Senior Notes.

The CQP Senior Notes are Cheniere Partners’ senior obligations, ranking equally in right of payment with Cheniere Partners’ other existing and future unsubordinated debt and senior to any of its future subordinated debt. After applying the proceeds from the 2026 CQP Senior Notes, the CQP Senior Notes became unsecured. In the event that the aggregate amount of Cheniere Partners’ secured indebtedness and the secured indebtedness of the CQP Guarantors (other than the CQP Senior Notes or any other series of notes issued under the CQP Base Indenture) outstanding at any one time exceeds the greater of (1) $1.5 billion and (2) 10% of net tangible assets, the CQP Senior Notes will be secured to the same extent as such obligations under the CQP Credit Facilities. The obligations under the CQP Credit Facilities are secured on a first-priority basis (subject to permitted encumbrances) with liens on (1) substantially all the existing and future tangible and intangible assets and rights of Cheniere Partners and the CQP Guarantors

40


and equity interests in the CQP Guarantors (except, in each case, for certain excluded properties set forth in the CQP Credit Facilities) and (2) substantially all of the real property of SPLNG (except for excluded properties referenced in the CQP Credit Facilities). The liens securing the CQP Senior Notes, if applicable, will be shared equally and ratably (subject to permitted liens) with the holders of other senior secured obligations, which include the CQP Credit Facilities obligations and any future additional senior secured debt obligations.

CQP Credit Facilities

In February 2016, Cheniere Partners entered into the CQP Credit Facilities. The CQP Credit Facilities originally consisted of: (1) a $450 million CTPL tranche term loan that was used to prepay the $400 million term loan facility in February 2016, (2) an approximately $2.1 billion SPLNG tranche term loan that was used to repay and redeem in November 2016 the approximately $2.1 billion of the senior notes previously issued by SPLNG, (3) a $125 million facility that could be used to satisfy a six-month debt service reserve requirement and (4) a $115 million revolving credit facility that may be used for general business purposes. In September 2017 and September 2018, Cheniere Partners issued the 2025 CQP Senior Notes and the 2026 CQP Senior Notes, respectively, and the net proceeds were used to prepay the outstanding term loans under the CQP Credit Facilities. As of December 31, 2018, only a $115 million revolving credit facility, which is currently undrawn, remains as part of the CQP Credit Facilities.

The CQP Credit Facilities mature on February 25, 2020. Any outstanding balance may be repaid, in whole or in part, at any time without premium or penalty, except for interest hedging and interest rate breakage costs. The CQP Credit Facilities contain conditions precedent for extensions of credit, as well as customary affirmative and negative covenants and limit Cheniere Partners’ ability to make restricted payments, including distributions, to once per fiscal quarter as long as certain conditions are satisfied. Under the CQP Credit Facilities, Cheniere Partners is required to hedge not less than 50% of the variable interest rate exposure on its projected aggregate outstanding balance, maintain a minimum debt service coverage ratio of at least 1.15x at the end of each fiscal quarter beginning March 31, 2019 and have a projected debt service coverage ratio of 1.55x in order to incur additional indebtedness to refinance a portion of the existing obligations.

The CQP Credit Facilities are unconditionally guaranteed by each subsidiary of Cheniere Partners other than (1) SPL and (2) certain subsidiaries of Cheniere Partners owning other development projects, as well as certain other specified subsidiaries and members of the foregoing entities.

Sabine Pass LNG Terminal

Liquefaction Facilities

We are developing, constructing and operating the SPL Project at the Sabine Pass LNG terminal adjacent to the existing regasification facilities. We have received authorization from the FERC to site, construct and operate Trains 1 through 6. We have achieved substantial completion of Trains 1, 2, 3 and 4 of the SPL Project and commenced operating activities in May 2016, September 2016, March 2017 and October 2017, respectively. Train 5 of the SPL Project is undergoing commissioning and the following table summarizes the status as of December 31, 2018:
 
 
SPL Train 5
Overall project completion percentage
 
99.7%
Completion percentage of:
 
 
Engineering
 
100%
Procurement
 
100%
Subcontract work
 
98.0%
Construction
 
99.6%
Date of expected substantial completion
 
1Q 2019

The following orders have been issued by the DOE authorizing the export of domestically produced LNG by vessel from the Sabine Pass LNG terminal:
Trains 1 through 4—FTA countries for a 30-year term, which commenced on May 15, 2016, and non-FTA countries for a 20-year term, which commenced on June 3, 2016, in an amount up to a combined total of the equivalent of 16 mtpa (approximately 803 Bcf/yr of natural gas).

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Trains 1 through 4—FTA countries for a 25-year term and non-FTA countries for a 20-year term in an amount up to a combined total of the equivalent of approximately 203 Bcf/yr of natural gas (approximately 4 mtpa).
Trains 5 and 6—FTA countries and non-FTA countries for a 20-year term, in an amount up to a combined total of 503.3 Bcf/yr of natural gas (approximately 10 mtpa).

In each case, the terms of these authorizations begin on the earlier of the date of first export thereunder or the date specified in the particular order, which ranges from five to 10 years from the date the order was issued. In addition, SPL received an order providing for a three-year makeup period with respect to each of the non-FTA orders for LNG volumes SPL was authorized but unable to export during any portion of the initial 20-year export period of such order.

In January 2018, the DOE issued orders authorizing SPL to export domestically produced LNG by vessel from the Sabine Pass LNG terminal to FTA countries and non-FTA countries over a two-year period commencing January 2018, in an aggregate amount up to the equivalent of 600 Bcf of natural gas (however, exports under this order, when combined with exports under the orders above, may not exceed 1,509 Bcf/yr).

Customers

SPL has entered into fixed price SPAs with terms of at least 20 years (plus extension rights) with six third parties for Trains 1 through 5 of the SPL Project, to make available an aggregate amount of LNG that is between approximately 80% to 95% of the expected aggregate adjusted nominal production capacity from these Trains. Under these SPAs, the customers will purchase LNG from SPL for a price consisting of a fixed fee per MMBtu of LNG (a portion of which is subject to annual adjustment for inflation) plus a variable fee per MMBtu of LNG equal to approximately 115% of Henry Hub. In certain circumstances, the customers may elect to cancel or suspend deliveries of LNG cargoes, in which case the customers would still be required to pay the fixed fee with respect to the contracted volumes that are not delivered as a result of such cancellation or suspension. We refer to the fee component that is applicable regardless of a cancellation or suspension of LNG cargo deliveries under the SPAs as the fixed fee component of the price under SPL’s SPAs. We refer to the fee component that is applicable only in connection with LNG cargo deliveries as the variable fee component of the price under SPL’s SPAs. The variable fees under SPL’s SPAs were sized at the time of entry into each SPA with the intent to cover the costs of gas purchases and transportation related to, and operating and maintenance costs to produce, the LNG to be sold under each such SPA. The SPAs and contracted volumes to be made available under the SPAs are not tied to a specific Train; however, the term of each SPA generally commences upon the date of first commercial delivery of a specified Train. Under SPL’s SPA with BG, BG has contracted for volumes related to Trains 3 and 4, for which the obligation to make volumes related to Train 3 available to BG has commenced and the obligation to make volumes related to Train 4 available to BG is expected to commence approximately one year after the date of first commercial delivery under SPL’s SPA with GAIL for Train 4.

In aggregate, the annual fixed fee portion to be paid by the third-party SPA customers is approximately $2.2 billion for Trains 1 through 3 and the SPA with GAIL for Train 4, increasing to $2.3 billion upon the date of first commercial delivery of Train 4 under the SPA with BG and to $2.9 billion upon the date of first commercial delivery of Train 5, with the applicable fixed fees starting from the date of first commercial delivery from the applicable Train, as specified in each SPA.

In addition, Cheniere Marketing has entered into an SPA with SPL to purchase, at Cheniere Marketing’s option, any LNG produced by SPL in excess of that required for other customers.

Natural Gas Transportation, Storage and Supply

To ensure SPL is able to transport adequate natural gas feedstock to the Sabine Pass LNG terminal, it has entered into transportation precedent and other agreements to secure firm pipeline transportation capacity with CTPL and third-party pipeline companies. SPL has entered into firm storage services agreements with third parties to assist in managing variability in natural gas needs for the SPL Project. SPL has also entered into enabling agreements and long-term natural gas supply contracts with third parties in order to secure natural gas feedstock for the SPL Project. As of December 31, 2018, SPL had secured up to approximately 3,464 TBtu of natural gas feedstock through long-term and short-term natural gas supply contracts.

Construction

SPL entered into lump sum turnkey contracts with Bechtel for the engineering, procurement and construction of Trains 1 through 6 of the SPL Project, under which Bechtel charges a lump sum for all work performed and generally bears project cost

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risk unless certain specified events occur, in which case Bechtel may cause SPL to enter into a change order, or SPL agrees with Bechtel to a change order.

The total contract price of the EPC contract for Train 5 of the SPL Project is approximately $3.1 billion reflecting amounts incurred under change orders through December 31, 2018. Total expected capital costs for Trains 1 through 5 are estimated to be between $12.5 billion and $13.5 billion before financing costs and between $17.5 billion and $18.5 billion after financing costs including, in each case, estimated owner’s costs and contingencies. The total contract price of the EPC contract for Train 6 of the SPL Project is approximately $2.5 billion, including estimated costs for an optional third marine berth.
 
Final Investment Decision on Train 6

SPL has issued limited notices to proceed to Bechtel for the commencement of certain engineering, procurement and site works for Train 6 of the SPL Project and a schedule for completion has been established.  FID and full notice to proceed for Train 6 of the SPL Project will be contingent upon, among other things, entering into acceptable commercial arrangements and obtaining adequate financing to construct Train 6.

Regasification Facilities
 
The Sabine Pass LNG terminal has operational regasification capacity of approximately 4.0 Bcf/d and aggregate LNG storage capacity of approximately 16.9 Bcfe. Approximately 2.0 Bcf/d of the regasification capacity at the Sabine Pass LNG terminal has been reserved under two long-term third-party TUAs, under which SPLNG’s customers are required to pay fixed monthly fees, whether or not they use the LNG terminal.  Each of Total Gas & Power North America, Inc. (“Total”) and Chevron U.S.A. Inc. (“Chevron”) has reserved approximately 1.0 Bcf/d of regasification capacity and is obligated to make monthly capacity payments to SPLNG aggregating approximately $125 million annually for 20 years that commenced in 2009. Total S.A. has guaranteed Total’s obligations under its TUA up to $2.5 billion, subject to certain exceptions, and Chevron Corporation has guaranteed Chevron’s obligations under its TUA up to 80% of the fees payable by Chevron.

The remaining approximately 2.0 Bcf/d of capacity has been reserved under a TUA by SPL. SPL is obligated to make monthly capacity payments to SPLNG aggregating approximately $250 million annually, continuing until at least May 2036. SPL entered into a partial TUA assignment agreement with Total, whereby upon substantial completion of Train 3 of the SPL Project, SPL gained access to a portion of Total’s capacity and other services provided under Total’s TUA with SPLNG. Upon substantial completion of Train 5, SPL will gain access to substantially all of Total’s capacity.  This agreement provides SPL with additional berthing and storage capacity at the Sabine Pass LNG terminal that may be used to provide increased flexibility in managing LNG cargo loading and unloading activity, permit SPL to more flexibly manage its LNG storage capacity and accommodate the development of Trains 5 and 6. Notwithstanding any arrangements between Total and SPL, payments required to be made by Total to SPLNG will continue to be made by Total to SPLNG in accordance with its TUA. During the years ended December 31, 2018 and 2017, SPL recorded $30 million and $23 million, respectively, as operating and maintenance expense under this partial TUA assignment agreement.

Under each of these TUAs, SPLNG is entitled to retain 2% of the LNG delivered to the Sabine Pass LNG terminal.

Capital Resources

We currently expect that SPL’s capital resources requirements with respect to the SPL Project will be financed through project debt and borrowings and cash flows under the SPAs. We believe that with the net proceeds of borrowings, available commitments under the SPL Working Capital Facility and cash flows from operations, we will have adequate financial resources available to complete Train 5 of the SPL Project and to meet our currently anticipated capital, operating and debt service requirements. SPL began generating cash flows from operations from the SPL Project in May 2016, when Train 1 achieved substantial completion and initiated operating activities. Trains 2, 3 and 4 subsequently achieved substantial completion in September 2016, March 2017 and October 2017, respectively. We realized offsets to LNG terminal costs of $107 million, $320 million and $214 million in the years ended December 31, 2018, 2017 and 2016, respectively, that were related to the sale of commissioning cargoes because these amounts were earned or loaded prior to the start of commercial operations of the respective Train during the testing phase for its construction. Additionally, SPLNG generates cash flows from the TUAs, as discussed above.
    

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The following table provides a summary of our capital resources from borrowings and available commitments for the Sabine Pass LNG Terminal, excluding equity contributions to our subsidiaries and cash flows from operations (as described in Sources and Uses of Cash), at December 31, 2018 and 2017 (in millions):
 
 
December 31,
 
 
2018
 
2017
Senior notes (1)
 
$
16,250

 
$
15,150

Credit facilities outstanding balance (2)
 

 
1,090

Letters of credit issued (3)
 
425

 
730

Available commitments under credit facilities (3)
 
775

 
470

Total capital resources from borrowings and available commitments (4)
 
$
17,450

 
$
17,440

 
(1)
Includes SPL’s 5.625% Senior Secured Notes due 2021, 6.25% Senior Secured Notes due 2022, 5.625% Senior Secured Notes due 2023, 5.75% Senior Secured Notes due 2024, 5.625% Senior Secured Notes due 2025, 5.875% Senior Secured Notes due 2026 (the “2026 SPL Senior Notes”), 5.00% Senior Secured Notes due 2027 (the “2027 SPL Senior Notes”), 4.200% Senior Secured Notes due 2028 (the “2028 SPL Senior Notes”) and 5.00% Senior Secured Notes due 2037 (the “2037 SPL Senior Notes”) (collectively, the “SPL Senior Notes”) and Cheniere Partners’ 2025 CQP Senior Notes and 2026 CQP Senior Notes.
(2)
Includes outstanding balance under the SPL Working Capital Facility and CTPL and SPLNG tranche term loans outstanding under the CQP Credit Facilities.
(3)
Consists of SPL Working Capital Facility. Does not include the letters of credit issued or available commitments under the CQP Credit Facilities, which are not specifically for the Sabine Pass LNG Terminal.
(4)
Does not include Cheniere’s additional borrowings from the 2021 Cheniere Convertible Unsecured Notes and the 2045 Cheniere Convertible Senior Notes, which may be used for the Sabine Pass LNG Terminal.

For additional information regarding our debt agreements related to the Sabine Pass LNG Terminal, see Note 12—Debt of our Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.
    
SPL Senior Notes

The SPL Senior Notes are secured on a pari passu first-priority basis by a security interest in all of the membership interests in SPL and substantially all of SPL’s assets.

At any time prior to three months before the respective dates of maturity for each series of the SPL Senior Notes (except for the 2026 SPL Senior Notes, 2027 SPL Senior Notes, 2028 SPL Senior Notes and 2037 SPL Senior Notes, in which case the time period is six months before the respective dates of maturity), SPL may redeem all or part of such series of the SPL Senior Notes at a redemption price equal to the “make-whole” price (except for the 2037 SPL Senior Notes, in which case the redemption price is equal to the “optional redemption” price) set forth in the respective indentures governing the SPL Senior Notes, plus accrued and unpaid interest, if any, to the date of redemption. SPL may also, at any time within three months of the respective maturity dates for each series of the SPL Senior Notes (except for the 2026 SPL Senior Notes, 2027 SPL Senior Notes, 2028 SPL Senior Notes and 2037 SPL Senior Notes, in which case the time period is within six months of the respective dates of maturity), redeem all or part of such series of the SPL Senior Notes at a redemption price equal to 100% of the principal amount of such series of the SPL Senior Notes to be redeemed, plus accrued and unpaid interest, if any, to the date of redemption.

Both the indenture governing the 2037 SPL Senior Notes (the “2037 SPL Senior Notes Indenture”) and the common indenture governing the remainder of the SPL Senior Notes (the “SPL Indenture”) include restrictive covenants. SPL may incur additional indebtedness in the future, including by issuing additional notes, and such indebtedness could be at higher interest rates and have different maturity dates and more restrictive covenants than the current outstanding indebtedness of SPL, including the SPL Senior Notes and the SPL Working Capital Facility. Under the 2037 SPL Senior Notes Indenture and the SPL Indenture, SPL may not make any distributions until, among other requirements, deposits are made into debt service reserve accounts as required and a debt service coverage ratio test of 1.25:1.00 is satisfied. Semi-annual principal payments for the 2037 SPL Senior Notes are due on March 15 and September 15 of each year beginning September 15, 2025.
    

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SPL Working Capital Facility

In September 2015, SPL entered into the SPL Working Capital Facility, which is intended to be used for loans to SPL (“SPL Working Capital Loans”), the issuance of letters of credit on behalf of SPL, as well as for swing line loans to SPL (“SPL Swing Line Loans”), primarily for certain working capital requirements related to developing and placing into operation the SPL Project. SPL may, from time to time, request increases in the commitments under the SPL Working Capital Facility of up to $760 million and, upon the completion of the debt financing of Train 6 of the SPL Project, request an incremental increase in commitments of up to an additional $390 million. As of December 31, 2018 and 2017, SPL had $775 million and $470 million of available commitments and $425 million and $730 million aggregate amount of issued letters of credit under the SPL Working Capital Facility, respectively. SPL did not have any amounts outstanding under the SPL Working Capital Facility as of both December 31, 2018 and 2017.

The SPL Working Capital Facility matures on December 31, 2020, and the outstanding balance may be repaid, in whole or in part, at any time without premium or penalty upon three business days’ notice. Loans deemed made in connection with a draw upon a letter of credit have a term of up to one year. SPL Swing Line Loans terminate upon the earliest of (1) the maturity date or earlier termination of the SPL Working Capital Facility, (2) the date 15 days after such SPL Swing Line Loan is made and (3) the first borrowing date for a SPL Working Capital Loan or SPL Swing Line Loan occurring at least three business days following the date the SPL Swing Line Loan is made. SPL is required to reduce the aggregate outstanding principal amount of all SPL Working Capital Loans to zero for a period of five consecutive business days at least once each year.

The SPL Working Capital Facility contains conditions precedent for extensions of credit, as well as customary affirmative and negative covenants. The obligations of SPL under the SPL Working Capital Facility are secured by substantially all of the assets of SPL as well as all of the membership interests in SPL on a pari passu basis with the SPL Senior Notes.

Corpus Christi LNG Terminal

Liquefaction Facilities

The CCL Project is being developed and constructed at the Corpus Christi LNG terminal. We have received authorization from the FERC to site, construct and operate Stages 1 and 2 of the CCL Project. The following table summarizes the overall project status of the CCL Project as of December 31, 2018:
 
CCL Stage 1
 
CCL Stage 2
Overall project completion percentage
96.7%
 
42.0%
Completion percentage of:
 
 
 
 
Engineering
100%
 
87.0%
Procurement
100%
 
63.0%
Subcontract work
89.5%
 
8.5%
Construction
93.1%
 
11.7%
Expected date of substantial completion
Train 1
1Q 2019
 
Train 3
2H 2021
 
Train 2
2H 2019
 
 
 

Separate from the CCH Group, we are also developing Corpus Christi Stage 3, adjacent to the CCL Project. We filed an application with FERC in June 2018 for seven midscale Trains with an expected aggregate nominal production capacity of approximately 9.5 mtpa and one LNG storage tank.

The following orders have been issued by the DOE authorizing the export of domestically produced LNG by vessel from the Corpus Christi LNG terminal:
CCL Project—FTA countries for a 25-year term and to non-FTA countries for a 20-year term up to a combined total of the equivalent of 767 Bcf/yr (approximately 15 mtpa) of natural gas.
Corpus Christi Stage 3—FTA countries for a 20-year term in an amount equivalent to 514 Bcf/yr (approximately 10 mtpa) of natural gas (the “Stage 3 FTA”). The application for authorization to export that same 514 Bcf/yr of domestically produced LNG by vessel to non-FTA countries is currently pending before the DOE (the “Stage 3 Non-FTA”).
In each case, the terms of these authorizations begin on the earlier of the date of first export thereunder or the date specified in the particular order, which ranges from seven to 10 years from the date the order was issued.

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In June 2018, we requested that DOE vacate the Stage 3 FTA and permit us to withdraw the pending Stage 3 Non-FTA. These requests were made due to certain changes to Corpus Christi Stage 3.

In conjunction with the submission in June 2018 of our FERC application for Corpus Christi Stage 3, we submitted a new application for long-term multi-contract authorization to export up to a combined total of 582.14 Bcf/yr (approximately 11.45 mtpa) of natural gas to FTA countries for a 25-year term and to non-FTA countries for a 20-year term. The term of each authorization is expected to begin on the earlier of the date of first commercial export of LNG produced by Corpus Christi Stage 3 or the date which is seven years from the issuance of such authorizations.

Customers

CCL has entered into fixed price SPAs generally with terms of 20 years (plus extension rights) with nine third parties for Trains 1 through 3 of the CCL Project, to make available an aggregate amount of LNG that is between approximately 75% to 85% of the expected aggregate adjusted nominal production capacity from these Trains. Under these SPAs, the customers will purchase LNG from CCL for a price consisting of a fixed fee per MMBtu of LNG (a portion of which is subject to annual adjustment for inflation) plus a variable fee per MMBtu of LNG equal to approximately 115% of Henry Hub. In certain circumstances, the customers may elect to cancel or suspend deliveries of LNG cargoes, in which case the customers would still be required to pay the fixed fee with respect to the contracted volumes that are not delivered as a result of such cancellation or suspension. We refer to the fee component that is applicable regardless of a cancellation or suspension of LNG cargo deliveries under the SPAs as the fixed fee component of the price under our SPAs. We refer to the fee component that is applicable only in connection with LNG cargo deliveries as the variable fee component of the price under our SPAs. The variable fee under CCL’s SPAs entered into in connection with the development of the CCL Project was sized at the time of entry into each SPA with the intent to cover the costs of gas purchases and transportation related to, and operating and maintenance costs to produce, the LNG to be sold under each such SPA. The SPAs and contracted volumes to be made available under the SPAs are not tied to a specific Train; however, the term of each SPA generally commences upon the date of first commercial delivery for the applicable Train, as specified in each SPA.

In aggregate, the minimum fixed fee portion to be paid by the third-party SPA customers is approximately $550 million for Train 1 and increasing to approximately $1.4 billion for Train 2, in each case upon the date of first commercial delivery for the respective Train, and further increasing to approximately $1.8 billion following the substantial completion of Train 3 of the CCL Project.

In addition, Cheniere Marketing has entered into SPAs with CCL to purchase 15 TBtu per annum of LNG and any LNG produced by CCL in excess of that required for other customers at Cheniere Marketing’s option.

Natural Gas Transportation, Storage and Supply

To ensure CCL is able to transport adequate natural gas feedstock to the Corpus Christi LNG terminal, it has entered into transportation precedent agreements to secure firm pipeline transportation capacity with CCP and certain third-party pipeline companies. CCL has entered into a firm storage services agreement with a third party to assist in managing variability in natural gas needs for the CCL Project. CCL has also entered into enabling agreements and long-term natural gas supply contracts with third parties, and will continue to enter into such agreements, in order to secure natural gas feedstock for the CCL Project. As of December 31, 2018, CCL had secured up to approximately 2,801 TBtu of natural gas feedstock through long-term natural gas supply contracts, a portion of which is subject to the achievement of certain project milestones and other conditions precedent.
  
Construction

CCL entered into separate lump sum turnkey contracts with Bechtel for the engineering, procurement and construction of Stages 1 and 2 of the CCL Project under which Bechtel charges a lump sum for all work performed and generally bears project cost risk unless certain specified events occur, in which case Bechtel may cause CCL to enter into a change order, or CCL agrees with Bechtel to a change order.

The total contract prices of the EPC contract for Stage 1 and the EPC contract for Stage 2, which do not include the Corpus Christi Pipeline, are approximately $7.8 billion and $2.4 billion, respectively, reflecting amounts incurred under change orders through December 31, 2018. Total expected capital costs for Trains 1 through 3 are estimated to be between $11.0 billion and $12.0

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billion before financing costs and between $15.0 billion and $16.0 billion after financing costs including, in each case, estimated owner’s costs and contingencies.

Pipeline Facilities

In December 2014, the FERC issued a certificate of public convenience and necessity under Section 7(c) of the Natural Gas Act of 1938, as amended, authorizing CCP to construct and operate the Corpus Christi Pipeline. The Corpus Christi Pipeline is designed to transport 2.25 Bcf/d of natural gas feedstock required by the CCL Project from the existing regional natural gas pipeline grid. The construction of the Corpus Christi Pipeline commenced in January 2017 and was completed in the second quarter of 2018.

Capital Resources

We expect to finance the construction costs of the CCL Project from one or more of the following: project financing, operating cash flows from CCL and CCP and equity contributions to our subsidiaries. We realized offsets to LNG terminal costs of $33 million in the year ended December 31, 2018 that were related to the sale of commissioning cargoes because these amounts were earned or loaded prior to the start of commercial operations of Train 1 during the testing phase for its construction. The following table provides a summary of our capital resources from borrowings and available commitments for the CCL Project, excluding equity contributions to our subsidiaries, at December 31, 2018 and 2017 (in millions):
 
 
December 31,
 
 
2018
 
2017
Senior notes (1)
 
$
4,250

 
$
4,250

11.0% Convertible Senior Secured Notes due 2025 (2)
 
1,000

 
1,000

Credit facilities outstanding balance (3)
 
5,324

 
2,485

Letters of credit issued (3)
 
316

 
164

Available commitments under credit facilities (3)
 
1,698

 
2,273

Total capital resources from borrowings and available commitments (4)
 
$
12,588

 
$
10,172

 
(1)
Includes CCH’s 7.000% Senior Secured Notes due 2024 (the “2024 CCH Senior Notes”), 5.875% Senior Secured Notes due 2025 (the “2025 CCH Senior Notes”) and 5.125% Senior Secured Notes due 2027 (the “2027 CCH Senior Notes”) (collectively, the “CCH Senior Notes”).
(2)
Aggregate original principal amount before debt discount and debt issuance costs.
(3)
Includes CCH Credit Facility and CCH Working Capital Facility.
(4)
Does not include Cheniere’s additional borrowings from 2021 Cheniere Convertible Unsecured Notes, 2045 Cheniere Convertible Senior Notes and Cheniere Revolving Credit Facility, which may be used for the CCL Project.

For additional information regarding our debt agreements related to the CCL Project, see Note 12—Debt of our Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.

2025 CCH HoldCo II Convertible Senior Notes

In May 2015, CCH HoldCo II issued $1.0 billion aggregate principal amount of 11.0% Convertible Senior Secured Notes due 2025 (the “2025 CCH HoldCo II Convertible Senior Notes”) on a private placement basis. The 2025 CCH HoldCo II Convertible Senior Notes are convertible at the option of CCH HoldCo II or the holders, provided that various conditions are met. CCH HoldCo II is restricted from making distributions to Cheniere under agreements governing its indebtedness generally until, among other requirements, Trains 1 and 2 of the CCL Project are in commercial operation and a historical debt service coverage ratio and a projected fixed debt service coverage ratio of 1.20:1.00 are achieved.

In May 2018, the amended and restated note purchase agreement under which the 2025 CCH HoldCo II Convertible Senior Notes were issued was subsequently amended in connection with commercialization and financing of Train 3 of the CCL Project and to provide the note holders with certain prepayment rights related thereto consistent with those under the CCH Credit Facility.  All terms of the 2025 CCH HoldCo II Convertible Senior Notes substantially remained unchanged.


47


CCH Senior Notes

The CCH Senior Notes are jointly and severally guaranteed by CCH’s subsidiaries, CCL, CCP and Corpus Christi Pipeline GP, LLC (the “CCH Guarantors”). The indenture governing the CCH Senior Notes (the “CCH Indenture”) contains customary terms and events of default and certain covenants that, among other things, limit CCH’s ability and the ability of CCH’s restricted subsidiaries to: incur additional indebtedness or issue preferred stock; make certain investments or pay dividends or distributions on membership interests or subordinated indebtedness or purchase, redeem or retire membership interests; sell or transfer assets, including membership or partnership interests of CCH’s restricted subsidiaries; restrict dividends or other payments by restricted subsidiaries to CCH or any of CCH’s restricted subsidiaries; incur liens; enter into transactions with affiliates; dissolve, liquidate, consolidate, merge, sell or lease all or substantially all of the properties or assets of CCH and its restricted subsidiaries taken as a whole; or permit any CCH Guarantor to dissolve, liquidate, consolidate, merge, sell or lease all or substantially all of its properties and assets.

At any time prior to six months before the respective dates of maturity for each series of the CCH Senior Notes, CCH may redeem all or part of such series of the CCH Senior Notes at a redemption price equal to the “make-whole” price set forth in the CCH Indenture, plus accrued and unpaid interest, if any, to the date of redemption. CCH also may at any time within six months of the respective dates of maturity for each series of the CCH Senior Notes, redeem all or part of such series of the CCH Senior Notes, in whole or in part, at a redemption price equal to 100% of the principal amount of the CCH Senior Notes to be redeemed, plus accrued and unpaid interest, if any, to the date of redemption.

CCH Credit Facility

In May 2018, CCH amended and restated the CCH Credit Facility to increase total commitments under the CCH Credit Facility from $4.6 billion to $6.1 billion. The obligations of CCH under the CCH Credit Facility are secured by a first priority lien on substantially all of the assets of CCH and its subsidiaries and by a pledge by CCH HoldCo I of its limited liability company interests in CCH. As of December 31, 2018 and 2017, CCH had $1.0 billion and $2.1 billion of available commitments and $5.2 billion and $2.5 billion of loans outstanding under the CCH Credit Facility, respectively.

The CCH Credit Facility matures on June 30, 2024, with principal payments due quarterly commencing on the earlier of (1) the first quarterly payment date occurring more than three calendar months following the completion of the CCL Project as defined in the common terms agreement and (2) a set date determined by reference to the date under which a certain LNG buyer linked to the last Train of the CCL Project to become operational is entitled to terminate its SPA for failure to achieve the date of first commercial delivery for that agreement. Scheduled repayments will be based upon a 19-year tailored amortization, commencing the first full quarter after the completion of Trains 1 through 3 and designed to achieve a minimum projected fixed debt service coverage ratio of 1.50:1.

Under the CCH Credit Facility, CCH is required to hedge not less than 65% of the variable interest rate exposure of its senior secured debt. CCH is restricted from making certain distributions under agreements governing its indebtedness generally until, among other requirements, the completion of the construction of Trains 1 through 3 of the CCL Project, funding of a debt service reserve account equal to six months of debt service and achieving a historical debt service coverage ratio and fixed projected debt service coverage ratio of at least 1.25:1.00.
CCH Working Capital Facility

In June 2018, CCH amended and restated the CCH Working Capital Facility to increase total commitments under the CCH Working Capital Facility from $350 million to $1.2 billion. The CCH Working Capital Facility is intended to be used for loans to CCH (“CCH Working Capital Loans”) and the issuance of letters of credit on behalf of CCH for certain working capital requirements related to developing and placing into operations the CCL Project and for related business purposes. Loans under the CCH Working Capital Facility are guaranteed by the CCH Guarantors. CCH may, from time to time, request increases in the commitments under the CCH Working Capital Facility of up to the maximum allowed for working capital under the Common Terms Agreement that was entered into concurrently with the CCH Credit Facility. As of December 31, 2018 and 2017, CCH had $716 million and $186 million of available commitments, $316 million and $164 million aggregate amount of issued letters of credit and $168 million and no loans outstanding under the CCH Working Capital Facility, respectively.

The CCH Working Capital Facility matures on June 29, 2023, and CCH may prepay the CCH Working Capital Loans and loans made in connection with a draw upon any letter of credit (“CCH LC Loans”) at any time without premium or penalty upon

48


three business days’ notice and may re-borrow at any time. CCH LC Loans have a term of up to one year. CCH is required to reduce the aggregate outstanding principal amount of all CCH Working Capital Loans to zero for a period of five consecutive business days at least once each year.

The CCH Working Capital Facility contains conditions precedent for extensions of credit, as well as customary affirmative and negative covenants. The obligations of CCH under the CCH Working Capital Facility are secured by substantially all of the assets of CCH and the CCH Guarantors as well as all of the membership interests in CCH and each of the CCH Guarantors on a pari passu basis with the CCH Senior Notes and the CCH Credit Facility.

Restrictive Debt Covenants

As of December 31, 2018, each of our issuers was in compliance with all covenants related to their respective debt agreements.

Marketing

We market and sell LNG produced by the SPL Project and the CCL Project that is not required for other customers through our integrated marketing function. We are developing a portfolio of long-, medium- and short-term SPAs to transport and unload commercial LNG cargoes to locations worldwide, which is primarily sourced by LNG produced by the SPL Project and the CCL Project but supplemented by volume procured from other locations worldwide, as needed. As of December 31, 2018, we have sold or have options to sell approximately 5,582 TBtu of LNG to be delivered to customers between 2019 and 2045.  The cargoes have been sold either on a free on board (“FOB”) basis (delivered to the customer at the Sabine Pass LNG terminal or the Corpus Christi LNG terminal) or a delivered at terminal (“DAT”) basis (delivered to the customer at their LNG receiving terminal). We have chartered LNG vessels to be utilized in DAT transactions. In addition, we have entered into a long-term agreement to sell LNG cargoes on a DAT basis that is conditioned upon the buyer achieving certain milestones.

Cheniere Marketing entered into uncommitted trade finance facilities with available commitments of $370 million as of December 31, 2018, primarily to be used for the purchase and sale of LNG for ultimate resale in the course of its operations. The finance facilities are intended to be used for advances, guarantees or the issuance of letters of credit or standby letters of credit on behalf of Cheniere Marketing. As of December 31, 2018 and 2017, Cheniere Marketing had $31 million and $2 million, respectively, in standby letters of credit and guarantees outstanding under the finance facilities. As of December 31, 2018 and 2017, Cheniere Marketing had $71 million and zero, respectively, in loans outstanding under the finance facilities. Cheniere Marketing pays interest or fees on utilized commitments.

Corporate and Other Activities
 
We are required to maintain corporate and general and administrative functions to serve our business activities described above.  We are also in various stages of developing other projects, including infrastructure projects in support of natural gas supply and LNG demand, which, among other things, will require acceptable commercial and financing arrangements before we make an FID. We have made an equity investment in Midship Pipeline, which is developing a pipeline with expected capacity of up to 1.44 million Dekatherms per day that will connect new gas production in the Anadarko Basin to Gulf Coast markets, including markets serving the SPL Project and the CCL Project.


49


Sources and Uses of Cash

The following table summarizes the sources and uses of our cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash for the years ended December 31, 2018, 2017 and 2016 (in millions). The table presents capital expenditures on a cash basis; therefore, these amounts differ from the amounts of capital expenditures, including accruals, which are referred to elsewhere in this report. Additional discussion of these items follows the table. 
 
Year Ended December 31,
 
2018
 
2017
 
2016
Operating cash flows
$
1,990

 
$
1,231

 
$
(404
)
Investing cash flows
(3,654
)
 
(3,381
)
 
(4,413
)
Financing cash flows
2,207

 
2,936

 
4,908

 
 
 
 
 
 
Net increase in cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash
543


786

 
91

Cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash—beginning of period
2,613

 
1,827

 
1,736

Cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash—end of period
$
3,156

 
$
2,613

 
$
1,827


Operating Cash Flows

Our operating cash flows during the years ended December 31, 2018, 2017 and 2016 were net inflows of $1,990 million and $1,231 million and a net outflow of $404 million, respectively. The $759 million increase in operating cash inflows in 2018 compared to 2017 was primarily related to increased cash receipts from the sale of LNG cargoes, partially offset by increased operating costs and expenses as a result of the additional Trains that were operating at the SPL Project in 2018. We had four Trains operational for the entire year during the year ended December 31, 2018, we had two Trains operational for the entire year and two Trains operational partially during the year ended December 31, 2017 and two Trains operational partially during the year ended December 31, 2016. The $1.6 billion increase in operating cash inflows in 2017 compared to 2016 was primarily related to increased cash receipts from the sale of LNG cargoes, partially offset by increased operating costs and expenses as a result of the of additional Trains that were operating at the SPL Project in 2017. During the year ended December 31, 2016, Train 1 was operating for seven months and Train 2 was operating for less than four months.

Investing Cash Flows

Investing cash net outflows during the years ended December 31, 2018, 2017 and 2016 were $3,654 million, $3,381 million and $4,413 million, respectively, and were primarily used to fund the construction costs for the SPL Project and the CCL Project. These costs are capitalized as construction-in-process until achievement of substantial completion. Additionally, during the year ended December 31, 2018, we invested an additional $25 million in our equity method investment Midship Holdings, offset primarily by proceeds of $12 million from the sale of our cost method investments. During the year ended December 31, 2017, we invested an additional $41 million in Midship Holdings and made payments of $19 million, primarily for infrastructure to support the CCL Project and other capital projects. Partially offsetting these cash outflows during the year ended December 31, 2017, was a $36 million receipt from the return of collateral payments previously paid for the CCL Project. Partially offsetting these cash outflows was a $36 million receipt during the year ended December 31, 2017 from the return of collateral payments previously paid for the CCL Project. During the years ended December 31, 2016, we used $57 million primarily for collateral payments for the CCL Project, payments to municipal water districts for water system enhancements to increase potable water supply to our export terminals, payments made for capital assets purchased pursuant to information technology services agreements and for investments made in unconsolidated entities.

Financing Cash Flows

Financing cash net inflows during the year ended December 31, 2018 were $2,207 million, primarily as a result of:
issuance of an aggregate principal amount of $1.1 billion of the 2026 CQP Senior Notes, which was used to prepay $1.1 billion of the outstanding borrowings under the CQP Credit Facilities;
$2.9 billion of borrowings and $281 million in repayments under the CCH Credit Facility;
$188 million of borrowings and $20 million in repayments under the CCH Working Capital Facility;
$71 million of net borrowings related to our Cheniere Marketing trade financing facilities;

50


$66 million of debt issuance costs related to up-front fees paid upon the closing of these transactions;
$17 million in debt extinguishment costs related to the prepayments of the CQP Credit Facilities and the CCH Credit Facility;
$576 million of distributions and dividends to non-controlling interest by Cheniere Partners and Cheniere Holdings;
$20 million paid for tax withholdings for share-based compensation; and
$7 million of transaction costs to acquire additional interest of Cheniere Holdings.

Financing cash net inflows during the year ended December 31, 2017 were $2,936 million, primarily as a result of:
issuances of SPL’s senior notes for an aggregate principal amount $2.15 billion;
$55 million of borrowings and $369 million of repayments made under the credit facilities SPL entered into in June 2015 (the “SPL Credit Facilities”);
$110 million of borrowings and $334 million of repayments made under the SPL Working Capital Facility;
$1.5 billion of borrowings under the CCH Credit Facility;
issuance of an aggregate principal amount of $1.5 billion of the 2027 CCH Senior Notes, which was used to prepay $1.4 billion of outstanding borrowings under the CCH Credit Facility;
$24 million of borrowings and $24 million of repayments made under the CCH Working Capital Facility;
issuance of an aggregate principal amount of $1.5 billion of the 2025 CQP Senior Notes, which was used to prepay $1.5 billion of the outstanding borrowings under the CQP Credit Facilities;
$24 million in net repayments made under the Cheniere Marketing trade finance facilities;
$89 million of debt issuance and deferred financing costs related to up-front fees paid upon the closing of these transactions;
$185 million of distributions and dividends to non-controlling interest by Cheniere Partners and Cheniere Holdings; and
$12 million paid for tax withholdings for share-based compensation.

Financing cash net inflows during the year ended December 31, 2016 were $4,908 million, primarily as a result of:
$2.6 billion of borrowings under the CQP Credit Facilities used to prepay the $400 million CTPL term loan facility and redeem and repay $2.1 billion of the senior notes previously issued by SPLNG;
$2.0 billion of borrowings under the SPL Credit Facilities;
issuance of an aggregate principal amount of $1.5 billion of the 2026 SPL Senior Notes in June 2016, which was used to prepay $1.3 billion of the outstanding borrowings under the SPL Credit Facilities;
issuance of an aggregate principal amount of $1.5 billion of the 2027 SPL Senior Notes in September 2016, which was used to prepay $1.2 billion of the outstanding borrowings under the SPL Credit Facilities and pay a portion of the capital costs in connection with the construction of Trains 1 through 5 of the SPL Project;
$474 million of borrowings and $265 million of repayments made under the SPL Working Capital Facility;
$2.1 billion of borrowings under the CCH Credit Facility;
issuances of aggregate principal amounts of $1.25 billion of the 2024 CCH Senior Notes and $1.5 billion of the 2025 CCH Senior Notes in December 2016, which were used to prepay $2.4 billion of the outstanding borrowings under the CCH Credit Facility;
$24 million in net borrowings under the Cheniere Marketing trade finance facilities;
$172 million of debt issuance costs related to up-front fees paid upon the closing of these transactions;
$14 million of debt extinguishment costs paid in connection with redemptions and prepayments of outstanding borrowings;

51


$80 million of distributions and dividends to non-controlling interest by Cheniere Partners and Cheniere Holdings; and
$20 million paid for tax withholdings for share-based compensation.

Contractual Obligations
 
We are committed to make cash payments in the future pursuant to certain of our contracts. The following table summarizes certain contractual obligations in place as of December 31, 2018 (in millions):
 
 
Payments Due By Period (1)
 
 
Total
 
2019
 
2020 - 2021
 
2022 - 2023
 
Thereafter
Debt (2)
 
$
29,395

 
$
168

 
$
3,368

 
$
2,500

 
$
23,359

Interest payments (2)
 
10,258

 
1,480

 
3,102

 
2,776

 
2,900

Construction obligations (3)
 
1,525

 
980

 
545

 

 

Purchase obligations (4)
 
11,848

 
3,218

 
3,444

 
1,828

 
3,358

Capital lease obligations (5)
 
98

 
5

 
10

 
10

 
73

Operating lease obligations (6)
 
2,329

 
380

 
422

 
528

 
999

Obligations to related parties (7)
 
96

 
2

 
19

 
19

 
56

Other obligations (8)
 
286

 
20

 
63

 
74

 
129

Total
 
$
55,835


$
6,253


$
10,973


$
7,735


$
30,874

 
(1)
Agreements in force as of December 31, 2018 that have terms dependent on project milestone dates are based on the estimated dates as of December 31, 2018.
(2)
Based on the total debt balance, scheduled maturities and interest rates in effect at December 31, 2018.  See Note 12—Debt of our Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.
(3)
Construction obligations primarily relate to the EPC contracts for the SPL Project and the CCL Project.  The estimated remaining cost pursuant to our EPC contracts as of December 31, 2018 is included for Trains with respect to which we have made an FID to commence construction; the EPC contract termination amount is included for Trains with respect to which we have not made an FID. A discussion of these obligations can be found at Note 19—Commitments and Contingencies of our Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.
(4)
Purchase obligations consist of contracts for which conditions precedent have been met, and primarily relate to natural gas supply, transportation and storage services for the SPL Project and the CCL Project. As project milestones and other conditions precedent are achieved, our obligations are expected to increase accordingly.
(5)
Capital lease obligations consist of tug leases related to the CCL Project, as further discussed in Note 18—Leases of our Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.
(6)
Operating lease obligations primarily relate to LNG vessel time charters, land sites related to the SPL Project and the CCL Project and corporate office leases, and includes payments for certain non-lease components. A discussion of these obligations can be found in Note 18—Leases of our Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.
(7)
Obligations to Midship Pipeline Company, LLC under CCL’s transportation precedent agreement to secure firm pipeline transportation capacity for the CCL Project.
(8)
Other obligations primarily relate to agreements with certain local taxing jurisdictions, and are based on estimated tax obligations as of December 31, 2018. Also included are payments for non-lease components related to our capital lease obligations.

In addition, in the ordinary course of business, we maintain letters of credit and have certain cash restricted in support of certain performance obligations of our subsidiaries. As of December 31, 2018, we had $741 million aggregate amount of issued letters of credit under our credit facilities and $2.2 billion of current restricted cash. For more information, see Note 3—Restricted Cash of our Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.


52


Results of Operations

The following table summarizes the volumes of operational and commissioning LNG cargoes that were loaded from the SPL Project and the CCL Project recognized on our Consolidated Financial Statements during the year ended December 31, 2018:
 
Year Ended December 31, 2018
(in TBtu)
Operational
 
Commissioning
Volumes loaded during the current period
955

 
20

Volumes loaded during the prior period but recognized during the current period
43

 

Less: volumes loaded during the current period and in transit at the end of the period
(25
)
 
(3
)
Total volumes recognized in the current period
973

 
17


Our consolidated net income attributable to common stockholders was $471 million, or $1.92 per share—basic and $1.90 per share—diluted, in the year ended December 31, 2018, compared to net loss attributable to common stockholders of $393 million, or $1.68 per share (basic and diluted), in the year ended December 31, 2017. This $864 million increase in net income attributable to common stockholders in 2018 is primarily attributable to increased income from operations due to additional Trains operating between the periods, decreased loss on modification or extinguishment of debt and increased derivative gain, net, which were partially offset by decreased net income attributable to non-controlling interest and increased interest expense, net of amounts capitalized.

Our consolidated net loss attributable to common stockholders was $610 million, or $2.67 per share (basic and diluted), in the year ended December 31, 2016. The $217 million decrease in net loss in 2017 compared to 2016 was primarily a result of increased income from operations, which was partially offset by increased allocation of net income to non-controlling interest and increased interest expense, net of amounts capitalized.

Revenues
 
Year Ended December 31,
(in millions)
2018
 
2017
 
Change
 
2016
 
Change
LNG revenues
$
7,572

 
$
5,317

 
$
2,255

 
$
1,016

 
$
4,301

Regasification revenues
261

 
260

 
1

 
259

 
1

Other revenues
142

 
21

 
121

 
8

 
13

Other—related party
12

 
3

 
9

 

 
3

Total revenues
$
7,987


$
5,601


$
2,386

 
$
1,283

 
$
4,318


2018 vs. 2017 and 2017 vs. 2016

We begin recognizing LNG revenues from the SPL Project following the substantial completion and the commencement of operating activities of the respective Trains. We had four Trains operational for the entire year during the year ended December 31, 2018, we had two Trains operational for the entire year and two Trains operational partially during the year ended December 31, 2017 and two Trains operational partially during the year ended December 31, 2016. The increase in revenues during each of the years was primarily attributable to the increased volume of LNG sold following the achievement of substantial completion of these Trains. There was an additional increase during the year ended December 31, 2018 from the comparable period in 2017 due to an increase in sub-chartering revenues, which is included in other revenues. There was an additional increase during the year ended year ended December 31, 2017 from the comparable period in 2016 due to increased revenues per MMBtu as a result of shift in sales made at current market prices by our integrated marketing function to sales made under our long-term SPA. We expect our LNG revenues to increase in the future upon Train 5 of the SPL Project and Trains 1 through 3 of the CCL Project becoming operational.

Prior to substantial completion of a Train, amounts received from the sale of commissioning cargoes from that Train are offset against LNG terminal construction-in-process, because these amounts are earned or loaded during the testing phase for the construction of that Train. During the years ended December 31, 2018, 2017 and 2016, we realized offsets to LNG terminal costs of $140 million corresponding to 17 TBtu of LNG, $320 million corresponding to 51 TBtu of LNG and $214 million corresponding to 45 TBtu of LNG that were related to the sale of commissioning cargoes from the SPL Project and the CCL Project.


53


The following table presents the components of LNG revenues and the corresponding LNG volumes sold.
 
Year Ended December 31,
 
2018
 
2017
 
2016
LNG revenues (in millions):
 
 
 
 
 
LNG from the SPL Project sold under SPL’s third party long-term SPAs
$
4,677

 
$
2,588

 
$
458

LNG from the SPL Project sold by our integrated marketing function
1,987

 
1,756

 
319

LNG procured from third parties
745

 
981

 
236

Other revenues and derivative gains (losses)
163

 
(8
)
 
3

Total LNG revenues
$
7,572

 
$
5,317

 
$
1,016

 
 
 
 
 
 
Volumes sold as LNG revenues (in TBtu):
 
 
 
 
 
LNG from the SPL Project sold under SPL’s third party long-term SPAs
750

 
427

 
85

LNG from the SPL Project sold by our integrated marketing function
223

 
233

 
47

LNG procured from third parties
84

 
98

 
26

Total volumes sold as LNG revenues
1,057

 
758

 
158


Operating costs and expenses
 
Year Ended December 31,
(in millions)
2018
 
2017
 
Change
 
2016
 
Change
Cost of sales
$
4,597

 
$
3,120

 
$
1,477

 
$
582

 
$
2,538

Operating and maintenance expense
613

 
446

 
167

 
216

 
230

Development expense
7

 
10

 
(3
)
 
7

 
3

Selling, general and administrative expense
289

 
256

 
33

 
260

 
(4
)
Depreciation and amortization expense
449

 
356

 
93

 
174

 
182

Restructuring expense

 
6

 
(6
)
 
61

 
(55
)
Impairment expense and loss on disposal of assets
8

 
19

 
(11
)
 
13

 
6

Total operating costs and expenses
$
5,963

 
$
4,213

 
$
1,750

 
$
1,313

 
$
2,900


2018 vs. 2017 and 2017 vs. 2016

Our total operating costs and expenses increased during the year ended December 31, 2018 from the years ended December 31, 2017 and 2016, primarily as a result of additional Trains that were operating between each of the periods.

Cost of sales increased during the year ended December 31, 2018 from the comparable periods in 2017 and 2016, primarily as a result of the increase in operating Trains between each of the periods. Cost of sales includes costs incurred directly for the production and delivery of LNG from the SPL Project, to the extent those costs are not utilized for the commissioning process. The increase during the year ended December 31, 2018 from the comparable period in 2017 was primarily related to the increase in the volume of natural gas feedstock related to our LNG sales. The increase during the year ended December 31, 2017 from the comparable period in 2016 was primarily related to the increase in both the volume and pricing of natural gas feedstock related to our LNG sales and cost of LNG procured from third parties. Cost of sales also includes gains and losses from derivatives associated with economic hedges to secure natural gas feedstock for the SPL Project and CCL Project, vessel charter costs, port and canal fees, variable transportation and storage costs and other costs to convert natural gas into LNG.

Operating and maintenance expense increased during the year ended December 31, 2018 from the comparable periods in 2017 and 2016, as a result of the increase in operating Trains between each of the periods. Operating and maintenance expense primarily includes costs associated with operating and maintaining the SPL Project and CCL Project. The increase during the year ended December 31, 2018 from the comparable periods in 2017 and 2016 was primarily related to third-party service and maintenance contract costs, payroll and benefit costs of operations personnel, and natural gas transportation and storage capacity demand charges. Operating and maintenance expense also includes TUA reservation charges as a result of payments under the partial TUA assignment agreement with Total, insurance and regulatory costs and other operating costs.

Depreciation and amortization expense increased during the year ended December 31, 2018 from the comparable periods in 2017 and 2016 as a result of an increased number of operational Trains, as the assets related to the Trains of the SPL Project

54


began depreciating upon reaching substantial completion and the assets related to Corpus Christi Pipeline began depreciating upon completion of the construction.

Impairment expense and loss on disposal of assets decreased during the year ended December 31, 2018 compared to the years ended December 31, 2017 and 2016. The impairment expense and loss on disposal of assets recognized during the year ended December 31, 2018 related to the write down of prepaid assets. The impairment expense and loss on disposal of assets recognized during the years ended December 31, 2017 and 2016 related to write down of assets used in non-core operations outside of our liquefaction activities. The impairment expense and loss on disposal of assets recognized during the year ended December 31, 2017 also included $6 million related to damaged infrastructure as an effect of Hurricane Harvey.

We expect our operating costs and expenses to generally increase in the future upon Train 5 of the SPL Project achieving substantial completion, although certain costs will not proportionally increase with the number of operational Trains as cost efficiencies will be realized, as well as upon Trains 1 through 3 of the CCL Project becoming operational.

Other expense (income)
 
Year Ended December 31,
(in millions)
2018
 
2017
 
Change
 
2016
 
Change
Interest expense, net of capitalized interest
$
875

 
$
747

 
$
128

 
$
488

 
$
259

Loss on modification or extinguishment of debt
27

 
100

 
(73
)
 
135

 
(35
)
Derivative loss (gain), net
(57
)
 
(7
)
 
(50
)
 
10