Commitments and Contingencies
|12 Months Ended|
Dec. 31, 2016
|Commitments and Contingencies Disclosure [Abstract]|
|Commitments and Contingencies||
COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENCIES
We have various contractual obligations which are recorded as liabilities in our Consolidated Financial Statements. Other items, such as certain purchase commitments and other executed contracts which do not meet the definition of a liability as of December 31, 2016, are not recognized as liabilities but require disclosures in our Consolidated Financial Statements.
LNG Terminal Commitments and Contingencies
Obligations under EPC Contracts
SPL has entered into lump sum turnkey contracts with Bechtel Oil, Gas and Chemicals, Inc. (“Bechtel”) for the engineering, procurement and construction of Trains 3 through 5 of the SPL Project.
The EPC contract for SPL Trains 3 and 4 and the EPC contract for SPL Train 5 provide that SPL will pay Bechtel contract prices of $3.9 billion and $3.0 billion, respectively, subject to adjustment by change order. SPL has the right to terminate each EPC contract for its convenience, in which case Bechtel will be paid (1) the portion of the contract price for the work performed, (2) costs reasonably incurred by Bechtel on account of such termination and demobilization, and (3) a lump sum of up to $30.0 million depending on the termination date.
CCL has entered into lump sum turnkey contracts with Bechtel for the engineering, procurement and construction of Stage 1 and Stage 2 of the CCL Project. The EPC contract prices for Stage 1 of the CCL Project and Stage 2 of the CCL Project are approximately $7.7 billion and $2.4 billion, respectively, reflecting amounts incurred under change orders through December 31, 2016. CCL has the right to terminate each of the EPC contracts for its convenience, in which case Bechtel will be paid the portion of the contract price for the work performed plus costs reasonably incurred by Bechtel on account of such termination and demobilization. If the EPC contract for Stage 1 of the CCL Project is terminated, Bechtel will also be paid a lump sum of up to $30.0 million depending on the termination date. If the EPC contract for Stage 2 of the CCL Project is terminated, Bechtel will be paid a lump sum of $5.0 million if the termination date is prior to the issuance of the notice to proceed, or Bechtel will be paid a lump sum of up to $30.0 million if the termination date is after the issuance of the notice to proceed, depending on the termination date.
Obligations under SPAs
SPL has entered into third-party SPAs which obligate SPL to purchase and liquefy sufficient quantities of natural gas to deliver 401.5 million MMBtu per year of LNG to the customers’ vessels for Trains 1 and 2 of the SPL Project and 628.5 million MMBtu per year of LNG for Trains 3 through 5 of the SPL Project, subject to completion of construction.
CCL has entered into third-party SPAs which obligate CCL to purchase and liquefy sufficient quantities of natural gas to deliver 438.7 million MMBtu per year of LNG to the customers’ vessels, subject to completion of construction of Trains 1 through 3 of the CCL Project.
Obligations under LNG TUAs
SPLNG has entered into third-party TUAs with Total Gas & Power North America, Inc. and Chevron U.S.A. Inc. to provide berthing for LNG vessels and for the unloading, storage and regasification of LNG at the Sabine Pass LNG terminal.
Obligations under Natural Gas Supply, Transportation and Storage Service Agreements
SPL has entered into index-based physical natural gas supply contracts to secure natural gas feedstock for the SPL Project. The terms of these contracts primarily range from approximately one to six years and commence upon the occurrence of conditions precedent, including SPL’s declaration to the respective natural gas supplier that it is ready to commence the term of the supply arrangement in anticipation of the date of first commercial operation of the applicable, specified Trains of the SPL Project. As of December 31, 2016, SPL has secured up to approximately 1,993.9 million MMBtu of natural gas feedstock through natural gas supply contracts, of which we determined that we have purchase obligations for the contracts for which conditions precedent were met.
Additionally, SPL has entered into transportation and storage service agreements for the SPL Project. The initial term of the transportation agreements ranges from 10 to 20 years, with renewal options for certain contracts, and commences upon the occurrence of conditions precedent. The term of the SPL storage service agreements ranges from three to ten years. CCL has entered into a combined transportation and storage service agreement with a 20-year term beginning in 2019.
As of December 31, 2016, our obligations under natural gas supply, transportation and storage service agreements for contracts in which conditions precedent were met were as follows (in thousands):
Restricted Net Assets
At December 31, 2016, our restricted net assets of consolidated subsidiaries were approximately $2.4 billion.
Obligations under Certain Guarantee Contracts
Cheniere and certain of its subsidiaries enter into guarantee arrangements in the normal course of business to facilitate transactions with third parties. These arrangements include financial guarantees, letters of credit and debt guarantees. As of December 31, 2016 and 2015, there were no liabilities recognized under these guarantee arrangements.
In the ordinary course of business, we have entered into certain multi-year licensing and service agreements, none of which are considered material to our financial position. Additionally, we have various lease commitments, as disclosed in Note 18—Leases.
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.
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 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 Suit”). CLNGT asserted claims in the Texas 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 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, which is ongoing.
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 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. We do not expect that the resolution of this litigation will have a material adverse impact on our financial results.
The entire disclosure for commitments and contingencies.
Reference 1: http://www.xbrl.org/2003/role/presentationRef