Commitments and Contingencies
|9 Months Ended|
Sep. 30, 2019
|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 September 30, 2019, are not recognized as liabilities but require disclosures in our Consolidated Financial Statements.
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 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 February 2020.
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. On April 29, 2019, the court consolidated the Souki matter with the earlier filed pending case against Parallax, Tellurian and the individual defendants in the Texas State Suit.
We do not expect that the resolution of any of the foregoing litigation will have a material adverse impact on our financial results.
The entire disclosure for commitments and contingencies.
Reference 1: http://fasb.org/us-gaap/role/ref/legacyRef