Venture Global seeks approval to start utilities systems at Calcasieu Pass LNG

(Reuters) - Venture Global LNG sought permission from federal regulators to place utilities systems into service at its Calcasieu Pass export plant in Louisiana, in a filing with the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Tuesday.

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

This month, the U.S. Department of Energy rejected for a second time oil major Repsol SA's request to reopen regulators' approval of the Calcasieu Pass export plant in view of the startup problems that has prevented it from getting its LNG cargoes.

Shell, BP, Edison and Repsol this year filed arbitration cases against the U.S. developer over its failure to supply cargoes from a plant that has been running since March 2022.

Venture Global LNG has rejected the claims and said the Louisiana plant is not fully operational due to faulty power equipment that is being repaired. It is allowed to sell "commissioning" cargoes for its own accounts under the contracts.

Venture Global has sold more than 200 cargoes worth about $18.2 billion to date, according to a Reuters tally. Those sales reaped higher prices than would be available under its customers' long-term contracts.

That has Shell and other customers saying the firm has used the equipment problems to capitalize on the rally in global gas markets since Russia's invasion of Ukraine for its own sales.

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