Related Party Transactions
|12 Months Ended
Dec. 31, 2011
|Related Party Transactions [Abstract]
|Related Party Transactions
RELATED PARTY TRANSACTIONS
As of December 31, 2012 and 2011, we had $5.0 million and $0.7 million of advances to affiliates, respectively. In addition, we have entered into the following related party transactions:
LNG Terminal Capacity Agreements
Terminal Use Agreement
In November 2006, Cheniere Marketing, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Cheniere ("Cheniere Marketing"), reserved approximately 2.0 Bcf/d of regasification capacity under a firm commitment terminal use agreement ("TUA") with Sabine Pass LNG and was required to make capacity reservation fee payments aggregating approximately $250 million per year for the period from January 1, 2009, through at least September 30, 2028. Cheniere guaranteed Cheniere Marketing's obligations under its TUA.
Effective July 1, 2010, Cheniere Marketing assigned its existing TUA with Sabine Pass LNG to Cheniere Investments, our wholly owned subsidiary, including all of its rights, titles, interests, obligations and liabilities in and under the TUA. After the assignment of the TUA from Cheniere Marketing to Cheniere Investments, Cheniere Investments began making its TUA payments on a monthly basis. Sabine Pass Liquefaction obtained this reserved capacity as a result of an assignment in July 2012 by Cheniere Investments of its rights, title and interest under its TUA. In connection with the assignment, Sabine Pass LNG, Sabine Pass Liquefaction and Cheniere Investments entered into a terminal use rights assignment and agreement ("TURA") pursuant to which Cheniere Investments has the right to use Sabine Pass Liquefaction's reserved capacity under the TUA and has the obligation to make the monthly capacity payments required by the TUA to Sabine Pass LNG. We have guaranteed the obligations of Sabine Pass Liquefaction under its TUA and the obligations of Cheniere Investments under the TURA. However, the revenue earned by Sabine Pass LNG from Cheniere Investments' capacity payments under its TUA was eliminated and under its TURA is eliminated upon consolidation of our financial statements.
In connection with monetizing Cheniere Investments’ reserved capacity under its TURA during construction of the Liquefaction Project, Cheniere Marketing has entered into a variable capacity rights agreement ("VCRA") pursuant to which Cheniere Marketing is obligated to pay Cheniere Investments 80% of the expected gross margin of each cargo of LNG that Cheniere Marketing arranges for delivery to the Sabine Pass LNG terminal. To the extent payments from Cheniere Marketing to Cheniere Investments under the VCRA increase our available cash in excess of the common unit and general partner distributions and certain reserves, the cash would be distributed to Cheniere in the form of distributions on its subordinated units. During the term of the VCRA, Cheniere Marketing is responsible for the payment of taxes and new regulatory costs paid by Cheniere Investments under the TURA. We recorded $4.9 million, $11.2 million and $1.9 million of revenues—affiliate from Cheniere Marketing in the years ended December 31, 2012, 2011, and 2010, respectively, related to the VCRA.
In September 2012, Sabine Pass Liquefaction entered into a partial TUA assignment agreement with Total, whereby Sabine Pass Liquefaction will progressively gain access to Total's capacity and other services provided under Total's TUA with Sabine Pass LNG. This agreement will provide Sabine Pass Liquefaction with additional berthing and storage capacity at the Sabine Pass LNG terminal that may be used to accommodate the development of Train 5 and Train 6, provide increased flexibility in managing LNG cargo loading and unloading activity starting with the commencement of commercial operations of Train 3, and permit Sabine Pass Liquefaction to more flexibly manage its storage with the commencement of Train 1. Notwithstanding any arrangements between Total and Sabine Pass Liquefaction, payments required to be made by Total to Sabine Pass LNG shall continue to be made by Total to Sabine Pass LNG in accordance with its TUA.
LNG Sale and Purchase Agreement ("SPA")
Cheniere Marketing has entered into an SPA with Sabine Pass Liquefaction to purchase, at its option, any excess LNG produced that is not committed to non-affiliate parties, for up to a maximum of 104,000,000 MMBtu per annum produced from Train 1 through Train 4 of the Liquefaction Project. Cheniere Marketing may purchase incremental LNG volumes at a price of 115% of Henry Hub plus up to $3.00 per MMBtu for the first 36,000,000 MMBtu of the most profitable cargoes sold each year by Cheniere Marketing, and then 20% of net profits of the remaining 68,000,000 MMBtu sold each year by Cheniere Marketing.
LNG Lease Agreement
In September 2011, Cheniere Investments entered into an agreement in the form of a lease (the "LNG Lease Agreement")with Cheniere Marketing that enables Cheniere Investments to supply the Sabine Pass LNG terminal with LNG to maintain proper LNG inventory levels and temperature. The LNG Lease Agreement also enables Cheniere Investments to hedge the exposure to variability in expected future cash flows of its LNG inventory. Under the terms of the LNG Lease Agreement, Cheniere Marketing funds all activities related to the purchase and hedging of the LNG, and Cheniere Investments reimburses Cheniere Marketing for all costs and assumes full price risk associated with these activities.
As a result of Cheniere Investments assuming full price risk associated with the LNG Lease Agreement, LNG inventory purchased by Cheniere Marketing under this arrangement is classified as LNG inventory—affiliate on our Consolidated Balance Sheets, and is recorded at cost and subject to lower-of-cost-or-market ("LCM") adjustments at the end of each period. LNG inventory—affiliate cost is determined using the average cost method. Recoveries of losses resulting from interim period LCM adjustments are made due to market price recoveries on the same LNG inventory—affiliate in the same fiscal year and are recognized as gains in later interim periods with such gains not exceeding previously recognized losses. Gains or losses on the sale of LNG inventory—affiliate and LCM adjustments are recorded as revenues on our Consolidated Statements of Operations. As of December 31, 2012, we had 1,369,000 MMBtu of LNG inventory—affiliate recorded at $4.4 million on our Consolidated Balance Sheets, and as of December 31, 2011, we had 1,527,000 MMBtu of LNG inventory—affiliate recorded at $4.4 million on our Consolidated Balance Sheets. During the years ended December 31, 2012 and 2011, we recognized a loss of $1.4 million and $11.4 million, respectively, as a result of LCM adjustments to our LNG inventory—affiliate.
Cheniere Marketing has entered into financial derivatives, on our behalf, to hedge the exposure to variability in expected future cash flows attributable to the future sale of our LNG inventory under the LNG Lease Agreement. The fair value of these derivative instruments at December 31, 2012 and 2011 was $0.2 million and $1.6 million, respectively, and was classified as other current assets on our Consolidated Balance Sheets. Changes in the fair value of these derivative instruments are classified as revenues on our Consolidated Statements of Operations. We recorded revenues of $1.0 million and $2.3 million related to LNG inventory—affiliate derivatives in the years ended December 31, 2012 and 2011, respectively.
During the years ended December 31, 2012, 2011 and 2010, we recorded general and administrative expense—affiliate of $53.5 million, $19.0 million and $15.9 million, respectively, under the following service agreements.
Cheniere Partners Services Agreement
We have entered into a services agreement with Cheniere LNG Terminals, Inc. ("Cheniere Terminals"), a wholly owned subsidiary of Cheniere, pursuant to which we pay Cheniere Terminals a quarterly non-accountable overhead reimbursement charge of $2.8 million (adjusted for inflation) for the provision of various general and administrative services for our benefit. In addition, we reimburse Cheniere Terminals for all audit, tax, legal and finance fees incurred by Cheniere Terminals that are necessary to perform the services under the agreement.
Sabine Pass LNG O&M Agreement
Sabine Pass LNG has entered into a long-term operation and maintenance agreement (the "Sabine Pass LNG O&M Agreement") with a wholly owned subsidiary of Cheniere pursuant to which we receive all necessary services required to operate and maintain the Sabine Pass LNG receiving terminal. Sabine Pass LNG is required to pay a fixed monthly fee of $130,000 (indexed for inflation) under the agreement, and the counterparty is entitled to a bonus equal to 50% of the salary component of labor costs in certain circumstances to be agreed upon between Sabine Pass LNG and the counterparty at the beginning of each operating year. In addition, Sabine Pass LNG is required to reimburse the counterparty for its operating expenses, which consist primarily of labor expenses.
Sabine Pass LNG MSA
Sabine Pass LNG has entered into a long-term management services agreement (the "Sabine Pass LNG MSA") with Cheniere Terminals, pursuant to which Cheniere Terminals manages the operation of the Sabine Pass LNG receiving terminal, excluding those matters provided for under the O&M Agreement. Sabine Pass LNG is required to pay Cheniere Terminals a monthly fixed fee of $520,000 (indexed for inflation).
Sabine Pass Liquefaction O&M Agreement
In May 2012, Sabine Pass Liquefaction entered into an operation and maintenance agreement (the "Liquefaction O&M Agreement") with a wholly owned subsidiary of Cheniere and our general partner pursuant to which we receive all of the necessary services required to construct, operate and maintain the liquefaction facilities. Before the liquefaction facilities are operational, the services to be provided include, among other services, obtaining governmental approvals on behalf of Sabine Pass Liquefaction, preparing an operating plan for certain periods, obtaining insurance, preparing staffing plans and preparing status reports. After the liquefaction facilities are operational, the services include all necessary services required to operate and maintain the liquefaction facilities.
Before the liquefaction facilities are operational, in addition to reimbursement of operating expenses, Sabine Pass Liquefaction is required to pay a monthly fee equal to 0.6% of the capital expenditures incurred in the previous month. After substantial completion of each Train, for services performed while the liquefaction facilities are operational, Sabine Pass Liquefaction will pay in addition to the reimbursement of operating expenses, a fixed monthly fee of $83,333 (indexed for inflation) for services with respect to such Train.
Sabine Pass Liquefaction MSA
In May 2012, Sabine Pass Liquefaction entered into a management services agreement (the "Liquefaction MSA") with a wholly owned subsidiary of Cheniere pursuant to which such subsidiary was appointed to manage the construction and operation of the liquefaction facilities, excluding those matters provided for under the Liquefaction O&M Agreement. The services to be provided include, among other services, exercising the day-to-day management of Sabine Pass Liquefaction's affairs and business, managing Sabine Pass Liquefaction's regulatory matters, managing bank and brokerage accounts and financial books and records of Sabine Pass Liquefaction's business and operations, and providing contract administration services for all contracts associated with the liquefaction facilities. Sabine Pass Liquefaction will pay a monthly fee equal to 2.4% of the capital expenditures incurred in the previous month. After substantial completion of each Train, Sabine Pass Liquefaction pays a fixed monthly fee of $541,667 for services with respect to such Train.
Agreement to Fund Sabine Pass LNG's Cooperative Endeavor Agreements
In July 2007, Sabine Pass LNG executed Cooperative Endeavor Agreements ("CEAs") with various Cameron Parish, Louisiana taxing authorities that allow them to collect certain annual property tax payments from Sabine Pass LNG in 2007 through 2016. This ten-year initiative represents an aggregate $25.0 million commitment and will make resources available to the Cameron Parish taxing authorities on an accelerated basis in order to aid in their reconstruction efforts following Hurricane Rita. In exchange for Sabine Pass LNG's payments of annual ad valorem taxes, Cameron Parish will grant Sabine Pass LNG a dollar for dollar credit against future ad valorem taxes to be levied against the Sabine Pass LNG terminal starting in 2019. In September 2007, Sabine Pass LNG modified its TUA with Cheniere Marketing, pursuant to which Cheniere Marketing would pay Sabine Pass LNG additional TUA revenues equal to any and all amounts payable under the CEAs in exchange for a similar amount of credits against future TUA payments it would owe Sabine Pass LNG under its TUA starting in 2019. In June 2010, Cheniere Marketing assigned its existing TUA to Cheniere Investments and concurrently entered into a VCRA, allowing Cheniere Marketing to monetize Cheniere Investments' capacity under the TUA after the assignment. In July 2012, Cheniere Investments entered into an amended and restated VCRA with Cheniere Marketing in order for Cheniere Investments to monetize the capacity rights granted under the TURA during construction of the Liquefaction Project. The amended and restated VCRA provides that Cheniere Marketing will continue to fund the CEAs during the term of the amended and restated VCRA and, in exchange, Cheniere Marketing will receive any future credits.
On a consolidated basis, these TUA payments were recorded to other assets, and payments from Cheniere Marketing that Sabine Pass LNG utilized to make the ad valorem tax payments were recorded as deferred revenue. As of December 31, 2012 and 2011, we had $14.7 million and $12.3 million of other non-current assets and non-current deferred revenue resulting from Sabine Pass LNG's ad valorem tax payments and the advance TUA payments received from Cheniere Marketing, respectively.
Contracts for Sale and Purchase of Natural Gas and LNG
Sabine Pass LNG is able to sell and purchase natural gas and LNG under an agreement with Cheniere Marketing. Under this agreement, Sabine Pass LNG purchases natural gas or LNG from Cheniere Marketing at a sales price equal to the actual purchase cost paid by Cheniere Marketing to suppliers of the natural gas or LNG, plus any third-party costs incurred by Cheniere Marketing in respect of the receipt, purchase, and delivery of the natural gas or LNG to the Sabine Pass LNG terminal.
Sabine Pass LNG recorded $2.8 million, $4.2 million and $2.8 million of natural gas and LNG purchased from Cheniere Marketing under this agreement in the years ended December 31, 2012, 2011 and 2010, respectively. Sabine Pass LNG recorded $2.8 million, zero and zero of natural gas sold to Cheniere Marketing under this agreement in the year ended the December 31, 2012, 2011 and 2010, respectively.
LNG Terminal Export Agreement
In January 2010, Sabine Pass LNG and Cheniere Marketing entered into an LNG Terminal Export Agreement that provides Cheniere Marketing the ability to export LNG from the Sabine Pass LNG terminal. Sabine Pass LNG recorded revenues—affiliate of $0.3 million, $0.3 million and $0.9 million pursuant to this agreement in the years ended December 31, 2012, 2011 and 2010, respectively.
Tug Boat Lease Sharing Agreement
In connection with its tug boat lease, Sabine Pass Tug Services, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sabine Pass LNG ("Tug Services"), entered into a tug sharing agreement with Cheniere Marketing to provide its LNG cargo vessels with tug boat and marine services at the Sabine Pass LNG terminal. Tug Services recorded revenues—affiliate from Cheniere Marketing of $2.8 million, $2.7 million and $2.7 million pursuant to this agreement in the years ended December 31, 2012, 2011 and 2010, respectively.