Annual report pursuant to Section 13 and 15(d)

Revenues from Contracts with Customers

Revenues from Contracts with Customers
12 Months Ended
Dec. 31, 2020
Revenue from Contract with Customer [Abstract]  
Revenues from Contracts with Customers REVENUES FROM CONTRACTS WITH CUSTOMERS
The following table represents a disaggregation of revenue earned from contracts with customers during the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018 (in millions):
Year Ended December 31,
2020 2019 2018
LNG revenues (1) $ 5,195  $ 5,210  $ 4,828 
LNG revenues—affiliate 662  1,312  1,299 
Regasification revenues 269  266  261 
Other revenues 41  49  39 
Total revenues from customers 6,167  6,837  6,427 
Net derivative gain (loss) (2) —  (1)
Total revenues $ 6,167  $ 6,838  $ 6,426 
(1)LNG revenues include revenues for LNG cargoes in which our customers exercised their contractual right to not take delivery but remained obligated to pay fixed fees irrespective of such election. During the year ended December 31, 2020, we recognized $553 million in LNG revenues associated with LNG cargoes for which customers notified us that they would not take delivery. Revenue is generally recognized upon receipt of irrevocable notice that a customer will not take delivery because our customers have no contractual right to take delivery of such LNG cargo in future periods and our performance obligations with respect to such LNG cargo have been satisfied.
(2)See Note 8—Derivative Instruments for additional information about our derivatives.

LNG Revenues

We have entered into numerous SPAs with third party customers for the sale of LNG on a free on board (“FOB”) (delivered to the customer at the Sabine Pass LNG terminal) basis. Our customers generally purchase LNG 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. The fixed fee component is the amount payable to us regardless of a cancellation or suspension of LNG cargo deliveries by the customers. The variable fee component is the amount generally payable to us only upon delivery of LNG plus all future adjustments to the fixed fee for inflation. 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. Additionally, we have agreements with Cheniere Marketing for which the related revenues are recorded as LNG revenues—affiliate. See Note 14—Related Party Transactions for additional information regarding these agreements.

Revenues from the sale of LNG are recognized at a point in time when the LNG is delivered to the customer, at the Sabine Pass LNG terminal, which is the point legal title, physical possession and the risks and rewards of ownership transfer to the customer. Each individual molecule of LNG is viewed as a separate performance obligation. The stated contract price (including both fixed and variable fees) per MMBtu in each LNG sales arrangement is representative of the stand-alone selling price for LNG at the time the contract was negotiated. We have concluded that the variable fees meet the exception for allocating variable consideration to specific parts of the contract. As such, the variable consideration for these contracts is allocated to each distinct molecule of LNG and recognized when that distinct molecule of LNG is delivered to the customer. Because of the use of the exception, variable consideration related to the sale of LNG is also not included in the transaction price.

Fees received pursuant to SPAs are recognized as LNG revenues only after substantial completion of the respective Train. Prior to substantial completion, sales generated during the commissioning phase are offset against the cost of construction for the respective Train, as the production and removal of LNG from storage is necessary to test the facility and bring the asset to the condition necessary for its intended use.

Regasification Revenues

The Sabine Pass LNG terminal has operational regasification capacity of approximately 4 Bcf/d. Approximately 2 Bcf/d of the regasification capacity at the Sabine Pass LNG terminal has been reserved under two long-term TUAs with unaffiliated
third-party customers, under which they are required to pay fixed monthly fees regardless of their use of the LNG terminal. Each of the customers has reserved approximately 1 Bcf/d of regasification capacity. The customers are each obligated to make monthly capacity payments to SPLNG aggregating approximately $125 million annually for 20 years that commenced in 2009, which is representative of fixed consideration in the contract. A portion of this fee is adjusted annually for inflation which is considered variable consideration. The remaining capacity of the Sabine Pass LNG terminal has been reserved by SPL, for which the associated revenues are eliminated in consolidation.

Because SPLNG is continuously available to provide regasification service on a daily basis with the same pattern of transfer, we have concluded that SPLNG provides a single performance obligation to its customers on a continuous basis over time. We have determined that an output method of recognition based on elapsed time best reflects the benefits of this service to the customer and accordingly, LNG regasification capacity reservation fees are recognized as regasification revenues on a straight-line basis over the term of the respective TUAs.

In 2012, SPL entered into a partial TUA assignment agreement with Total Gas & Power North America, Inc. (“Total”), whereby upon substantial completion of Train 5 of the Liquefaction Project, SPL gained access to substantially all of Total’s capacity and other services provided under Total’s TUA with SPLNG. 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 Train 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 and we continue to recognize the payments received from Total as revenue. During the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018, SPL recorded $129 million, $104 million and $30 million, respectively, as operating and maintenance expense under this partial TUA assignment agreement.

Deferred Revenue Reconciliation

The following table reflects the changes in our contract liabilities, which we classify as deferred revenue on our Consolidated Balance Sheets (in millions):
Year Ended December 31, 2020
Deferred revenues, beginning of period $ 155 
Cash received but not yet recognized 137 
Revenue recognized from prior period deferral (155)
Deferred revenues, end of period $ 137 

We record deferred revenue when we receive consideration, or such consideration is unconditionally due from a customer, prior to transferring goods or services to the customer under the terms of a sales contract. Changes in deferred revenue during the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019 are primarily attributable to differences between the timing of revenue recognition and the receipt of advance payments related to delivery of LNG under certain SPAs.
Transaction Price Allocated to Future Performance Obligations

Because many of our sales contracts have long-term durations, we are contractually entitled to significant future consideration which we have not yet recognized as revenue. The following table discloses the aggregate amount of the transaction price that is allocated to performance obligations that have not yet been satisfied as of December 31, 2020 and 2019:
December 31, 2020 December 31, 2019
Transaction Price
(in billions)
Weighted Average Recognition Timing (years) (1) Unsatisfied
Transaction Price
(in billions)
Weighted Average Recognition Timing (years) (1)
LNG revenues $ 52.1  9 $ 55.0  10
LNG revenues—affiliate 0.1  1 —  0
Regasification revenues 2.1  5 2.4  5
Total revenues $ 54.3  $ 57.4 
(1)    The weighted average recognition timing represents an estimate of the number of years during which we shall have recognized half of the unsatisfied transaction price.
We have elected the following exemptions which omit certain potential future sources of revenue from the table above:
(1)We omit from the table above all performance obligations that are part of a contract that has an original expected duration of one year or less.
(2)The table above excludes substantially all variable consideration under our SPAs and TUAs. We omit from the table above all variable consideration that is allocated entirely to a wholly unsatisfied performance obligation or to a wholly unsatisfied promise to transfer a distinct good or service that forms part of a single performance obligation when that performance obligation qualifies as a series. The amount of revenue from variable fees that is not included in the transaction price will vary based on the future prices of Henry Hub throughout the contract terms, to the extent customers elect to take delivery of their LNG, and adjustments to the consumer price index. Certain of our contracts contain additional variable consideration based on the outcome of contingent events and the movement of various indexes. We have not included such variable consideration in the transaction price to the extent the consideration is considered constrained due to the uncertainty of ultimate pricing and receipt. Approximately 42% and 52% of our LNG revenues from contracts included in the table above during the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively, were related to variable consideration received from customers. During each of the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019, approximately 3% of our regasification revenues were related to variable consideration received from customers.

We may enter into contracts to sell LNG that are conditioned upon one or both of the parties achieving certain milestones such as reaching a final investment decision on a certain liquefaction Train, obtaining financing or achieving substantial completion of a Train and any related facilities. These contracts are considered completed contracts for revenue recognition purposes and are included in the transaction price above when the conditions are considered probable of being met.