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What: Shares of Cheniere Energy (NYS: LNG) have jumped today by as much as 11% on reports that Japan may start importing liquefied natural gas, or LNG, from the U.S.
So what: The country is looking to diversify its energy sources in the face of the tsunami and subsequent nuclear crisis last year, and while it is the world's largest importer of LNG, it currently imports from Southeast Asia, Australia, and Qatar. Importing from the U.S. would result in lower prices for Japan.
Now what: Interestingly, the reports say that Japan may be in talks with players like Sempra Energy's (NYS: SRE) Cameron LNG project or potentially Dominion Resources' (NYS: D) Cove Point project, and not Cheniere. Other bidders, including Korea Gas Corp and BG Group, won the contracts to buy LNG from Cheniere's Sabine Pass terminal while Japanese utilities missed out. The Department of Energy said it would not revoke export approvals to control prices, so the news could be seen as positive for LNG prices.
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