CQP 2012 Form 10K



 
UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
Form 10-K
x
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(D) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2012
OR
o
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(D) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the transition period from              to             
 
Commission File No. 001-33366 
CHENIERE ENERGY PARTNERS, L.P. 
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
Delaware
 
20-5913059
(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)
 
(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)
 
 
 
700 Milam Street, Suite 800
 
 
Houston, Texas
 
77002
(Address of principal executive offices)
 
(Zip code)
 
Registrant’s telephone number, including area code: (713) 375-5000
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Common Units Representing Limited
Partner Interests
NYSE MKT
(Title of Class)
(Name of each exchange on which registered)
 
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None 

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.    Yes o    No x
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Exchange Act.    Yes o    No x
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.    Yes x    No o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files).    Yes x   No o
Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of the registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K.  x
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company. See the definitions of "large accelerated filer," "accelerated filer" and "smaller reporting company" in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check one):
Large accelerated filer  o
 
Accelerated filer  x
Non-accelerated filer  o
 
Smaller reporting company  o
(Do not check if a smaller reporting company)
 
 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).    Yes  o    No  x
The aggregate market value of the registrant’s Common Units held by non-affiliates of the registrant was approximately $439 million as of June 30, 2012.
The issuer had 39,488,488 common units, 133,333,334 Class B units and 135,383,831 subordinated units outstanding as of February 13, 2013.
Documents incorporated by reference: None  

 



CHENIERE ENERGY PARTNERS, L.P
TABLE OF CONTENTS






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CAUTIONARY STATEMENT
REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS


This annual report contains certain statements that are, or may be deemed to be, "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the "Securities Act"), and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the "Exchange Act"). All statements, other than statements of historical facts, included herein or incorporated herein by reference are "forward-looking statements." Included among "forward-looking statements" are, among other things:

statements regarding our ability to pay distributions to our unitholders; 
statements regarding our expected receipt of cash distributions from Sabine Pass LNG, L.P. ("Sabine Pass LNG") or Sabine Pass Liquefaction, LLC ("Sabine Pass Liquefaction"); 
statements regarding future levels of domestic and international natural gas production, supply or consumption or future levels of liquefied natural gas ("LNG") imports into or exports from North America and other countries worldwide, regardless of the source of such information, or the transportation or demand for and prices related to natural gas, LNG or other hydrocarbon products;
statements regarding any financing transactions or arrangements, or ability to enter into such transactions;
statements relating to the construction of our Trains, including statements concerning the engagement of any engineering, procurement and construction ("EPC") contractor or other contractor and the anticipated terms and provisions of any agreement with any EPC or other contractor, and anticipated costs related thereto;
statements regarding any agreement to be entered into or performed substantially in the future, including any revenues anticipated to be received and the anticipated timing thereof, and statements regarding the amounts of total LNG regasification, liquefaction or storage capacities that are, or may become subject to contracts;
statements regarding counterparties to our commercial contracts, construction contracts and other contracts;
statements regarding our planned construction of additional Trains, including the financing of such Trains;
statements that our Trains, when completed, will have certain characteristics, including amounts of liquefaction capacities;
statements regarding our business strategy, our strengths, our business and operation plans or any other plans, forecasts, projections or objectives, including anticipated revenues and capital expenditures, any or all of which are subject to change;
statements regarding legislative, governmental, regulatory, administrative or other public body actions, requirements, permits, investigations, proceedings or decisions;
statements regarding our anticipated LNG and natural gas marketing activities; and 
any other statements that relate to non-historical or future information.
These forward-looking statements are often identified by the use of terms and phrases such as "achieve," "anticipate," "believe," "contemplate," "develop," "estimate," "expect," "forecast," "plan," "potential," "project," "propose," "strategy" and similar terms and phrases, or by the use of future tense. Although we believe that the expectations reflected in these forward-looking statements are reasonable, they do involve assumptions, risks and uncertainties, and these expectations may prove to be incorrect. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which are made as of the date of this annual report and speak only as of the date of this annual report.
 
Our actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements as a result of a variety of factors, including those discussed in "Risk Factors." All forward-looking statements attributable to us or persons acting on our behalf are expressly qualified in their entirety by these risk factors.




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DEFINITIONS
 
In this annual report, unless the context otherwise requires: 
Bcf means billion cubic feet;
Bcf/d means billion cubic feet per day;
Bcfe means billion cubic feet of natural gas equivalent using the ratio of six thousand cubic feet of natural gas to one barrel (or 42 U.S. gallons liquid volume) of crude oil, condensate and natural gas liquids;
cm means cubic meter;
Dthd means dekatherms per day which is equivalent to one million British thermal units or one MMBtu per day;
EPC means engineering, procurement and construction;
Henry Hub means the final settlement price (in USD per MMBtu) for the New York Mercantile Exchange's Henry Hub natural gas futures contract for the month in which a relevant cargo's delivery window is scheduled to begin;
LNG means liquefied natural gas;
MMBtu means million British thermal units;
mmtpa means million metric tons per annum;
SPA means a LNG sale and purchase agreement;
Tcf means trillion cubic feet;
Train means a natural gas liquefaction train; and
TUA means terminal use agreement.
 
PART I
 
ITEMS 1. and 2.     BUSINESS AND PROPERTIES

General
 
We are a Delaware limited partnership formed by Cheniere Energy, Inc. ("Cheniere"). Through our wholly owned subsidiary, Sabine Pass LNG, we own and operate the regasification facilities at the Sabine Pass LNG terminal located on the Sabine Pass deep water shipping channel less than four miles from the Gulf Coast. The Sabine Pass LNG terminal includes existing infrastructure of five LNG storage tanks with capacity of approximately 16.9 Bcfe, two docks that can accommodate vessels of up to 265,000 cubic meters and vaporizers with regasification capacity of approximately 4.0 Bcf/d. Approximately one-half of the LNG receiving capacity at the Sabine Pass LNG terminal is contracted to two multinational energy companies. We are developing natural gas liquefaction facilities (the "Liquefaction Project") at the Sabine Pass LNG terminal adjacent to the existing regasification facilities through a wholly owned subsidiary, Sabine Pass Liquefaction. Unless the context requires otherwise, references to "Cheniere Partners", "we", "us" and "our" refer to Cheniere Energy Partners, L.P. and its subsidiaries, including Sabine Pass LNG and Sabine Pass Liquefaction. 




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The following diagram depicts our abbreviated capital structure, including our ownership of Sabine Pass LNG and Sabine Pass Liquefaction as of February 13, 2013:
LNG is natural gas that, through a refrigeration process, has been cooled to a liquid state, which occupies a volume that is approximately 1/600th of its gaseous state. The liquefaction of natural gas into LNG allows it to be shipped economically from areas of the world where natural gas is abundant and inexpensive to produce to other areas where natural gas demand and infrastructure exist to justify economically the use of LNG. LNG is transported using large oceangoing LNG tankers specifically constructed for this purpose. LNG receiving terminals offload LNG from LNG tankers, store the LNG prior to processing, heat the LNG to return it to a gaseous state and deliver the resulting natural gas into pipelines for transportation to market.

Our Business Strategy 
Our primary business strategy is to develop, construct, and operate assets supported by long-term, fixed fee contracts. We plan to implement our strategy by:
completing construction and commencing operation of our Trains (each in sequence, "Train 1", "Train 2", "Train 3", "Train 4", "Train 5" and "Train 6");
developing and operating our Trains safely, efficiently and reliably;
making LNG available to our long-term SPA customers to generate steady and reliable revenues and operating cash flows;
safely maintaining and operating the Sabine Pass LNG terminal;
utilizing capacity at the Sabine Pass LNG terminal for short-term and spot LNG purchases and sales until such capacity is used in connection with the Liquefaction Project;
developing business relationships for the marketing of additional long-term and short-term agreements for excess LNG volumes at the Sabine Pass LNG terminal that have not been sold to our long-term customers, and for long-term and short-term contracts for potential future projects at other sites; and
expanding our existing asset base through acquisitions from Cheniere or third parties or our own development of the Liquefaction Project or complementary businesses or assets such as other LNG terminals, natural gas storage assets and natural gas pipelines.

Our Business
 
We have constructed and are operating the Sabine Pass LNG terminal located on the Sabine Pass deep water shipping channel less than four miles from the Gulf Coast. We have long-term leases for five tracts of land consisting of 1,044 acres. We are currently operating LNG receiving facilities at the terminal and are developing and constructing the Liquefaction Project.
 
Regasification Facilities
 
The regasification facilities at the Sabine Pass LNG terminal have operational regasification capacity of approximately 4.0 Bcf/d and aggregate LNG storage capacity of approximately 16.9 Bcfe. Approximately 2.0 Bcf/d of the regasification capacity at the Sabine Pass LNG terminal has been reserved under two long-term third-party TUAs, under which Sabine Pass LNG’s customers are required to pay fixed monthly fees, whether or not they use the LNG terminal. Capacity reservation fee TUA payments are made by Sabine Pass LNG's third-party TUA customers as follows: 



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Total Gas & Power North America, Inc. ("Total") has reserved approximately 1.0 Bcf/d of regasification capacity and is obligated to make monthly capacity payments to Sabine Pass LNG aggregating approximately $125 million per year for 20 years that commenced April 1, 2009. Total, S.A. has guaranteed Total’s obligations under its TUA up to $2.5 billion, subject to certain exceptions; and 
Chevron U.S.A. Inc. ("Chevron") has reserved approximately 1.0 Bcf/d of regasification capacity and is obligated to make monthly capacity payments to Sabine Pass LNG aggregating approximately $125 million per year for 20 years that commenced July 1, 2009. Chevron Corporation has guaranteed Chevron’s obligations under its TUA up to 80% of the fees payable by Chevron.

The remaining approximately 2.0 Bcf/d of capacity has been reserved under a TUA by Sabine Pass Liquefaction. Sabine Pass Liquefaction is obligated to make monthly capacity payments to Sabine Pass LNG aggregating approximately $250 million per year, continuing until at least 20 years after Sabine Pass Liquefaction delivers its first commercial cargo at Sabine Pass Liquefaction's facilities under construction, which may occur as early as late 2015. Sabine Pass Liquefaction obtained this reserved capacity as a result of an assignment in July 2012 by Cheniere Energy Investments, LLC ("Cheniere Investments"), a wholly owned subsidiary of Cheniere Partners, of its rights, title and interest under its TUA. In connection with the assignment, Sabine Pass Liquefaction, Cheniere Investments and Sabine Pass LNG 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. In an effort to monetize Cheniere Investments' reserved capacity under its TURA during construction of the Liquefaction Project, Cheniere Marketing, LLC ("Cheniere Marketing"), a wholly owned subsidiary of Cheniere, 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. The revenue earned by Sabine Pass LNG from the capacity payments made under the TUA and the revenue earned by Cheniere Investments under the VCRA are eliminated upon consolidation of our financial statements. We have guaranteed the obligations of Sabine Pass Liquefaction under its TUA and the obligations of Cheniere Investments under the TURA.

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 LNG storage capacity 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.

Under each of these TUAs, Sabine Pass LNG is entitled to retain 2% of the LNG delivered to the Sabine Pass LNG terminal.

Liquefaction Facilities

The Liquefaction Project is being developed at the Sabine Pass LNG terminal adjacent to the existing regasification facilities. We plan to construct up to six Trains, which are in various stages of development. We have commenced construction of Train 1 and Train 2 and the related new facilities needed to treat, liquefy, store and export natural gas. Construction of Train 3 and Train 4 and the related facilities is expected to commence upon, among other things, obtaining financing commitments sufficient to fund construction of such Trains and making a positive final investment decision. We recently began the development of Train 5 and Train 6 and expect to commence the regulatory approval process in the first half of 2013.

The Trains are being designed, constructed and commissioned by Bechtel Oil, Gas and Chemicals, Inc. ("Bechtel") using the ConocoPhillips Optimized Cascade® technology, a proven technology deployed in numerous LNG projects around the world. Sabine Pass Liquefaction has entered into lump sum turnkey contracts for the engineering, procurement and construction of Train 1 and Train 2 (the "EPC Contract (Train 1 and 2)") and Train 3 and Train 4 (the "EPC Contract (Train 3 and 4)", and together with the EPC Contract (Train 1 and 2), the "EPC Contracts"), with Bechtel in November 2011 and December 2012, respectively.

In August 2012, we received a final order from the U.S. Department of Energy ("DOE") to export 16 mmtpa of LNG to all nations with which trade is permitted.  In April 2012, we received authorization from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commissin ("FERC") to site, construct and operate Train 1, Train 2, Train 3 and Train 4.



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As of December 31, 2012, the overall project completion for Train 1 and Train 2 was approximately 18% complete. Based on our current construction schedule, we anticipate that Train 1 will produce LNG as early as the end of 2015.

Customers

As of February 13, 2013, Sabine Pass Liquefaction has entered into the following third-party SPAs:

BG Gulf Coast LNG, LLC ("BG") SPA commences upon the date of first commercial delivery for Train 1 and includes an annual contract quantity of 182,500,000 MMBtu of LNG and a fixed fee of $2.25 per MMBtu and includes additional annual contract quantities of 36,500,000 MMBtu, 34,000,000 MMBtu, and 33,500,000 MMBtu upon the date of first commercial delivery for Train 2, Train 3 and Train 4, respectively, with a fixed fee of $3.00 per MMBtu. The total expected annual contracted cash flow from BG from the fixed fee component is $723 million. In addition, Sabine Pass Liquefaction has agreed to make LNG available to BG to the extent that Train 1 becomes commercially operable prior to the beginning of the first delivery window. The obligations of BG are guaranteed by BG Energy Holdings Limited, a company organized under the laws of England and Wales, with a credit rating of A2/A.
Gas Natural Aprovisionamientos SDG S.A. ("Gas Natural Fenosa"), an affiliate of Gas Natural SDG, S.A., SPA commences upon the date of first commercial delivery for Train 2 and includes an annual contract quantity of 182,500,000 MMBtu of LNG and a fixed fee of $2.49 per MMBtu, equating to expected annual contracted cash flow from the fixed fee component of $454 million. The obligations of Gas Natural Fenosa are guaranteed by Gas Natural SDG S.A., a company organized under the laws of Spain, with a credit rating of Baa2/BBB.
Korea Gas Corporation ("KOGAS") SPA commences upon the date of first commercial delivery for Train 3 and includes an annual contract quantity of 182,500,000 MMBtu of LNG and a fixed fee of $3.00 per MMBtu, equating to expected annual contracted cash flow from fixed fees of $548 million. KOGAS is organized under the laws of the Republic of Korea, with a credit rating of A/A1.
GAIL (India) Limited ("GAIL") SPA commences upon the date of first commercial delivery for Train 4 and includes an annual contract quantity of 182,500,000 MMBtu of LNG and a fixed fee of $3.00 per MMBtu, equating to expected annual contracted cash flow from fixed fees of $548 million. GAIL is organized under the laws of India, with a credit rating of Baa2/BBB-.
Total, an affiliate of Total S.A., SPA commences upon the date of first commercial delivery for Train 5 and includes an annual contract quantity of 104,750,000 MMBtu of LNG and a fixed fee of $3.00 per MMBtu, equating to expected annual contracted cash flow from fixed fees of $314 million. The obligations of Total are guaranteed by Total S.A., a company organized under the laws of France, with a credit rating of Aa1/AA.

In aggregate, the fixed fee portion to be paid by these customers is approximately $2.6 billion annually, with fixed fees starting from the commencement of operations of Train 1, Train 2, Train 3, Train 4 and Train 5 equating to $411 million, $564 million, $650 million, $648 million and $314 million, respectively.

In addition, Cheniere Marketing has entered into an SPA 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. 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.
Construction
In November 2011, Sabine Pass Liquefaction entered into the EPC Contract (Train 1 and 2) with Bechtel. Sabine Pass Liquefaction issued a notice to proceed for construction under the EPC Contract (Train 1 and 2) in August 2012.
In December 2012, Sabine Pass Liquefaction entered into the EPC Contract (Train 3 and 4) with Bechtel. Under the EPC Contract (Train 3 and 4), if Sabine Pass Liquefaction fails to issue notice to proceed to Bechtel by December 31, 2013, then either Sabine Pass Liquefaction or Bechtel may terminate the EPC Contract (Train 3 and 4), and Bechtel will be paid costs reasonably incurred on account of such termination and a lump sum of $5.0 million. The Trains are in various stages of development, as described above.



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The contract price of the EPC Contract (Train 1 and 2) is approximately $3.97 billion, reflecting amounts incurred under change orders through December 31, 2012. Total expected capital costs for Train 1 and Train 2 are estimated to be between $4.5 billion and $5.0 billion before financing costs, including estimated owner's costs and contingencies. Budgeted total all-in costs for Train 1 and Train 2 are estimated to be between $5.5 billion and $6.0 billion, including financing costs and interest expense during construction. The contract price of the EPC Contract (Train 3 and 4) is $3.77 billion, only subject to adjustment by change order (including if Sabine Pass Liquefaction issues the notice to proceed after June 1, 2013). The cost to construct Train 3 and Train 4 is currently estimated to be between $4.5 billion and $5.0 billion before financing costs, including estimated owner's costs and contingencies.

The liquefaction technology to be employed under the EPC Contracts is the ConocoPhillips Optimized Cascade® Process, which was first used at the ConocoPhillips Petroleum Kenai plant built by Bechtel in 1969 in Kenai, Alaska. Bechtel has since designed and/or constructed LNG facilities using the ConocoPhillips Optimized Cascade® technology in Angola, Australia, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea and Trinidad. The design and technology has been proven in over four decades of operation.

Pipeline Facilities

Cheniere Creole Trail Pipeline, L.P. ("Creole Trail"), an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Cheniere, owns the Creole Trail Pipeline, a 94-mile pipeline interconnecting the Sabine Pass LNG terminal with a number of large interstate pipelines, including Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America, Transcontinental Gas Pipeline Corporation, Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, Florida Gas Transmission Company, Texas Eastern Gas Transmission, and Trunkline Gas Company, as well as the intrastate pipeline system of Bridgeline Holdings, L.P.

Sabine Pass Liquefaction has entered into a transportation precedent agreement to secure firm pipeline transportation capacity with Creole Trail and two other pipelines for Train 1 and Train 2. Creole Trail filed an application with the FERC in April 2012 for certain modifications to allow the Creole Trail Pipeline to be able to transport natural gas to the Sabine Pass LNG terminal. Creole Trail estimates the capital costs to modify the Creole Trail Pipeline will be approximately $90 million. The modifications are expected to be in service in time for the commissioning and testing of Train 1 and Train 2.

We have entered into an agreement with Cheniere to purchase the equity interests of the entities that own the Creole Trail Pipeline if, among other things, we obtain acceptable financing for the purchase price. The consideration to be paid by us for the Creole Trail Pipeline is 12 million Class B units and $300 million, plus any costs incurred by Creole Trail from August 2012 until the purchase date, including, if applicable, any portion of the expected $90 million for pipeline modifications.

LNG Terminal Governmental Regulation
 
The Sabine Pass LNG terminal and Liquefaction Project operations and construction are subject to extensive regulation under federal, state and local statutes, rules, regulations and laws. These laws require that we engage in consultations with appropriate federal and state agencies and that we obtain and maintain applicable permits and other authorizations. This regulatory burden increases our cost of operations and construction, and failure to comply with such laws could result in substantial penalties.

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ("FERC")
 
The design, construction and operation of our proposed liquefaction facilities, and the export of LNG, are highly regulated activities. In order to site and construct the Sabine Pass LNG terminal, we received and are required to maintain authorization from the FERC under Section 3 of the Natural Gas Act of 1938, as amended ("NGA"). The FERC's approval under Section 3 of the NGA, as well as several other material governmental and regulatory approvals and permits, are required in order to site, construct and operate our liquefaction facilities.

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 ("EPAct"), amended Section 3 of the NGA to establish or clarify the FERC's exclusive authority to approve or deny an application for the siting, construction, expansion or operation of LNG terminals, although except as specifically provided in the EPAct, nothing in the EPAct is intended to affect otherwise applicable law related to any other federal agency's authorities or responsibilities related to LNG terminals. Sabine Pass Liquefaction filed an application with the FERC in January 2011 for an order under Section 3 of the NGA authorizing the siting, construction and operation of the Liquefaction Project, including the siting, construction and operation of Train 1 through Train 4. The FERC issued final orders in April and July



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2012 approving Sabine Pass Liquefaction's application. Subsequently, the FERC issued written approval to commence site preparation work for Train 1 through Train 4. The FERC approval requires Sabine Pass Liquefaction to obtain certain additional FERC approvals as construction progresses. To date Sabine Pass Liquefaction has been able to obtain these approvals as needed. In October 2012, Sabine Pass Liquefaction filed an application at the FERC to amend its orders to reflect certain modifications of the Liquefaction Project. The pending modifications will require additional review by the FERC under the National Environmental Policy Act ("NEPA"), which will include preparation and evaluation of a supplemental Environmental Assessment for the project. The need for this approval has not materially affected Sabine Pass Liquefaction's construction progress. Sabine Pass Liquefaction will also need the FERC's approval to construct Train 5 and Train 6, which have not yet been authorized at this time. Throughout the life of our proposed liquefaction facilities, we will be subject to regular reporting requirements to the FERC and the U.S. Department of Transportation regarding the operation and maintenance of the facilities.

The EPAct amended the NGA to prohibit market manipulation, and increased civil and criminal penalties for any violations of the NGA and any rules, regulations or orders of the FERC, up to $1.0 million per day per violation. In accordance with the EPAct, the FERC issued a final rule making it unlawful for any entity, in connection with the purchase or sale of natural gas or transportation service subject to the FERC's jurisdiction, to defraud, make an untrue statement or omit a material fact or engage in any practice, act or course of business that operates or would operate as a fraud.
 
DOE Export License

The DOE has issued two orders authorizing exports from the Liquefaction Project: an order authorizing the export of up to the equivalent of 16 mmtpa (approximately 803 Bcf) of domestically produced LNG by vessel from the Sabine Pass LNG terminal to countries with which the United States has a Free Trade Agreement providing for national treatment for trade in natural gas ("FTA") for a 30-year term, beginning on the earlier of the date of first export or September 7, 2020, and another order authorizing the export of up to the equivalent of 803 Bcf per year (approximately 16 mmtpa) of domestically produced LNG by vessel from the Sabine Pass LNG terminal to non-FTA countries for a 20-year term, beginning on the earlier of the date of first export or August 7, 2017.

Exports of natural gas to countries with which the United States has an FTA are "deemed to be consistent with the public interest" and authorization to export LNG to FTA countries shall be granted by the DOE without "modification or delay". Sabine Pass Liquefaction received approval to export to FTA countries in September 2010. FTA countries which import LNG now or will do so by 2016 include: Chile, Mexico, Singapore, South Korea and the Dominican Republic.

Exports of natural gas to countries with which the United States does not have an FTA are considered by DOE in the context of a comment period whereby interveners are provided the opportunity to assert that such authorization would not be consistent with the public interest. Sabine Pass Liquefaction received final approval to export to non-FTA countries in August 2012.
 
Other Governmental Permits, Approvals and Authorizations
 
The operation of the Sabine Pass LNG terminal and related projects, and the construction and operation of our proposed liquefaction facilities, are also subject to additional federal permits, orders, approvals and consultations required by other federal agencies, including: the DOE, Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Department of Commerce, National Marine Fisheries Services, U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, EPA and U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Three significant permits are the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers ("USACE") Section 404 of the Clean Water Act/Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act Permit (the "Section 10/404 Permit"), the Clean Air Act Title V Operating Permit and the Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) Permit, the latter two permits issued by the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality ("LDEQ").

The application for revision of the Sabine Pass LNG terminal's Section 10/404 Permit to authorize construction of Train 1 through Train 4 was submitted in January 2011. The process included a public comment period which commenced in March 2011 and closed in April 2011. The revised Section 10/404 permit was received from the USACE in March 2012. The USACE acted in the capacity as a cooperating agency in the FERC's NEPA review process. The application to amend the Sabine Pass LNG terminal's existing Title V and PSD permits to authorize construction of Train 1 through Train 4 was initially submitted in December 2010 and revised in March 2011. The process included a public comment period from June 2011 to August 2011 and a public



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hearing in August 2011. The final revised Title V and PSD permits were issued by the LDEQ in December 2011. Although this permit is final, a petition with the EPA has been filed pursuant to the Clean Air Act requesting that the EPA object to the Title V permit. EPA has not ruled on this petition. In June 2012, we applied to the LDEQ for a further amendment to the Title V and PSD permits to reflect the proposed modifications to the Liquefaction Project that were filed with the FERC in October 2012 as discussed above. In November 2012, the LDEQ issued proposed revised air permits for public comment, and comments regarding the proposed revised air permits have been filed. We anticipate, but cannot guarantee, that the revised Title V and PSD permits will be issued during the first quarter of 2013.

We will also need to obtain a modification to the Sabine Pass LNG terminal's existing wastewater discharge permit to authorize discharges from the liquefaction facilities prior to the commencement of operation of the Liquefaction Project.

The Sabine Pass LNG terminal regasification and liquefaction facilities are subject to U.S. Department of Transportation safety regulations and standards for the transportation and storage of LNG and regulations of the U.S. Coast Guard relating to maritime safety and facility security.

Commodity Futures Trading Commission

Congress adopted comprehensive financial reform legislation that establishes federal oversight and regulation of the over-the-counter derivatives market and entities, such as us, that participate in that market. This legislation, known as the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the "Dodd-Frank Act"), is designed primarily to (1) regulate certain participants in the swaps markets, including new entities defined as "Swap Dealers" and "Major Swap Participants," (2) require clearing and exchange-trading of certain swaps that the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (the "CFTC") determines must be cleared, (3) increase swap market transparency through robust reporting and recordkeeping requirements, and (4) enhance the CFTC's rulemaking and enforcement authority, including the authority to establish position limits on swaps products. This legislation requires the CFTC, the SEC and other regulators to promulgate rules and regulations implementing the Dodd-Frank Act. In November 2011, the CFTC adopted rules to impose new position limits on certain core futures and equivalent swaps contracts for physical commodities, including natural gas, with exceptions for certain bona fide hedging transactions. These new position limit rules were vacated by a federal district court in September 2012, and the CFTC has appealed this ruling. Consequently, the CFTC's vacated position limits rules will not go into effect unless and until the CFTC prevails on appeal of this ruling or issues and finalizes revised rules.

In October 2012, the CFTC's and SEC's joint rules further defining the term "swap" became effective, which triggered the start of certain Dodd-Frank Act regulatory obligations. The CFTC's swaps reporting and recordkeeping rules are to be phased in over 180 days following October 12, 2012, depending on swap asset class and counterparty. It is expected that entities that are end users of swaps or otherwise are not swap dealers or major swap participants will be required to comply with the Dodd-Frank Act reporting and recordkeeping rules in April 2013. In December 2012, the CFTC published final rules regarding mandatory clearing of certain interest rate swaps and certain index credit default swaps and setting compliance dates for different categories of market participants, the earliest of which is March 11, 2013. The CFTC has not yet proposed any rules requiring the clearing of any other classes of swaps, including physical commodity swaps. Although we expect to qualify for the end-user exception from the clearing requirement for our swaps, mandatory clearing requirements applicable to other market participants, such as swap dealers, may change the cost and availability of the swaps that we use for hedging. For uncleared swaps, the Dodd-Frank Act may also require our counterparties to require that we enter into credit support documentation and/or initial and variation margin requirements; however, the CFTC's and other agencies' margin rules are not yet final and therefore the application of those provisions to us is uncertain at this time. The financial reform legislation may also cause our derivatives counterparties to spin off some of their derivatives activities to a separate entity, which may not be as creditworthy as the current counterparty. The new legislation, and any additional regulations, may also adversely affect our existing derivative contracts and restrict our ability to monetize such contracts, cause us to restructure certain contracts, reduce the availability of derivatives to protect against risks or to optimize assets, and impact the liquidity of certain swaps products, all of which could increase our business costs.
 
LNG Terminal Environmental Regulation
 
Our LNG terminal operations, including the proposed liquefaction facilities, are subject to various federal, state and local laws and regulations relating to the protection of the environment. These environmental laws and regulations may impose substantial penalties for noncompliance and substantial liabilities for pollution. Many of these laws and regulations restrict or prohibit the



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types, quantities and concentration of substances that can be released into the environment and can lead to substantial civil and criminal fines and penalties for non-compliance.
 
Clean Air Act ("CAA")
 
Our LNG terminal operations, including the proposed liquefaction facilities, are subject to the federal CAA and comparable state and local laws. We may be required to incur certain capital expenditures over the next several years for air pollution control equipment in connection with maintaining or obtaining permits and approvals addressing air emission-related issues. We do not believe, however, that our operations, or the construction and operations of our proposed liquefaction facilities, will be materially and adversely affected by any such requirements.
 
In 2009, the EPA promulgated and finalized the Mandatory Greenhouse Gas Reporting Rule for multiple sections of the economy. This rule requires mandatory reporting of greenhouse gas ("GHG") emissions from stationary fuel combustion sources as well as all fugitive emissions throughout LNG terminals. From time to time, Congress has considered proposed legislation directed at reducing GHG emissions, and the EPA has defined GHG emissions thresholds for requiring certain permits for new and existing industrial sources. It is not possible at this time to predict how future regulations or legislation may address GHG emissions and impact our business. However, future regulations and laws could result in increased compliance costs or additional operating restrictions and could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial position, results of operations and cash flows.

Coastal Zone Management Act ("CZMA")
 
Our LNG terminals, including the proposed liquefaction facilities, are subject to the review and possible requirements of the CZMA throughout the construction of facilities located within the coastal zone. The CZMA is administered by the states (in Louisiana, by the Department of Natural Resources, and in Texas, by the General Land Office). This program is implemented to ensure that impacts to coastal areas are consistent with the intent of the CZMA to manage the coastal areas.

Clean Water Act ("CWA")
 
The Sabine Pass LNG terminal operations and the proposed liquefaction facilities are subject to the federal CWA and analogous state and local laws. The CWA imposes strict controls on the discharge of pollutants into the navigable waters of the United States, including discharges of wastewater and storm water runoff and fill/discharges into waters of the United States. Permits must be obtained to discharge pollutants into state and federal waters. The CWA is administered by the EPA, the USACE, and by the states (in Louisiana, by the LDEQ, and in Texas, by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality).
 
Resource Conservation and Recovery Act ("RCRA")
 
The federal RCRA and comparable state statutes govern the disposal of solid and hazardous wastes. In the event such wastes are generated in connection with our facilities, we are subject to regulatory requirements affecting the handling, transportation, treatment, storage and disposal of such wastes
 
Endangered Species Act
 
The Sabine Pass LNG terminal operations and the proposed liquefaction facilities may be restricted by requirements under the Endangered Species Act, which seeks to protect endangered or threatened animal, fish and plant species and designated habitats.

Market Factors and Competition

Sabine Pass LNG currently does not experience competition for its terminal capacity because the entire approximately 4.0 Bcf/d of regasification capacity that is available at the Sabine Pass LNG terminal has been fully contracted. If and when Sabine Pass LNG has to replace any TUAs, it will compete with other then-existing LNG terminals for customers.

The Liquefaction Project currently does not experience competition with respect to Train 1 through Train 4, and a portion of Train 5. Sabine Pass Liquefaction has entered into five fixed price, 20-year LNG SPAs that will utilize substantially all of the



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liquefaction capacity available from these Trains. Each customer will be required to pay an escalating fixed fee for its annual contract quantity even if it elects not to purchase any LNG from us.

If and when Sabine Pass Liquefaction needs to replace any existing SPA or enter into new SPAs with respect to Train 5 and Train 6, Sabine Pass Liquefaction will compete on the basis of price per contracted volume of LNG with other LNG liquefaction projects throughout the world. Revenues associated with any incremental volumes of the Liquefaction Project, including those under the Cheniere Marketing SPA discussed above, will also be subject to market-based price competition.

Our ability to sell any seasonal quantities of LNG available from Train 1 through Train 4, develop additional Trains, or develop other new projects is subject to a broader array of market factors, including: changes in worldwide supply and demand for natural gas, LNG and substitute products; the relative prices for natural gas, crude oil and substitute products in North America and international markets; economic growth in developing countries; investment in energy infrastructure; the rate of fuel switching for power generation from coal, nuclear or oil to natural gas; and access to capital markets.

We expect global demand for natural gas and LNG to grow significantly as nations seek more abundant, reliable and environmentally cleaner fuel alternatives to oil and coal. Global demand for natural gas is projected by the International Energy Agency to grow by more than 24 Tcf between 2010 and 2020, fueled by the growth of emerging economies. Global demand for LNG is forecast to increase by 49%, or 5.7 Tcf, by 2020 and reach a total of 456 mmtpa, or 22.2 Tcf, by 2025. LNG is substantially more flexible than pipeline-delivered natural gas. As a result, the share of LNG in the global natural gas market is expected to increase as markets seek to improve security of supply by accessing a wide portfolio of producers that can readjust deliveries to meet the needs of changing markets.

While global natural gas consumption has been rising internationally, natural gas production in the United States has undergone a technological transformation that has resulted in a substantial increase in annual production capacity, decrease in the cost of production, and expansion of technically recoverable reserves.

Our ability to continue to develop new facilities in the United States will be driven in part by the continued success of the North American upstream natural gas sector in developing new reservoirs, continuing to drive down costs and producing higher valued condensates and natural gas liquids in conjunction with natural gas production. Any such facilities will compete with other international LNG export projects principally on a price basis. These projects generally require capital not only to build the marine, storage and liquefaction facilities, but also to drill wells and build processing and pipeline transportation infrastructure. Because we rely on the natural gas market and transportation infrastructure already existing in the United States, we generally require less capital expenditures than competing projects. Furthermore, because natural gas is purchased from the United States market at a Henry Hub related price, we can offer LNG for sale at an alternative price to crude oil prices, thereby providing customers with an opportunity to diversify their supply portfolios by geography and price index.


Subsidiaries
 
Our assets are generally held by or under our operating subsidiaries. We conduct most of our operations through these subsidiaries, including our operations relating to the development and operation of our LNG terminal business and the Liquefaction Project.

Employees and Labor Relations
 
We have no employees. We rely on our general partner to manage all aspects of the operation, maintenance and construction of the Sabine Pass LNG terminal, the Liquefaction Project and the conduct of our business. Because our general partner has no employees, it relies on subsidiaries of Cheniere to provide the personnel necessary to allow it to meet its management obligations to us, Sabine Pass LNG and Sabine Pass Liquefaction. As of February 13, 2013, Cheniere and its subsidiaries had 306 full-time employees, including 163 employees who directly supported the Sabine Pass LNG terminal operations and the Liquefaction Project. See Note 13—"Related Party Transactions" in our Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements for a discussion of these arrangements.  Cheniere considers its current employee relations to be favorable.
 




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Available Information

Our common units have been publicly traded since March 21, 2007, and are traded on the NYSE MKT under the symbol "CQP". Our principal executive offices are located at 700 Milam Street, Suite 800, Houston, Texas 77002, and our telephone number is (713) 375-5000. Our internet address is http://www.cheniereenergypartners.com. We provide public access to our annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, and amendments to these reports as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file those materials with, or furnish those materials to, the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") under the Exchange Act. These reports may be accessed free of charge through our internet website. We make our website content available for informational purposes only. The website should not be relied upon for investment purposes and is not incorporated by reference into this Form 10-K.

We will also make available to any unitholder, without charge, copies of our Annual Report on Form 10-K as filed with the SEC. For copies of this, or any other filing, please contact: Cheniere Energy Partners, L.P, Investor Relations Department, 700 Milam Street, Suite 800, Houston, Texas 77002 or call (713) 562-5000. In addition, the public may read and copy any materials we file with the SEC at the SEC’s Public Reference Room at 100 F Street, N.E., Room 1580, Washington, D.C. 20549. The public may obtain information on the operation of the Public Reference Room by calling the SEC at 1-800-SEC-0330. The SEC maintains an internet site (www.sec.gov) that contains reports and other information regarding issuers, like us, that file electronically with the SEC.



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ITEM 1A.                      RISK FACTORS
 
Limited partner interests are inherently different from the capital stock of a corporation, although many of the business risks to which we are subject are similar to those that would be faced by a corporation engaged in a similar business. The following are some of the important factors that could affect our financial performance or could cause actual results to differ materially from estimates or expectations contained in our forward-looking statements. We may encounter risks in addition to those described below. Additional risks and uncertainties not currently known to us, or that we currently deem to be immaterial, may also impair or adversely affect our business, contracts, financial condition, operating results, cash flows, liquidity and prospects. 
The risk factors in this report are grouped into the following categories: 
Risks Relating to Our Financial Matters; 
Risks Relating to Our Business; 
Risks Relating to Our Cash Distributions; 
Risks Relating to an Investment in Us and Our Common Units; and 
Risks Relating to Tax Matters.

Risks Relating to Our Financial Matters
 
Our existing level of cash resources, negative operating cash flow and significant debt could cause us to have inadequate liquidity and could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and prospects.
 
As of December 31, 2012, we had $419.3 million of cash and cash equivalents and $364.9 million of restricted cash and cash equivalents, and we had $2.2 billion of total debt outstanding on a consolidated basis (before debt discounts). In addition, in February 2013, we issued an additional $1.5 billion of indebtedness to finance the capital costs in connection with the construction of Train 1 and Train 2. We incur significant interest expense relating to the assets at the Sabine Pass LNG terminal and Liquefaction Project, and we anticipate needing to incur substantial additional debt and issue equity to finance the construction of all six trains of the Liquefaction Project. Our ability to fund our capital expenditures and refinance our indebtedness will depend on our ability to access capital markets. Furthermore, our costs could increase or future borrowings or equity offerings may be unavailable to us or unsuccessful, which could cause us to be unable to pay or refinance our indebtedness or to fund our other liquidity needs.

We have not been profitable historically, and we have not had positive operating cash flow. Our ability to achieve profitability and generate positive operating cash flow in the future is subject to significant uncertainty.
 
We had net losses of $150.1 million and $31.0 million for the years ended December 31, 2012 and 2011, respectively. In addition, our net cash flow used in operating activities was $26.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2012. In the future, we may incur operating losses and experience negative operating cash flow. We may not be able to reduce costs, increase revenues, or reduce our debt service obligations sufficiently to maintain our cash resources, which could cause us to have inadequate liquidity to continue our business.
In addition, we will continue to incur significant capital and operating expenditures while we develop and construct the Liquefaction Project. We currently expect that we will not begin to receive cash flows from operations under any SPA until the end of 2015, at the earliest. Any delays beyond the expected development periods for Train 1 would prolong, and could increase the level of, our operating losses and negative operating cash flows. Our future liquidity may also be affected by the timing of construction financing availability in relation to the incurrence of construction costs and other outflows and by the timing of receipt of cash flows under SPAs in relation to the incurrence of project and operating expenses. Moreover, many factors (including factors beyond our control) could result in a disparity between liquidity sources and cash needs, including factors such as construction delays and breaches of agreements. Our ability to generate positive operating cash flow and achieve profitability in the future is dependent on our ability to successfully and timely complete the applicable Train.

In order to generate needed amounts of cash, we may sell equity or equity-related securities, including additional common units. Such sales could dilute our unitholders' proportionate indirect interests in our assets, business operations, Liquefaction Project and other projects, and could adversely affect the market price of our common units.




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We have pursued and are pursuing a number of alternatives in order to generate needed amounts of cash, including potential issuances and sales of additional equity or equity-related securities by us. Such sales, in one or more transactions, could dilute our unitholders' proportionate indirect interests in our assets, business operations and proposed projects, including the Liquefaction Project. In addition, such sales, or the anticipation of such sales, could adversely affect the market price of our common units.

Our ability to generate needed amounts of cash is substantially dependent upon the performance by customers under long-term contracts that we have entered into, and we could be materially and adversely affected if any customer fails to perform its contractual obligations for any reason.
 
Our future results and liquidity are substantially dependent upon performance by Chevron and Total, each of which has entered into a TUA with Sabine Pass LNG and agreed to pay us approximately $125 million annually, and, upon satisfaction of the conditions precedent to payment thereunder, by BG, Gas Natural Fenosa, KOGAS, GAIL and Total, each of which has entered into an SPA with Sabine Pass Liquefaction and agreed to pay us approximately $723 million, $454 million, $548 million, $548 million and $314 million annually, respectively. We are dependent on each customer's continued willingness and ability to perform its obligations under its SPA. We are also exposed to the credit risk of any guarantor of these customers' obligations under their respective TUA or SPA in the event that we must seek recourse under a guaranty. If any customer fails to perform its obligations under its TUA or SPA, our business, contracts, financial condition, operating results, cash flow, liquidity and prospects could be materially and adversely affected, even if we were ultimately successful in seeking damages from that customer or its guarantor for a breach of the TUA or SPA.

Each of our customer contracts is subject to termination under certain circumstances.
 
Each of Sabine Pass LNG's long-term TUAs contains various termination rights. For example, each customer may terminate its TUA if the Sabine Pass LNG terminal experiences a force majeure delay for longer than 18 months, fails to redeliver a specified amount of natural gas in accordance with the customer's redelivery nominations or fails to accept and unload a specified number of the customer's proposed LNG cargoes. Sabine Pass LNG may not be able to replace these TUAs on desirable terms, or at all, if they are terminated.

Each of Sabine Pass Liquefaction's SPAs contain various termination rights allowing our customers to terminate their SPAs including, without limitation: (i) upon the occurrence of certain events of force majeure; (ii) if we fail to make available specified scheduled cargo quantities; (iii) delays in the commencement of commercial operations; and (iv) if the conditions precedent contained in the SPAs are not met or waived by specified dates. We may not be able to replace these SPAs on desirable terms, or at all, if they are terminated.

Our use of hedging arrangements may adversely affect our future results of operations or liquidity.

To reduce our exposure to fluctuations in the price, volume and timing risk associated with the purchase of natural gas, we use futures, swaps and option contracts traded or cleared on the Intercontinental Exchange and NYMEX, or over-the-counter options and swaps with other natural gas merchants and financial institutions. Hedging arrangements would expose us to risk of financial loss in some circumstances, including when:
expected supply is less than the amount hedged;
the counterparty to the hedging contract defaults on its contractual obligations; or
there is a change in the expected differential between the underlying price in the hedging agreement and actual prices received.
The use of derivatives also may require the posting of cash collateral with counterparties, which can impact working capital when commodity prices change.

The enactment of the Dodd-Frank Act could have an adverse impact on our ability to hedge risks associated with our business.
 
Congress adopted comprehensive financial reform legislation that establishes federal oversight and regulation of the OTC derivatives market and entities, such as us, that participate in that market. This legislation, known as the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the "Dodd-Frank Act"), requires the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (the



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"CFTC") and the SEC to promulgate certain rules and regulations, including relating to the regulation of certain swaps entities, the clearing of certain swaps, and the reporting and recordkeeping of swaps, and gave the CFTC the authority to establish position limits. Although the CFTC established position limits on certain core futures and equivalent swaps contracts for physical commodities, including natural gas, with exceptions for certain bona fide hedging transactions, those limits were vacated by federal district court in September 2012 and will not go into effect unless and until the CFTC prevails on appeal of this ruling or issues and finalizes revised rules.
 
In December 2012, the CFTC published final rules regarding mandatory clearing of certain interest rate swaps and certain index credit default swaps and setting compliance dates for different categories of market participants, the earliest of which is March 2013. The CFTC has not yet proposed any rules requiring the clearing of any other classes of swaps, including physical commodity swaps. Although we expect to qualify for the end-user exception from the clearing requirement for our swaps, mandatory clearing requirements applicable to other market participants, such as swap dealers, may change the cost and availability of the swaps that we use for hedging. In addition, for uncleared swaps, the CFTC or other regulators may require our counterparties to require that we enter into credit support documentation and/or post initial and variation margin as collateral; however, the proposed margin rules are not yet final, and therefore the application of those provisions to us is uncertain at this time. The financial reform legislation may also cause our derivatives counterparties to spin off some of their derivatives activities to a separate entity, which may not be as creditworthy as the current counterparty. The new legislation and any new regulations could significantly increase the cost of derivative contracts (including through requirements to post collateral which could adversely affect our available liquidity), materially alter the terms of derivative contracts, reduce the availability of derivatives to protect against risks that we encounter, reduce our ability to monetize or restructure our existing derivative contracts, and increase our exposure to less creditworthy counterparties.

Risks Relating to Our Business 
Operation of the Sabine Pass LNG terminal, the Liquefaction Project and other facilities that we may construct involves significant risks.
 
As more fully discussed in these Risk Factors, the Sabine Pass LNG terminal, the Liquefaction Project and our other existing and proposed facilities face operational risks, including the following:
the facilities' performing below expected levels of efficiency;
breakdown or failures of equipment;
operational errors by vessel or tug operators;
operational errors by us or any contracted facility operator;
labor disputes; and
weather-related interruptions of operations.

We may not be successful in implementing our proposed business strategy to provide liquefaction capabilities at the Sabine Pass LNG terminal adjacent to the existing regasification facilities.
 
The Liquefaction Project will require very significant financial resources, which may not be available on terms reasonably acceptable to us or at all. Our SPAs with KOGAS, GAIL and Total contain certain conditions precedent, including, but not limited to, receiving regulatory approvals, securing necessary financing arrangements and making a final investment decision to construct Train 3, Train 4 or Train 5, respectively. If these conditions are not met by December 31, 2013 with respect to KOGAS and GAIL and June 30, 2015 with respect to Total, the applicable party may terminate the respective SPA. In addition, if, by June 30, 2013, we have not made a positive final investment decision (i) to construct Train 3, either party may cancel BG's annual contract quantity of 34.0 million MMBtu commencing upon the date of first commercial delivery for Train 3 and the 33.5 million MMBtu commencing upon the date of first commercial delivery for Train 4 and (ii) to construct Train 4, either party may cancel BG's annual contract quantity of 33.5 million MMBtu commencing upon the date of first commercial delivery for Train 4.
 
It will take several years to construct our proposed liquefaction facilities, and we do not expect Train 1 to produce LNG until the end of 2015, at the earliest. Even if successfully constructed, our proposed liquefaction facilities would be subject to the operating risks described herein. Accordingly, there are many risks associated with the Liquefaction Project, and if we are not



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successful in implementing our business strategy, we may not be able to generate cash flows, which could have a material adverse impact on our business, contracts, financial condition, operating results, cash flow, liquidity and prospects.

Cost overruns and delays in the completion of one or more Trains, as well as difficulties in obtaining sufficient financing to pay for such costs and delays, could have a material adverse effect on our business, contracts, financial condition, operating results, cash flow, liquidity and prospects.
 
The actual construction costs of the Trains may be significantly higher than our current estimates as a result of many factors, including change orders under existing or future engineering, procurement and construction contracts. We do not have any prior experience in constructing liquefaction facilities, and no liquefaction facilities have been constructed and placed in service in the United States in over 40 years. As construction progresses, we may decide or be forced to submit change orders to our contractor that could result in longer construction periods, higher construction costs or both.

Key factors that may affect the timing of, cost of, or our ability to complete, one or more of our proposed Trains include, but are not limited to:
 
the issuance and/or continued availability of necessary permits, licenses and approvals from governmental agencies and third parties as are required to construct and operate our proposed liquefaction facilities;
the availability of sufficient financing on reasonable terms, or at all;
our ability to satisfy the conditions precedent in SPAs with customers by specified dates;
our ability to enter into additional satisfactory agreements with contractors and to maintain good relationships with these contractors in order to construct our proposed liquefaction facilities within the expected cost parameters, and the ability of those contractors to perform their obligations under the contracts and to maintain their creditworthiness;
shortages of materials or delays in delivery of materials;
local and general economic conditions;
catastrophes, such as explosions, fires and product spills;
resistance in the local community to the project to add liquefaction capabilities at the Sabine Pass LNG terminal adjacent to the existing regasification facilities;
the ability to attract sufficient skilled and unskilled labor, increases in the level of labor costs and the existence of any labor disputes; and
weather conditions, such as hurricanes.
 
Delays in the construction of one or more Trains beyond the estimated development periods, as well as change orders to the EPC Contracts with Bechtel or any future engineering, procurement and construction contract related to additional Trains, could increase the cost of completion beyond the amounts that we estimate, which could require us to obtain additional sources of financing to fund our operations until the Liquefaction Project is constructed (which could cause further delays). Our ability to obtain financing that may be needed to provide additional funding to cover increased costs will depend, in part, on factors beyond our control. Accordingly, we may not be able to obtain financing on terms that are acceptable to us, or at all. Even if we are able to obtain financing, we may have to accept terms that are disadvantageous to us or that may have a material adverse effect on our current or future business, contracts, financial condition, operating results, cash flow, liquidity and prospects.

Delays in the completion of one or more Trains could lead to reduced revenues or termination of one or more of the SPAs by our counterparties.
 
Any delay in completion of a Train may prevent us from commencing operations when anticipated, which could cause a delay in the receipt of revenues projected therefrom or cause a loss of one or more customers in the event of significant delays. As a result, any significant construction delay, whatever the cause, could have a material adverse effect on our business, contracts, financial condition, operating results, cash flow, liquidity and prospects.

Our ability to complete development of additional Trains will be contingent on our ability to obtain additional funding. If we are unable to obtain sufficient funding, we may be unable to implement or complete our business plan and our business may ultimately be unsuccessful.



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We will require significant additional funding to be able to commence construction of Train 3 through Train 6, which we may not be able to obtain at a cost that results in positive economics, or at all. The inability to achieve acceptable funding may cause a delay in development of additional Trains, and we may never be able to complete the development of our business plan. Even if we are able to obtain funding, the funding may be inadequate to cover any increases in costs or delays in completion of the applicable Train, which may cause a delay in the receipt of revenues projected therefrom or cause a loss of one or more customers in the event of significant delays. As a result, any significant construction delay, whatever the cause, could have a material adverse effect on our business, contracts, financial condition, operating results, cash flow, liquidity and prospects.
 
To maintain the cryogenic readiness of the Sabine Pass LNG terminal, Sabine Pass LNG may need to purchase and process LNG. Sabine Pass LNG's TUA customers have the obligation to procure LNG if necessary for the Sabine Pass LNG terminal to maintain its cryogenic state. If they fail to do so, Sabine Pass LNG may need to procure such LNG.
 
Sabine Pass LNG needs to maintain the cryogenic readiness of the Sabine Pass LNG terminal. Together with Sabine Pass Liquefaction, the two third-party TUA customers have the obligation to maintain minimum inventory levels, and under certain circumstances, to procure LNG to maintain the cryogenic readiness of the terminal. In the event that aggregate minimum inventory levels are not maintained, Sabine Pass LNG has the right to procure a cryogenic readiness cargo, and to the extent that the TUA customers have failed to maintain their minimum inventory levels, be reimbursed by each TUA customer for their allocable share of the LNG acquisition costs. If Sabine Pass LNG is not able to obtain financing on acceptable terms, it will need to maintain sufficient working capital for such a purchase until it receives reimbursement for the allocable costs of the LNG from its TUA customers or sells the regasified LNG. Sabine Pass LNG may also bear the commodity price and other risks of purchasing LNG, holding it in its inventory for a period of time and selling the regasified LNG.

Sabine Pass LNG may be required to purchase natural gas to provide fuel at the Sabine Pass LNG terminal, which would increase operating costs and could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations.
 
Sabine Pass LNG's TUAs provide for an in-kind deduction of 2% of the LNG delivered to the Sabine Pass LNG terminal, which it uses primarily as fuel for revaporization and self-generated power and to cover natural gas unavoidably lost at the facility. There is a risk that this 2% in-kind deduction will be insufficient for these needs and that Sabine Pass LNG will have to purchase additional natural gas from third parties. Sabine Pass LNG will bear the cost and risk of changing prices for any such fuel.
 
Hurricanes or other disasters could result in an interruption of our operations, a delay in the completion of the Liquefaction Project, higher construction costs, and the deferral of the dates on which payments are due to Sabine Pass Liquefaction under the SPAs, all of which could adversely affect us.
 
In August and September of 2005, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita damaged coastal and inland areas located in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, resulting in the temporary suspension of construction of the Sabine Pass LNG terminal. In September 2008, Hurricane Ike struck the Texas and Louisiana coast, and the Sabine Pass LNG terminal experienced minor damage.

Future storms and related storm activity and collateral effects, or other disasters such as explosions, fires, floods or accidents, could result in damage to, or interruption of operations at, the Sabine Pass LNG terminal and related infrastructure, as well as delays or cost increases in the construction and the development of the Liquefaction Project and related infrastructure. If there are changes in the global climate, storm frequency and intensity may increase; should it result in rising seas, our coastal operations may be impacted.
 
Failure to obtain and maintain approvals and permits from governmental and regulatory agencies with respect to the design, construction and operation of our facilities could impede operations and construction and could have a material adverse effect on us.
The design, construction and operation of LNG terminals, including the Liquefaction Project, and other facilities, and the import and export of LNG, are highly regulated activities. The FERC's approval under Section 3 of the NGA, as well as several other material governmental and regulatory approvals and permits, are required in order to construct and operate an LNG facility. Although the FERC has issued an order under the Section 3 of the NGA authorizing the siting, construction and operation of four Trains, the FERC order requires us to obtain certain additional approvals in conjunction with ongoing construction and operations of our proposed liquefaction facilities. Authorizations obtained from other federal and state regulatory agencies also contain ongoing conditions, and additional approval and permit requirements may be imposed. We have no control over the outcome of



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the review and approval process. We do not know whether or when any such approvals or permits can be obtained, or whether or not any existing or potential interventions or other actions by third parties will interfere with our ability to obtain and maintain such permits or approvals. If we are unable to obtain and maintain the necessary approvals and permits, we may not be able to recover our investment in our projects. There is no assurance that we will obtain and maintain these governmental permits, approvals and authorizations, or that we will be able to obtain them on a timely basis, and failure to obtain and maintain any of these permits, approvals or authorizations could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, operating results, liquidity and prospects.
 
We are entirely dependent on Cheniere, including employees of Cheniere and its subsidiaries, for key personnel, and a loss of key personnel could have a material adverse effect on our business.
 
As of February 12, 2013, Cheniere and its subsidiaries had 306 full-time employees, including 163 employees who directly supported the Sabine Pass LNG terminal operations and Liquefaction Project construction. We have contracted with subsidiaries of Cheniere to provide the personnel necessary for the operation, maintenance and management of the Sabine Pass LNG terminal and construction of the Liquefaction Project. We face competition for these highly skilled employees in the immediate vicinity of the Sabine Pass LNG terminal and more generally from the Gulf Coast hydrocarbon processing and construction industries. A shortage in the labor pool of skilled workers or other general inflationary pressures or changes in applicable laws and regulations could make it more difficult to attract and retain personnel and could require an increase in the wage and benefits packages that are offered, thereby increasing our operating costs.
 
Our general partner's executive officers are officers and employees of Cheniere and its affiliates. We do not maintain key person life insurance policies on any personnel, and our general partner does not have any employment contracts or other agreements with key personnel binding them to provide services for any particular term. The loss of the services of any of these individuals could have a material adverse effect on our business. In addition, our future success will depend in part on our general partner's ability to engage, and Cheniere's ability to attract and retain, additional qualified personnel.

We have numerous contractual and commercial relationships, and conflicts of interest, with Cheniere and its affiliates, including Cheniere Marketing.
 
We have agreements to compensate and to reimburse expenses of affiliates of Cheniere. In addition, Cheniere Investments has entered into a VCRA with Cheniere Marketing, under which Cheniere Marketing will be able to derive economic benefits to the extent it assists Cheniere Investments in commercializing Cheniere Investments' access to capacity at the Sabine Pass LNG terminal through its TURA with Sabine Pass Liquefaction, which has a TUA with Sabine Pass LNG. In addition, Cheniere Marketing has entered into an SPA 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. All of these agreements involve conflicts of interest between us, on the one hand, and Cheniere and its other affiliates, on the other hand.

We expect that there will be additional agreements or arrangements with Cheniere and its affiliates, including future transportation, interconnection and gas balancing agreements with one or more Cheniere-affiliated natural gas pipelines as well as other agreements and arrangements that cannot now be anticipated. In those circumstances where additional contracts with Cheniere and its affiliates may be necessary or desirable, additional conflicts of interest will be involved.

We are dependent on Cheniere and its affiliates to provide services to us. If Cheniere or its affiliates are unable or unwilling to perform according to the negotiated terms and timetable of their respective agreement for any reason or terminates their agreement, we would be required to engage a substitute service provider. This could result in a significant interference with operations and increased costs.

We are dependent on Bechtel and other contractors for the successful completion of the Liquefaction Project.
Timely and cost-effective completion of the Liquefaction Project in compliance with agreed specifications is central to our business strategy and is highly dependent on Bechtel's and our other contractors' performance under their agreements. Bechtel's and our other contractors' ability to perform successfully under their agreements is dependent on a number of factors, including their ability to:
design and engineer each Train to operate in accordance with specifications;



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engage and retain third-party subcontractors and procure equipment and supplies;
respond to difficulties such as equipment failure, delivery delays, schedule changes and failure to perform by subcontractors, some of which are beyond their control;
attract, develop and retain skilled personnel, including engineers;
post required construction bonds and comply with the terms thereof;
manage the construction process generally, including coordinating with other contractors and regulatory agencies; and
maintain their own financial condition, including adequate working capital.
Although some agreements may provide for liquidated damages, if the contractor fails to perform in the manner required with respect to certain of its obligations, the events that trigger a requirement to pay liquidated damages may delay or impair the operation of the applicable liquefaction facility, and any liquidated damages that we receive may not be sufficient to cover the damages that we suffer as a result of any such delay or impairment. The obligations of Bechtel and our other contractors to pay liquidated damages under their agreements are subject to caps on liability, as set forth therein. Furthermore, we may have disagreements with our contractors about different elements of the construction process, which could lead to the assertion of rights and remedies under their contracts and increase the cost of the applicable liquefaction facility or result in a contractor's unwillingness to perform further work on the Liquefaction Project. If any contractor is unable or unwilling to perform according to the negotiated terms and timetable of its respective agreement for any reason or terminates its agreement, we would be required to engage a substitute contractor. This would likely result in significant project delays and increased costs, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, contracts, financial condition, operating results, cash flow, liquidity and prospects.
We are relying on third-party engineers to estimate the future capacity ratings and performance capabilities of our proposed liquefaction facilities, and these estimates may prove to be inaccurate.
We are relying on third parties, principally Bechtel, for the design and engineering services underlying our estimates of the future capacity ratings and performance capabilities of our proposed liquefaction facilities. If any Train, when actually constructed, fails to have the capacity ratings and performance capabilities that we intend, our estimates may not be accurate. Failure of any of our Trains to achieve our intended capacity ratings and performance capabilities could prevent us from achieving the commercial start dates under our SPAs and could have a material adverse effect on our business, contracts, financial condition, operating results, cash flow, liquidity and prospects.
If third-party pipelines and other facilities interconnected to our pipelines and facilities are or become unavailable to transport natural gas, this could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, operating results, liquidity and prospects.
 
We will depend upon third-party pipelines and other facilities that will provide gas delivery options to our Liquefaction Project and to Creole Trail Pipeline. If the construction of new or modified pipeline connections is not completed on schedule or any pipeline connection were to become unavailable for current or future volumes of natural gas due to repairs, damage to the facility, lack of capacity or any other reason, our ability to meet our SPA obligations could be restricted, thereby reducing our revenues and this could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, operating results, liquidity and prospects.

We may not be able to purchase or receive physical delivery of sufficient natural gas to satisfy our delivery obligations under the SPAs, which could have a material adverse effect on us.

Under the SPAs with our liquefaction customers, we are required to deliver to them a specified amount of LNG at specified times. However, we may not be able to purchase or receive physical delivery of sufficient quantities of natural gas to satisfy those delivery obligations, which may provide affected SPA customers with the right to terminate their SPAs. Our failure to purchase or receive physical delivery of sufficient quantities of natural gas could have a material adverse effect on our business, contracts, financial condition, operating results, cash flow, liquidity and prospects.

We are subject to significant operating hazards and uninsured risks, one or more of which may create significant liabilities and losses for us.



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The operation of the Sabine Pass LNG terminal, and the construction and operation of the Liquefaction Project, is and will be subject to the inherent risks associated with these types of operations, including explosions, pollution, release of toxic substances, fires, hurricanes and adverse weather conditions, and other hazards, each of which could result in significant delays in commencement or interruptions of operations and/or in damage to or destruction of our facilities or damage to persons and property. In addition, our operations and the facilities and vessels of third parties on which our operations are dependent face possible risks associated with acts of aggression or terrorism.
 
We do not, nor do we intend to, maintain insurance against all of these risks and losses. We may not be able to maintain desired or required insurance in the future at rates that we consider reasonable. The occurrence of a significant event not fully insured or indemnified against could have a material adverse effect on our business, contracts, financial condition, operating results, cash flow, liquidity and prospects. 

Decreases in the demand for and price of LNG and natural gas could affect the performance of our customers and could have a material adverse effect on our business, contracts, financial condition, operating results, cash flows, liquidity and prospects.
 
The development of domestic LNG facilities and projects generally is based on assumptions about the future availability of natural gas, price of natural gas and LNG, and the prospects for international natural gas and LNG markets. Natural gas prices have been, and are likely to continue to be, volatile and subject to wide fluctuations in response to one or more of the following factors:
relatively minor changes in the supply of, and demand for, natural gas in relevant markets;
political conditions in natural gas producing regions;
the extent of domestic production and importation of natural gas in relevant markets;
the level of demand for LNG and natural gas in relevant markets, including the effects of economic downturns or upturns;
weather conditions;
the competitive position of natural gas as a source of energy compared with other energy sources; and
the effect of government regulation on the production, transportation and sale of natural gas.
 
Adverse trends or developments affecting any of these factors could result in decreases in the price of LNG and natural gas, which could adversely affect the performance of our customers, and could have a material adverse effect on our business, contracts, financial condition, operating results, cash flows, liquidity and prospects.

Cyclical or other changes in the demand for LNG and natural gas may adversely affect our LNG businesses and the performance of our customers and could reduce our operating revenues and may cause us operating losses.
The economics of our LNG businesses could be subject to cyclical swings, reflecting alternating periods of under-supply and over-supply of LNG import or export capacity and available natural gas, principally due to the combined impact of several factors, including:
additions to competitive regasification capacity in North America, Europe, Asia and other markets, which could divert LNG from the Sabine Pass LNG terminal;
competitive liquefaction capacity in North America, which could divert natural gas from our proposed liquefaction facilities;
insufficient or oversupply of LNG liquefaction or receiving capacity worldwide;
insufficient LNG tanker capacity;
reduced demand and lower prices for natural gas;
increased natural gas production deliverable by pipelines, which could suppress demand for LNG;
cost improvements that allow competitors to offer LNG regasification services or provide liquefaction capabilities at reduced prices;



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changes in supplies of, and prices for, alternative energy sources such as coal, oil, nuclear, hydroelectric, wind and solar energy, which may reduce the demand for natural gas;
changes in regulatory, tax or other governmental policies regarding imported or exported LNG, natural gas or alternative energy sources, which may reduce the demand for imported or exported LNG and/or natural gas;
adverse relative demand for LNG compared to other markets, which may decrease LNG imports into or exports from North America; and
cyclical trends in general business and economic conditions that cause changes in the demand for natural gas.
 
These factors could materially and adversely affect our ability, and the ability of our current and prospective customers, to procure supplies of LNG to be imported into North America, to procure customers for LNG or regasified LNG, or to procure natural gas to be liquefied and exported to international markets, at economical prices, or at all.
Failure of imported or exported LNG to be a competitive source of energy could adversely affect our customers and could materially and adversely affect our business, contracts, financial condition, operating results, cash flow, liquidity and prospects.

Current operations at the Sabine Pass LNG terminal are dependent upon the ability of our TUA customers to import LNG supplies into the U.S., which is primarily dependent upon LNG being a competitive source of energy in North America. In North America, due mainly to a historically abundant supply of natural gas and recent discoveries of substantial quantities of unconventional, or shale, natural gas, imported LNG has not developed into a significant energy source. The success of the regasification services component of our business plan is dependent, in part, on the extent to which LNG can, for significant periods and in significant volumes, be produced internationally and delivered to North America at a lower cost than the cost to produce some domestic supplies of natural gas, or other alternative energy sources. Through the use of improved exploration technologies, additional sources of natural gas have recently been and may continue to be discovered in North America, which could further increase the available supply of natural gas and could result in natural gas being available at a lower cost than imported LNG.

Operations at our proposed liquefaction facilities will be dependent upon the ability of our SPA customers to deliver LNG supplies from the United States, which is primarily dependent upon LNG being a competitive source of energy internationally. The success of our business plan is dependent, in part, on the extent to which LNG can, for significant periods and in significant volumes, be supplied from North America and delivered to international markets at a lower cost than the cost of other alternative energy sources. Through the use of improved exploration technologies, additional sources of natural gas have recently been and may continue to be discovered outside North America, which could further increase the available supply of natural gas and could result in natural gas being available at a lower cost than LNG exported to these markets.

Political instability in foreign countries that import or export natural gas, or strained relations between such countries and the United States, may also impede the willingness or ability of LNG suppliers and merchants in such countries to import or export LNG from or to the United States. Furthermore, some foreign suppliers of LNG may have economic or other reasons to obtain their LNG from, or direct their LNG to, non-U.S. markets or from or to competitors' LNG facilities in the United States. In addition to natural gas, LNG also competes with other sources of energy, including coal, oil, nuclear, hydroelectric, wind and solar energy, which can be or become available at a lower cost in certain markets.

As a result of these and other factors, LNG may not be a competitive source of energy in the United States or internationally. The failure of LNG to be a competitive supply alternative to local natural gas, oil and other alternative energy sources could adversely affect the ability of our customers to deliver LNG from the United States or to the United States on a commercial basis. Any significant impediment to the ability to deliver LNG to or from the United States generally, or to the Sabine Pass LNG terminal or from our proposed liquefaction facilities specifically, could have a material adverse effect on our customers and on our business, contracts, financial condition, operating results, cash flow, liquidity and prospects.
Various economic and political factors could negatively affect the development of LNG facilities, including the Liquefaction Project, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, contracts, financial condition, operating results, cash flow, liquidity and prospects.




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Commercial development of an LNG facility takes a number of years, requires a substantial capital investment and may be delayed by factors such as:
increased construction costs;
economic downturns, increases in interest rates or other events that may affect the availability of sufficient financing for LNG projects on commercially reasonable terms;
decreases in the price of LNG, which might decrease the expected returns relating to investments in LNG projects;
the inability of project owners or operators to obtain governmental approvals to construct or operate LNG facilities;
political unrest or local community resistance to the siting of LNG facilities due to safety, environmental or security concerns; and
any significant explosion, spill or similar incident involving an LNG facility or LNG vessel.

There may be shortages of LNG vessels worldwide, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, contracts, financial condition, operating results, cash flow, liquidity and prospects.
The construction and delivery of LNG vessels require significant capital and long construction lead times, and the availability of the vessels could be delayed to the detriment of our LNG business and our customers because of:
an inadequate number of shipyards constructing LNG vessels and a backlog of orders at these shipyards;
political or economic disturbances in the countries where the vessels are being constructed;
changes in governmental regulations or maritime self-regulatory organizations;
work stoppages or other labor disturbances at the shipyards;
bankruptcy or other financial crisis of shipbuilders;
quality or engineering problems;
weather interference or a catastrophic event, such as a major earthquake, tsunami or fire; and
shortages of or delays in the receipt of necessary construction materials.
 
We may not be able to secure firm pipeline transportation capacity on economic terms that is sufficient to meet our feed gas transportation requirements which could have a material adverse effect on us.
We believe that there is sufficient capacity on the Creole Trail Pipeline to accommodate all of our natural gas supply requirements for Train 1 and Train 2 but not for additional Trains. We plan to secure additional pipeline transportation capacity but we may not be able to do so on commercially reasonable terms or at all, which would impair our ability to fulfill our obligations under certain of our SPAs and could have a material adverse effect on our business, contracts, financial condition, operating results, cash flow, liquidity and prospects.
We face competition based upon the international market price for LNG.
The Liquefaction Project is subject to the risk of LNG price competition at times when we need to replace any existing SPA, whether due to natural expiration, default or otherwise, or enter into new SPAs with respect to Train 5 and Train 6. Should we find it necessary to replace an existing SPA, factors relating to competition may prevent us from entering into a replacement SPA on economically comparable terms, or at all. Such an event could have a material adverse effect on our business, contracts, financial condition, operating results, cash flow, liquidity and prospects. Factors which may negatively affect potential demand for LNG from the Liquefaction Project are diverse and include, among others:
increases in worldwide LNG production capacity and availability of LNG for market supply;
increases in demand for LNG but at levels below those required to maintain current price equilibrium with respect to supply;
increases in the cost to supply natural gas feedstock to the Liquefaction Project;



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decreases in the cost of competing sources of natural gas or alternate fuels such as coal, heavy fuel oil and diesel;
increases in capacity and utilization of nuclear power and related facilities; and
displacement of LNG by pipeline natural gas or alternate fuels in locations where access to these energy sources is not currently available.
Terrorist attacks or military campaigns may adversely impact our business.
A terrorist or military incident involving an LNG facility or LNG vessel may result in delays in, or cancellation of, construction of new LNG facilities, including one or more of the Trains, which would increase our costs and decrease our cash flows. A terrorist incident may also result in temporary or permanent closure of existing LNG facilities, including the Sabine Pass LNG terminal, which could increase our costs and decrease our cash flows, depending on the duration of the closure. Our operations could also become subject to increased governmental scrutiny that may result in additional security measures at a significant incremental cost to us. In addition, the threat of terrorism and the impact of military campaigns may lead to continued volatility in prices for natural gas that could adversely affect our business and our customers, including their ability to satisfy their obligations to us under our commercial agreements. Instability in the financial markets as a result of terrorism or war could also materially adversely affect our ability to raise capital. The continuation of these developments may subject our construction and our operations to increased risks, as well as increased costs, and, depending on their ultimate magnitude, could have a material adverse effect on our business, contracts, financial condition, operating results, cash flow, liquidity and prospects.
Existing and future environmental and similar laws and governmental regulations could result in increased compliance costs or additional operating costs or construction costs and restrictions.
Our business is and will be subject to extensive federal, state and local laws and regulations that regulate and restrict, among other things, discharges to air, land and water, with particular respect to the protection of the environment; the handling, storage and disposal of hazardous materials, hazardous waste, and petroleum products; and remediation associated with the release of hazardous substances. Many of these laws and regulations, such as the CAA, the Oil Pollution Act, the Clean Water Act (the "CWA") and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (the "RCRA"), and analogous state laws and regulations, restrict or prohibit the types, quantities and concentration of substances that can be released into the environment in connection with the construction and operation of our facilities, and require us to maintain permits and provide governmental authorities with access to our facilities for inspection and reports related to our compliance. Violation of these laws and regulations could lead to substantial liabilities, fines and penalties or to capital expenditures related to pollution control equipment that could have a material adverse effect on our business, contracts, financial condition, operating results, cash flow, liquidity and prospects. Federal and state laws impose liability, without regard to fault or the lawfulness of the original conduct, for the release of certain types or quantities of hazardous substances into the environment. As the owner and operator of our facilities, we could be liable for the costs of cleaning up hazardous substances released into the environment and for damage to natural resources.
There are numerous regulatory approaches currently in effect or being considered to address greenhouse gases, including possible future U.S. treaty commitments, new federal or state legislation that may impose a carbon emissions tax or establish a cap-and-trade program, and regulation by the Environmental Protection Agency (the "EPA"). In addition, as we consume natural gas at the Sabine Pass LNG terminal, this carbon tax may also be imposed on us directly.
Other future legislation and regulations, such as those relating to the transportation and security of LNG imported to or exported from the Sabine Pass LNG terminal through the Sabine Pass Channel, could cause additional expenditures, restrictions and delays in our business and to our proposed construction, the extent of which cannot be predicted and which may require us to limit substantially, delay or cease operations in some circumstances. Revised, reinterpreted or additional laws and regulations that result in increased compliance costs or additional operating or construction costs and restrictions could have a material adverse effect on our business, contracts, financial condition, operating results, cash flow, liquidity and prospects.
 
Our lack of diversification could have an adverse effect on our business, contracts, financial condition, operating results, cash flow, liquidity and prospects.
 
Substantially all of our anticipated revenue in 2013 will be dependent upon one facility, the Sabine Pass LNG receiving terminal located in southern Louisiana. Due to our lack of asset and geographic diversification, an adverse development at the



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Sabine Pass LNG terminal, or in the LNG industry, would have a significantly greater impact on our financial condition and results of operations than if we maintained more diverse assets and operating areas.

We may engage in operations or make substantial commitments and investments located, or enter into agreements with counterparties located, outside the United States, which would expose us to political, governmental and economic instability and foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations.
 
Conducting operations or making commitments and investments located, or entering into agreements with counterparties located, outside of the United States will cause us to be affected by economic, political and governmental conditions in the countries where we engage in business. Any disruption caused by these factors could harm our business. Risks associated with operations, commitments and investments outside of the United States include the risks of:
currency fluctuations;
war;
expropriation or nationalization of assets;
renegotiation or nullification of existing contracts;
changing political conditions;
changing laws and policies affecting trade, taxation and investment;
multiple taxation due to different tax structures; and
the general hazards associated with the assertion of sovereignty over certain areas in which operations are conducted.
 
Because our reporting currency is the United States dollar, any of our operations conducted outside the United States or denominated in foreign currencies would face additional risks of fluctuating currency values and exchange rates, hard currency shortages and controls on currency exchange. We would be subject to the impact of foreign currency fluctuations and exchange rate changes on our reporting for results from those operations in our consolidated financial statements.

If we do not make acquisitions or implement capital expansion projects on economically acceptable terms, our future growth and our ability to increase distributions to our unitholders will be limited.
 
Our ability to grow depends on our ability to make accretive acquisitions or implement accretive capital expansion projects, such as the Liquefaction Project. We may be unable to make accretive acquisitions or implement accretive capital expansion projects for any of the following reasons:
we are unable to identify attractive acquisition candidates or negotiate acceptable purchase contracts with them;
we are unable to identify attractive capital expansion projects or negotiate acceptable engineering procurement and construction arrangements for them;
we are unable to obtain necessary governmental approvals;
we are unable to obtain financing for the acquisitions or capital expansion projects on economically acceptable terms, or at all;
we are unable to secure adequate customer commitments to use the acquired or expansion facilities; or
we are outbid by competitors.
 
If we are unable to make accretive acquisitions or implement accretive capital expansion projects, then our future growth and ability to increase distributions to our unitholders will be limited.

We intend to pursue acquisitions of additional LNG terminals, natural gas pipelines and related assets in the future, either directly from Cheniere or from third parties. However, Cheniere is not obligated to offer us any of these assets other than, in certain circumstances under an investors rights agreement with Blackstone CQP Holdco LP, its proposed Corpus Christi liquefaction project. If Cheniere does offer us the opportunity to purchase assets, we may not be able to successfully negotiate a purchase and sale agreement and related agreements, we may not be able to obtain any required financing for such purchase and we may not be



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able to obtain any required governmental and third-party consents. The decision whether or not to accept such offer, and to negotiate the terms of such offer, will be made by the conflicts committee of our general partner, which may decline the opportunity to accept such offer for a variety of reasons, including a determination that the acquisition of the assets at the proposed purchase price would not result in an increase, or a sufficient increase, in our adjusted operating surplus per unit within an appropriate timeframe.
 
If we make acquisitions, they could adversely affect our business and ability to make distributions to our unitholders.
 
If we make any acquisitions, they will involve potential risks, including:
an inability to integrate successfully the businesses that we acquire with our existing business;
a decrease in our liquidity by using a significant portion of our available cash or borrowing capacity to finance the acquisition;
the assumption of unknown liabilities;
limitations on rights to indemnity from the seller;
mistaken assumptions about the cash generated, or to be generated, by the business acquired or the overall costs of equity or debt;
the diversion of management's and employees' attention from other business concerns; and
unforeseen difficulties encountered in operating new business segments or in new geographic areas.
 
If we consummate any future acquisitions, our capitalization and results of operations may change significantly, and our unitholders will not have the opportunity to evaluate the economic, financial and other relevant information that we will consider in determining the application of our future funds and other resources. In addition, if we issue additional units in connection with future growth, our existing unitholders' interest in us will be diluted, and distributions to our unitholders may be reduced. 

Risks Relating to Our Cash Distributions
 
The issuance of additional common units will increase the risk that we will be unable to make the initial quarterly distribution on our common units.

We are currently paying the initial quarterly distribution of $0.425 on each of our common units and the related distribution on the general partner units. We are currently not paying any distributions on the subordinated units. The Class B units are not entitled to receive distributions until they convert into common units. As of December 31, 2012, we had 39,488,488 common units outstanding. The aggregate initial minimum quarterly distribution on these common units and the related general partner units is $68.5 million per year. We are not currently generating sufficient operating surplus each quarter to pay the initial quarterly distribution on all of these units and therefore intend to use a portion of our accumulated operating surplus each quarter to enable us to make this distribution. We may not have sufficient operating surplus to continue paying the initial quarterly distribution on all of our common units before Train 1 and Train 2 commence commercial operations, which is not expected to occur until at least 2016. Furthermore, if Train 1 and Train 2 do not commence commercial operations as expected and the outstanding Class B units convert into common units, we may not have sufficient operating surplus to be able to pay the initial quarterly distribution on all common units then outstanding.

Accordingly, until Train 1 and Train 2 commence commercial operations, the amount of cash that we can distribute on our common units principally will depend upon the amount of cash that we generate from our existing operations, which will be based on, among other things:

performance by counterparties of their obligations under the TUAs;
performance by Sabine Pass LNG of its obligations under the TUAs;
performance by, and the level of cash receipts received from, Cheniere Marketing under the VCRA; and
the level of our operating costs, including payments to our general partner and its affiliates.





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In addition, the actual amount of cash that we will have available for distribution will depend on other factors such as:

the restrictions contained in our debt agreements and our debt service requirements, including the ability of Sabine Pass LNG to pay distributions to us under the indentures governing the Sabine Pass LNG Senior Notes as a result of requirements for a debt service reserve account, a debt payment account and satisfaction of a fixed charge coverage ratio and the ability of Sabine Pass Liquefaction to pay distributions to us under its credit facility and the Sabine Liquefaction Notes;
the costs and capital requirements of acquisitions, if any;
fluctuations in our working capital needs;
our ability to borrow for working capital or other purposes; and
the amount, if any, of cash reserves established by our general partner.

We may not be successful in our efforts to maintain or increase our cash available for distribution to cover the initial quarterly distribution on our common units. Any reductions in distributions to our unitholders because of a shortfall in cash flow or other events will result in a decrease of the quarterly distribution on our common units below the initial quarterly distribution. Any portion of the initial quarterly distribution that is not distributed on our common units will accrue and be paid to the common unitholders in accordance with our partnership agreement, if at all.

We will need to refinance, extend or otherwise satisfy our substantial indebtedness, and principal amortization or other terms of our future indebtedness could limit our ability to pay or increase distributions to our unitholders.
 
We are not generally required to make principal payments on any of our senior notes prior to maturity. Our ability to refinance, extend or otherwise satisfy our indebtedness, and the principal amortization, interest rate and other terms on which we may be able to do so, will depend among other things on our then contracted or otherwise anticipated future cash flows available for debt service. Our TUAs with Total and Chevron, which provide substantially all of our current operating cash flows, will expire in 2029 unless extended. Our ability to pay or increase distributions to our unitholders in future years could be limited by principal amortization, interest rate or other terms of our future indebtedness.

Our subsidiaries may be restricted under the terms of their indebtedness from making distributions to us under certain circumstances, which may limit our ability to pay or increase distributions to our unitholders and could materially and adversely affect the market price of our common units.
 
The agreements governing our indebtedness restricts payments that our subsidiaries can make to us in certain events and limits the indebtedness that our subsidiaries can incur. For example, Sabine Pass LNG may not make distributions until, among other requirements, a deposit has been made in an interest payment account for one-sixth of the semi-annual interest payment multiplied by the number of elapsed months since the last semi-annual interest payment, a deposit has been made to a permanent debt service reserve fund for one semi-annual interest payment and a fixed charge coverage ratio test of 2:1 is satisfied. Sabine Pass Liquefaction is likewise restricted from making distributions under agreements governing its indebtedness until, among other requirements, substantial completion of Train 1 and Train 2 has occurred, deposits are made into debt service reserve accounts and a debt service coverage ratio of 1.25:1.00 is satisfied. Our subsidiaries' inability to pay distributions to us or to incur additional indebtedness as a result of the foregoing restrictions in the agreements governing their indebtedness may inhibit our ability to pay or increase distributions to our unitholders.
Sabine Pass LNG is not permitted to make cash distributions if its consolidated cash flow is not at least twice its fixed charges, calculated as required in the indentures governing the Sabine Pass LNG Notes (the "Sabine Pass Indentures"). In order to satisfy this fixed charge coverage ratio test, we estimate that Sabine Pass LNG's consolidated cash flow, as defined in such indentures, must be greater than approximately $340 million. Thus, TUA payments from Sabine Pass Liquefaction and either Chevron or Total are needed to satisfy the test. If the fixed charge coverage ratio test is not satisfied, Sabine Pass LNG will not be permitted by the Sabine Pass Indentures to make distributions to Cheniere Partners, which may prevent Cheniere Partners from making distributions to us and its other unitholders, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, operating results, liquidity and prospects.

Restrictions in agreements governing our subsidiaries' indebtedness may prevent our subsidiaries from engaging in certain beneficial transactions.



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In addition to restrictions on the ability of Sabine Pass LNG and Sabine Pass Liquefaction to make distributions or incur additional indebtedness, the agreements governing their indebtedness also contain various other covenants that may prevent them from engaging in beneficial transactions, including limitations on their ability to:
make certain investments;
purchase, redeem or retire equity interests;
issue preferred stock;
sell or transfer assets;
incur liens;
enter into transactions with affiliates;
consolidate, merge, sell or lease all or substantially all of its assets; and
enter into sale and leaseback transactions.
 
Management fees and cost reimbursements due to our general partner and its affiliates will reduce cash available to pay distributions to our unitholders.
We pay significant management fees to our general partner and its affiliates and reimburse them for expenses incurred on our behalf, which reduces our cash available for distribution to our unitholders. See Note 13—"Related Party Transactions" in our Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements for a description of these fees and expenses. Our general partner and its affiliates will also be entitled to reimbursement for all other direct expenses that they incur on our behalf. The payment of fees to our general partner and its affiliates and the reimbursement of expenses could adversely affect our ability to pay cash distributions to our unitholders.
 
The amount of cash that we have available for distributions to our unitholders will depend primarily on our cash flow and not solely on profitability.
 
The amount of cash that we will have available for distributions will depend primarily on our cash flow, including cash reserves and working capital or other borrowings, and not solely on profitability, which will be affected by non-cash items. As a result, we may make cash distributions during periods when we record losses, and we may not make cash distributions during periods when we record net income.

As a result of the assignment of the Cheniere Marketing TUA to Cheniere Investments in June 2010, our available cash for distributions was reduced. Therefore, we have not paid any distributions on our subordinated units with respect to the quarters ended on or after June 30, 2010.  We may not have sufficient cash available for distributions on our subordinated units in the future. Any further reduction in the amount of cash available for distributions could impact our ability to pay the initial quarterly distribution on our common units in full or at all.
 
We may not be able to maintain or increase the distributions on our common units unless we are able to make accretive acquisitions or implement accretive capital expansion projects, which may require us to obtain one or more sources of funding.
 
We may not be able to make accretive acquisitions or implement accretive capital expansion projects, including our proposed liquefaction facilities, that would result in sufficient cash flow to fully pay distributions to the subordinated unitholders and allow us to increase common unitholder distributions. To fund acquisitions or capital expansion projects, we will need to pursue a variety of sources of funding, including debt and/or equity financings. Our ability to obtain these or other types of financing will depend, in part, on factors beyond our control, such as our ability to obtain commitments from users of the facilities to be acquired or constructed, the status of various debt and equity markets at the time financing is sought and such markets' view of our industry and prospects at such time. Any restrictive lending conditions in the U.S. credit markets may make it more time consuming and expensive for us to obtain financing, if we can obtain such financing at all. Accordingly, we may not be able to obtain financing for acquisitions or capital expansion projects on terms that are acceptable to us, if at all.
 
Risks Relating to an Investment in Us and Our Common Units



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Our general partner and its affiliates have conflicts of interest and limited fiduciary duties, which may permit them to favor their own interests to the detriment of us and our unitholders.
 
Cheniere controls our general partner, which has sole responsibility for conducting our business and managing our operations. Some of our general partner's directors are also directors of Cheniere, and certain of our general partner's officers are officers of Cheniere. Therefore, conflicts of interest may arise between Cheniere and its affiliates, including our general partner, on the one hand, and us and our unitholders, on the other hand. In resolving these conflicts, our general partner may favor its own interests and the interests of its affiliates over the interests of us and our unitholders. These conflicts include, among others, the following situations:
neither our partnership agreement nor any other agreement requires Cheniere to pursue a business strategy that favors us. Cheniere's directors and officers have a fiduciary duty to make these decisions in favor of the owners of Cheniere, which may be contrary to our interests:
our general partner controls the interpretation and enforcement of contractual obligations between us, on the one hand, and Cheniere, on the other hand, including provisions governing administrative services and acquisitions;
our general partner is allowed to take into account the interests of parties other than us, such as Cheniere and its affiliates, in resolving conflicts of interest, which has the effect of limiting its fiduciary duty to us and our unitholders;
our general partner has limited its liability and reduced its fiduciary duties under the partnership agreement, while also restricting the remedies available to our unitholders for actions that, without these limitations, might constitute breaches of fiduciary duty;
Cheniere is not limited in its ability to compete with us. Please read "-Cheniere is not restricted from competing with us and is free to develop, operate and dispose of, and is currently developing, LNG terminals, pipelines and other assets without any obligation to offer us the opportunity to develop or acquire those assets";
our general partner determines the amount and timing of asset purchases and sales, capital expenditures, borrowings, issuances of additional partnership securities, and the establishment, increase or decrease in the amounts of reserves, each of which can affect the amount of cash that is distributed to our unitholders;
our general partner determines the amount and timing of any capital expenditures and whether a capital expenditure is a maintenance capital expenditure, which reduces operating surplus, or an expansion capital expenditure, which does not reduce operating surplus. This determination can affect the amount of cash that is distributed to our unitholders and the ability of the subordinated units to convert to common units;
our partnership agreement does not restrict our general partner from causing us to pay it or its affiliates for any services rendered on terms that are fair and reasonable to us or entering into additional contractual arrangements with any of these entities on our behalf;
our general partner intends to limit its liability regarding our contractual and other obligations and, in some circumstances, is entitled to be indemnified by us;
our general partner may exercise its limited right to call and purchase common units if it and its affiliates own more than 80% of the common units; and
our general partner decides whether to retain separate counsel, accountants or others to perform services for us.
 
We expect that there will be additional agreements or arrangements with Cheniere and its affiliates, including future interconnection, natural gas balancing and storage agreements with one or more Cheniere-affiliated natural gas pipelines, services agreements, as well as other agreements and arrangements that cannot now be anticipated. In those circumstances where additional contracts with Cheniere and its affiliates may be necessary or desirable, additional conflicts of interest will be involved.

Cheniere is not restricted from competing with us and is free to develop, operate and dispose of, and is currently developing, LNG terminals, pipelines and other assets without any obligation to offer us the opportunity to develop or acquire those assets.
 
Cheniere and its affiliates are not prohibited from owning assets or engaging in businesses that compete directly or indirectly with us. Cheniere may acquire, construct or dispose of its proposed Corpus Christi or Creole Trail LNG terminals, its proposed pipelines or any other assets without any obligation to offer us the opportunity to purchase or construct any of those assets. In



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addition, under our partnership agreement, the doctrine of corporate opportunity, or any analogous doctrine, will not apply to Cheniere and its affiliates. As a result, neither Cheniere nor any of its affiliates will have any obligation to present new business opportunities to us, and they may take advantage of such opportunities themselves. Cheniere also has significantly greater resources and experience than we have, which may make it more difficult for us to compete with Cheniere and its affiliates with respect to commercial activities or acquisition candidates.
 
Our partnership agreement limits our general partner's fiduciary duties to unitholders and restricts the remedies available to unitholders for actions taken by our general partner that might otherwise constitute breaches of fiduciary duty.
 
Our partnership agreement contains provisions that reduce the standards to which our general partner would otherwise be held by state fiduciary duty law. For example, our partnership agreement:
permits our general partner to make a number of decisions in its individual capacity, as opposed to in its capacity as our general partner. This entitles our general partner to consider only the interests and factors that it desires, and it has no duty or obligation to give any consideration to any interest of, or factors affecting, us, our affiliates or any limited partner. Examples include the exercise of its limited call right, the exercise of its rights to transfer or vote the units it owns, the exercise of its registration rights and its determination whether or not to consent to any merger or consolidation of the partnership or amendment to the partnership agreement;
provides that our general partner will not have any liability to us or our unitholders for decisions made in its capacity as general partner, as long as it acted in good faith, meaning that it believed the decision was in the best interests of our partnership;
generally provides that affiliated transactions and resolutions of conflicts of interest not approved by the conflicts committee of the board of directors of our general partner and not involving a vote of unitholders must be on terms no less favorable to us than those generally being provided to or available from unrelated third parties or be "fair and reasonable" to us and that, in determining whether a transaction or resolution is "fair and reasonable," our general partner may consider the totality of the relationships between the parties involved, including other transactions that may be particularly favorable or advantageous to us;
provides that our general partner, its affiliates and their officers and directors will not be liable for monetary damages to us or our limited partners for any acts or omissions unless there has been a final and non-appealable judgment entered by a court of competent jurisdiction determining that our general partner or those other persons acted in bad faith or engaged in fraud, willful misconduct or, in the case of a criminal matter, acted with knowledge that such conduct was criminal; and
provides that in resolving conflicts of interest, it will be presumed that in making its decision the conflicts committee or the general partner acted in good faith, and in any proceeding brought by or on behalf of any limited partner or us, the person bringing or prosecuting such proceeding will have the burden of overcoming such presumption.
 
By purchasing a common unit, a unitholder will become bound by the provisions of our partnership agreement, including the provisions described above.
 
Holders of our common units have limited voting rights and are not entitled to elect our general partner or its directors, which could reduce the price at which the common units trade.
 
Unlike the holders of common stock in a corporation, unitholders have only limited voting rights on matters affecting our business and, therefore, limited ability to influence management's decisions regarding our business. Unitholders will have no right to elect our general partner or its board of directors on an annual or other continuing basis. The board of directors of our general partner is chosen entirely by Cheniere Subsidiary Holdings, LLC ("Cheniere Subsidiary Holdings"), an affiliate of Cheniere. As a result, the price at which the common units will trade could be diminished because of the absence or reduction of a control premium in the trading price.

Even if unitholders are dissatisfied, they cannot initially remove our general partner without its consent.
 
Our unitholders are unable to remove our general partner without the consent of affiliates of Cheniere because those affiliates own a sufficient number of common, Class B and subordinated units to be able to prevent removal of our general partner. The vote of the holders of at least 66 2/3% of all outstanding common, Class B and subordinated units (including any units owned by



27



our general partner and its affiliates) voting together as a single class is required to remove our general partner. Affiliates of Cheniere own approximately 59% of our outstanding common, Class B and subordinated units. In addition, if our general partner is removed without cause during the subordination period and units held by our general partner and its affiliates are not voted in favor of that removal, all remaining subordinated units will automatically be converted into common units and any existing arrearages on the common units will be extinguished. A removal of our general partner under these circumstances would adversely affect the common units by prematurely eliminating their distribution and liquidation preference over the subordinated units, which would otherwise have continued until we had met certain distribution and performance tests.

Cause is narrowly defined in our partnership agreement to mean that a court of competent jurisdiction has entered a final, non-appealable judgment finding our general partner liable for actual fraud or willful misconduct in its capacity as our general partner. Cause does not include most cases of poor management of the business, so the removal of the general partner because of the unitholder's dissatisfaction with our general partner's performance in managing our partnership will most likely result in the termination of the subordination period and conversion of all subordinated units to common units.
 
Control of our general partner may be transferred to a third party without unitholder consent.
 
Our general partner may transfer its general partner interest to a third party in a merger or in a sale of all or substantially all of its assets without the consent of our unitholders. Furthermore, our partnership agreement does not restrict the ability of the owners of our general partner from transferring all or a portion of their respective ownership interest in our general partner to a third party. The new owners of our general partner would then be in a position to replace the board of directors and officers of our general partner with its own choices and thereby influence the decisions taken by the board of directors and officers.
 
Our partnership agreement restricts the voting rights of unitholders (other than our general partner and its affiliates) owning 20% or more of any class of our units.
 
Our partnership agreement restricts unitholders' voting rights by providing that any units held by a person that owns 20% or more of any class of units then outstanding, other than our general partner and its affiliates, their transferees and persons who acquired such units with the prior approval of the board of directors of our general partner, cannot vote on any matter. The partnership agreement also contains provisions limiting the ability of unitholders to call meetings or to acquire information about our operations, as well as other provisions limiting the unitholders' ability to influence the manner or direction of management.

Our partnership agreement prohibits a unitholder (other than our general partner and its affiliates) who acquires 15% or more of our limited partner units without the approval of our general partner from engaging in a business combination with us for three years unless certain approvals are obtained. This provision could discourage a change of control that our unitholders may favor, which could negatively affect the price of our common units.
 
Our partnership agreement effectively adopts Section 203 of the Delaware General Corporation Law ("DGCL"). Section 203 of the DGCL as it applies to us prevents an interested unitholder-defined as a person (other than our general partner and its affiliates) who owns 15% or more of our outstanding limited partner units-from engaging in business combinations with us for three years following the time such person becomes an interested unitholder unless certain approvals are obtained. Section 203 broadly defines "business combination" to encompass a wide variety of transactions with or caused by an interested unitholder, including mergers, asset sales and other transactions in which the interested unitholder receives a benefit on other than a pro rata basis with other unitholders. This provision of our partnership agreement could have an anti-takeover effect with respect to transactions not approved in advance by our general partner, including discouraging takeover attempts that might result in a premium over the market price for our common units.
 
Our unitholders may not have limited liability if a court finds that unitholder action constitutes control of our business.
 
A general partner of a partnership generally has unlimited liability for the obligations of the partnership, except for contractual obligations of the partnership that are expressly made without recourse to the general partner. We are organized under Delaware law, and we conduct business in other states. As a limited partner in a partnership organized under Delaware law, holders of our common units could be held liable for our obligations to the same extent as a general partner if a court determined that the right or the exercise of the right by our unitholders as a group to remove or replace our general partner, to approve some amendments to the partnership agreement or to take other action under our partnership agreement constituted participation in the "control" of



28



our business. In addition, limitations on the liability of holders of limited partner interests for the obligations of a limited partnership have not been clearly established in many jurisdictions.
 
Our unitholders may have liability to repay distributions wrongfully made.
 
Under certain circumstances, our unitholders may have to repay amounts wrongfully distributed to them. Under Section 17-607 of the Delaware Revised Uniform Limited Partnership Act, we may not make a distribution to our unitholders if the distribution would cause our liabilities to exceed the fair value of our assets. Delaware law provides that, for a period of three years from the date of the impermissible distribution, partners who received such a distribution and who knew at the time of the distribution that it violated Delaware law will be liable to the partnership for the distribution amount. Liabilities to partners on account of their partner interests and liabilities that are non-recourse to the partnership are not counted for purposes of determining whether a distribution is permitted.
 
We may issue additional units without approval of our unitholders, which would dilute their ownership interest.
 
At any time during the subordination period, with the approval of the conflicts committee of the board of directors of our general partner, we may issue an unlimited number of limited partner interests of any type without the approval of our unitholders. After the subordination period, we may issue an unlimited number of limited partner interests of any type without limitation of any kind. The issuance by us of additional common units or other equity securities of equal or senior rank will have the following effects:
our unitholders' proportionate ownership interest in us will decrease;
the amount of cash available per unit to pay distributions may decrease;
because a lower percentage of total outstanding units will be subordinated units, the risk will increase that a shortfall in the payment of the initial quarterly distributions will be borne by our common unitholders;
the ratio of taxable income to distributions may increase;
the relative voting strength of each previously outstanding unit may be diminished; and
the market price of the common units may decline.
 
The price of our common units may fluctuate significantly, and our unitholders could lose all or part of their investment.
The market price of our common units may be influenced by many factors, some of which are beyond our control, including:
our quarterly distributions;
our quarterly or annual earnings or those of other companies in our industry;
actual or potential non-performance by any customer or a counterparty under any agreement;
announcements by us or our competitors of significant contracts;
changes in accounting standards, policies, guidance, interpretations or principles;
general economic conditions;
the failure of securities analysts to cover our common units or changes in financial or other estimates by analysts;
future sales of our common units; and
other factors described in these "Risk Factors."

Affiliates of our general partner may sell limited partner units, which sales could have an adverse impact on the trading price of the common units.
 
Sales by us or any of our affiliated unitholders of a substantial number of our common units or our subordinated units, or the perception that such sales might occur, could have a material adverse effect on the price of our common units or could impair our ability to obtain capital through an offering of equity securities. Affiliates of Cheniere own 11,963,488 common units, 135,383,831 subordinated units and 33,333,334 Class B units. All of the subordinated units will convert into common units at the



29



end of the subordination period and may convert earlier. Any sales of these units could have an adverse impact on the price of the common units.

Risks Relating to Tax Matters
 
Our tax treatment depends on our status as a partnership for federal income tax purposes. If we were treated as a corporation for federal income tax purposes, then our cash available for distribution to our unitholders would be substantially reduced.
 
The anticipated after-tax economic benefit of an investment in our common units depends largely on our being treated as a partnership for federal income tax purposes. We have not requested, and do not plan to request, a ruling from the Internal Revenue Service ("IRS") on this matter.
 
Despite the fact that we are a limited partnership under Delaware law, it is possible in certain circumstances for a partnership such as ours to be treated as a corporation for federal income tax purposes. Although we do not believe based upon our current operations that we are so treated, a change in our business (or a change in current law) could cause us to be treated as a corporation for federal income tax purposes or otherwise subject us to taxation as an entity.
 
If we were treated as a corporation for federal income tax purposes, we would pay federal income tax on our taxable income at the corporate tax rate, which is currently a maximum of 35%, and would likely pay state income taxes at varying rates. Distributions to our unitholders would generally be taxed again as corporate distributions, and no income, gains, losses or deductions would flow through to our unitholders. Because a tax would be imposed upon us as a corporation, the cash available for distributions to our unitholders would be substantially reduced. Therefore, treatment of us as a corporation would result in a material reduction in the anticipated cash flow and after-tax return to our unitholders, likely causing a substantial reduction in the value of our common units.
 
Our partnership agreement provides that if a law is enacted or existing law is modified or interpreted in a manner that subjects us to taxation as a corporation or otherwise subjects us to entity-level taxation for federal income tax purposes, then the minimum quarterly distribution amount and the target distribution amounts will be adjusted to reflect the impact of that law on us.
 
If we were subjected to a material amount of additional entity-level taxation by individual states, it would reduce our cash available for distribution to you.
 
Changes in current state law may subject us to additional entity-level taxation by individual states. Because of widespread state budget deficits and other reasons, several states are evaluating ways to subject partnerships to entity-level taxation through the imposition of state income, franchise and other forms of taxation. Imposition of any such taxes may substantially reduce the cash available for distribution to our unitholders and, therefore, negatively impact the value of an investment in our common units. Our partnership agreement provides that if a law is enacted or existing law is modified or interpreted in a manner that subjects us to additional amounts of entity-level taxation for state or local income tax purposes, the minimum quarterly distribution amount and the target distribution amounts may be adjusted to reflect the impact of that law on us.
 
The tax treatment of publicly traded partnerships or an investment in our common units could be subject to potential legislative, judicial or administrative changes and differing interpretations, possibly on a retroactive basis.
 
The present U.S. federal income tax treatment of publicly traded partnerships, including us, or an investment in our common units may be modified by administrative, legislative or judicial interpretation at any time, causing us to be treated as a corporation for federal income tax purposes or otherwise subjecting us to entity-level taxation. Any modification to the U.S. federal income tax laws and interpretations thereof may or may not be applied retroactively.  We are unable to predict whether any of these changes, or other proposals, will ultimately be enacted.  Any such changes could negatively impact the value of an investment in our common units and the amount of cash available for distribution to our unitholders.
 
We prorate our items of income, gain, loss and deduction between transferors and transferees of our common units each month based upon the ownership of our common units on the first day of each month, instead of on the basis of the date a particular common unit is transferred.
 



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We prorate our items of income, gain, loss and deduction between transferors and transferees of our common units each month based upon the ownership of our common units on the first business day of each month, instead of on the basis of the date a particular unit is transferred.  The use of this proration method may not be permitted under existing Treasury Regulations, and although the U.S. Treasury Department issued proposed Treasury Regulations that provide a safe harbor pursuant to which publicly traded partnerships may use a similar monthly simplifying convention, such regulations are not final and do not specifically authorize the use of the proration method we have adopted. If the IRS were to challenge this method or new Treasury Regulations were issued, we may be required to change the allocation of items of income, gain, loss and deduction among our unitholders.
 
A change in tax treatment of our partnership, or a successful IRS contest of the federal income tax positions that we take, may adversely impact the market for our common units, and the costs of any contest will be borne by our unitholders and our general partner.
 
The IRS may adopt positions that differ from the positions that we take, even positions taken with advice of counsel. It may be necessary to resort to administrative or court proceedings to sustain some or all of the positions that we take. A court may not agree with some or all of the positions that we take. Any contest with the IRS may adversely impact the taxable income reported to our unitholders and the income taxes they are required to pay. As a result, any such contest with the IRS may materially and adversely impact the market for our common units and the price at which our common units trade. In addition, the costs of any contest with the IRS, principally legal, accounting and related fees, will result in a reduction in cash available for distribution to our unitholders and our general partner and thus will be borne indirectly by our unitholders and our general partner. 

Our unitholders may be required to pay taxes on their share of our taxable income even if they do not receive any cash distributions from us.
 
Because our unitholders will be treated as partners to whom we will allocate taxable income, which could be different in amount from the cash that we distribute, our unitholders will be required to pay federal income taxes and, in some cases, state and local income taxes on their share of our taxable income even if they do not receive any cash distributions from us. Our unitholders may not receive cash distributions from us equal to their share of our taxable income or even equal to the actual tax liability which results from their share of our taxable income.
 
We intend to allocate items of income, gain, loss and deduction among the holders of our common units and subordinated units on or after the date that the subordination period ends to ensure that common units issued in exchange for our subordinated units have the same economic and federal income tax characteristics as our other common units. Any such allocation of items of our income or gain to unitholders, which may include allocations to holders of our common units, would not be accompanied by a distribution of cash to such unitholders. In addition, any such allocation of items of deduction or loss to specific unitholders (for example, to the holder of the subordinated units) would effectively reduce the amount of items of deduction or loss that will be allocated to other unitholders.
 
Tax gain or loss on the disposition of our common units could be different than expected.
 
If our unitholders sell common units, they will recognize gain or loss equal to the difference between the amount realized and their tax basis in those common units. Because distributions in excess of the unitholders' allocable share of our net taxable income decrease the unitholders' tax basis in their common units, the amount, if any, of such prior excess distributions with respect to the units sold will, in effect, become taxable income to the unitholder if they sell such units at a price greater than their tax basis in those units, even if the price received is less than their original cost. A substantial portion of the amount realized, whether or not representing gain, may be ordinary income due to the potential recapture items, including depreciation recapture. In addition, because the amount realized may include a unitholder's share of our nonrecourse liabilities, a unitholder that sells common units may incur a tax liability in excess of the amount of cash received from the sale.
 
Tax-exempt entities face unique tax issues from owning common units that may result in adverse tax consequences to them.
 
Investments in common units by tax-exempt entities, such as individual retirement accounts (known as IRAs), raises issues unique to them. For example, virtually all of our income allocated to unitholders who are organizations exempt from federal income tax, including individual retirement accounts and other retirement plans, will be unrelated business taxable income and will be taxable to them.
 



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Non-U.S. investors face unique tax issues from owning common units that may result in adverse tax consequences to them.
 
Non-U.S. investors who own common units will be required to file U.S. federal income tax returns and pay tax on their share of our taxable income. Distributions to non-U.S. investors will generally be reduced by withholding taxes at the highest applicable effective tax rate (currently 35%) whether or not we have taxable income. The IRS has taken the position that a non-U.S. investor's gain on the sale of common units is subject to United States federal income tax.
 
We will treat each holder of our common units as having the same tax benefits without regard to the actual common units held. The IRS may challenge this treatment, which could adversely affect the value of our common units.
 
Because we cannot match transferors and transferees of common units, we adopt depreciation and amortization positions that may not conform with all aspects of applicable Treasury Regulations.

The IRS may challenge the manner in which we calculate our unitholder's basis adjustment under Section 743(b) of the Internal Revenue Code. If so, because neither we nor the unitholder can identify the units to which this issue relates once the initial holder has traded them, the IRS may assert adjustments to all unitholders selling units within the period under audit as if all unitholders owned such units.

Any position we take that is inconsistent with applicable Treasury Regulations may have to be disclosed on our federal income tax return. This disclosure increases the likelihood that the IRS will challenge our positions and propose adjustments to some or all of our unitholders.
  
Our unitholders will likely be subject to state and local taxes and return filing requirements as a result of an investment in our common units.
 
In addition to federal income taxes, our unitholders will likely be subject to other taxes, including state and local income taxes, unincorporated business taxes and estate, inheritance or intangible taxes that are imposed by the various jurisdictions in which we do business or own property, even if the unitholder does not live in any of those jurisdictions. Our unitholders may be required to file state and local income tax returns and pay state and local income taxes in some or all of these various jurisdictions. Furthermore, our unitholders may be subject to penalties for failure to comply with those requirements. As we make acquisitions or expand our business, we may own property or conduct business in additional states or foreign countries that impose a personal tax or an entity level tax. Unitholders may be subject to penalties for failure to comply with those requirements. It is the responsibility of our unitholders to file all United States federal, state and local tax returns.
 
The sale or exchange of 50% or more of the total interest in our capital and profits during any twelve-month period will result in the termination of our partnership for federal income tax purposes.
 
We will be considered to have technically terminated our partnership for federal income tax purposes if there is a sale or exchange of 50% or more of the total interests in our capital and profits within a twelve-month period. For purposes of determining whether the 50% threshold has been met, multiple sales of the same unit will be counted only once. Our technical termination would, among other things, result in the closing of our taxable year for all unitholders, which would result in us filing two tax returns (and our unitholders could receive two Schedules K-1 if special relief from the IRS was not available) for one fiscal year. Our technical termination could also result in a deferral of depreciation deductions allowable in computing our taxable income.
 
In the case of a unitholder reporting on a taxable year other than a fiscal year ending December 31, the closing of our taxable year may result in more than 12 months of our taxable income or loss being includable in the unitholder's taxable income for the year of termination. Our technical termination currently would not affect our classification as a partnership for federal income tax purposes, but instead, we would be treated as a new partnership, we would be required to make new tax elections and we could be subject to penalties if we are unable to determine that a technical termination occurred.
 
We may adopt certain valuation methodologies that may result in a shift of income, gain, loss and deduction between the general partner and the unitholders.  The IRS may challenge this treatment, which could adversely affect the value of the common units.
 



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When we issue additional units or engage in certain other transactions, we will determine the fair market value of our assets and allocate any unrealized gain or loss attributable to our assets to the capital accounts of our unitholders and our general partner. Although we may from time to time consult with professional appraisers regarding valuation matters, including the valuation of our assets, we make many of the fair market value estimates of our assets ourselves using a methodology based on the market value of our common units as a means to measure fair market value of our assets. Our methodology may be viewed as understating the value of our assets.  In that case, there may be a shift of income, gain, loss and deduction between certain unitholders and the general partner, which may be unfavorable to such unitholders.  Moreover, under our current valuation methods, subsequent purchasers of common units may have a greater portion of their Internal Revenue Code Section 743(b) adjustment allocated to our tangible assets and a lesser portion allocated to our intangible assets.  The IRS may challenge our valuation methods, or our allocation of the Section 743(b) adjustment attributable to our tangible and intangible assets, and allocations of income, gain, loss and deduction between the general partner and certain of our unitholders.
 
A successful IRS challenge to these methods or allocations could adversely affect the amount of taxable income or loss being allocated to our unitholders.  It also could affect the amount of gain from our unitholders' sale of common units and could have a negative impact on the value of the common units or result in audit adjustments to our unitholders' tax returns without the benefit of additional deductions.
 
A unitholder whose common units are loaned to a "short seller" to cover a short sale of units may be considered as having disposed of those common units. If so, the unitholder would no longer be treated for tax purposes as a partner with respect to those common units during the period of the loan and may recognize gain or loss from the disposition.
 
Because a unitholder whose common units are loaned to a "short seller" to cover a short sale of units may be considered as having disposed of the loaned common units, the unitholder may no longer be treated for tax purposes as a partner with respect to those common units during the period of the loan to the short seller and the unitholder may recognize gain or loss from such disposition.  Moreover, during the period of the loan to the short seller, any of our income, gain, loss or deduction with respect to those common units may not be reportable by the unitholder, and any cash distributions received by the unitholder as to those common units could be fully taxable as ordinary income.  Unitholders desiring to assure their status as partners and avoid the risk of gain recognition from a loan to a short seller are urged to modify any applicable brokerage account agreements to prohibit their brokers from borrowing their common units.

 ITEM 1B.    UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS
 
None.
 
ITEM 3.     LEGAL PROCEEDINGS
 
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 the opinion of management, as of December 31, 2012, there were no threatened or pending legal matters that would have a material impact on our consolidated results of operations, financial position or cash flows.
 
ITEM 4.     MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURE
  
None.
PART II
 
ITEM 5.     MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED UNITHOLDER MATTERS AND
ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES
 
Our common units began trading on the NYSE MKT under the symbol "CQP" commencing with our initial public offering on March 21, 2007. The table below presents the high and low daily closing sales prices per common unit, as reported by the NYSE MKT, and cash distributions to common unitholders for the period indicated.



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High
 
Low
 
Cash Distributions Per Common Unit (1)
 
Cash Distributions
Per Subordinated Unit (2)
Three Months Ended
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
March 31, 2012
 
$
24.70

 
$
18.05

 
$
0.425

 
$

June 30, 2012
 
27.14

 
19.81

 
0.425

 

September 30, 2012
 
26.58

 
22.67

 
0.425

 

December 31, 2012
 
23.22

 
17.87

 
0.425

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Three Months Ended
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

March 31, 2011
 
24.29

 
15.31

 
0.425

 

June 30, 2011
 
19.32

 
16.37

 
0.425

 

September 30, 2011
 
19.46

 
12.07

 
0.425

 

December 31, 2011
 
18.35

 
12.40

 
0.425

 

 
(1)
We also paid cash distributions to our general partner with respect to its 2% general partner interest.
(2)
As a result of the assignment of Cheniere Marketing's TUA to Cheniere Investments, effective July 1, 2010, our available cash for distributions was reduced. Therefore, we did not pay any distributions on our subordinated units with respect to the quarters ended on or after June 30, 2010.
(3)
In 2012, we issued Class B units, a new class of equity interests representing limited partner interests in us, in connection with the development of the Liquefaction Project. The Class B units are not entitled to cash distributions except in the event of a liquidation (or merger, combination or sale of substantially all of our assets). The Class B units are subject to conversion, mandatorily or at the option of the holders of the Class B units under specified circumstances, into a number of common units based on the then-applicable conversion value of the Class B units. On a quarterly basis beginning on the initial purchase of the Class B units, and ending on the conversion date of the Class B units, the conversion value of the Class B units increases at a compounded rate of 3.5% per quarter, subject to an additional upward adjustment for certain equity and debt financings. The holders of Class B units have a preference over the holders of the subordinated units in the event of a liquidation (or merger, combination or sale of substantially all of our assets).
 
A distribution for the quarter ended December 31, 2012 of $0.425 per common unit was paid on February 14, 2013. In addition, we paid cash distributions to our general partner with respect to its 2% general partner interest.
 
As of February 13, 2013, we had (i) 39,488,488 common units outstanding held by approximately 9 record owners and (ii) 133,333,334 Class B units outstanding, of which 100,000,000 Class B units were held by Blackstone CQP Holdco LP and 33,333,334 Class B units were held by a wholly owned subsidiary of Cheniere.
 
We consider cash distributions to unitholders on a quarterly basis, although there is no assurance as to the future cash distributions since they are dependent upon future earnings, cash flows, capital requirements, financial condition and other factors. The Sabine Pass Indentures described in "Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" may prohibit Sabine Pass LNG from making cash distributions to us under certain circumstances, which could limit our ability to make distributions.
 
Upon the closing of our initial public offering, Cheniere received 135,383,831 subordinated units. Below is a description of our cash distribution policy regarding common and subordinated units. References therein to "unitholders" made in the context of the recipients of quarterly cash distributions refer to our common unitholders and subordinated unitholders.
 
Cash Distribution Policy

Our cash distribution policy is consistent with the terms of our partnership agreement, which requires that we distribute all of our available cash quarterly.

Subordination Period
 



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During the subordination period, the common units will have the right to receive distributions of available cash from operating surplus in an amount equal to the initial quarterly distribution of $0.425 per quarter, plus any arrearages in the payment of the initial quarterly distribution on the common units from prior quarters, before any distributions of available cash from operating surplus may be made on the subordinated units. Cheniere Subsidiary Holdings, LLC owns all of the 135,383,831 subordinated units, representing 43.9% of the limited partner interests in us as of December 31, 2012. These units are deemed "subordinated" because for a period of time, referred to as the subordination period, the subordinated units will not be entitled to receive any distributions until after the common units have received the initial quarterly distribution plus any arrearages from prior quarters. Furthermore, no arrearages will be paid on the subordinated units. The practical effect of the subordination period is to increase the likelihood that during this period there will be sufficient available cash to pay the initial quarterly distribution on the common units.
 
As a result of the assignment of Cheniere Marketing's TUA to Cheniere Investments, effective July 1, 2010, our available cash for distributions was reduced. Therefore, we have not paid distributions on our subordinated units since the distribution made with respect to the quarter ended March 31, 2010.
 
Definition of Subordination Period  
The subordination period will extend until the first business day following the distribution of available cash to partners in respect of any quarter that each of the following occurs: 
distributions of available cash from operating surplus on each of the outstanding common units (assuming conversion of the Class B units), subordinated units and any other outstanding units that are senior or equal in right of distribution to the subordinated units equaled or exceeded the initial quarterly distribution for each of the three consecutive, non-overlapping four-quarter periods immediately preceding that date;
the "adjusted operating surplus" (as defined below) generated during each of the three consecutive, non-overlapping four-quarter periods immediately preceding that date equaled or exceeded the sum of the initial quarterly distributions on all of the outstanding common units (assuming conversion of the Class B units), subordinated units, general partner units and any other outstanding units that are senior or equal in right of distribution to the subordinated units during those periods on a fully diluted basis; and
there are no arrearages in payment of the initial quarterly distribution on the common units.
 
Expiration of the Subordination Period  
When the subordination period expires, each outstanding subordinated unit will convert into one common unit and will then participate pro rata with the other common units in distributions of available cash. In addition, if the unitholders remove our general partner other than for cause and units held by the general partner and its affiliates are not voted in favor of such removal:  
the subordination period will end and each subordinated unit will immediately convert into one common unit;
any existing arrearages in payment of the initial quarterly distribution on the common units will be extinguished; and
the general partner will have the right to convert its general partner units and its incentive distribution rights into common units or to receive cash in exchange for those interests.
 
Early Conversion of Subordinated Units  
The subordination period will automatically terminate and all of the subordinated units will convert into common units on a one-for-one basis on the first business day following the distribution of available cash to partners in respect of any quarter that each of the following occurs: 
in connection with distributions of available cash from operating surplus, the amount of such distributions constituting "contracted adjusted operating surplus" (as defined below) on each outstanding common unit (assuming conversion of the Class B units), subordinated unit and any other outstanding unit that is senior or equal in right of distribution to the subordinated units equaled or exceeded $0.638 (150% of the initial quarterly distribution) for each quarter in the four-quarter period immediately preceding that date;



35



the contracted adjusted operating surplus generated during each quarter in the four-quarter period immediately preceding that date equaled or exceeded the sum of a distribution of $0.638 (150% of the initial quarterly distribution) on all of the outstanding common units (assuming conversion of the Class B units), subordinated units, general partner units, any other units that are senior or equal in right of distribution to the subordinated units, and any other equity securities that are junior to the subordinated units that the board of directors of our general partner deems to be appropriate for the calculation, after consultation with management of our general partner, on a fully diluted basis; and
there are no arrearages in payment of the initial quarterly distribution on the common unitsd
 
Definition of Adjusted Operating Surplus
 
We define adjusted operating surplus in our partnership agreement, and for any period, it generally means: 
operating surplus generated with respect to that period; less
any net increase in working capital borrowings with respect to that period; less
any net reduction in cash reserves for operating expenditures with respect to that period not relating to an operating expenditure made with respect to that period; plus
any net decrease in working capital borrowings with respect to that period; plus
any net increase in cash reserves for operating expenditures with respect to that period required by any debt instrument for the repayment of principal, interest or premium.
Adjusted operating surplus is intended to reflect the cash generated from operations during a particular period and therefore excludes the $30 million operating surplus "basket," net increases in working capital borrowings, net drawdowns of reserves of cash generated in prior periods.

Definition of Contracted Adjusted Operating Surplus
We define contracted adjusted operating surplus in our partnership agreement and it:
generally means adjusted operating surplus derived solely from SPAs and TUAs, in each case, with a minimum term of three years with counterparties who are not affiliates of Cheniere; and
excludes revenues and expenses attributable to the portion of payments made under the LNG sale and purchase agreements related to the final settlement price for the New York Mercantile Exchange's Henry Hub natural gas futures contract for the month in which the relevant cargo's delivery window is scheduled. 

Class B Units

In 2012, we issued Class B units, a new class of equity interests representing limited partner interests in us, in connection with the development of the Liquefaction Project. The Class B units are not entitled to cash distributions except in the event of a liquidation (or merger, combination or sale of substantially all of our assets). The Class B units are subject to conversion, mandatorily or at the option of the holders of the Class B units under specified circumstances, into a number of common units based on the then-applicable conversion value of the Class B units. On a quarterly basis beginning on the initial purchase of the Class B units, and ending on the conversion date of the Class B units, the conversion value of the Class B units increases at a compounded rate of 3.5% per quarter, subject to an additional upward adjustment for certain equity and debt financings. The holders of Class B units have a preference over the holders of the subordinated units in the event of a liquidation (or merger, combination or sale of substantially all of our assets).

General Partner Units and Incentive Distribution Rights
 
Incentive distribution rights represent the right to receive an increasing percentage of quarterly distributions of available cash from operating surplus in excess of the initial quarterly distribution. Our general partner currently holds the incentive distribution rights but may transfer these rights separately from its general partner interest, subject to restrictions in our partnership agreement.




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Assuming we do not issue any additional classes of units and our general partner maintains its 2% interest, if we have made distributions to our unitholders from operating surplus in an amount equal to the initial quarterly distribution for any quarter, assuming no arrearages, then we will distribute any additional available cash from operating surplus for that quarter among the unitholders and our general partner as follows:
 
 
Total Quarterly Distribution
Target Amount
 
Marginal Percentage
Interest Distributions
 
 
Common and Subordinated Unitholders
 
General Partner
Initial quarterly distribution
 
$0.425
 
98%
 
2%
First Target Distribution
 
Above $0.425 up to $0.489
 
98%
 
2%
Second Target Distribution
 
Above $0.489 up to $0.531
 
85%
 
15%
Third Target Distribution
 
Above $0.531 up to $0.638
 
75%
 
25%
Thereafter
 
Above $0.638
 
50%
 
50%




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ITEM 6.        SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA
 
Selected financial data set forth below are derived from our audited consolidated financial statements for the periods indicated. The financial data should be read in conjunction with Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations and our Consolidated Financial Statements and the accompanying notes thereto included elsewhere in this report. 
 
 
Year Ended December 31,
 
 
2012
 
2011
 
2010
 
2009
 
2008
 
 
(in thousands)
Statement of Operations Data:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Revenues (including transactions with affiliates)
 
$
264,327

 
$
283,790

 
$
399,282

 
$
416,790

 
$
15,000

Expenses (including transactions with affiliates)
 
200,787

 
139,164

 
118,485

 
88,870

 
32,141

Income (loss) from operations
 
63,540

 
144,626

 
280,797

 
327,920

 
(17,141
)
Other expense
 
(213,676
)
 
(175,645
)
 
(173,229
)
 
(141,008
)
 
(61,203
)
Net income (loss)
 
(150,136
)
 
(31,019
)
 
107,568

 
186,912

 
(78,344
)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cash Flow Data:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cash flows provided by (used in) operating activities
 
(26,214
)
 
14,249

 
104,137

 
234,311

 
(1,156
)
Cash flows provided by (used in) investing activities
 
(4,455
)
 
(8,191
)
 
(5,076
)
 
92,146

 
(560
)
Cash flows provided by (used in) financing activities
 
368,546

 
22,008

 
(163,254
)
 
(208,922
)
 
1,710


 
 
December 31,
 
 
2012
 
2011
 
2010
 
2009
 
2008
 
 
(in thousands)
Balance Sheet Data:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cash and cash equivalents
 
$
419,292

 
$
81,415

 
$
53,349

 
$
117,542

 
$
7

Restricted cash and cash equivalents (current)
 
92,519

 
13,732

 
13,732

 
13,732

 
235,985

Non-current restricted cash and cash equivalents
 
272,425

 
82,394

 
82,394

 
82,394

 
137,984

Non-current restricted U.S. Treasury securities
 

 

 

 

 
20,829

Property, plant and equipment, net
 
2,704,895

 
1,514,416

 
1,550,465

 
1,588,557

 
1,517,507

Total assets
 
3,748,278

 
1,737,300

 
1,743,492

 
1,859,473

 
1,978,835

Long-term debt, net of discount
 
2,167,113

 
2,192,418

 
2,187,724

 
2,110,101

 
2,107,673

Long-term debt—related party, net of discount
 

 

 

 
72,928

 
70,661

Long-term debt—affiliate
 

 

 

 

 
2,372

Deferred revenue
 
21,500

 
25,500

 
29,500

 
33,500

 
37,500

Deferred revenue—affiliate
 
14,720

 
12,266

 
9,813

 
7,360

 
4,971





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ITEM 7.     MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF
OPERATION
 
Introduction
 
The following discussion and analysis presents management’s view of our business, financial condition and overall performance and should be read in conjunction with our Consolidated Financial Statements and the accompanying notes in "Financial Statements and Supplementary Data." This information is intended to provide investors with an understanding of our past performance, current financial condition and outlook for the future. Our discussion and analysis include the following subjects: 
Overview of Business 
Overview of Significant Events 
Liquidity and Capital Resources 
Contractual Obligations 
Results of Operations 
Off-Balance Sheet Arrangements 
Summary of Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates
Recent Accounting Standards
 
Overview of Business
 
We are a Delaware limited partnership formed by Cheniere Energy, Inc. ("Cheniere"). Through our wholly owned subsidiary, Sabine Pass LNG, L.P. ("Sabine Pass LNG") we own and operate the regasification facilities at the Sabine Pass LNG terminal located on the Sabine Pass deep water shipping channel less than four miles from the Gulf Coast. The Sabine Pass LNG terminal includes existing infrastructure of five LNG storage tanks with capacity of approximately 16.9 Bcfe, two docks that can accommodate vessels of up to 265,000 cubic meters and vaporizers with regasification capacity of approximately 4.0 Bcf/d. Approximately one-half of the receiving capacity at the Sabine Pass LNG terminal is contracted to two multinational energy companies. We are developing natural gas liquefaction facilities (the "Liquefaction Project") at the Sabine Pass LNG terminal adjacent to the existing regasification facilities through a wholly owned subsidiary, Sabine Pass Liquefaction, LLC ("Sabine Pass Liquefaction"). We plan to construct up to six Trains (each in sequence, "Train 1", "Train 2", "Train 3", "Train 4", "Train 5" and "Train 6"), which are in various stages of development. Each Train has a nominal production capacity of approximately 4.5 mmtpa.

Overview of Significant Events
 
In 2012, and through the filing date of this Form 10-K, we continue to execute our strategy to operate the Sabine Pass LNG terminal, generate steady and reliable revenues under Sabine Pass LNG's long-term terminal use agreements ("TUAs") and develop and construct the Liquefaction Project.
Our significant accomplishments since January 1, 2012 and through the filing date of this Form 10-K, include the following:  
Sabine Pass Liquefaction entered into three LNG sale and purchase agreements ("SPAs"): (i) an amended and restated SPA with BG Gulf Coast LNG, LLC ("BG"), a subsidiary of BG Group plc, (ii) an SPA with Korea Gas Corporation ("KOGAS") and (iii) an SPA with Total Gas & Power North America, Inc. ("Total"), under which each customer has agreed to purchase LNG in the amount and upon the commencement of operations as designated in the SPAs;
Sabine Pass Liquefaction and Sabine Pass LNG received authorization from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ("FERC") to site, construct and operate facilities for the liquefaction and export of domestically produced natural gas at the Sabine Pass LNG terminal adjacent to the existing regasification facilities. The FERC order authorizes the development of up to four modular Trains;
We entered into Unit Purchase Agreements (the "Agreements") with Blackstone CQP Holdco LP ("Blackstone") and a wholly owned subsidiary of Cheniere. Under the Agreements, we sold 100.0 million and 33.3 million Class B units to Blackstone and Cheniere, respectively, in the aggregate at a price of $15.00 per Class B unit, for a total investment of



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$2.0 billion. Proceeds from the private placements have been used to fund part of the equity portion of the costs of developing, constructing and placing into service the Liquefaction Project;
Sabine Pass Liquefaction closed on a $3.6 billion senior secured credit facility (the "Liquefaction Credit Facility") that will be used to fund a portion of the costs of developing, constructing and placing into service Train 1 and Train 2 of the Liquefaction Project;
We issued a full notice to proceed ("NTP") to Bechtel to construct Train 1 and Train 2 of the Liquefaction Project;
Sabine Pass LNG repurchased its $550.0 million 7.25% Senior Secured Notes due 2013 (the "2013 Notes") by issuing $420.0 million of 6.50% Senior Secured Notes due in 2020 (the "2020 Notes") and by our selling 8.0 million common units in an underwritten public offering at a price of $25.07 per common unit for net cash proceeds of $194.0 million;
Sabine Pass Liquefaction and Bechtel entered into a lump sum turnkey contract for the engineering, procurement and construction of Train 3 and Train 4 (the "EPC Contract (Train 3 and 4)"); and
In February 2013, Sabine Pass Liquefaction issued an aggregate principal amount of $1.5 billion of 5.625% Senior Secured Notes due 2021 (the "Sabine Liquefaction Notes"). Net proceeds from the offering are intended to be used to pay capital costs incurred in connection with the construction of Train 1 and Train 2 of the Liquefaction Project in lieu of a portion of the commitments under the Liquefaction Credit Facility.

Liquidity and Capital Resources
 
Cash and Cash Equivalents
 
As of December 31, 2012, we had $419.3 million of cash and cash equivalents and $364.9 million of restricted cash and cash equivalents.

Sabine Pass LNG Terminal 

Regasification Facilities

The Sabine Pass LNG terminal has operational regasification capacity of approximately 4.0 Bcf/d and aggregate LNG storage capacity of approximately 16.9 Bcfe. Approximately 2.0 Bcf/d of the regasification capacity at the Sabine Pass LNG terminal has been reserved under two long-term third-party TUAs, under which Sabine Pass LNG’s customers are required to pay fixed monthly fees, whether or not they use the LNG terminal. Capacity reservation fee TUA payments are made by Sabine Pass LNG's third-party TUA customers as follows: 
Total has reserved approximately 1.0 Bcf/d of regasification capacity and is obligated to make monthly capacity payments to Sabine Pass LNG aggregating approximately $125 million per year for 20 years that commenced April 1, 2009. Total, S.A. has guaranteed Total’s obligations under its TUA up to $2.5 billion, subject to certain exceptions; and 
Chevron U.S.A. Inc. ("Chevron") has reserved approximately 1.0 Bcf/d of regasification capacity and is obligated to make monthly capacity payments to Sabine Pass LNG aggregating approximately $125 million per year for 20 years that commenced July 1, 2009. Chevron Corporation has guaranteed Chevron’s obligations under its TUA up to 80% of the fees payable by Chevron.

The remaining approximately 2.0 Bcf/d of capacity has been reserved under a TUA by Sabine Pass Liquefaction. Sabine Pass Liquefaction is obligated to make monthly capacity payments to Sabine Pass LNG aggregating approximately $250 million per year, continuing until at least 20 years after Sabine Pass Liquefaction delivers its first commercial cargo at Sabine Pass Liquefaction's facilities under construction, which may occur as early as late 2015. Sabine Pass Liquefaction obtained this reserved capacity as a result of an assignment in July 2012 by Cheniere Energy Investments, LLC ("Cheniere Investments"), a wholly owned subsidiary of Cheniere Partners, of its rights, title and interest under its TUA. In connection with the assignment, Sabine Pass Liquefaction, Cheniere Investments and Sabine Pass LNG 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. In an effort to monetize Cheniere Investments’ reserved capacity under its TURA during construction of the Liquefaction Project, Cheniere Marketing, LLC ("Cheniere Marketing"), a wholly owned subsidiary of Cheniere, 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



40



margin of each cargo of LNG that Cheniere Marketing arranges for delivery to the Sabine Pass LNG terminal. The revenue earned by Sabine Pass LNG from the capacity payments made under the TUA and the revenue earned by Cheniere Investments under the VCRA are eliminated upon consolidation of our financial statements. We have guaranteed the obligations of Sabine Pass Liquefaction under its TUA and the obligations of Cheniere Investments under the TURA.

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 LNG storage capacity 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.

Under each of these TUAs, Sabine Pass LNG is entitled to retain 2% of the LNG delivered to the Sabine Pass LNG terminal.

Liquefaction Facilities

The Liquefaction Project is being developed at the Sabine Pass LNG terminal adjacent to the existing regasification facilities. We plan to construct up to six Trains, which are in various stages of development. We have commenced construction of Train 1 and Train 2 and the related new facilities needed to treat, liquefy, store and export natural gas. Construction of Train 3 and Train 4 and the related facilities is expected to commence upon, among other things, obtaining financing commitments sufficient to fund construction of such Trains and making a positive final investment decision. We recently began the development of Train 5 and Train 6 and expect to commence the regulatory approval process in the first half of 2013.

The Trains are being designed, constructed and commissioned by Bechtel using the ConocoPhillips Optimized Cascade® technology, a proven technology deployed in numerous LNG projects around the world. Sabine Pass Liquefaction has entered into lump sum turnkey contracts for the engineering, procurement and construction of Train 1 and Train 2 (the "EPC Contract (Train 1 and 2)") and Train 3 and Train 4 (the "EPC Contract (Train 3 and 4)", and together with the EPC Contract (Train 1 and 2), the "EPC Contracts"), with Bechtel in November 2011 and December 2012, respectively.

In August 2012, we received a final order from the U.S. Department of Energy ("DOE") to export 16 mmtpa of LNG to all nations with which trade is permitted.  In April 2012, we received authorization from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commissin ("FERC") to site, construct and operate Train 1, Train 2, Train 3 and Train 4.

As of December 31, 2012, the overall project completion for Train 1 and Train 2 was approximately 18% complete. Based on our current construction schedule, we anticipate that Train 1 will produce LNG as early as the end of 2015.

Customers

As of February 13, 2013, Sabine Pass Liquefaction has entered into the following third-party SPAs:

BG Gulf Coast LNG, LLC ("BG") SPA commences upon the date of first commercial delivery for Train 1 and includes an annual contract quantity of 182,500,000 MMBtu of LNG and a fixed fee of $2.25 per MMBtu and includes additional annual contract quantities of 36,500,000 MMBtu, 34,000,000 MMBtu, and 33,500,000 MMBtu upon the date of first commercial delivery for Train 2, Train 3 and Train 4, respectively, with a fixed fee of $3.00 per MMBtu. The total expected annual contracted cash flow from BG from the fixed fee component is $723 million. In addition, Sabine Pass Liquefaction has agreed to make LNG available to BG to the extent that Train 1 becomes commercially operable prior to the beginning of the first delivery window. The obligations of BG are guaranteed by BG Energy Holdings Limited, a company organized under the laws of England and Wales, with a credit rating of A2/A.
Gas Natural Aprovisionamientos SDG S.A. ("Gas Natural Fenosa"), an affiliate of Gas Natural SDG, S.A., SPA commences upon the date of first commercial delivery for Train 2 and includes an annual contract quantity of 182,500,000 MMBtu of LNG and a fixed fee of $2.49 per MMBtu, equating to expected annual contracted cash flow from the fixed fee component of $454 million. The obligations of Gas Natural Fenosa are guaranteed by Gas Natural SDG S.A., a company organized under the laws of Spain, with a credit rating of Baa2/BBB.



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Korea Gas Corporation ("KOGAS") SPA commences upon the date of first commercial delivery for Train 3 and includes an annual contract quantity of 182,500,000 MMBtu of LNG and a fixed fee of $3.00 per MMBtu, equating to expected annual contracted cash flow from fixed fees of $548 million. KOGAS is organized under the laws of the Republic of Korea, with a credit rating of A/A1.
GAIL (India) Limited ("GAIL") SPA commences upon the date of first commercial delivery for Train 4 and includes an annual contract quantity of 182,500,000 MMBtu of LNG and a fixed fee of $3.00 per MMBtu, equating to expected annual contracted cash flow from fixed fees of $548 million. GAIL is organized under the laws of India, with a credit rating of Baa2/BBB-.
Total, an affiliate of Total S.A., SPA commences upon the date of first commercial delivery for Train 5 and includes an annual contract quantity of 104,750,000 MMBtu of LNG and a fixed fee of $3.00 per MMBtu, equating to expected annual contracted cash flow from fixed fees of $314 million. The obligations of Total are guaranteed by Total S.A., a company organized under the laws of France, with a credit rating of Aa1/AA.

In aggregate, the fixed fee portion to be paid by these customers is approximately $2.6 billion annually, with fixed fees starting from the commencement of operations of Train 1, Train 2, Train 3, Train 4 and Train 5 equating to $411 million, $564 million, $650 million, $648 million and $314 million, respectively.

In addition, Cheniere Marketing has entered into an SPA 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. 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.

Construction

In November 2011, Sabine Pass Liquefaction entered into the EPC Contract (Train 1 and 2) with Bechtel. Sabine Pass Liquefaction issued a notice to proceed for construction under the EPC Contract (Train 1 and 2) in August 2012.

In December 2012, Sabine Pass Liquefaction entered into the EPC Contract (Train 3 and 4) with Bechtel. Under the EPC Contract (Train 3 and 4), if Sabine Pass Liquefaction fails to issue notice to proceed to Bechtel by December 31, 2013, then either Sabine Pass Liquefaction or Bechtel may terminate the EPC Contract (Train 3 and 4), and Bechtel will be paid costs reasonably incurred on account of such termination and a lump sum of $5.0 million. The Trains are in various stages of development, as described above.

The total contract price of the EPC Contract (Train 1 and 2) is approximately $3.97 billion, reflecting amounts incurred under change orders through December 31, 2012. Total expected capital costs for Train 1 and Train 2 are estimated to be between $4.5 billion and $5.0 billion before financing costs, including estimated owner's costs and contingencies. Budgeted total all-in costs for Train 1 and Train 2 are estimated to be between $5.5 billion and $6.0 billion, including financing costs and interest expense during construction. The contract price of the EPC Contract (Train 3 and 4) is $3.77 billion, only subject to adjustment by change order (including if Sabine Pass Liquefaction issues the notice to proceed after June 1, 2013).

The liquefaction technology to be employed under the EPC Contracts is the ConocoPhillips Optimized Cascade® Process, which was first used at the ConocoPhillips Petroleum Kenai plant built by Bechtel in 1969 in Kenai, Alaska. Bechtel has since designed and/or constructed LNG facilities using the ConocoPhillips Optimized Cascade® technology in Angola, Australia, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea and Trinidad. The design and technology has been proven in over four decades of operation.

Sabine Pass Liquefaction's Trains will require significant amounts of capital to construct and operate and are subject to risks and delays in completion. Even if successfully completed, Train 1 is not expected to operate and generate significant cash flows before the end of 2015.

We currently expect that Sabine Pass Liquefaction's capital resources requirements with respect to Train 1 and Train 2 will be financed through borrowings, equity contributions from Cheniere Partners and cash flows under our SPAs. We believe that with the net proceeds of borrowings, in addition to construction loans and unfunded commitments under the Liquefaction Credit Facility, Sabine Pass Liquefaction will have adequate financial resources available to complete Train 1 and Train 2 and to meet



42



its currently anticipated capital, operating and debt service requirements. We currently project that Sabine Pass Liquefaction will generate cash flow from operations by the end of 2015, when Train 1 is anticipated to achieve initial LNG production, and that such cash flow will be sufficient to meet Sabine Pass Liquefaction's ongoing capital and operating requirements and to pay the interest on its outstanding debt relating to Train 1 and Train 2.

Pipeline Facilities

Cheniere Creole Trail Pipeline, L.P. ("Creole Trail"), an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Cheniere, owns the Creole Trail Pipeline, a 94-mile pipeline interconnecting the Sabine Pass LNG terminal with a number of large interstate pipelines, including Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America, Transcontinental Gas Pipeline Corporation, Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, Florida Gas Transmission Company, Texas Eastern Gas Transmission, and Trunkline Gas Company, as well as the intrastate pipeline system of Bridgeline Holdings, L.P.

Sabine Pass Liquefaction has entered into a transportation precedent agreement to secure firm pipeline transportation capacity with Creole Trail and two other pipelines for Train 1 and Train 2. Creole Trail filed an application with the FERC in April 2012 for certain modifications to allow the Creole Trail Pipeline to be able to transport natural gas to the Sabine Pass LNG terminal. Creole Trail estimates the capital costs to modify the Creole Trail Pipeline will be approximately $90 million. The modifications are expected to be in service in time for the commissioning and testing of Train 1 and Train 2.

We have entered into an agreement with Cheniere to purchase the equity interests of the entities that own the Creole Trail Pipeline if, among other things, we obtain acceptable financing for the purchase price. The consideration to be paid by us for the Creole Trail Pipeline is 12 million Class B units and $300 million, plus any costs incurred by Creole Trail from August 2012 until the purchase date, including, if applicable, any portion of the expected $90 million for pipeline modifications.

Capital Resources

Senior Secured Notes

We currently have three series of senior notes outstanding: $1,665.0 million of 7½% Senior Secured Notes due 2016 issued by Sabine Pass LNG (the "2016 Notes"), $420.0 million of 6.50% of Senior Secured Notes due 2020 issued by Sabine Pass LNG (the "2020 Notes" and collectively with the 2016 Notes, the "Sabine Pass LNG Senior Notes") and $1,500.0 million of 5.625% Senior Secured Notes due 2021 issued by Sabine Pass Liquefaction (the "Sabine Liquefaction Notes"). Interest on the 2016 Notes is payable semi-annually in arrears on May 30 and November 30 of each year, interest on the 2020 Notes is payable semi-annually in arrears on May 1 and November 1 of each year and interest on the Sabine Liquefaction Notes is payable semi-annually in arrears on February 1 and August 1 of each year. Subject to permitted liens, the Sabine Pass LNG Senior Notes are secured on a first-priority basis by a security interest in all of Sabine Pass LNG's equity interests and substantially all of Sabine Pass LNG's operating assets, and the Sabine Liquefaction Notes are secured on a first-priority basis by a security interest in all of Sabine Pass Liquefaction's equity interests and substantially all of Sabine Pass Liquefaction's assets.

Sabine Pass LNG may redeem some or all of the 2016 Notes at any time, and from time to time, at a redemption price equal to 100% of the principal plus any accrued and unpaid interest plus the greater of 1.0% of the principal amount of the 2016 Notes or the excess of (i) the present value at such redemption date of the redemption price of the 2016 Notes plus all required interest payments due on the 2016 Notes (excluding accrued but unpaid interest to the redemption date), computed using a discount rate equal to the Treasury Rate as of such redemption date plus 50 basis points, over (ii) the principal amount of the 2016 Notes, if greater.

Sabine Pass LNG may redeem some or all of the 2020 Notes at any time on or after November 1, 2016 at fixed redemption prices specified in the indenture governing the 2020 Notes, plus accrued and unpaid interest, if any, to the date of redemption. Sabine Pass LNG may also redeem some or all of the 2020 Notes at any time prior to November 1, 2016 at a "make-whole" price set forth in the indenture, plus accrued and unpaid interest, if any, to the date of redemption. At any time before November 1, 2015, Sabine Pass LNG may redeem up to 35% of the aggregate principal amount of the 2020 Notes at a redemption price of 106.5% of the principal amount of the 2020 Notes to be redeemed, plus accrued and unpaid interest, if any, to the redemption date, in an amount not to exceed the net proceeds of one or more completed equity offerings as long as we redeem the 2020 Notes within 180 days of the closing date for such equity offering and at least 65% of the aggregate principal amount of the 2020 Notes originally issued remains outstanding after the redemption.



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Sabine Pass Liquefaction may redeem some or all of the Sabine Liquefaction Notes at any time prior to November 1, 2020 at a redemption price equal to the "make-whole" price set forth in the indenture governing the Sabine Liquefaction Notes, plus accrued and unpaid interest, if any, to the date of redemption. Sabine Pass Liquefaction may also at any time on or after November 1, 2020, redeem the Sabine Liquefaction Notes, in whole or in part, at a redemption price equal to 100% of the principal amount of the Sabine Liquefaction Notes to be redeemed, plus accrued and unpaid interest, if any, to the date of redemption.

Under the indentures governing the Sabine Pass LNG Senior Notes, except for permitted tax distributions, Sabine Pass LNG may not make distributions until certain conditions are satisfied: there must be on deposit in an interest payment account an amount equal to one-sixth of the semi-annual interest payment multiplied by the number of elapsed months since the last semi-annual interest payment, and there must be on deposit in a permanent debt service reserve fund an amount equal to one semi-annual interest payment. Distributions are permitted under the Sabine Pass LNG Senior Notes only after satisfying the foregoing funding requirements, a fixed charge coverage ratio test of 2:1 and other conditions specified in the indentures governing the Sabine Pass LNG Senior Notes. Under the indenture governing the Sabine Liquefaction Notes, Sabine Pass Liquefaction may not make any distributions until, among other requirements, substantial completion of Train 1 and Train 2 has occurred, deposits are made into debt service reserve accounts and a debt service coverage ratio of 1.25:1.00 is satisfied.

Liquefaction Credit Facility

In July 2012, Sabine Pass Liquefaction entered into a construction/term loan facility in an amount up to $3.626 billion available to us in four tranches solely to fund Liquefaction Project costs for Train 1 and Train 2, the related debt service reserve account up to an amount equal to six months of scheduled debt service and the return of equity and affiliate subordinated debt funding to Cheniere or its affiliates up to an amount that will result in senior debt being no more than 65% of our total capitalization. The four tranches are as follows:
Tranche 1: up to $200 million;
Tranche 2: up to $150 million;
Tranche 3: up to $150 million; and
Tranche 4: up to $3.126 billion.

The principal of the construction/term loan is repayable in quarterly installments beginning on the first quarter-end date to occur at least three months after the earlier of the date on which all conditions for project completion under the Liquefaction Credit Facility have been satisfied and the date on which all of the construction/term loan commitments have been used or terminated.

Sabine Pass Liquefaction may make borrowings based on LIBOR plus the applicable margin (3.50% prior to the Liquefaction Project completion date or 3.75% thereafter) or the base rate plus the applicable margin (2.50% prior to the Liquefaction Project completion date or 2.75% thereafter). Sabine Pass Liquefaction is also required to pay commitment fees on the undrawn amount. Sabine Pass Liquefaction is party to interest rate protection agreements with respect to no less than 75% (calculated on a weighted average basis) of the projected outstanding balance for a term of no less than seven years on terms reasonably satisfactory to us and the required secured parties. Upon our incurrence of any replacement debt prior to June 30, 2013, including the sale of the Sabine Liquefaction Notes, Tranche 4 of the Liquefaction Credit Facility commitments, in an amount equal to the proceeds from such replacement debt less certain fees and expenses, will be suspended and extended until December 31, 2013 unless expansion debt shall have been approved prior to such date. Subject to approval by Sabine Pass Liquefaction's lenders, Sabine Pass Liquefaction currently intends to use such suspended commitments to finance the construction of Train 3 and Train 4.

Sources and Uses of Cash
 
The following table summarizes (in thousands) the sources and uses of our cash and cash equivalents for the years ended December 31, 2012, 2011 and 2010. The table presents capital expenditures on a cash basis; therefore, these amounts differ from the amounts of capital expenditures, including accruals, that are referred to elsewhere in this report. Additional discussion of these items follows the table.



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Year Ended December 31,
 
 
2012
 
2011
 
2010
Sources of cash and cash equivalents
 
 
 
 
 
 
Proceeds from sales of Class B units
 
$
1,887,342

 
$

 
$

Proceeds from debt issuances
 
520,000

 

 

Proceeds from sale of partnership common and general partner units
 
250,022

 
70,157

 

Operating cash flow
 

 
14,249

 
104,137

Total sources of cash and cash equivalents
 
2,657,364

 
84,406

 
104,137

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Uses of cash and cash equivalents
 
 
 
 
 
 
LNG terminal costs, net
 
(1,118,457
)
 
(7,137
)
 
(4,955
)
Repayment of 2013 Notes
 
(550,000
)
 

 

Investment in restricted cash and cash equivalents
 
(343,877
)
 

 

Debt issuance and deferred financing costs
 
(222,378
)
 

 

Distributions to unitholders
 
(57,821
)
 
(48,149
)
 
(163,249
)
Operating cash flow
 
(26,214
)
 

 

Advances under long-term contracts
 
(740
)
 
(1,054
)
 
(121
)
Other
 

 

 
(5
)
Total uses of cash and cash equivalents
 
(2,319,487
)
 
(56,340
)
 
(168,330
)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Net increase (decrease) in cash and cash equivalents
 
337,877

 
28,066

 
(64,193
)
Cash and cash equivalents—beginning of period
 
81,415

 
53,349

 
117,542

Cash and cash equivalents—end of period
 
$
419,292

 
$
81,415

 
$
53,349

  
Proceeds from Sales of Class B units
 
During the year ended December 31, 2012, we issued and sold an aggregate of 133.3 million Class B units to Cheniere and Blackstone at a price of $15.00 per Class B unit, resulting in total net proceeds of $1,887.3 million.

Proceeds from Debt Issuances and Debt Issuance and Deferred Financing Costs
 
In October 2012, Sabine Pass LNG issued the $420.0 million 2020 Notes. In July 2012, Sabine Pass Liquefaction entered into the $3.6 billion Liquefaction Credit Facility. Sabine Pass Liquefaction made $100.0 million of borrowings under the Liquefaction Credit Facility in August 2012 after meeting the required conditions precedent to the initial advance. Debt issuance costs primarily relate to $212.8 million paid by Sabine Pass Liquefaction upon the closing of the Liquefaction Credit Facility.




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Proceeds from the Sale of Partnership Common and General Partner Units
 
In September 2012, we sold 8.0 million common units in an underwritten public offering at a price of $25.07 per common unit for net cash proceeds of $194.0 million. We also received $45.1 million in net cash proceeds from our general partner in connection with the exercise of its right to maintain its 2% ownership interest in us during the year ended December 31, 2012.

In September 2011, we sold 3.0 million common units in an underwritten public offering and 1.1 million common units to Cheniere Common Units Holding, LLC at a price of $15.25 per common unit. We received net cash proceeds of $70.2 million from the offering (including proceeds from our general partner in connection with the exercise of its right to maintain its 2% ownership interest in us), which were used for general business purposes, including development costs for the Liquefaction Project.

In January 2011, we initiated an at-the-market program to sell up to 1.0 million common units the proceeds from which are used primarily to fund development costs associated with the Liquefaction Project. During the year ended December 31, 2011, we sold 0.5 million common units for net cash proceeds of $9.0 million. During the year ended December 31, 2012, we sold 0.5 million common units for net cash proceeds of $11.1 million. We paid $0.3 million in commissions to Miller Tabak + Co., Inc., as sales agent, in connection with the at-the-market program during each of the years ended December 31, 2012 and 2011.

Operating cash flow
 
Operating cash flow decreased $40.5 million from 2011 to 2012. The decrease in operating cash flow primarily resulted from increased costs incurred to develop and manage the construction of Train 1 and Train 2, and decreased LNG cargo export loading fee revenue.

Operating cash flow decreased $89.9 million from 2010 to 2011 primarily due to the June 2010 TUA assignment from Cheniere Marketing to Cheniere Investments, effective July 1, 2010, that resulted in the TUA payments being made by Cheniere Investments, our wholly owned subsidiary, instead of being received from Cheniere Marketing. In addition, operating cash flow decreased from 2010 to 2011 as a result of increased development costs in 2011 associated with the Liquefaction Project.
 
LNG Terminal and Pipeline Construction-in-Process, net

Capital expenditures for the Sabine Pass LNG terminal were $1,118.5 million, $7.1 million and $5.0 million in the years ended December 31, 2012, 2011 and 2010, respectively. We began capitalizing costs associated with the construction of Train 1 and Train 2 of the Liquefaction Project as construction-in-process during the second quarter of 2012.
 
Repayment of 2013 Notes
 
During the fourth quarter of 2012, Sabine Pass LNG repurchased its $550.0 million 2013 Notes. Funds used for the repurchase included proceeds received from the 2020 Notes and from an equity contribution from us.

Investment in Restricted Cash and Cash Equivalents

During 2012, we invested $343.9 million in restricted cash and cash equivalents. This investment was a result of the $1,458.6 million of restricted cash and cash equivalents from the proceeds of Class B unit sales that was partially offset by the use of $1,114.7 million of restricted cash for the construction of Train 1 and Train 2 of the Liquefaction Project.

Distributions to owners
 
We made $57.8 million, $48.1 million and $163.2 million of distributions to our common and subordinated unitholders and to our general partner in the years ended December 31, 2012, 2011 and 2010, respectively. The decreased amount of distributions to owners from the year ended December 31, 2010 as compared to the years ended December 31, 2011 and 2012 primarily resulted from the TUA assignment from Cheniere Marketing to Cheniere Investments, effective July 1, 2010, which resulted in the TUA payments being made by Cheniere Investments, our wholly owned subsidiary, instead of Cheniere Marketing and decreased our available cash in excess of the common unit and general partner distributions. As a result of Cheniere Marketing's assignment of its TUA to Cheniere Investments, we have not paid distributions on our subordinated units since the distribution made with respect to the quarter ended March 31, 2010.



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Cash Distributions to Unitholders
 
Our partnership agreement requires that, within 45 days after the end of each quarter, we distribute all of our available cash (as defined in our partnership agreement). Our available cash is our cash on hand at the end of a quarter less the amount of any reserves established by our general partner. All distributions paid to date have been made from accumulated operating surplus. The following provides a summary of distributions paid by us during the year ended December 31, 2012:
 
 
 
 
 
 
Total Distribution
 
 
 
 
 
 
(in thousands)
Date Paid
 
Period Covered by Distribution
 
Distribution Per Common Unit
 
Common Units
 
Subordinated Units
 
General Partner Units
February 14, 2012
 
October 1, 2011 - December 31, 2011
 
$
0.425

 
$
13,176

 
$

 
$
269

May 15, 2012
 
January 1, 2012 - March 31, 2012
 
$
0.425

 
$
13,323

 
$

 
$
272

August 15, 2012
 
April 1, 2012 - June 30, 2012
 
$
0.425

 
$
13,383

 
$

 
$
273

November 14, 2012
 
July 1, 2012 - September 30, 2012
 
$
0.425

 
$
16,783

 
$

 
$
343

 
The subordinated units will receive distributions only to the extent we have available cash above the minimum quarterly distributions requirement for our common unitholders and general partner along with certain reserves. Such available cash could be generated through new business development or fees received from Cheniere Marketing under the VCRA. The ending of the subordination period and conversion of the subordinated units into common units will depend upon future business development.

In 2012, we issued Class B units, a new class of equity interests representing limited partner interests in us, in connection with the development of the Liquefaction Project. The Class B units are not entitled to cash distributions except in the event of a liquidation (or merger, combination or sale of substantially all of our assets). The Class B units are subject to conversion, mandatorily or at the option of the holders of the Class B units under specified circumstances, into a number of common units based on the then-applicable conversion value of the Class B units. On a quarterly basis beginning on the initial purchase of the Class B units, and ending on the conversion date of the Class B units, the conversion value of the Class B units increases at a compounded rate of 3.5% per quarter, subject to an additional upward adjustment for certain equity and debt financings. The holders of Class B units have a preference over the holders of the subordinated units in the event of a liquidation (or merger, combination or sale of substantially all of our assets).

On January 22, 2013, we declared a $0.425 distribution per common unit and the related distribution to our general partner to be paid to owners of record on February 1, 2013 for the period from October 1, 2012 to December 31, 2012.

Contractual Obligations
 
We are committed to make cash payments in the future pursuant to certain of our contracts. The following table summarizes certain contractual obligations in place as of December 31, 2012 (in thousands).



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Payments Due for Years Ended December 31,
 
 
Total
 
2013
 
2014 - 2015
 
2016 - 2017
 
Thereafter
Construction and purchase obligations (1)
 
$
3,044,606

 
$
1,286,184

 
$
1,532,576

 
$
225,846

 
$

Long-term debt (excluding interest) (2)
 
2,185,500

 

 

 
1,665,500

 
520,000

Operating lease obligations (3) (4)
 
279,777

 
9,625

 
19,229

 
19,039

 
231,884

Service contracts:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Affiliate Sabine Pass LNG O&M Agreement (5)
 
28,176

 
1,682

 
3,365

 
3,365

 
19,764

Affiliate Sabine Pass LNG MSA (5)
 
112,711

 
6,729

 
13,458

 
13,458

 
79,066

Affiliate Sabine Pass Liquefaction O&M Agreement (5)
 
62,769

 
7,828

 
10,676

 
7,432

 
36,833

Affiliate Sabine Pass Liquefaction MSA (5)
 
351,910

 
31,313

 
42,704

 
38,477

 
239,416

Affiliate services agreement (5)
 
190,366

 
11,198

 
22,396

 
22,396

 
134,376

Cooperative endeavor agreements (5)
 
9,813

 
2,453

 
4,907

 
2,453

 

Other obligation (6)
 
1,113

 
1,113

 

 

 

Total
 
$
6,266,741

 
$
1,358,125

 
$
1,649,311

 
$
1,997,966

 
$
1,261,339

 
(1)
A discussion of these obligations can be found at Note 15—"Commitments and Contingencies" of our Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.
(2)
Based on the total debt balance, scheduled maturities and interest rates in effect at December 31, 2012, our cash payments for interest would be $202.8 million in 2013, $201.6 million in 2014, $201.6 million in 2015, $191.2 million in 2016, $76.7 million in 2017 and $155.4 million for the remaining years for a total of $1,029.3 million.  See Note 11—"Long-Term Debt" of our Consolidated Financial Statements.
(3)
A discussion of these obligations can be found in Note 14—"Leases" of our Consolidated Financial Statements.
(4)
Minimum lease payments have not been reduced by a minimum sublease rental of $112.8 million due in the future under non-cancelable tug boat subleases.
(5)
A discussion of these obligations can be found in Note 13—"Related Party Transactions" of our Consolidated Financial Statements.
(6)
Other obligation consists of LNG terminal security services.
 
Results of Operations
 
2012 vs. 2011
 
Our consolidated net income decreased $119.1 million, from $31.0 million of net income in 2011 to $150.1 million of net loss in 2012. This increase in net loss primarily resulted from loss on early extinguishment of the 2013 Notes, increased costs incurred to manage the construction of Train 1 and Train 2 of the Liquefaction Project, decreased revenues, increased operating and maintenance expense and increased development expense. Loss on early extinguishment of debt increased from zero in 2011 to $42.6 million in 2012 primarily as a result of make-whole payments associated with the early repayments in full of the 2013 Notes. Our general and administrative expense (including affiliate expense) increased $40.2 million, from $26.0 million in 2011 to $66.2 million in 2012. This increase in general and administrative expense primarily resulted from increased costs incurred to manage the construction of Train 1 and Train 2 of the Liquefaction Project. Total revenues decreased $19.5 million, from $283.8 million in 2011 to $264.3 million in 2012. This decrease in revenues (including affiliate revenues) primarily resulted from decreased LNG cargo export loading fee revenue, decreased revenues earned under the VCRA, and a provision for loss on a firm purchase commitment for LNG inventory that will be used to restore the heating value of vaporized LNG to conform to natural gas pipeline specifications. Operating and maintenance expense (including affiliate expense) increased $18.0 million, from $33.7 million in 2011 to $51.8 million in 2012. This increase primarily resulted from the loss incurred to purchase LNG to maintain the cryogenic readiness of the Sabine Pass LNG terminal and increased dredging services in 2012. Development expense (including affiliate expense) increased $3.8 million, from $36.5 million in 2011 to $40.2 million in 2012. This increase in development expense resulted from costs incurred to develop the Liquefaction Project.




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2011 vs. 2010
 
Our consolidated net income decreased $138.6 million, from $107.6 million of net income in 2010 to $31.0 million of net loss in 2011. This decrease in net income primarily resulted from the TUA assignment from Cheniere Marketing to Cheniere Investments, effective July 1, 2010 that resulted in the TUA payments being made by Cheniere Investments, our wholly owned subsidiary, instead of Cheniere Marketing. Beginning July 1, 2010, our affiliate revenues reflect only tug service revenue and the amount of income earned under the VCRA from Cheniere Marketing because the affiliate revenues earned by Sabine Pass LNG from Cheniere Investments' capacity payments under the TUA are eliminated upon consolidation of our financial statements. In addition, the decrease in net income in 2011 was a result of increases in development expenses related to the Liquefaction Project. These decreases in net income were partially offset by decreased operating and maintenance expenses and decreased development expense in 2011 compared to 2010. Operating and maintenance expense (including affiliate expense) decreased $5.5 million, from $39.2 million in 2010 to $33.7 million in 2011. This decrease primarily resulted from decreased fuel costs in 2011 compared to 2010 as a result of efficiencies in our LNG inventory management.

Off-Balance Sheet Arrangements
 
As of December 31, 2012, we had no "off-balance sheet arrangements" that may have a current or future material affect on our consolidated financial position or results of operations.
 
Summary of Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates
 
The selection and application of accounting policies is an important process that has developed as our business activities have evolved and as the accounting rules have developed. Accounting rules generally do not involve a selection among alternatives but involve an implementation and interpretation of existing rules, and the use of judgment, to apply the accounting rules to the specific set of circumstances existing in our business. In preparing our consolidated financial statements in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States ("GAAP"), we endeavor to comply with all applicable rules on or before their adoption, and we believe that the proper implementation and consistent application of the accounting rules are critical. However, not all situations are specifically addressed in the accounting literature. In these cases, we must use our best judgment to adopt a policy for accounting for these situations. We accomplish this by analogizing to similar situations and the accounting guidance governing them.
 
Cash and Cash Equivalents
 
We consider all highly liquid investments with an original maturity of three months or less to be cash equivalents.
 
Accounting for LNG Activities
 
Generally, we begin capitalizing the costs of LNG terminal projects once the individual project meets the following criteria: (i) regulatory approval has been received, (ii) financing for the project is available and (iii) management has committed to commence construction. Prior to meeting these criteria, most of the costs associated with a project are expensed as incurred. These costs primarily include professional fees associated with front-end engineering and design work, costs of securing necessary regulatory approvals, and other preliminary investigation and development activities related to our LNG terminals and related pipelines.
 
Generally, costs that are capitalized prior to a project meeting the criteria otherwise necessary for capitalization include: land and lease option costs that are capitalized as property, plant and equipment and certain permits that are capitalized as intangible LNG assets. The costs of lease options are amortized over the life of the lease once obtained. If no lease is obtained, the costs are expensed.
 
We capitalize interest and other related debt costs during the construction period of our LNG terminal. Upon commencement of operations, capitalized interest, as a component of the total cost, will be amortized over the estimated useful life of the asset.
 



49



Revenue Recognition
 
LNG regasification capacity reservation fees are recognized as revenue over the term of the respective TUAs. Advance capacity reservation fees are initially deferred and amortized over a 10-year period as a reduction of a customer's regasification capacity reservation fees payable under its TUA. The retained 2% of LNG delivered for each customer's account at the Sabine Pass LNG terminal is recognized as revenues as Sabine Pass LNG performs the services set forth in each customer's TUA.
 
Derivatives
We use derivative instruments from time to time to hedge the exposure to variability in expected future cash flows attributable to the future sale of our LNG inventory, to hedge the exposure to price risk attributable to future purchases of natural gas to be utilized as fuel to operate the Sabine Pass LNG terminal, and to hedge the exposure to volatility in a portion of the floating-rate interest payments under the Liquefaction Credit Facility. We have disclosed certain information regarding these derivative positions, including the fair value of our derivative positions, in Note 8—"Financial Instruments" of our Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.

Accounting guidance for derivative instruments and hedging activities establishes accounting and reporting standards requiring that derivative instruments be recorded at fair value and included in the consolidated balance sheet as assets or liabilities. The accounting for changes in the fair value of a derivative instrument depends on the intended use of the derivative and the resulting designation, which is established at the inception of a derivative. We record changes in the fair value of our derivative positions based on the value for which the derivative instrument could be exchanged between willing parties.  To date, all of our derivative positions fair value determinations have been made by management using quoted prices in active markets for similar assets or liabilities.  The ultimate fair value of our derivative instruments is uncertain, and we believe that it is possible that a change in the estimated fair value will occur in the near future as commodity prices and interest rates change.

Changes in fair value of contracts that do not qualify as hedges or are not designated as hedges are recognized currently in earnings. Gains and losses in positions to hedge the cash flows attributable to the future sale of LNG inventory are classified as revenues on our Consolidated Statements of Operations. Gains or losses in the positions to mitigate the price risk from future purchases of natural gas to be utilized as fuel to operate the Sabine Pass LNG terminal are classified as derivative gain (loss) on our Consolidated Statements of Operations.

We have elected cash flow hedge accounting for derivatives that we use to hedge the exposure to volatility in floating-rate interest payments. Changes in fair value of derivative instruments designated as cash flow hedges, to the extent the hedge is effective, are recognized in accumulated other comprehensive loss on our Consolidated Balance Sheets. We reclassify gains and losses on the hedges from accumulated other comprehensive loss into interest expense in our Consolidated Statements of Operations as the hedged item is recognized. Any change in the fair value resulting from ineffectiveness is recognized immediately as derivative gain (loss) on our Consolidated Statements of Operations. We use regression analysis to determine whether we expect a derivative to be highly effective as a cash flow hedge prior to electing hedge accounting and also to determine whether all derivatives designated as cash flow hedges have been effective. We perform these effectiveness tests prior to designation for all new hedges and on a quarterly basis for all existing hedges. We calculate the actual amount of ineffectiveness on our cash flow hedges using the "dollar offset" method, which compares changes in the expected cash flows of the hedged transaction to changes in the value of expected cash flows from the hedge. We discontinue hedge accounting when our effectiveness tests indicate that a derivative is no longer highly effective as a hedge; when the derivative expires or is sold, terminated or exercised; when the hedged item matures, is sold or repaid; or when we determine that the occurrence of the hedged forecasted transaction is not probable. When we discontinue hedge accounting but continue to hold the derivative, we begin to apply mark-to-market accounting at that time.

Fair Value of Financial Instruments
 
The carrying amounts of cash and cash equivalents, restricted cash and cash equivalents, restricted certificates of deposit, accounts receivable, and accounts payable approximate fair value because of the short maturity of those instruments. We use available market data and valuation methodologies to estimate the fair value of debt.
 



50



Concentration of Credit Risk
 
Financial instruments that potentially subject us to a concentration of credit risk consist principally of cash and cash equivalents and restricted cash. We maintain cash balances at financial institutions, which may at times be in excess of federally insured levels. We have not incurred losses related to these balances to date.

The use of derivative instruments exposes us to counterparty credit risk, or the risk that a counterparty will be unable to meet its commitments. Our commodity derivative transactions are executed through over-the-counter contracts which are subject to nominal credit risk as these transactions are settled on a daily margin basis with investment grade financial institutions. Collateral deposited for such contracts is recorded as an other current asset and not netted within the derivative fair value. Our interest rate derivative instruments are placed with investment grade financial institutions whom we believe are acceptable credit risks. We monitor counterparty creditworthiness on an ongoing basis; however, we cannot predict sudden changes in counterparties’ creditworthiness. In addition, even if such changes are not sudden, we may be limited in our ability to mitigate an increase in counterparty credit risk. Should one of these counterparties not perform, we may not realize the benefit of some of our derivative instruments.

Sabine Pass LNG has entered into certain long-term TUAs with unaffiliated third parties for regasification capacity at our Sabine Pass LNG terminal. We are dependent on the respective counterparties’ creditworthiness and their willingness to perform under their respective TUAs. We have mitigated this credit risk by securing TUAs for a significant portion of our regasification capacity with creditworthy third-party customers with a minimum Standard & Poor’s rating of AA.

Property, Plant and Equipment 
Property, plant and equipment are recorded at cost. Expenditures for construction activities, major renewals and betterments are capitalized, while expenditures for maintenance and repairs and general and administrative activities are charged to expense as incurred. Interest costs incurred on debt obtained for the construction of property, plant and equipment are capitalized as construction-in-process over the construction period or related debt term, whichever is shorter. We depreciate our property, plant and equipment using the straight-line depreciation method. Upon retirement or other disposition of property, plant and equipment, the cost and related accumulated depreciation are removed from the account, and the resulting gains or losses are recorded in operations.
 
Management reviews property, plant and equipment for impairment periodically and whenever events or changes in circumstances have indicated that the carrying amount of property, plant and equipment might not be recoverable. We have recorded no significant impairments related to property, plant and equipment for 2012, 2011 or 2010.

Income Taxes 
We are not subject to either federal or state income taxes, as the partners are taxed individually on their proportionate share of our earnings. At December 31, 2012, the tax basis of our assets and liabilities was $290.6 million less than the reported amounts of our assets and liabilities. 

In November 2006, Sabine Pass LNG and Cheniere entered into a state tax sharing agreement. Under this agreement, Cheniere has agreed to prepare and file all state and local tax returns which Sabine Pass LNG and Cheniere are required to file on a combined basis and to timely pay the combined state and local tax liability. If Cheniere, in its sole discretion, demands payment, Sabine Pass LNG will pay to Cheniere an amount equal to the state and local tax that Sabine Pass LNG would be required to pay if Sabine Pass LNG's state and local tax liability were computed on a separate company basis. There have been no state and local taxes paid by Cheniere for which Cheniere could have demanded payment from Sabine Pass LNG under this agreement; therefore, Cheniere has not demanded any such payments from Sabine Pass LNG. The agreement is effective for tax returns due on or after January 1, 2008.

In August 2012, Sabine Pass Liquefaction and Cheniere entered into a state tax sharing agreement. Under this agreement, Cheniere has agreed to prepare and file all state and local tax returns which Sabine Pass Liquefaction and Cheniere are required to file on a combined basis and to timely pay the combined state and local tax liability. If Cheniere, in its sole discretion, demands payment, Sabine Pass Liquefaction will pay to Cheniere an amount equal to the state and local tax that Sabine Pass Liquefaction would be required to pay if Sabine Pass Liquefaction's state and local tax liability were computed on a separate company basis. There have been no state and local taxes paid by Cheniere for which Cheniere could have demanded payment from Sabine Pass



51



Liquefaction under this agreement; therefore, Cheniere has not demanded any such payments from Sabine Pass Liquefaction. The agreement is effective for tax returns due on or after August 2012.

Use of Estimates
 
The preparation of consolidated financial statements in conformity with GAAP requires management to make certain estimates and assumptions that affect the amounts reported in the consolidated financial statements and the accompanying notes. Actual results could differ from the estimates and assumptions used.

Estimates used in the assessment of impairment of our long-lived assets are the most significant of our estimates.  There are numerous uncertainties inherent in estimating future cash flows of assets or business segments.  The accuracy of any cash flow estimate is a function of judgment used in determining the amount of cash flows generated.  As a result, cash flows may be different from the cash flows that we use to assess impairment of our assets.  Management reviews its estimates of cash flows on an ongoing basis using historical experience and other factors, including the current economic and commodity price environment.  Significant negative industry or economic trends, including a significant decline in the market price of our common units, reduced estimates of future cash flows of our business or disruptions to our business could lead to an impairment charge of our long-lived assets and other intangible assets. Our valuation methodology for assessing impairment requires management to make judgments and assumptions based on historical experience and to rely heavily on projections of future operating performance. Projections of future operating results and cash flows may vary significantly from results. In addition, if our analysis results in an impairment of our long-lived assets, we may be required to record a charge to earnings in our consolidated financial statements during a period in which such impairment is determined to exist, which may negatively impact our results of operations.

Other items subject to estimates and assumptions include asset retirement obligations, valuations of derivative instruments and collectability of accounts receivable and other assets.

As future events and their effects cannot be determined accurately, actual results could differ significantly from our estimates. 

Debt Issuance Costs 

Debt issuance costs consist primarily of arrangement fees, professional fees, legal fees and printing costs. These costs are capitalized and are being amortized to interest expense over the term of the related debt facility.
 
Asset Retirement Obligations
 
We recognize asset retirement obligations ("AROs") for legal obligations associated with the retirement of long-lived assets that result from the acquisition, construction, development and/or normal use of the asset and for conditional AROs in which the timing or method of settlement are conditional on a future event that may or may not be within our control. The fair value of a liability for an ARO is recognized in the period in which it is incurred, if a reasonable estimate of fair value can be made. The fair value of the liability is added to the carrying amount of the associated asset. This additional carrying amount is depreciated over the estimated useful life of the asset. Our recognition of asset retirement obligations is described below:
 
Currently, the Sabine Pass LNG terminal is our only constructed and operating LNG terminal. Based on the real property lease agreements at the Sabine Pass LNG terminal, at the expiration of the term of the leases we are required to surrender the LNG terminal in good working order and repair, with normal wear and tear and casualty expected. Our property lease agreements at the Sabine Pass LNG terminal have terms of up to 90 years including renewal options. We have determined that the cost to surrender the Sabine Pass LNG terminal in good order and repair, with normal wear and tear and casualty expected, is zero. Therefore, we have not recorded an asset retirement obligation associated with the Sabine Pass LNG terminal.

Recent Accounting Standards 

In May 2011, the Financial Accounting Standards Board ("FASB") issued guidance that further addresses fair value measurement accounting and related disclosure requirements.  The guidance clarifies the FASB's intent regarding the application of existing fair value measurement and disclosure requirements, changes the fair value measurement requirements for certain financial instruments, and sets forth additional disclosure requirements for other fair value measurements.  The guidance is to be applied prospectively and is effective for periods beginning after December 15, 2011.  We adopted this guidance effective January 1,



52



2012.  The adoption of this guidance did not have an impact on our consolidated financial position, results of operations or cash flows, as it only expanded disclosures.

In June 2011, the FASB amended current comprehensive income guidance. The amended guidance eliminates the option to present the components of other comprehensive income as part of the statement of shareholders’ equity. Instead, we must report comprehensive income in either a single continuous statement of comprehensive income which contains two sections, net income and other comprehensive income, or in two separate but consecutive statements. This guidance will be effective for public companies during the interim and annual periods beginning after December 15, 2011 with early adoption permitted. Also, in December 2011, FASB issued an accounting standard update to abrogate the requirement for presentation in the income statement of the effect on net income of reclassification adjustments out of AOCI as required in FASB's June 2011 amendment.  We adopted this guidance in our first fiscal quarter ending March 31, 2012. The adoption of this guidance did not have an impact on our consolidated financial position, results of operations or cash flows as it only required a change in the format of the current presentation.


ITEM 7A.    QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISK 

Cash Investments  

We have cash investments that we manage based on internal investment guidelines that emphasize liquidity and preservation of capital. Such cash investments are stated at historical cost, which approximates fair market value on our Consolidated Balance Sheets.
 
Marketing and Trading Commodity Price Risk

We have entered into certain instruments to hedge the exposure to variability in expected future cash flows attributable to the future sale of our LNG inventory ("LNG Inventory Derivatives") and to hedge the exposure to price risk attributable to future purchases of natural gas to be utilized as fuel to operate the Sabine Pass LNG terminal ("Fuel Derivatives"). We use one-day value at risk ("VaR") with a 95% confidence interval and other methodologies for market risk measurement and control purposes of our LNG Inventory Derivatives and Fuel Derivatives. The VaR is calculated using the Monte Carlo simulation method. The table below provides information about our LNG Inventory Derivatives and Fuel Derivatives that are sensitive to changes in natural gas prices and interest rates as of December 31, 2012.
Hedge Description
 
Hedge Instrument
 
Contract Volume (MMBtu)
 
Price Range ($/MMBtu)
 
Final Hedge Maturity Date
 
Fair Value (in thousands)
 
VaR (in thousands)
LNG Inventory Derivatives
 
Fixed price natural gas swaps
 
1,518,095
 
$3.366 - $3.893
 
May 2013
 
$
232

 
$
25

Fuel Derivatives
 
Fixed price natural gas swaps
 
1,095,000
 
$3.351 - $4.050
 
January 2014
 
(98
)
 
5


We have entered into interest rate swaps to hedge the exposure to volatility in a portion of the floating-rate interest payments under the Liquefaction Credit Facility ("Interest Rate Derivatives"). In order to test the sensitivity of the fair value of the Interest Rate Derivatives to changes in interest rates, management modeled a 10% change in the forward 1-month LIBOR curve across the full 7-year term of the Interest Rate Derivatives. This 10% change in interest rates resulted in a change in the fair value of the Interest Rate Derivatives of $19.2 million. The table below provides information about our Interest Rate Derivatives that are sensitive to changes in the forward 1-month LIBOR curve as of December 31, 2012.

Hedge Description
 
Hedge Instrument
 
Initial Notional Amount
 
Maximum Notional Amount
 
Fixed Interest Rate Range (%)
 
Final Hedge Maturity Date
 
Fair Value (in thousands)
 
10% Change in LIBOR (in thousands)
Interest Rate Derivatives
 
Interest rate swaps
 
$20.0 million
 
$2.9 billion
 
1.978 - 1.981
 
July 2019
 
$
(26,424
)
 
$
19,241






53



ITEM 8.     FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTARY DATA
 
INDEX TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
 
CHENIERE ENERGY PARTNERS, L.P.





54



MANAGEMENT’S REPORT TO THE UNITHOLDERS OF CHENIERE ENERGY PARTNERS, L.P.
 
Management’s Report on Internal Control Over Financial Reporting
 
As management, we are responsible for establishing and maintaining adequate internal control over financial reporting for Cheniere Energy Partners, L.P. ("Cheniere Partners") and its subsidiaries. In order to evaluate the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting, as required by Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, we have conducted an assessment, including testing using the criteria in Internal Control—Integrated Framework issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission ("COSO"). Cheniere Partners' system of internal control over financial reporting is designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of financial reporting and the preparation of financial statements for external purposes in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America. Because of its inherent limitations, internal control over financial reporting may not prevent or detect misstatements and, even when determined to be effective, can only provide reasonable assurance with respect to financial statement preparation and presentation.

Based on our assessment, we have concluded that Cheniere Partners' maintained effective internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2012, based on criteria in Internal Control—Integrated Framework issued by the COSO.

Cheniere Partners’ independent auditors, Ernst & Young LLP, have issued an audit report on Cheniere Partners’ internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2012, which is contained in this Form 10-K.
 
Management’s Certifications
 
The certifications of the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer of Cheniere Partners’ general partner required by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 have been included as Exhibits 31 and 32 in Cheniere Partners’ Form 10-K.
 
                                                                   
Cheniere Energy Partners, L.P.
 
 
By:
Cheniere Energy Partners GP, LLC,
 
Its general partner
 
By:
/s/    CHARIF SOUKI        
 
By:
/s/ MEG A. GENTLE
 
Charif Souki
 
 
Meg A. Gentle
 
Chief Executive Officer
(Principal Executive Officer)
 
 
Chief Financial Officer
(Principal Financial Officer)




55



REPORT OF INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM

The Board of Directors of Cheniere Energy Partners GP, LLC, and
Unitholders of Cheniere Energy Partners, L.P.

We have audited the accompanying consolidated balance sheets of Cheniere Energy Partners, L.P. and subsidiaries as of December 31, 2012 and 2011, and the related consolidated statements of operations, comprehensive income (loss), partners' and owners' capital (deficit), and cash flows for each of the three years in the period ended December 31, 2012. Our audits also included the financial statement schedule listed in the Index at Item 15(a). These financial statements and schedule are the responsibility of the Company's management. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on these financial statements and schedule based on our audits.
We conducted our audits in accordance with the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States). Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements are free of material misstatement. An audit includes examining, on a test basis, evidence supporting the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements. An audit also includes assessing the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, as well as evaluating the overall financial statement presentation. We believe that our audits provide a reasonable basis for our opinion.
In our opinion, the financial statements referred to above present fairly, in all material respects, the consolidated financial position of Cheniere Energy Partners, L.P. and subsidiaries at December 31, 2012 and 2011, and the consolidated results of their operations and their cash flows for each of the three years in the period ended December 31, 2012, in conformity with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles. Also, in our opinion, the related financial statement schedule, when considered in relation to the basic financial statements taken as a whole, presents fairly in all material respects the information set forth therein.
We also have audited, in accordance with the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States), Cheniere Energy Partners, L.P.'s internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2012, based on criteria established in Internal Control-Integrated Framework issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission, and our report dated February 22, 2013 expressed an unqualified opinion thereon.


/s/    ERNST & YOUNG LLP
Ernst & Young LLP
Houston, Texas
February 22, 2013





56



REPORT OF INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM
 
The Board of Directors of Cheniere Energy Partners GP, LLC, and
Unitholders of Cheniere Energy Partners, L.P.
 
We have audited Cheniere Energy Partners, L.P. and subsidiaries' internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2012, based on criteria established in Internal Control-Integrated Framework issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (the COSO criteria). Cheniere Energy Partners, L.P. and subsidiaries' management is responsible for maintaining effective internal control over financial reporting, and for its assessment of the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting included in the accompanying Management's Report on Internal Control Over Financial Reporting. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on the company's internal control over financial reporting based on our audit.

We conducted our audit in accordance with the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States). Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether effective internal control over financial reporting was maintained in all material respects. Our audit included obtaining an understanding of internal control over financial reporting, assessing the risk that a material weakness exists, testing and evaluating the design and operating effectiveness of internal control based on the assessed risk, and performing such other procedures as we considered necessary in the circumstances. We believe that our audit provides a reasonable basis for our opinion.

A company's internal control over financial reporting is a process designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of financial reporting and the preparation of financial statements for external purposes in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. A company's internal control over financial reporting includes those policies and procedures that (1) pertain to the maintenance of records that, in reasonable detail, accurately and fairly reflect the transactions and dispositions of the assets of the company; (2) provide reasonable assurance that transactions are recorded as necessary to permit preparation of financial statements in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, and that receipts and expenditures of the company are being made only in accordance with authorizations of management and directors of the company; and (3) provide reasonable assurance regarding prevention or timely detection of unauthorized acquisition, use, or disposition of the company's assets that could have a material effect on the financial statements.

Because of its inherent limitations, internal control over financial reporting may not prevent or detect misstatements. Also, projections of any evaluation of effectiveness to future periods are subject to the risk that controls may become inadequate because of changes in conditions, or that the degree of compliance with the policies or procedures may deteriorate.

In our opinion, Cheniere Energy Partners, L.P. and subsidiaries maintained, in all material respects, effective internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2012, based on the COSO criteria.

We also have audited, in accordance with the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States), the consolidated balance sheets of Cheniere Energy Partners, L.P. and subsidiaries as of December 31, 2012 and 2011, and the related consolidated statements of operations, comprehensive income (loss), partners' and owners' capital (deficit), and cash flows for each of the three years in the period ended December 31, 2012, and our report dated February 22, 2013 expressed an unqualified opinion thereon.




  

/s/    ERNST & YOUNG LLP
Ernst & Young LLP
Houston, Texas
February 22, 2013




57



CHENIERE ENERGY PARTNERS, L.P. AND SUBSIDIARIES
CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
(in thousands, except unit data)
 
 
December 31,
 
 
2012
 
2011
ASSETS
 
 
 
 
Current assets
 
 
 
 
Cash and cash equivalents
 
$
419,292

 
$
81,415

Restricted cash and cash equivalents
 
92,519

 
13,732

Accounts and interest receivable
 
44

 
525

Accounts receivable—affiliate
 
2,005

 
328

Advances to affiliate
 
4,987

 
692

LNG inventory
 
2,625

 
473

LNG inventory - affiliate
 
4,420

 
4,369

Prepaid expenses and other
 
6,652

 
7,976

Total current assets
 
532,544

 
109,510

 
 
 
 
 
Non-current restricted cash and cash equivalents
 
272,425

 
82,394

Property, plant and equipment, net
 
2,704,895

 
1,514,416

Debt issuance costs, net
 
220,949

 
17,622

Other
 
17,465

 
13,358

Total assets
 
$
3,748,278

 
$
1,737,300

LIABILITIES AND PARTNERS’ EQUITY (DEFICIT)
 
 
 
 
Current liabilities
 
 
 
 
Accounts payable
 
$
73,760

 
$
704

Accounts payable—affiliate
 
1,122

 
530

Accrued liabilities
 
47,403

 
16,751

Accrued liabilities—affiliate
 
5,791

 
3,794

Deferred revenue
 
26,540

 
26,629

Deferred revenue—affiliate
 
696

 
688

Other
 
98

 
2,722

Total current liabilities
 
155,410

 
51,818

 
 
 
 
 
Long-term debt, net of discount
 
2,167,113

 
2,192,418

Deferred revenue
 
21,500

 
25,500

Deferred revenue—affiliate
 
14,720

 
12,266

Long-term derivative liability
 
26,424

 

Other non-current liabilities
 
303

 
317

 
 
 
 
 
Commitments and contingencies
 


 


 
 
 
 
 
Partners' capital (deficit)
 
 
 
 
Common unitholders (39,488,488 and 31,003,154 units issued and outstanding at December 31, 2012 and 2011, respectively)
 
448,412

 
(52,774
)
Class B unitholders (133,333,334 units and zero units issued and outstanding as of December 31, 2012 and 2011, respectively)
 
(37,342
)
 

Subordinated unitholders (135,383,831 units issued and outstanding at December 31, 2012 and 2011)
 
949,482

 
(479,197
)
General partner interest (2% interest with 6,289,911 units and 3,395,653 units issued and outstanding at December 31, 2012 and 2011, respectively)
 
29,496

 
(13,048
)
Accumulated other comprehensive loss
 
(27,240
)
 

Total partners’ capital (deficit)
 
1,362,808


(545,019
)
Total liabilities and partners’ equity (deficit)
 
$
3,748,278

 
$
1,737,300


See accompanying notes to consolidated financial statements.



58



CHENIERE ENERGY PARTNERS, L.P. AND SUBSIDIARIES
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS
(in thousands, except per unit data)

 
 
Year Ended December 31,
 
 
2012
 
2011
 
2010
Revenues
 
 
 
 
 
 
Revenues
 
$
256,354

 
$
269,183

 
$
268,328

Revenues—affiliate
 
7,973

 
14,607

 
130,954

Total revenues
 
264,327

 
283,790

 
399,282

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Expenses
 
 

 
 

 
 

Operating and maintenance expense
 
35,457

 
21,827

 
27,069

Operating and maintenance expense—affiliate
 
16,300

 
11,918

 
12,090

Depreciation expense
 
42,551

 
42,943

 
42,299

Development expense
 
37,559

 
32,448

 
8,738

Development expense—affiliate
 
2,677

 
4,025

 
1,824

General and administrative expense
 
10,303

 
5,534

 
6,190

General and administrative expense—affiliate
 
55,940

 
20,469

 
20,275

Total expenses
 
200,787

 
139,164

 
118,485

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Income from operations
 
63,540

 
144,626

 
280,797

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Other income (expense)
 
 

 
 

 
 

Interest expense, net
 
(171,646
)
 
(173,590
)
 
(174,016
)
Loss on early extinguishment of debt
 
(42,587
)
 

 

Derivative gain (loss), net
 
58

 
(2,251
)
 
461

Other
 
499

 
196

 
326

Total other expense
 
(213,676
)
 
(175,645
)
 
(173,229
)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Net income (loss)
 
$
(150,136
)
 
$
(31,019
)
 
$
107,568

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Basic and diluted net income per common unit
 
$
0.27

 
$
1.23

 
$
1.70

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Weighted average number of common units outstanding used for basic and diluted net income (loss) per common unit calculation
 
33,470

 
27,910

 
26,416



















See accompanying notes to consolidated financial statements.



59



CHENIERE ENERGY PARTNERS, L.P. AND SUBSIDIARIES
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF COMPREHENSIVE INCOME (LOSS)
(in thousands)

 
 
Year Ended December 31,
 
 
2012
 
2011
 
2010
Net income (loss)
 
$
(150,136
)
 
$
(31,019
)
 
$
107,568

Other comprehensive loss
 
 
 
 
 
 
Interest rate cash flow hedges