Aug. 6 (UPI) -- U.S. natural gas company Sempra Energy, an emerging player in the LNG sector, reported a second quarter loss on charges tied to a major divestment strategy.
The company reported a $561 million loss for the second quarter, compared with $259 million in earnings during the same period last year. The results included a $755 million impairment on the planned sale of some of its transit infrastructure and wind energy components.
In June, Sempra announced plans to sell off its entire wind and solar portfolio, along with other assets, to fund what it considered to be growth opportunities.
"In the second quarter, we achieved solid operating results and, with our recent successful equity offerings, we have strengthened our balance sheet," CEO Jeffrey W. Martin said in a statement. "We also have taken significant steps to begin optimizing our portfolio of assets and expand our liquefied natural gas business."
Sempra, which has its headquarters in San Diego, filed applications with the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for exports and construction of the proposed Port Arthur LNG plant in southeast Texas two years ago.
The project calls for everything from storage tanks to refrigerants and marine loading facilities at the proposed Texas plant.
For U.S. allies in Europe, the abundance of natural gas from domestic shale basins could be used as a tool to break the Russian grip on the European economy. European leaders have said that LNG sourced from U.S. shale basins may present a source of diversity with the right infrastructure in place.
Sempra in June signed a preliminary 20-year agreement to sell LNG to a Polish company beginning in 2023. Some countries in Eastern Europe like Poland, which has already received LNG from the United States, have few resources of their own and rely on Russia for most of their energy supplies.