If the latest liquefied natural gas (LNG) deal is any indication, Eastern demand for this seaborne energy source is far from letting up. But that doesn't mean Cheniere Energy (AMEX:LNG) will necessarily be a prime beneficiary of the world's LNG buildout.

PetroChina (NYSE:PTR) and CNOOC (NYSE:CEO) just announced long-term supply deals with gas-rich Qatar. And I do mean long: PetroChina is ponying up for 25 years' worth of supply from a joint venture between Qatargas and Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDS-A) (NYSE:RDS-B), with deliveries beginning in 2011.

LNG facilities are popping up all over the world. Liquefaction plants are built at gas-rich sites in places such as Qatar and Australia, while receiving terminals are constructed in energy-constrained nations, including our own.

That's where Cheniere comes in. It will soon start up America's largest LNG receiving terminal on the Gulf Coast. But perhaps counterintuitively, as long as Asian and Western European demand for LNG outstrips that of our own country, LNG carriers won't necessarily be storming our shores. The success of domestic drillers such as XTO Energy (NYSE:XTO) and Chesapeake Energy (NYSE:CHK) also diminishes the desirability of natural gas imports.

Cheniere's stock has been so battered that the company recently hired a banker to review strategic alternatives, which is Wall Street code for "sell all or part of the business." It's notable that this development has done absolutely nothing to stop the slide -- shares have lost half of their value in 2008. I could probably find reason to recommend Cheniere on the basis of pure asset value, but it's not a logical play on the proliferation of LNG in the rest of the world.

LNG-ing Foolishness: