Third US LNG terminal approved for exports

Sabine Pass LNGThe BG Group and Southern Union-backed Lake Charles Exports LLC has received approval from the US Department of Energy (DOE) to export US-produced liquefied natural gas (LNG) to non-Free Trade Agreement (FTA) countries.

Lake Charles previously received approval to export LNG from this facility to FTA countries on July 22, 2011.  The US has free trade agreements in place with 20 countries including: Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Jordan, Korea, Mexico, Morocco, Nicaragua, Oman, Panama, Peru, and Singapore.

The Lake Charles facility is conditionally authorized to export at a rate of up to 2 Bcf/d for a period of 20 years, subject to environmental review and final regulatory approval, DOE said.

The Sabine Pass LNG Terminal in Cameron Parish, Louisiana, was the first to receive authorization to export to non-FTA countries in May 2011. Freeport LNG, in Quintana Island, Texas, received the second authorization in May 2013. Sabine Pass is authorized to export at a rate of up to 2.2 Bcf/d, and Freeport is approved for 1.4 Bcf/d.

"The development of US natural gas resources is having a transformative impact on the US energy landscape, helping to improve our energy security while spurring economic development and job creation around the country. This increase in domestic natural gas production is expected to continue, with the Energy Information Administration forecasting a record production rate of 69.96 Bcf/d in 2013," DOE said in a statement.

Following a review of Lake Charles' application, DOE said exports from the facility would not be 'inconsistent' with public interest. Even with this latest approval, DOE said it will continue to approve applications on a case-by-case basis.

"As further information becomes available at the end of 2013, including the EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook Report, the department will assess the impact of any market developments on subsequent public interest determinations."

Photo: Sabine Pass LNG

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