DOE allows LNG exports from Cameron terminal to non-FTA nations

The US Department of Energy conditionally approved LNG exports from the Cameron LNG LLC terminal in Louisiana to countries that do not have a free trade agreement with the US.

Opponents have not demonstrated that the requested authorization would not be consistent with the US public interest, DOE’s Fossil Energy Office said in a Feb. 11 order. It also found that the proposed exports would likely yield net economic benefits to the US.

FEO also found that exports should be authorized at volumes not to exceed the facilities’ capacity and subject to satisfactory completion of environmental reviews and other terms and conditions.

The Hackberry, La., liquefaction plant and export terminal will be capable of exporting 1.7 bcfd of gas, according to its sponsor, Sempra LNG. It previously received DOE approval to export LNG to countries having an FTA with the US.

Erik Milito, the American Petroleum Institute’s upstream operations director, welcomed the news, and urged FEO to process more than 20 remaining applications. “The faster these terminals are approved, the faster Americans can enjoy the full benefits of the US energy revolution brought about by advancements in hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling,” he maintained.

“LNG exports represent an immediate opportunity to create thousands of jobs, grow the economy, and reduce our trade deficit,” Milito continued. “This facility alone promises a potential investment of over $4 billion, and each export approval strengthens our competitive position in the international market.”

US Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), the Environment and Public Works Committee’s ranking minority member, said the Cameron LNG project was the sixth to win DOE approval for exports to non-FTA nations and the third LNG export facility in Louisiana.

“Natural gas has created a job boom across this country, but in particular in Southwest Louisiana, and this conditional approval means the Cameron LNG project has taken an important step in the right direction,” Vitter said. The project will create 3,000 jobs during construction and more than 1,300 jobs in Louisiana in the next 4 years, he noted.

Two LNG export facilities in Oregon, the Jordan Cove Energy Project and the Oregon LNG Project, are next in line to have applications for sales to non-FTA countries considered, according to FEO.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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