DOE finalizes LNG export national interest review reforms

The US Department of Energy finalized reforms it proposed on May 29 to its process for determining whether planned LNG export projects are in the national interest (OGJ Online, May 29, 2014). The primary change replaced conditional approvals with a requirement for an LNG export project to complete federal environmental reviews first.

LNG export proposals are presumed to be in the national interest under the Natural Gas Act, except to customers in countries that do not have a free-trade agreement with the US. In those cases, DOE has conducted an informal review for more than 30 years, and has issued eight conditional authorizations for LNG exports to non-FTA countries in the last 3 years, according to an Aug. 15 Federal Register notice about the proposed reforms becoming final.

It emphasized that the new procedures won’t affect the validity of conditional authorizations DOE already has issued. “For those applications, DOE stated it would proceed as explained in the orders: by reconsidering the conditional authorization in light of the environmental review once that review is complete and taking appropriate final action,” it said.

DOE received 74 public comments about the proposed reforms, many from project sponsors and oil and gas trade associations. It also made changes in its Addendum to Environmental Review Documents Concerning Exports of Natural Gas from the US in response to several of these comments.

‘Serious reservations’

The Center for Liquefied Natural Gas, which previously urged EPA to scrap the proposed LNG export review reforms (OGJ Online, July 23, 2014), expressed serious reservations about the direction of DOE’s procedural landscape in response to the proposed reforms becoming final.

It said that, given recent rule changes, DOE could improve regulatory certainty by instituting a policy of prompt approval for final non-FTA export permits once the applicants have completed their National Environmental Policy Act reviews. “For projects that meet the requirements under NEPA, DOE should set a timeline as to when it issues the final decisions,” CLNG Pres. Bill Cooper suggested.

“When developers have already faced a lengthy waiting period for a conditional approval and completed the FERC process, continued regulatory uncertainty is not beneficial,” he continued. “Rather, the development of these projects and the economic benefits they will deliver to this country should be expedited.”

US Sen. Mary L. Landrieu (D-La.), who chairs the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, welcomed DOE’s action.

“Responsible exports of [LNG] will create thousands of high-paying jobs in the United States, protect our domestic manufacturing renaissance, and provide critical security to our allies abroad,” she said on Aug. 15. “I am pleased that [DOE] continues to reduce obstacles to approving new LNG export terminals, and I will continue to lead the effort in Congress to harness the potential of this game changing resource.”

Contact Nick Snow at

Related Articles

WAFWA: Aerial survey finds lesser prairie chicken population grew

07/06/2015 A recent range-wide aerial survey found the lesser prairie chicken population rose 25% from 2014 to 2015, the Western Association of Fish & Wil...

Buru awarded onshore Canning licenses

07/06/2015 Buru Energy Ltd., Perth, and Mitsubish Corp. have been granted two production licenses for Ungani oil field in the onshore Canning basin of Western...

Cenovus sells royalty business for $3.3 billion

07/06/2015 Cenovus Energy Inc., Calgary, inked an agreement to sell its wholly owned subsidiary Heritage Royalty LP to Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan for gros...

CERI: Energy, operational efficiencies possible in Canadian oil, gas

07/06/2015 Measures can be taken by operators in the expanding resource-intensive Canadian oil and gas sector to improve both energy efficiency and operationa...

AGL Energy to scale back upstream gas operations


Gas retailer AGL Energy Ltd., Sydney, says it will exit the oil business and massively scaling back its upstream gas operations.

Woodside lets contracts for Browse LNG project

07/06/2015 Woodside Petroleum Ltd. has let more contracts for the Browse floating LNG project offshore Western Australia. The contracts, awarded to a Technip-...

Macondo settlement seen ‘positive’ for BP

07/06/2015 BP Exploration & Production Inc.’s recent agreement to settle federal and state claims related to the 2010 Macondo blowout and spill improves t...

Court to EPA: Costs matter

07/06/2015 Oil and gas groups did not respond immediately when the US Supreme Court ruled on June 29 that the US Environmental Protection Agency acted unreaso...

The price of oil and OPEC-history repeating?

07/06/2015 The world oil market today is characterized by a standoff between the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC producers a...
White Papers

UAS Integration for Infrastructure: More than Just Flying

Oil and gas companies recognize the benefits that the use of drones or unmanned aerial systems (UAS) c...

Solutions to Financial Distress Resulting from a Weak Oil and Gas Price Environment

The oil and gas industry is in the midst of a prolonged worldwide downturn in commodity prices. While ...
Sponsored by

2015 Global Engineering Information Management Solutions Competitive Strategy Innovation and Leadership Award

The Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognise companies in a variety of regional and global...
Sponsored by

Three Tips to Improve Safety in the Oil Field

Working oil fields will always be tough work with inherent risks. There’s no getting around that. Ther...
Sponsored by

Pipeline Integrity: Best Practices to Prevent, Detect, and Mitigate Commodity Releases

Commodity releases can have catastrophic consequences, so ensuring pipeline integrity is crucial for p...
Sponsored by

AVEVA’s Digital Asset Approach - Defining a new era of collaboration in capital projects and asset operations

There is constant, intensive change in the capital projects and asset life cycle management. New chall...
Sponsored by

Transforming the Oil and Gas Industry with EPPM

With budgets in the billions, timelines spanning years, and life cycles extending over decades, oil an...
Sponsored by

Asset Decommissioning in Oil & Gas: Transforming Business

Asset intensive organizations like Oil and Gas have their own industry specific challenges when it com...
Sponsored by
Available Webcasts

Operating a Sustainable Oil & Gas Supply Chain in North America

When Tue, Oct 20, 2015

Short lead times and unpredictable conditions in the Oil & Gas industry can create costly challenges in supply chains. By implementing a LEAN culture of continuous improvement you can eliminate waste, increase productivity and gain end-to-end visibility leading to a sustainable and well-oiled supply chain.

Please join us for this webcast sponsored by Ryder System, Inc.


On Demand

Leveraging technology to improve safety & reliability

Tue, Sep 22, 2015

Attend this informative webinar to learn more about how to leverage technology to meet the new OSHA standards and protect your employees from the hazards of arc flash explosions.


The Resilient Oilfield in the Internet of Things World

Tue, Sep 22, 2015

As we hear about the hype surrounding the Internet of Things, the oil and gas industry is questioning what is different than what is already being done. What is new?  Using sensors and connecting devices is nothing new to our mode of business and in many ways the industry exemplifies many principles of an industrial internet of things. How does the Internet of Things impact the oil and gas industry?

Prolific instrumentation and automation digitized the industry and has changed the approach to business models calling for a systems led approach.  Resilient Systems have the ability to adapt to changing circumstances while maintaining their central purpose.  A resilient system, such as Maximo, allows an asset intensive organization to leverage connected devices by merging real-time asset information with other critical asset information and using that information to create a more agile organization.  

Join this webcast, sponsored by IBM, to learn how about Internet of Things capabilities and resilient systems are impacting the landscape of the oil and gas industry.


Taking the Headache out of Fuel License and Exemption Certificates: How to Ensure Compliance

Tue, Aug 25, 2015

This webinar, brought to you by Avalara, will detail the challenges of tax document management, as well as recommend solutions for fuel suppliers. You will learn:

-    Why it’s critical to track business partner licenses and exemption documents
-    The four key business challenges of ensuring tax compliance through document management
-    Best practice business processes to minimize exposure to tax errors


Emerson Micro Motion Videos

Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!


Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected