TDA calls for proposals as it launches US gas exports initiative

The US Trade and Development Agency (TDA) called for initial development proposals as it launched its US Gas Infrastructure Exports Initiative. Officials from the Departments of Energy, Interior, and State, as well as a House Energy and Commerce Committee member, expressed strong support during the Nov. 17 event at the US Chamber of Commerce.

The US Trade and Development Agency (TDA) called for initial development proposals as it launched its US Gas Infrastructure Exports Initiative. Officials from the Departments of Energy, Interior, and State, as well as a House Energy and Commerce Committee member, expressed strong support during the Nov. 17 event at the US Chamber of Commerce.

“Our goal is to work with US industry and our partner countries to make sure that the next gas-fired power plant, the next LNG import facility, or the next gas pipeline will be built using American innovation and a ‘Made-in-the-USA’ label,” said acting TDA Director Thomas R. Hardy.

“I want to encourage American companies and their overseas partners to give us their best ideas for how we can connect US expertise—and technologies—across the gas-value chain in emerging economies,” Hardy said.

Energy Undersecretary Mark W. Menezes said the US will become a net gas exporter in 2017 for the first time, thanks to its extensive unconventional production and pipeline network and contracting practices that embrace the rule of law.

DOE has approved more than 21 bcf of exports without destination clauses that Russia’s Gazprom made part of its earlier agreements, Menezes said. “There have been concerns expressed by some potential foreign customers that the US might rescind those authorizations. Those concerns are unfounded,” he said.

Private sector connection

“It’s very important to this administration that we connect with the private sector because its work will be so critical,” said John McCarrick, deputy assistant secretary at the State Department’s Bureau of Energy Resources.

The US is off to a good start, McCarrick said, noting that in less than 2 years 200 cargoes have left Cheniere Energy’s Sabine Pass terminal in Texas for more than 20 countries. “Pipelines which we have built with Mexico and Canada have increased North American energy security,” McCarrick said. “We will continue trying to help US companies find foreign customers while helping overseas governments increase their supply choices.”

Suggesting that Interior might not have been invited to send a representative to an LNG exports initiative launch a year earlier, the Energy Policy Counselor to US Interior Sec. Ryan Zinke said on Nov. 17 that the Trump administration’s goal for the US to achieve global energy dominance has become a top priority at the department.

“We manage more energy resources than any other entity on the globe,” said Vincent DeVito. “Our energy dominance focus involves not only resources but also financial contributions since the federal revenue we contribute is second only to the Internal Revenue Service. America needs to tout its energy economy and not to be ashamed of it.”

Striking a balance

Emphasizing that Zinke strongly opposes selling public lands, DeVito said the department is trying to remove unnecessary, punitive regulations that were put in place by previous administrations.

“Many executive and secretarial orders have set the table for Interior to have a better relationship with energy businesses. Our strategy will be to strike a balance, including using some of the revenue we generate to finance parks and recreational areas,” DiVito said.

“We need to make America more energy dominant and ready to increase its gas exports,” said US Rep. Bill Johnson (R-Ohio), who serves on the Energy and Commerce Committee. His southeastern Ohio district is at the center of a gas development upsurge that has created thousands of jobs and improved local communities’ economies, he pointed out. “But we need changes at the federal level to assure this gas goes where it needs to go,” Johnson said.

“It would be foolish of us not to take advantage of our gas abundance when we’re so well positioned to grow,” Johnson said. “But we face competition from foreign suppliers, many of which are subsidized by their governments. This initiative will do a lot to help us.”

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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