U.S. LNG Export Operations to Begin in Alaska, Louisiana
ConocoPhillips’ application to export about 40 billion cubic feet of natural gas from its liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal at Kenai, Alaska has been approved.
The approval by the U.S. Department of Energy gives Texas-based ConocoPhillips the go-ahead to export LNG over the next two years to any country the U.S. has a free-trade agreement with or any other country with which trade is not prohibited by federal law.
The Kenai facility was the first LNG export facility in the U.S. Most of the gas exports from Kenai have gone to Japan since the plant entered service in 1969.
ConocoPhillips last received a U.S. export license for its Kenai plant in April 2014. The company sought that license after the plant’s old export license expired in March 2013.
Meanwhile, the first LNG export terminal in the lower 48 states is expected to enter service at Cheniere Energy Inc.’s in Louisiana within the next few weeks.
Operations at the Sabine Pass facility were expected to begin in January, the company said, but “instrumentation issues were discovered during the final phases of plant commissioning” and a “cool down” was required for some additional work to be completed.
When the Louisiana plant is fully operational, it will be able to export up to five percent of the current U.S. LNG production.
Houston-based Cheniere Energy Inc. owns and operates Sabine Pass through its general partner ownership interest in Cheniere Energy Partners and partial ownership interest in Cheniere Energy Partners Holdings LLC.
The U.S. was last a net exporter of gas in 1957. The U.S. Department of Energy forecasts that growth in LNG pipeline exports to Mexico and ocean-borne LNG exports to global markets, the U.S. is expected to shift from being a net importer of liquefied natural gas to a net exporter by 2017 as the nation’s shale gas production continues to grow.
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