US Freeport LNG approved for additional 400 mcf/day of non-FTA exports

15 November 2013 21:16  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Freeport LNG has been authorised to export an additional 400 million cubic feet/day (mcf/day) of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to non-free trade agreement (FTA) countries from its Quintana Island facility in Texas, the US Department of Energy (DOE) announced on Friday.

Freeport was granted approval in May to export 1.4 billion cubic feet/day (bcf/day) to non-FTA countries.

In all, the DOE has given Freeport the green light to export 1.8 bcf/day of LNG to non-FTA countries for 20 years, provided that the Texas facility passes an environmental review and receive regulatory approval.

Freeport previously obtained approval to export LNG from the facility to FTA countries in February 2011.

Federal law generally requires approval of LNG exports to countries that have an FTA with the US. Under the Natural Gas Act, export approvals of LNG to countries that do not have an FTA with the US will be reviewed and granted unless the department finds that the proposed exports “will not be consistent with the public interest”, according to the DOE said.

LNG exports have been a hot topic of debate in the chemicals industry, which relies on natural gas for about 85% of its feedstock requirements. Some producers, such as Dow Chemical, have urged the DOE to take a measured approach to non-FTA export permits so that natural gas prices do not rise substantially and eat away at the US’s feedstock price advantage over much of the world.

Friday's approval marks the fifth non-FTA export licence granted by the DOE.

By: Jeremy Pafford
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