Time Ticking on US LNG Export Window of Opportunity
The U.S. shale revolution changed that assumption and transformed the country from a destination for foreign LNG into a potential LNG exporter, in some cases, from the same facilities build to regasify LNG coming into the country. Thanks to shale gas and oil, the United States has gone from an era of concerns over scarcity to an era of abundance. Unconventional oil and gas also have changed the way the United States thinks about energy security.
Fossil fuels, particularly natural gas, will play a key role in moving the U.S. economy forward while reducing greenhouse gas emissions, Smith noted.
Responding to criticism from the oil and gas industry that DOE was taking too long to permit LNG export projects, Smith said DOE’s job was to make “good policy decisions” that would unlock opportunities beneficial for the U.S. economy and for U.S.-based businesses.
Given the abundance of natural gas, DOE wants to ensure that this resource gets to the economy, the burner tip and to power producers to create value for the economy. At the same time, DOE wants to ensure that the communities where shale wells are drilled are confident that DOE is taking their concerns seriously and is “scientifically quantifying" these concerns and effectively mitigating risks, Smith noted.
LNG export terminals that will serve free trade agreement countries will be approved without delay or modification. Applications for projects that will serve non-FTA markets – and a number of proposed projects are intended for non-FTA countries – are evaluated on a “case by case” basis. Projects are approved on a first come, first serve basis, and applications already in progress get priority.
Project applications for LNG terminals that will export to Free Trade Agreement (FTA) countries are considered in the national interest and are approved without delay or modification. Project applications for terminals exporting LNG to non-FTA countries are evaluated on a case-by-case basis to determine if they’re in the U.S. public’s interest.
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Senior Editor | Rigzone