Time Ticking on US LNG Export Window of Opportunity

Gibbs noted that FERC has been struggling with how to award capacity in the future on pipelines interconnected to terminals that were intended as import terminals, but are slated for exports instead, particularly where existing customers already have capacity at pipelines and the terminal. In the case of facilities such as Cove Point in Maryland, which has import and export capacity, rate and service issues will come into play because of the mix of import and export customers, Gibbs said.

The Second Circuit Court of appeals has upheld FERC’s authority to analyze LNG export projects, but not to include the impact of upstream production activities. FERC may consider the impact a project may have on other terminals that are in the pre-filing phase or have been proposed, Gibbs said.

The Cameron LNG project was the first for which a draft environmental impact statement (EIS) was written, but for some existing import facilities where liquefaction is being added, FERC is preparing environmental assessments (EA). While EISs are more comprehensive and time-consuming, Gibbs noted that EISs may mitigate appeals if a party such as an environmental group tries to block a project’s approval. Project developers “should not be afraid” of the EIS process.


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Dr. Tom Williams  |  February 27, 2014
US LNG is probably now well behind the curve as PRC/Korea/Japan are investing NOW in pipelines and fracking and like PRC did with HongKong Black Point Power plant - built 500mi subsea pipeline from and gas collector system for a 1000++MW power plant in HK...before the contracts could be signed to get the coal... Now PRC is getting the gas production going in west and central China...laying pipelines to Beijing and Shanghai...once in Beijing piping into Incheon is piece of cake...only question is a gas line from Incheon to Pusan by land/sea...then jump the straits to Japan...subsea again. One question - highly compressed NG or LNG by pipe PRC/Korea/Japan, I believe, have already gotten agreements regarding technologies, pipelayers, pipe production/transport, and sizing/number of pipelines...along with 25 year delivery contracts. These are easy and lucrative contracts for all three.. Russians are trying to come into the north end of Japan but their gas will probably much more expensive and not include the Koreans in the mix - kiss of death...in this commodity market system. US gas may provide a little LNG in 2016-18 until the pipelines are operating to Japan. So who would want to invest in a pipeline to NWUS/Can-BC which will be moot within 5-years, as no one in Japan would sign a 25-year supply contract for LNG and receiving gasifiers when they know the PRC gas will be there within five years. That take care of the Pacific market while Argentina is progressing for the SoAmerican market...and NoAfrica and Europe can deal with the European demands within ten years...With tankers and pipeline investments it is difficult to deal with a spot market when it is LNG vs CNG.