Yesterday, the Department of Energy (DOE) announced that it will allow LNG Development Co. (ticker: LLC) to export LNG from a terminal in Warrenton, Oregon, to countries without a Free Trade Agreement. The terminal is the first of its kind to be approved on the West Coast. The terminal is still subject to environmental review and final regulatory approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, but the U.S. should be able to export to any country the DOE finds “consistent with the public interest.”
Oregon LNG plans to begin construction late next year for completion in early 2019. There will be two 160 Mcf storage tanks, and the port will be able to accept ships as large as 267 Mcf Q-Max vessels. They also hope to have an 85-mile pipeline from the terminal to the Williams Northwest Pipeline in Woodland, Wash.
The American Petroleum Institute commended the approval and urged Congress to accept more of the applicants. API’s Upstream Director Erik Milito said, “As the world’s largest producer of natural gas, we should act now to bolster our allies and send a signal to global markets that America is ready to compete.”
Oregon’s terminal is the eighth of forty applicants to pass DOE regulations despite the DOE’s proposed 45-day limit for reviewing and commenting on applications, which was made on May 19, 2014. To approve the terminal, the DOE considered energy security, environmental impacts, economics, and received almost 200,000 public comments about the impacts of LNG.
According to Energy.gov, “the facility is conditionally authorized to export at a rate of up to the equivalent of 1.25 Bcf/d of natural gas, for a period of 20 years.” However, most of the LNG being exported from this facility will be from Canada, even though the EIA forecasts that domestic natural gas production in 2014 will be a record rate of 73.29 Bcf/d.
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