From Houston Chronicle

Federal regulators have authorized Venture Global’s $4.5 billion Calcasieu Pass LNG project in Louisiana to export to China, South Korea, Japan and a number of other nations where liquefied natural gas prices are higher.

The U.S. Department of Energy issued an order authorizing Calcasieu Pass LNG to export liquefied natural gas to non-free trade agreement nations, Venture Global reported on Tuesday morning.

Under the order, Calcasieu Pass LNG is authorized to export up to 1.7 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day. That’s roughly enough natural gas for 17,000 U.S. homes for a single year.

“We are pleased that our Calcasieu Pass buyers – Shell, BP, Edison, Galp, Repsol and PGNiG – can now deliver our low-cost US-produced energy worldwide, and we are proud to bring the benefit of the DOE’s decision to our country and our local communities in Louisiana,” Venture Global Co-CEOs Bob Pender and Mike Sabel said in a joint statement.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved the Calcasieu Pass LNG last month, ending a weeks-long impasse that had threatened to delay billions of dollars worth of LNG projects along the Gulf Coast.

Located near the mouth of the Calcasieu Ship Channel, Calcasieu Pass LNG is designed to produce 10 million metric tons of LNG per day. The facility will use modular technology made by Houston oilfield service company Baker Hughes.

Venture Global awarded an engineering, procurement and construction contract for the facility to Omaha, Neb.-based Kiewit.

In addition to Calcasieu Pass LNG, Venture Global also plans to develop the Plaquemines LNG export terminal along the Mississippi River just south of New Orleans.

Natural gas is currently trading at $2.86 per million British Thermal Units at the Henry Hub in Louisiana, but LNG can be sold for double or triple that price in Europe or East Asian nations depending on the season.

Facing a relatively mild winter, Asian spot prices for liquefied natural gas have fallen to around $6 per million British Thermal Units — their lowest level in nearly 19 months.

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