Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Shale Law in the Spotlight: Status of Pending Applications for LNG Export Projects in the United States

Written by Chloe Marie – Research Fellow

In recent years, shale gas production in the United States has increased to such an extent that the country is projected to become a net exporter of natural gas by 2018, according to the U.S. EIA. As a result of growing natural gas demand internationally, the U.S. LNG export infrastructure is expanding, and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is now reviewing a significant number of applications for the construction and operation of LNG export terminals. In a report released in July 2015, the Brookings Energy Security and Climate Initiative’s Natural Gas Task Force assessed that “by 2020 additional LNG capacity additions totaling 164 billion cubic meters (bcm) will have come into the [global] market, of which 90 percent will come from Australia and the United States.”

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and FERC have regulatory authority over LNG export projects in the United States. More precisely, FERC is responsible for authorizing the siting and construction of onshore LNG import or export facilities and offshore facilities in state waters pursuant to the Natural Gas Act (NGA) while the U.S. DOE is responsible for issuing short-term and long-term authorizations to export natural gas from the United States. The U.S. Coast Guard and the Maritime Administration (MARAD) of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) authorize the siting and construction of offshore LNG facilities in federal waters.

In October 2013, the American Petroleum Institute announced the release of a new web-based map tracking pending and approved LNG export projects. According to the API’s web-based map, as of May 2017, there are 20 LNG export project applications pending review including nine projects in Louisiana, two projects in Florida, five projects in Texas, one project in Mississippi, one project in Maine, and two offshore projects in the Gulf of Mexico. Information on those pending projects also is available on the FERC website showing lists of approved and pending projects as of January 5, 2017.

The ongoing projects in Louisiana include 1) the CE FLNG project located in Plaquemines Parish, docket no. 12-123-LNG; 2) the Plaquemines LNG Project operated by Venture Global Plaquemines LNG, LCC in Plaquemines Parish, docket no. 16-128-LNG; 3) the Louisiana LNG Energy LLC project in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, docket no. 14-29-LNG; 4) the Calcasieu Pass LNG project operated by Venture Global Calcasieu Pass, LLC, in Cameron Parish, docket no. 13-69-LNG, 14-88-LNG, and 15-25-LNG; 5) the G2 LNG LLC project in Cameron Parish, docket no. 15-45-LNG; 6) the Commonwealth LNG, LLC, project in Cameron Parish, docket no. 13-153-LNG; 7) the Monkey Island LNG project operated by SCT&E LNG, LLC in Monkey Island, docket no. 14-98-LNG; 8) the Lake Charles LNG project in Lake Charles, docket no. 16-109-LNG and 16-110-LNG; and 9) the Driftwood LNG project in Carlyss, docket no. 16-144-LNG.

In Texas, the LNG export projects include 1) the Eos LNG & Barca LNG project in Brownsville, docket no. 13-116-LNG and 13-118-LNG; 2) the Texas LNG project operated by Texas LNG Brownsville LLC located at the Port of Brownsville, docket no. 15-62-LNG; 3) the Rio Grande LNG project in Brownsville Ship Channel, docket no. 15-190-LNG; 4) the Corpus Christi LNG project operated by Corpus Christi Liquefaction, LLC, on the La Quinta Channel in San Patricio county, docket no. 15-97-LNG; and 5) the Port Arthur LNG project in Port Arthur, docket no. 15-96-LNG.
In Florida, the pending projects are 1) the Strom Crystal River LNG export project operated by Strom Inc. in Crystal River, docket no. 15-78-LNG, and 2) the Eagle LNG export project operated by Eagle LNG Partners in Jacksonville, docket no. 16-15-LNG.

The proposed Gulf LNG Liquefaction Project located in Pascagoula, Mississippi, is operated by Gulf LNG Liquefaction Company (GLLC), LLC and information can be found at docket no. 12-101-LNG. The proposed LNG export facilities would have a production capacity of up to 11.5 million tonnes per annum (MTPA). GLLC filed an application with FERC in June 2015 to obtain authorization to construct and operate the proposed LNG export project. As for the Downeast LNG export project in Robbinston, Maine, information can be found at docket no. 14-173-LNG. This project would involve the liquefaction of approximately 3 million tons of LNG per year.

Finally, two offshore LNG export projects located in the Gulf of Mexico are currently under DOE review and are respectively operated by Freeport McMoran Energy LLC, docket no. 13-26-LNG, and Delfin LNG LLC, docket no. 13-26-LNG.

With regards to approved LNG Export Terminals, a total of 16 projects have been approved by both the FERC and the U.S. DOE including four projects in Louisiana, five projects in Texas, one project in Maryland, one project in Oregon, three projects in Florida, one project in Alabama, and one project in Georgia. In an upcoming Shale Law in the Spotlight article next week, we will address those approved LNG Export Terminal projects throughout the U.S.

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