Written by Chloe Marie – Research Fellow
Last week, our Shale Law in the Spotlight article provided an overview on the development of five LNG export projects approved by both the Federal Energy Regulatory Energy (FERC) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in Maryland and Louisiana. Another article posted two weeks ago discussed the status of pending applications for LNG export projects in the United States. This third and last article will address another four approved LNG export projects in Texas and Georgia.
The Freeport LNG Liquefaction Project involves the construction of export infrastructure at Quintana Island Terminal near Freeport, Texas, to accommodate up to 2 Bcf per day of domestic natural gas, which would be shipped to foreign countries through the Freeport Harbor Channel. Construction started in November 2014, and export operations are expected to begin in September 2018.
Respectively in February 2011 and 2012, DOE granted conditional authorization to Freeport LNG to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Free Trade Agreement (FTA) countries for up to 511 Bcf per year. Additionally, in May and November 2013, DOE granted conditional authorization for the export of LNG to non-FTA countries respectively for up to 511 Bcf per year and 146 Bcf per year. In August 2012, Freeport LNG filed a permit application under Section 3 of the NGA for the siting and construction of three liquefaction trains, among other things, at and adjacent to the existing LNG terminal. The three liquefaction trains each would be capable of producing approximately 1.8 Bcf per day of natural gas. On July 30, 2014, FERC approved the construction of the project. In November 2014, both FERC and DOE granted final authorizations.
The Corpus Christi Liquefaction Project is operated by Cheniere Energy and proposes the construction of additional liquefaction and export facilities at one of Cheniere’s existing sites on the La Quinta Channel of Corpus Christi Bay in San Patricio County, Texas. The liquefaction project includes up to five liquefaction trains capable of producing a total of up to 22.5 million tons per annum (Mtpa) of liquefied natural gas. According to Cheniere, this liquefaction project “is positioned near some of the most prolific oil and gas producing regions in the country.”
In August 2012, Corpus Christi Liquefaction, LLC, a subsidiary of Cheniere Energy, filed a permit application with FERC for the construction and operation of the LNG liquefaction project, including Train 1, 2 and 3. In late December 2014, FERC issued an order granting authority under Section 3 of the Natural Gas Act (NGA) for the construction and operation of the project. On October 16, 2012, Cheniere received approval from DOE to export up to 2.1 Bcf of natural gas per day to FTA countries for a period of 25 years. Similarly, on May 12, 2015, DOE announced that it granted a final authorization for the liquefaction project to export up to 2.1 Bcf per day of liquefied natural gas to non-FTA countries for a period of 20 years. The construction of Train 1 to 3 began on May 13, 2015, and Cheniere expects to begin commercial operations in 2018. As for Train 4 and 5, Corpus Christi Liquefaction, LLC, initiated the pre-filing review process with FERC on June 1, 2015, and this was approved on June 9, 2015. Cheniere filed a permit application in 2016, and construction is scheduled to start this year with an in-service date of 2021.
The Golden Pass Products is an expansion project to the existing Golden Pass LNG import terminal located near Sabine Pass, in Jefferson County, Texas. It is operated by affiliates of Qatar Petroleum International and ExxonMobil. The Golden Pass Products project will ship to foreign countries up to 15.6 million tons of LNG per year and, besides the construction of three liquefaction trains, this project will include new facilities for natural gas pre-treatment.
DOE received an application in October 2012 from Golden Pass Products, LLC, to export up to 2.02 Bcf per day of domestic natural gas to both FTA and non-FTA countries. In the same year, DOE granted authorization to export up to 2.03 Bcf per day to FTA countries. Finally, on April 25, 2017, DOE also granted authorization to export up to 2.21 Bcf per day of natural gas to non-FTA countries. In the meantime, Golden Pass Products, LLC, filed a permit application with FERC in July 2014 for the construction and operation of the liquefaction project, which was approved in December 2016.
The Elba Liquefaction Project is another expansion project to the existing Elba Island LNG Terminal located at Elba Island in Chatham County, Georgia. It consists of the construction of 10 trains with a total capacity of up to approximately 350,000 Mcf per day of natural gas.
In 2012, DOE granted authorization for the project to export to FTA countries and, in December 2016, DOE also granted approval to export to non-FTA countries. On June 1, 2016, FERC issued an order granting authorization under Section 3 and 7 of the Natural Gas Act (NGA) for the construction and operation of the Elba Liquefaction Project. Construction began on November 1, 2016, with an in-service date estimated in mid-2018.