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U.S. Greenlights Two Major LNG Export Projects

The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved on Thursday two liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects that will add to the growing U.S. export capacity of the super-chilled fuel.

FERC approved the project for the Driftwood LNG export terminal and associated pipeline on the west bank of the Calcasieu River, south of Lake Charles, Louisiana, proposed by Tellurian, and the Port Arthur LNG facility in Texas planned by Sempra Energy.   

“We look forward to beginning construction and delivering first LNG in 2023,” Tellurian’s President and CEO Meg Gentle said today, commenting on the Driftwood LNG approval.

Tellurian’s timeline for the Driftwood LNG project includes final investment decision this year, the start of construction this year, and start of operations in 2023.  

Another 10 proposed LNG export projects are pending FERC approval at the time being, the commission said today.

“LNG exports can help increase the availability of inexpensive, clean-burning fuel to our global allies who are looking for an efficient, affordable, environmentally friendly source of generation. FERC continues to focus on developing a regulatory ecosystem that allows new technologies to flourish,” FERC Chairman Neil Chatterjee said in a statement.

U.S. LNG export capacity is set to more than double from the end of 2018 to reach 8.9 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) by the end of 2019, making it the third-largest in the world behind Australia and Qatar, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Companies in the U.S. continue to plan and approve LNG export projects, aiming to seize a larger share of the growing global LNG market.

For example, ExxonMobil and Qatar Petroleum made a final investment decision in February this year to proceed with the development of the Golden Pass LNG export project in Sabine Pass, Texas, with investments of more than US$10 billion. The export terminal is expected to start up in 2024.  

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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