Liquefied Natural Gas Limited said that the Office of Fossil Energy of the Department of Energy (DOE), United States, has granted authorisation for Magnolia LNG to export up to 4 mpta of LNG, from its proposed LNG project site at the Port of Lake Charles, Louisiana.
The DOE authorisation is valid for LNG sales to commence within 10 years and is then for a period of 25 years from first LNG sales; which sales are permitted to all existing, and any future, countries that have, or enter into, a Free Trade Agreement with the Government of the United States.
The Magnolia LNG Project comprises the proposed development of an 8 mtpa LNG project on a 90 acres site, in an established LNG shipping channel in the La ke Charles District. The project is based on two 4 mtpa development phases, each phase comprising 2 x 2 mtpa LNG production trains, and will use the Company’s wholly owned OSMR ® LNG process technology.
The DOE authorisation, follows the Company’s recent si gning of a Site Option to Lease Term Sheet, with the Lake Charles Harbour & Terminal District (Port Authority. The Company is now:
- Negotiating a definitive and binding Real Estate Le ase Option Agreement with the Port Authority, together with the agreed form of Lease to be executed on Magnolia LNG, LLC exercising the site Lease Option;
- In discussion with a number of parties who have expr essed interest to enter in to a Tolling Agreement, under which the Tolling Party will be responsible for arranging gas suppl y to the Magnolia LNG Project and the LNG buyers and ships. The Magnolia LNG Project will treat and liquefy the gas, store the produced LNG and load the LNG onto the LNG buyer’s ships, in consideration of a Capacity Fee and Processing Fee; and
- Progressing work on the Magnolia LNG Project’s Pre File Application, which is required to be submitted to the Federal Energy Regulatory Co mmittee and represents the commencement of the project’s required permits and approvals process.
Managing Director Maurice Brand said “We are very pleased that the DOE authorisation had been received in accordance with the Company’s developmen t schedule. Our ability to meet key milestones will be a critical factor in discussions with potential Tolling Parties.”
Golden Pass Products said it has received authorization from the United States Department of Energy to export domestically produced natural gas as liquefied natural gas from the Golden Pass LNG terminal in Sabine Pass, Texas, to nations that have existing Free Trade Agreements (FTA) with the U.S.
The proposed project involves construction of natural gas liquefaction and export capabilities at the existing Golden Pass LNG facility. If developed, the project would represent approximately $10 billion of investment on the U.S. Gulf Coast, generating billions of dollars of economic growth at local, state and national levels and millions of dollars in taxes to local, state and federal governments. The project would generate approximately 9,000 construction jobs over five years with peak construction employment reaching about 3,000 jobs.
The proposed project would have the capacity to send out approximately 15.6 million tons of LNG per year. New infrastructure required to export will be located on the existing property, which contains two berths for LNG tankers, five storage tanks and access to the Golden Pass pipeline. The expanded facility would then have the capability and flexibility to both import and export natural gas.
As noted in the FTA application, Golden Pass also plans to submit an application to export LNG to non-FTA nations. A final investment decision will be made following government and regulatory approvals and will be based on a range of factors.
Golden Pass Products, a partnership of Qatar Petroleum International and ExxonMobil affiliates, has submitted an application to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the Golden Pass LNG receiving terminal at Sabine Pass, Texas.
The proposed project involves construction of natural gas liquefaction and export capabilities at the existing Golden Pass LNG facility. A final investment decision will be made following government and regulatory approvals.
If developed, the project would represent approximately $10 billion of investment on the Gulf Coast, generating billions of dollars of economic growth at local, state and national levels and millions of dollars in taxes to local, state and federal governments. The project would generate approximately 9,000 construction jobs over five years with peak construction employment reaching about 3,000 jobs.
The proposed project would have the capacity to send out approximately 15.6 million tons of LNG per year. New infrastructure required to export will be located on the existing property, which currently contains two berths for LNG tankers, five storage tanks and access to the Golden Pass pipeline. The expanded facility would then have the capability and flexibility to both import and export natural gas.
The proposed expansion of Golden Pass is an opportunity to capitalize on America’s abundant natural gas resources. The Energy Information Administration’s Annual Energy Outlook 2012 shows that the United States has substantial gas supplies that can support gas exports, including LNG exports, over the longer term.
The application filed with the DOE is to export natural gas to nations that have existing free trade agreements (FTA) with the United States. A similar application is planned for non-FTA countries.
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A report published by Baker & McKenzie has said that last year the US government approved exports from a second terminal, and decisions on eight other applications for export approval are expected later this year.
Implications for Japanese LNG buyers and investors
The report stressed that expanded U.S. LNG exports represents an opportunity not only for Japanese LNG buyers to diversify their supply sources with shale gas but also at more competitive pricing linked to Henry Hub prices rather than oil prices. Japanese companies also could establish value chains in the U.S. by investing in projects to build export facilities and by acquiring interests in shale gas fields.
Since 1967 the Kenai LNG Plant in Alaska, which produced all eight of the LNG cargoes shipped from the U.S. to Japan in 2011, had been the only LNG plant with export approval. This changed last year when the Sabine Pass facility in Louisiana obtained export approval. Eight other applications for export approval are now pending.
Export approval process and outlook
Under the Natural Gas Act gas exports require permission from the federal government. Such permission is only granted if the Department of Energy (DOE) determines that the proposed exports are consistent with the public interest. Exports to 17 countries which have free trade agreements (FTAs) with the U.S. are deemed consistent with the public interest and the DOE must approve exports to these countries “without modification or delay”. In contrast, approvals for exports to non-FTA countries, including Japan, are subject to a lengthy public interest finding process which allows for comments, protests, and motions to intervene from interested parties.
The applicable legislation does not require the DOE to take action on applications within a certain timeframe. After Sabine Pass received approval for exports to non-FTA countries in May last year, the DOE suspended consideration of all applications pending the results of a study on the impact of exports on the domestic energy market. This followed complaints from some U.S. lawmakers who were concerned that exports might increase domestic prices. The domestic market impact study was initially scheduled to be completed by the first quarter of this year, but it is still pending and is now expected to be completed later this summer. Accordingly, none of the pending applications are likely to be approved until the fourth quarter of this year at the earliest.
There are, however, some reasons to believe there is political support for expanding LNG exports to non-FTA countries such as Japan. For example, on July 2, 2012, a bipartisan group of 21 members of Congress from states with shale gas deposits sent a letter to Energy Secretary Steven Chu urging the DOE to expedite the pending LNG export applications. In February, Secretary Chu said he supports LNG exports, and Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda also said he discussed expanding LNG exports when he met with President Barack Obama on April 30, 2012.
Actions to consider
• Conduct preliminary due diligence on LNG projects with pending non-FTA export approval applications, as these projects are likely to be now seeking LNG buyers and equity investors.
• Monitor the DOE’s non-FTA export approval process.
• Investigate the compatibility of LNG produced from U.S. shale gas with regasification facilities and pipeline networks in Japan
Given the currently wide differential between the Henry Hub spot price used for trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) and JCC pricing, expanded LNG exports produced from U.S. shale gas fields is a potential game changer for the gas market in Northeast Asia, and Japan in particular. From the Japanese buyer’s perspective, it is clear that approvals for further export terminals is an important development to monitor in order to position themselves as potential buyers and equity investors. For more information, please contact Colin Cook or Hiromitsu Kato.
Source: Baker & McKenzie via: Source
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The Sierra Club filed a formal protest to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) on Tuesday, challenging a proposal to export billions of cubic feet of domestic natural gas from a facility on Lake Charles in Cameron Parish, LA.
The Sierra Club’s protest challenges natural gas companies’ efforts to secure liquefied natural gas (LNG) export licenses without acknowledging its damaging effects. DOE is currently studying the effects of exporting as much as a fifth of the domestic gas supply, and the Sierra Club calls for similar studies of the public health and environmental damage caused by increased fracking.
The Sierra Club’s challenge contends that the Cameron export proposal would lead to increased air and water pollution in Louisiana and Texas and raise domestic natural gas prices. The filing calls for a full Environmental Impact Statement to study the extent of this proposed facility’s environmental damages before DOE makes any final decisions. Weighing these threats is particularly important because the oil and gas industry currently exploits numerous loopholes and exceptions in federal safeguards, putting the health and safety of Americans at risk.
This filing is the fifth protest the Sierra Club has brought before DOE and other regulatory bodies, opposing LNG export facilities. The other challenges were filed against Cove Point, MD, Sabine Pass, LA, Coos Bay, OR, and Freeport, TX.
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