The U.S. Department of Energy has authorised the Golden Pass Terminal near Sabine Pass, Texas to export domestic LNG to non-FTA countries in a move that could position the country as a dominant global LNG exporter.
The Golden Pass LNG Terminal is a liquefied natural gas receiving terminal and regasification facility located in Sabine Pass, Texas.
Golden Pass will be allowed to export LNG up to the equivalent of 2.21 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of natural gas.
The Golden Pass export project involves the construction of three LNG production trains with a total capacity of about 15 million metric tons of LNG per annum at a competitive cost, utilizing existing infrastructure (such as the LNG storage tanks) that are part of the receiving terminal facilities.
The Department of Energy has authorized a total of 19.2 Bcf/d of natural gas exports to countries from planned facilities in Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Georgia, and Maryland. These projects, if built, would position the U.S to be the dominant LNG exporter in the world.
U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry stated, “This is not only good for our economy and American jobs but also assists other countries with their energy security.”
The Energy Department said that it conducted an extensive review of the Golden Pass application. Among other factors, the Department considered the economic, energy security, and environmental impacts, including macroeconomic studies that showed positive benefits to the U.S. economy in scenarios with LNG exports up to 28 Bcf/d.
Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, QP President and CEO, said “This approval marks an important milestone for the project, in which both shareholders have invested significant efforts, and sets the stage to help meet the world’s growing need for clean energy. Today’s announcement paves the way for further progress in the Golden Pass export project towards a final investment decision in 2018.”
The reason the U.S is transitioning to become a net exporter of natural gas is due to the massive increase in domestic natural gas production. This increase is expected to continue, with the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s Short Term Energy Outlook projecting an average dry natural gas production rate of 73.1 Bcf/d in 2017, the second highest on record.
Golden Pass is jointly owned by Qatar Petroleum (70 per cent) and ExxonMobil (30 per cent).