Dominion Cove Point's liquefied natural gas, LNG, terminal in the U.S. state of Maryland has become the fifth project to get approval from the U.S. government.
The U.S. Energy Department announced last Thursday that it has issued a final authorization for Dominion Cove Point LNG, LP to export domestically produced LNG to countries that the U.S. does not have a free trade agreement, FTA.
'The Cove Point LNG Terminal in Calvert County, Maryland is authorized to export LNG up to the equivalent of 0.77 billion cubic feet (23 million cubic meters) of natural gas a day for a period of 20 years, the Energy Department said in a statement on its website.
'The development of U.S. natural gas resources is having a transformative impact on the U.S. energy landscape,' said the department in the statement.
With the shale boom in 2008, the U.S. has significantly raised its shale gas production, from 2 billion cubic feet (60 million cubic meters) in 2008 to 11.4 billion cubic feet (340 million cubic meters) in 2013, according to the U.S.' Energy Information Administration, EIA.
'This increase in domestic natural gas production is expected to continue, with EIA forecasting a record average production rate of 72.4 billion cubic feet (two billion cubic meters) per day in 2015,' the Energy Department said.
- Previously approved projects
Under the Obama administration, four projects were approved previously to export LNG to non-FTA countries.
Cheniere's Sabine Pass project in the state of Louisiana has become the first to acquire an LNG export permit in 2012, and is expected to ship its first cargo at the end of 2015.
The Freeport LNG terminal in Quintana Island, Texas was authorized on Nov. 14, 2014 to export LNG for a total volume of 1.8 billion cubic feet (54 million cubic meters) per day for a period of 20 years.
Moreover, Carib Energy’s facility in Florida and Sempra Energy’s Cameron LNG facility in Louisiana were approved in Sept. 10, 2014.
Cameron LNG terminal in Cameron Parish, Louisiana was authorized to export up to some 1.7 billion cubic feet (51 million cubic meters) per day of natural gas for a period of 20 years, while Carib Energy's facility in Martin County, Florida was authorized to export up to some 0.04 billion cubic feet (1.2 million cubic meters) per day for a period of 20 years.
The companies that want to export LNG from the U.S. to non-FTA countries need to get approval from the Department of Energy, which grants authorizations unless the proposed gas exports 'will not be consistent with the public interest.'
By Ovunc Kutlu