IECA calls for halt on non-FTA LNG export approvals

The Industrial Energy Consumers of America have urged the U.S. Department of Energy to place a moratorium on LNG export approvals for non-free trade agreement (non-FTA) countries. 

In a letter submitted to the U.S. energy secretary Rick Perry, IECA said it is “alarmed at the volume of LNG exports that have been approved for periods of 20-30 years, especially to non-free trade agreement (non-FTA) countries.”

According to the IECA’s predictions LNG export studies, performed by the Obama Administration, which are still being used to justify LNG export approvals, “did not consider cumulative export volumes to FTA and non-FTA countries.”

According to the DOE and the Energy Information Administration (EIA), total LNG export approvals to both free-trade agreement (FTA) countries and non-FTA countries now equals 71.2 percent of U.S. 2016 natural gas demand.

“Approved volumes to NFTA countries alone equals 170 percent of total residential demand,” IECA said in its letter, adding that “of greatest concern, is that the Administration has said publicly that it will approve more applications to export to NFTA countries.”

IECA presented two scenarios, justifying its call for a moratorium on LNG exports to non-FTA countries both showing that over 50 percent of U.S. technically recoverable natural gas resources would be consumed by 2050.

In the first scenario, uses the EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook 2017 as a reference in assuming that U.S. LNG exports would hit 12.1 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas by 2035, resulting in 58 percent of U.S. technically recoverable natural gas resources to be consumed by 2050.

The second scenario includes the volume of LNG export applications equal to 54 Bcf/d that the DOE has already approved, which assumes that LNG export volumes would reach 54 Bcf/d, resulting in 71 percent of U.S. technically recoverable natural gas resources to be consumed by 2050.

Pointing to the two scenarios, IECA urged the DOE to halt further approvals for shipments to non-FTA countries.