Photo: Illustration only; Courtesy of Cheniere

Sabine Pass and Corpus Christi approved for extra LNG exports amidst energy crisis

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has issued export licenses to the Sabine Pass and Corpus Christi to increase international LNG exports amidst energy shortages caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Sabine Pass LNG approved for extra LNG exports amidst energy crisis
Illustration only; Courtesy of Cheniere

Cheniere‘s Sabine Pass currently has six fully operational trains. Each is capable of producing 5 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) of LNG. Located in Cameron Parish, Louisiana, the facility’s production capacity is approximately 30 mtpa.

To remind, Train 6 of the liquefaction project achieved substantial completion on 4 February.

Senator Bill Cassidy announced the DOE will grant an export license to the Sabine Pass terminal. This license will allow the facility to increase the exportation of LNG to U.S. allies who are experiencing energy shortages.

In 2021, Sabine Pass had the greatest export output of any LNG facility in the country. It stood at more than 1.24 trillion cubic feet, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

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Finally, this export license is long overdue for Southwest Louisiana,” said Cassidy. “We need an Operation Warp Speed to expedite energy production and exports. It will create jobs, lower energy prices and improve national security.”

In February, Cassidy introduced the Expediting Natural Gas to Allies Act. This would expedite approval for natural gas exports to supply U.S international partners in response to tensions with Russia and China. At the same time, he also urged the Biden administration to facilitate the increase of LNG exports to assist the European partners.

At the beginning of March, Cassidy also released a landmark energy and climate policy outline on how the U.S. can reset energy and climate policy and create a “global Russia-free energy future”.

This outline specifically included Cassidy’s plan for Operation Warp Speed for U.S. energy production and export.

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Corpus Christi LNG export licence

In addition to Louisianna’s Sabine Pass, DOE also issued a long-term order authorizing LNG exports from Cheniere’s Corpus Christi facility in Texas.

The Corpus Christi liquefaction facility currently has three fully operational ​trains. Each train can produce approximately 5 mtpa of LNG.

The two orders allow Sabine Pass and Corpus Christi additional flexibility to export the equivalent of 0.72 billion cubic feet per day. This includes exports to any country with which the U.S. does not have a free trade agreement, including all of Europe.

Therefore, every operating U.S. LNG export project has approval from DOE to export its full capacity to any country where not prohibited by U.S. law or policy.

The U.S. is now the top global exporter of LNG; the exports are set to grow an additional 20 per cent by the end of this year as additional capacity comes online.

[This article has been amended to include information about Corpus Christi exports]