US Energy Department approves Cove Point LNG exports

The Energy Department said that it has issued a final authorization for Dominion Cove Point LNG to export domestically produced liquefied natural gas to countries that do not have a free trade agreement (FTA) with the United States.

The Cove Point LNG terminal in Calvert County, Maryland is authorized to export LNG up to the equivalent of 0.77 billion standard cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of natural gas for a period of 20 years.

The development of U.S. natural gas resources is having a transformative impact on the U.S. energy landscape, helping to improve our energy security while spurring economic development and job creation around the country,” the Energy Department said in a statement issued on Thursday.

This increase in domestic natural gas production is expected to continue, with the Energy Information Administration forecasting a record average production rate of 72.4 Bcf/d in 2015.

Federal law generally requires approval of natural gas exports to countries that have an FTA with the United States. For countries that do not have an FTA with the United States, the Natural Gas Act directs the Department of Energy to grant export authorizations unless the Department finds that the proposed exports “will not be consistent with the public interest.”

The Energy Department said it conducted an extensive, careful review of the Dominion Cove Point LNG applications. Among other factors, the Department considered the economic, energy security, and environmental impacts and determined that exports at a rate of up to 0.77 Bcf/d for a period of 20 years was not inconsistent with the public interest, it added.


Image: Dominion Cove Point

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