Energy Dept OKs expanded LNG exports from Texas, Louisiana

Apr 27, 2022, 2:26 AM | Updated: 2:32 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Energy Department on Wednesday authorized additional exports of liquefied natural gas, or LNG, from planned terminals in Texas and Louisiana.

The orders allow Golden Pass LNG Terminal near Port Arthur, Texas, and Magnolia LNG Terminal in Lake Charles, Louisiana, to export additional natural gas as LNG to any country not prohibited by U.S. law or policy.

The $10 billion Golden Pass LNG export project is expected be operational in 2024, with Magnolia coming online by 2026. The two terminals are expected to produce more than 3 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day.

The approvals come as the United States seeks to boost LNG exports to Europe amid Russia’s war with Ukraine. The Energy Department approved expanded permits for two other LNG terminals in Texas and Louisiana last month.

Cheniere Energy Inc. said its Sabine Pass facility in Louisiana and its Corpus Christi plant in Texas have been improved and are making more gas than covered by previous export permits.

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said last month that the U.S. “is exporting every molecule of liquefied natural gas that we can” to help European buyers of Russian fuel.

U.S. LNG exports have reached new highs of about 12 billion cubic feet per day and are expected to grow to more than 13 billion cubic feet by the end of the year, with most going to Europe, the Energy Department said.

The U.S. and its allies also have released oil from their strategic reserves to counter Russia’s aggression. The U.S. has banned imports of Russian oil.

The U.S. and other countries “will act quickly to hedge against energy disruptions,” Granholm said at the International Energy Agency’s ministerial meeting in Paris. “We will not allow Vladimir Putin to wedge our nations apart.”

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, hailed the new permits Wednesday as “a tremendous victory for Texans, American jobs, trade and our European allies who will now have greater access to our clean natural gas exports.”

A source familiar with his thinking said Cruz planned to release a Senate hold on Brad Crabtree, President Joe Biden’s nominee to be assistant Energy secretary for fossil energy and carbon management.

Golden Pass is jointly owned by ExxonMobil Corporation and Qatar Petroleum International Limited, while Magnolia is owned by the Glenfarne Group LLC.

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Energy Dept OKs expanded LNG exports from Texas, Louisiana