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US DOE plans to speed up approvals for small-scale LNG exports

EBR Staff Writer Published 04 September 2017

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has proposed a rule that can speed the approval process for small-scale exports of liquefied natural gas from export facilities in the country.

As per DOE, the US small-scale LNG export market includes exporting LNG in small volumes to neighbouring countries in the Caribbean, Central America, and South America.

A significant number of these countries do not generate enough natural gas to match the demand and to support the economies of scale required to justify the large volumes of LNG imports from large-scale LNG terminals using conventional LNG tankers.

As a result, the small-scale export market has been developed as a solution for the practical and economic constraints that limit the export of natural gas to these countries.

The department stated that the new deregulatory measure can expedite review and approval of applications to export natural gas in small quantities to the emerging markets. The new law, the Natural Gas Act will give DOE jurisdiction over imports and exports of natural gas.

The new law also allows exports of natural gas (including LNG) to countries that have non-free trade agreement with the US, upon meeting certain criteria. 

Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry said: “The Trump Administration is focused on finding ways to unleash American energy and providing a reliable and environmentally friendly fuel to our trading partners who face unique energy infrastructure challenges.

“The Department of Energy and this Administration are wholeheartedly committed to strengthening the energy security of the United States and our allies.”