The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has approved short-term liquefied natural gas exports from the Cheniere’s Corpus Christi liquefaction project in Texas to non-free trade agreement countries over a two-year period.
DOE’s order authorizes initial commissioning volumes and other exports pursuant to short-term contracts from the Corpus Christi liquefaction project in a volume of 2.1 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of natural gas.
This follows a similar order issued by the DOE authorizing short-term exports from the project to free trade agreement countries in September 2018.
The two-year export term will become effective on either December 31, 2018, or the date of the first export from the Corpus Christi LNG project currently expected to occur later this year, whichever occurs first, DOE said in its statement.
Corpus Christi is a three-train liquefaction project under construction near Corpus Christi in Texas.
Each train is expected to have a nominal production capacity of about 4.5 million tonnes per year of LNG.
The liquefaction project is the first large-scale LNG export project to be built in Texas, and at a project cost of approximately $15 billion, it is one of the largest infrastructure projects in Texas, the statement reads.
DOE stressed the short-term authorization issued to Cheniere is not additive to Corpus Christi’s existing long-term LNG export authorizations. Rather, this order allows for LNG exports pursuant to short-term contracts and for the initial commissioning volumes from the project.
Since exports of U.S. LNG began in 2016, over 1.5 trillion cubic feet of U.S. natural gas has been exported.
To date, the Department of Energy has approved 21.35 Bcf/d of long-term exports of natural gas to any country in the world not prohibited by U.S. law or policy.
There are currently two large-scale LNG export projects in operation, Sabine Pass and Dominion Cove Point, which have a combined export capacity of approximately 3.5 Bcf/d.
Corpus Christi is one of four additional large-scale LNG export projects expected to be completed over the next two years, DOE said.
Once these four projects are completed, the United States’ LNG export capacity is expected to reach approximately 11 Bcf/d.
There are also a dozen large-scale export projects under review that would provide over 20 billion cubic feet per day of additional export capacity, if approved and constructed, the authority’s statement reads.