WoodMac: North America to lead 2019 LNG FID surge

WoodMac: North America to lead 2019 LNG FID surgeIllustration purposes only (Image courtesy of Freeport LNG)

North America will lead the next wave of global LNG project sanctions in 2019, according to a report by the research and consultancy group Wood Mackenzie.

Three US Gulf Coast developments, Sabine Pass train 6, Golden Pass and Calcasieu Pass, are expected to reach final investment decision (FID) in the first half of 2019, Wood Mackenzie said in its quarterly North America LNG projects update.

Wood Mackenzie’s Alex Munton, said, “With FID imminent on three US Gulf Coast LNG projects, North America is set to lead an expected record year for LNG project sanctions. With at least two other Gulf Coast projects – Freeport Train 4 and possibly Driftwood LNG – also not far behind, the first half of 2019 will be an especially busy one for the US.”

Since September, Cheniere, Venture Global, Sempra, Tellurian, Freeport and Woodfibre all struck long-term agreements with offtakers. In the same period, 13 million tonnes per annum (mmtpa) in sales were achieved, totaling more than 20 mmtpa for the year.

“2018 was a stellar year for sales of North America LNG, and US LNG in particular,” Munton said.

The construction and expansion of the three Gulf Coast LNG facilities, totaling up to 30 mmtpa of capacity, will also inject billions of dollars of investment in the region. According to Wood Mackenzie, $20 billion could be invested in the three projects over the next four years.

“While the Gulf Coast remains the key growth region for North America LNG, projects in Canada and Mexico are also progressing and attracting interest,” Munton said.

According to Wood Mackenzie’s analysis, Canada’s Woodfibre LNG could reach FID in 2019, contingent on the execution of an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract.

Mexico’s Costa Azul Phase 1 LNG export terminal still needs to finalize an EPC contract, binding offtake agreements, permitting and financing arrangements. However, progress is being made and it too could reach FID in 2019.

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