DoE approves LNG exports to non-free trade countries — US foreign policy may be bigger factor moving forward

By Philip Angeli

The US Department of Energy (DoE) has issued an order granting approval to Jordan Cove Energy Project LP to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Jordan Cove’s liquefaction and export terminal in Coos Bay, Oregon, to countries that do not have a free-trade agreement with the US (non-FTA countries).

This order, issued on 24 March, is the seventh since 2011 that the DoE has granted approving LNG exports to non-FTA countries.

The DoE’s review and approval process is normally the subject of an intense debate within the energy sector over how policymakers should strike an appropriate balance between gas producers, who generally favour approval of more LNG exports, and gas consumers and manufacturers, who are generally concerned that domestic gas prices will rise with export levels. The regulatory scheme for gas exports to non-FTA countries requires the DoE to determine whether the export will be in the public interest. The DoE’s ‘public interest’ analysis heavily weighs the export’s predicted impact on domestic gas prices…

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