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DOE authorizes short term natural gas exports from the Corpus Christi LNG project

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has approved short-term liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports from the Corpus Christi Liquefaction Project to non-free trade agreement countries over a two-year period. DOE’s order, issued to Cheniere Marketing, LLC and Corpus Christi Liquefaction, LLC (collectively, Corpus Christi), 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.

DOE issued a similar order authorizing short-term exports from the Corpus Christi Liquefaction Project to free trade agreement countries in September 2018.

The two-year export term will become effective on either 31 December 2018, or the date of the first export from the Corpus Christi Liquefaction Project currently projected to occur later this year—whichever occurs first. The Liquefaction Project is the first large-scale LNG export project to be built in Texas. At a project cost of approximately $15 billion, the Corpus Christi Liquefaction Project is one of the largest infrastructure projects in Texas and, during peak construction periods, has employed up to 5,000 construction workers.

The short-term authorization issued to Corpus Christi 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 Liquefaction Project.

Since exports of US LNG began in 2016, more than 1.5 trillion cubic feet of US natural gas has been exported. US LNG has now landed in 30 different destinations in Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, South America, North America, and the Caribbean.

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 US 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. 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.

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