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Japan imports most US LNG in January; Calcasieu Pass LNG gets OK for site prep

Japan imported most US LNG in January, with South Korea close behind

Japan and South Korea imported the greatest volumes of U.S. LNG in January, together taking in more than one-third of the United States' exports and helping to pick up some of the slack in demand from China. Japan was the top LNG importer of the month, taking the equivalent of 17.5 Bcf of gas from the U.S. in January, and South Korea was second with 17.0 Bcf, according to numbers the U.S. Department of Energy released March 14.

FERC approves Calcasieu Pass LNG terminal for site preparation

Venture Global LNG's Calcasieu Pass LNG export terminal received federal authorization to start full site preparation for the Louisiana facility. The March 19 approval from Federal Energy Regulatory Commission staff showed the project is moving to the construction phase as Venture Global executives said it would following the agency's Feb. 21 decision to authorize the terminal.

Senators bring back bill to advance small LNG export approvals at DOE

U.S. Republican senators reintroduced a bill to speed up the U.S. Department of Energy's approval of export licenses for small volumes of LNG. The bill would help expedite DOE reviews of LNG export activity in volumes equal to or less than 51.1 Bcf per year. Under the arrangement, the DOE would view such LNG exports as in the public interest and grant authorization "without modification or delay," according to a March 14 statement.

FERC issues positive final environmental review of Texas LNG project

A Texas LNG LLC subsidiary received the final environmental review it needed from FERC for the company's proposed natural gas liquefaction and export plant, bringing the project closer to a final decision from the commission. FERC staff found that the Texas LNG Brownsville LLC project would have some negative effects on the environment but that the impacts could be reduced to less-than-significant levels with mitigation measures and plans, "with the exception of visual resources."

FERC chairman says commission can 'get things done' despite vacant seat

FERC needs to work to speed up its U.S. LNG export terminal project approvals, FERC Chairman Neil Chatterjee said recently, rejecting the idea that a commissioner seat vacancy might first have to be filled to break any partisan logjams. The comments during a March 14 briefing with reporters at CERAWeek by IHS Markit in Houston reflect the pressure the commission faces from the White House and the energy industry to give the U.S. a shot at achieving its market growth goals and meeting the global demand expected next decade.

Permian producers look to LNG exports to take away gas surplus

Producers in the Permian Basin would be delighted to see more LNG export capacity developed on the Gulf Coast and elsewhere to take their associated gas. U.S. exporters appear happy to help, but the relief could take a while. "The next pipeline must be linked to LNG," Occidental Petroleum Corp. Senior Vice President for Marketing and Midstream Cynthia Walker said. "Every molecule needs to find an international market."

Governor expects final call on Alaska LNG's future within 60 days

The fate of the Alaska LNG project in its current form may be known in less than two months, Gov. Mike Dunleavy said March 15. The Alaska Gasline Development Corp. is closing in on a decision about the feasibility of the $43 billion project for which the state has teamed up with BP PLC and Exxon Mobil Corp., Dunleavy said at a press briefing at CERAWeek by IHS Markit in Houston.