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DOE OKs Venture Global's Plaquemines LNG project to export to non-FTA countries

The U.S. Department of Energy approved Venture Global LNG's Plaquemines LNG project to export to countries that do not have a free trade agreement with the U.S., bringing the country close to a total of 40 Bcf/d of natural gas authorized for export to non-FTA countries.

An Oct. 16 order from the DOE allowed the export of LNG equivalent to 3.4 Bcf/d of gas from the Plaquemines LNG project in Plaquemines Parish, La., approximately 20 miles from the Port of New Orleans.

On Sept. 30, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission authorized Venture Global subsidiaries to site, construct and operate the Plaquemines LNG project.

Venture Global plans to build the project on a 630-acre site along the Mississippi River, with approximately 1.3 miles of river frontage. The location provides the proposed liquefaction facility with deep-water access to the Gulf of Mexico without the need for dredging, according to Venture Global's website.

In June, Poland's state natural gas company Polish Oil and Gas Co., known as PGNiG, agreed to buy 1.5 million tonnes per annum of LNG from Plaquemines LNG, one of three export projects that Venture Global LNG is developing in Louisiana. The other two are the Calcasieu Pass terminal, which has begun initial construction work in Cameron Parish, and the Delta LNG project, which the company plans to build in Plaquemines Parish.

Including the Plaquemines LNG order, DOE to date has approved 38.06 Bcf/d of gas exports in the form of LNG and compressed natural gas to non-FTA countries. Of this approved amount, about 15 Bcf/d of export capacity is in various stages of operation and construction across eight large-scale export projects, according to a DOE statement. LNG exports from the U.S. recently reached 5 Bcf/d, the DOE said.

The DOE has approved 38 applications to allow exports to non-FTA countries from 15 large-scale projects, including two export projects in Canada and two in Mexico, which required the approvals to export gas produced in the U.S., a DOE official said Oct. 16.

Besides the Plaquemines project, other LNG projects recently cleared for exports to non-FTA countries include Eagle LNG Partners on Oct. 3 for 0.14 Bcf/d, Kinder Morgan Inc.'s Gulf LNG Liquefaction Co. LLC on July 31 for 1.5 Bcf/d, the Sempra Energy-led Port Arthur LNG on May 2 for 1.91 Bcf/d, and Tellurian Inc.'s Driftwood LNG on May 2 for 3.88 Bcf/d.

Among the U.S. LNG export projects under construction is Venture Global's Calcasieu Pass project, which reached a final investment decision in June after having received its final regulatory approvals from FERC and DOE earlier this year.

Jim Magill is a reporter with S&P Global Platts. S&P Global Market Intelligence and S&P Global Platts are owned by S&P Global Inc.