The U.S. Department of Energy said on April 27 it authorized additional LNG shipments from two plants in construction and development, as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine increases focus on boosting the domestic fossil fuel industry.
The department said the approvals allow Golden Pass LNG in Texas, jointly owned by Exxon Mobil Corp. and Qatar Petroleum International Ltd., to export the equivalent of an additional 0.35 Bcf/d of LNG to any country not prohibited by U.S. law. That allows exports to Europe, with which the U.S. does not have a free trade agreement, and an export boost of about 16% annually from Golden Pass. The facility, now under construction, is expected to start exporting in 2025.
Magnolia LNG in Louisiana, owned by Glenfarne Group LLC, can now export an additional 0.15 Bcf/d to any country including ones in the EU. That’s an increase of about 14% annually when the project, which has not begun construction, is finished. Exports from Magnolia are not expected until about 2027.
Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm told reporters at a U.S.-EU energy meeting in New Jersey that the approvals are about “making sure that we are able to allow those who intend to produce, have the freedom to be able to ship to Europe.”
The approvals came as Russia, which supplies about 40% of the EU’s gas, cut shipments to Poland and Bulgaria over their failure to pay in rubles.
Fred Hutchinson, CEO of the industry group LNG Allies, welcomed the approvals, though he said it would be a “few years” before the additional volumes hit the market.
A Senate aide, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that as a result of the DOE’s approvals, Senator Ted Cruz, a Republican from Texas, lifted his hold on Brad Crabtree, whom President Joe Biden nominated in 2021 to be an assistant secretary at the department for fossil energy and carbon management.
Crabtree is an expert in the emerging practice of capturing carbon from industrial plants and burying it underground or converting it to products to curb greenhouse-gas emissions.
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