DOE looks to quicken small-scale exports of natural gas

by Talk Business & Politics staff ( 37 views 

The U.S. Department of Energy has proposed a rule to accelerate the approval process for small-scale exports of natural gas, including liquefied natural gas (LNG), from the United States. On Friday (Sept. 1), the federal agency announced the proposal, and the public can comment on it until Oct. 16.

Most small-scale LNG exports go to countries in the Caribbean, Central America and South America, and many of them don’t require large volumes of LNG imports. Large volumes are usually shipped from large-scale LNG terminals via conventional LNG tankers. Small-scale exporters have developed to fill a need in the market.

“This deregulatory measure will expedite the review and approval of applications to export small amounts of natural gas in the emerging small-scale LNG export market,” according to the DOE. Under the Natural Gas Act, the federal agency has jurisdiction over import and exports of natural gas. Before natural gas can be exported to countries without a qualifying free trade agreement, the federal agency must complete a public interest review.

Under the proposed rule, if the natural gas to be exported isn’t more than 0.14 billion cubic feet per day and qualifies for a categorical exclusion under the DOE’s National Environmental Policy Act regulations, the DOE will deem the export to be in the public interest under the Natural Gas Act. Exports of natural gas to countries with free trade agreements are already deemed to be in the public interest under the act.

Click here to read the proposed rule.