Louisiana LNG projects get 30-year authorization extension


The U.S. Department of Energy last week extended the terms of another seven long-term liquefied natural gas export authorizations—including three in Louisiana—through 2050.

The term extensions extended terms for the proposed Magnolia and Driftwood projects in Louisiana, and the Delfin LNG export project proposed for offshore Louisiana. Also benefitting from an extension are the Golden Pass facility currently under construction in Sabine Pass, Texas, as well as the Texas LNG project proposed for Brownsville, Texas, and Sempra Energy’s Costa Azul project in Mexico.

That comes after an initial 10 LNG export term extensions issued in October pursuant to an export term policy statement DOE finalized in July. Those earlier extensions included Cheniere Energy’s Sabine Pass in Cameron Parish, Venture Global Calcasieu Pass and Venture Global Plaquemines LNG.

“The success story of U.S. LNG continues to be written, and these extended authorizations will ensure that the benefits from these exports continue for decades to come,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette. “The United States just set a new all-time high record for LNG exports in November 2020.”

These issuances extend each project’s long-term LNG export authorization to non-free trade agreement (non-FTA) countries through December 31, 2050.

The extensions were prompted by a request from Cheniere in July 2018 that the DOE consider going beyond the 20-year period that had become standard, telling the agency the longer term could be decisive for foreign buyers deciding between U.S. LNG and alternative long-term sources.

Export orders allow the DOE to rescind authorizations in the case of a domestic gas shortage or other emergency.

“Extending the authorization of exports through 2050 gives both developers and international buyers of U.S. LNG greater certainty and allows U.S. projects to better compete in the fast-growing global LNG market,” Charlie Riedl, executive director of the Center for Liquefied Natural Gas trade group, said in a statement.

Including the term extension applications granted last week, long-term LNG export authorizations with export terms through 2050 are now held by 13 U.S. LNG export projects, as well as the Costa Azul project in Mexico.