The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced its approval of short-term liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports from Cheniere’s Corpus Christi Liquefaction Project to non-free trade agreement countries over a two-year period. This is the first large-scale LNG export project to be constructed in Texas and one of the largest infrastructure ones since its cost is approximately $15 billion. Each train is expected to have a nominal production capacity of about 4.5 million tonnes of LNG annually.
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The order authorizes initial commissioning volumes and other exports pursuant to short-term contracts from the Corpus Christi Liquefaction Project in a volume of 2.1 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of natural gas. A similar order by DOE authorised short-term exports from the project to free trade agreement countries in September 2018.
The two-year export term will become effective on either on 31 December 2018 or the date of the first export from the Corpus Christi Liquefaction Project currently projected to occur later this year. US DOE highlighted that the short-term authorisation embodied to Cheniere is not additive to Corpus Christi’s already existent long-term LNG export regulations, but this order allows for LNG exports pursuant to short-term contracts and for the initial commissioning volumes from the project.
The project is one of four additional large-scale LNG export projects expected to be completed over the next two years. Since exports of US LNG began in 2016, over 1.5 trillion cubic feet of US LNG has been exported. To date, the Department of Energy has approved 21.35 Bcf/d of long-term exports of natural gas to any country in the world not prohibited by US law or policy. Once these four projects are completed, the US’ LNG export capacity is expected to reach approximately 11 Bcf/d.