Golden Pass Authorized to Export LNG

Golden Pass
Golden Pass Terminal Plan

Published Apr 25, 2017 7:52 PM by The Maritime Executive

The U.S. Department of Energy has signed an order authorizing Golden Pass Products to export domestically produced LNG to countries that do not have a free trade agreement with the U.S.

Golden Pass is jointly owned by Qatar Petroleum (70 percent) and ExxonMobil (30 percent). The authorization allows for the export of up to the equivalent of 2.21 billion cubic feet of LNG per day (Bcf/d) from the Golden Pass Terminal near Sabine Pass, in Jefferson County, Texas.

Golden Pass estimates the construction of its facility will provide 45,000 direct and indirect jobs over five years, and the project will provide 3,800 direct and indirect permanent jobs over the next 25 years of operational activity. Golden Pass also estimates the cumulative impact of construction and 25 years of operation will provide up to $2.4 billion in federal tax revenues and $1.2 billion in state tax revenues.

With the dramatic increase in domestic natural gas production, the U.S. is transitioning to become a net exporter of natural gas. The Department of Energy has authorized a total of 19.2 Bcf/d of natural gas exports to non-free trade agreement countries from planned facilities in Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Georgia and Maryland.  These projects, if built, would position the United States to be the dominant LNG exporter in the world, says the Department.

The increase in domestic natural gas production is expected to continue, with the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s Short Term Energy Outlook projecting an average dry natural gas production rate of 73.1 Bcf/d in 2017, the second highest on record.

U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry stated, “This announcement is another example of President Trump’s leadership in making the United States an energy dominant force. This is not only good for our economy and American jobs but also assists other countries with their energy security.”

The industry body API has welcomed the approval. “The U.S. leads the world in production and refining of oil and natural gas, and that competitive advantage presents a valuable opportunity to grow our economy through energy exports,” stated Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer Marty Durbin. “Expanding natural gas exports will help create jobs here at home and provide energy security to U.S. allies seeking a reliable alternative to energy supply from nations that use energy resources as a political weapon.

“Just as greater use of natural gas for U.S. electricity generation has cut our carbon emissions to levels not seen in three decades, U.S. natural gas can help reduce emissions in other nations. Numerous LNG export facilities still await approval, and giving the greenlight to Golden Pass is a positive step toward expanding U.S. energy leadership.”