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Export Authorizations for Natural Gas Extended to 30 Years in DOE Proposal

Monday, February 17, 2020
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Department of Energy is proposing to extend from 20 years to 30 years the standard term for authorizations to export natural gas from the lower 48 states, including domestically produced liquefied natural gas, compressed natural gas, and compressed gas liquid, to countries with which (a) the U.S. does not have a free trade agreement requiring national treatment for trade in natural gas and (b) trade is not prohibited by U.S. law or policy (non-FTA countries). Comments are due by March 12.

Under this proposal (a) existing non-FTA authorization holders could apply to extend their export term through Dec. 31, 2050, on a voluntary opt-in basis, (b) existing applicants could amend their pending non-FTA applications to request an export term through Dec. 31, 2050, on a voluntary opt-in basis, and (c) DOE would issue all future non-FTA export authorizations with a standard export term lasting through Dec. 31, 2050, unless a shorter term is requested.

Applications to export natural gas to countries with which the U.S. has an FTA requiring national treatment for trade in natural gas are generally granted without modification or delay, and this proposal does not apply to existing or future FTA applications and authorizations. However, because authorization holders typically apply for both FTA and non-FTA authorizations and prefer to align their FTA and non-FTA exports over the same time period, DOE anticipates that if this proposal is adopted FTA authorization holders likely will request a comparable extension in the export term of their existing orders.

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