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Exports of Natural Gas to Non-FTA Countries Approved from Second Facility

Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Department of Energy announced May 17 that, subject to environmental review and final regulatory approval, it has authorized the exportation of domestically produced liquefied natural gas per day from a facility on Quintana Island, Texas, to countries that do not have a free trade agreement with the U.S. This authorization will allow exports of up to 1.4 billion cubic feet per day for 20 years. The DOE’s first non-FTA partner export authorization was granted to a facility in Cameron Parish, La., in 2011 for up to 2.2 billion cubic feet per day.  

Federal law generally requires DOE approval of natural gas exports to countries that have an FTA with the U.S. For those that don’t, the Natural Gas Act directs the DOE to grant export authorizations unless it finds that the proposed exports “will not be consistent with the public interest.”

There are likely to be more export authorizations in light of the ongoing increase in domestic natural gas production. The DOE states that it will continue to process pending export applications on a case-by-case basis and that as further information becomes available at the end of 2013 it will assess the impact of any market developments on subsequent public interest determinations. Click here for more information on the DOE process and related legislation introduced this year in the Senate.

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