Liquefied Natural Gas Race Getting Thinner


"The United States has regulations limiting how much of its natural resources can be exported and to where."


Calgary Herald, Dina O'Meara


You just can't beat Americans for enthusiasm. The folks in the Lower 48 states embrace trends with enviable speed, a trait which can be beneficial for others who watch and learn.

Take liquefied natural gas, for example. Back when supplies of the fuel appeared to be waning, between 2007-2009, entrepreneurs south of the border had proposed building 21 on and offshore import terminals. Those were on top of the eight terminals approved by U.S. regulators, and the five terminals already operating.

All, as noted, were to receive loads of the super-cooled fuel from foreign lands to replace rapidly declining reserves of domestic natural gas.

Fast—really fast—forward to 2012 and everything LNG is about exporting what has become an abundant fuel source since technology helped crack shale gas. One import terminal—the Cheniere in Freeport, Texas—now is an export one, and many projects are in line for approval.

But Obama's top energy advisor thinks maybe half a dozen will be approved over the next 10 years.

Last week at the White House, President Obama's Energy and Environmental Advisor Heather Zichal told Barclays Capital analysts the administration wouldn't be moving as quickly to open the door to exports of natural gas.

The United States has regulations limiting how much of its natural resources can be exported and to where.

Zichal said the government wants more information about future domestic demand trends, and is waiting on a department of energy report later this summer on U.S. gas consumption trends to formulate a strategy around LNG exports.

"The renewed competitiveness of the US industrial and chemical industries is a promising prospect for the economy and the Administration wants to assure that ample resources are available for domestic consumption before moving too far forward with export plans," Barclays reported Zichal saying. . .View Full Article

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