DOE reviews latest Sabine Pass application for LNG exports

The Office of Fossil Energy (FE) of the U.S. Department of Energy will give notice in the Nov. 23 Federal Register of receipt of an application filed on Nov. 6 by Sabine Pass Liquefaction LLC for blanket authorization to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) in an amount up to the equivalent of 600 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of natural gas on a cumulative basis over a two-year period commencing on the earlier of the date of first short-term export or Jan. 15, 2016.

The LNG would be exported from the Sabine Pass Liquefaction Project located in Cameron Parish, Louisiana, to any country with the capacity to import LNG via ocean-going carrier and with which trade is not prohibited by U.S. law or policy. To date, Sabine Pass has been granted long-term, multi-contract authorization to export LNG in a volume equivalent to 803 Bcf per year of natural gas from the Liquefaction Project to non-FTA countries, for a 20-year term.

Sabine Pass states that, in anticipation of the start of liquefaction operations at the Liquefaction Project, it requests this blanket authorization to engage in short-term exports of LNG produced both prior to commercial operations as well as subsequent to commercial operations if and when appropriate market opportunities arise. According to Sabine Pass, the requested blanket authorization will provide enhanced operational flexibility and the ability to export produced LNG cargoes that may be rejected by customers under long-term contracts. Sabine Pass seeks to export this LNG on its own behalf and as agent for other parties who will hold title to the LNG at the time of export.

Protests, motions to intervene, notices of intervention, and written comments are invited and will need to be filed within 30 days of the Nov. 23 notice.

In addition, on April 20, 2015, Sabine Pass submitted an application to DOE/FE requesting long-term, multi-contract authorization to export up to the equivalent of an additional 203 Bcf per year of natural gas from the Liquefaction Project to non-FTA countries for a 20-year term. That application is currently pending in another docket.

Sabine Pass has a principal place of business in Houston, Texas. Sabine Pass is an indirect subsidiary of Cheniere Energy Inc., a developer of LNG import and export terminals and natural gas pipelines on the Gulf Coast, including this Liquefaction Project.

To date, DOE/FE has issued three final orders under Natural Gas Act Section 3 authorizing Sabine Pass to export LNG from Stages 1 and 2 of the Liquefaction Project. In this regard, Sabine Pass is currently authorized to export up to the equivalent of 803 Bcf per year of natural gas, for a twenty-year term, to Non-Free Trade Agreement Nations.

Sabine Pass noted in the Nov. 6 application that construction of Train 1 of the Liquefaction Project is nearing completion, with commencement of operations anticipated in early 2016. Construction of the three remaining liquefaction trains comprising Stages 1 and 2 of the Liquefaction Project will be completed on a staggered basis following completion of Train 1.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.