The Energy Department announced today that it has issued a final authorization for Dominion Cove Point LNG, LP to export domestically produced liquefied natural gas (LNG) to countries that do not have a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the United States. The Cove Point LNG Terminal in Calvert County, Maryland is authorized to export LNG up to the equivalent of 0.77 billion standard cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of natural gas for a period of 20 years.
The development of U.S. natural gas resources is having a transformative impact on the U.S. energy landscape, helping to improve our energy security while spurring economic development and job creation around the country. This increase in domestic natural gas production is expected to continue, with the Energy Information Administration forecasting a record average production rate of 72.4 Bcf/d in 2015.
Federal law generally requires approval of natural gas exports to countries that have an FTA with the United States. For countries that do not have an FTA with the United States, the Natural Gas Act directs the Department of Energy to grant export authorizations unless the Department finds that the proposed exports “will not be consistent with the public interest.”
The Energy Department conducted an extensive, careful review of the Dominion Cove Point LNG applications. Among other factors, the Department considered the economic, energy security, and environmental impacts and determined that exports at a rate of up to 0.77 Bcf/d for a period of 20 years was not inconsistent with the public interest.
The Path Forward on LNG Export Applications
The Energy Department will continue to act on applications to export LNG from the lower 48 states after completion of the review required by the National Environmental Policy Act, and when DOE has sufficient information on which to base a public interest determination. During this time, the Department will continue to monitor any market developments and assess their impact in subsequent public interest determinations as further information becomes available.
“The DOE’s review was thorough. Our Cove Point terminal will have a tremendous economic impact on our nation, Maryland and Calvert County,” commented Jim Norvelle, Director-Communications, Dominion Energy. “The project was approved following federal and state approvals in a process unrivaled in its scope and public input.”
“The natural gas that will be liquefied at Cove Point will become reliable energy with cleaner air for important U.S. allies. Meanwhile, more natural gas is projected to be produced to keep domestic prices reasonable.”