WASHINGTON, April 21 (Reuters) – The US Department of Energy announced on Friday that it will change the way it approves requests from companies to delay start dates for liquefied natural gas (LNG) export projects in order to provide a better picture to obtain the actual demand for the fuel.
The DOE will no longer consider a new request for a seven-year extension of the construction start date unless companies can demonstrate that they have physically begun construction of an LNG export facility or face extenuating circumstances. The new policy does not apply to companies with pending applications.
The measure is one in a series of new orders announced by the DOE’s Bureau of Fossil Fuels and Carbon Management to keep the US on track to reach its net-zero emissions goal by 2050 while providing allies with natural gas .
America’s unfinished LNG export projects are trying to meet demand from fuel-poor Europe
The US has approved over 49 billion cubic feet per day of LNG for export from countries outside the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) – more than half of which is held by LNG projects that are idle or under construction and an extension for have applied for the date will start exporting.
This new policy “will allow the DOE to better assess whether new non-FTA applications are in the public interest; provide more certainty to the US and global LNG export markets; and ensure that the DOE makes decisions using the latest market information and analytical tools available,” the DOE said in a statement.
A DOE official said it would help newer LNG projects, which use more modern technology and environmental protections, to compete for approval.
The US is poised to retake Crown as the world’s largest LNG exporter
The agency also announced that it has made a decision on two pending applications. It will approve a first-time application from Port Arthur LNG, LLC and Sempra to extend the launch date at the Texas terminal to 2028 and deny a second application for an extension from Energy Transfer’s Lake Charles Exports project in Lake Charles, Louisiana.
In a similar move, the DOE on Friday also issued a request for information from LNG industry participants on strategies and technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants during the LNG process.
The DOE is working to set standards for certified natural gasa form of fuel marketed by manufacturers as climate friendly.
(Reporting by Valerie Volcovici)
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