By BEN LEFEBVRE
The US Department of Energy said Friday it has authorized
Cameron LNG to export liquefied natural gas, opening the door
wider for US natural gas companies to send their bounty
The export permit is only the third awarded in the US.
It allows Cameron, a wholly-owned subsidiary of
gas distributor and marketer Sempra Energy (SRE), to ship
up to 1.7 billion cubic feet/day of LNG from its in Cameron
Parish, La., facility to countries possessing free-trade
agreements with the US.
Sempra spokeswoman Paty Mitchell said the company was receiving
"serious interest from significant credit-worthy
counterparties" for LNG
The company is still waiting for federal permission to
to any country that doesn't have a free trade agreement with
the US, Mitchell said.
Cameron also has to win government approval to build export
facilities at the Cameron Parish
The Energy department permit was awarded on Jan. 17 and is good
for 20 years after the first export shipment, expected in
gas producers are hoping to sell the commodity overseas,
where it can command much higher prices than in the US.
New drilling technologies such as horizontal drilling and
hydraulic fracturing have unlocked new sources of natural gas
in the US, increasing supply and helping to drive prices to a
Natural gas futures settled at $2.343 a million British thermal
units Friday. That was nearly $2 lower year over year and down
from nearly $14 in July 2008.
US LNG exports could drive domestic natural
gas prices up as much as 36% in 2018, according to a recent
report by the US Energy Information Administration.
Cheniere Energy won federal approval in May to export 2.2
billion cubic feet/day of LNG out of its facility in Sabine
Pass, La.; the company plans to send its first shipment by
ConocoPhillips' Kenai LNG plant in Alaska sent small amounts
before suspending operations in 2011.
Dow Jones Newswires