By DAVID BIRD
NEW YORK -- The Energy Department said Thursday it has granted conditional approval for Dominion Cove Point LNG to export domestically produced liquefied natural gas to countries that don't have a free-trade agreement with the US.
Subject to environmental review and final regulatory approval, LNG exports at a rate of up to 770 million cubic feet/day of natural gas for a period of 20 years will be allowed from a terminal located in Calvert County, Maryland, that is one of the nation's largest LNG import facilities.
The move follows prior approval on Oct. 7, 2011, for LNG exports from the facility to countries which have a free-trade agreement with the US. The decision comes as US gas output is growing to record levels.
The Energy Information Administration, the independent statistical and analytical wing of the Energy Department, projects gas output will climb to a record 70.42 billion cubic feet/day in 2014, a rise of 14.8% from five years earlier.
Dominion Resources said its proposed liquefaction facilities for gas export are expected to cost $3.4 billion to $3.8 billion. The company filed in March with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for approval of the facilities.
Pending receipt of regulatory approval and environmental permits, construction is scheduled to begin in 2014, with an in-service date of 2017.
Dow Jones Newswires