FERC authorizes Louisiana LNG export project and associated pipeline

Venture Global LNG Inc. announced last week that the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued the order granting authorizations under Sections 3 and 7 of the Natural Gas Act for the company’s Venture Global Calcasieu Pass LNG export facility and associated TransCameron Pipeline in Cameron Parish, La.

The U.S. Department of Energy supports FERC’s agreement to provide a path forward for consideration of liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminals that are pending before FERC. FERC approved Venture Global’s Calcasieu Pass LNG export project by applying a new approach for consideration of direct greenhouse gas emissions from LNG facilities.

“Since I joined the commission, it’s been a priority of mine to expedite and improve our LNG terminal application review process,” FERC Chairman Neil Chatterjee said. “I’m extremely pleased that we are issuing the certificate order for the Calcasieu Pass LNG export terminal today (Feb. 21). This facility will have the capacity to export 12 million metric tons of U.S. LNG per year. But even more so, I really appreciate the efforts of my colleagues to work together to come to an agreement on this facility. This is significant, as I anticipate we’ll be able to use the framework developed in this order to evaluate the other LNG certificates that the commission is considering.”

Chatterjee added that FERC’s multi-pronged approach to improve its process over the past year put the agency in a position to move forward efficiently with the other 12 pending LNG projects.

“We signed an MOU with the Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, cut through unnecessary red tape and reduced interagency friction by signing the One Federal Decision MOU with our federal partners, and increased the number of engineers working on our reviews by casting a wide net to capture talent everywhere we could find it,” he said.

“This is a matter of truly strategic significance, and we as an agency are dedicated to doing our part in this historic American moment by conducting thorough, efficient and legally durable reviews of every LNG terminal application we receive,” Chatterjee added.

“I applaud FERC on their action today to authorize the construction of another LNG export facility,” U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry said in a statement. “This past year, the U.S. became a net exporter of natural gas on an annual basis, and we are exporting U.S. LNG to 34 different countries across five continents. The construction of this facility and the expedition of others under this new framework will further build upon the success of American natural gas.”

“With the United States now being the world’s largest producer of oil and natural gas, it is critical we build the necessary infrastructure to get these natural resources to market,” U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette said. “This move by FERC is a significant step to bring more U.S. LNG into the market, as well as streamline the energy infrastructure permitting and authorization process. More U.S. gas in the international market will ultimately increase competition and drive down prices for consumers.”

The Venture Global Louisiana project site is located on the Calcasieu Ship Channel and features deepwater access, proximity to plentiful gas supplies and ease of transport for buyers. The 930-acre project site is located where the ship channel meets the Gulf of Mexico. This location is in close proximity to several major interstate natural gas pipelines and is situated in the middle of one of the most active trading areas for pipeline-quality natural gas in North America. The project site is secured under exclusive agreements for up to a 70-year term.

“With our FERC order in hand and our project contracted with binding 20-year sale and purchase agreements (SPAs) with Shell, BP, Edison S.p.A., Galp, Repsol and PGNiG, we plan to immediately commence construction activities in Louisiana in close coordination with FERC and other agencies,” Venture Global co-CEOs Bob Pender and Mike Sabel jointly stated. “This milestone is the culmination of years of effort, and we are proud of the excellent work done by our regulatory, environmental, legal and engineering teams. We are excited to begin construction of our Calcasieu Pass project and deliver low-cost LNG to our global customers in 2022.”

About the author

David Krapf

David Krapf has been editor of WorkBoat, the nation’s leading trade magazine for the inland and coastal waterways industry, since 1999. He is responsible for overseeing the editorial direction of the publication. Krapf has been in the publishing industry since 1987, beginning as a reporter and editor with daily and weekly newspapers in the Houston area. He also was the editor of a transportation industry daily in New Orleans before joining WorkBoat as a contributing editor in 1992. He has been covering the transportation industry since 1989, and has a degree in business administration from the State University of New York at Oswego, and also studied journalism at the University of Houston.

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