The United States Department of Energy (DOE) finalized reforms it proposed on May 29 to its process for determining whether planned Liquid Natural Gas export projects are in the national interest as reported in Oil & Gas Journal:
- Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) export proposals are presumed to be in the national interest under the Natural Gas Act.
- This excludes countries that do not have a free-trade agreement (FTA) with the United States.
- DOE has conducted an informal review for more than 30 years, and has issued eight conditional authorizations for LNG exports to non-FTA countries in the last 3 years.
However, The Center for Liquefied Natural Gas expressed serious reservations about the direction of the Department of Energy’s procedural landscape in response to the proposed reforms becoming final and said:
- The Department of Energy could improve regulatory certainty by instituting a policy of prompt approval for final non-FTA export permits once the applicants have completed their National Environmental Policy Act reviews.
- Continued regulatory uncertainty is not beneficial.
- The development of these projects and the economic benefits they will deliver to this country should be expedited.