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US LNG export licenses update

LNG Industry,

Ron Wyden, US Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman, has urged the Department of Energy (DOE) to use recent data that includes regional factors and domestic costs in its consideration of permits for liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminals.

In a senate committee hearing, Chris Smith, the nominee for assistant secretary of energy for the DOE’s Fossil Energy office, assured Wyden and other committee members that the Energy Department will continue to issue permits for LNG export terminals on a case-by-case basis.

"This is an opportunity to keep prices stable for our businesses and our consumers, Wyden explained. "It's got a link to renewables because natural gas has a chance to bring those renewables into baseload power and if we do it right, we can have it all.”

Outdated information

The DOE has already issued permits for four export terminals to non-Free Trade Agreement (FTA) countries. Wyden has previously voiced concerns with data from a study used by the department to assist its decision making on permits, stating again that the study is outdated and consequently no longer a suitable basis for making decisions on export permits.

Smith assured the committee that the DOE monitors market factors and uses "appropriate and relevant data as it continues to issue LNG export terminal permits on their individual merits”.

When asked about the possibility of the department pausing the approval process for new LNG exports, Smith assured the committee that the DOE is continuing to move forward with approvals at this time.

"I think there's an opportunity here for us to find the sweet spot, where we can give a big lift to American industries where we have a pricing advantage, help our consumers, help renewables and be able to export”, Wyden said. "Number one, we're going to have to have good data, good and current data, and second, on matters like whether or not there's going to be a pause and under what circumstance, we're going to need some more clarity on that.”

Edited from various sources by Katie Woodward

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