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Golden Pass given nod to export LNG to nations without free trade agreements

Golden Pass Products, a joint venture of three oil giants, has cleared the final hurdle to being able to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) with the announcement by the US Department of Energy (DOE) allowing the Golden Pass terminal to be used to export LNG to nations that do not have a free trade agreement with the US.

In December, the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) gave Golden Pass a permit to export its product but that was conditional on DOE’s nod for dealing with non-Free Trade Agreement countries. That approval is what Tuesday’s DOE announcement confirms.

The Golden Pass LNG terminal is located in Jefferson County on the Texas Gulf coast. It is not far from Cheniere Energy’s Sabine Pass LNG terminal in Louisiana, the most successful US LNG export project to date.

Golden Pass is jointly owned by Qatar Petroleum, Exxon Mobil and Conoco Phillips.

Originally built in 2009 for the import of LNG, Golden Pass will be reconfigured for export because the US is awash in domestically produced natural gas.

No date has been given for when the export facility will be completed.

Golden Pass joins a growing list as previously seven US facilities for LNG export were under construction, either built from scratch or by the repurposing of existing facilities. Four others have been approved but have not yet begun construction.

The DOE clearance sets an upper ceiling of 2.21 bn cubic feet of gas per day from Golden Pass.

Donal Scully

With 28 years experience writing and editing for newspapers in the UK and Hong Kong, Donal is now based in California from where he covers the Americas for Splash as well as ensuring the site is loaded through the Western Hemisphere timezone.
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