The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has granted Cheniere Energy unit Sabine Pass Liquefaction LLC authorization to export up to a total of 600 Bcf of liquefied natural gas (LNG) on a spot market basis over a two-year period from the Sabine Pass terminal in Cameron Parish, LA. Previous long-term DOE authorizations allowed export of up to 803 Bcf/year of LNG from the terminal's Trains 1 through 4 to non-free trade agreement (FTA) countries. Sabine Pass also has long-term authorization to export up to 1,006 Bcf/year to FTA countries. "Sabine Pass asserts that granting the short-term blanket export authorization requested herein would provide Sabine Pass, the first entity authorized to construct and place in service a liquefaction and export facility in the Lower 48 states, with enhanced operational flexibility and the ability to export LNG cargoes that may be rejected by customers under one or more long-term contracts," DOE said in its order [15-171-LNG]. DOE noted that the 600 Bcf of cumulative export authorization sought is significantly less than the 803 Bcf/year of non-FTA authorization already granted. DOE said no additional public interest review was necessary in the instant proceeding as long as non-FTA exports do not exceed 803 Bcf/year on an annual (consecutive 12-month) basis in total. First exports from the Sabine Pass terminal were expected to begin earlier this month but were delayed by technical issues at the facility (see Daily GPI, Jan. 14).
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