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DOE Approves Additional Freeport LNG Export Volumes

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has followed in FERC's footsteps in authorizing what is essentially a true-up of authorized export volumes with production capacity of Freeport LNG's three-train FLEX project.

Last August FLEX (composed of Freeport LNG Expansion LP, FLNG Liquefaction LLC, FLNG Liquefaction 2 LLC, and FLNG Liquefaction 3) asked DOE to amend an existing export authorization for exports from the Freeport, TX, terminal of 146 Bcf/year. Subsequent to that authorization and an approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Freeport determined that the terminal would be capable of producing and exporting more LNG than initially thought.

Because the original DOE authorization is being challenged in court by the Sierra Club, DOE said it cannot be amended. However, the agency said it would construe the current request as one for a new authorization and grant it. DOE effectively added 125 Bcf/year to the previously authorized non-free trade agreement (FTA) export volume.

Now, under three separate DOE orders, FLEX is authorized to export up to 782 Bcf/year of LNG [10-161-LNG; 11-161-LNG; 16-108-LNG]. The volume authorized in the latest order is not additive to the previously authorized FTA export volumes, DOE said.

FERC previously made an amendment -- similar to the one requested of DOE -- to its 2014 initial authorization of the project.

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