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Container Export of LNG Approved by DOE

Carib Energy (USA) LLC said it has received authorization from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Free Trade Agreement (FTA) countries in Central America, South America and the Caribbean.

"This is a very key ruling, as it will allow us to begin delivery of a key natural resource to countries that desperately need it," said Carib Energy President Greg Buffington. "With this new long-term authorization, Carib Energy is now positioned to become a significant exporter of liquefied natural gas to FTA countries."

According to the DOE order, Carib has said that for the most part no facility modifications or additions will be needed in order for the company to export LNG.

"Carib will take delivery of LNG at the site of existing liquefaction facilities located throughout the southeastern United States, purchasing relatively small LNG quantities, and in most cases, making use of excess LNG capacity, which is available for sale, as well as natural gas, which can be liquefied at liquefaction facilities," the order said. "Carib will transport the LNG from the liquefaction facilities within the United States over both highways and via rail."

Buffington told NGI buyers of the LNG will be commercial users in the Caribbean and Central America as well as small power plants that want to burn natural gas along with diesel fuel.

"Most of our customers we are speaking to are 10 MW facilities and smaller as well as some larger..." he said in an e-mail. Buffington said Carib also is pursuing authorization to ship LNG to non FTA countries.

Carib Energy filed an application at the DOE earlier this year to export LNG from the United States. It will transport the LNG from liquefaction facilities using approved 40-foot long LNG containers transported on ocean-going carriers. The containers will comply with all necessary regulations, as will third parties with whom Carib contracts to handle such transportation, the company said.

Carib is permitted to transport up to 11.53 Bcf of gas per year for a 25-year term. It said it plans to begin exporting "immediately."

Carib Energy, which is based in Coral Springs, FL, is a limited liability company owned by Everything for Gas International LLC and Argosy Transportation Group Inc.

Separately, in May Cheniere Energy Partners LP unit Sabine Pass Liquefaction LLC received DOE approval to liquefy and export U.S. gas from the existing Sabine Pass import terminal to any country that has or develops import capacity (see Daily GPI, May 23). The order expanded upon an authorization Sabine received last September that authorized exports to all current and future FTA countries (see Daily GPI, Sept. 13, 2010).

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