The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has extended another five long-term liquefied natural gas (LNG) export licenses through 2050 in a last minute push by the Trump administration to execute on a policy change it implemented last year. 

“The Trump Administration and DOE have delivered on our commitment to ensure that U.S. LNG holds a prominent place in the global energy market,” said DOE Secretary Dan Brouillette. “The 2050 policy and subsequent extended authorizations lock in the long-term benefits of U.S. LNG exports and provide yet another way to support the success of U.S. LNG exporters abroad.”

The authorizations issued on New Year’s Eve extend the export terms of Kinder Morgan Inc.’s Elba Island LNG terminal operating in Georgia and the Cameron LNG facility operating in Louisiana. DOE also extended the export terms of the proposed 6.5 million metric tons/year Annova LNG project under development on the Brownsville Ship Channel in Texas and two small-scale liquefaction terminals in Florida. Eagle LNG Partners currently operates one of those plants just outside Jacksonville and has proposed another for Jacksonville. 

The approvals extend each project’s long-term LNG export authorizations to non-free trade agreement (FTA) countries through Dec. 3, 2050.

In an effort to strengthen and promote natural gas exports, the Trump administration in July extended export authorizations to non-FTA countries through 2050. From 2011 until the policy change was implemented in July, the DOE limited such licenses to 20 years. 

Last month, the department extended seven long-term LNG export licenses after completing another 10 extensions in October. 

Deputy Secretary of Energy Mark W. Menezes said LNG exports reduced the U.S. trade deficit by more than $12 billion in 2020. The extensions have come as exports are on the rise amid a rally in global natural gas prices with winter in full swing. Feed gas deliveries to U.S. terminals were at 11.3 Bcf on Monday, suggesting the facilities are running at or near peak capacity