The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has extended another seven long-term liquefied natural gas (LNG) export licenses through 2050, following a policy change implemented by the Trump administration earlier this year. 

The authorizations extend export terms for the Golden Pass facility under construction in Sabine Pass, TX, as well as the Texas LNG project proposed for Brownsville, TX, and the proposed Magnolia and Driftwood LNG terminals in Louisiana. Export licensenses were also extended through Dec. 31, 2050 for the Delfin floating LNG project offshore Louisiana and the Energía Costa Azul facility that was sanctioned for the west coast of Mexico last month. ECA has DOE authorization to import and liquefy U.S.-sourced natural gas for export from Mexico.

In an effort to strengthen and promote domestic natural gas exports, the Trump administration in July extended export authorizations to non-free trade agreement (FTA) countries through 2050.

“It is important for DOE to do everything to assure a long-term future for U.S. LNG exports, which will continue to meet global energy security and emissions reduction goals,” said Acting Under Secretary of Energy Steven Winberg.

From 2011 until the policy change was implemented in July, the DOE limited non-FTA export licenses to 20 years. The DOE is required under the Natural Gas Act to authorize FTA export licenses because they are presumed to be in the national interest. It may deny or limit licenses for countries without U.S. trade agreements. With the policy change, the DOE automatically grants all new non-FTA licenses through 2050 and extends existing non-FTA licenses through 2050 if the respective license holders apply.

The latest announcement follows 10 similar export license extensions that the DOE completed in October. The moves come as U.S. LNG exports are booming. Feed gas deliveries to terminals have hit record highs over the last week, exceeding 11 Bcf/d as the nation’s liquefaction trains run at or near peak capacity. Global natural gas prices are at some of their highest levels in the last two years as cargo loadings catch up to winter demand, supply disruptions add to seasonality and shipping constraints pressure the market.